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Hoax Reports Claim Three Giant Spaceships Heading for Earth

Outline
Circulating stories claim that researchers at Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have discovered that three gigantic spaceships are currently heading towards Earth and will arrive in 2012.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the stories are utter nonsense. The SETI Institute has denied any knowledge of such an event and has certainly not released a report about the impending arrival of any alien spaceships. Moreover, there is no credible evidence of any kind to support the claims. The rumours began circulating after a story about the supposed alien invasion was published on Examiner.com and then subsequently in Russian news outlet Pravda in December 2010.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 5th January 2011
First published: 5th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples
Subject: Three giant spaceships to attack Earth in 2012?

It is about time science should say its word regarding the problem, and it did. SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), an independent non-commercial organization, released a sensational statement.

Three giant spaceships are heading towards Earth. The largest one of them is 240 kilometers wide. Two others are smaller. At present, the objects are beyond the orbit of Pluto.

The spaceships were detected by HAARP search system. The system, based in Alaska, was designed to study the phenomenon of northern lights. According to SETI researchers, the objects are nothing but extraterrestrial spaceships. They will be visible in optical telescopes as soon as they reach Mars's orbit. The US government has been reportedly informed about the event. The ships will reach Earth in December 2012.


Subject: 3 giant spaceships will attack Earth in 2012: researchers

A report by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the United States said that there are three giant spaceships which are heading towards Earth.

According to the Russian Pravda news, the SETI, a non-commercial organization said that the largest one of the three spaceships is 240 kilometers wide, and the two others are smaller.

It further stated that currently, the objects are beyond the orbit of Pluto and will reach Earth in December 2012.

The report claims that the spaceships were detected by the HAARP search system, based in Alaska, which is designed to study the phenomenon of northern lights.

According to the SETI researchers the objects are nothing but extraterrestrial spaceships, and will be visible in optical telescopes as soon as they reach Marsí orbit, reported the Pravda news.


SETI Astrophysicist Craig Kasnov ( not to be confused with Craig Kasnoff ) has announced the approach to the Earth of 3 very large, very fast moving objects. The length of the "flying saucers" is in the range of tens of kilometers. Landing, according to calculations of scientists, should be in mid-December 2012. Date coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar.




Detailed Analysis
According to stories that are rapidly circulating via email, blogs and social networks, researchers have discovered that three massive alien spaceships are on their way to Earth and are set to arrive in December 2012. The stories claim that the information came to light via a report issued by the scientific organization SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Some versions claim that the impending alien encounter was announced by SETI Astrophysicist Craig Kasnov. Others suggest that the spacecraft were detected by the HAARP search system in Alaska. The reports suggest that the arrival of the aliens will coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar, an event that many believe will herald the end of civilization or at least the beginning of a time of chaos and change.

However, the claims in the stories are utter nonsense and have no factual basis. The SETI Institute certainly did not issue any such report, nor does it have any connection whatsoever with the outlandish claims made in the messages. Moreover, the Institute does not have an astrophysicist named Craig Kasnov. I contacted the SETI Institute to enquire about the rumours. A spokesperson from the SETI Institute sent the following reply:
Thank you for your inquiry. Indeed, the report did not originate with the SETI Institute. Note, the articles consistently refer to "SETI" as the source as opposed to the SETI Institute. Neither do we have anyone working here by the name mentioned.
Furthermore, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) has not issued any reports about the detection of alien spacecraft, giant or otherwise. HAARP has no connection to the SETI Institute as implied in some versions of the story.

It seems that the stories began circulating after an article about the supposed alien spacecraft was published on the website Examiner.com on December 8, 2010. Content on Examiner.com is contributed by users that "come from all walks of life and contribute original content to entertain, inform, and inspire their readers". The spacecraft story was submitted by "UFO Examiner" Andrew Wozny. Wozny also writes for the New World Order Information Center blog which features an entire UFO category. Given that there is no Craig Kasnov at the SETI Institute and the institute issued no such report, it is clear that Wozny simply made up the story. Writer Phil Plait who has published an article thoroughly debunking Wosny's story on the Bad Astronomy blog points out that the blue "spaceship" in the picture shown in the Wosny piece is nothing more than an image defect.

The story was later taken up by Russian news outlet Pravda, who published a version of the article titled "Three giant spaceships to attack Earth in 2012?" on 22nd December 2010. Korean news outlet the Korea Herald then published an article largely based on the Pravda story on 29th December 2010. Other Asian news outlets also published versions of the story. Since then, the story has been posted to many blogs, forums and social networks and also circulates in an email version.

The fact that the absurd tale has been taken up by supposedly reputable news outlets, has given it a degree of totally undeserved credibility. The story is certainly entertaining, but it is entirely fiction and concerned recipients need not watch the skies in trepidation. While the truth IS undoubtedly "out there", this silly story ain't it.

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3 Very Large Objects In Space Flying To Earth
UFO category
Three giant spaceships to attack Earth in 2012?
3 giant spaceships will attack Earth in 2012: researchers



Last updated: 5th January 2011
First published: 5th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer