Real or fake? Some claims of "alien" invaders are revealed as hoaxes, some are simply strange, natural events. All of them captivate the imagination.
Baboon or Alien?
In July 2013, a strange-looking creature in South Africa's Nature Valley convinced residents that aliens were invading. While on patrol, a ranger and his son came upon a “thing,” and the son thought it to be not of this earth. However, autopsy reports would later dismiss the notion. Instead of an alien, the creature had been a newborn female baboon that had most likely been killed.
In June 2013, a Chinese man, Mr. Li, posted photographs of him posing next to an “alien” that he claimed to have trapped after it crash landed in the Binzhou Shangdong province in China. Sparking Internet frenzy, he claimed that he had the body of the dead alien in his freezer. The claims quickly ended when local police found the body to be made up of high quality rubber.
In 2011, Timur Hilall, 18, and Kirill Vlasov, 19, found the body of a mangled alien in the cold frozen snow of the Siberian tundra. When viewers saw the video on YouTube, some speculated that the body had been left behind by officials who were cleaning up a UFO crash. However, when questioned by police, it all turned out to be a crummy hoax. The body had been made of stale bread and covered with chicken skin.
In 2006, Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptic magazine, released a short video that showed how easy it was to make UFO photographs. Showing the photographs to passersby, some believed and some remained skeptical. He then told them that it was all a fake and began to explain. With the help of children, he created several UFOs that were then spray-painted and photographed against a gray sky. The photos had been real photos, just not reality.
In 1976, Viking 1 took a photo that would later become famous. When NASA revealed the image, the agency captioned it: "huge rock formation ... which resembles a human head ... formed by shadows giving the illusion of eyes, nose and mouth." By doing so, the authors reasoned it would be a good way to engage the public and attract attention to Mars.
The "Face on Mars" has since become a pop icon. It has starred in a Hollywood film, appeared in books, magazines, radio talk shows — even haunted grocery store checkout lines. Some think the face is evidence of life on Mars, evidence NASA would rather hide. Defenders of NASA's shrinking budgets wish there really were an ancient civilization on Mars.
A satellite photo of Area 51, a notorious military base in Nevada. The area received intense scrutiny for allegedly housing a UFO and material supposedly recovered from its crash in Roswell, New Mexico.
In 1947, a Roswell rancher claimed he found a "flying disk" on his farm, along with metallic objects. The next day, government officials announced that it was a weather balloon. Conspiracy theorists have long argued that bodies of aliens from the crash were shipped to Area 51. Government officials deny any research was conducted on the military base. Watch a Video about Area 51
On August 28, 1995, a 17-minute black and white film aired on television claiming to show an alien autopsy from 1947. The documentary, titled 'Alien Autopsy,' captured the attention of 11 million viewers. The film purported that the alien under the knife was captured from Roswell in 1947.
In 2006, London video entrepreneur Ray Santilli said his film was a hoax. He explained that the alien was created using casts set in jam, chicken entrails and knuckle joints.
A strange alien figure on Mars? Yeah, right, says NASA.
Bloggers and British newspapers were abuzz over this blurry image taken by the Mars rover Spirit that seems to show a humanoid figure ambling down a shallow slope.
"It's a two-inch piece of rock eroded by the wind," explained NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown.
Various jokers had suggested that the figure might be Bigfoot, a naked woman, a Tusken Raider from "Star Wars" or Usama bin Laden. Read More
During the summer of 2008, a stinking, hairless carcass washed up on the beach in Montauk, N.Y., part of the Hamptons vacation area.
Some speculated it was an escaped mutant from a government lab. Others thought it was an alien. A few suggested it might be a dog or raccoon. After nationwide media frenzy, an unnamed man came forward to blogger Drew Grant and said he was behind the hoax. Read More
Fox News' Sean Hannity interviewed a Washington man who said UFOs can actually be seen flying over his property each and every night. Hannity's producers headed to Trout Lake, Washington, to capture the phenomenon and hunt for proof that aliens do, in fact, exist.
James Gilliand, owner of the spiritual retreat, has made UFOs his business. Gilland says people visit his farm every night to see the foreign objects flying overhead. Astronomer Bernard Haish told Hannity that the objects could be the International Space Station — but admits he could not prove it. Read More
A still from a YouTube clip showing something hovering over southwestern England.
In March 2009, British intelligence officers scoured hundreds of UFO sighting reports looking for top-secret American stealth-plane projects, newly released files have shown.
Britain's Defense Intelligence Staff logged and investigated hundreds of sightings by pilots, air traffic controllers and private individuals who believed they had seen an alien presence. They found that Great Britain wasn't visited by Aliens, rather by Americans developing spy planes and keeping them secret. Read More
In 1961, American married couple Betty and Barney Hill said they were abducted by aliens — a claim that sparked a best-selling book and a television movie. According to the couple, they were driving in New Hampshire when they saw a light in the sky. Betty told her husband to stop driving to take a closer look; when they did they say they saw 8 to 11 humanoid figures peering out the craft's window.
Believing the aliens would capture them, the couple says they lost consciousness and felt a tingling sensation throughout their bodies. Afterward, Betty was plagued by vivid nightmares about the event. The Air Force told the couple that they probably misidentified the light for Jupiter.
The military's B-2 Spirit stealth jet bomber resembles a stereotypical UFO with its flat, sleek appearance. The planes is 69 ft long with a 172-ft wingspan. It looks like an alien craft from nearly any angle, and more specifically like a flying saucer when viewed head-on or in profile.
The CIA estimates that over half of the UFOs reported from the 1950s through the 1960s were U-2 and SR-71 spy planes.
A full century after a mysterious explosion in Siberia leveled an area nearly the size of Tokyo, debate continues over what caused it. Did something crash into the Earth from above? How big was it, and what it was made of? Others speculate that it was a UFO, or famed inventor Nikola Tesla's "death ray."
The explosion near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River on June 30, 1908, flattened some 500,000 acres of Siberian forest. Scientists believe the explosion could have been as strong as 20 megatons of TNT — 1,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Read More
An adult male mallard was brought to the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in 2006, with what appeared to be a broken wing. Marie Travers, assistant manager of the center, radiographed the mallard and was immediately shocked by a very clear image of the face of an extraterrestrial in the bird’s stomach.
A necropsy by UC Davis veterinarians showed the stomach had some grain in it, but no alien.
We ask the important questions: Did the government really conduct experiments on aliens in Area 51? Did Martians truly land in Roswell? From the well-known to the outrageous, FoxNews.com takes a look at the biggest alien hoaxes.