Has a UFO been caught on video in Sweden?

By February 15, 2024 Technology

This video has been circulating on social media, with multiple posts gaining millions of views. According to these posts, the short video depicts an unidentified flying object (UFO) filmed using a night vision camera in Sweden.

In the grainy footage, a disk-shaped object appears to be moving rapidly in the air. On first glance – particularly when viewed on a small screen or device – the video appears extremely realistic.

However, a search for the earliest appearance of this video online can be traced to a post on the Instagram account qvist_designs from 6 February with hashtags such as #foundfootage, #aliens and #100%real. The video subsequently went viral on social media in the following days.According to their social media profile, the user qvist_designs is actually a 16-year-old located in Sweden. When contacted by Lead Stories for clarification, they confirmed that the video posted on 6 February was created by them using Blender (a computer graphics tool) and Davinci Resolve (a video editing program) as part of a school project. This confirmation is also supported by previous posts on their account which mainly feature CG renderings of race cars and hashtags such as #blendercommunity and #blenderrender.

Therefore, while some social media posters have since speculated that the video is AI generated, the video claimed to be a UFO caught on video in Sweden is actually computer generated – made by a teenager using a widely available open-source tool. We give this claim a rating of false.

The intentional use of hashtags by Qvist Designs seems to suggest that the video was meant to gain attention and virality from UFO hunters on social media. Unlike their other videos, Blender was not mentioned, and no clarification has been added to the original post. The convincing presentation and lack of context alongside the video further lent itself easily to being shared and boosted across millions of users.

The presence of bait videos – posted for clicks or as a joke – can seem harmless, especially if they are quickly debunked. However, the saturation of online spaces with fake videos can normalise the presence of eye-catching clips being circulated without context. The virality of these videos further encourages similar bait videos, fostering an online environment that is rife with misinformation and making harder for users to identify false claims amidst the noise. Therefore, being aware and critical of intentionally crafted hoax media continues to be important when monitoring the mis/disinformation landscape.

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