The Spoof Is Out There

Crashed Flying Saucer

THE IMAGE: An excellent, high-quality color photo that clearly and unmistakably depicts a crashed flying saucer being investigated by the U.S. military in 1947, which would settle the UFO debate once and for all if only it wasn't a screen grab from a disappointing and unnecessary "X-Files" revival miniseries in 2016.

THE BAIT: Irrefutable proof of alien visitation that you can forward to your smartass astrophysicist brother-in-law who thinks he knows everything but is actually a stupid jerk.

THE TARGET: People who are tired of being told "I believe that you believe it" by concerned friends and loved ones, people who think if there's one thing we really need right now it's another thing to argue about, people who've spent the last several years urging Congress to declare war on Zeta Reticuli, people who have stronger feelings about Kirk vs. Picard than about Trump vs. Democracy, the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, Gort.

THE STUPID: This isn't CGI -- a production company actually built that life-sized saucer for "The X-Files," at considerable expense, so I'm sure they really appreciate the fact that some internet scammer is misrepresenting a picture of it to sell a bunch of crap. Regardless, even as a purported alien spacecraft, the image makes little sense. The saucer is still smoldering, suggesting that it's just crashed -- so why does it look like the military has been on the site for days, with portable lights already set up around the craft and a well-used dirt road leading up to it from heavy vehicle traffic? Why is the damage to the saucer on the side that didn't impact the ground? Why does the alien vessel appear to have been built using Earthlike rebar and welded steel? Perhaps that's what makes this photo "disturbingly controversial," in the same way that trying to buy a home pregnancy test with Monopoly money might also be considered "disturbingly controversial." But in neither case do I have a particularly strong desire to know more.