Earlier this week, there was a report on a couple of English language sites that a U.F.O. crashed in Japan, and the country's navy released a photo. Maybe you don't believe in aliens. Maybe you want to believe. Or maybe you just like to be amused.
The story originated on website In Other Newz, a site that has stories like:
• and my personal favorite Mitt Romney Confesses To Snorting Coke Before The Presidential Debate
Notice anything? That's right, all these stories are complete bullshit. Amusing, but malarkey. And if you don't believe me, you can always read the site's About Us page:
We always strive to bring our loyal readers the very best in pseudo-journalism. Our staff prides itself on the stories that matter most to the world and its citizens. Our goal is to make your reading experience as enjoyable as possible. Please feel free to share our stories and website with your friends and family on social networks by using the tools we've provided after each article. Oh, and don't believe anything on this site. It's all spurious, ok?
Noted! Yet, the U.F.O. story has seven thousand likes on Facebook. Heck, Huffington Post even covered the story in its "weird" section with the post "UFO Crash Off Reported Off Japan Coast Sparks Media Interest, But Did It Really Happen?". Huffington Post did try to debunk the story (and this was reblogged by other sites), but a quick look around the site would have also done the trick.
Even in Japan the story is getting some traction, appearing on various blogs and forums. The reaction in Japan, however, is much better and filled with lulz.
"They're here!" jokes one commenter on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board. "Then why isn't the Japanese press covering this story," asked one. "What the hell is the Japanese navy?" asked yet another. "They mean the Self Defense Force," chimed in a commenter.
In fact, when not laughing at the story, many online in Japan seemed more perturbed by the incorrect term "Japanese navy" being used instead of the correct "Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force". I would say it's those little details that help hoaxes get traction, but this one did fine on its own. A shame that Mitt Romney coke story never took off.
UFO Crash Off Reported Off Japan Coast Sparks Media Interest, But Did It Really Happen? [The Huffington Post]
沖縄にUFOが墜落ｗｗｗｗｗｗｗｗ [Katsumoku blog]