For a while online this week, the word was that hacker collective Anonymous may have uncovered an imminent announcement from NASA about the discovery of alien life in the universe. The whole thing was a massive YouTube and tabloid click-bait fail that went so viral it forced NASA's head of science to set the record straight.
'Contrary to some reports, there's no pending announcement from NASA regarding extraterrestrial life,' Robert Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, wrote Monday.
Over the weekend I saw a link to a shoddy video on Anonymous Global's YouTube channel beginning to circulate online. I gave it a watch but didn't give any thought to writing about it because it was a pretty clear play for views, like so many other spammy videos about alien conspiracies and countless fake (or at least poorly researched and reported) news stories we've seen.
The video, which features a voice-over along with some images of old UFO footage and a person in a Guy Fawkes mask that has come to symbolize Anonymous, doesn't even present any real evidence of a new alien conspiracy.
Instead, it takes quotes from Zurbuchen's public testimony to a congressional committee earlier this year completely out of context and insinuates that NASA has the goods on alien life and will soon rock our world with the announcement.