A video allegedly showing a triangle shaped “UFO” parked on the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier supposedly operating in the Mediterranean has become the subject of extensive speculation on social media recently. The footage first surfaced in the tin-foil-hat-wearing corners of the internet before being picked up by Iranian media, and has since found its way into broader distribution thanks to outlets in Russia and the U.K.  It clearly shows what appears to be an F/A-18 Super Hornet landing, with the UFO caught by happenstance in the background as the camera follows the jet.

Somehow, this anonymously uploaded video, complete with flagrant use of computer generated imaging, has been touted by outlets the world over as proof that the United States is either testing, or preparing to test, a new airborne technology — feasibly a new UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle). With the recent award of a high profile contract for MQ-9 Stingray drone refuelers for use on America’s carriers, that part of the story, at least, has some basis in fact. However… that’s about as far as the facts go.

According to Iranian news outlets, the video was actually taken during flight operations being conducted by America’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month. Even for those inclined to believe the Sharknado caliber special effects depicted in the footage, that’s where this story begins to fall apart. Not only is the Ford nowhere near the Mediterranean, there were no U.S. aircraft carriers operating in the Mediterranean during that period of time.

The footage is, however, of the Ford — as confirmed by the layout and general appearance of the flight deck. However, a little investigation proves that the footage was not captured in the Mediterranean or even in 2018. It was actually footage of the first ever arrested landing on the new carrier — making it a pretty high profile bit of footage to choose for such a ludicrous purpose.

When you compare the two videos, it becomes clear that the UFO was simply added to the background of the historic landing, but that hasn’t stopped outlets like the UK’s Express and Russia’s Sputnik from running the story as possible evidence of America’s use of UFO technology.

UFOs, which have long been a topic of discussion on the internet, have once again entered mainstream dialogue following last year’s revelation of a secret department within the Pentagon tasked with investigating reports of unidentified flying objects (internally referred to as UAPs, for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) from within the U.S. military. At least $22 million was allocated to the investigation office in recent years, with at least one incident involving a different super carrier bearing its class’ namesake, the USS Nimitz in 2004. Reports and footage of the incident, captured from U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets, have subsequently been released, begging hard questions about what type of object the fighters were scrambled to intercept.

Thanks to the fervor created by these stories, the public seems primed to accept any number of things as evidence of flying saucers from another world, with numerous reports of UFOs flooding social media within the past year, often pertaining directly to flight operations of military aircraft over the continental United States.

While some contest that there are mysterious lights and objects in our skies that warrant further investigation — this poorly executed bit of nonsense certainly isn’t one of them.