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.