Let me tell you a fun story.
It involves me and awesome others, solving the origins of a rather obvious fake, that is currently circling around Facebook, Twitter and other sites. A good reminder that you can’t take anything for granted and that sometimes a little coincidence, and knowing the right people in the right places, can solve a lot of internet fakery.
It turns this story from, “it’s obviously a reflection” into “let me show you the room this picture was taken from”.
I noticed a facebook post this evening, that was shared by my skeptical friend, Tammy. She was rightly mocking of the post (below). Another friend shared it via messenger with equalled derision. Both, as I was, were sure this was the reflection of a lampshade.
Well, I assume it is… I’ve seen skeptical bloggers do this over and over again. Often with ghost stories and sightings, and we never actually get to the bottom of the mystery. Often there’s nothing else you can do, as fakes are only known to the person committing them. But this felt like the other option; not fakery, but a genuine picture with a strange addition.
Yes, prior plausibility leaves you with the almost certainty that isn’t a UFO. But, “it looks like a ceiling light” wasn’t good enough for me tonight. I wanted to know where in Australia this image was taken. People are genuinely debating this picture on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites. I wanted to know this time, rather than just brushing it off as the non-UFO it seems to be.
I took the image to Google reverse image search, which eventually lead me a thread on reddit. Just to add, Google image search is often a skeptics best friend and shouldn’t be forgotten when dealing with pictures.