Did Joe Biden Address Nation on 'Extra-Terrestrial Visitors' in Viral Clip?

As the mystery surrounding the multiple airborne objects shot down over North America in recent days continues to intrigue the media and the general public, it also opens up online communities to misinformation.

American officials have not yet confirmed the origin of the three UFOs, leading to some speculation that extra-terrestrial life is involved.

The lack of clarity over what exactly happened and who was behind the unidentified objects shot down in the space of two weeks by U.S. fighter jets has frustrated not just the American public, but also some in Congress, with bipartisan calls for a White House statement on the matter growing louder in recent days.

Joe Biden and UFOs
U.S. President Joe Biden takes questions from reporters, after he delivered remarks in the State Dining Room, at the White House on November 09, 2022 in Washington, DC. and inset of a Stock image of a UFO iStock / Getty Images

With public pressure rising, President Joe Biden was reportedly preparing to make public remarks as soon as this evening, Thursday, February 16, though it was not immediately clear at exactly what time.

These elements of uncertainty opened a window for misleading claims and fake content to spread, as Newsweek Misinformation Watch has shown before, but did a viral video show the president warning Americans about a "new threat" posed by multiple objects that the authorities believed to be of "extra-terrestrial" origin?

A short video was shared widely on social media on Wednesday and Thursday, appearing to show the president delivering remarks to the American people.

"As the commander-in-chief of the United States Joint Forces, I am here today to inform you that a number of unidentified flying objects have appeared over many parts of our country," Biden appears to say.

"Though their exact origin remains to be fully determined, the FBI has informed me that it is very likely that these are visitors of extraterrestrial nature.

"I advise the American people to remain calm, not fall into panic and wait for further announcements. We shall overcome this threat, with confidence and vigilance. May God protect our souls."

Various iterations of the clips have been seen by millions of users on TikTok, Twitter and Facebook.

"Now those in #Washington go completely nuts. Joe #Biden is just informing the nation that the flying objects are extraterrestrial visitors," the tweet's caption said, translated from German.

But, much like the fictional Independence Day speech by Bill Pullman's President Whitmore or Jack Nicholson's in "Mars Attacks!", this is not a real presidential "address to the nation."

As flagged by other users and fact-checkers, the video is a deepfake (or shallowfake, depending on one's definition) of a genuine Biden appearance at a press conference, with what is likely AI-generated audio of his voice overlaid on top.

Reuters, which fact-checked the video, suggested that some type of voice cloning software was likely used in its production, which experts were inclined to call a "shallowfake" due to the poor quality.

"While the voice cloning is quite effective, the video manipulation is quickly discernible as fake," Dominic Lees, Associate Professor of Filmmaking at the University of Reading, told Reuters.

The expert pointed to a moment around timestamp 0:22, following the phrase "visitors of an extra-terrestrial nature." Immediately after this sentence, he said, "the audio speech pauses, while the deepfake President's lips continue to speak."

While Newsweek has not been able to determine who was behind the fabrication and what software was used to recreate the president's voice, Misinformation Watch found the specific clip that appears to have been used as the visual basis for the fake "address."

The source was most likely this video of Biden delivering remarks to the American people on November 9, 2022, published on the official White House YouTube channel.

The president's dark blue suit and light-blue tie, as well as the background setting featuring US flags, appear to match those in the TikTok clip.

Additionally, his hand gestures during the 38 seconds of the video (timestamp 4:10) perfectly synchronize with those seen in the TikTok clip. In the real video, however, Biden is commenting on policy and core economic issues, from lowering gas and drug prices to battling the COVID pandemic.

A White House spokesman told Reuters that the remarks "never happened." Previously, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby have both dismissed the idea that the UFOs have anything to do with aliens.

"I don't think the American people need to worry about aliens with respect to these crafts," Kirby said on Monday.

Scientists have been similarly skeptical about ET involvement, with one expert telling Newsweek earlier this week that "the most likely way we would detect aliens is via their transmissions into space."

In fact, if the growing trend of misleading and doctored videos is anything to go by, AI-generated content such as deepfakes or voice-cloning pose a much more potent threat to the public than to the (so far) entirely fictional prospect of an alien invasion.

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.