Texas 'Supernova', UAP Fighter Jet Chase Videos Surface Amid UFO Craze

A series of incidents over North American skies that resulted in four unknown flying objects being shot down by the U.S. Air Force has given a new lease of life to claims that the extraterrestrials are already here.

The current spate of sightings began when a UFO, first spotted on February 1, was eventually identified as a high-altitude Chinese surveillance balloon and shot down on February 4 off the coast of South Carolina.

An American F-22 fighter downed an unidentified object over the waters of northern Alaska, while a third object, described as small and "cylindrical," was shot down by another fighter jet on Saturday over the Yukon Territory bordering Alaska.

Finally, a fourth object, described as having "an octagonal shape" and "strings hanging from it with no discernible payload," was first spotted on Saturday over Montana and re-emerged on Sunday over Lake Huron, off Michigan, where it was also shot down.

Stock image: Artist's illustration of a supernova. A viral video purporting to show a spectacular supernova explosion in the sky over Texas was in fact computer-generated. iStock

While national security officials insist that there is no evidence of extraterrestrial involvement, and the scientific community—including SETI—appears to agree, the secrecy around the incidents and lack of details have created an information vacuum that was quickly filled with troves of speculation and misinformation.

Newsweek Misinformation Watch has explored some of the content—miscontextualized, computer-generated or otherwise misleading—that has circulated around the topic of UFOs over the past few days.

Was a Supernova Blast Seen in Sky Over Texas?

A number of accounts shared jaw-dropping footage of what appears to be a supernova or a giant fireball exploding on the horizon over what appears to be a mostly empty car lot.

"In Houston, Texas. What's going on?!" the caption on a tweet with 2.2 million views says.

Posts with the same caption were also shared on a number of other platforms, including Rumble, Facebook Reels and TikTok, with just one post on the latter gathering more than 350,000 engagements.

However, while Misinformation Watch was not immediately able to geolocate the car park visible in the clip, the video is neither recent nor genuine.

The purported "supernova" explosion appears to be superimposed onto the background sky, likely using graphics animation tools such as After Effects or TikTok filters.

The accompanying audio suggests there's a crowd of people cheering nearby as the sounds of the explosion are heard (it is unclear if it's part of the original car park footage or was superimposed from another video).

The explosion itself appears to have been sourced from a 2016 CGI visualization of the Crab Nebula Supernova, created by the ESA/Hubble team, depicting an event that occurred nearly a thousand years ago.

Newsweek was unable to identify the author of the superimposed footage, but found it has been in circulation since at least December 2022.

Chinese spy balloon shot down by U.S.aircraft
Photo of the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down by U.S. aircraft on February 4. Handout/Getty

Video of Jet 'Chasing' a Mystery Black Sphere

Other dated videos have also been retrofitted onto current news stories in out-of-context social media posts that have gone viral.

The specific element of the news about unidentified objects over North American skies—that they were brought down by fighter jets—brought to the surface another recent video.

The 12-second clip, which appears to show a mysterious black sphere travelling across the sky at pace, with two fighter jets following it closely, has emerged on the back of the UFO-related social media buzz.

"WTF is going on? #UFOSightings #RealOrFake #UFOs #UFOInvasion #ufotwitter #WTF" a Twitter post with more than 547,000 views said.

The video is watermarked with a TikTok handle, which leads to one of the recent posts featuring the video, seen by 5 million viewers.

But much like the 'supernova' clip, this too is the work of a CGI artist—and this time their identity is known.

As a January 30, 2023, fact check by Reuters explained, the viral clip, which continues to resurface despite multiple debunks, was created by VFX artist Brandon Piskorik, who describes himself as "a filmmaker, photographer and visual effects artist."

The video can be seen on Piskorik's Instagram page, with the author commenting under the video to confirm that the UFO, the jets, and the bike visible in the footage were created by CGI.

Strange Chain of Lights Spotted in The Sky

One of the increasingly prominent UFO-related misinformation tropes that has reared its head this week relates to sightings of strange "lines" or "chains" of bright lights observed high in the atmosphere or in space above earth.

"BREAKING: Seen over the sky in Cadillac, MI just moments ago! #LakeHuron #BREAKING #Aliens #UFOs #Pentagon #ufotwitter #UFOSightings #WW3 #TrendingNews" a Twitter post with more than 700,000 views said on Monday, February 13.

As Newsweek and others have reported in the past, however, what the vast majority of these videos show are in fact SpaceX's Starlink satellites.

The telltale trail in the sky comes from groups of small satellites in low Earth orbit, with a total of more than 3,580 having been launched by SpaceX as of February 2023.

With more and more of these objects being deployed to orbit over the past few years, sightings and video footage of them have also proliferated, even leading Elon Musk's company to start working with experts on reducing their brightness, so as to make them invisible to the naked eye after launch.