On Monday, October 25, a UFO photo was posted on Facebook that shows what looks to be a large spacecraft emerging from the clouds directly over the active N1 highway in South Africa. The caption posted with the photo reads, “N1 from Midrand today. Do u see what I see?”

Midrand UFO

(Credit: Facebook)

Naturally, the photo spread like an alien invasion across the Internet. And various media outlets ran stories about this UFO over Midrand. A newspaper in Johannesburg even reportedly ran the photo on its front page. But on Wednesday, October 27, local media outlet The Citizen was contacted by the individual who took the photo. “That photo of the UFO isn’t real,” he announced. He continued, “Took it using the ‘camera 360’ app from [the] Play Store. Sent it to a friend as a joke via WhatsApp and it ended up on Facebook. The photograph was also not taken in Midrand, but just before the 14th avenue off ramp along the N1 south (shortly before passing the MTN offices). I had no intention to have it go viral – flummoxed that this happened. All in good fun though.”

This same UFO recently appeared in photos purportedly taken in the western Angolan city of Benguela, and accompanied a UFO sighting report submitted to MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network) on October 21.

(Credit: MUFON)

(Credit: MUFON)

There is certainly no shortage of apps that let you add UFOs, and even aliens, to your photos. Camera360 is just one. And it was responsible for several hoaxed photos that generated headlines back in 2013 right after the app released a photo effect titled “2012” that enabled users to add UFOs, extraterrestrials, and lighting effects to a photo.


2013 hoax created with Camera360. (Credit: Credit: Emily Santodelsis/Visayan Daily Star)

Maureen Elsberry and I even tested out the app in 2013.


An alien hanging out at the bar with me. (Credit: Maureen Elsberry)

The UFO in this latest South African photo is included in a free effects package for Camera360 called “Endwar.”

And, just for further comparison, I used the app to snap my own UFO photo.

A UFO outside my house? No. It's just Camera360.

A UFO outside my house? No. It’s just Camera360.

UFO news site UFOMG! points out that the original source art for this UFO included in the Endwar package appears to be from artist Jukka Korhonen who created the piece titled “V for Victory,” published in 2006.

"V for Victory" by Jukka Korhonen

“V for Victory” by Jukka Korhonen

About the Author

Jason McClellan is an author, podcaster, TV personality, veteran UFO researcher & journalist, bourbon enthusiast, ska and punk devotee, vegan, and animal lover. You might have seen him on NatGeo, Syfy, History, or at conferences talking about UFOs.

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