Tucker Carlson fuels 'alien invasion' fears with spy balloon theory

Tucker Carlson fuels 'alien invasion' fears with spy balloon theory
Not aliens — but a Chinese 'high-altitude balloon programme' for intelligence gathering

Spoiler alert: the unidentified objects that were shot down over the US were not being commandeered by little green men.

But that didn’t stop right-wing darling Tucker Carlson from fuelling the flames of an alien conspiracy theory among his loyal followers.

Three large, mysterious objects have been forcibly removed from American skies since the downing of a Chinese surveillance balloon on 4 February. And during a briefing on Sunday, a US Air Force general said he wouldn’t rule out extraterrestrials or any other explanation yet.

Carlson seized on the suggestion during his Fox News show on Monday night, telling viewers: “So here you have three unknown objects in three days. If these things are extraterrestrial, what we’re seeing is an alien invasion.”

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He continued mockingly: “That means at some point they’re probably gonna demand to be taken to our leader. And what are we gonna say then? ‘Er, this is Kamala Harris. She once dated Montel Williams but now she runs our country because her boss is senile’? Uff, Pretty embarrassing.”

Of course, his comments were met with delight on Twitter, with users responding with alien-head emojis and clamouring that “they” should take Joe Biden away with them.

For the avoidance of doubt, the White House has clarified that investigations have found no indication of extraterrestrial activity in relation to the UFOs.

"I know there have been questions and concerns about this, but there is no, again no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stressed on Monday.

Her colleague, White House spokesperson John Kirby, tried to put the matter further to bed, saying: "I don't think the American people need to worry about aliens with respect to these crafts, period.”

The thing is, people are bound to “worry”, given that just under half of Americans believe that UFOs exist and have visited Earth, according to a 2020 IPSOS poll.

The Pentagon has undertaken a new push in recent years to investigate military sightings of UFOs – rebranded in official government parlance as "unidentified aerial phenomena," or UAPs.

The government's effort to investigate anomalous, unidentified objects - whether they are in space, the skies or even underwater - has led to hundreds of documented reports that are being investigated, senior military leaders have said.

One such study, published in June 2021 did not rule out a possible extraterrestrial origin for 144 "unidentified aerial phenomena."

That report marked a turning point after the military spent decades deflecting, debunking and discrediting observations of unidentified flying objects and "flying saucers" dating back to the 1940s.

Still, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the balloon and UFOs (or UAPs, if you prefer) that were caught last week were definitely not flying saucers.

So no, Tucker, America isn't in the midst of an alien invasion, and Biden’s staying put here on Earth. For now, anyway…

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