By Annalee Newitz
UFOlogists are freaking out today over the removal of several photos from a NASA archive. These photos, which you can see here, have been used by various UFO groups to support their belief that aliens have been visiting Earth and governments are covering it up.
The UFO photos first appeared on the NASA Johnson Space Center website in May 2011 and clearly showed a spacecraft of some advanced design. Without any fanfare, the photos were uploaded and stayed on the NASA website for over a year and half until being recently removed.
Believers say the removal of the photos is tantamount to admitting that NASA is trying to cover up extraterrestrial vistors.
The pictures are gorgeous, by the way. I’m guessing they are pictures of a few satellites, and possibly the Hubble.
If NASA really were involved in an elaborate cover-up, though, it seems unlikely that they’d leave the photos up for over a year before noticing that their ultra-super-top-secret alien ship snapshots were on a public website. Slightly more likely is that they were removed after the space agency realized that they were fueling alien conspiracy theories.