Just when you think you’ve had a close encounter with an alien ship you find out it was more than likely a marketing ploy.

As we reported previously, several videos posted to YouTube last week appeared to show a strange ball of light hovering above a Jerusalem shrine before disappearing into the night. At first the clips seemed convincing because they were shot from different angles – but now they seem to be an elaborate hoax. And now the video has even been pulled from YouTube.

It’s very likely that they’re part of a viral marketing stunt for a Hollywood movie. Several skeptical YouTube users have pointed out how the UFO clips appear to have been digitally manipulated. That hasn’t stopped one of the videos clocking in more than a million views, just a few weeks before the release of the movie “Battle: Los Angeles.”

Official teasers for the alien invasion flick use footage from documented UFO sightings to promote the film, and its marketing team has dabbled in online stunts before.

Last June posters at the Comic-Con expo directed people to reportthreats.org, a website apparently run by a group called Worldwide Assessment of Threats Concerning Humankind, or WATCH. The website was, of course, part of the promotional campaign for the film.
The videos show a circular object descending slowly over the holy city’s iconic Dome of the Rock before flickering and shooting skyward like a rocket. Similar clips have been seen before and debunked as hoaxes. But this latest sighting had been proving more difficult to dismiss — as it was recorded from four different perspectives.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that flying over the Dome of the Rock landmark — an ancient Islamic shrine — is forbidden.

Last week, former Ministry of Defense UFO investigator Nick Pope said, “if these are real, they are some of the most incredible videos ever shot. If they are not, then this is a very well-planned and coordinated hoax designed to eliminate elements of doubt.”

Promoting a movie with effective marketing is one thing; attempting to trick the public is a totally different matter entirely. Surely there will be those who will harbor hard feelings over this type of “media manipulation,” which in turn may translate into a lower turnout at the box office.