I Want to Believe: UFO Sightings Are Increasing Because People Can’t Tell Them Apart From Drones

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Actually, it’s an unmanned flying vehicle...

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UFO sightings are on the rise, according to The Huffington Post’s self-described “paranormal expert” Lee Speigel. And the reason, he tells HuffPost Live, is increased use of unmanned drones by both governments and private groups.

In September, for example, a Canadian planetarium spooked fans at a minor league baseball game in Vancouver by flying a drone through the night sky near the stadium during the sixth inning. (Watch the YouTube video of the fly-by below.)

“The thing about drones is…that you can make them look like UFOs,” Speigel says. “You can go to the local hardware store, and for not a lot of money, you can pick up the materials you need…to make people go crazy.”

The National UFO Reporting Center says that UFO sightings increased 42 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to U.S. News & World Report. “You have to think of the older people who have no concept of what a drone is,” explains Tony Hallett, CEO of drone consulting firm Unmanned Response. “They’ll see something flying around the neighborhood with an LED light on, and…it’ll be an unidentified flying object for them.”

Last year, confused drivers near Washington, D.C. took pictures of a saucer-like object on the back of a truck and posted them to Twitter, prompting one concerned individual to call 9-1-1. The object turned out to be a military drone, MyFoxDC reported.

In June, an unidentified flying object spotted by protestors in San Paulo, Brazil also turned out to be a drone that belonged to a local TV station, according to the International Business Times.

Word to the wise: if David Karp is in the vicinity, it’s probably a safe bet that that “UFO” is a drone.