Fact Check

Was a UFO Spotted in Irvine, California?

This "UFO" has been in the same location for several years.

Published May 21, 2021

Image Via Pixabay
A video shows a UFO that was spotted in Irvine, California in May 2021.

In May 2021, the UfoChannel TikTok page posted a video that supposedly showed a UFO that had been spotted in Irvine, California:

This video does not show a UFO, nor was it taken in California. This video was taken in the parking lot of a Minnesota Walmart and shows the light display of a nearby casino.

Outside of the Mystic Lake Casino are several bright spotlights the project a circular display in the night sky. The casino uses this display as part of an advertising campaign which informs Minnesotans to "follow the lights" to the venue. Here's an illustration of this display:

This display is also featured on the casino's YouTube page:

These lights have fooled a few people into thinking that they were witnessing a UFO -- which may just be the intent. In 2018, a similar video went viral as a person expressed befuddlement over this strange sighting. A screenshot from that video (available via the local Minnesota news outlet SWNewsMedia) shows a nearly identical scene to that the video that went viral in May 2021:

SW News Media wrote at the time:

Death, taxes and someone thinking the beaming lights drawing masses to Mystic Lake Casino are, in-fact, proof of a pending alien invasion. These are the certainties of life in the Land of Big Fun.

Last week, a visitor to the Shakopee Wal-Mart on a cloudy Thursday evening looked up and saw lights forming “a perfect circle” hovering above the store. While it’s easy to see why someone might think there is a UFO dropping in to buy a gallon of milk, underwear, a big screen TV and a new pair of glasses, most area residents know enough to recognize the lights as the illuminated tipi for Mystic Lake Resort and Casino on the nearby Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community reservation.

The video that went viral on TikTok in May 2021 did not show a UFO in Irvine, California. This video actually showed a casino's light display in Minnesota.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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