In what might easily have been a ploy to direct attention away from his controversial love life, Russell Crowe dropped a somewhat bizarre bombshell on fans Wednesday morning when he shared a time-lapse video of what he believe was a UFO sighting outside of his home in New South Wales, Australia.
The “Gladiator” actor, who has recently been using Twitter to dispel rumors about his dating life, shared a YouTube video on the social media site on Wednesday that he seems to believe is evidence of paranormal activity. Crowe uploaded an edited video containing what he alleges are time-lapse photographs of the sky outside his home in Sydney, and tweeted the link out to followers with the message, “UFO? Time Lapse Photos Outside RC's Woolloomooloo Office (THESE ARE REAL!)”
The 23-second-long video begins with this “X-Files”-esque text: “Time lapse photos outside RC’s office in Woolloomooloo. ... These are real... UFO?” The series of three time-lapse photographs then appear to show an unidentified object flying overhead with glare bouncing off of it.
Directly after that tweet, Crowe wrote another message, saying, “Canon 5D, No Flash, can't be a lense flare because it moves , camera is fixed,” and later adding, “A friend and i set camera to capture fruit bats rising from Botanic Gardens,this was a big surprise [sic].”
The video quickly went viral, but not everyone agreed that the glare shown in the photographs looked “legitimate” enough to signify a UFO.
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“The camera is pointed at the glass window!!! The lights are indoors and behind the camera and reflecting in the window!!!!!!!” A YouTube commenter named John Gulino wrote.
Gulino suggested that Crowe was purposefully trying to dupe his followers, adding, “Glass Window effect trick. Camera setup in front of a glass window. Behind the camera are three prop lights which are turned on and off one after the other [sic].”
Despite the skepticism, Crowe seemed undeterred, writing, “I will grant you at the time the music wasn't playing, also, yes, we have pushed in on the frame..this is 3 photo's in order, nothing added.”
But while Crowe’s alleged extraterrestrial detective work might alarm some fans, he’s hardly the first celebrity to claim to “want to believe.”
In 2011, Miley Cyrus’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, claimed that he personally witnessed multiple unidentified flying objects. In a tweet the country crooner wrote, “"O.K. My first Ufo sighting. Looks like 5 or 6 disk-like shapes hovering. Special moment 4 Dad."
Only a week later, Spice Girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham also reported sighting a UFO above the multi-million-dollar home she shares with hubby David Beckham. “UFO hovering above our house last night!!!!!! X vb,” Beckham tweeted.
Rock’n’roll singers Mick Jagger, Sammy Hagar and John Lennon also claimed to have seen UFOs (and in Hagar’s case, to have been the victim of an abduction and alien probe). But the most shocking spots on this list belong to not one but two United States presidents: Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both claimed to having sighted UFOs.
View the video below to see Crowe’s time-lapse photos.