Online UFO conspiracy theorists claim to have spotted a "sinister" UFO hovering over the lunar surface in an old NASA Apollo 17 NASA image.
The UFO was allegedly monitoring (scroll down to see video) the 1972 Apollo 17 mission crew as they departed from the Moon.
The mysterious UFO spacecraft, allegedly an alien military craft sent to ensure that the Apollo 17 crew comply with orders to leave the Moon and to never return, was spotted in a NASA image taken by the crew as they left the Moon in December 1972 after three days on the lunar surface.
The Apollo 17 mission was the last of NASA's Apollo program, and the crew members were the last men on the Moon.
According to conspiracy theorists, NASA abandoned the Apollo program and never returned to the Moon following the Apollo 17 mission because an alien species that claimed the Moon as their exclusive territory confronted NASA astronauts and warned them not to return because, according to the alleged hostile aliens, NASA was trespassing.
The warning from the hostile aliens forced NASA to curtail the Apollo program and abandon Apollo 18 through 20 missions, according to conspiracy theorists.
Apollo 18 through 20 missions were planned to be "J missions" involving a three-day stay on the lunar surface and three lunar Extra-Vehicular Activities (LEVAs).
The Apollo 17 mission was launched at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 7, 1972, and landed on the Moon at 2:55 p.m. EST on December 11.
The crew was made up of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt.
The mission was a "J-type mission," that is, a three-day scientific mission using an extended lunar module, three lunar Extra-Vehicular activities (LEVAs), and a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV).
UFO conspiracy theorists claim that the mysterious UFO hovering in the lunar sky monitoring NASA's last men on the Moon was an alien military craft sent to escort the astronauts off the Moon and to remind them of the warning not to return.
The craft was sent to ensure that the men comply with the order to leave, according to conspiracy theorists.
The NASA image allegedly showing the moment hostile aliens escorted the Apollo 17 crew off the Moon was first uploaded online on May 31, 2016, by the prolific UFO hunter Streetcap1 (see video below)."This is a great shot of a disk over the moon watching the NASA Apollo 17 mission," UFO blogger Scott C. Waring writes.
"These ships can fly faster than the speed of light so if you watch any moon footage, you need to put it into slow motion to catch them," he adds.
UFO hunters Secureteam10 also uploaded the image to their YouTube channel on June 1, 2016.
According to Secureteam10's Tyler Glockner, the NASA image shows clearly an alien UFO hovering menacingly above the lunar surface watching the Apollo 17 crew members as they left the Moon.
Glockner describes the hovering alien UFO as "sinister" and "unfriendly" looking.
"There have been talks for years that the Apollo astronauts were warned off the moon after they encountered someone else up there..."
"As we begin to zoom in you'll see a small bright object, above the moon in the distance," Glockner says in the video. "However, as we zoom in, it becomes very clear that this is not a star, but indeed an unknown flying object of some sort."
"You can clearly see the sunlight reflecting off the top of it," he continues. "You can see various surface features down below."
"It looks sinister, just looking at it, it does not look very friendly," he adds. "It could be sinister. There have been talks for years that the Apollo astronauts were warned off the moon after they encountered someone else up there... hence the reason why we've never been back in over 40 years."
The image and the claim that it shows a hostile alien UFO escorting the Apollo 17 crew off the Moon sparked a debate online.
Several skeptics thought the suggestion was ludicrous.
"How does an inanimate object that you can barely make outlook sinister...?"
"Yes, lens flares and dust motes are sinister. They ruin good photos and need editing out. I wish the aliens would stop it."
"This guy would see a UFO in a pile of d*g s**t..."
However, alien believers and UFO enthusiasts took the fanciful theory seriously.
"Interesting... keep up the good work Tyler and don't get discouraged. You are definitely on to something," an enthusiast commented.
"Funny how all these comments are so negative when the evidence is most clear," another enthusiast said.
Others saw new UFOs in the image that Glockner missed.
"You've missed something very important in the first video clip," a UFO hunter said, "two different objects, and for a nanosecond they are both in frame together."
[Image via NASA/Wikimedia/Public Domain]