The online UFO community exploded in a frenzy of speculation earlier in the week following claims that a NASA Cassini spacecraft photo showing disruption of a spot on Saturn's outermost discrete ring actually reveals a gigantic alien UFO spacecraft taking off from the surface of the ring.
The image allegedly showing a massive alien UFO awakening from dormancy and launching into space from one of Saturn's rings has caused a stir in online UFO conspiracy theory forums.
According to NASA, the photos were snapped in visible light using the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera at a distance of about 1.4 million miles (2.2 million kilometers) on April 8, 2016.
NASA released the photo for the first time earlier this month.
The photo from the Cassini mission -- a joint project by NASA, ESA, and the Italian Space Agency -- reveals a curious anomaly (see below) in the outermost F ring of the planet, which NASA describes as a "bright disruption" or disturbance that occurred very recently.
But UFO blogger Scott C. Waring and fellow enthusiasts claim that the disrupted section of the ring actually shows an alien spacecraft taking off from the surface of the ring. In Waring's opinion, an alien craft had lain dormant on the ring for an undisclosed period of time -- hundreds, thousands or even millions of years -- but became reactivated and took off from the surface of the ring at the moment the camera on board Cassini snapped the photo.
"It looks like a UFO was lying dormant in the ring and was suddenly turned on and shot out to do its job," he writes.
"This UFO was probably a drone, since the UFO may have been hiding there for an infinite amount of years."
But NASA had explained that the disruption was likely caused by a small body embedded in the ring that became displaced. The interaction between the body and material in the core of the ring caused the displacement, leading to material being ejected from the ring, the agency explained.
According to NASA, it was difficult at the resolution that the Cassini cameras provided to spot small bodies that compose Saturn's rings. But interactions between materials and small bodies that cause ejection of bodies from the ring create features called "jets," which may be captured on camera. Such images provide evidence that the ring is composed of a mass of small bodies, including dust, rock, and ice, which vary in size from tiny grains to huge boulders that may be as large as a skyscraper, according to NASA.
"There's good evidence that there's a lot of these sized bodies in the core of the ring itself, but you can't normally see them because they're covered by the dust cloud around them," John Weiss, an expert at Washington State University, told Fusion.
"But they're in there, and every so often move across the ring space and blow a bunch of those dust particles out. This one was traveling faster than one meter per second," Weiss added.
But conspiracy theorists have dismissed the explanation offered by NASA scientists. Citing the agency's alleged policy of hiding evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence from the public, they argued that NASA's interpretation of the image was deliberately misleading.
According to Waring, there is no doubt that ubiquitous aliens sometimes leave UFO spacecraft in a state of dormancy on space bodies, such as asteroids and planets. The UFO could be a robotic drone programmed to come alive after a fixed time span.
Alternatively, aliens might choose, bizarrely, to leave an alien pilot or astronaut in the dormant spacecraft, Waring claims. The unfortunate pilot might be a full biological entity or a cyborg (organism-machine hybrid), according to UFO conspiracy theorists.
We may presume that a full biological entity left inside a "dormant UFO" for thousands or millions of years would also be kept in a dormant state that can be achieved, for instance, by cryopreservation.
A robotic or cyborg pilot would presumably be instructed or programmed to fire up the dormant engines of the spacecraft after a period of time.
Defending his fanciful theory of dormant UFOs on Saturn's ring, the alien hunter cites the bizarre but well-known conspiracy theory story about a "dormant" alien spacecraft that Apollo 20 mission astronauts allegedly found in the Delporte Crater of Earth's moon.
The Apollo missions ended officially with the Apollo 17 mission, but UFO conspiracy theorists claim that NASA launched other top-secret missions, namely Apollo 18, 19, and 20. NASA had scheduled the missions but they were later officially canceled.
The story that NASA launched classified Apollo missions after the Apollo 17 mission was originated by an alleged NASA "whistle-blower" named William Rutledge. He uploaded to YouTube in April 2007, under the username Retiredafb, footage he claimed were from the Apollo 20 mission -- allegedly a top-secret U.S.-Soviet mission launched in August 1976.
Rutledge claimed to have worked with the USAF and NASA and that he was involved in the alleged Apollo 20 mission.
According to Rutledge, after the 1972 Apollo 17 mission, there was an Apollo 18-Soyuz mission -- a U.S.-Soviet collaboration -- launched in July 1975 to explore the far side of the Moon, particularly the Delporte-Izsak region.
The Apollo 19 mission failed, according to Rutledge, but the Apollo 20 mission, a classified mission launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, found a cigar-shaped alien spaceship, about four kilometers long, abandoned for about 1.5 million years inside the Delporte crater on the far side of the moon.
Inside the massive alien ship were humanoid alien bodies. One of the bodies was an alien girl with a third eye on her forehead and six fingers but no nose. She was found in a "not dead" and "not alive" state, according to Rutledge.
[Note: Footage of the alleged "alien girl" may be viewed after 4:25]