| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an alien weather balloon. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This cartoon makes fun of Conspiracy theory, by suggesting that authorities, like the navy, could be promoting mysterious explanations for mundane phenomena (such as weather balloon). UFO is an initialism for an unidentified flying object.
This comic features Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, two fictional FBI agents from the television show The X-Files. In the show, Fox Mulder is usually a believer in all manner of conspiracies and supernatural phenomena, whereas his partner, Scully, is reflexively skeptical of any claims of the paranormal.
A fighter aircraft's Head-Up Display (HUD), projects information about the aircraft and it's surroundings on a glass panel in front of the pilot. This allows the pilot to fly and fight without looking down at gauges and panels in the cockpit. When the pilot selects a radar contact to track, information including the angle and range to that contact is displayed on the HUD. The HUD display is also overlaid on video recorded by the airplane's on-board camera. Scully has examined the tracking information recorded in one video and concluded that the unidentified object was relatively stationary. Her opinion is that the object is likely a mundane weather balloon, rather than an extraterrestrial craft.
"Maybe the shadowy forces that control the world just want to believe" is an allusion to "I Want to Believe", a phrase from the The X-Files associated with Mulder and his iconic UFO poster.
The title text likely refers to the news that the Trump administration has ordered US government agencies to stop or minimize research and reporting on climate change. Thus, agencies might try to hide the fact that they are doing "something so mundane as atmospheric temperature measurement" in order to not anger the administration.
- [Mulder from x-files depicted as Hairy sit in his office chair at his desk and points to his computer screen while looking over his sholder and addressing Scully off-panel, who replies.]
- Mulder: Hey Scully, have you seen the navy UFO videos?
- Scully (off-panel): Oh, the History Channel thing?
- [In a frame-less panel, Scully walks in from the right towards Mulder, who has turned around in his chair facing towards her (the desk is not included). He is leaning on the back of the chair with one arm. Scully has shoulder length hair, not similar to any of the regular women in xkcd.]
- Scully: I don't know about the other two videos, but in one of them, if you take the angles and ranges on the HUD and do a little geometry, it kind of suggests the object isn't really moving. It just looks like it because the plane's camera is panning.
- [Zoom in on Scully's head.]
- Scully: The pilots got excited for the same reason we did. Then the media got into it.
- Scully: But I think what they saw was a round, white object floating at 13,000 feet.
- [Zoom out again to shown that Mulder sits straight up in his chair with hands in his lap and the desk with computer behind him. Scully stand in front of him.]
- Harry: So your theory is that the military claims to have footage of aliens, but you think it's a giant cover-up to hide that it's a weather balloon?
- Scully: Some kind of balloon, yes.
- Harry: Pretty weird conspiracy.
- Scully: Maybe the shadowy forces that control the world just want to believe, too.
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ refresh comments!