Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Iranian Military Shooting At UFO -- It's Arizona Machine Gun Event

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Iranian Military Shooting At UFO -- It's Arizona Machine Gun Event Target Drone

Does this video show the Iranian military firing at a UFO? No, that's not true: This video footage came from a night time machine gun shoot at the Big Sandy Range in Arizona. The glowing flying object is not from outer space but a remote control target drone. This video does not show a military defense or training, but an annual event open to machine gun and artillery enthusiasts.

This video was filmed at the Machine Gun Shoot at the Big Sandy Range in Arizona, most likely in March 2019. It resurfaced on Twitter, YouTube, then TikTok and eventually the video was posted on Facebook on November 1, 2021, where it was published by Nightgod333. It's captioned:

Iran military fires on UFO #foryou #nightgod #fyp #story
This is how the post appeared on Facebook at the time of this writing:
(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Nov 03 19:31:22 2021 UTC)

This hoax may have originated when an account from Iran, @MasIoob, made a satirical tweet based on the video on September 8, 2019. By September 18, 2019, a UFO channel on YouTube had reposted the video with this caption, which linked back to @Masloob's tweet.

Iranian Guards shoots at UFO/UAP on Border With Pakistan!
#ufo #uap #strange #iran
Source Link: https://twitter.com/khaamenei_ir/stat...
On the 8 September, Irans Revolutionary Guard began firing anti-aircraft guns at an Unkown Aircraft. The craft of unknown orgin began making impossible turns and couldn't be hit. What were they firing at?

This is how @Masloob's original tweet appears at the time of this writing:


(Image source Twitter screenshot taken on Wed Nov 03 20:39:36 2021 UTC)

Observers.france24.com published, "Does this footage really show Iran targeting American drones?" on September 26, 2019. Their debunk explains how they were eventually able to find this March 27, 2019, video titled, "50 Machine Guns Struggle to Shoot Down Drone," which was filmed in Arizona at the Big Sandy Night Shoot on March 23, 2019. This video is not the same footage, but shows the same event. The annual event spans three days and there are two night shoots. The manager of the shoot confirmed to The Observers that this was the Big Sandy Range.

The misidentified video clip was posted by @knowindustries on September 10, 2020, to TikTok. @nightg0d333 posted a TikTok as a "duet" with that video, adding his own commentary. He describes a "white, orb-like anomaly kind of floating stationary -- that's your UFO." This object, in this now severely degraded copy of the original video, looks like a glowing white spot. In @masloob's original tweet the form of the object is more distinct, and shaped like an airplane.

There are daytime videos (here and here) showing the remote-control target planes, sometimes called target drones, flying over the Big Sandy Range. The daytime footage gives a clear picture of the lay of the land, how the target planes fly for the participants and how fast they are.


(Image source: Lead Stories composite of YouTube screenshots taken on Wed Nov 03 21:07:14 2021 UTC)

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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