Reddit sleuths have sprung into action to dismiss a conspiracy theory that a strange, spherical object spotted in a photo taken about 40 years ago is a UFO.

In a thread titled “Old smudge on camera, or… more?”, user Null_Sourcerer posted a snap that appeared to include the odd sighting.

Further investigation helped identify it as a photo of the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre, in Ukraine, and initially the “smudge” gained some traction as being a suspicious object.

One Reddit user, BBoys1114, said: “Doesn't look like a smudge. Seems pretty symmetrical to me.”

And SkyPeopleArt added: “Very cool photo. Without having it in hand it's hard to make a determination on anything.

“Based on what I can see it looks real. The greyscale appears to match the foreground and the resolution and sharpness all look good. It's harder to do those than one might think.

“I will say that with the technology we have today and the amount of grifters that have CGI post editing software I give this way more credence than most of the things I see on here.”

But arnfden0 asked: “What country is this? I know that in Finland they keep hanging lights over the street that could look like a saucer if the photo doesn’t show the cable.

“The reason why I bring this up is because the object in the B&W photo has a little nod on the top. There is even a small attachment. Which leads me to believe that this is not a true saucer but rather a streetlight whose wire doesn’t show in the photo.”

And in a follow-up thread entitled “How to explain that post about ‘Old smudge on camera…’”, user ufoofinterest doubled down on that theory.

“After watching that old picture, I immediately suspected it was just a street lamp (wires hidden by the backlight/bad exposure).

“Searching some photos taken in the 80s from the same location I found a perfect match with this street lamp showing the same shape.”

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The “discovery” impressed XoXSciFi, who said: “Very good research. Another mystery solved. I have to say that I trust the OLDER pictures more than almost anything new.

“It is difficult to fake film photos, although it has been done. But with modern imaging programs…hard to know what to trust sometimes.”

Eskimosound said: “Oh wow, brilliant!! Keep it up.”

And daneelr_olivaw added: “Well done, this sub needs more critical analysis like this one. Now we just need to find a way to shoot down the bums who keep posting poor quality gliding bird videos…”

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