Xinhua, China’s state press agency, reported on the morning of January 28 that Snowden had claimed aliens controlled the United States. They deleted the story within 24 hours, but the story has spread all over the Chinese blogosphere and become a trending topic on Sina Weibo.
According to Xinhua’s original story:
Central Broadcast Website Beijing January 27 reports, according to the voice of China “Peak Evening News”, the leaker of the American “Prism” program, Edward Snowden, has currently accepted a secret interview with North German radio and TV at Russian capital city Moscow. This is the first interview time Snowden has accepted an interview since he left Hong Kong for Russia. The interview is 30 minutes long and will be broadcast on a German talk show this morning Beijing time. What kind of surprising information will Snowden reveal to the media?
Recently Snowden has revealed an “earth-shattering secret”, he said that America’s government has already become a puppet government run by aliens. This coincides with bizarre claims by former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Heller. Snowden also revealed that the aliens, who are headquartered in Nevada, supported Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930’s, but after Germany lost World War II, they changed objectives and supported America. The present American government is already completely under the control of aliens.
The article then asked Guo Xiangang, a television host and reporter, why he thought Snowden was making these claims. Here is Guo’s speculation:
I think there’s a good possibility that Snowden is trying to divert the people’s attention. Saying these kinds of thing could give people the impression that Snowden has nothing more to expose, so he has now turned to using this Arabian Nights style of message. For example, saying aliens control any government, maybe he thinks if he says this America’s government will think that the information he had is now gone, that he can’t do anymore harm to America, and that America will let him go.
Now on the article page, there is just an explanation stating, “Sorry! The article you are viewing has already been deleted or expired.”
A search for “Snowden Aliens” in Chinese on Google still brings up a lot of results.
Among them is this video by Phoenix Video (凤凰视频) aka iFeng.com:
The media doesn’t appear to be taking the actual claims of alien control seriously, and neither do Weibo users. They even created an image of Alien Obama.
Here are some reactions from Weibo:
Hahahahaha How Cute (仙人掌小姐丶：哈哈哈哈哈好萌啊)
That’s America, Free speech, It made you look stupid, Haha (丁翼-中美新闻网：回复@蜗牛大官人:那里是美国 言论自由 二了吧你 哈哈)
What he said is true, Snowden hasn’t said anything false, This isn’t a joke, Everyone please believe him, Thanks (Anjeen：他说的是真的，斯诺登没说过假话，这种事情不会开玩笑的，请大家相信他，谢谢 )
I want to get a group photo with the aliens (最爱那口nichkhun咔：外星人求合影[爱你][爱你][爱你])
Snowden is an alien. What a pity! China shouldn’t have rashly let him go to Russia. Too stupid! [Haha] (ficticous13：斯诺登就是外星人.后悔啊！中国当时不应草率的把他赶去俄罗斯.忒蠢了！[哈哈] )
Earlier in January, Iran’s official news service reported that Snowden claimed aliens controlled the US. Canada’s former defense minister Paul Heller, as noted in Xinhua’s article, claimed on Russian TV on January 8 that aliens “walk among us.” And of course we can’t forget the 1997 documentary “Men in Black” about Will Smith’s and Tommy Lee Jones’ careers saving America from the evil aliens that walk among us.
Mitchell Blatt is a travel writer, editor, and columnist based in China. He is an author of two guidebooks, Panda Guides Hong Kong and Panda Guides China. He has been published in National Interest.org, The Korea Times, Roads & Kingdoms, Vagabond Journey, The Hill.com, City Weekend, and The World of Chinese, among other outlets. See examples of his published articles.