Convergence of UFOs, Super Bowl Sparks Avalanche of Rihanna Jokes, Memes

Explaining the recent mysterious influx of UFOs over American territory, social media users think Rihanna and her Super Bowl LVII halftime show had something to do with it.

Since the Chinese spy balloon was shot down by American jets on February 4, there has seemingly been a rise in the number of unidentified flying objects hovering in U.S. airspace. A recent UFO over Lake Huron marked the third destroyed over North America in three days.

Before the Super Bowl halftime show, jokes were circulating online that the UFOs were simply lining up to get a view of Rihanna’s performance, but the narrative continued once viewers saw the staging.

Jokes and memes about the Chinese spy balloon (inset) were made after Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show performance.
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images / REUTERS

Ahead of Rihanna’s performance at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, journalist Jack Mirkinson offered a simple explanation as to what’s been going on across the country. “There is only one explanation that makes sense for all the UFOs: there are tons of aliens up there and they are all trying to get to the Rihanna halftime show.” Ending with a plea, he added, “Please military stop shooting the aliens down they are just lovers of music.”

Irish podcaster James Kavanagh had a similar theory. “The UFOs are obviously gathering around earth to let the aliens watch Rihanna’s Superbowl performance calm down everyone,” he wrote.

While their suggestions were made in jest, the jokes continued once the halftime show got underway.

Rihanna, dressed all in red and seemingly showing off a surprise baby bump, moved around on platforms across the performance. Her backup dancers, dressed in large white coats, also shifted on their own separate moving platforms.

“Are Rihanna’s back-up dancers dressed as Chinese Spy Balloons?” asked Twitter user @CaptTouchback.

ESPN and Sirius XM radio host Peter Burns believes all of the unidentified flying objects in the news are now explainable. “Starting to think all the UFO’s this week were just Rihanna stages that just floated away during rehearsals,” he wrote.

He wasn’t the only one to draw the same conclusion, as journalist Kevin Polowy shared a screenshot of the show, with each performer on their own “UFO.” “Now I’m worried the U.S. was shooting down Rihanna’s backup dancers all weekend,” Polowy said.

While the Rihanna staging theory was joked about, another pop-culture reference from the Super Bowl offered up an alternative.

Legendary Irish band U2 had a new commercial play out, which seemed eerily familiar. During the Super Bowl, the group shared a video teaser online for its new Las Vegas shows, “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at The Sphere.”

The video shows a UFO hovering over a town, which made some think the recent news surrounding UFOs in North America was just an advertising push by U2.

“I swear, if the UFOs being shot down has been an elaborate U2 tour promo, I’ll flip,” Australian journalist Andrew Macfarlane wrote on Twitter.

Replying to U2’s announcement, a number of people had questions for the band.

“Did you guys make this commercial before the last week?” asked journalist Elizabeth Vargas. “Read the room. All this UFO stuff and NOW you release this video?!” tech reporter Steve Vegvari wrote.

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