A video which appears to show a UFO being struck by lightning in Austria on New Year's Eve (2015/16) has gone viral. The video, posted by Vienna student Marie Mela, begins with friends celebrating New Year by clinking champagne glasses while listening to the Danube Waltz as fireworks exploded overhead.

As a firework is sent skyward, there is a strange noise and a weird silvery white object appears, apparently framed by the clouds. It then appears to be struck by lightning One woman appears to stare upwards, eyes wide in astonishment as a man says: "Did anybody see that?"

Massive UFO spotted in NASA sun image
A massive alien spacecraft, around the size of the US state of Idaho, has been "spotted" near the sun by ufologists NASA

Mela insisted the video was genuine, later writing on Facebook: "WTF, not sure if this is a UFO over Lower Austria or some bizarre weather phenomenon. Anyone any idea what it is? Did anybody else see this on the New Year?" Thousands of people reposted the video using the hashtags #blitz #ufo #mostviertal #party.

However some cynics have cast doubt on the video, with meteorologists saying no lightning was reported in the region - which is more famous for its pear orchards used to make schnapps and cider. Austrian meteorologist Roland Reiter told local media: "We have also seen the video, and we checked the weather conditions at the time. There was no lightning in the area."

The rise of the internet, social media and affordable digital cameras has done little to stem the rumours of alien visitations, extra-terrestrial crafts and unnatural objects on the Moon and "giant crabs" on Mars. Most (if not all) of the phenomena are swiftly and comprehensively disproved, but that does little to deter the many Ufo-ologists, conspiracy theorists, religious zealots, end-of-worlders and amateur astrobiologists who are convinced that the truth really is out there.

If not in Austria, possibly in Hull.