Major spoilers for the Watchmen graphic novel!
In Issue 11,
explains that they created a creature, referred to by fans as "the squid" in order to stage an alien invasion. In the next issue, we see that the news media, without prompting from the perpetrator, came to this same conclusion.
Relevant parts are:
Have we been invaded? […] Implausible as it seems we cannot dismiss the possibility of […] alien contact or […] Are we looking at an alien invasion? Things from another dimension?
While there is some uncertainty, it definitely seems like the news media is settling on the idea that this is either an alien or an extra-dimensional being, and that it is the start of an invasion.
What led them to this conclusion mere minutes after the event? It seems to me like there are other equally plausible options, given the limited information:
- It was a cruel hoax being propagated by a single network (after all, it was only a few minutes after midnight local time. How many news teams from different networks could have made it to ground zero to corroborate that there was a dead squid?)
- It was created by a mad scientist on Earth
- It's a new super-human being in the same vein as Dr. Manhattan
- It was sent by the Soviets and the offer for aid is an attempt to deflect blame from themselves (possibly because they intended for it to arrive alive and launch a killing spree)
- It was created by a rogue nation or terrorist group
- It's a lifeform not from this earth that tried to arrive peacefully but had a transporter malfunction that killed it (imagine if Captain Kirk was scrambled when he beamed down to a new planet for a first contact. "What we got back didn't live long")
Given these alternate explanations, why did the news media immediately come to the conclusion that the squid was an alien invasion? While this is the conclusion the perpetrator intended, I don't see any evidence that they influenced the media here.