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#Bellingcat. The Beirut Explosion - Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? Is It A Faked Video Of A Missile?

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Saturday, 08 August, 2020, 12:35
#Bellingcat. The Beirut Explosion - Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? Is It A Faked Video Of A Missile?

In the days after every catastrophe, it is inevitable that rumours and misinformation will be passed around on social networks and by word of mouth. This appears to be a universal human behaviour. The disaster in Beirut is no different. In the three days since the blast we have seen multiple examples of misleading or fake information and videos which seek to mislead people into believing false narratives. In these post we will examine some of them.

We will also examine a more interesting piece of information which was reported by multiple people on the ground, namely that a sound similar to a jet was heard for a few seconds during this catastrophe.

“It was a nuclear explosion”
One of the earliest claims about this explosion is that it was a nuclear detonation. This was spread by a variety of sources, including an organisation called “Veterans Today“, which despite appearing legitimate at first glance, is a known conspiracy network.

However, these claims are easily identifiable as false. Multiple nuclear experts pointed out that explosion had none of the distinctive features of a nuclear explosion, such as a blinding flash of light and a thermal pulse. In short, nothing about the explosion in Beirut indicates it was a nuclear explosion.

That’s not a missile: it’s a cartoon
Several videos have appeared online which claim to show that the warehouse was hit by a missile. None of them actually show this: all of them are either deliberate fakes or simply birds flying across the camera.

In the most blatant example of this below, someone has edited a cartoon missile into a genuine video of the explosion.

#Bellingcat. The Beirut Explosion - Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? Is It A Faked Video Of A Missile?