FALSE

FACT CHECK: Video predicting Asian virus recording not from 1956

The producer used footage from several old movie clips like 'Leave it to roll-oh'.

In Summary

• The video widely shared on YouTube and social media platforms claimed that it had been predicted in 1956 that a deadly virus originating from Asia would hit the world.

• Ramses the Pigeon, posted this video on his channel on Feb 29 saying it was hilarious to look back on what people from the 1950s thought the future would look like.

A viral video predicting the Asian virus in 1956 is false.

The video widely shared on YouTube and social media platforms claimed that it had been predicted in 1956 that a deadly virus originating from Asia would hit the world.

“Can you believe this? It was made 64 years ago!. This recording was made on 29 2 1956 i e 64 years ago Listen to the last 40 seconds of recording,” read a description on the video.

But the Star’s fact-check found it to be satirical and misleading.

How did it start?

A YouTuber by the name Ramses the Pigeon, posted this video on his channel on February 29 saying it was hilarious to look back on what people from the 1950s thought the future would look like.

On the channel with 3.48k subscribers, Ramses who is based in the US said the archival and public domain footage used in the creation of the video was obtained from archive.org.

He went on and put a disclaimer saying, “Also, yes, I only threw this together because I wanted to have a video uploaded on February 29”.

The video has so far received over 200,000 views.

Various You Tubers picked the said video and posted on their respective channels between March and September.

 

The video, however, went viral when a Dallas Hill-based NGO posted it on their website.

Unify The People -Constitution whose mission is to educate and inform Sovereigns about the ills of globalism and the globalist agenda on their channel with over 5.01 k viewers amplified it saying, “Can you believe this? It was made 64 years ago!. This recording was made on 29-2-1956 ie 64 years ago.. Listen to the last 40 seconds of recording”.

Some of the screenshots from the footage
Some of the screenshots from the footage

With such a huge following, the video got 141,587 views with over 100,000 likes and 136 comments.

Ramses, without knowing how the misinformation had spread, started trending.

A YouTuber MIG MAG on October 3,  apologised to his subscribers for posting the video on his channel without knowing it was fake.

Immediately, fact-checkers from Belgium, France, and The Netherlands started reaching out to him and on October 7, he came out publicly to say that the majority of the video content was absurd satire.

“I created this satirical piece shortly after COVID-19 started being recognized as a genuine threat. In the months that followed, quite a few different people ripped, cut, and shared incomplete versions of the video across a variety of social media sites. Worse still, many of those individuals insisted that they were presenting “proof” of the pandemic having been intentionally engineered,” Ramses said.

He added, “Given that my original upload barely passed 60,000 views, I was entirely unaware of this… until fact-checkers from Belgium, France, and The Netherlands started reaching out to me. In the days that followed, I learned how far the “misinformation” had spread, and I found myself explaining not only that that the majority of my video content is absurd satire (like “The Mick Jagger Conspiracy Theory"), but that the viral piece in question was intended to lampoon the anti-science perspectives which were arising at the time”.

Some of the screenshots from the footage used
Some of the screenshots from the footage used

He said predictably, the news articles containing the truth haven’t spread nearly as far as the doctored videos, and it was only yesterday when Snopes confirmed that my piece was a joke.

The Star’s fact-check desk using Google search tools further established that some of the footage Ramses used had been compiled from various old movies including the  ‘Leave it to roll-oh’ produced in 2016, the 2021 Chevy Tahoe Z71 exhibition in December 2019 and the ‘Darkness’, a 2002 supernatural horror film.

This story was produced by The Star in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.