Following reports that a U.S. Navy pilot ejected himself from a plane and had a “landing mishap” at USS Carl Vinson carrier in the South China Sea on Jan. 24, a hoax article made the rounds online claiming the pilot had ejected the plane after having an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 shot. The story is baseless, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy told Reuters.
The source of the claims appears to be Real Raw News, a website that has a history of publishing fabricated stories Reuters has debunked several of these, including one about U.S. Air Force pilots resigning over a COVID-19 vaccine mandates ( here ) ( here ) ( here ) ( here ). One tweet had at least 5,290 retweets as of the writing of this article ( here ).
The story ( here ) was published by Real Raw News on Jan. 26, 2021, following authentic reports about a “landing mishap” in the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Jan. 24.
Reuters reported ( here ) that seven U.S. military personnel were hurt on Monday when an F-35C warplane had a "landing mishap" on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea and the pilot ejected, the U.S Navy said. An official statement ( here ) said "the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter," and that “the pilot was in stable condition.”
“The claims in the Real Raw News story have no basis in fact. The cause of the crash is under investigation,” LCDR Christina M. Gibson, Public Affairs Officer at USS Carl Vinson told Reuters via email.
Real Raw News openly states in its ‘About Us’ section ( here ) that “Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.”
False. A report claiming the U.S. Navy pilot involved in a “landing mishap” on Jan. 24 ejected after experiencing a COVID-19 vaccine reaction comes from a website that spreads false stories and describes its information as containing “satire”. A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy told Reuters the claims in the story “have no basis in fact.”
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.