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Fake News: MH370 Pilot Did NOT Mysteriously Resurface Almost 2 Years After His Flight Vanished Over China Sea

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:27:59 Z)

Did Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the pilot of vanished flight MH307, mysteriously resurface in Taiwan after being found on a river bank by villagers? No, that's an old story from a site that makes up articles about bizarre crimes and sex acts for entertainment purposes. It did not happen for real. The story was originally published in 2016 but went viral again in July 2018 for some reason. It still isn't true four years after the plane disappeared.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on February 10, 2016 titled "Taiwan: MH370 Pilot mysteriously resurfaces almost 2 years after his flight vanished over China Sea" (archived here) which opened:

Taipei | The pilot of the infamous flight MH370 of Malaysia Airlines that disappeared in March 2013, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has mysteriously reappeared in a Taiwan hospital on Monday, suffering from severe dehydration and some type of amnesia.

The 53-year-old pilot was transported to the Taipei Adventist Hospital by a couple of villagers from a nearby town. They claimed to have found the man while he was lying unconscious on the banks of the Tangshui River.

He finally woke up almost 16 hours after arriving at the hospital, but couldn't remember his name or how he arrived in Taipei.

He was rapidly identified, however, thanks to his fingerprints, instantly attracting a lot of attention from the media and from various Asian governments.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/taiwan-mh370-pilot-mysteriously-resurfaces-almost-2-years-after-his-flight-vanished-over-china-sea/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Taiwan: MH370 Pilot mysteriously resurfaces almost 2 years after his flight vanished over China Sea

Taipei | The pilot of the infamous flight MH370 of Malaysia Airlines that disappeared in March 2013, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has mysteriously reappeared in a Taiwan hospital on Monday, suffering from severe dehydration and some type of amnesia. The 53-year-old pilot was transported to the Taipe

The story was already debunked by Snopes in 2016:

FALSE: MH370 Pilot Mysteriously Resurfaces in Taiwan

The pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 reappeared in Taiwan two years after the plane disappeared.

They pointed out the source of the photo was a 2014 news article, two years before the pilot allegedly resurfaced:

Body of Myanmar Man Repatriated After Alleged Murder in Malaysia

The body of a Burmese man who is believed to have been murdered last weekend in Malaysia will be sent back to Burma on Saturday, in a case that highlights rising tensions over the past year for Burmese nationals living in Malaysia.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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