A Facebook post republishes a 2008 story which claims Agent Orange was sprayed in a water catchment area for Innisfail in Queensland's far north in 1966.

Five-metre human skeleton find a hoax

FactCheck July 3, 2019

The Statement

AAP FactCheck has examined this Facebook post by Alien Star on June 18, 2019, after it was shared more than 470 times, and attracted almost 100 comments. 

The pictures accompanying the Alien Star article actually show French archaeologists examining the bones of a woolly mammoth discovered near Paris in 2012 .

The Facebook post links to this Alien Star website story headlined: Archaeologists from Adelaide Unearth a 17 Feet Tall Human Giant Human Skeleton in Australia.

The article details how a team of archaeologists from the University of Adelaide ostensibly uncovered “the biggest human skeleton that has ever been discovered”.

The Analysis

The Alien Star Facebook page claims to share evidence of aliens on earth. Its website, purportedly based in Romania, publishes “breaking news and analysis of the latest trends and happenings around the world, in domains as Science, Space, Extraterrestrial Life, Technology, Weird and others”.

AAP FactCheck found the Alien Star story was an abridged version of an story published in 2014 by the World News Daily Report (WNDR) website, titled ‘5-Meter Tall Human Skeleton Unearthed in Australia’

This Denis Gliksman image was taken at a dig site near Paris and has no connection to central Australia, or the discovery of a giant human skeleton.

On its About Us page, WNDR claims to be an “American Jewish Zionist newspaper based in Tel Aviv and dedicated to covering biblical archaeology news and other mysteries around the globe”. However, the WNDR Disclaimer page states the content on the site is fictional. 

“WNDR assumes however 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 persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle (sic),” the WNDR Disclaimer page states.

Both stories published by Alien Star and WNDR state “a skeleton 5.3 meters tall (17 foot and 4 inches) was discovered near the ancient ruins of the only megalithic civilization ever discovered in Australia”. 

AAP FactCheck found a number of elements in the Alien Star post to be false.

The Alien Star story sources news of the “discovery” to the Adelaide Herald, a publication that has not existed for more than 100 years. According to Trove, the online archive of the National Library of Australia, The Herald in Adelaide was a weekly trade union magazine published from 1899-1910. 

The photographs of workers uncovering dusty bones that accompanied the Alien Star article were actually taken in 2012 at an archaeological site near Paris, France, where the remains of a woolly mammoth were discovered.

The images, distributed by Associated Press, were used in 2012 to illustrate a BBC article about the mammoth’s remains. 

The same images were attributed to Denis Gliksman/AP/Inrap,  in an Associated Press article published in the National Post regarding the Paris dig. 

Inrap is the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research which has published details of the 2012 mammoth discovery along with many similar images by Gliksman.

The claim the skeleton was “discovered near the ancient ruins of the only megalithic civilization ever discovered in Australia” was floated in a separate story titled ‘Ruins Of Ancient City Discovered in Australian Desert’, published by WNDR in 2014

Both the News Corp newspaper NT News and fact-checking website Snopes found this 2014 WNDR story to be false. Snopes addressed the false story in this article titled ‘Ruins of Ancient City Discovered in Australian Desert’ , while journalist Steve Menzies debunked the same claim for the NT news in a story titled ‘Uluru’s 1500-year-old ‘lost city’ a fake’.

In February 2017, after the same story surfaced again, veteran Canadian media writer and blogger Ian Chadwick again reported the story about the discovery of a giant human skeleton was a hoax. He noted on his website, Scripturient, that the story dated back to 2014 and had been recycled in 2015 and 2017.

The Hoax-Slayer website also labelled the report a fake in October 2017, noting the “bogus report comes via the fake news website World News Daily Report (WNDR), which is notorious for churning out fanciful nonsense disguised as news. Nothing published on the site should be taken seriously.”

The Verdict 

Based on this analysis, AAP FactCheck found the post on June 18, 2019 by the Alien Star website, promoted via its Facebook site, to be false. Archaeologists did not uncover “the biggest human skeleton that has ever been discovered” at a site in central Australia.

  • False – The headline and text are both false, and the images are not shown in the correct context.

First published July 3, 2019 11:57 AEST 

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