Was an aircraft carrier deployed to the scene of a container ship grounded in the Suez Canal carrying trafficked children and nuclear weapons?

Thursday, April 8, 2021
By Sarah Thompson
This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.

A 30-year-old photo of an aircraft carrier was used in a social media post to falsely link the carrier to a 2021 incident in which a cargo ship became stuck in the Suez Canal.

The photo of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was found by Lead Stories in the National Archives. Caption information stored with the photo shows it was taken on August 22, 1990, when the USS Eisenhower was deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield.

The Ever Given container ship, after being stuck for six days in the canal, was refloated on March 29, 2021.

Social media posts including the one using the 30-year-old photo of the carrier had put forth unsubstantiated claims that the stuck ship was associated with human trafficking and with other unproven conspiracy theories.

Lead Stories is a fact checking and debunking website at the intersection of big data and journalism that launched in 2015. It scouts for trending stories, images, videos and posts that contain false information in order to fact check them as quickly as possible. It actively monitors the fake-news ecosystem and doesn’t wait for reader tips or reports before getting started on a story.