TruthorFiction.com https://www.truthorfiction.com Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:46:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Clinton Estate a Crime Scene, Steel Barrel Graves Found-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/clinton-estate-steel-barrel-graves/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:46:35 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104911 An admitted fake news website is behind false reports that steel barrel graves have been uncovered at the Clinton Estate.

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Clinton Estate a Crime Scene, Steel Barrel Graves Found-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Dead bodies have been found in “steel barrel graves” at the Clinton estate, and Bill and Hillary Clinton are under criminal investigation.

The Truth:

A website that fabricates news stories is behind false claims that dead bodies have been found in steel barrel graves at the Clinton Estate, which is now an active crime scene.

The latest installment of the running “Clinton Body Count” conspiracy theory started with a post appearing at the website Freedom Crossroads under the headline, “Clinton Estate Is Officially A Crime Scene As 11 More ‘Steel Barrel Graves’ Are Uncovered.” The report begins:

After the body parts of three women were found last night in a barrel unearthed from the garden area of the Clinton Estate in upstate New York, ground penetrating radar was brought in to analyze the entire property. Within a few hours, eleven more possible sites were pinpointed and excavation began.

By dawn, 11 more identical steel 55-gallon drums were awaiting transport to Quantico with an immaculate chain of evidence. They will arrive and be opened later today.

Now that the discovery seems to be complete, the issue should turn to the Clintons. Everyone knows they’re killers. You can already get odds in Vegas on how many of the barrels are for Hillary’s victims and how many are Bill’s. Then the question becomes…can you make it stick? The Clintons are smart and powerful and always one step ahead of the game.

The post even included a photo of one of the so-called steel barrel graves at the Clinton Estate. A reverse Google image search, however, revealed that the photo actually shows a steel drum buried in 2001 by researchers at the University of Nevada to serve as a geophysical test target: Coincidentally, the same image in separate false reports that Monica Lewinsky had been found dead:

steel barrel graves
A barrel buried by researchers in 2001 has been misidentified as one of the Clinton Estate steel barrel graves.

The most important detail might be the disclaimer that appears in the footer of Freedom Crossroads’ website:

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Cannibal Babysitter on Meth Eats Toddler-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/babysitter-eats-toddler/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:22:51 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104905 A well-known fake news website is behind false reports that a cannibal babysitter ate a toddler after smoking crystal methamphetamine.

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Cannibal Babysitter on Meth Eats Toddler-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

A babysitter in Missouri ate a 3-month-old toddler after smoking crystal methamphetamine.

The Truth:

A notorious fake news website is behind false reports that a babysitter ate a toddler after smoking meth.

The rumor started with a post that appeared at World News Daily Report in January 2016 under the headline, “Missouri: Babysitter on Crystal Meth Eats 3-Month-Old Toddler,” and has since been shared nearly 300,000 times on social media:

De Soto, MO | Two Missouri parents were horrified to discover their babysitter had turned into a crystal meth-smoking cannibal when they found the remains of their three-month-old child cooked in the microwave.

After a night out at the movies, the young parents came back home to find a confused babysitter under the influence of alcohol and crystal meth who had lost consciousness and was covered in blood in the family’s living room.

Moments later, they made the gruesome discovery when the mother saw something moving behind the microwave door.

World News Daily Report is known for publishing spoof articles with sensational headlines that readers often mistake for actual news. The website’s disclaimer states that the site assumes “all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles.” Taken out of context on social media, however, many readers breeze over the headline or see others’ reaction and mistake these hoax reports for factual news:

babysitter eats toddler
Hoax news reports like the one about a babysitter eating a toddler are often taken out of context on social media.

 

The rumor that a babysitter on meth ate a toddler, and all other rumors stemming from World News Daily Report, should be considered fiction.

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Alex Jones Appointed White House Press Secretary-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/alex-jones-white-house-press-secretary/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:03:36 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104897 Alex Jones has not been appointed White House press secretary, a well-known website that publishes religious satire is behind those false rumors.

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Alex Jones Appointed White House Press Secretary-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

InfoWars host and noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been named the White House press secretary.

The Truth:

A website that specializes in “Christian news satire” is behind false reports that Alex Jones was appointed White House press secretary.

A report that appeared at The Babylon Bee on June 20, 2017, under the headline, “Trump Picks Alex Jones As New Press Secretary.” The story, which has been re-reported by fake news website the Nevada County Scooper, begins:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Confirming the widespread rumors that Sean Spicer would be departing the office in short order, President Donald Trump has chosen InfoWars chief and renowned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as the new Press Secretary, the White House announced Tuesday.

The fiery Jones wasted no time getting in front of the cameras, holding his inaugural press conference shortly after the announcement.

“I am the new Press Secretary!” he bellowed in his distinct Texas growl at all the reporters present, occasionally taking a handkerchief out of his pocket to dab perspiration from his red face. “AAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAHHHHH!” he continued, beating his chest like a gorilla.

Many readers of the Nevada County Scooper took the report at face value and reacted to news that Alex Jones had been named White House press secretary on social media:

alex jones press secretary
False reports that Alex Jones has been named White House press secretary have circulated on social media.

However, there’s no truth to these reports. Jones, most known for advancing the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead was staged, has been issued White House press credentials and has hosted President Trump on InfoWars multiple times. However, there’s no indication that Jones was considered for or named to the position of White House press secretary. That’s why we’re calling this one “fiction.”

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Bill Clinton Has Aids, Transmitted AIDS to Hillary Clinton -Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/bill-hillary-clinton-aids/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:07:30 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104891 An old false rumor that Bill Clinton has AIDS from the 2016 presidential campaign resurfaced in June 2017 and was presented as breaking news.

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Bill Clinton Has Aids, Transmitted AIDS to Hillary Clinton-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

A former D.C. call girl has come forward with accusations that President Bill Clinton has AIDS, and that Hillary Clinton is HIV positive.

The Truth:

An unsubstantiated claim that Bill Clinton has AIDS that swirled during the nasty 2016 presidential campaign resurfaced in June 2017 and was re-reported as breaking news.

It’s not clear exactly where this rumor came from, but the earliest version we could find was a YouTube video  posted in August 2016 that showed slides of Bill Clinton posing with various women and periodically featured a slide that raised the possibility (without providing any proof) that  Hillary Clinton had AIDS from her husbands “past and present affairs.” The video has been viewed nearly 80,000 times.

bill clinton aids
The earliest version of Clinton AIDS rumors surfaced in April 2016 and provided no supporting evidence beyond this still.

In September 2016, the claim appeared at TruthFeed.com, a website that presents its content “as is” without making any claims about its reliability or accuracy, under the headline, “SHOCKING CLAIM – DC Call Girl Says Bill Clinton Gave Her AIDS, Believes Hillary Has it As Well.” The report begins:

Hillary Clinton is HIV positive, according to a shock claim by a Washington D.C. call-girl who says she was diagnosed with the virus after a pay for play fling with former President Bill Clinton in April of last year.

“Bill Clinton visited me one night when he was in town, and he left me with more than a cash payment,” said Mandy Cloud, the pseudonym the former D.C. call-girl chose for her book set to be published next month.

The story reemerged in June 2017, and it’s not clear why. Many social media users shared a link to TruthFeed.com and reacted to the news that Bill Clinton has AIDS — but given the site’s lack of credibility, and that it provides no concrete evidence (aside from a supposed DC call girl using a fake name), the claim doesn’t appear to have any merit.

We investigated a separate (false) rumor in April 2017 that Bill Clinton had suffered an unspecified health crisis and was reportedly on his death bed in Arkansas. We also investigated many rumors about Hillary Clinton’s health during the 2016 campaign, all of which can be found here.

Rumors that Bill Clinton has AIDS and likely transmitted to Hillary Clinton appear to be the latest in a long-running string of conspiracy theories that the Clintons are trying to hide various medical ailments from the public.

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Clint Eastwood Dies of Heart Attack at Age 87-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/clint-eastwood-dead/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:48:46 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104886 False rumors that Clint Eastwood died in June 2017 were started by a clickbait report published by a website based in Singapore.

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Clint Eastwood Dies of Heart Attack at Age 87-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

Actor Clint Eastwood has died of a heart attack at the age of 87.

The Truth:

A fake news website mocked-up to look like CNN is behind Clint Eastwood death hoaxes that went viral on social media on June 20, 2017.

Reports of Clint Eastwood’s death first appeared at CNN-GlobalNews.com, a website that is in no way affiliated with CNN but used the classic tactic of duping readers into believing it was by using a similar-sounding URL. The report, which has since been disabled, claimed that Clint Eastwood died from an apparent heart attack at age 87.

Clint Eastwood death hoaxA 3-week-old website based in Singapore is behind false reports of Clint Eastwood’s death.

The death hoax also included a fake quote from fellow actor Tom Hanks: “I am lost for words. Some people you just assume with be with you forever. #ClintEastwood.”

Social media users quickly circulated the Clint Eastwood death hoax without checking the original source, which appears to be unreliable. The domain for CNN-GlobalNews.com was registered to an owner in Singapore on June 6, 2017, just weeks before the Clint Eastwood death hoax went viral.

That would seem to indicate that the Clint Eastwood death hoax was a (successful) attempt to drive up the new website’s domain authority in search engine ranking algorithms using a classic clickbait celebrity death hoax. And the fact that the website was completely disabled less than 24 hours after the report went viral only further proves that point.

There’s been no official response from Clint Eastwood or his representatives in the wake of the death hoax. Given the lack of credibility of the 3-week old website that broke the story, however, it’s safe to classify this one as “fiction.”

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Robert Mueller Called for One World Government, Religion- https://www.truthorfiction.com/robert-mueller-one-world-government/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:28:00 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104872 False claims that Robert Mueller advocated for one-world government and one-world religion are based on a quote from a man with a similar name.

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Robert Mueller Called for One World Government, Religion-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

Robert Mueller advocated for a one-world government and one-world religion under one-world leader before he was appointed special counsel to investigate possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

The Truth:

Robert Mueller didn’t advocate for a one-world government — a statement from a man with a similar name has been misattributed to Mueller.

Robert Mueller’s supposed quote, “We most move as quickly as possible to a one-world government; a one-world religion; under one world leader,” surfaced almost immediately after he was appointed special counsel in May 2017 to investigate potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

However, the false claim that Robert Mueller called for a one-world government actually dates back to the 2013 book “The End of Time and the Beginning of Eternity” by biblical researcher and author C.G. Deveaux. In a chapter that highlights examples of so-called “globalist” world leaders, Deveaux incorrectly attributes a quote from former United Nations assistant attorney general Robert Muller to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller:

Robert Mueller one-world government
A 2013 book first misquoted Robert Mueller as advocating for a one-world government and one-world religion.

Robert Mueller, who served as FBI director under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, has never been affiliated with the United Nations, and Mueller never advocated for a one-world government.

That man was Robert Muller, who spent 40 years at the United Nations and founded what’s become known as the “World Core Curriculum for Global Education” before his retirement. Muller’s quote about one-world governance is often attributed to the 1995 book “The World’s Last Dictator” by Dwight Kinman.

Confusion between Robert Mueller and Robert Muller in “The End of Time and the Beginning of Eternity” was likely a mistake. It’s not clear whether the claim that that Robert Mueller made the statement in 2017 was another mistake or an intentional effort to mislead people to erode trust in Mueller. Either way, these claims are “fiction” since Robert Muller’s quote about one-world governance has been misattributed to Robert Mueller.

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Barron Trump Wins National Academic Science Award-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/barron-trump-wins-science-award/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:39:43 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104867 False reports that Barron Trump won a national science award for his work on the regulation of thermodynamics in shale rock came from a fake news website.

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Barron Trump Wins National Academic Science Award-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

President Donald Trump’s son, Barron Trump, won a national academic science award for a project that focus on the regulation of thermodynamics in shale rock.

The Truth:

False reports that Barron Trump won a national academic science award can be traced back to a known fake news website.

The report appeared at The Daily Chronicle on June 18, 2017, under the headline, “BREAKING: Barron Trump Wins National Academic Award.” Within days of being published, it had been viewed nearly 40,000 times and widely shared on social media.

The gist is that Barron Trump won a national science award that came with a $150,000 prize to help him continue his studies in thermodynamics:

“I’ve never seen a smarter kid,” president of the Science Awards Teddy Rusker said. “Really, his project was incredible. He might end up being the next great American scientist.”

To be clear, Barron is not your average kid. He isn’t even your average intelligent child. Barron is the smartest presidential child this country has ever had.

Barron has applied to every Ivy League institution as well as Oxford and Cambridge and got into them all. He hasn’t decided where he will be going yet, if at all, but we are excited to find out.

Many readers took the report at face value and congratulated Barron Trump for winning the national academic science award:

Barron Trump national science award
Social media users congratulated Barron Trump after reading a hoax article that he won a national science award.

Upon closer review, however, The Daily Chronicle shouldn’t be considered a trustworthy news source. The website’s privacy policy states that it presents its content “as is” and “does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results or reliability.” Also, the site’s privacy policy state that “some of the materials on this website may be satirical in nature.”

In reality, there is no such thing as the “Science Awards,” and we couldn’t find any record of Barron Trump winning a national science award. Also, there’s no way to verify the report’s unfounded claims that Barron Trump is the smartest presidential child ever, and there’s been no indication that he’s applied for Ivy League colleges.

Given all that, we’re calling claims that Barron Trump won a national science award “fiction.”

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Wrestler “Big Show” Paul Randall Wight Jr. Shot and Killed in Ring-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/big-show-shot-killed-ring/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:32:14 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104854 False rumors about WWE wrester Big Show being shot and killed in the ring started out as satire and as later mistaken for actual news.

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Wrestler “Big Show” Paul Randall Wight Jr. Shot and Killed in Ring-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

WWE wrestler “Big Show” Paul Randal Wight Jr. was shot and killed during in a steel cage match in June 2017.

The Truth:

A well-known satirical website is behind false reports that “Big Show” Paul Randal Wight Jr. was shot and killed in the during during a steel cage match held in Indianapolis in June 2017.

The report, which appeared at The Onion on June 16, 2017, under the headline “WWE Staff Forced To Shoot Aggressive Wrestler After Child Climbs Into Steel Cage,” begins:

INDIANAPOLIS—Saying they were left with no other choice given the imminent peril of the situation, World Wrestling Entertainment officials confirmed they were forced to kill one of their own stars Friday when a 7-year-old boy wandered into the steel cage enclosure of an aggressive wrestler.

Beloved two-time WWE champion Big Show was reportedly shot dead after the emergency response team at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum made a split-second decision to take out the nearly 400-pound dominant male wrestler, who is said to have appeared aggravated and hostile, causing those present to fear for the small child’s safety.

Although The Onion is among the most well-known satirical publications around, word that Big Show had been shot and killed in the ring led many wrestling who weren’t privy to the original report to assume the worst.

Big Show Shot and Killed
Taken out of context, wrestling fans believed reports that Big Show as shot and killed in the ring were true.

The Onion story appears to parody the infamous case of Harambe, the 400-pound gorilla that was shot and killed at a zoo in Cincinnati after a child wandered into his enclosure in 2016. Harambe’s death led to an outpouring of anger on social media — and it later came to represent the fickle nature of online outrage that leaves people passionately protesting an issue one day, and completely forgetting all about it the next.

So, in the end, Big Show was not shot and killed in the ring. That rumor started as a work of satire and was later mistaken for a factual report by wrestling fans.

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Bernie Sanders Drives $170,000 Audi R8 Sport Car-Fiction! https://www.truthorfiction.com/bernie-sanders-drives-170000-audi-r8-sport-car-fiction/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:59:16 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104844 False claims that Bernie Sanders bought an Audi R8 using campaign funds are based on a photo of a man with a passing resemblance to Sanders driving the car.

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Bernie Sanders Drives $170,000 Audi R8 Sport Car-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

Photos show Bernie Sanders driving a $172,000 Audi R8 sport car that he purchased with donations to his 2016 presidential campaign.

The Truth:

An unidentified man with a passing resemblance to Bernie Sanders has been incorrectly identified as Bernie Sanders driving an Audi R8 by anonymous users of 4chan, an online forum known for disinformation campaigns.

The post, which surfaced on March 30, 2017, includes a photo of a man who looks similar to Bernie Sanders driving an Audi R8 with a comment that makes a passing reference (without providing any proof) that Sanders bought the $170,000 sport car using campaign funds:

Bernie Sanders Audi R8
Bernie Sanders Audi R8 claims started with a post at 4chan that was likely meant to be a joke.

Almost immediately, people commenting on the post acknowledged that it was meant as a joke. Others, however, began posting follow-up images that they claimed proved that the man behind the wheel of the Audi R8 was, in fact, Bernie Sanders. One such user posted a photo of an Audi R8 behind what the user described as a Sanders’ campaign vehicles that featured prominent images of the Vermont senator’s face:

Bernie Sanders Audi R8
4chan users used unrelated photos to back up the Bernie Sanders Audi R8 claim.

Those images actually show vehicles driven by the group “Black Men for Bernie,” a group that endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016 campaign with the stated purposed of encouraging black men to “come together, join the fight with others, and take responsibility for their families and communities.” Members of the group drove vehicles and hosted pro-Sanders events, but Black Men for Bernie was not connected to Sanders’ official campaign — and there’s no indication that Sanders followed the group’s motorcade in an Audi R8.

Other 4chan users tried to pass off an image of Bernie Sanders standing next to a red Tesla electric car as a photo of Sanders and the Audi R8. The photo was taken from Sanders’ official website, and it doesn’t show an Audi R8.

Bernie Sanders Audi R8
A photo from Bernie Sanders’ official website shows the Vermont senator looking under the hood of a Tesla electric car — not an Audi R8.

In reality, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has stringent rules about how leftover campaign funds can be used when a candidate like Bernie Sanders ends a White House bid. Needless to say, buying a $172,000 Audi R8 is not among them. Candidates can apply the balance to a future campaign, or donate it to a charity or political party.

Bernie Sanders had about $6 million in the bank by the time his presidential campaign ended in July 2016. It’s not clear exactly how Sanders spent that money, but Sanders led a final fundraising push before conceding the race to Hillary Clinton, saying that he was seeking donations to send 1,900 delegates to the Democratic National Convention to help support Sanders’ platform, Elite Daily reports:

Sanders’ campaign fired off multiple fundraising requests to supporters on Thursday, ahead of the Federal Election Committee’s final fundraising deadline. “We’re going to the convention,” one email declared, referring to the Democratic National Convention later this month.

“When our delegates gather in Philadelphia, they’ll have the chance to put the Democratic Party on the record about stopping votes against the TPP, fighting for a $15 federal minimum wage, opposing fracking, and so many more progressive priorities,” Sanders’ campaign manager wrote to supporters on Thursday night

“Our campaign has earned the right to send almost 1,900 delegates to vote on these important issues, but many of them are working folks and the costs of attending the convention are too high,” read another email. “So I want to help them get there, because this campaign isn’t about Bernie Sanders, it’s about all of us.”

In the end, the Bernie Sanders Audi R8 claim was based on one photo of a man with a passing resemblance to Sanders driving an Audi R8. Beyond unrelated photos and unsourced claims, there’s nothing to indicate Sanders bought an Audi R8 using $172,000 in leftover campaign funds. That’s why we’re calling this one “fiction.”

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Muslim Man Refuses Seat Beside Woman Reading Bible-Unproven! https://www.truthorfiction.com/muslim-man-refuses-seat-woman-bible/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 21:32:57 +0000 https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=104835 An account of a Muslim man refusing a seat next to a woman reading a Bible lacks key details needed to verify the story's authenticity.

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Muslim Man Refuses Seat Beside Woman Reading Bible-Unproven! 

Summary of eRumor:

The legend of a Muslim man who refused a seat next to a woman reading a Bible on a flight, only to have the flight attendant move the woman to first class so she wouldn’t have to be seated next to an “unpleasant person,” has been circulating via forwarded emails for years.

The Truth:

Given a lack of key identifying details, there’s no way to definitively prove whether a long-running forwarded email about a Muslim man who refused a seat next to a woman reading a Bible, only to see the woman moved to first class, actually happened or not.

The forwarded email has been around since at least March 2012. The earliest version we could find appeared under the “politically incorrect humor” section of a lifestyle called BeliefNet.com that provides daily words of wisdom and inspirational anecdotes. Given that the post was listed under “humor” and not “news” it seems reasonable to assume that it was meant as a spoof, not a factual account.

Nevertheless, different variations of the anecdote have been circulated in countless forwarded emails and posts on discussion forums since 2012. The general idea is that a 50-something Muslim passenger refuses a seat beside an elderly woman reading a Bible. After talking to the pilot, the flight attendant informs the man that all of the flight’s economy seats are sold out, but that passengers can be moved to first class to avoid scandal resulting from passengers having to sit next to an “unpleasant person.” Then, the kicker comes as the flight attendant turns to the elderly woman and says, “Therefore ma’am, if you would so kindly retrieve your personal items, we would like to move you to the comfort of first class as the captain doesn’t want you to sit next to an unpleasant person” to applause from other passengers.

Numerous versions of that anecdote have been circulated over the years, none of which include important details needed to authenticate the story. The name of the passengers, the airline, the location, and the date that the exchange supposedly happened are always absent. That’s why we’re calling this one “unproven.”

There was, however, a somewhat similar account that appeared in the news in February 2016. Renee Rabinowitz, a retired lawyer who fled the Holocaust as a girl, found herself in a similar situation when a man who she described as “this rather distinguished-looking man in Hasidic or Haredi garb, I’d guess around 50 or so, shows up,” who had been assigned the seat next to her, the Boston Globe reports:

The man was assigned the window seat in her row. But, like many ultra-Orthodox male passengers, he did not want to sit next to a woman, seeing even inadvertent contact with the opposite sex as verboten under the strictest interpretation of Jewish law. Soon, Rabinowitz said, a flight attendant offered her a “better” seat, up front, closer to first class.

Reluctantly, Rabinowitz, an impeccably groomed grandmother of 81 who walks wine a cane because of bad knees, agreed.

Rabinowitz said that she felt “minimized” by the encounter and decided to take an” intellectual, idealogical and legal” stand against it. Rabinowitz ultimately sued the airline, El Al, for gender discrimination. It’s not clear how, or if, the case was resolved.

The parallels between the story of the 50-something Muslim man who refused a seat next to a woman reading a Bible and the 50-something orthodox Jew who refused a seat next to a woman are undeniable. And, in both accounts, the woman was moved to a better seat, not the person making the original complaint.

Still, given that it’s impossible to verify story about the Muslim man who refused a seat beside a woman reading a Bible, we’re still calling this one “unproven.”

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