The claim: Images show Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 underwater

A May 30 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) includes three images that appear to show the underwater wreckage of a plane with skeletons in the passenger seats.

“Hot News: Underwater Drone Reveals Location of Malaysian Flight 370 After Years of Mystery,” reads the post, which also includes the hashtag “#MH370LocationRevealed.”

The post was shared more than 1,700 times in 12 days.

More from the Fact-Check Team: How we pick and research claims | Email newsletter | Facebook page

Our rating: Altered

The images were created using artificial intelligence, according to an expert and an online detection tool. There are no credible news reports that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been found.

MH370 hasn’t been found; images are AI-generated

MH370 disappeared after leaving Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing on March 8, 2014. It was carrying 239 people, including three Americans.

The images, though, don’t show the missing plane. Instead, they all include elements consistent with AI-generated images.

“The scene is crystal clear between the camera and the plane and then abruptly becomes very cloudy so that you can’t see much beyond the plane,” James O’Brien, a computer science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told USA TODAY. “That’s not how it works in real life. The plane is large enough and far enough away from the viewpoint that the cloudiness would make the view hazy.”

The letters and logo on the side of the plane appear in bright colors – and in different places – in the two images of the supposed wreckage. And there are other differences between those two images.

“In one photo, there is no ‘370’ on the side of the plane, the nose has been de-layered and the front right door is missing,” O’Brien said. “In the other image, everything is back together and the ‘370’ is neatly written on the plane.”

Fact check: Photo shows dive tourism attraction, not missing Malaysia flight MH370

The skeletons sitting in the seats “would not all be sitting there comfortably,” said O’Brien, who added that it “looks like everyone just instantly died while the plane was sitting still.”

Hive Moderation’s AI detection tool found the images were 99.3%, 98% and 97.5% likely, respectively, to contain AI-generated or deepfake content.

No credible news reports support the post’s claim that the wreckage of the plane has been found. The post links to an article that claims the aircraft was found using an “advanced underwater drone,” but there’s no evidence of that either.

The official search ended in 2017 after covering roughly 46,000 square miles in the southern Indian Ocean and finding nothing. Some fragments of the plane have since washed ashore along the coast of Africa, and on the islands of Mauritius, Reunion and Rodriguez, as USA TODAY previously reported. However, nothing more substantial has ever been recovered.

In March, Malaysian officials said renewing the effort to find the plane remains a possibility after a Texas-based marine robotics company called Ocean Infinity proposed a new search, the Associated Press reported.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or e-newspaper here.

USA TODAY is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network, which requires a demonstrated commitment to nonpartisanship, fairness and transparency. Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Meta.

Article source:

Leave a Reply