Fake News: Navy Destroyer Did NOT Collide With Building In Downtown Houston

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Military satire website Duffel Blog posted an article titled "Navy destroyer collides with building in downtown Houston" which opened:

HOUSTON -- As if the city of Houston hasn't seen enough tragedy due to catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, things took a turn for the worse today after a U.S. Navy ship collided with a building in the downtown area.

The ship was identified as an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer belonging to the Navy's 7th Fleet.

It was unclear why the destroyer was not able to see the building and take evasive action, or why it was over 20 miles inland and trying to navigate through a major metropolitan area.

The story is clearly not true since the photo that went with the story is obviously photoshopped:


  • The name of the ship is mirrored. It reads "Mustin" if you hold a mirror next to it. The USS Mustin is an actual Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
  • It looks like the ship was cropped out of this photo on Wikipedia, including the bird.
  • The "reflection" of the ship in the water covers part of the trees.
  • The skies are clear and it is not raining, so the cityscape was obviously not photographed today.

That, and the disclaimer of Duffel Blog reads:

We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization. No composition should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm.

All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

So if you see anyone spreading this photo as real don't hesitate to steer them over here so they can collide with the truth for a change...

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an 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.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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