Fake News: Presidential Helicopter Marine One Did NOT Crash Into The White House

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Presidential Helicopter Marine One Did NOT Crash Into The White House

Did Marine One, the presidential helicopter, crash into the White House? No, that's not true. The fake story originated from a military-themed satire website that was commenting on the recent series of accidents in military aviation which have cost the lives of 35 people. The Marine One crash did not happen.

The story originated from an article published on May 8, 2018 by Duffel Blog that was titled "Pentagon says military aviation 'not a crisis' after presidential helicopter crashes into White House" (archived here) and which opened:

THE PENTAGON -- Defense Department officials stressed that military aviation was "not a crisis" just hours after presidential helicopter Marine One crashed into the The White House, sources confirmed today.

The latest in a string of aircraft mishaps happened late Monday, when a Sikorsky VH-60N helicopter operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) crashed directly into the largest room of the White House, the reception and event space known as the East Room, though officials claimed it was merely a "hard landing" -- not a crash that obliterated the aircraft, most of the building's walls, and ignited fire and smoke that could be seen from as far away as Pittsburgh.

Users on social media who only saw this title, description and thumbnail may have though a real aviation disaster took place even though the illustration is clearly photoshopped:

Pentagon says military aviation 'not a crisis' after presidential helicopter crashes into White House

The latest aircraft mishap happened on Monday with the presidential "Marine One."

The website Duffelblog.com is a military-themed satire website which sports following legal disclaimer on its 'about' page:


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.

They are sometimes refered to as the military version of The Onion but that same 'about' page points out:

Duffel Blog is sometimes referred to as "The military version of The Onion," but this is a misnomer. The gaffe was cleared up in May 2012 when Duffel Blog staff successfully conducted an airborne assault on the offices of The Onion News Network so that others would know "The Onion was actually the civilian version of Duffel Blog."

So don't fall for any of their stories...

We wrote about duffelblog.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident 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.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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