Fact Check: Military Did NOT Rescue Over 35,000 'Malnourished, Caged Children' Out of US Tunnels

Hoax Alert

  • by: Gita Smith
Fact Check: Military Did NOT Rescue Over 35,000 'Malnourished, Caged Children' Out of US Tunnels Total Fiction

Did the U.S. military rescue over 35,000 malnourished, caged children from U.S. tunnels? No, that's not true: The Pentagon denied the existence of the unit that purportedly carried out the rescues across the country over recent months. There is no evidence that such a massive "rescue" happened. The person claiming to have special knowledge of the purported rescues has no authoritative sources.

The claim originated in a series of videos published in early April, 2020, and summarized in an article published by BeforeItsNews.com on April 9, 2020, titled "Over 35,000 Malnourished, Caged Children Rescued Out of US Tunnels by Military" (archived here) which opened:

Over 35,000 malnourished, caged and tortured children have been reported rescued or found deceased in underground tunnels beneath large US cities including one beneath New York Central Park, "with more coming" according to reporter Timothy Charles Holmseth on April 3." He claimed that a group called the Pentagon Pedophile Task Force led the raids.

Traumatized children, some of whom have never seen the light of day, pregnant preteens, deformed babies, piles of little corpses whose bodies were apparently used for organ harvesting, children locked in cages, electro-shocked and traumatized in order to harvest their blood - Adrenochrome for the elites to drink - were being carried out of the tunnels by Marines.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Over 35,000 Malnourished, Caged Children Rescued Out of US Tunnels by Military | Crime All-Stars | Before It's News

Rescued Children, Military, Caged Children, Pentagon, New York, Central Park, Texas, Washington, California, Malnourished Children

The article also claimed:

Apparently for months a secret US Military operation has been sweeping an extensive network of underground tunnels across the US and into Canada and Mexico to rescue thousands of horrifically abused children. Recent operations centered beneath major cities in New York, California, Florida and Washington. Intel video on Tunnels.

But the Pentagon's duty officer for Public Affairs Operations, Susan Gough, told Lead Stories:

We have never heard of an allegation about an underground child abduction ring, nor a Pentagon Pedophile Task Force. The only child rescue service that we are aware of is the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative (HERO) Child-Rescue Corps, which is a program developed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Defense's U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), in conjunction with the National Association to Protect Children.

The claim about the 35,000 children comes with no photographic proof, gives no names of rescuing officers or how many were deployed, doesn't specify how many tunnels were raided in which cities, doesn't give the names of the guilty or the numbers of arrests.

How reliable is Holmseth's word about missing children or dramatic rescues? Not at all reliable, says Marc Klaas, an advocate for missing children and father of a young girl who was abducted and murdered, Polly Klaas:

As soon as I saw the name Timothy Holmseth, it set off a trigger because in the past he accused me of covering up for Polly's murder. According to my contacts at Websleuths and Levi Page, Holmseth, the leader of the so-called Pentagon Pedophile Task Force, is currently a wanted man who has repeatedly violated a restraining order against Florida lawyer Kim Picazio.

Back in 2009, Kim Picazio represented the mother of missing child Haleigh Cummings. Holmseth ultimately accused Picazio of participating in Haleigh's murder. Klaas continues:

He is currently on the run, claiming that he is writing the stories that no one else is writing. He survives off the donations of like-minded conspiracy theorists. At the end of the day he... survives by trying to slander the names of good people.

Lead Stories asked Klaas to evaluate Holmseth's story that 35,000 children had been captive in tunnels beneath New York and other cities. He said:

I mean, where is the proof? I would like to know how this has been kept secret given that hundreds, if not thousands, of civilian/military personnel have to be involved in this conspiracy and cover-up. Why don't the children appear in viable (federal/state) missing persons statistics? Why are they not on the radar of the ICAP Task Forces? The tunnels that are in the video also look like drug cartel tunnels, culverts, and drainage ditches.

Also curious is that this coup was never covered by the press or television, which normally would be swarming all over a raid of this size. Lead Stories contacted The New York Post where a metro reporter said, "We never covered anything like that. We think it's highly unlikely that happened.

U.S. law, moreover, wouldn't allow the Pentagon to send out troops to handle a nonmilitary crime. That would violate the Posse Comitatus rule .

Policing to capture a pedophile ring would have to be FBI or a state/city police force, but not the Pentagon. So this entity is highly unlikely.

The blog article under the title "Child Rescue Operation unfolding right now in NYC?" includes these statements by Holmseth about his experience with child-related crime:

I became a target of, was kidnapped and imprisoned by, the deep state after I uncovered worldwide black market baby sales. I am now the only journalist authorized to report on the Pentagon Pedophile Task Force. There is only one person between me and President Trump.

But as we know, the Pentagon has not heard of that task force.

Another blogger picked up on Holmseth's story. Judy Byington, posting on "Before It's News," adds to Holmseth's story about captive children, but she also shows no photographic or video proof of the raid, names, interviews or concrete evidence. She mentions the states New York, California, Florida and Washington but no locations. She posted this YouTube video by James Munder that flashes photos of unrelated empty tunnels, stock footage of soldiers and abstract designs. No child rescue is recorded.

Holmseth's April 25, 2020, post makes general accusations about the pedophilia ring, but gives no specific names, locations, ages of children:

Top CEOs of companies. Your royal families your politicians your famous music artists your favorite Hollywood heroes are the predators... Because the people that are responsible for these atrocities are people we vote to put in power to people we idolize in the movie or music industry.

If the Pentagon Pedophile Task Force existed, where is it mentioned in news stories, on TV, or in military publications? It is not. In fact, any mention of the purported PPTF online is found only on Pinterest pages, YouTube, Twitter and other social media, copied or slightly enlarged with negative remarks about the deep state or the Clintons.

What do child safety advocates know about the raids that allegedly saved 35,000 children? Ashley Willcott, JD, a Georgia Juvenile Court Judge and certified child welfare law specialist said, "Any time there's a rescue, the state child welfare agency will get a report from law enforcement. Something of that magnitude, word would spread, and every other state would know. I certainly never heard of thousands of children being rescued from tunnels."

Lead Stories would like to offer readers some questions to consider if, in future, stories like this one appear on the internet regarding child rescues from terrible circumstances in tunnels or compounds.

    • Who is publishing the claim? Are they trying to sell something (books, videos, seminars)? Are they reliable?
    • Is there photographic or video evidence?
    • Given the number of troops, police, rescuers etc. involved, how likely is it nothing would leak? Don't these guys have helmet cams, body cams, cellphones?
    • Why are the victims and rescuers not named?
    • How difficult would it be to keep an operation this size a secret?
    • Is there a shred of official confirmation? Why (not)?
    • How likely is it that an organization running such an operation would only communicate with one journalist or a random person on Facebook to get the word out? Don't they know how to set up WordPress or upload a video to YouTube?

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes beforeitsnews.com as:

A website that hosts user-submitted content and regularly publishes false information and conspiracy theories.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Gita Smith

Gita Smith covered news for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Montgomery Advertiser, and she wrote/edited medical newsletters for American Health Consultants at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic when clear, factual information was as needed. 

For a time, she taught in Auburn University’s journalism department and ran the History-Geography lab at Alabama State University, where she taught students to write research papers . She believes the following to be true: The power of the free press may appear to be a weak reed to lean on, but it separates democracies from juntas.

Read more about or contact Gita Smith

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