Fact Check: NO Evidence Behind Claims Tying Hillary Clinton, Human Trafficking And Cargo Ship Stuck In Suez Canal

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: NO Evidence Behind Claims Tying Hillary Clinton, Human Trafficking And Cargo Ship Stuck In Suez Canal No Secret Sign

Is a ship that blocked traffic in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, used for human and sex trafficking? Is there a connection between the ship and Hillary Clinton? No, that's not true: There's no publicly available evidence the container ship is involved in illegal trafficking activities, nor is there anything -- such as the ship's maritime call sign -- linking the vessel to Clinton. The claims, and others like it, are tangled up in QAnon, a conspiracy theory that has been widely and repeatedly debunked. In this post, a web is strung together with coincidences.

Examples of such baseless claims appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on March 24, 2021. The post opens:

Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship named Evergreen. Evergreen shipping is most likely a cover for human and sex trafficking.
HRC = Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Evergreen = Hillary's Secret Service name.
Evergreen Call Sign: H3RC

This is what the post looked like at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Mar 25 15:08:42 2021 UTC)

It is true that the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, was blocked beginning on March 23, 2021, by a massive container ship that drifted sideways during a windstorm. The canal is a major conduit for global shipping of oil, natural gas and cargo and with each day, more ships accumulated at each end of the canal.

But the name of the ship isn't Evergreen (even though that is emblazoned along its hull for its operator). The ship is named Ever Given. The company that operates the ship is Evergreen Marine Corp., a global shipping corporation headquartered in Taiwan. The most recent financial disclosure form filed by Clinton, in 2016, showed no income from Evergreen nor investments in Evergreen.

"Evergreen" is only the start of the conspiracy web strung together with coincidences.

The Ever Given's call sign is H3RC, according to marinetraffic.com, which monitors vessel movements and provides shipping information.

Hillary Clinton's Secret Service code name has been reported as "Evergreen."

Clinton's full name is Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her initials HRC.

All that begs the question: So what?

Lead Stories has been unable to locate credible, publicly available documentation of any actual connection between Clinton and the ship. The fact that the name of the company that operates the ship is the same as Clinton's code name is not evidence of the vast international criminal network QAnon followers believe in. The post offers no proof to support its claim that Evergreen, a global container ship operator, is a cover for human and sex trafficking. There is no publicly available evidence the container ship, or the company operating it, is involved in illegal trafficking activities. A search of the INTERPOL (International Police Organization) list of criminal cases reveals no cases involving Evergreen Marine, which includes on its website a pledge from the CEO of its UK branch that Evergreen submits to UK laws requiring monitoring and to eliminate firms that traffic humans or use trafficked labor from any of its supply chains.

The allegations in the post are recycled versions of conspiracy theories promulgated by QAnon. QAnon claims often take something that is true -- the ship's call sign, for example -- and twist it into something that is false, fanciful or unverifiable. People who believe in QAnon frequently find special significance in otherwise neutral facts. They see mundane items -- from fringe on flags to "A113" in animated cartoons -- as confirmation of their belief that the world is run by an evil cabal of Democratic pedophiles and Hollywood elites, who traffic children for sexual gratification and to harvest immortality drugs made from their adrenal glands.

For example, the post continues:

Coincidentally, 1 dead and Firefighter missing at "Evergreen" Adult Home.
"Baracka1" and "Mossaed" vessels coming to save "Evergreen".
Both statements are more or less true on their face. There was a fire recently at the Evergreen Court Home for Adults in Spring Valley, New York. One resident died and a firefighter was unaccounted for. Tugboats with the name "Baraka 1" and "Mosaed 2" were reportedly working to help free the stuck ship.

But again, so what?

Evergreen is a common name; countless companies share it. "Baraka," not "Baracka" as the post states, is a spiritual power in Islam. In all likelihood, the tugboat's name is a reference to that, not to former U.S. President Barack Obama. The post implies that Obama and "Mossaed," an apparent reference to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, are coming to save "Evergreen," which the post identifies as Clinton. The post spins a convoluted, coded tale, but offers no evidence that what it's saying -- or implying -- is true.

False allegations

Some of what's in the post is verifiably false. For example, it claimed:

Wayfair was caught trafficking humans while selling items at extraordinary prices, and selling them as expensive 'items' under their real names.
Lead Stories has reported on the Wayfair allegations before. See our story here. We spoke to the Reddit user who alleged that overpriced cabinets with female names were a cover for human trafficking and the company was actually selling kidnapped children. That person told Lead Stories she had no evidence of a trafficking operation; she "just asked if it was possible." Wayfair has denied the connection, stating there is "no truth to these claims."

The Suez Canal post also claimed:

US NAVY AND DOD already gave us fair warning via comms, and are near the scene.
This was an apparent reference to Group Arabian Sea Warfare Exercise 21, a multilateral maritime exercise underway in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, as of March 21, 2021. The implicit claim here is that the military is readying a rescue operation on the ship that's being used for human and sex trafficking. Besides there being no proof for that suggestion, the maritime exercise is in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, neither of which is all that close to the Suez Canal.

Other claims

The post is not the only post on the Internet making unsupported allegations related to the ship stuck in the Suez Canal. There are many more example, including this one on Facebook:

Suez Canal BLOCKED by a huge container ship named EVERGREEN, causing a massive traffic jam at both ends of the vital...

Posted by DJ Nicke on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The post repeats the unsubstantiated claims about tugboats and the alleged Clinton connection, and adds a new claim in the form of a reference to the 2002 film "The Sum of All Fears." In the film, a ship laden with nuclear material traveled to Baltimore, Maryland. One of Baltimore's sister cities is Rotterdam, which is where the Ever Given was headed before it got stuck. The author of the post wrote, sarcastically: "These are probably all just coincidences...", but offered no evidence they aren't.

Other examples of claims related to the canal can be found on Twitter. Here's one that was posted by "Inquisitive_Grandma" whose handle, @Grandm_Anon, is a clear QAnon reference. It reads:

This tweet includes a reference to a Q drop, which are the cryptic messages at the core of QAnon. The drop, from 2018, is being spun to say that the anonymous Q predicted the incident, seemingly trying to give weight to outlandish claims.

Lead Stories has covered QAnon before. See here for some of our stories on the debunked conspiracy theory.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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