Fact Check: Walmart Locations Are NOT Military Bases Interconnected By Underground Tunnels

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Walmart Locations Are NOT Military Bases Interconnected By Underground Tunnels Really Retail

Are Walmart locations actually military bases that are interconnected by underground tunnels? No, that's not true: It's implausible that thousands of miles of tunnels could be excavated, made military-ready and maintained, all without detection, since the tunnels would disrupt electrical, sewer and water lines and would cross thousands of private properties.

The video "proof" offered amounts to a series of amateur videos of shuttered superstores, one of which was repurposed for detention of children who had crossing the southern border of the U.S. illegally. A spokesperson from the Department of Defense said there is no truth to the claim it operates Walmart properties as military bases.

The claim appeared in the title of a video post (archived here) on Facebook on September 5, 2021. The headline reads:

WALMARTS ARE MILITARY BASES (with thousands of miles of underground tunnels linking them)

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on September 8, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Sep 8 14:56:52 2021 UTC)

The video pieced together several clips, mostly identified as video taken in Texas, from individuals who claim, without corroboration, that there is a connection between closed Walmart locations and U.S. military plots to subdue the citizenry. One video purports to show a Walmart turned into a prison. In Brownsville, Texas, a former Walmart store was in 2018 turned into a holding facility for 1,500 juvenile boys who had crossed the U.S. border unaccompanied by an adult.

In an email answering Lead Stories on September 8, 2021, a spokesperson from the Office of the Secretary of Defense said about the claim:

This is false.

Lead Stories has asked Walmart's public relations office for comment and will update this fact check when Walmart replies.

These claims link to a variety of conspiracy theories, including debunked claims that Jade Helm 15, a 2015 military exercise in several Southern states, was a plot to take federal control of Texas, one of the states where the exercise took place. Jade Helm 15 received mainstream media coverage, as did its related conspiracy theories -- some of which included suspicions about Walmart closures.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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