Fact Check: U.S. Marines Did NOT 'Neutralize Fleeing FEMA Convoy' On Maui

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: U.S. Marines Did NOT 'Neutralize Fleeing FEMA Convoy' On Maui Pentagon: Nope

Did U.S. Marines "neutralize" a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) convoy on Maui around August 20, 2023? No, that's not true: A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories that there's "absolutely no truth to this claim." Also, the website this claim originated from carries a disclaimer stating that it publishes satirical content.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on August 20, 2023, titled "Marines Neutralize Fleeing FEMA Convoy in Maui" (archived here) which opened:

United States Marines on Friday "neutralized" a FEMA convoy that fled fire-stricken Lahaina for Haleakalā National Park, a 33,000-acre wilderness and home to the state's highest peak, Mount Haleakalā, from where FEMA might have escaped had the Marines not downed a helicopter sent to rescue the federal brigands.

This is how the article looked at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-08-21 at 6.40.13 PM.png

A Pentagon duty officer of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) responded to a Lead Stories inquiry about the claim via email on August 21, 2023, writing:

There is absolutely no truth to this claim.

A Google news search using the keywords "U.S. Marines Neutralize Fleeing FEMA Convoy in Maui" produced no results substantiating this claim.

Lead Stories reached out to FEMA and will update this fact check if a response is received.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks that mention "Maui," "FEMA," and "wildfires" are here.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News is a website that consistently publishes made-up stories about U.S. politics. The well-written English and news-style layout of the website make it look like a legitimate news source, so it often fools people into believing the stories are real. Screenshots and copies of the stories regularly turn up on other websites or on social media where they are presented as real.

It bills itself as "humor, parody and satire" on the "about" page (archived here):


Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

The same "about" page claims the main author is a man named Michael Baxter. In 2021 a PolitiFact article (archived here) identified the writer as a "Michael Tuffin" in Texas based on records found in a GoFundMe campaign set up to support the site.

NewsGuard, a tool that provides credibility ratings for websites, published a five-page PDF report (archived here) in 2021 describing realrawnews.com as, "An anonymously run website that has published baseless and debunked conspiracies about COVID-19 and U.S. politics." It cautioned that the website severely violates basic journalistic standards."

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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