Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Elon Musk Reading 'Flat Earth' Book

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Elon Musk Reading 'Flat Earth' Book Altered Image

Does a photo show Elon Musk reading a book titled "The Flat-Earth Conspiracy"? No, that's not true: The image in the post has been digitally altered. The photo, which originated from another author's official social media page, displays Musk reading a book with a different cover and title.

The claim appeared in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on October 4, 2023 (archived here). Above the image of Musk reading a book titled "The Flat-Earth Conspiracy," the caption is:

He knows.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Elon Musk Flat Earth Book Image.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Fri Oct 6 15:03:12 2023 UTC)

While Eric Dubay did write "The Flat-Earth Conspiracy," seen here, it does not have a cover that depicts Earth from space, like the cover on the book Musk is holding in the X post.

The original photo of Musk reading a book shows the cover of "The Dinosaur Hunter." A reverse image search produced a November 22, 2010, Facebook post from the official account of Homer Hickam, the author of "The Dinosaur Hunter." That's where the image of Musk reading Hickam's book originated.

As seen in the Facebook caption below, Hickam thanks Musk for promoting his book, which is about a cowboy/ex-cop who discovers dinosaur fossils beneath the Earth's surface on Montana farmlands -- not about a conspiracy theory that the Earth is flat.

Elon Musk on Homer Hickam Page Screenshot .png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Oct 6 15:15:12 2023 UTC)

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims that mention Elon Musk can be found 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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