Fact Check: Special Forces Did NOT Destroy 'DEW' Plane

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Special Forces Did NOT Destroy 'DEW' Plane Pentagon: Nope

Did U.S. Special Forces destroy a DEW, which stands for directed energy weapon, plane? No, that's not true: A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories the story is "false." The website that made the claim regularly publishes completely fabricated content.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on March 10, 2024, titled "Special Forces Destroy DEW Plane" (archived here). It began:

United States Special Forces on March 5 destroyed an Air Force Boeing 747 that had been airborne over the Texas Panhandle when inexplicable fires erupted on February 26, a source in General Eric M. Smith's office told Real Raw News.

This is what the article looked like on the website at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-03-13 at 12.30.12 PM.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Wed Mar 13 17:28:04 2024 UTC)

"This is false," a Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories via email on March 13, 2024.

The article describes the "DEW" plane that was destroyed as "a modified Boeing 747 with an airborne laser (ABL)."

It described the destruction of the plane:

Special Forces clandestinely penetrated the base at 1:00 a.m., March 5, and identified a hangar they believed housed YAL-2, as it was the only one guarded by four United States Air Force Security Forces members, the branch's equivalent of Army MPs. Special Forces immobilized them using non-lethal force prior to entering the hangar and rigging the airframe with incendiary charges and accelerants attenuated to render the aircraft and laser worthless, without triggering a concussive explosion. YAL-2 burned to a crisp, a fitting end for a plane that itself caused unimaginable destruction.

Had a government plane with a directed energy weapon been destroyed amid the Texas wildfires, it would have been major news. A Google search (archived here) for the keywords "texas fire special forces destroy dew plane" yields no matching results.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about supposed directed energy weapons can be found here.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:


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.

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

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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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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