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Home Fake-News FAKE-NEWS: ‘Whale Found in Utah Field’

FAKE-NEWS: ‘Whale Found in Utah Field’

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on December 9, 2014

Outline

Circulating report describes the mysterious discovery of a dead whale in a Utah dairy farmer’s field. 

Brief Analysis

The claims in the report are nonsense. A whale was not found in a Utah field. The story comes via the fake-news ‘satire’ website World News Daily Report. The stories published on the site are fiction and should not be taken seriously.

Example

Mysterious Remains of A Whale Found in a Field in Utah

Farmington| A dairy farmer from a small town near the Great Salt Lake in Utah, made an incredible discovery on his property while he was looking for one of his cows that had not returned.

Utah Whale Hoax

 

Detailed Analysis

According to a story currently making its way around the interwebs, a Utah dairy farmer made a mysterious discovery while searching for a lost cow. Supposedly, the farmer found the body of a 12-meter Humpback whale ‘laying lifeless in the middle of one of his fields’, far from the ocean.

The report claims that local police investigated, but found no trace of any vehicles capable of transporting such a huge carcass. But, notes the story, a strange flying object has been reported in the area.

However, the report is just another piece of viral fiction churned out by the fake-news website World News Daily Report.

World News Daily Report is a satirical entertainment website. Nothing published on the site should be taken seriously.

The site presents its fictional material in news format and does not include a clear disclaimer informing readers that its stories are made up. Thus, many visitors are tricked into believing that the site’s stories are real news and are apt to pass them on to others. 
The whale image used in the fake story depicts a rare sei whale that died after being trapped in the Humber Estuary, Yorkshire UK in 2011. The whale’s body was deposited on a salt marsh during a high tide and was subsequently examined by experts.

There are now a large number of fake-news websites online that – between them – churn out a continuous stream of nonsense tricked up as news. It is thus wise to check any ‘news’ stories that come your way via social media or email before you share them with your friends.

Searching a news portal such as Google News will usually reveal if a circulating story is true.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer