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Home Hoaxes HOAX – ‘Chinese Miner Found Alive After 17 Years Underground’

HOAX – ‘Chinese Miner Found Alive After 17 Years Underground’

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on  May 14, 2014

According to a story that has been travelling the highways and byways of the interwebs since mid-2014, a man in China has been rescued after surviving for 17 years trapped underground in a mine. 

The story claims that the mine was abandoned back in 1997 after an earthquake caused tunnels to collapse. Thus, claims the story, a team exploring the old mine were greatly surprised when they discovered 59-year-old Cheung Wai, who had apparently survived on an emergency stash of rice and water and by supplementing his diet with rat meat.

Awed commentators have gushed on how the tale depicts the resilience of the human spirit and on the man’s amazing courage and determination to survive.

What a shame that the story is a work of fiction. The ‘inspiring’ incident described never took place, in China, or anywhere else.


The story comes via the satirical/entertainment website World News Daily Report. In fact, none of the stories published on the site are true. World News Daily Report includes the following disclaimer on the site:

World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.

The image of the crying ‘miner’ used in the story was taken from a 2009 Chinese news report about a Japanese memorial service for wartime Chinese forced workers.

World News Daily Report has been responsible for several viral messages that have circulated in recent months. An earlier report from the site falsely claimed that a live dinosaur had hatched from an egg stored in a German museum. And another fake story claimed that scientists had discovered giant human skeletons while excavating a site in Iran.

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