Fact Check: Old Image Of Caskets Inside A Plane Falsely Linked To Ukraine-Russia War

Against the backdrop of the Ukraine-Russia war, an image showing caskets inside a plane with American flags covering them is widely shared on social media, claiming that it shows America sending a “patriot missile battery operator” to Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine. 

The image is shared on Facebook with a caption: “Patriot missile battery operators being sent home from Kiev”

Here’s the link to the above post


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim, and found it to be FALSE. 

Running a Reverse Image Search, we spotted Getty Images carrying the same viral image, dated April 28, 2005, with a caption: “Caskets bearing the remains of crew members whose Black Hawk helicopter crashed on a night training mission in Kuwait are shown onboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Ramstein Air Force Base in this photo released April 28, 2005, by the Pentagon. The release this week of more than 700 images showing the return of American casualties to U.S. military facilities follows Freedom of Information Act requests and a lawsuit charging the Pentagon with failing to comply with the act. The crew was part of the 158th Aviation Regiment, 5th Battalion, 12th Aviation Brigade based in Giebelstadt, Germany.”

According to the provided description, the image depicts caskets containing the remains of crew members who lost their lives in a helicopter crash during a training mission in Kuwait.

Searching further, we found the same image uploaded on a news report, dated April 29, 2005, with the headline: “Flag-draped coffin photos released / Pentagon had resisted showing images of casualties”.

The same image was also carried in a CBS news report, dated May 4, 2005, stating: “After years of pushing for expanded secrecy, last week the Pentagon was forced to release hundreds of photographs of fallen American soldiers in flag-draped coffins. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by University of Delaware Professor and former CNN reporter Ralph Begleiter in October 2004, the Pentagon made public more than 700 images of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, taken by military photographers between 2001 and 2004.” 

Thus, it is evident that an old unrelated image is falsely linked to Ukraine-Russia War.

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