A video of a pattern of lights forming in the sky has been shared with a false claim that the lights appeared in Türkiye and Syria just before the earthquake. BOOM found that the video is from the launch of SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 in October 2018.
Türkiye and Syria were hit with a catastrophic earthquake of 7.8 magnitude on 6 February, 2023. Considered one of the deadliest earthquakes that has ever occurred in the region, the death toll from this disaster has crossed 35,000 and is expected to double, according to the United Nations.
The video shows several lights forming different shapes in the sky and is being linked to the Türkiye and Syria earthquake with the caption, " The strange sky above #Turkey and Syria seconds before the earthquake."
BOOM found that the video is from 2018, most likely taken during the launch of Falcon 9, a SpaceX rocket in Vandenberg, California.
A reverse image search of the keyframes from the video on Yandex led us to a Wikimedia Commons page titled, 'SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch from Vandenberg, CA - October 7 2018'
Click here to view.
Since this image was similar to the visuals in our viral video, we searched for videos from this rocket launch on YouTube and found a video uploaded by user Jeff Allen
A part of this video from 2:25 has been rotated vertically and clipped to claim that the video is from Türkiye and Syria. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the original video and viral video.
Here is a side by side comparison of the two videos:
We were also able to match the audio of the two clips, where at one woman is heard saying 'Sorry, what is this?'. The audio can be heard at the 2:40 mark in the original video and at the 0:17 mark in the viral video.
SpaceX launched Falcon 9 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on 7 October, 2018. The launch took place to deploy Argentina’s SAOCOM 1A radar imaging satellite and was a success. Residents across California took photos of the fascinating lights in the sky formed by this rocket and shared them on social media.
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