ASSERTION: A colossal, glowing skeleton was erected above passersby in an open square near the Burj Khalifa using drones as part of a Halloween exhibit.
The claim that the video is authentic is false. According to experts, there are clear indications that the "drone show" is a fake, such as its speed, which exceeds the current capabilities of drone technology. Furthermore, the audience below the skeleton does not respond to the massive spectacle above them signal jamming.
It has been widely circulated on social media since Halloween that a video showed a nighttime display that almost reached the height of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
Within the brief 8-second video, a formation of illuminated drones creates the appearance of a skeleton. This drone skeleton gracefully moves forward, suspended directly above the pedestrians who are leisurely strolling around an open-air plaza adjacent to Dubai Mall, a renowned shopping destination. Notably, the skeleton's height almost mirrors the towering skyscraper, measuring an impressive 2,716 feet and 6 inches (828 meters) drone jammer.
One TikTok post that shared the video stated, "Dubai's #Halloween drone show takes a chilling twist as a haunting skeleton appears in the sky." As of Friday, the video had garnered around 8.5 million views.
Other individuals added a political twist to the alarming demonstration, such as a message on X, previously known as Twitter, that declares: "During Halloween, the UAE organizes a remarkable drone simulation featuring a colossal skeleton at Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This choice has provoked anger among numerous Muslim nations, who perceive Halloween as a 'satanic holiday' coinciding with the tragic occurrences in Gaza."
However, various specialists have informed The Associated Press that the video does not truly portray a structure constructed from drones.
Preston Ward, the chief pilot and general counsel for Sky Elements Drone Shows in Fort Worth, Texas, confidently stated that the display was completely fabricated. He not only exposed the falsehood on social media but also emphasized its fraudulent nature.
Ward highlighted several indications in the video suggesting that the skeleton is not as it appears. Firstly, it exhibits an excessive speed that surpasses the capabilities of current drone technology. Additionally, the estimated 2,000 drones involved in the display emit an unexpectedly low level of noise. Lastly, there is an improbable flawlessness in the overall presentation.
He expressed, "The appearance seems excessively flawless, as well. There will always be some room for error. In a live performance, there will always be some element of unpredictability. Moreover, all their hues appear identical, and the illuminations possess an identical radiance."
Furthermore, Ryan Sigmon, co-founder of Firefly Drone Shows in Detroit, concurs that operating drones above pedestrians in a densely populated vicinity, as depicted in the video, poses a significant safety risk. He also acknowledges that the skeleton portrayed in the footage lacks authenticity.
Apart from the technological and logistical considerations, there seems to be a lack of reaction from anyone in the video towards the massive structure hovering above them. It is quite unusual that this is the only video available online from the supposed show, especially considering the prevalence of smartphones in today's age. Furthermore, there have been no announcements or advertisements regarding any such show taking place in Dubai.
The origin of the video remains unknown, but it was shared on TikTok by Geoscan Group, a drone show production company, on Tuesday and garnered millions of views. Despite being contacted for comment, Geoscan has not responded, and the video has since been removed from their TikTok account as of Friday.
As part of its endeavor to combat the dissemination of false information, AP is actively collaborating with external entities to provide accurate context to deceptive content that is being circulated on the internet. To gain further insights into AP's fact-checking initiatives, please explore additional information on fact-checking at AP.
According to an official statement, a US Reaper drone was downed by Houthi rebels backed by Iran in the vicinity of Yemen.
According to a defense official, Houthi forces have successfully shot down an unmanned US military drone near the Yemeni coast. This incident was reported by CNN.
According to the official, the MQ-9 Reaper drone was operating in international airspace and over international waters at the time it was shot down. The incident is currently being investigated by US Central Command.
The shootdown, for which the Iran-backed Houthi militants assumed responsibility on Wednesday, took place a few weeks after the USS Carney, a US Navy warship, intercepted a series of missiles and drones fired by the Houthis as they were moving northward along the Red Sea. As reported by CNN, the ship successfully neutralized four cruise missiles and 15 drones within a nine-hour timeframe. The clear trajectory of these weapons left little room for speculation regarding their destination, which was evidently Israel.
In the wake of Hamas' assault on Israel, Iranian proxy factions have intensified their assaults on US forces and properties in the Middle East. Over the past few weeks, there have been approximately 40 attacks on US and coalition bases in Iraq and Syria, resulting in minor injuries including traumatic brain injuries among several US servicemembers, as confirmed by officials.
The attacks on US forces in the region have been attributed to Iran by a senior defense official who referred to the country as "the center of gravity". The official also stated that the evidence points to Iranian involvement in the attacks.
On October 26, the United States responded to the actions of certain groups by conducting airstrikes in Syria. The airstrikes specifically targeted the infrastructure that was being utilized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its associated groups. To carry out these strikes, an F-15 fighter jet and a pair of F-16 fighter jets were deployed, employing precision-guided munitions. The primary objective was to neutralize a weapons and ammunition storage facility located in Abu Kamal, which is situated near the border separating Syria and Iraq.
CNN has informed that Iran is aiming to take advantage of the negative response towards the US backing of Israel. Although Tehran may not be directly instructing the groups' assaults, it does seem to be promoting them.
After the retaliatory strikes in Syria last month, the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivered a stern caution to Tehran.
The statement released by Austin suggests that Iran may be involved in the recent attacks against our forces. However, we believe in maintaining open channels of communication with all nations and will continue to engage in dialogue with Iran to address any concerns. We remain committed to protecting our forces and will take necessary measures to ensure their safety.