FACT CHECK: Did A Texas Man Dressed Up As An Alien Kidnap 79 People?
A viral Instagram post with nearly 6,000 likes claims a Texas man wearing an alien costume kidnapped 79 people.
View this post on Instagram
The story originated on the satire website World Daily News Report.
Featured in the viral post is a screen grab of what appears to be a news article with the headline saying, “Texas man admits kidnapping 79 people to anally probe them while disguised as an alien.” The man confessed his crimes after being arrested by the FBI in El Paso, it claims.
“A man who was arrested by the FBI Yesterday has confessed to kidnapping and sexually assaulting several dozen people while using costumes, drugs, and special effects to have his victims believe they had been abducted by aliens,” reads the alleged article.
The screen grabbed news article also includes a mugshot of the supposed perpetrator: an elderly man. But a quick reverse image search revealed the mugshot has been circulating online for at least 9 years, where the Daily Caller found it in a 2011 blog post. (RELATED: Did An 11-Year-Old Girl Kill Two Illegal Immigrants During An Attempted Home Invasion?)
The story, debunked by Snopes in 2018, originated on World Daily News Report, a parody news website that disclaims that people mentioned in its articles “are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.”
Yet, while World Daily News Report clearly disclaims the satirical nature of its content, the Instagram post failed to issue a similar warning. It portrays the screen grabbed article as a real news story.