FACT CHECK: Viral Crop Circle Photo Manipulated To Suggest Link Between Bill Gates And The Coronavirus

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 700 times purportedly shows a crop circle that combines the symbols of the coronavirus and the Microsoft Windows logo.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally manipulated to suggest a link between the new coronavirus and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Fact Check:

Featured in the photo is a crop circle shaped like the new coronavirus, which is named for the crown-like spikes on its surface. A version of the Microsoft Windows logo appears in the center of the outline of the virus. (RELATED: Does A Bill Gates-Funded Research Institute Own The Patent For Coronavirus?)

The viral post uses the image to suggest a link between the new coronavirus and Gates, with the caption saying, “This crop circle appeared recently, featuring the Coronavirus image and the Microsoft logo. Hinting at a link between Bill Gates and the virus?”

However, the image has been digitally altered. Through a reverse image search, the Daily Caller found the unedited photo in the 2006 book “Crop Circles: Signs, Wonders and Mysteries.” The crop circle, purportedly created in Wiltshire, England, in 2004, actually shows a “stunning six-armed star,” according to the book.

Other photos of the original crop circle appear on Temporary Temples, a website that documents crop circles through photography. The website’s Facebook page addressed the photoshopped image in an April 30 post.

“This image doing the rounds is Photoshopped taken from a full page photograph which was included in our book Signs Wonders and Mysteries,” the post reads. “It has been done by an individual who is well known for posting manipulated images, usually using my photographs.”

This isn’t the first time social media users have attempted to link Gates to the new coronavirus, which first emerged in late 2019. In January, a viral Instagram post falsely claimed a “vaccine-production institute” funded by Gates owns the patent for the virus.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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