Facts Matter: Photo of 1960s icons is cool -- but not real

  • Social media posts falsely claimed to show three 1960s icons hanging out together.

    Social media posts falsely claimed to show three 1960s icons hanging out together. Snopes.com

  • The photo was a composite of at least three photos, including this one taken by Gloria Stavers.

    The photo was a composite of at least three photos, including this one taken by Gloria Stavers. Snopes.com

Updated 11/24/2018 5:16 PM

A video showing cars traveling as fires rage around them was shared this month on social media, claiming "this is happening right now in California."

The footage does show traffic during wildfires in California, but the video was actually taken during a blaze in December 2017 near Bel-Air, California, according to Snopes.com. The vehicles are traveling on Interstate 405, which was closed shortly after the video was shot.


The video, which received more than 20 million views days after it was posted this month, was originally shared on Twitter, Snopes said.

Ten large wildfires continued to burn in California last week, according to The Washington Post. At least 79 people have died as a result of the fires and the blaze has burned more than 151,000 acres.

Photo is Hawaii sunset, not California wildfires

An aerial image recently shared on social media, showing gray clouds over a glowing red background, claims to be a photo taken during California's wildfires.

But the photo was taken in July over Honolulu, Hawaii, by Nathan Province during a sunset, according to The Associated Press.

Province told AP he took the photo with his cellphone during a flight to Hawaii and later posted it on social media.

"I think it's nice that people like the scenery and the beauty of Hawaii," Province said, "but it is sad that people are using it continually for fake news."

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Morrison, Hendrix and Lee not sharing a selfie

An image frequently shared on social media shows Doors singer Jim Morrison, guitarist Jimi Hendrix and actor Bruce Lee sitting together on a couch.

"You may think you're cool -- But you'll never be as cool as Bruce Lee and Jim Morrison chilling while Jimi Hendrix snaps a selfie in 1969 cool," reads a caption accompanying the post.

Not cool, according to Snopes.com. The three were not sharing a couch and the photo is a composite of three separate pictures of the 1960s entertainers, Snopes.com said.

The photo of Morrison sitting on a couch was taken in the late '60s by "16 Magazine" editor-in-chief Gloria Stavers, Snopes said. Images of Lee and Hendrix were added to the photo of Morrison to make it look like the trio was hanging out together.

President exaggerates bin Laden prediction

President Donald Trump last week posted on Twitter about al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, saying, "I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot."


The claim mirrored Trump's boasts during his presidential campaign that a book he wrote in 2000 warned "you better take him out."

But the book, "The America We Deserve," did not include such a warning and did not call for action against bin Laden, who was killed in 2011, according to AP.

The book contained a passing mention of bin Laden as one of many threats to U.S. security, AP said.

"One day we're told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin Laden is public enemy Number One, and U.S. jet fighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan," Trump wrote. "He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it's on to a new enemy and new crisis."

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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