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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke November 18, 2021

Story about SEALs rescuing children in cargo ship is false

If Your Time is short

  • This story is unfounded and was published on a site that has previously posted false claims. 

A screenshot of what looks like the headline of a news article is being shared on social media and raising alarm among some users. 

"NAVY SEALs raid cargo ship full of smuggled children," the headline says

But the byline is a tell — it belongs to someone PolitiFact has investigated before, and his website, Real Raw News, regularly publishes false, unfounded claims like this one.  

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

This story, authored by a "Michael Baxter," was posted on Nov. 2 and claims that SEALs raided a cargo ship anchored off Long Beach, Calif., then rescued 200 foreign children and recovered the bodies of 12 more. The story cites an unnamed source, and winks at former President Donald Trump. 

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"Interestingly," the source claimed, according to the story, "‘someone’ at Mar-a-Lago had provided U.S. Special Operations (Command) with credible evidence of ‘child trafficking’ on the vessel." 

A disclaimer on the Real Raw News "About Us" page says the website contains "humor, parody and satire," yet Baxter, which is not the writer’s real name, has defended the accuracy of his writings dozens of times in the comments sections on various articles.

We found no other credible sources to corroborate the claims in this story. There are no news or government reports, though we found plenty of fact-checks debunking the tale. A spokesperson for the Navy told USA Today that the story is false.  

We rate this post Pants on Fire.


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Story about SEALs rescuing children in cargo ship is false

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