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Manipulated video used to make false claim dragon found in Anambra

Claim: A Facebook user posted that a dragon was found in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Verdict: False. The video of the dragon was extracted from YouTube, manipulated and shared. 

Full Text

Dragons are mythical creatures found in various cultures worldwide, often depicted as large, reptilian beasts with wings and the ability to breathe fire. They appear in folklore, literature, and modern media, typically portrayed as powerful creatures.

There has been no proof of any living dragon anywhere. A recent report shows that newly-discovered fossils have allowed scientists to reveal a 240-million-year-old “dragon” in its entirety for the first ever time. The report adds that “the five-meter-long reptile from the Triassic period in China was first identified in 2003, but after studying five newer specimens for ten years, scientists were able to depict the entire creature, which is named Dinocephalosaurus orientalis.” 

Dragons are, however, depicted in movies, especially adventures, with strong wings, long tails, and big lizard/crocodile bodies, and they can spit fire. They are usually depicted as magical and powerful. The true origin of dragons has been a subject of argument for decades.

Meanwhile, a Facebook user, Mr-Bob Ijeawelle posted a video that a dragon was found in Anambra State, a place in the Eastern part of Nigeria, on March 4, 2024. The footage showed a dragon lying on the ground. The audio in the video has the voices of people speaking the Igbo language. 

The post, as of March 9, 2024, attracted significant attention with 21,900 likes, 3,700 comments, 3.3 million views, 7,000 thousand shares and over 1.8 million views on Facebook. 

The same video was also posted on YouTube by Kachi Moses and Wildlife with 216 and 2 subscribers each on Feb 9, 2024. Ogablog’s blog also published pictures from the video on March 8, 2024, that “Mysterious Creature: Dragon Found In Anambra State… Check Out.”

In the post’s comment section, while many people described the video as fake, some believed it. Martha Sia Gabriel commented: “Strange mammal. God helps us in the name of Jesus, amen.” Ziggy Amen also commented: “Na everything una go kill nobody go even tink of species preservation.”

DUBAWA decided to fact-check the post due to its virality and potential to mislead.

Verification 

Keyframes from the video were verified using InVid, Yandex, TinEye and Google Reverse Image Search. We found that the video had been circulating online since 2016. We found that Imgur’s website posted the video on Aug 23, 2016. Similar claims can be found here, here and here.

We found the origin of the video on YouTube. The caption accompanies the 4:10-minute video:

“Creando un Dragón para Cuarto Milenio”, which in English means “Creating a Dragon for the Fourth Millennium.” It was posted by Juan Villa Herrero eight years ago. The fake dragon was built for a Spanish television program, Cuarto Milenio and filmed as if it were real.

Three indigenes of Anambra State, who are adults and fluent Igbo speakers, analysed the footage’s audio on behalf of DUBAWA. The interpretations from the three speakers are the same. 

One of them reads: “My people, this is a baby dragon found here in Okija. Who knows where the mother is, and what should we call this? Today is the first day of me seeing this. The Biafra spirit has risen.”

Analysis showed that the audio was recorded and placed on the old video to convince viewers that the dragon was found in Anambra State.

Conclusion

The claim by a Facebook user, Mr-Bob Ijeawelle, that a dragon was found in Anambra is false. The video was taken from YouTube, and a recorded voice was placed on it to deceive viewers. 

This report is produced for the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking Fellowship in partnership with The Hope Newspaper to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria.

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