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Viral image of jet purportedly manufactured by Biafrans misleading

5 mins read

Claim: A Facebook post claims BB-905 aircraft is a locally made fighter Jet made by Biafra many years ago.

The image alleged to be a locally manufactured fighter Jet by Biafra is false. All investigations show the aircraft used during the war was purchased and the aircraft looks nothing like the BB-905 in the claim.

Full Text

Biafra or the Republic of Biafra was a secessionist state that existed from May 1967 to January 1970 during the Nigerian Civil War. Its territory consisted of the Eastern Region of Nigeria

In 1967, following two coups and turmoil which led to about a million Igbos returning to the southeast of Nigeria, the Republic of Biafra seceded with 33-year-old military officer Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu at the helm.

The Nigerian government declared war and after 30 months of fighting, Biafra surrendered. On 15 January 1970, the conflict officially ended.

On Monday April 19, 2021, a Facebook post by Tariere Fiebai was shared by another Facebook user, Choji Tosanwumi Pwoi. The post had 8 reactions, 9 comments and 2 shares. According to this post accompanied by the picture of a “Jet”, this Jet was 100% manufactured by Biafrans in 1968.

“This Jet was manufactured 100% by the Biafrans in 1968. If you don’t tell your story…another will with versions that suit him.”

Excerpt of claim from Facebook.

Screenshot of the Facebook post

A comment under this post by Micheal Dedon disagreed with this, questioning the author’s knowledge of what a jet looks like. He also added this was a sky wagon made in the United States (US) and Canada.

“Madam, check the background well and study the serial number and flag on the plane. Does the environment look local to you? That is a variant of the Cessna 185 Skywagon made in the US and Canada.”

Excerpt of Dedon’s comment.

Screenshot of Dedon’s comment

Another user in the comment section also questioned the author’s knowledge of a jet.

Screenshot of ittersbach’s comment

Verification

Dubawa, having observed the aircraft in the picture does not look like a Jet, conducted a keyword search on Jets and its characteristics.

A Jet is one of the most common types of air planes in use today, having largely replaced traditional aircraft powered by propellers. Although propeller planes still exist, Jets dominate commercial and private air travel owing to their greater speed, ability to fly at higher altitudes and mechanical reliability.

Parts of a Jet

Jets consist of five major parts; the fuselage, wings and stabilizers, engines, landing gear, and the cockpit.

Screenshot of a Jet’s diagram

Also, a Google reverse image search on the image showed the aircraft in the image was the Cessna 185 Skywagon, not a Jet. This is a six-seat, single-engined light aircraft manufactured by Cessna.

Screenshot of a Cessna 185 sketch

The reverse image search led to other posts on Facebook and Twitter where the image had been used. 

A Facebook post by NKANU TV shared by Mhista Sampuwa Samuel claims this is a Biafran BB- 905 locally manufactured fighter jet used during the civil war. This post was shared on the same date (April 19) that Fiebai shared his post.

“Biafra BB-905 Locally Manufactured Fighter Jet Used During The 1967-1970 Biafra-Nigeria Civil War.” 

Excerpt of NKANU TV Facebook post.

Screenshot of Facebook post by NKANU TV

The above post by NKANU TV was also shared by Indeginouse Modelling and Entertainment Agency

Screenshot of Facebook post by NKANU TV

A Twitter user Olaudah Equiano @RealOlaudah also shared the same image with a similar caption and #NigerianHistory. This Tweet also made on April 19 had 848 retweets, 37 quote retweets, and 2,313 likes. 

Screenshot of the Twitter post by Olaudah Equiano

Dubawa also conducted a keyword search to find if Jets were used during the Biafran war. We found a Biafran Air Force B26 aircraft which looked nothing like the aircraft in the viral image.

Screenshot of Biafran Air Force B26 aircraft

This search also led to some images on Pinterest similar to the image above. Pinterest also described it as the Biafran Air Force B26 aircraft.

Screenshot of Pinterest’s result

Another result showed pictures of aircraft for Biafra (Biafran Invaders) although there were different stories to explain this. The pictures in this article also do not look like the one that has gone viral and it was noted that the aircraft was purchased not made.

Screenshot of Napoleon130’s article

If this aircraft is not for Biafra, then where is it from? To answer this, Dubawa conducted another search using the number (BB-905) on the aircraft in the image to find its origin.

We found from the United States Department of Transportation that this aircraft was from the United States and was manufactured in 1981 many years after the Biafran war.

Screenshot of aircraft details on FAA registry.

Similar information was found on the Dutch Aviation Society’s website. This showed this type of aircraft were produced at different times from 1981 down to 2019. This further  proves there is no way this could have existed in 1967 during the Biafran war.

Screenshot of Dutch Aviation Society civil database

Conclusion

The image alleged to be a locally manufactured fighter Jet by Biafra is false. All investigations show the aircraft used during the war was purchased and the aircraft looks nothing like the BB-905 in the claim. 

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