Headline RoundupAugust 15th, 2023

Fact Check: Did Directed Energy Weapons Start the Hawaii Wildfires?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

A number of left-rated and center-rated outlets are publishing articles refuting claims circulating online that the Hawaii wildfires were intentionally started by directed energy weapons.

Directed Energy Weapons: Poynter Fact Check (Center bias) reported, “Direct energy weapons are real — such as lasers, radio frequency devices and high-powered microwaves — and the U.S. and other governments are exploring using them for military purposes. But those weapons are not depicted in the Hawaii claim.” The article goes on to determine certain images and videos circulating online are either old, not originating from Hawaii, or some combination of the two. No videos or images circulating have been deemed genuine instances of directed energy weapons. Other outlets, such as USA Today Fact Check (Lean Left bias), Snopes (Left bias), and The Associated Press Fact Check (Lean Left bias), published similar articles refuting various claims regarding directed energy weapons.

What’s Causing the Fires? At a news briefing last Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, commander general of the Hawaii Army National Guard, said, “We don't know what actually ignited the fires, but we were made aware in advance by the National Weather Service that we were in a red flag situation — so that's dry conditions for a long time, so the fuel, the trees and everything, was dry.” Hara said these pre-existing factors “set the conditions for the wildfires.”

How the Media Covered It: No fact check articles were found from right-rated sources as of publishing, but the claims are receiving considerable coverage from left-rated sources.

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