An image of purported CNN news article featuring the images of a man and a scuba diver under water is being widely shared with the headline “Florida man arrested for using a lost US nuke to power his home for more than 27 years”. A similar post can be seen here. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: CNN news article reporting the arrest of a Florida man for using a lost US nuke to power his home for more than 25 years.
Fact: This article was published on various satirical websites from 2015 which admitted that this story is completely fictional. CNN or other news outlets never reported any such news. The first photo shows a Trump supporter who was charged for harassment in 2016 in New York. The scuba diver’s photo was originally published by the German news outlet DW in 2014 in an article about various munitions (non-nuclear) that were deteriorating in the Baltic Sea. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
First, we searched CNN’s website and its social media accounts for this news but couldn’t find any. We also searched if other news outlets have reported any such incident but found none. However, we found that this post was actually shared by the user named ‘Ifunny_News’ on meme-sharing website iFunny on 13 April 2022. The bio of this page says, “Almost all my stuff is fake”.
In fact, this fictional story of a man finding a lost nuclear warhead was published in a satirical and fictional story website ‘worldnewsdailyreport.com’ in 2015.
Moreover, the photo of a man featured in the viral post shows ‘Todd Warnken’, a supporter of former US President Donald Trump, who is charged with misdemeanour aggravated harassment in 2016, reported The Guardian.
The image of scuba diver under water is from an article published on DW news website in 2014. The article talks about pollution caused by munitions (dropped during WWII) that were deteriorating in the Baltic Sea. Also, the article did not mention that any of these weapons were nuclear.
Further, according to Wikipedia and Washington post, Florida Man is an internet meme, first popularized in 2013, referring to an alleged prevalence of male persons performing irrational or absurd actions in the US state of Florida. Internet users typically submit links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes and other events occurring in Florida, with stories’ headlines often beginning with “Florida Man…” followed by the main event of the story.
To sum it up, a satirical & fictional article is being shared as Florida man arrested for using a lost US nuke to power his home.