English, Fake News

The squirrel in this viral video did not manually control the model flight; it was operated remotely.


A video of a squirrel allegedly stealing and flying a model aircraft is being shared on social media. We have received a few requests on our WhatsApp tipline to check the authenticity of the video. Let’s fact-check this claim through this article. 

Claim: A squirrel has stolen a model aircraft and flew it away.

Fact: The viral video is part of a skit posted on a YouTube channel named HobbyWars. The flying portion of the video was reportedly shot using green screen effects and a dummy squirrel while the aircraft was remotely controlled. Hence, the claim made in the viral video is False.

To learn more about the viral video, we performed a keyword search on the internet, leading us to a longer version of this video uploaded on a YouTube channel named HobbyWars. The YouTube video titled ‘Squirrel Steals Airplane’ was uploaded on 17 December 2013. 

DailyMail reported in 2014 that this video is a sketch, and that the craft was remote controlled and the squirrel was only in the flying seat for a few seconds before being replaced by a model and a green screen. 

Speaking to the DailyMail, Ron Knight, the host of ‘HobbyWars’, said “I posted this video because there are days when we all need something to laugh about.”  This evidence makes it clear that the squirrel in the viral video was not actually controlling the plane manually. There are quite a few similar videos of squirrels taking away flying devices (here and here) on HobbyWars, the channel description of which reads, “For entertainment purposes only.”

To sum up, the viral video of a squirrel flying a model aircraft is a skit. A model squirrel and a green screen were used to film this. 


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