Viral footage falsely claimed to show Houthi attack on U.S. Navy vessel USS Mason

By: Christian Haag
May 20 2024

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Viral footage falsely claimed to show Houthi attack on U.S. Navy vessel USS Mason

Viral footage falsely claimed to show an attack by Yemen’s Houthis on the U.S. Navy vessel USS Mason, but the video depicts a Norwegian naval exercise. (X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video shows a Norwegian naval exercise from 2013.

Claim ID ad5537d0


On May 13, 2024, the U.S. military said its Navy destroyer, USS Mason, had intercepted a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile over the Red Sea.

A video circulating on social media falsely claims to show the USS Mason being struck by the missile. The footage shows a missile flying towards a vessel, followed by the impact on the ship at both a distance and at close range, causing a massive explosion. The claim has gone viral on both X and TikTok.

However, the claim is false, and the footage is from a Norwegian naval exercise.

In fact

Using reverse image searches, we found that the video was 11 years old and showed the Royal Norwegian Navy testing a new Naval Strike Missile system against the decommissioned frigate KNM Trondheim outside Andøya in northern Norway.

The event, which occurred on June 5, 2013, was reported on by both Norwegian and international media, with Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet posting a complete and original video showing the explosion and missile strike seen in the viral video. 

Comparing the images below, you can see the exact similarities between the two. The picture shows the impact of the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile filmed on the decommissioned frigate. Comparison of the impact of the explosion and the debris flying into the air in the original and viral videos are identical. (Source: X & by Logically Facts)

Similarly, in this image, you can see the impact of the Naval Strike missile from a distance. The smoke cloud and explosion follow an identical shape. (Source: X & by Logically Facts)

The video has been falsely attributed multiple times before. In 2022, the same video was used to falsely show the sinking of the Russian warship Moskva. OSINT analyst Tal Hagin made a compilation on X of seven earlier examples of the video being falsely attributed to show the sinking of various vessels or weapons testing.

The caption of the viral video also contradicts the U.S. military’s account of the events in the Red Sea. The user claims Yemen’s Houthis "score[d] a direct hit” on the USS Mason, but the U.S. military clarified that the ballistic missile was destroyed, with no injuries or damage to U.S., coalition, or nearby commercial vessels.

The verdict

The video does not show a Houthi attack against a U.S. naval vessel in the Red Sea, but a Norwegian naval exercise in 2013. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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