Saturday, December 01, 2012
The hoax that brought NASA to CNN iReport

space photo

 

The headline was alarming, and the story of a Texas-sized asteroid on a collision course with Earth would have been absolutely terrifying – if it wasn’t absolute nonsense.

 

An iReport posted recently claimed that the Nibiru asteroid would slam into the Earth and used a fake news article as evidence. CNN producers quickly dismissed the story, but that didn’t stop it from being recommended more than 10,000 times on Facebook. In case you’re new to iReport, all iReports are user-submitted, and have the words "NOT VETTED BY CNN" stamped across the top until someone at CNN talks to the submitter and confirms the information (you can learn more on our About page. Because this story was so popular, we decided to add an additional note that it was not confirmed by CNN and provided a link to additional information.

 

Most of the people who commented on the story didn't seem too worried about it. Some made jokes, while others did their own detective work and declared it a hoax.

 

iReporter balefire97 said folks just need to relax:

 

"Being born in 1979, this will be the 49th doomsday I have lived through. If memory serves me right, the last 48 weren’t very memorable, nor accurate, but that may go without saying, so I predict this one is going to be equally uninteresting and equally false. Tinfoil hats for everyone!" he wrote.

 

NASA saw it too, and they weren't thrilled. They've been pretty busy knocking down various "end of the world prophesies" in the months leading up to the Mayan Apocalypse. Some people believe it is coming on December 21, because that's when the end of the 5,126-year cycle on the Maya's Long Count calendar.

 

We talked with the senior editor of the NASA website (who used to work here at CNN) and encouraged him to participate in the conversation, so that the thousands of people who were going to iReport would also be able to the real story. He agreed and created the NASAWeb iReport account.

 

He said the story was "absolutely false" and that "if Nibiru were real and headed for Earth, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade." He also said that if it Nibiru was about to hit the Earth it would be visible to the naked eye, so you'd be able to see it for yourself. You can read more about Niribu and other apocalypse hoaxes on the NASA website.

 

We are always looking for space stories here at CNN iReport, so if you're an amateur astronomer we'd love for you to share your (true) stories with us. In the meantime, we've got our fingers crossed that NASAWeb will hook us up with some future astronauts or give us the Mars Curiosity rover's phone number.

17 Comments
December 1, 2012
Click to view rodrigues34's profile

i think someone has being watching too much armageddon(it´s the size of texas Mr President)

December 1, 2012
Click to view k3vsDad's profile

LOL...there's always someone ready to buy into the latest doomsday story. For some the titillation of it all is too much to resist. Thanks for the update, David.

December 1, 2012
Click to view KCRep's profile

I'm wondering why this ireport was even kept on this site.

December 2, 2012

I'm fascinated with the popular culture of mass viral hoaxes. The people that create them and even more so the people that don't take the trouble to verify and just pass them on. I believe it's a form of attention starvation, a way to attach to some sort of notoriety. I have one word for these things: "Snopes.com".

Much Metta Madagascar

Percy

December 3, 2012
Click to view Ninua's profile

 

  ARE YOU THREATNING ? BE CLEAR THAT NOTHING ON THIS PLANET CAN THREATEN ME , NOT YOUR SAVING 'RED PROS'.

December 3, 2012
Click to view katie's profile

@seeitnow We're pretty fascinated by the same topic and have been discussing an in-depth story on it. Thanks for sharing!

December 3, 2012
Click to view revloc's profile

What a joke it would be to those folks that just won the big lotto if the world ends on 12-21..LOL..

December 4, 2012
Click to view ljmagnuson's profile

Know one really knows when the world will end, so I don't worry about it and tend to ignore "doomsday prophesies. In the meantime, however, I'm stocking up on video tapes, updating my editing software and getting a high impact housing for my Canon XHA1. As it was a considerable investment, I don't want it damaged by flying debris from the disaster as I shoot the final video of my IReport "career" ... stand by for an update after Dec. 21st :)

December 13, 2012
Click to view pogomcl's profile

equally bad are the people who perpetrate conspiracy theories. Over on the Independent, there  are tons of conspiracy theorists who claim that US instigated the  war in the Pacific with Japan and US wiped out the ships at Pearl Harbor...

 

Here in Prague, I've met people who are totally convinced that the CIA brought down the Twin Towers and not anything to do with  terrorists, and this is really sad because people from Prague died in the Twin Towers.

December 15, 2012
Click to view suzee625's profile

If a comet were headed this way with that mass, it could impact earth with only a few days notice it would be traveling so fast.   No one would have a chance.  Comets should make everyone weary.

December 18, 2012
Click to view phoneutria74's profile

unbelievable but waiting in 12/21/12

 

December 19, 2012
Click to view Markrjbrown's profile

Hi guys can you all cheak out my story please befor the 21/12/2012 or it won't mean nada  xxx thanks and greetings from the uk

December 19, 2012
Click to view Vickmaster01's profile

I think NASA is overreacting. They're wanting too much publicity.

December 24, 2012
Click to view jingobowodde's profile

This has nodda to do with NASA.  CNN needs to dump that limey puke Piers Morgan and send him packing back to the land of fishnchips.

January 17, 2013
Click to view Rayalovely's profile

do i win or louse??

February 6, 2013
Click to view Nicholas98's profile

My name is Nicholas a Nigerian. do mind mind the bloody liar president Goodluck who has turned himself to badluck to himself. Imagaine,  the president of a whole nation coming online to tell a lie. He knew people wont be privilege to have access to electricity power as of the time he was saying it, so he can say whatever he wants afterall. that is to tell you what we are facing with these corrupt leaders. mannicky98@yahoo.com

February 6, 2013
Click to view Nicholas98's profile

My name is Nicholas a Nigerian. do not mind mind the bloody liar president Goodluck who has turned himself to badluck to himself. Imagaine,  the president of a whole nation coming online to tell a lie. He knew people wont be privilege to have access to electricity power as of the time he was saying it, so he can say whatever he wants afterall. that is to tell you what we are facing with these corrupt leaders. mannicky98@yahoo.com

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