In the past few weeks, for some really strange reason – or, most likely, just a coincidence – Romania has been targeted by some false articles that became viral in the country and you might’ve heard about them as well, no matter where you are currently located. And it was serious talk: first, we had an article from Sky News claiming that Romanian weapon dealers were smuggling weapons to terrorist organizations; later on, the news that the US moved its nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania surfed the web. So let’s talk about these stories below!

First, it was the news published by Sky News: according to its reporters, they managed to meet with an important weapon trafficking organization in the country and had access to illegal weapons which could be sold to terrorist organization or basically everybody who had the money to pay. After this news sparked a huge controversy in the country, it was reported that in fact the “traffickers” were actually commissioned by the Sky News reporters, who paid them to act as weapon dealers.

Investigations in Romania further showed that the guys in the material were actually hunters who legally owned the weapons and who claimed that the Sky News reporters had indeed paid them to act as weapon dealers, offered them equipment to wear and even wrote the lines they were supposed to say. I didn’t follow the news story too much after this point, as I was sure that it was fake from the beginning, but it’s worth noting that both the author of the material, as well as Sky News don’t consider the story fake or staged and, as far as I know, an investigation is happening in Romania to prove that there are no valid grounds here.

Just_my_note: I doubt that any weapon dealers would accept to get on camera, even if they’re wearing masks. Or at least no serious dealers would do that. Plus, the guys in the material don’t really look like weapon dealers in the first place – at least not how I would expect some to look like – meaner, with more tattoos and scary looking. The guys here look more like beer-loving dudes who might occasionally fire a gun. (Remember that, unlike in the US, owning weapons is not very common in Romania).

And the second story that I was talking about was even stranger: a report from website Euractiv claims that, based on two sources they have, the US has moved its nuclear weapons from Turkey in Romania, after the relationship between the US and Turkey have deteriorated greatly.

This was quickly denied by local authorities, who claimed that moving nuclear missiles is not something you can just do, that approvals from the government should be debated and obtained first and, atop of that, that Romania doesn’t even have the required infrastructure or silos (or whatever they’re called) to even hold nuclear missiles in the first place. I personally doubt that something that big could’ve been done without some proper evidence and at least some actual proof.

So, there you have it: two very important news bits targeted Romania recently but, most likely, it’s nothing but speculation or pure fiction. I am personally 100% sure that both news are wrong (but, of course, I could be wrong. I doubt that too as well).

11 COMMENTS

  1. I always wonder how these rumors get started. Sometimes l think they are planted, specifically to sow doubts in peoples minds and is a signal of what’s to come. You say it long enough, people believe it and when it actually happens, people accept it..like preconditioning if that makes sense. As far as Sky, l think in this day and age, all “news” anchors are capable of deceit just to get a headline. I don’t trust them, which is sad!

    • Interesting point about telling a lie until people accept it as a truth or until it becomes something natural. Something like Orwell’s 1984. Too bad that the people who should make sure that nothing but the truth goes out – the press – is ready to do anything just to maintain popularity…

  2. C. makes some good points and we have to keep in mind that these types of sensationalized stories are often reported mostly as click-bait to get attention, and many of us who try to keep up with the real news recognize it when many so called “news sources” use that tactic. Personally, I am pretty skeptical of anything coming from “Sky News”(whose reporters covered the weapons being sold to terrorists story) anyway, as it seems they get it wrong about as often as they get it right. Regarding the nuclear missiles being moved, this was some very creative speculation based on real concerns about deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Turkey. This was quite a leap, and probably encouraged because of the recent otherwise unrelated story about the anti-missile defense system set up at the Deveselu base. The story about Aegis Ashore anti-missile system was confirmed and is as follows:

    The antimissile defense system Aegis Ashore at the Deveselu military base in southern Romania officially became operational on Thursday, May 12, 2016. The system installed at Deveselu is part of the US anti-missile shield and will be an integrated part of NATO’s anti-ballistic defense system. This is one of the most important such bases in Europe and has been designed as a defense system against attacks from outside Europe.

    As you can see, it’s quite a leap from setting up a anti-missile defense system to moving nukes there.
    Anyway, great info from C. and I’d also like to recommend to folks wanting to keep up with what’s going on there, to sign up for Romania-Insider.com, which provides all kinds of useful and interesting info about what’s happening in Romania; political, human interest, entertainment, community news, etc. delivered right to your email daily. They initially reported the Sky News story about the arms dealers in Romania, but were the also first to quickly uncover that the story was fake and expose the perpetrators. As Kemkem warned, the information flows freely online in this day and age, which is why we all need to be diligent in verifying and researching what we see online that passes as “news” before taking it for granted. C., Thanks again for the report.

  3. Kemkem and JC are spot-on. Any thing to roil the waters and bring in some ratings and $. I personally only watch PBS and listen to NPR for my news.
    RIP Toots Thielemans. He was such a musical icon.
    Terrible about all the bombings in Turkey! Calin: I am sure you’d think twice about going there now, with all the unrest.
    Whatever happened to the Romanian women gymnasts? I am sure there are more Nadia Comaneci(s) out there. (BTW: She is still hawt at 54!)
    ~Teil
    p.s. Lochte is an arse, and deserves to lose all his endorsements.

    • Hello Teil,

      Indeed the Turkey situation would make us think twice about visiting the country, which is extremely sad because Turkey has so much to offer…

      Regarding the Romanian gymnasts… I have no idea what is happening. Romania is on the decline in most sports because we just couldn’t keep up with the demands. We do have Simona Halep right now in tennis to make us happy, but apart from that, not many reasons to be pleased sports-wise.

  4. Sky News should be prosecuted for liable or fraud. This should hurt their credibility in the future, if they had any to begin with. There are plenty of real stories like human trafficking to cover without making up stuff. It is sad how rumors and conspiracy theories spread so quickly and persist even after the truth comes out. We are having elections here in America, and falsehoods and lies seem to be the order of the day. One side has already announced that if they lose, it will be because the elections were rigged! Quackery and pseudo-science dominate the Internet, each with their armies of true-believers, ever ready to attack anyone questioning their stupidity. In the old days, there were a few TV networks and the local newspaper which behaved as gatekeepers of information, but today in the age of YouTube and blogs anything goes. Oh, this blog is the rare exception, always interesting and informative!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Stuart! But you are right, unfortunately, the press is no longer what it should be – especially since basically anybody can become part of the “press” nowadays. As far as I know, a trial has started or is planned for the reporter(s) on Sky News. I’m not 100% sure if this information is correct, but I believe it is – it would be the normal thing to do indeed.

  5. You know if we could just hang a couple of them.. I am sure it would help cut back on the false journalism. Damn first amendment, it needs a clause. Make stuff up?? Hang them high.

  6. Wow Otto, I’m with C. hanging seems a bit extreme…lol…..but certainly these so called “journalists” need to be held accountable and punished for libel, their publications should be fined, so there is a hefty price to pay financially, as well as the individuals themselves be prosecuted criminally. It’s the only thing that will discourage these kind of attention seeking high profile stories.

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