Fact Check: Is this Really an Abandoned Jet in an Indonesian Forest? Find out the Truth!

Altered International

Sometimes photo editing experts try to enhance original photographs in an artistic manner to highlight an idea. People share these digitally enhanced photos without giving a lot details. This causes people to assume that these images are real.  Here is one such fact check on an artistically enhanced image of the surface of the sun which had gone viral.

On a similar note, a photograph showing the aerial view of an abandoned airplane, in the middle of a thick forest is being shared widely on social media platforms.

Our Factcrescendo team did a fact check on the claims about this photo on social media and found out that most of them were misleading. Let’s check out more details about how this photo is getting shared on social media and what is the reality of this photo.

Social Media Claims:

A Facebook User called Thiraj Hasendra shared an image on 21st March 2021 with the caption “Abandoned Jet in an Indonesian Forest by @drone__up [1080 x 1350]”. Thus the user claimed that the photo (shown below) was taken by a high resolution camera installed on a drone flying over an Indonesian forest.

Facebook Link | Archived Link

Many Facebook users and pages had shared the same image with similar narrative as shown below. 

Screenshot: Facebook search shows the photo getting widely shared.

Fact Check 

First, we closely analyzed the viral photograph and noticed the plane’s registration number on one of its wings. Upon magnification we could identify the number to be, PK-RII, as seen below.

According to AirFleets.co m reports this particular plane is an approximately 35-year-old Boeing 737-200, last used by Mandela Airlines, which ceased its operations in 2011. It has been parked on the Indonesian island of Bali and is a tourist attraction.

Google Maps location of the site is as seen below

Google Maps | Archived Link

Google Earth historical data view of the site did not reveal any thick forest cover in the concerned area over the last 10 years either.

Using google reverse image tool we found this viral image to be a creation of visual artist Demas Rusli, who shared it on his website along with the below narration on what had inspired him to make the creation. 

demasrusli.com | Archived Link  Instagram

Therefore, it’s clear that an image from an abandoned airplane in Bali taken in 2017 had been mixed with drone capture of forest cover at Waahila State Park in Honolulu, Hawaii taken in 2018 to create this unique artwork.

In an interview Demas Rusli explains about this viral image by terming it to be the “most fun edit” and explained how he went about creating this amazing artwork. Video of the interview is given below (see from 22nd minute onwards)

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Conclusion:

From our investigation, we can confirm that the viral image of an airplane lying in a thick forest cover is a digitally manipulated photo. Photographer / Designer, Demas Rusli had mixed an image from an abandoned airplane in Bali with a drone capture of forest cover at Waahila State Park in Honolulu, Hawaii to create this unique artwork.

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Title:Fact Check: Is this Really an Abandoned Jet in an Indonesian Forest?

Fact Check By: Nelson Mani 

Result: Altered

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