In recent weeks, the devastating forest fires that struck Maui, Hawaii, on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, have captured the world’s attention. The fires have claimed a tragic toll of at least 114 lives as of Friday, August 18, 2023, making it the deadliest wildfire event in the United States in over a century. Amid the heartache and destruction, a swirl of narratives has emerged on social media, notably concerning the alleged use of directed energy weapons (DEW) as the cause of the fires. While these claims have garnered attention, it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction.
One Facebook account, “Firmas Muttaqin,” propagated the theory that these fires were ignited by human-made directed energy weapons, accompanied by screenshots of tweets and a video showing the damaged houses. The post proclaimed, “Human-made fire in Maui, Hawaii. We all know what this is. It’s clear that we’re not witnessing a natural disaster but a man-made catastrophe. What you’re seeing is a directed energy weapon in action. #DEW,” on Sunday, August 13, 2023. While the initial Facebook post may not have stirred much response, a tweet (referred to as “tweet X”) that echoed this narrative gained significant traction. From Saturday, August 12, 2023, to Wednesday, August 23, 2023, the tweet was viewed over 78,700 times, receiving 559 likes and 292 reposts.
But the crucial question remains: Was the Hawaii wildfire truly caused by directed energy weapons, or DEW? To address this claim, a team of researchers from Tirto began to unravel the underlying truths through meticulous investigation and fact-checking.
An early step involved using search engines to ascertain the root cause of the massive fires in Hawaii. According to a report by the BBC published on Friday, August 11, 2023, the exact cause of the fires was still under investigation. The report highlighted the role of hurricane-force winds and the ongoing drought in Hawaii, both of which contributed to the wildfires. As stated by the US Drought Monitor, around 14% of the state’s territory was experiencing severe or moderate drought, while 80% of Hawaii was facing abnormally dry conditions. The dry weather had dried out vegetation, making it more susceptible to ignition and rapid spread, as reported by the BBC.
Prior to the outbreak of the fires, Maui had been under a red flag warning, indicating high fire potential due to low humidity and strong winds. Additionally, the effects of Hurricane Dora, which brushed past Hawaii’s coast, played a significant role in exacerbating the fires.
Turning to the claim of directed energy weapons’ involvement, Tirto conducted a Google search using keywords such as “Hawaii wildfire directed energy weapon.” The search yielded results that did not substantiate this claim. Similar claims had already been debunked by fact-checkers from USA Today on Wednesday, August 16, 2023. Jeff Hickman, spokesperson for the Hawaii State Department of Defense, confirmed in an email to USA Today that while the cause of the fires was still under investigation, the assertion that directed energy weapons were involved was untrue. John Winn, spokesperson for the US Forest Service, also refuted the claim, emphasizing that the disaster should not be belittled with baseless rumors and conspiracy theories.
For clarity, directed energy weapons (DEW) are long-range weapons that focus energy, such as lasers, radio frequency devices, and high-powered microwave devices. According to the US Government Accountability Office, DEWs use concentrated electromagnetic energy to shoot projectiles at the speed of light, capable of destroying enemy targets. While governments, including the US, have explored their military applications, there is no substantiated evidence connecting DEWs to the Hawaii wildfires.
In conclusion, as the investigation into the Hawaii wildfires continues, it’s important to rely on verified facts and credible sources. The claims circulating online regarding directed energy weapons’ involvement in the fires have been debunked by reputable fact-checkers and official spokespersons. The fires’ origins are tied to a combination of natural factors, including drought, strong winds, and the aftermath of Hurricane Dora. Spreading misinformation can lead to confusion and hinder understanding, which is especially crucial in the wake of such devastating events.