Incredible revelations about Bob Marley are circulating on the internet.
According to the story, a retired CIA officer with weeks to live has confessed to assassinating the singer.
But it’s fake news.
The report was first posted online by YourNewsWire.com.
It’s one of the most notorious Fake News websites. For instance, it spread rumours that Hillary Clinton was linked to a paedophile ring.
Another time, it claimed US authorities were plotting to assassinate Donald Trump.
The site is registered by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, a former BBC producer who went on to work for the conspiracy theory website of David Icke, who believes the world is controlled by predatory lizards who demand human sacrifice.
The Bob Marley article is written by Baxter Dmitry, whose other articles include fake claims that the FBI carefully deleted evidence from the Las Vegas shooting, the Pope believes Jesus has turned into Satan, and that Britney Spears had admitted to escaping from the Illuminati.
So – straight away – we know this is not a reliable source. But how can we completely debunk the Bob Marley story?
1. The man in the photo is not a CIA agent
It’s actually just an edited stock image. It comes from a photo-shoot by a photographer in Poland. Not America.
2. Cannot corroborate he was a CIA agent
Even if we ignore the picture, who is the CIA agent? The article says he’s called Bill Oxley. But the internet shows up no previous records of any CIA agents by that name. If you Google him, the only thing that comes up is this article, and other websites which have copied it.
This doesn’t disprove the story in itself (after all, you’d expect the CIA to be secretive). But it is yet another aspect of the story which cannot be verified or substantiated. We are asked to simply believe the writer.
3. The hospital has never heard of him
The article says Bill Oxley is a patient at Mercy Hospital in Maine, America.
But he’s not.
FactCheck phoned the hospital, but we were told there was no one there by that name. Nor were they aware of anyone called Oxley who had been a patient there in recent weeks.
4. There are no sources
The writer doesn’t say where he’s getting his information from. Was he at Bill Oxley’s bedside himself? Or did he hear the story from someone else? If so, who? He doesn’t say.
5. The science doesn’t make sense
The story claims Bob Marley was poisoned with “viruses and bacteria” which gave him cancer. But if you wanted to assassinate someone, this would be a really bad way of doing it.
Certain virus and bacteria have been shown to increase your chances of developing types of cancer in the long term, but the research was in its infancy at the time of Marley’s death and is not fully understood even now.
What’s more, the report’s own claims suggest it took several years to kill him – whereas other substances like ricin or cyanide would have been quick and easy. Radiation poisoning could also be effective. But trying to give him cancer would be far more difficult and far less effective.
Even if the CIA had wanted to use cancer, Bob Marley had a very specific and rare type of skin cancer, making the claims even more unlikely. Killing him with a different type of cancer, like Mesothelioma, would have been easier by just exposing him to asbestos.
Conspiracy theories about Bob Marley’s death have circulated for years. After all, unidentified gunman did try and kill him in 1976.
Stories and myths about his death have been popular ever since.
Marley was known to distrust the CIA and wrote songs criticising the American spy agency.
And it’s true that the CIA had interests in Jamaica. Indeed, declassified files from 1970 reveal discussions about whether the US should intervene in the island’s elections.
The US has also been known to secretly poison people with dangerous substances.
There are many examples of this littered through Cold War history. In the 1940s and ’50s, for instance, radiation experiments were conducted on American schoolchildren.
Around 7,000 soldiers were used as human guinea pigs for testing chemical warfare agents which continued for years. And a notorious CIA project called MKULTRA saw secret agents drugging unwitting members of the public with LSD.
So, we’re not saying there are no legitimate questions about the CIA’s activity. Nor can we independently prove how Bob Marley died.
But there is no evidence that any of the claims in this article are correct, as they appear to be based on nothing. It’s fake news.
We have asked YourNewsWire.com to explain their story and will update this article if they respond.