Photos Purport To Show Damage To U.S. Aircraft Carrier After Houthi Missile Strike

For more than a week, photos have circulated on social media purporting to show the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in port for repairs to damage taken in the Red Sea after being struck by missiles fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen. At least one video also alleged to show the carrier on fire after taking a direct hit.

Although some of the posts were meant as humor, it can be at times difficult to tell on social media.

According to the U.S. Navy, the carrier is fine. Though she indeed remains deployed in the Red Sea to protect commercial shipping from drones and missiles launched by the Iran-backed group that controls large swaths of Yemen, there have been no confirmed reports that the vessel has received any damage.

However, it was on Thursday that the latest video making the claims was posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

It followed another post from user @iAmTheWarax that alleged the carrier was forced to return to Crete for repairs.

“CONFIRMED: uss eisenhower (pictured docked for repairs in souda bay) hit and severely damaged by multiple houthi ballistic missiles. judging by extensive tent city developing on the flight deck, we assess it is unlikely eisenhower will return to service in the foreseeable future.”

@DrMansourMansou also shared a 30-second-long video clip earlier this week, in which smoke can be seen rising over the flight deck after a missile or drone struck the vessel.

All of these posts—and others—have been debunked.

The most recent footage was confirmed to have been taken more than a year ago while USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was docked at Pier 12 at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia in April 2023, while the image claimed that CVN-69 was in Crete wasn’t even a U.S. Navy vessel. Rather, it was actually the Russian Navy flagship Admiral Kuznetsov, which has been undergoing a refit at the 35th Ship Repair Plant in Murmansk since 2018.

The video of the carrier on fire is believed to have been taken from a video game. Users on social media have noted that the shape of the island on the flight deck is different from the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class carrier.

UPDATED: The post from @iAmTheWarax was clearly meant as satire, but the point remains that as satire, these posts were made following claims by the Houthis that the carrier had come under attack.