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No, Dean Koontz’s Thriller Novel ‘The Eyes Of Darkness’ Didn’t Predict The Coronavirus Outbreak

The latest addition to the list of the claims we have debunked is of a prophecy about the coronavirus outbreak in a novel namely ‘The Eyes of Darkness” that was written by American writer Dean Koontz in 1981 and in a book namely ‘End Of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World’ by Sylvia Browne & Lindsay Harrison in 2008. The claim states that the writer Dean Koontz successfully predicted the coronavirus outbreak back in 1981.

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Claim

The Eyes Of Darkness, a novel written by Dean Koontz, in 1981, predicted the coronavirus outbreak.

Verification

Netizens are making queer claims in the name of the novel coronavirus. We have debunked several viral hoaxes pertaining to the coronavirus but as soon as there is a major update, the frequency of viral claims rises. The latest addition to the list of the claims we have debunked is of a prophecy about the coronavirus outbreak in a novel namely ‘The Eyes of Darkness” that was written by American writer Dean Koontz in 1981 and in a book namely ‘End Of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World’ by Sylvia Browne & Lindsay Harrison in 2008. The claim states that the writer Dean Koontz successfully predicted the coronavirus outbreak back in 1981. In order to back the claim and to give it an authentic fabric, pictures of pages of the book are produced along with the claim. The dismay caused by the outbreak has led to several hashtags on social media as netizens want to express their thoughts on the issue. Some of the netizens are sharing information provided by reliable sources while many others are relying on WhatsApp forwards. India, ever since the outbreak emerged, has witnessed a plethora of misinformation shared by notable figures. 

The intensity of this claim can be viewed here (1), here (2) and here (3).

As we began fact-checking the viral claim, we first tried to collect more information about the book which allegedly predicted the coronavirus outbreak in 1981. As per the information available on the Wikipedia page of the aforementioned novel, “The thriller novel was written by American writer Dean Koontz in 1981. The book focuses on a mother who sets out on a quest to find out if her son truly did die one year ago, or if he is still alive.” Detailed information about the said Wikipedia page can be viewed below.

The Eyes of Darkness

The Eyes of Darkness is a thriller novel by American writer Dean Koontz, released in 1981. The book focuses on a mother who sets out on a quest to find out if her son truly did die one year ago, or if he is still alive.

We searched Google Books to see if the book is available on the platform. We could not get the whole book to read but using a feature of Google Books, we were able to see what’s inside the book. The version which we found first is the same as mentioned in the claim i.e written by Jean Koontz (Pseudonym: Leigh Nichols) in 1981.

While searching for more information on the said novel, we also learned that there are several other editions/versions of the novel published in different years by different publications. However, as you can see above, the search feature on Google Books allows you to perform a search query for the content of the book. First of all, we wanted to check if there is a mention of Wuhan 400 virus in the book. We searched the book using the keyword ‘400’ to see if there is a mention of any such virus. As a result of our search query, we learned that the keyword ‘400’ is mentioned thrice in the book but the prefixed word with the said keyword i.e ‘400’ was not the same as the claim. The said virus is named ‘Wuhan 400’ in the viral stills of the book while in the original book the virus is named ‘Gorki 400’.

Now, since we have learned that the said virus is not ‘Wuhan 400’ but ‘Gorki 400’, we tried to know more about it. We further searched the book with the keyword ‘Gorki’ but we couldn’t find more information apart from what we had found earlier already. We then searched the book using the keyword ‘Russian’, we found more mentions of Gorki-400 in the book written by Jean Koontz.

Similarly, we searched what’s inside the book with the keyword ‘Russian’ and we found more mentions of Gorki-400 in the book.

As it is evident from our fact-check above that the word ‘Wuhan-400’ was not mentioned in the original book, we tried to know when it was inserted or replaced. We also tried to know the nature of the contents in the book in order to know if it is fiction.

We tried searching for why it is being claimed that ‘Wuhan-400’ is mentioned in the article. We found that ‘Gorki-400’ was replaced with ‘Wuhan-400’ in other versions of the book, for instance, 1989 Edition of the same book. For instance, a soft copy of another version of the same book can be viewed below. After reading the book and from various excerpts presented above, we got to know that the description of the novel coronavirus and the one mentioned in the novel (Wuhan-400) are not the same.

The Eyes of Darkness – PDF Free Download

A year had passed since little Danny’s death-a year since his mother began the painful process of ac-ceptance. But tonight, Tina Evans swore she saw her Danny in a stranger’s car. Then she dreamed that Danny was alive. And when she awoke, she found a message waiting for her in Danny’s bedroom-two disturbing words scrawled on his chalkboard: NOT DEAD.

Notably, it is duly mentioned in the book that it is a work of fiction.

We also checked Dean Koontz’s Twitter handle for more information or clarification on the issue but we didn’t find anything relevant there.

We also checked media reports on the issue and we found a report published by South China Morning Post that lists the causes behind the replacement of the virus from ‘Gorki-400’ to ‘Wuhan-400’. An excerpt from the SCMP report reads, “Dean Koontz’s The Eyes of Darkness originally contained details of a man-made virus called Gorki-400 from the Russian city of Gorki. The change to Wuhan came when the book was released in hardback under Koontz’s own name in 1989 – at the end of the Cold War.”

China wasn’t original villain in book ‘predicting’ coronavirus outbreak

Much has been made of Dean Koontz’s 1981 book The Eyes of Darkness which appeared to have predicted the recent coronavirus outbreak – but in the original version the villain was Russia, not China.

Now, we tried finding more details on the other stills in the claim. During our investigation, we found that only one screengrab belongs to the said novel i.e ‘The Eyes of Darkness’. The other two screengrabs are the same, an excerpt from the other screengrab reads, “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and bronchial tubes resisting all known treatments.” The excerpt also mentioned that the illness will vanish soon after its arrival. “Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrives, attack again ten years later and then disappear completely.”

When we searched Google using different keywords from the aforementioned excerpt, we found that the other screengrab doesn’t belong to the novel ‘The Eyes of Darkness’ written by Dean Koontz. We also learned that the viral page belongs to a book named “End Of Days: Predictions and prophecies about the end of the world Paperback” written by Sylvia Browne & Lindsay Harrison in 2008.

End of Days

Humans have long been concerned with the ultimate clash of civilizations, but never more so than now. Religious wars, global terrorism, and genocide have all helped to usher in the Anxiety Age. Who better to lead the way out than popular psychic Sylvia Browne?

As we tried to fact-check the fourth screengrab in the claim, we found that the screengrab of Wikipedia page details of the book ‘The Eyes of Darkness’ is true. The same can be viewed below.

The Eyes of Darkness

The Eyes of Darkness is a thriller novel by American writer Dean Koontz, released in 1981. The book focuses on a mother who sets out on a quest to find out if her son truly did die one year ago, or if he is still alive.

Hence it is evident from our fact-check that the claim is ‘Partially True’ as one of the screengrabs indeed belongs to the fiction novel ‘The Eyes of Darkness’ by Dean Koontz but the other screengrabs belong to the book named ‘End of Days’ by Sylvia Browne & Lindsay Harrison.

Sources

Google Search

Google Books

Result: Partially False

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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Coronavirus

False Claim About People in China Not Taking Any Medicine Or Vaccine For Coronavirus Goes Viral

Contrary to the claim which says that people in China have stopped going to the hospital for cure, news report from China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency says otherwise.

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People in China are not killing coronavirus with heat or recovering in five days.

Claim 

A social media post claims that the Chinese aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for coronavirus. They’re instead killing the virus with heat and recovering in five days. 

We received the above image on our Whatsapp verification number. The claim which is an image of a social media post allegedly posted by Tahir Mahmood Chaudry starts with a disclaimer that the message is a translation from an Indian living in Wuhan. 

Using keywords we found multiple social media posts with the same claim being circulated since April, 2020. See of few examples below:

Fact Check

The claim in context was allegedly posted by Tahir Mahmood Chaudry, Executive director at Ovex Technologies. Chaudry’s social media profiles confirm his designation, but whether he posted this claim or not remains unknown. We’ve reached out to him for verification and will update the copy if we receive a response. 

Moving on to the first part of the claim which says, 

“Chinese are not taking any medicine or any vaccine for Corona virus. Every household has a Corona virus case. They have stopped going to hospital for cure. They instead kill the virus with heat.” 

We found no credible news report or information from any official source which supports the claim that every household in China has a COVID-19 case and that they aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for it. 

Contrary to the claim which says that people in China have stopped going to the hospital for cure,  a 30 June news report from China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency states, “By Monday, the Chinese mainland had reported a total of 1,918 imported cases. Of the cases, 1,830 had been discharged after recovery, and 88 remained hospitalized. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.” 

The second part of the claim states, 

“Very Hot Steam Inhalation from kettle 4 times a day

Hot Gargles 4 times a day

Hot tea 4 times a day

Virus dies in 4 days.

5th Day you are Corona Negative.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that our normal body temperature remains around 36.5 degree Celsius to 37 degree Celsius irrespective of temperature of the bath or shower. In fact baths from extremely hot water can burn us. 

The WHO also also clarified that while some traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate mild COVID-19 symptoms, there is no known vaccine or medicine to prevent or cure the disease so far. 

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in its immunity boosting guidelines recommends general measures such as drinking warm water, herbal tea, and steam inhalation among other things. But it also clearly states that this advisory is in no way a treatment for COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) in its COVID-19 guidelines also states that there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus. 

You can read our other fact checks related to the novel coronavirus here.

Conclusion 

The social media post claiming that the Chinese aren’t taking any medicine or vaccine for coronavirus and other included details are false. 

Tools Used

  • Google advanced search 
  • Twitter advanced search

Result: False 

If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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Coronavirus

No, He Is Not Bharat Biotech’s VP Taking The First Dose of COVID Vaccine ‘Covaxin’

Social media users circulated a false image claiming that the vice president of Bharat Biotech has undergone the first clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine.

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No, He Is Not Bharat Biotech’s VP Taking The First Dose of COVID Vaccine ‘Covaxin’

Several social users posted a picture of a woman thrusting a syringe in man’s vein and claimed that the man in the picture is Bharat Biotech’s Vice President, Dr. VK Srinivas, and the first dose of the vaccine was administered on him.

According to a report in Live Mint, Bharat Biotech, an unlisted Indian vaccine maker, has received regulatory approval to start human clinical trials for its experimental shot. The phase 1 trial of Covaxine will begin next week. The company has planned to enroll 375 people in the first phase of clinical trials.

We found that the same image is viral on Twitter and Facebook with a caption, “Dr. V. K.Srinivas, Vice President, Bharat biotech, taking Corona vaccine clinical trial immediately after taking the first dose. He is the first person in India to take vaccine developed by him and his team in Bharat Biotech. Look at the confidence.”

Fact Check

As we began fact-checking the claim, we looked for some media reports backing the claim, but we did not find any authentic information to corroborate.

However, during our research, we came across the statement tweeted by Bharat Biotech. In a statement posted on their Twitter handle, Bharat Biotech said that individual images and messages circulated on social media platforms had not disseminated by Bharat biotech. The image is a routine procedural blood draw for testing all production staff.

We now searched, if Dr.VK Srinivas is the Vice President of the Bharat biotech. During our research, we did not find any results for his name. We found that Dr. V Krishna Mohan is the Executive Director, and T Srinivas is the Chief Financial Officer of the management team of the pharmaceutical.

Conclusion

It is evident from our fact check that social media users circulated a false image claiming that the vice president of Bharat Biotech has undergone the first clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine.

Tools Used

  • Google Search
  • Media Reports
  • Twitter Search

Result: False


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form

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Aamir Khan’s Ghulam Co-Star Javed Hyder is not selling vegetables to survive, Misleading Claim goes Viral

The media reports claiming that Javed Hyder is selling vegetables to survive during ongoing Corona virus pandemic is false.

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Aamir Khan’s Ghulam Co Star Javed Hyder is not selling vegetables to survive, Misleading Claim goes Viral- Newschecker.in

Several media outlets shared a TikTok video of Aamir Khan’s Ghulam co-star Javed Hyder selling vegetables and claimed that he is doing so to survive during ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Here are some screenshots of the media outlets who reported the same.





Big Boss fame, Dolly Bindra also shared Javed Hyder’s video and tweeted, ‘He is an actor, and today he is selling vegetables…Javed Hyder’. In the viral TikTok video, Javed Hyder is selling vegetables while dancing. He is lip-syncing the famous song ‘Duniya Mein Rehna Hai Toh Kaam Kar Pyaare.’ You can see the video here.

We found that the same claim is viral on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.

The quint also published an article claiming the same. However; they updated their report later on with a disclaimer.

Fact Check

With the help of relevant keywords search on Google, we found several articles clearing the air on the viral claim. In his conversation with Mirror Online, Javed Hyder clarified that he is not a vegetable seller, and the video was just for TikTok.

No, I am not a vegetable vendor. I am an actor by profession even now. The entire selling vegetable video was just an act and I shot that TikTok video only to motivate my followers

Javed Hyder To Mirror Online.

Later, Hindustan times and News 18 India also published an article stating the same.

Conclusion

It is evident from our fact check that media reports claiming that Javed Hyder is selling vegetables to survive during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are false. Javed Hyder clarified that he is not selling vegetables for a living, whereas the viral video is just a musical one that he made to keep himself busy during the lockdown.

Sources

  • Google Search
  • Twitter Search

Result: False


(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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