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HomeFact CheckOpening Ceremony For Swiss Rail Tunnel In 2016 Falsely Shared As CERN...

Opening Ceremony For Swiss Rail Tunnel In 2016 Falsely Shared As CERN Event

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Video shows “demonic” opening ceremony of the European Organization For Nuclear Research (CERN).

Fact
Video dates back to June 1, 2016, shows the opening ceremony that marked the completion of the world’s largest rail tunnel in Switzerland.

Several social media users are sharing a video, claiming that it shows the opening ceremony of the European Organization For Nuclear Research (CERN), where the participants are performing what appears to be a ritualistic dance. The users say the “demonic ceremony” is evidence of CERN being a satanic organisation and that a scheduled experiment is “set to open portals to hell”.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

CERN, which is located near Geneva, Switzerland, came into the media spotlight in 2012 after the discovery of the ‘God particle’ by researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) — the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. The organisation is currently in the news for a reported experiment to smash protons together on April 8, during a full solar eclipse, to search for invisible particles secretly powering our universe.

Fact Check

Newschecker ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this Youtube video, dated March 14, 2018, headlined, “Abstract performance to celebrate Switzerland’s rail opening”. The viral excerpt can be seen from the 01:25 mark.

“The Swiss have put on one of the most bizarre opening ceremonies in history to mark the completion of the world’s longest tunnel at a fairground in Erstfeld, in the north of the country. Famed for their trains, organisers roped in more than 600 dancers, acrobats and dramatic actors and even composed the new route’s very own theme tune as they pulled out all the stops for Wednesday’s inauguration…,” read the description of the video, directing us to the original article, dated June 1, 2016. According to the article, the ceremony was for the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel at 57km, the £8.5bn Gotthard Base Tunnel.

A relevant keyword search led us to multiple news reports from June 1, 2016, including the Guardian, NBC and the BBC, on the “bizarre” opening ceremony for the Gotthard base tunnel, built over 17 years, that left viewers baffled at what the performance represented. The spectacle reportedly represents the mythical significance of the Gotthard mountain mass to the Swiss and different aspects of Swiss culture.

“The guest list was impressive – Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were among the dignitaries present. They were treated to a show both weird and wonderful. Hundreds of artistes participated in the extravagant gala, some dressed in orange worker uniforms, others semi-clad, still others carrying what we hope were replicas of animal carcasses. An angel with giant wings was suspended from the ceiling, aerial artists performed hanging off chains…,” read an NDTV report, dated June 2, 2016, which further confirms that the ceremony was not related to CERN.

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Conclusion

Viral video shows 2016 ceremony to mark completion of world’s largest rail tunnel in Switzerland, not related to CERN.

Result: False

Source
Youtube video, Daily Mail, March 14, 2018
BBC report, June 1, 2016
NDTV report, June 1, 2016


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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