Facebook is notoriously insecure, taking payments from attackers with little to no concern for the safety of its users. But that’s not exactly the issue when a finance guy in Sydney, Australia gives a shout-out to a Facebook user for what he calls an “amazing shot” in history:
As anyone hopefully can see, this is a fake image. Here are some immediate clues:
- Clarity. What photographic device in this timeframe would have such an aperture let alone resolution?
- Realism. The rocket exhaust, markings, ground detail…all too “clean” to be real. That exhaust in particular is an eyesore
- Positioning. Spitfire velocity and turbulence relative to V1 is questionable, so this overlapped steady formation is unlikely
- Vantage point. Given positioning issue, photographer close position aft of Spitfire even less likely
That’s a short list to make a solid point this is a fabrication anyone should be able to discount at first glance. In short, when I see someone say they found an amazing story or image on Facebook there’s a very high chance it’s toxic content meant to deceive and harm, much in the same way tabloid stands in grocery stores used to operate. Entertainment and attacks should be treated as such, not as realism or useful reporting.
Now let’s dig a little deeper.
In 2013 an “IAF Veteran” posted a shot of a Spitfire tipping a V1, which passes many of the obvious tests above although it inserts some other nonsense about dangers of firing bullets:
Then just a few weeks ago a “Military aviation art” account posted a computer rendered image with the comment “Part of a new work depicting the first tipping of a V-1 flying bomb with a wing tip. Who achieved this?”
The artist answers their own question in the next tweet, sadly omitting any link to original source or reference or even the type of (attempted) realism found in a “IAF veteran” tweet. They simply say it really happened and post a photo of the pilot who achieved it. This is tragic because the story is not only worth telling, it puts the artist work in context (arguably lowering its value, which could be why it was omitted).
Fortunately “V1 Flying Bomb Aces by Andrew Thomas” is also online and tells us through first-person accounts of a squadron diary what really happened. While normally a V1 would be shot down, in this case after a Spitfire pilot found himself firing until out of ammo he became frustrated and instead managed to tip a wing of the V1: