A video spreading across social media entitled “Avoiding the Future Plague”, purportedly created on February 29th, 1956, appears to make a number of impressive predictions while showing archival footage from the first half of the 20th century. Most impressively, however, is that the video predicts a new virus in 2020.
In the video, the narrator predicts the rise of the Internet, social media, celebrity “snake oil” endorsements, the rising popularity of international travel and smartphones. The video also seems to predict a “new virus” that spreads from Asia in 2020. A transcript of this part of the video is below.
Perhaps worst of all will be the emergence of a deadly and potentially devastating disease.
Think of the last time you contacted influenza. You were likely bedridden for days, having no appetite or desire to play games.
Experts predict that by the year 2020, a new virus will rise, spreading from somewhere in Asia to the rest of the world.
And with international travel being available to even the most common citizen, a sickness will normally have been contained in years past will quickly spread to all corners of the globe.
The full video can be seen below (though truncated versions of it appear elsewhere online.)
However, the video is misleading, since the audio throughout the video that makes the many seemingly impressive predictions was created during the pandemic, in 2020.
In fact the video was first uploaded online towards the beginning of the pandemic, on February 29th 2020 by YouTube user RamsesThePigeon. While the archival video footage used in the video is real, RamsesThePigeon has added on his own narration. As such, the video is real, but the impressive predictions in the audio are fake, and were created in 2020.
The video was uploaded with the following description.
It’s hilarious to look back on what people from the 1950s thought the future would be like! Archival and public domain footage was acquired from Archive.org. Also, yes, I only threw this together because I wanted to have a video upload on February 29th.
Truncated versions of the video have been circulated online, that omit much of the video’s content, including the “prediction” that misinformation across the Internet will make the virus outbreak even more deadly, and the spoof ending where the narrator promises to provide the answer to avoid the virus outbreak, only for the video to abruptly end with a “footage missing” label.
RamsesThePigeon has appeared talking on many videos in YouTube, and you can see that it is he that narrates the video, and not someone from the 1950s. An example video is below.
As such, we rank the claim that this “Future of the Plague” video makes a number of predictions about COVID-19 as false.