Digitally Created Video Shared as Afghans Clinging to Aircraft to Escape Taliban

The video was created by Vietnamese graphic designer Huy Xuân Mai, who uploaded the video in August 2020.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The video was made by a Vietnamese graphic designer in August 2020.</p></div>

A video of a man lying on an airplane turbine mid-air is going viral on social media with a claim that it shows 'citizens of Afghanistan riding on the wings of an airplane to escape Taliban'.

However, we found that the video was digitally created by a Vietnamese graphic designer 'Huy Xuân Mai', who started posting similar videos at the onset of the pandemic in 2020. This video isn't related to the Afghanistan crisis.

This claim comes in the background of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and the heart-wrenching visuals which showed people jostling to get onto airplanes to get out of the country. One of the massively viral visuals even showed people falling to their death after they clung on to an aircraft as it took off.



The video is going viral across social media platforms with a claim that reads, "Citizens of Afghanistan scared of TB occupation hugging deaths and riding on the wings of the Airplane.(sic)"

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archived version of this post can be seen <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>

An archived version of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

At the time of writing this article, the video published by 'Gulistan Live Feed' was viewed over 77,000 times.

More posts with the same claim across Facebook and Twitter can be seen here, here and here.


We divided the video into multiple keyframes using Google Chrome extension InVID and then followed it up with a reverse image search which led us to an Instagram post dated 19 August, 2020 with the same video.

At the end of the clip, a TikTok screen with the username 'Huy Xuân Mai' was visible.

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>The results led us to an Instagram post from August 2020.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>The video ended with a TikTok username on the screen.</p></div>

Using the username as a clue, we conducted another reverse image search search on Google and came across a report by a Filipino lifestyle website Spot.

The article carried a Facebook video of the viral clip and also identified 'Huy Xuân Mai' as a graphic designer. This led us to the designer's verified Facebook page where the video was uploaded on 17 August, 2020.

We also found an article by Vietnamese website Zing News, who had spoken to Mai about his editing skills. Mai told Zing that he was initially a self-taught designer and started learning to use Photoshop in his twenties.


He added that he used to edit himself into movie scenes to entertain himself and after seeing how netizens responded, he hoped to bring laughter to people on the internet.

Huy Xuân Mai's Facebook page has other videos of him on the wing of an airborne plane where he can be seen cooking and resting.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Huy Xuân Mai's Facebook page has other videos of him on the wing of an airborne plane where he can be seen cooking and resting.</p></div>

Huy Xuân Mai's Facebook page has other videos of him on the wing of an airborne plane where he can be seen cooking and resting.

(Source: Facebook)

Evidently, this is a digitally created video and is not from Afghanistan.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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