Hero Or Hoax: The Ruben Mejia Story

A radio station call-in from a father turns into a fabricated story being sent through the newswires and republished by outlets around the world.


  1. On May 2, 2011, stories began circulating that a Navy SEAL by the name of Rubén Mejía had participated in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The bullets include that he was the son of Mexican immigrants from Guanajuato, MX who now live in Perris, CA.

  2. The story first appeared through Mexico's El Universal's website through a newswire from Notimex. 

  3. It was run on May 3 by La Opinion's news site.
  4. The story's origins have since been retraced to an interview that took place between a caller and a radio host on Los Angeles' La Raza, 97.9 radio station. However, no archive of the interview can be located.

  5. Apparently, the interview began when Martin Mejia, the father of Ruben Mejia, called to make a dedication to his son.

    Immediately, websites began circulating the story and people began tweeting updates, spreading the news.

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  10. Most news organizations in the United States had reports confirming that the identities of these operatives would likely never be released. Could there actually have been a leak that has gone unnoticed by mainstream media?
  11. But some raised skepticism because no other outlets were releasing the names of the operatives that participated in the mission.