Truth shafted in 'secret' Sydney tunnel videos

What was Claimed

Videos show a network of tunnels and bunkers under various NSW locations.

Our Verdict

False. The videos show abandoned sites from overseas and computer-generated images.

Videos circulating on social media claim to show a hidden subterranean world under Sydney and nearby areas, including tunnels, bunkers and rooms used for child trafficking.

This is false. The videos do not show any Australian locations. Some videos are computer-generated and some originate from Hollywood movies.

One video shared on Facebook, with more than two million views on TikTok, claims to reveal a "child auction house found under Sydney".

However, a reverse image search found the site is actually a disused theatre in France.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
The posts are spreading strange misinformation.

A reverse image search of a key frame in the video revealed a coat of arms above the theatre's stage featuring the fleur-de-lis, a common French heraldic image in the shape of a lily.

Using a mock-up of the obscured coat of arms from the theatre, AAP FactCheck was able to identify the emblem as the flag of the city of Chaumont.

Once the French city was identified, an image search for "l’ancien théâtre Chaumont" or "old theatre Chaumont" produced photos of the theatre shown in the TikTok video that linked to an article from a local Chaumont news site.

The article states it is Chaumont's old municipal theatre, which is currently being restored. The theatre's exact location can be seen here.

Other videos posted by the same TikTok user and shared on Facebook claim to show an incredible network of subterranean passages and bunkers under several parts of Sydney and surrounding regions.

An abandoned platform a Sydney railway station (file image)
Sydney has abandoned rail tunnels, but none feature in the videos.

One video claims to show enormous secret statues under the Kiama Blowhole, south of Sydney.

However, most of the statues are computer-generated while others can be traced to an underwater museum of submerged archaeology near Naples, Italy.

Another video supposedly showing an underground city beneath suburban Sylvania uses both footage from a cave in the US state of Tennessee and a piece of "fantasy underwater art" posted to an online art repository.

A particular favourite site for the TikTok user is Tuggerah Westfield, with at least 21 videos bizarrely claiming to show a system of bunkers and hidden structures beneath the Central Coast shopping centre.

Two videos, shared on Facebook here and here, purport to show a jet engine testing facility and a military robot factory underneath the retail centre.

The first video uses footage of a disused jet testing facility in England, while the second includes imagery from the 2009 blockbuster film Terminator: Salvation.

The Verdict

The claim that videos show a network of tunnels and bunkers under various NSW locations is false.

The videos use a combination of real footage of abandoned facilities in other nations and images from online art stores and dystopian movies.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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