Conspiracy theorists are claiming the Miami building that collapsed Thursday housed a giant stash of data on ‘government corruption’ collected by the late antivirus tycoon John McAfee.
Fact-checkers pouring scorn on the theory have not dampened the enthusiasm of internet sleuths, who have been sharing online an alleged tweet by McAfee from June 8 claiming that he had ’31 terabytes’ of files in a condo in the collapsed building.
DailyMail.com has been unable to verify whether the tweet is real or a fabrication.
Screenshots shared online appear to show the message from McAfee’s Twitter account, from June 8, 2021 at 10:03am on saying: ‘If anything ever happens to me, please know that the 31TB of files I have are located on hard drives in my condo near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach.’
There is no such tweet currently on his twitter feed. It may have been tweeted and later deleted, or could be complete fabrication.
A cryptic tweet allegedly posted by John McAfee earlier this month has been circulating on Twitter claiming he was storing secret files at a Miami condo
DailyMail.com has identified two versions of the same tweet (above) have been shared in different formats, but both could have been photoshopped by hoaxsters
The antivirus software tycoon was found dead on Wednesday allegedly from suicide by hanging, one day before the Champlain Towers building collapsed
The collapsed building, from which four are dead and 159 unaccounted-for, was at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida, matching the location described in the purported McAfee tweet.
DailyMail.com was unable to find records for a condo owned under McAfee’s name in the Champlain Towers collapsed building.
It is also unclear why McAfee would have publicly revealed the location of such allegedly sensitive data.
DailyMail.com has identified two versions of the same tweet have been shared in different formats, but both could have been photoshopped by hoaxsters.
The late virus software company founder and 2020 libertarian presidential candidate was already a firebrand and focus of conspiracy theories.
He had been languishing in a Spanish jail since his arrest on US tax evasion charges in October. Earlier this month a Spanish court authorized his extradition to the US.
Fact-checkers quickly poured scorn on the theory, however, one pointed to a tweet McAfee shared in 2019 in which he had claimed to have ’31+ terrabytes [sic]’ of government secrets’
A 12-story Miami apartment building on 8777 Collins Avenue collapsed on Thursday, killing four and leaving 159 unaccounted for. The cause of the disaster remains unknown
On Wednesday, the day before the Miami building collapse, the 75-year-old was found dead, allegedly from suicide by hanging.
His death sparked an explosion of conspiracy theorists and internet sleuths trying to link him to the widely ridiculed QAnon movement and to Hillary Clinton, a demonized target of many of the movement’s crackpot theories.
McAfee has previously tweeted about holding ’31+ terrabytes [sic]’ of government secrets.
While in Cuba on June 9, 2019, he tweeted: ‘I’ve collected files on corruption in governments. For the first time, I’m naming names and specifics. I’ll begin with a corrupt CIA agent and two Bahamian officials. Coming today. If I’m arrested or disappear, 31+ terrabytes of incriminating data will be released to the press.’
In a February 2019 interview with Adult Swim presenter Jena Friedman, McAfee claimed to have hacked the computer system of the government of Belize in 2012 and collected vast amounts of data.
At the time, he was wanted for questioning by the country’s law enforcement in their investigation of the murder of his neighbor, US expatriate Gregory Faull. He fled to the US in 2013.
The late virus software company founder was already a firebrand and focus of conspiracy theories. At the time of his death he had been languishing in a Spanish jail since his arrest on US tax evasion charges in October
Final Tweet: In one of his final tweets, presumably dictated to his wife from behind bars, McAfee said ‘I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing.’
‘When I went on the run in Belize I had friends in the US embassy in Belize,’ McAfee told Friedman in the interview.
‘I knew I was coming down, I’m not stupid. I had arranged with the head of security I was going to come in.
‘He says, ‘Sir, we have it from the highest authority we are not to allow you into the US embassy.’ Who was the highest authority in the state department? Hillary Clinton.
‘I’m an American Citizen with a f***ing American passport. I’m sorry, I’m not wanted in America. I’ve got no crimes in America.
‘For a month and a half I was on the run. The reason that the government wanted to collect me was that after they had raided my property in 2012 in the jungle, shot my dog, abused me, destroyed over a half million dollars of my property over a bogus charge, I was pissed off.
‘And so I donated to many secretaries within the government laptop computers, really nice ones, that were preloaded with viral spyware. Within a week the entire government computer system was under my control. I was watching, monitoring this thing.
‘I was looking for information that they set me up for this raid. I didn’t find it. I did find out that the minister of national defense was the largest drug trafficker in all of Central America and the minister of immigration the largest human trafficker.’
The widow of John McAfee, Janice, pictured, said Friday that her husband was not suicidal when she last spoke to him hours before he was found dead
In a 2012 interview with Wired magazine, McAfee claimed he refused to answer police questions because he was afraid they would kill him.
That year, the prime minister of Belize called McAfee ‘extremely paranoid, even bonkers’.
The 75-year-old’s widow Janice released a statement today claiming he was not suicidal, and blaming the US government for his death.
‘I blame the US authorities for this tragedy. Because of these politically motivated charges against him. My husband is now dead,’ she said in a statement.
‘His last words to me were: I love you and I will call you in the evening.
‘He would have never quit this way, he would never take his life in this way, ever.’