President Biden suggests uncle was eaten by cannibals in bizarre anecdote

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - President Joe Biden disturbed his audience with a bizarre family story during a campaign event, but the scary anecdote is actually not plausible.

President Biden implied that his late uncle was eaten by cannibals in New Guinea in a bizarre anecdote told at a campaign event in Pittsburgh.
President Biden implied that his late uncle was eaten by cannibals in New Guinea in a bizarre anecdote told at a campaign event in Pittsburgh.  © IMAGO / Kyodo News

Was Biden's uncle eaten by cannibals?

Well, at least that's what the 81-year-old politician implied this week during a speech at a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania, causing confusion all around.

After visiting a war memorial in his hometown of Scranton, Biden spoke about his late uncle Ambrose J. Finnegan, who was on board an Army Air Forces plane that made an emergency landing in the Pacific off the north coast of New Guinea in 1944.

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"He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time. They never recovered his body," the president said about the story of his uncle's death, which quickly gave rise to doubts.

Per a CNN report, there were indeed cases of cannibalism on the Pacific island in the 1940s, but in the case of Ambrose Finnegan, there was no evidence of this. According to their findings, official US Army documents merely state that the plane with Biden's uncle on board had to make an emergency landing and crashed into the sea.

However, there is no mention of the plane being shot down – nor of any alleged cannibals.

White House clarifies Joe Biden's cannibalism story

The White House has now conceded that the late brother of Biden's mother was not eaten by cannibals.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the New York Post that Finnegan probably died in the plane crash. She added that the president merely wanted to use the story to show how proud he was of his uncle and to express his support for veterans of the US military.

Biden apparently wanted to distance himself from his presumed opponent in the battle for the presidency, Donald Trump, who is said to have insulted fallen US soldiers as "suckers and losers" during his time in office.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Kyodo News

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