people with feet in flood water with caption 'Burningman 2023' (l) woman greenscreen TikTok with caption 'Burningman 2023 What's really happening at Burning Man?!?!' (c) Burningman attendees outside during odd weather (r)

@paykells/TikTok @shoddylynn/TikTok @MikeSington/X Remix by Caterina Cox

‘There’s a virus on the loose’: A freak rainstorm at Burning Man led to claims the festival had been hit by an Ebola outbreak

Burning Man was beset by conspiracies.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Sep 5, 2023   Updated on Sep 5, 2023, 11:32 am CDT

A long line of vehicles lined up on Monday, waiting up to eight hours to exit the Burning Man festival after heavy rains and mud prompted a lockdown that left thousands of attendees stranded at the desert venue.

But some are chalking up the saga to more than just bad weather.

Among those is firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) who theorized in an Infowars interview that the attendees are “probably being brainwashed that climate change is the cause of all of it, the root of all evil, and it’s going to destroy the earth.”

“After this is over at Burning Man and these 75,000 people disperse and they go back home, they’re going to have these stories to tell on how terrible it is and how we have to do everything possible to stop climate change,” Greene added.

She continued to say that attendees will say climate change is caused by humans and “the amount of carbon that we put out” through manufacturing, gas and diesel engines, and agriculture. Some may even blame overpopulation, she said, that “we have too many humans putting out too much carbon.”

“You’re going to start hearing all this stuff and this is going to build,” Greene continued. “And I believe this the left’s new lie they’re going to put on the American people and try to get everyone behind.”

Greene wasn’t the only one to promote a Burning Man-centric conspiracy, though many of the other conspiracies have tapered off due to attendees finally being allowed to leave.

One of the biggest over the weekend: that the festival had suffered an Ebola outbreak, which is why attendees were not allowed to leave.

“Now there’s some new terrifying information coming out that there’s a virus on the loose in the festival and that people are getting really sick with boils, vomiting, hemorrhaging,” a TikToker shared on Sunday. “To me, this makes way more sense than flooding in terms of what their response was to the situation.”

@paykells This is WILD #greenscreenvideo #burningman #burningman2023 ♬ original sound – Payton

She then included text messages alleging that one attendee had seen fencing going up and a medic in a full suit.

“Freaking Ebola at Burning Man guys,” she added. “If this is true, that is insane. I just hope that everyone ends up being okay and that they make it out.”

One social media user claimed X that “some say the US military is employing #CloudSeeding,” meaning weather modification that could increase the amount of precipitation.

“Think this was ‘nature?'” wrote another user on X. “Look at how often it’s happened, then tell me. Then, look at the radar history over the area & betcha you’ll find craft flying over the area in the weeks/days preceding the event. Weather modification is real.”

Another TikToker took the conspiracies up a notch.

“I don’t know if all of you spiritual people understand, but they want to get rid of all of you,” he claimed. “They is the bad guys, the evil ones, and they have an agenda 2030 where they want to get rid of half the population on the planet by the year 2030.”

“So everyone at Burning Man—the 73,000 people there—I’m sorry that you fell victim to the evil one’s plan but you know, you should’ve kind of expected something,” he said, later adding, “You just decided to go to Burning Man and say ‘hey I’m going to walk right into the bad guy’s trap’ and now they’re flooding you and now they have Ebola over there.”

The Ebola conspiracies were spreading enough that the local sheriff stepped in to debunk them.

“In consultation with the Bureau of Land Management and the Burning Man Project, there is no validity to any reports regarding an Ebola outbreak, or any other disease, the mud is real mud, and no entity at the Festival has erected any structures to stop anyone from leaving the playa,” Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen said in a statement Monday. “All participants are free to leave at their own discretion and ability.”

One person, 32-year-old Leon Reece, died on Friday night while the festival experienced heavy rains. Authorities said his death was not related to the weather, though it did cause a delay in sending help. An investigation is underway and the cause of death has not yet been determined.

To make matters worse, the heavy rains at Burning Man also prompted three-eyed creatures known as fairy shrimp to emerge from mud pits, adding another layer of horror and conspiracies to the festival.

“I swear somebody’s controlling this festival like Cabin In The Woods,” joked one user on X.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Share this article
*First Published: Sep 5, 2023, 10:29 am CDT