Black Hawk Down

Factual error: In the first 15 minutes of the movie, a Delta Force operative is seen wearing a pair of Oakley X-Metal Juliets. The events portrayed in the movie took place in 1993. Oakley didn't make the Juliets until 1999. (00:05:02)

Factual error: When Blackburn reports for duty, he is asked his "Serial Number" and reels off some 7 digit number. However the US armed forces all stopped using Service (not serial) Numbers by 1974 at the latest, and started using the 9 digit Social Security Number instead. (00:11:00)

Factual error: In the movie, the stranded ground force calls in a gun run by Little Bird helicopters by having a Ranger post an infrared marker inside an enemy position to designate the target. This is the only time the attack helicopters are shown actively supporting the defending troops at the crash site. However, it is COMPLETELY absurd and unrealistic(not to mention suicidal) to mark enemy positions in this manner. What actually happened was that the markers were placed around the perimeter of the defender's position for the pilots, who made anything outside of it fair game. Also, the Little Birds provided CONTINUOUS air support with their miniguns and rockets through to the following morning, which is credited by US forces and Somalis alike as being the main thing preventing the Rangers from being overrun and wiped out. (01:55:20)

Factual error: The medic working on Jamie (the ranger with the femoral artery wound) is a delta named Schmid (from BHD the book). But in the movie, the guy's wearing green armor and has hair only on the top of his head - both typical of a ranger and not a delta. [Little known fact (far from OPSEC), but prior to deployment, all the Delta guys got high and tight haircuts. I was in 2-14 Infantry (part of 10th Mountain Division) during that timeframe.] (01:51:10)

Factual error: After the scene with Mike Durant and his captors there is a shot of a helicopter circling the city and broadcasting the message "Mike Durant, we won't leave you behind." This did happen, but in the days after the battle, not that same night when all the other soldiers were stuck in the city too. The commanders don't even know that Durant has been taken prisoner yet, in fact at this stage they probably thought he was dead. (This is deliberately changed for the film, but still a factual error.) (01:44:45)

Factual error: The first downed Blackhawk exhibits miraculous rotor behavior as it comes to earth. It does a slow roll onto its left side, and the main rotor continues to rotate. The blades are seen straight and undamaged, as if they are passing through the earth beneath the chopper without touching anything, and each emerges full length and straight to go around again and again. This is most obvious in the shot from inside a corner building when looking directly at the top of the chopper's rotor hub. (00:50:20)


Factual error: In the first few scenes of the movie, Muslims are shown praying towards the east, proven by the sunrise they are facing. But the holy city of Mecca would be to the north, northwest of Somalia, not to the east as it is from in North America. (00:19:35)

Factual error: In the movie, the Rangers and Delta operators defending the crash site are engaged by several 'technicals' (pick-up trucks with crew served weapons mounted) including one with a recoilless rifle directed by the Somali 'head honcho'. Also, several technicals seem to (somewhat implausibly) spring from the woodwork as they flee the city on foot... However, during the entire course of the actual battle, there was never a SINGLE mention of the pinned down forces being engaged by such vehicles and the Rambo-style capture of the recoilless rifle was a comical fabrication.

Factual error: In one of the early scenes at the army base, the song "Die Born" by Days of the New can be heard playing over the PA system. This song was not released until 2001, eight years after the film takes place.

Phaneron Premium member

Factual error: After the second Black Hawk helicopter (Super 6-4) gets shot down, all of the crew members aside from the pilot appear to have been killed in the crash. In reality, all of the men survived the crash. They were later killed by the Somali mob, except for pilot Mike Durant who was taken prisoner.


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Suggested correction: Black Hawk Down is frequently regarded by many, including real participants of the battle, as a dramatization of what actually happened. Therefore some details will not match up to real events. This is simply one of those instances.

Factual error: In several shots where the helicopters are flying in the minutes after the start of the operation, you see the shadows of the choppers being projected from the sea to the coast. On an October afternoon, the sun would already be over the land to the west, casting shadows out to sea. (00:38:00)

Factual error: In the background of the scene involving CPT Steele giving SGT Eversmann charge of the Chalk 4, is a transport plane bearing the tail number of a Moroccan civilian plane (CN-ANG). Morocco was not a combatant in Operation Gothic Serpent. (00:19:55)

Factual error: About 20 to 30 minutes into the movie, they show a command and control helicopter flying over the city tracking the white car with the black x on it. There are numerous overhead shots of that command and control helicopter as it watches the marked car move about the city. The helicopter in those overhead shots is a old Vietnam era Huey providing command and control. I doubt the 160th SOAR ever had a UH-1 in it's inventory. (00:34:05)

Factual error: In the movie the first Black Hawk helicopter (Super 6-1) gets shot down and just so happens to crash in a large four-way intersection. In the actual battle, Super 6-1 crashed in a narrow alleyway. (00:49:45)


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Suggested correction: many changes were made to factual accounts when converting the book to film. This is simply what has happened here.

Ssiscool Premium member

Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: Near the end of the movie when the convoy is heading back to the Pakistan Stadium, a Humvee stops briefly to allow a man to walk across the street with a child in his arms. When the shot changes and the Humvee begins driving again, a crew member or cameraman is seen inside the Humvee wearing a white shirt. All of the men who entered the Humvee were wearing fatigues. (02:05:27)

More mistakes in Black Hawk Down

Struecker: It's what you do right now that makes a difference.

More quotes from Black Hawk Down

Trivia: According to veterans of the actual event, when the Rangers got the go-ahead for the mission and were getting their gear ready, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N Roses was playing on the base's loudspeakers. There were some half-serious comments among the men about the appropriateness of this song. However, the film's producers failed to secure the rights to use "Welcome to the Jungle," so they substituted Faith No More's "Falling to Pieces"--which is perhaps thematically in line with what happened on the raid. (00:27:28)


More trivia for Black Hawk Down

Question: What ever happened to the pilot that was captured by the Somalians (who had the picture of his wife and child), did he get rescued or killed?

Answer: Mike Durant was released 11 days after his capture. He retired from the Army a few years later and published a book about his time in the 160th.

More questions & answers from Black Hawk Down

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