MH17: Key Questions Remain
Much has been made by the US and its media of MH17 being shot down and crashing in “the rebel-held area”, but few are aware of just how small the said area actually is. The Ukrainian military had already isolated the rebel area which Kiev and Washington insist a rebel-controlled BUK SAM missile battery had fired on the passenger jet. The actual size of this rebel-held patch is only 50 miles wide, with MH17 approaching on a southeastern route over Horlivka, the frontline of this rebel-held zone, towards Snezhnoye (Snizhne). Cruising at 580 mph (933 kmph), MH17 would have only been visible for a very short time – just over 1 minute (if Kiev had not ordered MH17 to alter its course and altitude then it would not have been visible at all), from the vantage point of the alleged rebel firing position. According the Janes Defense
, the alleged culprit – an SA-11 (NATO code name) or ‘BUK’ missile system, requires 5 minutes set-up active targeting, followed by an additional 22 seconds ‘reaction time’ for target acquisition and firing. As the MH17 was only visible for 70 seconds above this rebel-held area surrounding Grabovo, unless the alleged rebel firing position was specifically tracking MH17 long before it entered the rebel-held airspace and could distinguish it from other military civilian aircraft also in the general vicinity, Washington’s theory and Kiev’s accusation – that rebels shot down this aircraft becomes even weaker.
Considering these factors, the probability increases greatly that targeting MH17 would have had to be premeditated far in advance of the 70 seconds it was visible above this particular rebel-held area.
Minutes before the downing of MH17, the plane made a mysterious ‘Left Turn’ as it flew over the Donetsk area at approximately 5:20pm Moscow time, making a sharp 14km deviation, before attempting to regain its previous course before dropping altitude disappearing from radar at 5:23pm. Air traffic controllers in Kiev had already diverted MH17 200 miles further north into the target zone, so the question remains: was Kiev ATC also responsible for this final, fatal diversion, or is there another reason for this unusual turn
According to clear satellite images, on July 16th, the Ukrainian Army positioned 3-4 anti-aircraft BUK M1 SAM missile batteries close to Donetsk. These systems included full launching, loading and radio location units, located in the immediate vicinity of the MH17 crash site. One system was placed approximately 8km northwest of Lugansk. In addition, a radio location system for these Ukrainian Army missile batteries is situated 5km north of Donetsk. On July 17th, the day of the incident, these batteries were moved to a position 8km south of Shahktyorsk. In addition to this, two other radio location units are also identified in the immediate vicinity. These SAM systems had a range of 35km distance, and 25km altitude.
From July 18th, after the downing of MH17, Kiev’s BUK launchers were then moved away from the firing zone.
Below illustrates the damage these types of missile systems inflict. The weapon gets within a certain proximity of the target and then releases shrapnel. In the case of the BUK, rods (some models use ball type object - like large nuts). If it was a missile, with thousands of fragments detonated some distance from the plane, then of course some of the hole will look like bullet holes, but there's a wide variety in hole shapes and sizes that seem to suggest a variety of irregular shaped projectiles.
The ceiling of an unladen Su-25 is about 23,000 feet. With full combat load, an Su-25 can only make it to 16,000 feet. The Ukrainian air force has a dozen Su-27s and two-dozen Mig-29s perfectly capable of intercepting and shooting down a 777
For reference 30mm cannon
round from an A-10.
If a Su-25 was firing missiles at a 777, this is probably what it was using. The R-60 is also an IR guided missile, though some of the later models use radar proximity fuzing. Unlike the K-13, this is a modern missile, and it is more likely to have hit its target if fired. Why is it unlikely? Well, first off, it is unlikely the Ukrainian Su-25s were armed with them in the first place: these are ground attack planes, fighting in a region where the enemy has no aircraft. More importantly, the R-60 has a tiny little 6lb warhead, which is only really dangerous to fragile fighter aircraft. In 1988, an R-60 was fired at a BAe-125 in Botswana. The BAe-125 being a sort of Limey Lear jet, which weighs a mere 25,000lbs; this aircraft is 20 times smaller than a 777 by mass. The BAe-125 was inconvenienced by the R-60, which knocked one of its engines off, but it wasn’t shot down; it landed without further incident.
Someone (Ukrainian) fired a surface to air missile:
It could have been the Buk SA-11/17 with its 150lb warhead and 75,000 foot range, just like everyone is reporting. Another candidate is the Kub SAM, which is an underrated SAM platform also in use in that part of the world. Yet another possibility is the S-125 Pechora, which isn’t deployed in Ukraine or Russia, but it is probably still manufactured in the Donbass region. A less likely candidate is the S-75 Dvina (the same thing that took out Gary Powers), though the primitive guidance system and probable lack of deployed installations in Ukraine and Russia make this unlikely. The fact that the MH17 disappeared from radar at 33,000 feet, and the condition of the wreckage indicates it was something really big that hit flight MH17.
Another nation's fighters (camouflaged as Ukrainian) downed MH-17:
The Israelis have bought an airfield and it is called Azerbaijan
. Israel’s ties with Azerbaijan,a Muslim country that became independent with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, have grown as its once-strong strategic relationship with another Iranian neighbor, Turkey, has deteriorated. For Israeli intelligence, there is also a possible added benefit from Azerbaijan: its significant cross-border contacts and trade with Iran’s large ethnic Azeri community. In February 2012, Israeli defense officials confirmed the completion of a $1.6 billion deal to sell drones and anti-aircraft and missile defense systems to Azerbaijan, bringing sophisticated Israeli technology to Iran’s doorstep.
A high explosive with a GPS/altitude trigger in the cargo hold:
Unlike rebel fighters, the Ukrainian military is in possession of some 27 BUK missile systems capable of bringing down high-flying jets, and forensic satellite imagery places at least 3 of their launchers in the Donetsk region on the day of this tragedy. Yet, Washington and NATO will not inquire about the possibility that any of these system had targeted MH17.
This is a definitive smoking gun: why did the Ukrainian Army move these short-range anti-aircraft SAM missile batteries into position on July 16-17th – to an interior region of East Ukraine where it’s known that the rebel resistance possess no aircraft whatsoever
? Not surprisingly, both the US and Kiev have not answered that difficult question, perhaps for obvious reasons.
In addition, the Ukrainian Army’s radio location traffic near Donetsk peaked on the 16th and 17th, including a total of 9 separate radio location systems active. On the 18th and 19th of July, radio location traffic from these stations dropped sharply, down to 4 stations. If, as Washington/Kiev claims, rebels fired a BUK missile at MH17, then the rebel radar location signals would be clearly noted and verifiable on the day; only, they are not.
All Aircraft in the Vicinity
Between 5pm-6pm Moscow Time on July 17th, the following aircraft have been identified in the general vicinity of MH17 on its course heading to its fatal destination of Grabovo:
1. Boeing 772 – traveling southeast from Copenhagen to Singapore at 5:17pm
2. Boeing 778 – traveling southeast from Paris to Taipei at 5:24pm
3. Boeing 778 – traveling northwest from Delhi to Birmingham circa 5:20pm
4. Boeing 777 – Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at 5:17pm
5. Ukrainian Fighter Jet (confirmation of model TBC) appears on radar, trailing MH17 at same altitude, est. 4km behind it at 5:21pm
the pilots and passengers of Singapore Airlines Flight SIA351 were close enough to have visually observed, at high altitude, the demise of MH17
Selected flights over eastern Ukraine on the afternoon of 17 July
At 5:20pm MH17 began to abruptly lose speed, eventually slowing to 124mph (200kmph). About this time, possibly an Su-25 Ukrainian fighter jet appears on ATC radar climbing in the direction of MH17, before trailing MH17 on the same flight path approximately 3-5km behind MH17, rapidly approaching the same flight level - only minutes before MH17 disappeared on radar. Note that a Ukrainian fighter would not have been visible on ATC radar before it broke the ATC long-range standby radar tracking ceiling of 5km in altitude. Civilian ATC radar would not be able to identify this Su-25 as military because no secondary detection system is mounted – typical for military aircraft. Over the next four minutes, the Ukrainian fighter remained in the area.
Note also that the Su-25 can be armed with air-to-air R-60 missiles with a range of up to 5km-12km, but the Su-25 is not the only combat aircraft the Ukrainian Air Force has in its possession. On June 4, 2014, Janes Defense reported that Kiev have recently returned to service two other higher performance fighters, including the Su-27 ‘Flanker’ and the MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighters. The altitude ceiling performance characteristics of all in-service Ukrainian fighters are as follows:
Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’ fighter – Ceiling: 23,000 ft/ 7,000 m, or up to 32,800 ft/ 10,000 m (depending aircraft modifications)
Su-27 ‘Flanker’ fighter – Ceiling: 64,000 ft/ 19,000 m
MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ jet – Ceiling: 59,000 ft/ 18,000 m
Su-24 ‘Fencer’ fighter – Ceiling: 36,000 ft/ 11,000 m, or up to 57,400 ft/ 17,500 m (depending on variations of turbo intake)
Although the exact altitude position of MH17 is not yet know for every given second of its final minutes, it’s clear that a Ukrainian combat jet was in its shadow. Suffice to say, Kiev had a number of combat aircraft capable of engaging MH17 at within a wide range of altitudes, as well as firing air-to-air missile at short range (3-5km) either upwards, or downward angles using laser guided targeting which is standard on many of these models.
Another Smoking Gun: Kiev government officials insisted on July 17th that, “No military aircraft were available in the region”. Based on available data detailed above, this appears to be a lie
, indicating that a cover-up was taking place.
Again, it’s important to note here that at the moment when MH17 was allegedly was hit for the first time, at around 5:23pm Moscow time, the passenger jet was also within the range of several Ukrainian BUK batteries deployed close to Donetsk and as well as the Ukrainian Army’s BUK system positioned on the day just 8km south of Shakhterskoye, only a few miles from the eventual crash site at Grabovo.
MH17′s Mysterious Left Turn
( Fintan lays this out quite well here
On passing glance, this seemingly minor, yet unexplained event doesn’t appear to be significant, but as is often the case, the devil is in the detail.
Again, was Kiev ATC also responsible for MH17′s final and fatal diversion from its course, or is there another reason for what appears to be an evasive maneuver?
One very real possibility for MH17 being diverted 14km to the left is that its GPS or navigation system was being jammed. US-NATO forces happened to be conducting an electronic warfare exercise in the Black Sea on July 17th (see ‘SEA BREEZE 2014
′). In addition to this possibility, all Boeing jets (except Germany’s Lufthansa fleet) are equipped with a remote override that can be accessed by authorities in certain foreign countries, one being the United States. Although not publicly acknowledged until recently, Boeing Uninterruptible Autopilot
(BUAP) systems have been standard since the late 1990′s, apparently designed to take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew, chiefly in the event of a terrorist incident.
Another possible explanation for this crucial event in the timeline is that MH17 was hit, or damaged, taking an emergency 180º left turn for 14km, before disappearing completely off of radar. This appears to be the case. On July 23rd, Anna-News
published an interview with retired Russian Air Force colonel Aleksand Zhilin (Александр Жилин) a frequent military commentator on Ukraine’s Civil War.
“According to the colonel, at 16:19:45 (local time, and 5:19pm Moscow time), a Ukrainian jet fighter targeted the Boeing with an air-to-air missile R-60. The missile damaged the right engine of the Boeing. The Boeing was hit, but still managed to stay in the air. However, in doing so, the Boeing turned 180 degrees to the left. It was at this moment that the false flag attack started falling apart. According to Zhilin, part of the plan controlled by the US with Ukrainian hands executing it was to have the Boeing crash past the southern frontline by the Ukrainian-Russian border. Had the Boeing fallen there, securing the crash sites with the troops in response to international pressure was on top of all else effectively to allow Kiev to lift the encirclement of its brigades (currently pinned down by rebels)
in the southern pocket by the Russian border.”
“When, however, the Boeing started to turn in the opposite direction and was still apparently manageable, the US-Ukrainian headquarters of the special operation panicked and ordered the Buk battery to destroy the plane in the air in order to pre-empt the possibility of the Boeing’s emergency landing. A Buk missile was fired and the plane was then finally destroyed.”
Former Czech diplomat and political analyst, Vladimir Suchan, who puts Zhilin’s comments into context of what was happening militarily at the time of the crash. Suchan explains, “If MH17 was hit right over the frontline over Snezhnoye, this would have placed the timing and location of the intended downing and crash site to either the territory controlled by the Ukrainian army, or much closer to the border between Russia and Ukraine where the “securing of the site” would allow lifting the strategic encirclement of the Ukrainian troops in the south and thus, on top of other objectives, saving Kiev’s armed forces from its first major military defeat.”
If, indeed MH17 was struck by an air-to-air missile at that time, a distress call may have been sent to Kiev ATC, but as yet, Kiev officials may be reluctant to share, or release the entirety of its communications from July 17th.
Zhilin’s account certainly makes sense when placed next to all ATC and satellite data released by Moscow. However, flight recorder information and data from MH17′s black boxes would certainly be able to corroborate this timeline of events, and one hopes that Great Britain’s predetermined political stance against Russia does not prevent Downing Street, or MI5 Intelligence Services from releasing the black box information in its entirety and more importantly, a full and unedited disclosure to the media. More than likely, the BBC will have first access to this release, and how the BBC report their findings will be very telling.
This account is also consistent with the location of key pieces of wreckage scattered over the wider crash site radius. It shows M17 turning back on itself, after being struck initially. If this was the final path, then it completely disapproves the US (US State Department) conspiracy theory that a rebel-controlled BUK missile hit the plane head-on from Snezhnoye (Snizhne). This U-turn then also helps explain why Kiev’s first “leaked conversation of the rebels” tried to place the rebel’s BUK battery at a completely different location in Debaltzevo, a few kilometers northwest of the main crash site at Grabovo. However, that would not explain the U-turn, which they tried so much to conceal – for it points to the Ukrainian jet fighter.
US-NATO’s Military Drill in the Black Sea Ended on July 17th
Russia’s Satellite Data and Public Presentation on Monday July 21st has put Washington on its back foot. The existence of this intelligence, now made public, along with other data in Russia’s possession, means that the Washington cannot show the real intelligence – which they too have. It’s no coincidence that US and NATO conducted a large-scale military and intelligence drill in the Black Sea just south of Crimea named, SEA BREEZE 2014, which just so happened to end on… July 17th. The drill included hundreds of US military specialists running ‘war simulations’ in electronic warfare, data collection from a spy satellite, and ‘monitoring’ of all passenger aircraft flying in the region. A massive drill – yet another improbable coincidence.
Another smoking gun: Is it a coincidence that the US had its new experimental satellite positioned over Eastern Europe for 1-2 hours, and directly over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine from 5:06pm – 5:21pm. Taking this fact into consideration, alongside the other improbable ‘coincidences’, leads to an almost certain conclusion.
In addition to SEA BREEZE, both US and British armed forces had also scheduled a concurrent military exercise, code named, Rapid Trident 2014, a NATO event which takes place annually in and around the Ukraine, designed to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US Forces in Europe website. Since March, the Pentagon has kept quiet regarding the number of US forces, and hardware assets expected to participate in the maneuvers.
According to US Army spokesman Col. Steven Warren, Rapid Trident is the only Ukraine military exercise the US planned to participate in this year, and it’s main purpose was, “To help the Ukrainian military improve its troops and weapons interoperability with NATO forces.”
A closer look at International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS) is warranted:
Schiphol: Not Your Typical Airport
On Christmas Day 2009, the spaced-out 16-year-old son of a Nigerian banker - aka the 'knicker-bomber' - was escorted through check-in and security at Schiphol, without a passport, by "a well-dressed man in a suit". Security at Schiphol is contracted to a very successful and privately-owned security firm by the name of International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS).
Established in 1982 by former Shin Bet Israeli intelligence officers
, ICTS's hub at Schiphol is more than an airport security gig: it's also home to ICTS's corporate headquarters since the 1980s, from where it provides security services - including travel document verification and cargo screening
- to airports in 11 countries, including the US and Western Europe. It also provides transport and network security to dozens of companies, transport hubs, and public agencies worldwide
. In 1999, ICTS acquired Huntleigh USA, giving them responsibility for airport security at Boston Logan and Newark Airports. ICTS also handled security at Charles de Gaulle Airport when "shoe bomber" Richard Reid boarded a US-bound plane from Paris on December 22nd, 2001. The company also handled security for London's bus network
during the July 7, 2005, 'suicide' bomb attacks. In fact, two of its subsidiaries, ICTS UK and ICTS Europe Systems are based at Tavistock House, Tavistock Square in London
, scene of the London Stagecoach bus bombing that day.
Israeli involvement with Schiphol Airport is deep and murky. The El Al cargo crash
into an apartment block in the Bijlmer suburb of Amsterdam in 1992 left around 1,000 local residents and emergency workers with respiratory, neurological and mobility ailments, as well as cancers and birth defects.
The plane had been carrying vast quantities of key ingredients for chemical weapons
like Sarin nerve gas, along with a substantial quantity of depleted uranium
. Subsequent investigations into the accident revealed that Schiphol Airport had become "a hub for Israeli secret weapons transfers from the US
." While investigating this and other revelations resulting from the 'knicker bomber' incident in December 2009, SOTT.net learned from a Dutch journalist
that "a special secluded area (hangar and apron)" within Schiphol is set aside for exclusive use by the Israeli intelligence services.
Almost six years after the event, on 30 September 1998, editors Harm van den Berg and Karel Knip of the Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad published the results of an extensive investigation they had carried out into the crash. They had obtained the freight documentation for the flight, and made public for the first time its real cargo. The manifest confirmed the plane was carrying 400 kilograms of depleted uranium as ballast, but also showed that it carried among its cargo about 10 tons of assorted chemicals. The chemicals included ten 18.9-litre plastic drums of dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), and smaller amounts of isopropanol and hydrogen fluoride: three of the four chemical precursors for the production of Sarin nerve gas. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's office immediately denied that Flight 1862 had been carrying Sarin precursors. When this was contradicted hours later by an El Al spokesman, the Prime Minister's office acknowledged that the chemicals were onboard but stated that "the material was non-toxic and was to have been used to test filters that protect against chemical weapons". An explanation that Earth Island Journal found "puzzling", since "it only takes a few grams to conduct such tests. Once combined, the chemicals aboard Flight 1862 could have produced 270 kilos of Sarin - sufficient to kill the entire population of a major world city
The Shipper's Declaration of Dangerous Goods published
by NRC Handelsblad showed that the DMMP consignment was en route to the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR). The IIBR is located in Nes Ziona, about 20kms south of Tel Aviv, on what used to be the extensive estate of the Al-Taji Al-Farouki family of Ramleh, who were dispossessed in 1948. The family mansion that was the home of Shukri Al-Taji remains today as the entrance to the IIBR, which was built on the family citrus groves. Among those concerned with the proliferation of unconventional weapons, it is common knowledge that IIBR is the Israeli military and intelligence community’s front organisation for the development, testing and production of chemical and biological weapons. As demonstrated by Mossad’s attempted murder of a Hamas leader in Jordan (in which IIBR supplied both the lethal poison and its antidote), it is also a pioneer in the field of medical warfare. An anonymous biologist formerly associated with IIBR, quoted by Uzi Nahmaini in the London Sunday Times, states, “There is hardly a single known or unknown form of chemical or biological weapon … which is not manufactured at the institute”. Nahmaini adds that the highly secretive gas factory is “surrounded by a 6ft-high concrete wall topped with sensors that reveal the exact location of any intruders, but [it] is erased from local and aerial survey maps”. He notes that at least six of the installation’s employees have been killed in “work accidents” and that even members of the Knesset are denied entry. The common view of IIBR’s unsavoury activities is shared by residents of Nes Ziona and, apparently, Israel’s Supreme Court as well: the Nes Ziona local council obtained a Supreme Court injunction barring the poison centre from expanding by 5.7 hectares on the grounds that its programs pose a potentially catastrophic public health hazard.
The commission discovered
the previously-undisclosed tapes of conversations between El Al employees and Schiphol Air Traffic Control on the evening of the disaster, showing that within minutes of the crash traffic controllers knew that the downed plane contained "poison", "ammunition" and "flammable liquid", and that it would be best to "keep these things under the lid". And the Dutch Attorney General testified before the commission that the El Al security unit at Schiphol wasn't actually an El Al security unit at all, but a front operation for the Mossad. The airport employees testified that since 1973, the Netherlands' authorities had allowed El Al planes to transfer cargo at Schiphol Airport without being inspected by customs or by the Dutch Flight Safety Board; and that every Sunday evening an El Al cargo flight arrived at Schiphol en route from New York to Tel Aviv, whose arrival was never displayed on airport monitors, whose cargo was not checked and whose documentation was processed separately from regular freight traffic...It's all a bit sordid isn't it? And we'd never have known about any of it, were it not for metal fatigue in a pin attaching engine three to the right wing of flight 1862. Remember this story when you next hear some cable news pundit pontificating about why we have to bomb those nasty people in the Middle East. When you hear that we must bomb Syria because it allows Iranian weapons to transit its territory, remember how the Dutch have been deliberately turning a blind eye for years as one of its major international airports is used as a transit point for shipment's of illicit, non-conventional weapons into the Middle East. Remember too that at the exact same time that the U.S Administration was demanding that Iraq be sanctioned and its children starved because Saddam Hussein was developing Chemical and Biological Weapons, all while the Department of Commerce was (and presumably still is) issuing export licenses to facilitate the production of exactly the same weapons in Israel.
That other strange coincidence: Ground invasion of Gaza
Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza on the same day that MH17 was blown out of the sky by agents unknown
Two Malaysian Airlines Boeing-777s in 4 months is one thing. This second incident coming on the same day that Israel launches a 'ground invasion' (more like a 'flattening-by-tank') of Gaza is another. Israeli leaders are so insane that you can never quite tell whether the way in which numbers, dates, and 'coincidental events' synch with their activities is the result of Mossad planning to the nth degree, pure luck that comes with being 'the chosen ones', a pact with the devil, or some combination of the above.