A Dutch freelance journalist at January 4 2017 visited the area near Grabovo where MH17 crashed . He reported seeing many debris not removed by the Dutch investigation team.
In this post I will investigate the claims and how Russia and Russian press made propaganda out of some irrelevant pieces of debris.
- Russian Federation lied in a weekly pressrelease saying parts which are still in crash area are “extremely important for investigation”.
- Dutch Public Prosecution Service states parts still in Ukraine are not relevant to investigation
- Some parts relevant for the investigation on the wanted list of Dutch DSB were removed by unknown party before these could be recovered by DSB in 2014.
- Available photos of shed where in the past wreckage was stored, show shed is nearly empty
- Mayors of two villages state sheds are nearly empty.
- No photos showing there are more than just a few pieces of debris have been released by Spekkers yet
- Spekkers claims he saw debris having suspicious looking holes in it but fails to present evidence for his claim
- Russia Today published many fake statements about the wreckage
Russian Federation Lies
It is obvious Russian Federation did a lot of lies about MH17. Many of the statements done by for example the Russian Ministry of Defense were false.
At January 12 2017 Maria Zakharova, spokeswomen for the Russian Ministery of Foreign Affairs, told another clear lie. In her weekly pressbriefing she told:
We’ve really seen the news reports where it was said that the journalists have collected the parts of the crashed plane and body parts of the supposed victims of the crash. As it emerged, all the above mentioned parts are still located at the crash site and is not being examined by the collaborative investigation team under the direction of the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands. What does “as it emerged” mean? We have known it from the very beginning. Though more than two years from the moment of the catastrophe we’ve been constantly repeating that the extremely important parts of the crashed plane have not been removed from the site for the future examination by the investigation team. (source)
Zakharova clearly states that wreckage parts of the Boeing 777 which are relevant to the investigation are still not removed from the crash site. Complete nonsense and lies!
Now lets get to the facts.
What did Spekker say about the findings of wreckage?
In an interview with Dutch EenVandaag Spekkers states:
“in a shed previously used to store wreckage I still found a lot of small materials. Also in the fields around the shed, were one engine came down, stuff can still be found. I found pieces of metal with unusual traces. Some have holes which I personally find suspicious I hope the investigation team can further look into”
“I believe it is important that we know that 2,5 year after the crash a field is still full with stuff (meaning debris) and I believe that is a bad thing”
On his personal site Spekkers writes
I found at several locations to my surprise clearly recognizable debris. .. for the most part aluminium and plastic parts and printed circuit board.
Spekkers was quoted in many media. In RT he was quoted:
In the same article Spekkers is quoted:
“But a lot of the debris [pieces] I took with me back to the Netherlands, they were from storage units which they [Dutch investigators] used during the investigation, and even those storage units, they did not get to empty them,” Spekkers said.
Spekkers says ” all that debris” which again suggest there is still a lot of debris in the area.
In newspaper Noordhollands Dagblad Spekkers stated:
We lopen naar de loods die gebruikt werd als berging gedurende het onderzoek. Verspreid door de open loods liggen nog allemaal kleine onderdelen: aluminium, carbon, een nummerbordje met stoelnummers.
Spread over the open shed, all kind of small parts are visible: aluminium, carbon, a sign showing seatnumbers
In an RT article Stefan Beck, who went with Spekkers to Donbass stated:
Speaking to RT, Beck said that Spekkers “was surprised” to see numerous parts of the ill-fated plane still laying around.
In a Tweet Spekkers told he found fragments of plastic and metal. He also stated he would look for some photos (to publish)
NoordHollands Dagblad published three of Spekkers photos. These give an indication of the amount of debris inside the shed. The three photos clearly shows not piles of debris. While the photos do not provide a complete overview of the floor in the shed, it is cleary some small debris and not many debris.
Where did Spekkers search?
Spekkers for sure visited the shed in Grabovo. He might have walked on some fields close to the shed. He took a photo of a rememberance sign next to the main crash site at Grabovo (about 300 meters from the shed).
The shed is according Dutch newsstation BNR not an official place to collect debris. Natalja Volosjina, in charge of the village council of Petropavlovka, told BNR the only shed for storage is located in Petropavlovka.
At the time of the visit there was snow. So it is very unlikely Spekkers saw debris on other locations other than the shed. The photo below was copied from a Tweet by Spekkers.
How much debris Spekker took with him?
Spekkers stated he took a garbage bag full of debris with him.
Are the parts found by Spekkers import for the investigation ?
The Dutch Public Prosection Service stated according NRC newspaper:
“Andere voorwerpen die door Spekkers werden meegenomen „beoordeeld en niet relevant voor het strafrechtelijk onderzoek”
Other objects (not human remains) which were taken by Spekker were investigated and are not relevant for the criminal investigation”
Where are the wreckage parts located?
The wreckage parts which are not relevant to both investigation (DSB and JIT) were initially (in 2014,2015, earlty 2016) stored in a shed in the small village of Hrabovo. Natalja Volosjina, in charge of the village council of Petropavlovka, told Dutch reporters there is still wreckage in the woods near Petropavlovka. Currently because of winter conditions the woods are hard to reach. Also there might still be land mines in the area. Volosjina told the journalists that currently the only shed in use for storing wreckage in the area is located in Petropavlovka. There is about two square meters of smaller wreckage in the shed. She is the only person who can let people enter the shed. Michel Spekkers, the freelance journalist, did not enter the shed in Petropavlovka. The last piece of wreckage was found in May 2015 while ploughing the fields.
How much wreckage is located in the shed in Grabovo?
Michel Spekkers went inside the shed in Grabovo as it was open. Despite several requests from the author of this blogpost, Spekkers refused to immediately make public any photos he took inside the shed which can give an indication of the amount of wreckage. He stated “I will publish images I select for sure”.
So we have to wait and see when Spekkers is willing to show what the situation in the shed and fields actually is.
Also Spekkers did not release photos showing debris with holes.
Dutch news RTL Nieuws sent a reporter to check out the situation in Grabovo. Vladimir Berezhnoj who is mayor of the village told RTL that since April 2016 local people did not bring wreckage to the shed nor to the mayor.
The RTL reporter saw that the shed was more or less empty when he visited the shed at January 17 2017.
© Photo by RTL Nieuws
This photo taken by VLADISLAV ZELENYJ shows the same shed. The photo was taken at the same time and day Spekkers visited the shed. The photo clearly suggests the shed is mostly empty but might have some smaller pieces of debris.
© VLADISLAV ZELENYJ: HTTPS://VK.COM/VLADISHEZ
How did RT report ?
In an article dated January 26, RT writes:
“At this time, police are examining where and when the discovery was made by journalist Michel Spekkers. This examination will reveal if more debris can be recovered from this site.If so, then the government is obviously willing to conduct further investigations,” a statement by van der Steur said, suggesting that the Dutch investigators are willing to return to the crash site for more recovery work.
This is incorrect. Minister van der Steur did not mention debris. Van der Steur writes “stoffelijke resten” which means human remains. A clear deliberate way of RT to twist facts.
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, reported several times about the finding. In an interview with Spekkers on RT television the banner below was shown. The banner says “MH17 crash investigation might be resumed after incident with debris”.
This is a part of the interview
— Michel Spekkers (@spekkers) January 25, 2017
This is factual incorrect. The crash investigation will not be resumed, not even ‘might be resumed’. Dutch State might consider an investigation if it is safe enough to start searching for human remains in the area.
The ‘new evidence’ shown is another lie.