Location of BUK TELAR in field indicates a high flying aircraft was the intended target

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It is likely the BUK TELAR which shot down was positioned in a field such that it could only target high flying aircraft.

It was positioned close to a series of trees. It could be the centimeter-wave radar of the BUK TELAR  just can’t work through trees.  (needs confirmation)

Each SA-11 transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR) was equipped with a 9S35 Fire Dome X-band multi-mode engagement radar under a radome on the front of the rotating launch platform, which provided tracking and CW illumination for the missile seekers. The radar, which has search, track and illuminator functions, can scan through a 120-degree arc, independent of the movement of the launch platform. (GlobalSecurity)

The intended target likely was an Ukraine Air Force transport aircraft flying in the same airway, same direction  as MH17.

Photo by Jeroen Akkermans

The image below shows the line of sight of the BUK TELAR from the launch location determined by JIT towards the location where the missile exploded. Distance from the radar towards the trees is about 30 to 40 meters.

The image below shows the radar beam of the BUK TELAR. It is possible due to the trees, the intended target being the Antonov, was shown on radar only for a short time. Likely the BUK crew switched on radar at the latest moment to prevent detection by SU-25’s.

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15 Comments on Location of BUK TELAR in field indicates a high flying aircraft was the intended target

  1. X-band microwaves are absorbed by vegetation, heavily scattered/reflected/diffracted from multiple scatterers within the canopy structure of trees, and even those passed straight through become partly depolarized.

  2. The AN-26 theory is not supported by the verbal evidence provided by separatists. In comments here
    I pointed out at separatists own words:
    1) When a group of separatists arrived to the crash site, they talked about a downed “sushka” or “Sukhoi”, this is a Su fighter jet. See
    2) In his phone call soon after the crash, Khmury (Dubinsky) talked about a downed “sushka”.

    Neither the separatists (1), nor Khmury (2) said any single word about AN-26. They were convinced that the plane downed was “sushka”.

    The “news” about AN-26 in the Strelkov-Info account in VKontakte originated either from locals, who mistook Boeing for a cargo plane, or from an SBU agent among Khmury’s men.

    Another plane (planes) were certainly in the area at the time of the crash. See this news item in a Ukrainian publication:
    “…according to locals, an unknown plane was flying simultaneously with the passenger plane”.
    See this overview of eyewitnesses:
    One witness, Tatyana Timchenko, director of the Torez orphanage, was interviewed by a Ukrainian TV channel, Hromadske.tv. Timchenko said that on 17 July after 4 pm she was at home when she heard the sound of a fighter jet. She explained that that sound had got familiar to her on previous days, so she had easily recognized it. Then Timchenko heard a bang, she got out of her house and ran to the orphanage. There, the staff and the children were shocked and crying: three bodies fell in the orphanage’s backyard.

    One of the participants in the MH17.webtalk.ru forum, with the nickname Separatist, was in the Snizhne area on 17 July. He, too, heard the sound of a fighter jet, with its engines in an enhanced mode (на форсаже, as he said.)

    Given all the above, I have no doubt that Ukrainian jets were in the area on 17 July. Apparently, Ukraine used some tricks to hide the military planes from radars. It might have been some jamming technique plus a special paint (spray).

  3. The trouble with this scenario it requires the Russians scrubbing radar data (and being aware the Ukrainians were going to refuse to hand over any and/or pretend not to have any) of objects that would support their original thesis.

    Their original thesis was that another aircraft had been in the vicinity – and they tried very hard to convert a falling piece of debris into that aircraft – so why would they remove a genuine unidentified aircraft?

    I think the problem everyone is having is not accepting that the Ukrainians are misdating items of evidence they hand over. So the Buk smoke trail is genuine – it just dates from the day before. It is unlikely that the Buk would return to the exact same location the next day for reason they would think the Ukrainian airforce might go looking for them. On the other hand, they seemed to have kept it somewhere in the Torez area.

    The same problem exists for the Lugansk airport drive-by footage. The Orion and Delfin transcripts have to relate to this drive-by footage
    But there is no indication that MH17 has been downed and this line alone: “Got it. Well, I have arranged it for the evening. …[inaudible] it …[inaudible] at/for around 5-6 o’clock/hours” would appear to rule it out for being an early morning drive past.

    So the Lugansk footage probably relates to transporting the Buk from Russia on the evening of the 14th or 15th, after the Antonov had been downed on July 14, but before they had acquired the camouflage net that can be seen in the Paris Match photo: “Well, the sooner the better. It has to be loaded, camouflaged and driven away.”

    • It is impossible the plume photo by Pavel was made on the day before. The shadows match exactly the time the missile was launched (plus a few minutes)

      • Strictly speaking that isn’t impossible. It is either quite unlikely or someone planned it that way.

        Since neither side managed to detect the Buk missile by radar, the only remaining system that could pick it up would by the US SBIRs system:

        If it was an explosion flash traveling at 900 km/hr in a west to east direction, it must have been an cockpit bomb

        If it was an explosion flash traveling approximately the same speed in an east to west direction, it would have been a Buk missile from Torez

  4. Gerhard Schreurs // June 7, 2018 at 11:46 am // Reply

    On several questions i did not yet find the answer in any publication thusfar:

    1. The BUK TELAR is claimed to have been brought close to the East-Ukranian by a convoi from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade based in Kursk. The convoi was said to contain six TELAR’s on military deeploader trailers behind military trucks. One TELAR is claimed to have been unloaded from its militairy deeploader and transfered to a civil deeploader, which brought the TELAR over the Ukrainian border. The convoi continued on its course towards a destination somewhere further southeast. Do photos or videos of this convoi exist, proving that there were only five TELARs left at that time, plus an empty military deeploader? If not, how can he investigators prove that the “guilty” TELAR originated from the convoi from Kursk?

    2. The BUK-carrier has its own radar, but that seems to be very limited and basic. I have heard and read in several publications, that the missile launcher needs the dedicated radar vehicle that usually accompanies it, to produce accurate target recognition (friend/foe)and trajectory telemetry. In all videos and pictures “proving” that there was a “guilty” TELAR near Snezhnoye/Pervomaiskiy, we only see the carrier itself, but never the radar vehicle. Would the TELAR be able to launch a missile autonomously and be able to achieve the precision result that it did (charge exploding 3-4 metres from the cockpit)? Would it be able to discern IFF-information autonomously, without the dedicated radar vehicle?

    3.The 9M38M1 missile (which was claimed to be the weapon type used)uses a unique solid rocket fuel formula. Wherever such a missile is launched, the blast of the rocket motor scorches the soil of the launch area, and traces of burnt rocket fuel should be present in that soil. Were soil samples of the alledged launch location (in the field near Snezhnoye/ Pervomaiskiy) ever taken and subjected to thorough laboratory examinations?

    4.On June 2nd, 2015, missile manufacturer Almaz Antey held its own press conference, presenting its own case study results.The engineers regarded a missile approach from the east as unlikely, because from that direction the missile would have flown directly towards flight MH17, meeting it head-on / frontal. The charge of a 9M38M1 does not explode in a forward or spherical fashion, but rather sideways in a ring- / thoroidal shape, and the charge exploded some 3-4 metres away from the cockpit, on its left side. The fragmentation sheel around the charge blasts apart in 7800 shaped shrapnel fragment, which move outward at an estimated speed of 2400 metres per second. Which so much energy, there would not only have been a lot of shrapnel entry holes in the left side of the cockpit, but also a lot of exit holes on the right side. In the reconstructed fuselage of the plane, in the hangar of airbase Gilze-Rijen, you can see that the aluminium skin material of the cockpit’s right/starboard side has hardly any exit holes. However, several parties, including investigators and Almaz Antey engineers, have found holes and shrapnel bits further back in parts of the plane e.g. the left motor, the left wing, the fuselage and sections of the tail fin. Fir this reason, the Almaz Altey reasoned that the shrapnel traveling direction was from the cockpit’s left side towards the back of the plane, meaning that the missile’s direction was more sideways. Has the JIT-team done anything at all with this information? What it the team’s actual proof to irrefutably deny the conclusions of Almaz Antey and holding on adamantly to its conclusion that the missile came from the east?

    5. The involvement of (a) fighter plane(s) and 30mm rounds having been shot at the cockpit (most likely by a board cannon) are persistent. There are claims on having found “round bullet holes” in both the fuselage skin and in the body of one of the pilots. Were 30mm bullets ever found? Can we dismiss the fighter jet and board cannon scenario, or is there doubt or proof giving credit to the contrary?

    Ger Schreurs
    the Netherlands

  5. Rob Heusdens // June 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm // Reply

    How about the aucoustic witness evidence?

    (below is assuming the single cause of MH17 shot down is that it was targeted by a BUK missile from an unknown location).

    What we know from the launching of a BUK missile is that after launch it reaches within a few seconds the speed of sound, causing a sonic boom people on the ground can hear. The speed of the missile keeps increasing until after another few seconds, the fuel is exhausted, and it will continue its flight at maximum speed (slightly lossing speed due to air reistance). After reaching its target, the explosive goes off, and people on the ground hear another explosion.

    When you analyze the a) motion of the rocket and b) accoustic effects of the two sound booms the BUK launch causes it will be clear that:

    a. Some witnesses will hear the sonic boom first, later followed by the explosive boom.
    b. Some witnesses will hear the explosive boom first, later followed by the sonic boom.
    c. Some witnesses will hear both acoustic peaks at almost the exact instance of time.

    If we would know the exact locations of witnesses that heard a simultaneous acoustic peak (which likely causes people to claim they heard only ONE acoustic peak) and by using a model of the rocket motion from the known facts, you could in theory (within some reasonable margin of error) determine at what ground positions people would have heard a single acoustic peak, instead of two.

    When considering two possible launch locations, and considering the margin of error with which we can determine the locations where witnesses would hear a single acoustic peak, one might be able to tell these locations apart if the probable locations within the margin of error of these calculations do not intersect.

    I have not been able to do these calculations myself, but I think a physicist who knows the physical behaviour of the missle, can do the calculations and can calculate also the error margin, and when given the locations where witnesses claim to have heard a single sonic boom, might be able to tell within some probability what the launch location was.

    So far I have never seen an investigation that has digged into this acoustic evidence or done an analysis wether such evidence is usefull or not, but perhaps other people might want to research this further.

    At least it would be handy to first develop a good model of the flight of such a model, especially the profile of its speed, altitude and position during the flight, and additionally, the pattern of the duration between the accoustic peaks on the ground.

    Presumably, the pattern of points with minimum duration between accoustic peaks would be a line on the ground orthogonal to the (ground projection of) the flight of the rocket, and for different launch locations, would form different lines on the ground. If those lines would be far enough apart from each other, outside of the margin of error, witness reports of people with known locations which only heard one acoustic peak would be very significant evidence…

    Some questions:
    – How much time between acoustic peaks are minimally necessary so that people will distinghuish it as seperate acoustic peaks?

    Dutch citizin curious about what really happened to MH17.

    PS. At this instance of time, it is of course very questionable wether peoples memories about the tragedy is still reliable enough to make any sense of such witness reports. But if such a research would have been done under many witnesses within days or weeks after the incident, it might have been meaningfull. So far, however, I have seen no mentioning ever about this acoustic evidence, and analyze how it could be significant in determining the possible launch location.

    • We simply do not know what kind of investigation JIT did. We know they took soil samples from the location where the missile likely was launched. We know JIT received severall videos and photos of the BUK. The likely spoke to eyewitness. We know nobody saw a BUK missile or TELAR at the location the Russians claimed the BUK was launched from.

      The US likely have SBIRS data as proof of location. Plus they might have satellite photos showing the position of the BUK. We need to wait for the release of the evidence in the courtcase. Can take many years though.

      • Rob Heusdens // June 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm // Reply

        That might all be true, and in any case, the initial research phase has already been finished in october 2015, but it is likely there has not been a thorough investigation into the sonic evidence, because to have a meaningfull (statistically significant) result, you would have needed as many data points possible, and since there were hundreds/thousands of “ear” witnesses, such research would not have gone unnoticed, it was never mentioned or referenced. But ok.

        • Generally speaking eye/ear witness are not the strongest piece of evidence. People forget things. See or hear things which turned out to be different. Also Russia might present ‘witness’ with a contradicting story.
          The best evidence would be soil samples, calculations of the missile trajectory, satellite photos and data.

          • Rob Heusdens // June 11, 2018 at 10:55 pm //

            That is of course true. But in this case, we are talking about a large number of earwitnesses. Even if there are witnesses that misreport, there could still have been (if researched for it systematically and with a scientific research method) statistic relevant information in what the ear witness reports, providing a large enough group of ear witness reports are collected, as the misrteporting itself would be just a random noise, which would not alter the pattern to discover. If the research method would be scientific, it would be able to calculate the statistical relevance of the pattern to be found.
            Also, the benefit of this research method is that no ear witness can have a bias on his/her report, as you can not (not very easily that is, and very unlikely in this case) draw a conclusion from a single testimony. Anyway, such a research has not been done.

          • Rob Heusdens // June 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm //

            About best evidence, lastly. Yes, in normal circumstances such objective pieces of evidence, like soil examples, would be the thing to go for. However, the whole point and problem of this kind of research in this highly politicized incident, is that there is high level of distrust in the research team, since one of the suspects is part of the team, and thus could alter research results or hide certain parts of the evidence. So for that reason any piece of additional objective evidence should have been used, and the method I described, even despite it being based on witness reporting IS objective and might have been statistically relevant. Compare it with a digital picture, on which you randomly add noise (change 30% of pixels into a random value), if your initial resolution was large enough, the added noise does not change the outcome of the pattern. In an earlier phase (some weeks after the incident), such a research could have been valuable and significant, I think.

          • Rob! I highly object to stating Ukraine is a suspect of the downing of MH17. Please refrain from posting at this website. I refer you to sites like that of Niemoller to spread nonsense.

            There is NONE, I repeat NONE indication Ukraine shot down MH17. There is a MASSIVE amount of public available indications Russia is responsible. More important, JIT concluded the BUK TELAR which was used belonged to the 53e Brigade based in Kursk.

            Yes, the investigation is highly political in the sense Ukraine and Russia are enemies involved in a war. While Russia and Malaysia are pretty close.

  6. Rob Heusdens // June 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm // Reply

    The appropiate terminology is that until proven guilty the case only involves suspects. Until there is proven a guilty party (as decided by the court of law), neither is there proven innocence for a suspect. Prior to investigation, the situation is that anyone that could have committed the act, is suspect. Only later, the team found what murder weapon was used, and excluded other scenarios. Suspects are those that had that murder weapon at the time and location from where MH17 could have been shot.
    Even if there is reason to believe that evidence so far produced points to one of the suspects, and not to the other, in the technical sense both are still suspects.
    JIT has not proved that the BUK telar which belonged to 53th brigade shot MH17. They have only found evidence that that specific BUK would have been at a location from where MH17 could have been shot.
    Although that is a necessary part of the evidence, that is not enough evidence as there were other locations from which MH17 could have been shot with the same type of weapon, so the evidence need to involve exclusive evidence. JIT team states and partly revealed also that part of the evidence. It is not a good idea to state that the other party involved in the conflict, which had operational BUK launchers of same/similar time at a potential launch location, should be dismissed as potential suspect. You would want and need exclusive evidence, don’t you agree?

    Suspect is the appropriate technical term for cases where no court ruling has occured. Please do not politicize it, because the only meaning of the term ‘suspect’ is that indeed, no court ruling has occured as of yet, and until proven guilty, the potential perpetrator is called ‘suspect’.

    I agree there is more evidence pointing to one of the suspects and little to none for the other, so I am perfectly fine with that.

    But I am not the judge, and neither you, so none of us can make claims about who is guilty, only a judge can make such a verdict.

    I hope you are ok with that.

    • A suspect is determined by the police/public prosecution service. Not by the public.
      A suspect needs to have a motive, be physical able to commit the crime, shows behaviour which is suspicious and has the tools to commit the crime. He also typically hide the evidence.

      I cannot find any of those for Ukraine. There is no motive (other than the stupid false flag nonsense, there were no Ukraine BUK close enough to hit MH17). Basically what you say is that every citizen of Amsterdam with a gun is a suspect when a murder is commited, including police.

      All characteristics of a suspect are applicable to Russia.

      JIT did not call Ukraine a suspect.

      Lets stop the discussion

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