Overview of eyewitness who saw a missile flying at July 17

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There are many eyewitness who saw a missile flying at July 17, 2014. This post will provide an overview.

In total about 12 people stated in various media they saw a missile which came from a direction southeast of Snizhne.

Interesting enough the Russian media (especially Russia Today) was not able to find any eyewitness who saw a missile flying.

Basically there are 5 places  where people saw a missile:

  • Torez/Snizhne
  • Pervomasjki
  • Grabovo
  • Chervonyi Zhovten/ Red October
  • Near Saur Mogila

Saur Mogila

In a tv program of Dutch Nieuwsuur  a commander of Vostok Batallion stated his men saw a missile launch from the ground. Commander Som didn’t see the missile but his men told him they saw it went straight up turning right. It did not hit MH17 though, he said.

The location of the men was not stated, but it must be somewhere in the area south of Snizhne, near Saur Mogila


Dutch NOS reporter Gert-Jan Dennekamp visited Pervomasjki together with Volkskrant reporter Bert Lanting .

Dennekamp talked to 6-8 people who saw a missile flying. None of them pointed to Red October as launch location. They all saw a missile which came from a southeasterly direction. A 40-year old lady stated she saw a missile coming from Stepanovka and flew westerly of Pervomasjki on an north-westerly heading.

His report can be read here.

The end of this blogpost shows the possible launch location according DSB final report.

At July 16 2016 Dutch newspaper NRC published an article about MH17. Reporter Steven Derix went to Pervomasjki and spoke to a person named Anton (12) who heard the BUK launch. He couldn’t see the BUK launcher. Heard the roar of the launch (no explosion but a hissing sound psssssjt )  and saw the rocket coming over the trees.

Anton walked at the small lake westerly of Pervomasjki. He saw the missile flying in a north-westerly direction. He stated he saw the aircraft being hit and how one of the wings separated. He could see the missile well leaving a smoke trail. He is not sure about the colour, he believes it was white. He is not willing to talk more about the event.

The NRC reporter did not talk to other witness in Pervomasjki. Below an image explaining the situation.




Anatoli stated he was swiming with his friend in the river Miuc in Grabovo.  He heard a noise. He saw a cone. The missile came from the southeast direction Snizhne. Interpretermag.com has the story as well as other eyewitness stories.


A man interviewed by Volkskrant saw the missile plume and pointed towards the Southeast for the direction the missile was coming from. Volkskrant reported here.

Chervonyi Zhovten / Red October

Zello is a sort of walkie-talkie app used on mobile phones. A Zello conversation was recorded just after the crash has happened. The translation was published at Ukraine@war, a Pro-Kiev website.

An unidentified woman (called woman B) states she was in the garden at Oktyabr (Октябрь) and watched a missile flying coming from the direction of Saurivka. The missile was flying above Oktyabr.

Bellingcat in this blogpost stated the location woman B was must be a street called Red October.
The webmaster of Ukraine@war stated Oktyabr is the southern district of Snizhne. So a part of the town of Snizhne. The reason is because of Oktyabr’skaya street.

It seems unlikely the woman lived in Snizhne itself. She stated

above Oktyabr’ flying there, you know, to… towards the town, in that direction.

Would you say “above Oktyabr’ when living in a street, and toward the town if you live in the town itself?


Bellingcat must have been aware that Chervonyi Zhovten is called  Red October { Красный Октябрь)by the locals. However, Bellingcat stated the witness was not in Chervonyi Zhovten but at a nearby farm located in  a street  called Chervonyi Zhovten

47°59′9″N (47.9859)
38°44′32″E (38.742318)

It makes much more sense this woman B was located in the small village of Chervonyi Zhovten. The village was later visited by Reuters, NOS and BBC.

[2:25] woman B
Guys! I’ve just listened to the story… (sigh) Right then, I was at the garden, at Oktyabr’ (no Wikimapia link available) sound, out of nowhere, there was droning sound. It was silent right before that, and then suddenly there was loud droning sound… I [looked] at the sky, err, something was flying… well, I, I can’t tell for sure, well, from that direction, it was flying as if from Saurivka [Wikimapia-link]. I thought it was a missile, ran inside the house, shouted to my mom, well, after we went down to the basement, only then did we hear some bangs, explosions.
But it was flying and smoking—with a white smoke—and strong buzzing loudly above Oktyabr’ flying there, you know, to… towards the town, in that direction.

Reuters went here and talked to Pyotr Fedotov, a 58-year-old resident. To Dutch newsstation NOS the same man later denies he ever said that.

Reuters talked to Valentina Kovolenko. She saw the missile. Her daughter Anastasia Kovalenko, 14, said she saw a rocket flying over the village, and then a plane in the distance blowing up.

Olga Krasilnikova, 30, also said she saw a rocket, some time between 4 and 5 p.m. “I saw it was flying, flew right over me

None of the villagers saw the missile actually being launched.

BBC documentary Conspiracy Files: Who shot down MH17?   like Reuters had an interview with Valentina Kovolenko (45 years old). She lived in Red October and told she saw a missile. She saw a black plume.

Which is remarkable as Woman B in the Zello conversation spotted a white smoke trail.

Valentina Kovolenko can also be see n in this Russia 1 item

This is the voice of an eyewitness.

DSB report location

The DSB report calculated an area of 320 sq km from where the missile could have been launched. The image below was made by Bellingcat and explained here..

The yellow area is calculated by Dutch NLR and shows 320 sq km.

The Almaz-Antey simulated flight paths for the 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles are marked by the red and blue outlines (respectively). The 9M38M1 area was 63 square kilometers

The small area with the red and black pins was calculated by the Ukraine research institute.

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108 Comments on Overview of eyewitness who saw a missile flying at July 17

  1. Want to share some thoughts on plane/missile spotting. I live around 20 km from a military airfield but quite close to the planes common route. Because of this I see a lot of fighters passing by. On a good day up to a dozen, sometimes flying as low as 100 metres.
    I don’t remember a single time when I first saw a plane and only after the sound of it. It always starts with a sound and only then I see a jet. But on hearing the jet it’s not immediately clear where the plane is, because the sound is coming from other direction. After time, I developed a technique for determining where to look for the plane: I am listening for a while and try to sense the vector of velocity of the sound source. After that I look forward along the vector for the plane.

    The missile goes much faster than reasonably slow fighters near the landing strip. Therefore its sound source will be way further than in the case of the fighters. Because of this the method “first hear then look” will not work for a missile, and one need to spot it only visually. My experience tells that this is extremely unlikely. Though it’s not completely impossible, I’d take all those testimonies with a lot of salt.

    • sotilaspassi // June 26, 2016 at 1:48 am // Reply

      BUK missile is easy to see for 20 seconds because of the contrail and flame.
      Clouds can hide the contrail but sometimes it amplify the glow of the flame.

  2. The same woman? Translated by Google Translate:

    “Just below Pervomajskoje is Pervomaiski, a village of eight streets. A woman aged about 40 told them on the 17th July in the afternoon with her ​​mother potatoes to harvesting was in her vegetable garden. The two were startled by a loud bang – ‘it was so hard that my mother fell backwards “- then she saw a flying missile. She points to the west, across the road from Snizhne to Saoer Mogila. Shortly afterwards she heard a huge explosion, but the plane did not see them. They can not say exactly where the missile came from. Are there people who have filmed it with their cell phone? “Oh no,” she says, “if someone had recorded, he would get a bullet in his head.”

    “A 40-year-old woman saw a red rocket. She had that afternoon in the garden potatoes in the dust with her mother. She describes the sound they heard and then a loud bang. Shortly afterwards called acquaintances was shot down a passenger plane. She saw a white stripe. Not from the checkpoint away, but further south and points in the direction of the next village Stepanovka.”

    • Same woman. Both NOS and Volkskrant journalist travelled together and interviewed this woman.

      • Yes, I see. I meant, didn’t you notice that “She points to the west, across the road from Snizhne to Saoer Mogila.” contradicts “Not from the checkpoint away, but further south, and points in the direction of the next village Stepanovka.”

        • I noticed and contacted the NOS journalist. He said the women described a trajectory of the missile starting in south and passing Pervomajski in the west.
          The remarkable fact is that 6-8 persons told the reporters they saw a missile which was launched south of Pervomajski

          • Ok. I can suppose 47.9507° 38.8047° as the launch site then, while launching from a bottomland (175m vs 250m asl) seems a nonsense to me. But new tracks appeared there within July 16-21. Grass on this plot of land was burned within July 16-20. And it fits the direction to dark smoke from Pavel’s location. Anyway I would rather think some artillery guns fired from there within July 16-20.

            Also on July 16 there was a Strela-10 at 47.94578° 38.78066°, but launching a missile from it hardly produces so much noise 3 km away.

          • Correction. Launching from a bottomland is ok if TEL is used for this, connected to TELAR which works on a highland like that around the checkpoint.

          • Slozhny: why are you looking for a burnt field as you also seem to think the black smoke was not related to the launch?

            Now the Bellingcat burnt field is calculated out of the way and the geolocation founded on the Oliphant assumption has no longer any merit, actually there is no reason to look for any other burnt field.

          • I am also curious about what’s going on inside the heads of Kiev supporters who admit that the black smoke is not related to the white trail. Because the fact that the Oliphant field falls exactly on the line of the black smoke needs explaining.

            And there seem to be only two possible explanations: a random event, such as a landing of an illumination bomb/flare, or an intended action, such as someone burning the filed after determining the location on a map. I fail to see any other possible explanations. Can you?

            Probably past this point many pro-Kiev supporters just don’t ponder, as higher education is needed. But, if we take that the chance of a random event falling on exact line at almost exact time to be small, say 1%, the maths tells us that the remaining chance is left for the explanation via an intended action, and this is 99%.

            So, having basically accepted that there was some intended action aimed at enforcing a story behind the Aleynikov pictures (and this is what they based their calculations for the spot on) pro-Kiev posters still manage to believe that the white trail was still of a Buk. I really fail to see how they reconcile this inconsistency in their brains. (The sad truth is that most people don’t bother reconciling inconsistencies in their reasoning as long as they are allowed to watch Eurovision).

          • Eugene:
            the black smoke could be cause by an event on a location exactly on the line between photographer and alleged launch location.
            See my post here:

            Likely the black smoke was caused by a diesel locomotive or a chimney at the Voskresenskaya mine

          • > the black smoke could be cause by an event on a location exactly on the line between photographer and alleged launch location.

            I understand. This is not what needs to be explained. What needs to be explained is that Oliphant field falls exactly on the same line. Please try explaining this yourself.

          • I’ll rephrase.
            We have two unrelated events: the black smoke and the Oliphant field. Generally such events would not fall on the same line. Right? Them appearing on the same line in our case is either a matter of coincidence or a premeditated action. The question is about the origin of the Oliphant field and not about the origin of the black smoke.

            As long as you realize that the chance of the coincidence is small and a premeditation action is very possible and bears no risk to whom would do it, you’ll start looking at the whole story differently.

            If you look carefully, the same logic applies to your thinking that the gun from a Su-25 is nonsense. The gun is not enough to explain all the holes, so it must be both a gun and a missile. And this is a coincidence. A coincidence that is, although theoretically not impossible, not worth considering because a simpler explanation is available.

          • I do not understand.
            The black smoke highly likely is not from the Oliphant field. The burned wheat area is too small to cause that much smoke reaching the observed height. Also wheat produces white smoke when on fire.

            So the black smoke has different location and cause. Looking at photo the black smoke highly likely is in the foregrond.

            About the only likely place is the coalmine. We have a chimney and a diesel train as likely causes.

            The cause can be a coincidence to happen at the same time as the missile launch. It could be also an event on purpose or it did never happen (Photoshop).

            Please explain why this chimney/diesel train is not a coincidence? See the picture the RT journalist made. See saw a black smoke plume from likely the coalmine on a totally different day.

            The SU-25 is a totally different story. We can exclude SU-25 for many technical reasons.

          • Admin, stay with me. You on a right path and will get there. Please try to explain the origin of the burnt Oliphant field. How do you think the fire on it occurred?

          • Eugene:
            Either deliberately by man or on accident.

            -not by farmers as I understand some farmers were called by the owner of the land to plough the field to stop the fire.
            -By a missile launch
            -Maybe but unlikely put on fire by someone suggesting this spot is the alleged launch spot.

            By accident-not planned:
            flare from a plane, hit by a GRAD missile (Oliphant found a piece of plastic)

          • Ok, I’ll take the least favorable option out of those. I’ll continue the dialog for you in in the most expected fashion, and you’ll say if/when I go wrong, and continue.

            Eugene: How the fire on the Oliphant field had started?
            admin: After the Buk launch
            Eugene: The Buk launch that supposedly caused the white trail?
            admin: Yes
            Eugene: Do you think that the black plume is UNRELATED to the launch?
            admin: Yes.
            Eugene: So how come they appear on the same line? A coincidence?

            go ahead…

          • I am not so sure that white plume is from a missile launched from the Oliphant field.
            IF, and that is a big IF, that plume is real, it is likely to originate from a location more to the east of the Oliphant field.

            I do believe the black smoke has a different source and it there because of a coincidence.
            If not by coincidence, it would be rather stupid by the one who planned the black smoke to use black smoke. As there is not much black smoke to be seen on videos showing BUK launches

          • Ok. Basically you say that the Oliphant field may or may not be related to the launch. But what’s important is that you are NOT saying that the white smoke and the Oliphant field (independently or not) are RELATED to the black plume.

            So you pretty much admit that they are UNRELATED and so them falling on the same line is either a coincidence or a result of someone’s action who made them appear on the same line. Right?

          • I am pretty sure the black smoke and white smoke are unrelated.

          • > I am pretty sure the black smoke and white smoke are unrelated.

            …and because such things do not generally fall on the same line, them falling on the same line in our case is either a coincidence or a result someone making them fall on the same line.

            You have almost arrived. But still refusing to subscribe to the above statement?

          • Lets get to the point. Severall comments earlier I wrote this:

            The cause can be a coincidence to happen at the same time as the missile launch. It could be also an event on purpose or it did never happen (Photoshop).
            Please explain why this chimney/diesel train is not a coincidence? See the picture the RT journalist made. See saw a black smoke plume from likely the coalmine on a totally different day.

          • The RT journalist was very important in showing that the black plume was not related to any missile launches, I think.

            > Please explain why this chimney/diesel train is not a coincidence?

            Sorry, I actually fail to see why should I explain it is NOT a coincidence (with what btw?) if I say that the black plume (from chimney/train or whatever) falls on the line as a result of a coincidence (or alternatively as a result of someone’s action).

          • So,what is the conclusion of this discussion? Mine: a waste of my time.

          • Back to Su-25 gun theory. Yes, there are other reasons for why it is wrong. But if those reasons were not there it still should not be considered, for the reason that it alone cannot explain all the holes and requires a coincidence.

            This probability approach is a more mathematical way of explaining of why, for example, investigators are never seriously looking into explanations involving coincidences. For example:
            An aircrash occurring due to a mechanical failure and a bomb going off at the same time. A crash occurring as a result of a CFIT and a missile hitting at the same time.

            Subconsciously you understand why those theories should not be considered, I merely put it into a more formal way involving probabilities, but you fail to see this.

            > So,what is the conclusion of this discussion?
            Mine: you don’t get it.

          • Coincidence have an aspect of the chance something happens. Typically a coincidence has a very small percentage of likely to happen.
            An aircraft hit by a missile while it crashed into the ocean at bad weather is a coincidence not likely to happen.

            Black smoke at a coal mine where coal is transported by diesel trains which can produce lots of smoke is not a coincidence.
            Yes, the fact that this is exactly in line with the Oliphant field is a coincidence.

            So what are your thoughts about the black smoke?

          • > Black smoke at a coal mine where coal is transported by diesel trains which can produce lots of smoke is not a coincidence.

            If you scroll up you’ll see that I never remotely hinted to that. The idea that I meant that occurred in your mind while you were trying to get your head around.

            > Yes, the fact that this is exactly in line with the Oliphant field is a coincidence.

            Ok, finally I got what I wanted from you. I can carry on, telling why this makes the premeditated action idea more worthy of consideration, but I think you must be tired and I have to go cooking. Maybe another day.

    • From NOS: “She saw a white stripe.”
      That seems to contradict what Admin reports about what she told the BBC:
      “She saw a black plume.”

      • JustThinking // June 26, 2016 at 10:26 pm // Reply

        Witness on BBC said: “Good God! A plane has been hit! But it’s going the wrong way, not down but up, with the flames burning on the back and leaving black trail behind”
        “We saw what later turned out to be a missile but it went behind the clouds”

    • She saw “a red rocket”?

  3. “[…]said she saw a rocket flying over the village, and then a plane in the distance blowing up.”

    How is that possible, if the plane was behind the clouds? Nevertheless, we do have supposed eyewitnesses who claim to have seen the plane blowing up. This guy claims to have taken note of a fighter jet shooting at MH17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AkLha3j2Bo

    Perhaps we really do need to take these eyewitness accounts with several grains of salt.

    • sotilaspassi // June 26, 2016 at 12:01 am // Reply

      Plane blew up on ground. Not in the sky.

      • That is something that can’t be seen from that distance to the crahsite, which would make the account all the more incredible.

        They are talking about the hit. Also I am doubting this actually could have been seen.

        • sotilaspassi // June 26, 2016 at 8:38 am // Reply

          Some even filmed the fireball from long distance.
          Some can say they saw plane blow up when they heard the thunder and saw the first black smoke.

          But I know it does not fit in your agenda.

          MH17 did not blow up in sky, the BUK detonation is hard to see in long distance in clear weather, impossible 17Jul from direction where missile flew from.

          • Ahhh, a fireball from long distance. I am convinced now. Must be a Buk – if you have no agenda, that is.

            But where are all these videos then? They do not appear in these witness accounts we are discussing. But I am sure the JIT has it in their stock pile of other evidence from the Great Unknown?

            MH17 did not blow in the sky, so you are repeating yourself, actually not reading what the witness claimed.

            So he saw a plane in the distance blowing up. You really think he saw a ground crash 26 km away with a large city in between? Or are you just obscuring the matter to distract us from logic and reason again?

      • sot: “Plane blew up on ground. Not in the sky.”
        That’s against the eyewitness relations and DSB findings.
        Have a look on film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_2_JwW7i5I
        More than 20 seconds after fallen down the black smoke appear without explosion.
        On the other films ,some kind of fireball appear but also without strong explosion.

        • Nobody filmed the impact. Everyone filming the crash site did so after the aircraft crashed. It is likely the explosion happened at the exact time of the impact, so before everyone started filming. I have not read any eyewitness report who saw the aircraft explode in mid air. There were explosions when the warhead exploded, when the tail broke off and when the cockpit was cut off. However these sounds are very unlikely to have caused the enormous sound when the main fuselage hit the ground at Hrabove.

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm //


            Can we exclude with certainty the possibility that 14 year old Anastasia Kovalenko (a Chervonyi Zhovten / Red October witness) saw MH17 being destroyed at an altitude of 10km? Of course she may well have become aware of the rising dark smoke from the crash site (possibly her attention was drawn in that direction by the sound of a distant explosion) which she later attributed to “a plane in the distance blowing up.”

            The later seems the most likely however I don’t believe we can exclude the former without further information regarding her observations.

          • Wind Tunnel Man

            IMO most important is not a witness of the crash but the coordinates of the alleged missile.


            [Her daughter Anastasia Kovalenko, 14, said she saw a rocket flying over the village, and then a plane in the distance blowing up. Olga Krasilnikova, 30, also said she saw a rocket, some time between 4 and 5 p.m. “I saw it was flying, flew right over me. From that side,” she said, pointing to the outskirts of the village. “I saw smoke in the sky, then I heard an explosion and I saw a huge blue (cloud of) smoke.”]

            With testimonies we distinguish observations from interpretations, since interpretations caused by common sense reasoning of witnesses who are building a scenario can be confounded.

            Anastasia Kovalenko, 14, and Olga Krasilnikova, 30, saw a projectile flying right over the village of Chervonyi Zhovten (Red October):


            These are observations and not interpretations. If they were not lying we might have the trajectory from Red October to the FDR-point = 322 degrees. But even if they were honest the chosen methodology is wrong because of interviewer bias. Now the judge will wipe this ‘evidence’ away.

            Also interviewers are important. They must not reward and reinforce witnesses in an unconscious way. Also, now it is much too late, since they interviewed after inhabitants could have made a common sense reconstruction:

            [Villagers in eastern Ukraine told Reuters earlier this year [2015] they saw a missile flying directly overhead just before flight MH17 was shot out of the sky, PROVIDING THE MOST DETAILED ACCOUNTS to date that suggest the rocket was launched from territory held by pro-Russian rebels.]

            Also Reuters is questionable and might be not transparent:

            [To help to clarify the situation Russia Today has asked Reuters and the reporter to provide the raw footage of the interview [with Pytor Fedotov], which Reuters has so far not done.]

            This all means we know nothing until excellent psychologists question the witnesses still with a sophisticated test for sheer facts and definitely show no interest in their interpretations. So, I am afraid we know nothing for sure.

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 27, 2016 at 7:08 pm //

            Basic Dimension:

            “This all means we know nothing until excellent psychologists question the witnesses still with a sophisticated test for sheer facts and definitely show no interest in their interpretations. So, I am afraid we know nothing for sure.”

            Hence we can not rule out a witness seeing an aircraft “blowing up” in the sky even from a considerable distance when the sky was not fully overcast.

            BTW please keep up your excellent work with shrapnel damage analysis on MH17’s cockpit section.

          • Liane Theuer // June 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm //

            Admin wrote: “Nobody filmed the impact.”

            There is a video of the impact and it´s clearly visible that the explosion happened at the exact time of the impact :

          • Liane Theuer // June 27, 2016 at 7:50 pm //

            Ah – I realized that this video has cuts.
            The original was titeled “Video de la Explosion Avion De Malaysia” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXH-TgM-esw
            But the link dosn´t work anymore.
            Here CNN shows that video :

          • Wind Tunnel Man:

            Yeah, I miss your company as with EFIS 🙂

            [Hence we can not rule out a witness seeing an aircraft “blowing up” in the sky even from a considerable distance when the sky was not fully overcast.]

            Indeed the sky had open windows with the sun shining. But the problem is people reconstruct facts afterwards. They know if a plane falls apart it likely first exploded. But I am not so sure about that. DSB did not develop a reassuring scenario for the disintegration of the aircraft. An explosion? Blowing up? Why, where, when? Evidence?

            It is possible by psychological testing to reveal basic facts from the head of the girl. I shall not tell how this works, but it is highly reliable and in accordance with applicable standards. Maybe JIT has been so wise.

          • > They know if a plane falls apart it likely first exploded. But I am not so sure about that.

            The plane was mostly falling as a hole, because the bodies were located compactly.

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm //

            Basic Dimension:

            “Yeah, I miss your company as with EFIS”

            I’m not going to comment on the damage pattern on a moving target again due to insults from another poster on this site.

            “Indeed the sky had open windows with the sun shining. But the problem is people reconstruct facts afterwards. They know if a plane falls apart it likely first exploded. But I am not so sure about that. DSB did not develop a reassuring scenario for the disintegration of the aircraft. An explosion? Blowing up? Why, where, when? Evidence?”

            Perhaps only a bright flash was seen in the sky (the detonation of a warhead?) in the correct general direction and they learned later that it was probably MH17 being hit?

          • Liane Theuer // June 27, 2016 at 10:17 pm //

            Eugene wrote : “The plane was mostly falling as a hole, because the bodies were located compactly.”

            That´s not right ! The bodies were scattered over a large area.
            Perhaps Marcel should also write a blog about witnesses who saw how MH17 broke apart.
            Since there are some interesting statements.

          • Liane, sorry, I meant that the bodies from the main plane hull are located compactly near Grabovo. Bodies from the forward section that separated early seem to be also located quite compactly in Rossypnoe but not as compactly. There is a third small group of bodies that cannot be assigned to any of the above two groups.

          • Wind Tunnel Man:

            [Perhaps only a bright flash was seen in the sky (the detonation of a warhead?) in the correct general direction and they learned later that it was probably MH17 being hit?]

            Yes exactly, we reconstruct reality from fact and fiction. Most of us ever had the experience of hearing a car crash. We turned around and saw the damage. Then we were asked the circumstances of the accident and then we give a completely developed scenario. Until someone asks when we turned around, huh, i.e. after the blow. Humans learn to combine all sorts of impressions, facts and fiction to a closed scenario. I mean that’s what I always do 🙂

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 28, 2016 at 12:29 am //

            Basic Dimension:

            Let’s say we are flying in an aircraft, during daylight, at an altitude of 10km and by chance we just happen to be looking at the ground, between gaps in the cloud, over some distance away. Unknown to us we are looking in the general direction of where an explosion of the magnitude of the A-A Buk test is about to happen. When detonated would we notice it and surmise that an object has blow up? If we did notice we might start to wonder what blow-up. In the reverse instance an explosion in the sky would lead us to believe it was probably an aircraft.

  4. Wind Tunnel Man // June 25, 2016 at 9:51 pm // Reply


    “Reuters talked to Valentina Kovolenko. She saw the missile. Her daughter Anastasia Kovalenko, 14, said she saw a rocket flying over the village, and then a plane in the distance blowing up.”

    Thanks for posting that – perhaps we do have an eye witness who actually saw an aircraft targeted and destroyed by a SAM. Perhaps her particular location enabled her to see, due to a gap between the clouds, an aircraft flying at an altitude of 10km and a missile approaching and intercepting it. Or if she was unable to follow the path of the missile after it passed over the village are the two events related?

    • sotilaspassi // June 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm // Reply


      I think you’ve misunderstood.
      MH17 did not blow up in the air, it blew up on the ground.
      IMO, it its difficult to see BUK detonation at 10…30km distance.
      And because of clouds …

      • Wind Tunnel Man // June 26, 2016 at 12:47 am // Reply


        Thanks for your reply and the link to the .jpg.

        Regarding my misunderstanding: surely she could only have known that it was actually a plane that blew up on the ground some time after the event though, unless she saw a recognizable aircraft center fuselage section, wings and engines in the air immediately before the crash. However I understand your argument: i.e. she saw a missile and then some time later saw an explosion which she subsequently discovered was an aircraft blowing up when it hit the ground.

        Regarding the .jpg: have you seen the video that was taken of the crash site only minutes after the impact in Hrabove? The sky in a westerly direction has very broken cloud and bright late afternoon sunlight is breaking through the cloud.

        • sotilaspassi // June 26, 2016 at 2:28 am // Reply

          The image I linked is from west towards crash site and has the biggest spot of true blue sky I have seen. Often it is difficult to see if it’s darker cloud or blue sky.

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 26, 2016 at 2:53 am //


            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDMjnwbIDBE – mostly filmed looking towards the west and the sun is breaking through causing distinct shadows, certainly not a fully overcast sky in that direction.

          • sotilaspassi // June 26, 2016 at 8:33 am //

            I’ve analyzed that “rocket flew to it” video.
            One is not able to see a blue sky on that video. Mainly sun coming through thin clouds and blue looking places being dark clouds. No view to west at all, so, very irrelevant vs view to BUK warhead detonation spot.

            The first image I posted above is result of that (quick) analysis.

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 26, 2016 at 2:38 pm //


            “One is not able to see a blue sky on that video. Mainly sun coming through thin clouds and blue looking places being dark clouds. No view to west at all, so, very irrelevant vs view to BUK warhead detonation spot.”

            I think you should perhaps consider the auto exposure and white balance characteristics of the camera used before stating that the video is irrelevant. I think it was quite likely that there were gaps between the clouds and clear sky visible in the west and the south west minutes after the impact in Hrabove. Whether a witness in another location further south east would have a line of clear sight of an aircraft being hit at an altitude of 10km seems by no means impossible.

            Also just to add: a two dimensional satellite picture of apparent cloud cover from directly above does not imply that clear sky can not be seen from the ground in regions above the horizon due to dispersion and varying levels of cloud.

  5. Not to promote a blogsite, but I have made some remarks about the witnesses featured by Novaya Gazeta (Anatoliy), Zverev, Reuters (Fedotov, Kovalenko) and the man who heard a sound (Novaya Gazeta in Pervomaksiy).

    See part III, problems of witness accounts from journalists


    Would be too long to copy-paste too.

    • sotilaspassi // June 26, 2016 at 8:50 am // Reply

      FYI: Your agenda shine through from everything you write -> you waste your time 100% unless you are paid to write propaganda.

      btw. Do you know the origin of the rebel tank? What’s the skull logo on the IR sight?

      • My agenda or paycheque don’t matter. Just stick with facts, logic and reason and refrain from ad hominems.

        These witness accounts show unreliable information, by whatever reason. Maybe *they* have been paid. (I don’t trust you pro-Kievites/Anti-Russians for a bit. Anything goes for the right cause). Maybe they want attention. Maybe they just mixed up knowledgde after the fact with memory.

        Deal with this or make a case against it.

        Show someone from Pervomaiskiy could see a plane crash near “Progress”.

        Show someone from Grabovo could see bodies fall from a plane at 10 km height before the plane desintegrated.

        Show the one from the launchsite area could see a plane hit 26 km away above cloudbase. Do you really think your Ukraine-at-war delivered cloud patchwork with the visible see-throughs will do the trick?

        We know you want to see otherwise, but your case is weak, just like the narrative you are peddling – obviously without agenda – going along with a story with many irregularities and contradictions. Every minute on showing what a kind of fraud this is, is a useful spent one. (Making people like you expose themselves for what they really are, is nice collateral profit).

  6. Liane Theuer // June 26, 2016 at 9:47 am // Reply

    I´m not able to look at the video. But the text says (translated) :
    „Before the fall of the Boeing 777 exploded in the air
    This is reported by the authors of the captured video of his fall. Ukrainian military is seen volley probably from BUK missiles from the village Stepanovka before the disaster.”

  7. Hugh Eaven // June 26, 2016 at 11:40 am // Reply

    Witness reliability is always a big issue, even groups of them, especially in an area where missiles and planes have been flying and crashing over a sustained period. Some of the stories to me sound more like MANPAD launches, aiming for SU-25 (in that same area, same time frame). It’s not uncommon for half of the statements describing one event, addressing actually different, similar events in any chaotic time or place. This is however not something I could substantiate now with some easy & quick online sources.

    Therefore I’d suggest a more exact matrix of all these witnesses, with also the dates of the interview as a very minimum. And for clarity also a table of other air battles in that period perhaps with some geo-location or map display. Lots of painstaking work though!

    List of some aircraft shoot downs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_shootdowns#War_in_Donbass_.282014.E2.80.93present.29

    For many witness stories it might become clear they are actually describing other battles or some mixture of events. Memory recall is rarely exact (notable color, time, weather, direction and dating). Peer communication or even subtle clues from the environment, media or even interviewer can shape way too easily the outcome during a first recall.

    As circumstantial evidence these witness reports can be still interesting, especially from the earliest witnesses, before all the media events and peer communication occurring.

    • You are making very good points. Thanks. The war time physiology is different from the one we, piecefull people, are used to. Another factor that complicates constructing a consistent picture of what’s going on is that human beings are not used to interpreting situations where visual and audio inputs form different, inconsistent with each other, views.

      Separatist, being a witness himself, put a lot of effort in building a full picture based on the witness reports. He is still not sure about many details. And he spoke to many witnesses in person. For example, the sequence of heard booms depends on a witness location. Because they were all positioned differently, they’ve heard different boom patterns.

  8. Those witnesses provide various details of a missile:
    – Black plume and a red rocket (Kovolenko)
    – Blue smoke (Krasilnikova, to Reuters)
    – White smoke and a droning/ buzzing sound, followed by bangs/ explosions that could be heard from a basement (woman B, on Zello)
    – Wiggling zig-zag motion, and a rocket stage separating from the missile (Fedotov, to Reuters),
    – A zigzagging /swaying (zwabberen ?) rocket (a woman and another witness in Pervomajsk, to NOS, or “some villagers”, to Volkskrant)
    – A shining ball, making a recognisable missile sound, but “much louder, as if it were near us” (although the missile that struck the 777 must have been about 10 km overhead at that time). (17 y.o. Anatoly in Grabovo, to The Interpreter).

    The fact that these details often contradict each other, or are very hard to believe, is not unusual with eye witnesses accounts of an incident. It just means that no individual testimony should be simply accepted as fact without independent corroboration.

    Still, it’s safe to say that some missile or missiles were fired south of Snizhne some time around the shootdown of MH17. What’s much harder to prove is that it was a Buk, since nobody reported anything that uniquely identifies such a missile.

    Some say that they heard a very loud bang, which a Buk does produce, but any noise is very loud if you’re close enough to it.

    Some people also saw a white plume, but a Buk’s plume is huge and would have been noticed by a large number of people within several kilometres of the launch. That would be even more likely since many people would have heard the noise of the launch and then looked at the sky to see what it was. Many of the observers would have then photographed or videoed it.

    • I don’t buy Mrs Kovolenko’s explanation for the lack of photos of the plume:
      “if someone had recorded, he would get a bullet in his head.”

      The rebels couldn’t look over everybody’s shoulder all the time. Their forces were very thinly spread over Donbass. They couldn’t even seal the border of the territory that they were supposed to control. Releasing a Buk plume image to the outside world would not be that difficult.

      She openly gave interviews to anti-Russian media organisations about what she saw. Her mother and daughter were also identified as witnesses. It’s therefore unlikely that she really believed that it was very dangerous for other people to share images of the same subject.

      • Kovalenko saw a black plume. That can’t be a Buk. So has every witness accounts its own issues. But don’t say it. You will be accused of having an agenda, being paid by Putin.

    • Good remarks about the testimonies.

      “Many observers would have then photographed or videoed it”.

      Not to mention the UAF spotters guiding GRAD attacks on Stepanovka and Saur Mogila, reported on the 17th.

      After Micha Kobs calculated the launch site away as a physical impossibility, actually the entire story of a south-from-Snizhne Buk launch is collapsing, as it was entirely founded in the 1st week after the crash on geolocation of the plume.

      What would this do for the reliability of the witness accounts that were close by this debunked launchsite?

    • I don’t buy Kovalenko testimony either. The Buk explosion would not be visible (ok, the kill weapon was not a Buk but for a minute I’ll assume so).
      First, there would not a contrail for 10 km before hitting the plane (the last fly phase is unpowered).
      Second, the explosion itself will not be visible from 30 km. Eg. Look at this video youtube.com/watch?v=GjdJpppHOn8. There is a barely noticeable explosion at 8 km. I don’t think this would be visible from 30 km.

  9. Michael Kobs // June 27, 2016 at 8:02 am // Reply

    Not to forget the Correct!v witness(es) who saw the missile lauched from a field north of Snizhne. Of course, according to Correct!v these witnesses have no names for their own security and were silenced by a ringing telephone. But they also saw a trail, felt the house shaking, ran to the street (wrong direction) and even saw the railway tracks burning.
    I did a quick search on Twitter for any described BANG or rattle or any unusual lound noise in the first hour after the crash. I found nothing.

  10. Mr.Bushkin // June 27, 2016 at 9:25 am // Reply

    I’d not exclude the possibilty of grund-to-ground ballistic Smerch and Tochka-U missiles used during the conflict having being witnessed as well.

    They have white plumes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHc4JuF3tEs

  11. Hector says in response to a question on him being a paid propagandist that his “paycheque or agenda do not matter”
    No one else find that interesting?
    Witnesses claiming jets or rocket’s all have to be taken with suspion,politics influences people’s views to see or remember what they want.

    • We are all paid trolls here. didn’t you know?

      BTW, Greyfox (AD was it earlier, wasn’t it?), you name yourself after Turkish neonazis. Is this why you are defending a neofascist regime?

  12. Hector
    You seem to be confirming the claim,just wanted to know,also see you decided to accuse people and just call them nazis.thought this site was better than this.

  13. A study on the “Reliability of Eyewitness Reports to a Major Aviation Accident”:
    “Although they sound compelling — “I saw the crash with my own eyes” — a small group of witnesses to an aviation accident giving reports several days after the event may well not produce reliable information. This is demonstrated to be true for a crash as seemingly perceptible as a wide-body transport jet at low altitude in clear daylight conditions.”
    Even though these witnesses were interrogated by trained specialists. It is even possible that the questioning by these journalists may have hampered JIT’s investigations.

  14. Admin:
    comment deleted. Does not add anything new. Personal opinions are great to be posted on other sites.

  15. The Interpreter also reported about two witnesses, but that was a second-hand account from a woman in Zaroshchenskoye:

    “Natalya: You could see it, grandfather was mowing the grass — and first there was a loud boom, then the plane began to fall. My husband saw it. The plane began to fall and crashed.”

    This is presented as showing that the 777 was not struck by a missile from that village:

    “Natalya: (…) How can they say that [they shot] from Zaroshchenskoye? There was nothing! It’s total nonsense, really.
    Friend: We would have heard if someone fired, but we didn’t hear anything.”

    But Natalya’s grandfather apparently heard a loud boom *before* the plane fell. If that’s true, then because of the speed of sound, the boom could only have come from somewhere nearby, instead of from the aircraft. The most obvious source of that noise would then be the launch of the missile.

    By my calculations, a boom heard in Zaroshchenskoye before the fall of the plane could be explained if the launch occurred less than about about ten kilometers away, to the southeast. That’s near the boundary of the area that Almaz-Antey calculated the launch location.

    In their October 2015 presentation, A-A moved their calculated launch site southeastwards from the original area near Zaroshchenskoye. The gray area that’s barely visible in the map above is the original area, calculated in June 2015.

    I can post my calculations if anyone’s interested. But of course, Grandfather might have just been telling Natalya what made sense to him, as many eye witnesses do. What seems the most real is not always real. He might have subconsciously reconstructed his observations into a more normal sequence of events when weapons are fired: First boom. Then crash.

    That then leaves two possibilities: Launch site about 10km from Zaroshchenskoye, or unreliable witness testimony.

    • Wind Tunnel Man // June 28, 2016 at 10:28 pm // Reply


      Yes I’m interested in your calculations. I think I understand your reasoning: hearing a boom followed by seeing the plane beginning to fall (?) would mean that the flight time of the missile was more than 30 seconds, i.e. approx 3 seconds per kilometer for the speed of sound, given your observer’s position about 10km position away from the launch site. Obviously an average speed of a missile, the time it takes to cover a range distance and the amount of time between hearing the boom and seeing the plane begin to fall (or at what stage in it’s fall in terms of time after it was hit) is necessary in any calculations.

      • Wind Tunnel Man, your estimates are approximately correct. There would be some launch location at which the launch is heard at the same time that the plane starts to fall. It’s roughly 11 km but I didn’t try to work out that distance exactly because too many values are not known accurately.

    • My calculations below for the launch site are only for the edge of Almaz-Antey’s updated location area. In that scenario, they show that the launch would be heard 6.5 seconds (30 – 23.5) before the 777 is truck by the missile and starts to fall apart. That gap would be smaller if the launch site is further away.

      As a rough calculation, the distance of the launch away from Zaro’ would have to be increased to more than about 11 km for the missile launch to be heard after the missile strike, instead of before it.

      Looking at the noise from the missile strike, result no.3 shows that it takes about a minute (56 seconds) to reach Zaro’ after the warhead detonates and the aircraft starts to fall. At that stage the aircraft has already fallen about halfway to the ground.

      Simple summary: A missile launch that’s near enough to the observer will be heard before he sees the aircraft falling. The sound of a far away missile strike, on the other hand, will be heard long after the aircraft starts to fall.

      1. Duration of missile flight from A-A area S-E boundary to MH17:

      – Ground (horizontal) distance from Almaz-Antey’s southeastern boundary to MH17 = 21 km
      – Approximate average horizontal speed of missile = 700 m/s
      – Therefore, duration of missile flight = 21000/700 = 30 seconds.

      2. Delay in sound from A-A area S-E boundary to Zaroshchenskoye
      (how long after missile launch from this location that its sound was heard in Z.):

      – Distance from location to Zaroshchenskoye = 8 km
      – Speed of sound = 340 m/s
      – Therefore, delay in sound from A-A boundary launch to Zaroshchenskoye = 8000 / 340 = 23.5 seconds

      3. Delay in sound from MH17 to Zaroshchenskoye
      (how long after detonation that its sound was heard in Z.):

      – Altitude of MH17 = 10 km
      – Ground (horizontal) distance from MH17 to Zaroshchenskoye = 15 km
      – Therefore, straight line distance from Zaroshchenskoye to MH17 = sqrt(10*10 + 15*15) = 18 km

      – Speed of sound (at ground level – Zaroshchenskoye) = 340 m/s
      – Speed of sound at 10 km altitude (MH17 ) = 300 m/s
      – Therefore, (assuming linear change in speed of sound), average speed of sound through the air from MH17 to Zaroshchenskoye = 320 m/s

      – Therefore, delay in sound from MH17 to Zaroshchenskoye = 18000 / 320 = 56 seconds

      • Sources:

        “The Almaz-Antey launch area for a 9M38 missile (…) The farthest distance between a point inside the launch area and Zaroshchens’ke is slightly over 8 km;” https://www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Zaro-Revisited_Final.pdf

        Almaz-Antey: Velocity (9M38) ~ 733 m/s http://i.imgur.com/tJk3q4H.png

        Map of Almaz-Antey updated launch area http://i.imgur.com/YFcdDjG.jpg (Note: X and Z axes are based on orientation of the 777, not north-south)

        Map of original Almaz-Antey Zaroshchenskoye launch area http://tass.ru/boeing-presentation/rayon-zapuska

        Speed of sound in air at various altitudes http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/elevation-speed-sound-air-d_1534.html

      • Here’s the timing and sequence of events for the scenario calculated above:

        0 s – missile is launched
        23.5 s – sound of launch reaches Zaroshchenskoye
        30 s – missile reaches aircraft, warhead detonates, aircraft starts to fall
        86 s – (= 30 + 56) sound of missile strike reaches Zaroshchenskoye

      • Wind Tunnel Man // June 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm // Reply


        Thanks for elaborating on your calculations.

        I don’t think we can realistically position the observer any more than 10km away from the launch site (closer might be better for us to be convinced that he heard the boom from the launch site?)

        Given the flight duration of the missile (= average speed + range) we will have to assume that he saw the aircraft falling immediately after it was hit and just after hearing the launch boom. If he saw the aircraft falling a few seconds after it was hit then perhaps his position might have to be increased by approx 1km from the launch site.

        Alternatively if we decrease the duration of the flight of the missile (= higher average speed + same range) than we can reduce the observer’s distance to less than 10km from the launch site if he heard the launch boom just before the aircraft began to fall.

        However we don’t know the the amount of time between his hearing the launch boom and seeing the aircraft beginning to fall, the greater the time then the closer he was to the launch site. In an extreme case if he was very close to the launch site he might see the aircraft begin to fall up to 30 seconds after hearing the boom. I agree for the purpose of your scenario we can say the boom was heard just before the aircraft was hit and he was about 10km from the launch site.

        • Wind Tunnel Man // June 29, 2016 at 7:35 pm // Reply


          Just a further comment and agreement with your thoroughly explained scenarios:

          A first observation of the sound of the missile apparently detonating in the sky can only be explained if the aircraft had been falling for a longer period than for the sound to travel to the observer before the second visual observation. Alternatively if a loud explosion was heard very shortly followed by seeing an aircraft beginning it’s fall then that would certainly indicate that the explosion may have been the “boom” originating from a missile being launched only a few kilometers away.

        • WTM, there are a couple of factors which make an exact calculation difficult, even if the witness reported very accurately what he observed (loud boom before the aircraft fell).

          First, the aircraft did not just drop instantly, since its forward momentum kept it going for some time. Its direction was almost ‘horizontal’ at the very start of the fall, before it lost its speed as a result of air resistance on the ripped-apart fuselage.

          The aircraft fell ten kilometres, but a large part of it also travelled forward about 6 km in the same time, about one-and-a-half minutes. So it could have taken several seconds before an observer might notice it dropping.

          An examination of the Russian primary radar data could reveal how quickly the altitude decreased after the missile struck.

          Second, we don’t know the missile speed and therefore its flight duration. The value of 30 seconds that I worked out is just a rough estimate. That would be too short if you believe the same figure of 30 seconds that’s often given for the flight of a Buk from south of Snizhne, which is about 20 per cent further away. I don’t know exactly where that figure came from (Almaz-Antey or the DSB?). We don’t even know if it was a Buk that was fired, and not some other type of missile.

          Anyway, even if there are errors due to the factors mentioned above, it just means that the calculations are inaccurate and not completely invalid. The total error will not be huge, because the two possible errors will partly cancel one another instead of adding together.

          The first error (the delay before the aircraft can be seen to fall) will add to the value of 30 seconds. The second error ( estimate of flight duration being possibly too short) will subtract from it.

          It also remains very unlikely that the witness heard the noise from the aircraft before he noticed it starting to fall, because those two events were nearly a minute apart. If he heard anything resulting from the missile, it must have been its launch.

          • Wind Tunnel Man // June 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm //


            Thank you for your extremely well thought out possible sequences of events.

            Just two more points to add: the “boom” from the launch site may have been a sound that lasted several seconds (the missile accelerating away) and the large forward/cockpit section of MH17 may have begun to fall very soon after the hit – it may have been trailing some smoke from the heat blast and possible cockpit instrument electrical fires which may have made it visible from a considerable distance away.

  16. Anatoly’s description of a shining ball and a loud nearby missile sound might be unbelievable. But a couple of other things he said, about when he heard the sounds, are not just unbelievable. They’re physically impossible, given the distances involved and the speed of sound.

    He said two things which could only be true if sound travelled much faster than it actually does. One was that he heard the missile before he saw it. The other is that he heard the explosion only a couple of seconds after he last saw the missile.

    Even at the minimum distance of the missile from the Mius river (about 10 km above it), its sound took about 30 seconds to reach the ground.

    So that’s how long after the detonation that the bang should be heard on the ground. That makes the last part of the following account wrong by a factor of about ten:

    “Anatoly: I didn’t see it from the ground, when they launched it. I saw it when it was already flying. About five seconds. Then it went behind a cloud, and then two-three seconds, and then an explosion.”

    For the same reason, any sound heard from the missile (or ‘ball’), while it was visible (before detonation) could only have come from where the missile was located more than 30 seconds earlier.

    But 30 seconds earlier the missile was more than 20 km away, around the time of its launch. Because that’s twice the minimum distance to Anatoly beside the Mius river near Grabovo, the sound from the launch would not reach him until long after detonation. (That’s not surprising since the missile travels at about twice as fast as sound).

    In other words, the missile was not close enough to Anatoly, at any stage of its flight, in order for its sound to be heard by him before it exploded.

    That contradicts his whole story that starts with him first hearing it. He said he heard the familiar sound of a missile, but this time louder, and then he looked up up and saw it:

    “We had already climbed out, and were drying ourselves out, when I heard the sound of a missile. We have already grown used to hearing that sound (there were battles near Grabovo in the summer of 2014–PK), but this sound was much louder, as if it were near us. I looked up at the sky, it was poorly visible, but then I saw a ball, it was just one ball, shining, like. It flew behind a cloud, it was average cloud cover, and [then] I heard an explosion.”

    • Normally we don’t look conscientiously into the sky. Human beings were optimized by evolution to pay little attention to the places from where nothing affecting our lives can come. Anatoly was swimming. Because of this I thought he could actually be the one to notice something in the sky, as he was looking there. But, as you rightfully say, it would be a completely silent view. The fact that he has heard a missile tells us that he either uses his imagination or that he interpreted the situation incorrectly.

      • “Normally we don’t look conscientiously into the sky. (…)”

        Normally we don’t hear any gap between an action and the sound it creates either. We might notice it for thunder and lightening but hardly ever for physical objects.

        “The fact that he has heard a missile tells us that he either uses his imagination or that he interpreted the situation incorrectly.”

        Maybe he heard something else, such as a low flying jet fighter? I also wonder if the shining ball that he saw was in fact a flare. The video on this page shows a number of flares being released together:

        They might have looked like a single object to someone who could not see them clearly in the bright sky to the south. Those flares also only lasted a few seconds, like the shining ball that appeared to quickly disappear behind a cloud.

        • > Normally we don’t hear any gap between an action and the sound it creates either.

          Yes. It’s interesting that our brain will notice a smaller (small) sound-picture gap if the sound comes first than the other way around. This is an evolutionary feature. Because the small picture-to-sound delays are encountered in everyday life our brain is used to merging the audio and visual events into one. But the sound-to-picture delays are never encountered for the same event in everyday life.

          For significant delays, as you say, our brain is totally incapable of interpreting situations correctly as we are not evolved for this.

          > Maybe he heard something else, such as a low flying jet fighter?
          Maybe. Again, Separatist thinks he has heard the missile too, though he admits that it could be something else, such as the Boeing engine.

    • Wind Tunnel Man // June 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm // Reply


      Good work again!

      Yes we can dismiss the “shining ball” being the missile that intercepted MH17 but what I do find interesting about his story is that he heard an explosion and then saw what proved to be MH17 “spiraling down” followed by what was perhaps a second much louder explosion, i.e. the center fuselage/wings/engines of MH17 impacting the ground and exploding.

      If he heard the first explosion, which was perhaps of a lower intensity, and then 10 to 20 seconds later he saw the the aircraft (or a large part of the aircraft) appear from behind cloud that gives us a possible time frame for part of it’s descent. Approx 45 seconds for the sound of the explosion to reach him plus 10 to 20 seconds before he saw the aircraft meaning the aircraft had been hit approx 60 seconds earlier. If any of this is plausible then it’s possible the first explosion was the sound of MH17 being hit.

    • sotilaspassi // July 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm // Reply

      Understandable if BUK engine flame looks like shining ball when flying in fog/cloud. But only for first 20s of flight. Sound has travelled to about 6km distance from launch site when flame goes off.
      Other shining ball is the warhead detonation flash, third can be MH17 engine briefly spitting out BUK pieces.

      (most likely shining ball was some hallusination? Or the sun behind clouds?)

  17. sotilaspassi // July 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm // Reply

    Some eyewitness mention double bang.
    Often two BUK missiles are launched per target, >=5s difference.

    Would explain some mismatches, but no one reported two missile launches from the area. And only one weapon has hit MH17.

  18. >>The Almaz-Antey simulated flight paths for the 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles are marked by the red and blue outlines (respectively). The 9M38M1 area was 63 square kilometers

    What is a reason how you mark a launch areas for 9M38 and 9M38M1. Do you sure that is not a swap?

    • Wind Tunnel Man // September 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm // Reply


      I suggest that you read page 145 of the DSB report where it says that the area from which a 9M38 was calculated to have been launched was approx 20 square kilometers and for a 9M38M1 63 square kilometers.

      However what is important about those calculations was that Almaz Antey assumed the same warhead on both types of missiles, i.e. 9M38 and 9M38M1, and the detonation characteristics of that warhead was based on the TNO calculations.

      • sotilaspassi // September 6, 2016 at 6:32 am // Reply

        Too bad A-A does not provide English material of their stuff.

        IIRC, They show that 9m38 fly longer path than M1 if launched from zarohenskoe direction. But if launched from Snizhne it is the other way around.

        So far it all corroborate the assumption that anything/everything Almaz-Antey state is a lie.

        Their propaganda info releases of (spring+autumn) y2015 has been insanely silly!

      • DSB report p.145:
        Results for sets of similar calculations were supplied; one for a warhead launched by a 9M38 missile and one for the same warhead launched by a 9M38M1 missile. These calculations produced two areas, respectively, approximately 20 and 63 square kilometers.

        There is not direct words that 63km area is the launch area for 9M38M1.

        DSB report p.145:
        Concern Almaz-Antey performed a simulation of the effects that would be expected from this weapon using detonation data that TNO had calculated and was included in the draft version of this report.

        The “detonation data that TNO had calculated” and “detonation characteristics of that warhead” is not equal. I suppose AA use TNO data about coordinates of explosion and trajectory angles.

        • My English words app tell me about “respectively”:
          “In a relative manner; often used when comparing lists, where the term denotes that the items in the lists correspond to each other in the order they are given.”

          Who lies?

        • Wind Tunnel Man // September 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm // Reply

          “I suppose AA use TNO data about coordinates of explosion and trajectory angles.”

          Yes that is correct: TNO provided data to A-A and that data was a result of their calculations regarding the missile’s orientation, position and speed relative to MH17 traveling at a constant speed in level flight at the moment of the warhead’s detonation.

          That TNO data was used by A-A to provide information to the DSB, which was included in the DSB draft report, to estimate the the launch positions of 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles which have different performance characteristics.

          • sotilaspassi // September 8, 2016 at 8:36 am //

            DSB conclusion: Outside the calculated 320 square kilometer area, BUK missile system can not create the damage observed on the aeroplane.

            -> all locations outside the 320sqkm are impossible
            -> all location inside the 320sqkm are theoretically possible
            -> TNO & A-A&etc calculated spot most likely
            -> south and west edges near frontline, not practically possible

          • Wind Tunnel Man // September 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm //

            “DSB conclusion: Outside the calculated 320 square kilometer area, BUK missile system can not create the damage observed on the aeroplane.”

            Yes that is correct and that appears to be based on the NLR findings – DSB report, appendix x, pages 60 and 61 – where they used the “missile flyout simulation WEST (Weapon
            Engagement Simulation Tool.)”

            They said that their analysis was consistent with a 9M38M1 missile together with a 9N314M warhead being launched and engaging MH17. However we still await an announcement from the Dutch prosecutor regarding of what will apparently be the exact type of weapon that was involved and the exact location from which it was launched.

          • sotilaspassi // September 9, 2016 at 7:21 am //

            To enable launch from outside the 320sqkm area, JIT need to have evidence to counter these findings:
            -evidence of secondary fragmentation damage
            -proximity fuse functionality
            -proportional navigation logic
            -evidence of fragment light paths
            -eyewitness records about the launch
            -eyewitness & videos of BUK movement on the area
            (+perhaps some other matters I overlooked)

            To enable some other weapon than BUK M1 missile:
            -evidence of bowtie frag (+filler) done holes
            -evidence of bowtie frags found
            -evidence of missile pieces found
            (+perhaps some other matters I overlooked)

            Very slim hope for the proRUssians to get out of blame.

  19. Wind Tunnel Man // September 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm // Reply


    Regarding the TNO data from their their simulated analysis – TNO report, DSB appendix y – they state the following:

    “TNO has two recommendations for follow-on investigation, if necessary:
    • Reconstruct the warhead by means of augmenting analysis of recovered
    remains and traces. Examples are the metallurgic characterisation of the
    fragments, chemical characterisation of the residue and estimation of the
    warhead mass based on the fragment numbers.
    • Expand the damage analysis as a stepping stone to failure analysis, by considering damage inside the aircraft contour as well. Start with determining the internal damage in a computer environment, followed by terminal ballistics tests.”

    So the limited data from TNO’s simulated model was provided to Almax Antey for them to formulate an opinion regarding the approximate launch site areas for 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles which were mentioned in the DSB report.

    Independently Almaz Antey observed the recovered damaged MH17 parts and photographs of the unrecovered parts, then considered their own data for two types of warhead (9N314 and 9N314M) and thus two types of missiles (9M38 and 9M38M1), concluding that the launch sites were in different areas than those specifically mentioned in the DSB report.

    You are of course free to criticize Almaz Antey’s opinion regarding the possible launch sites but at this stage it’s perhaps better to wait for further reports from the parties involved in the investigation before being overly critical of Almaz Antey.

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