Update April 6.
The orginal title of this blogpost was “Part found by journalist suggested to be BUK part likely to be Boeing 777 part’.
Then someone on Twitter showed me another photo made by Jeroen Akkermans. It shows the digit 4 applied on a part of the Boeing 777. The 4 has a different look than the character on the piece found by Akkermans. So this makes it unlikely the part found by Akkermans was part of the aircraft as previously believed.
Jeroen Akkermans, journalist working for Dutch RTL Nieuws, found in November 2014 several parts of what could be a BUK missile. RTL announced the news with a heading saying “Evidence for shot down of MH17 by a BUK missile. Here is the english text of the same news.
Akkermans found several parts of what could be of a BUK missile:
- a single part, rusted, which was found in wreckage which was located near the tail of the aircraft. This could be a bow-tie part of the missile warhead.
- several parts which could be part of the casing/body of the missile. These were found in the remains of the cockpit
In a previous post I showed that the bow-tie shaped part was likely planted in the wreckage.
RTL states about the piece found in the cockpit: “It appears from electroscopic enlargements that a fragment shows a cast-on Cyrillic serial number from the Russian language next to a partly broken number 2.”
Tse (Ц ц; italics: Ц ц) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.
A user on a Russian internet forum found out that the part of what RTL suggested belonged to the missile, could be a part of the Boeing 777.
On the photo below, left is the part of the missile found by Akkermans. On the rightside of the photo the part of the Boeing 777. The digit 2 is clearly the same shape/font.
The what RTL believes is a Cyrillic character could be the digit 4. It is a bit odd shaped though.
The photo which shows a serial number of the Boeing 777 was taken by Jeroen Akkermans. See the original photo here. The photo was taken at the spot where the cockpit crashed.
Analysis of the part
RTL had the part analysed. The spectrum shows aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), magnesium (Mg, titanium (Ti), chromium (Cr), and strontium (Sr), on the basis of the oxygen peak probably in the form of an oxide. Also, traces of iron ( Fe), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), chlorine (Cl) and bromine (Br).
What is still missing is a compare with an analysis of the part of Boeing 777.
Also an analysis of a BUK missile part can be done.
BUK or Boeing part?
I found another photo made by Jeroen Akkermans. It shows the digit 4 on a piece of the Boeing 777 structure near the cockpit.
I rotated the photo 180 degrees and zoomed on the digits. The 4 is clearly different than on the piece found by Akkermans.
The charater on Akkermand does seem to be a Ц and not a 4.
However Michael Kobs does not agree. In this report Kobs states:
The thickness of the piece found by Akkermans seems to be much thicker than the outer skin of the BUK missile. The skin of the missile is likely to be as thin as possible to prevent kinetic energy from the explosion to be absorved by the other skin of the missile.
Still some questions:
- How likely is it that a serialnumber on a BUK missile is exactly the same font and applied on the same way as a serialnumber on a part of a Boeing 777?
- How likely is it that the colour of the metal of a BUK missile is very simlar as the colour of a Boeing 777 part located in the cockpit?
- How likely is it that a part of a BUK missile is found by a Dutch reporter 4 months after the crash in a location (the cockpit) which was visited by many, many people?
The characters on the Akkermans piece seem to be on the inside of the BUK missile. It is unlikely to be a serialnumber.
Photos I have seen of BUK missiles seem to have a serial and type indication printed on the missile body in black paint. On various parts of the missile a unique number is printed.
A closeup of the missile. The first part of the print shows the type of the missile. 9M38M01. The rest seems to be a serialnumer. In this photo 88901059
This photo shows a 9M317 missile. Again some sort of serialnumber can be seen.
A closeup clearly shows 9M317 being the type of the missile and 8881610 likely to be a serialnumber.
The third example of a serialnumber on a BUK missile
Also the closeup clearly shows the type of the missile and a unique serialnumber . In this example 9M38M1 then two characters and then 8900145.
DSB did mentioned that Akkermans found parts of what could be a BUK missile. The text below was taken from the DSB final report. We really cannot conclude anything from reading the text.