Proof the Russian TV “satellite” photo of MH17 is fake!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Russia so far has been faking lots of information on MH17. In this post I explain the Russian Ministery of Defense showed a faked route of MH17 during a press conference.

A Russian TV station 1TV.RU  posted on November 14 an article on its website  including a satellitephoto what appears to be a fighterjet  launching a missile towards a Boeing 777 supposed to be MH17.

The article states it received a letter from an expert including this photo. The article explains this is the proof of an Ukrainian Su-29 fighter shotdown of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17. The airport on the left is Donetsk airport.

Read this post about the expert which in fact is a graduate from MIT. He an interview with George Bilt in Russian.

George Bilt—who said he is an MIT graduate and aviation expert with 26 years experience, but would not provide further biographical details—said that he had come across an earlier report by the Russian Union of Engineers (RUE) blaming a Ukrainian fighter jet for the crash, and thought that it concurred with his own amateur findings. When he saw the picture online, Bilt wrote to Andreyevsky, the “expert” from the broadcast, with a link to the forum where the image was posted, clearly stating that he had found it there.

George Bilt is a real person. He is now very upset because his name is mentioned in many newspapers and blogs.

Some newspapers (one in the UK, several in Germany, at least two in Belgium, one in Malaysia reported about the story). Itar Tass also made a posting about this photo.

Itar Tass quotes Ivan Andriyevsky, the first vice president of the Russian Union of Engineers. We know this Union from a report which concluded that MH17 was brought down by a missile. Now with the quote below in mind you might understand this report is incorrect as well.

“We see a space shot made from a low orbit. Such photo shots are typically made in air and ground surveillance purposes,” Andriyevsky said. “Coordinates on the photo hint that it was made by an American or a British satellite. We have thoroughly analyzed this photo to find no signs of fake.”

Here is an interesting story on the vice president of the Union of Engineers. In fact he is a pro-Kremlin economist.

Huffington Post has a great blog plus video explaining this image is 100% fake.

Some sites still believe the photo is real. Even when there are 14 proves listed below which clearly indicate the photo is a fake. One of those site is

This picture can be seen here in large format. It was originally posted at 15 oktober on a Russian forum. The photo is fake because of the following reasons:

  1. The aircraft in the fake picture is a Boeing 767! MH17 was a Boeing 777-200! See this image and press play.
    The source of the image was a search for ‘ боинг вид сверху’ which is Russian for ‘Boeing top view’ . The source of the picture is here.  Here the perfect match for Boeing 767 and fake photo.
    This is the search result for ‘Boeing top view’ in Google
  2. The weather is wrong. The area where MH17 was shot down was covered in clouds. There are no clouds in this picture!
  3. The plane is pictured over a place called Panteleimonivka  in Donetsk region. In fact MH17 flew 13 km to the north of Panteleimonivka.
    See this image. The red line shows the route MH17 took based on the ADS-B signal. (source Twitter)
  4. A cloud over Donetsk is *exactly* the same as a cloud on a Google maps satellite photo taken in 2012
  5. Photos of MH17 clearly shows heavy damage on the lefthand side of the cockpit. The fighter on the fake satellite photo launches a rocket heading to the righthand side of the Boeing. Missiles do not make 180 degrees turns.
  6. The distance mentioned in the letter of the “expert” (400 meters) is in fact 50km. See Tweet of @Brown_moses
  7. A satellite photo published on Yandex Maps in 2012 was used for the photo. See the exact similarities on both photos indicated by the purple arrows.
  8. The dimensions are not correct. Either this “satellite” orbits at 10.1 km altitude, or the 777 is 4km in length:
  9. the aircraft does not have the livery of Malaysia Airlines. The titels on the fuselage of the Malaysia Airlines B777  are located above the wings. This photo shows the titles above the forward fuselage
  10. The “expert” who sent the letter to the Russion Union of Engineers himself regret sending the letter. He sent the letter to start a discussion. He did not state MH17 was shot down by a fighter. (Russian interview with George Bilt)
  11. the fighteraircraft is not a SU-25 as always suggested by the Russians. It even is not equal to an Ukraine SU-27 camoflage livery.
  12. There are no contrails behind the aircraft.
  13. In the fake #MH17 picture  the sun is in the East, when it should be in West (Sun is about 150° off-placed).
  14. Fake photo shows overwing exit symbols which B777 does not have.

Bellingcat has a great list of the same proof here. 

Also Metabunk has a thread on this fake photo.

Here some background on photos of airplanes made by satellites.

An explanation in Russian language about this Photoshop.

Many thanks to Eliot Higgins (@brown_moses) and many others for the quick debunk of this fake photo.


Yandex Maps photo taken in 2002 used for satellite photo.

picture of the weather at the time of shotdown. Source is Dutch Safety Board preliminary report

distance   satellite


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

2 Comments on Proof the Russian TV “satellite” photo of MH17 is fake!

  1. James Jordam // June 2, 2015 at 12:21 pm // Reply

    Do you rememner the phrase evil empire that was first applied to the Soviet Union in 1983 by Ronald Reagan. Now the same thing is happenning with Russia.We can call it as the country of evil and freak state. Only imagine recently Russia has been acused of digitally faking of two satte;ite images to pin the blame of woned passenger plane MH17 on Ukraine forces, it has benn claimed.What a shame7According to report released by investigative

  2. After five years of fighter jet conspiracy theories, Konstantin Ernst, Channel One boss, admits the photo is fake. He calls it a “mistake”…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.