Check-double check! The Paris Match photos were made around 11:00

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The two photos or likely screenshots of a video showing a BUK parked in Donetsk and published by Paris Match are used as an important indication that Russia supplied the BUK which shot down MH17.


The remains of white paint on the side and the damage pattern on the left sideskirt match those of a BUK seen in Russia. So the photos are an important link Russia.

Now we have to make sure these photos are genuine. We do not know the name of the photographer. Paris Match initially even mentioned the wrong location of where the photos were made. Also the BUK was not seen on a Digital Globe satellite photo acquired by Bellingcat.

Lets assume the photos are genuine and there was indeed a BUK parked at July 17 or another day in Donetsk.

What time were the photos made? The time is important to establish all other sightings of the BUK were indeed on the same day.

Ukraineatwar tried to establish the time the photo was made using suncalc. The website calculated that the photo could have been made around 10:00- 10:15.  That is weird as Paris Match said the photo was made around 11:00. And Bellingcat mentioned that 11:00 was likely based on Suncalc.

Michael Kobs did some investigation into the time this photo was made at. He not only used suncalc to determine the angle of the shadow. He also looked at the length of the shadow related to the time and thus position of the sun.

He makes very clear the PM photos were made around 11:00 -11:15 as can be read in the report of Kobs below. The report is split in three parts. Part 3 has a correction on another report where Kobs used the incorrect heigh of the Volvo.

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Part  2

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Part 3

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57 Comments on Check-double check! The Paris Match photos were made around 11:00

  1. Do we have the originals to see the metadata?

  2. Originally Bellingcat had an article claiming that Paris-Match photo was taken at 9 am. Which could nicely match other timings.

    Later they switched to 11 am story without retracting the 9 am blunder. Just saying

  3. I think one point is still not discussed here. Look at this video from 26 June 2014. You might have seen it before. But what is striking, all the Buks shown do not have numbers painted on them. Not only it will allow to paint new numbers or any clumsy painting on the side, using video of a known BUK, it also means that those BUKS were not accounted for when Ukrs presented evidence, if they ever presented, about the location of all the existing and operational BUKS.

    This are new Buks given to UKR army in late June. I guess they are not included in the list of currently operational BUKS by Ukraine.

    • One of those polished UA BUKs, painted to look russian, to be on the rebel trailer and going around rebel area… I doubt.

      Other than that all UA BUK spottings are welcome.

      • Assuming that whole Ukr story is supported by a “reliable” method of Bellingcat sect in stretching photos and somehow matching Paris-Match photo with photo of Russian BUK across the border. Painting of the numbers could be an option. Not that I think that I’m convinced that it actually happened, but overall possibility is there, as the data/video on Russian BUK across the border was available from June. Reference to rebel controlled area is a silly manipulation of reality employed by western media. Total number of rebels by July 2014 was around 10000. Divide it by the allegedly controlled territory and you get a fraction of a rebel per square km. In reality rebels were concentrated in few locations. So overall density was lower. Also rebels didn’t have army and central command. They were disjoint groups with know means of identifying friend of foe. Anyone could claim himself as rebel and just go through. Doesn’t mean that it happened but argument on rebel controlled territory is really hollow. Finally if we take Paris-Match photo and make the error analysis that Bellingcat sect likes so much, we will see that BUK doesn’t belong to the picture. I don’t know if that analysis can be relied on but Bellingcat didn’t use it on Paris-Match photo and that exposes them as employed propaganda scum, like Robert Conquest.

      • Actually, at this video from June 27 (not 26), 2014 you can see no “new” ‘Buks’ — just old ones having being repaired that were still undergoing tests. That’s why they had no numbers: they were still inoperable. They said the whole SAM complex should have become operable sometimes “in the coming days.” And, it took place in Khmelnytskyi in Western Ukraine, 800 km far away from the conflict zone. So is it sane to suppose Ukraine would drive one such vehicle from the whole complex for 800 km just to risk losing it to the separatists? Such insane thing could well have been done with other Ukrainian ‘Buks’ dislocated closer to the place, for the beginning. And, in any way, if you still suppose such an insanity that doesn’t explain why the Russians drove their ‘Buk’ to the occupied territories from Russia and hastily took it away… And also, the words by Antidyatel about those Ukrainian ‘Buks’ having being unaccounted are just a baseless conjecture.

        • Video is from 26th (read the title) posted on youtube on 27th.
          Nobody argued that Paris-Match Buk or the one involved in MH17 downing was new. Refurbished by Ukrainians is perfectly matching the scenario. Argument about 800 km and “coming few days” is not negating the possibility to bring Buk into ATO. Hysteria by Geletey and whole Ukr army chiefs about Russian bombers and Migs entering Ukrainian airspace was a logical reason for army to bring in air defense to protect its troops from this imaginary danger.
          Proof of Russians driving in Buks into the Ukrainian is so Pathetic that I don’t even want to use the word circumstantial.
          Regarding BUK accounting I just insist that if JIT actually received information about the active Buks from Ukraine, which so far no signs can be seen that such transfer of information has happened, they should still ask about Buks that were not only in active duty, but also those that could become operable closest 17th July.

          • Toni Wunderer // September 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm //

            Don’t you fools notice yourself that you never start from the more plausible end but always try to involve Ukraine some way to wash the hands of the (Pro-)Russians clean. Throughout all the theories, you and others always point in the direction of Ukraine. A typical truther method! Today is 9/11 and despite my huge mistrust in the official version I still must laugh about the idiots trying to proof that no planes were hitting the towers. It is one thing to be skeptical but another thing is to be an idiotic truther!

            And yes, I have seen everything before: Pseudo-physical analysis thatseemd to make it impossible that planes ever could be directed into the towers. And now I see it again! Some lousy armchair analysis of unsharp photos or videos and the political agenda that Ukraine might have something to do with it because you cannot live with the most plausible solution that the guilt lies in the hands of russia and its proxy forces in the Dumbass republic.

            Pssst. I thought it was a magical SU25, now Ukraine moved BUKs as red herring through the separatist areas which were – of course!!! – only punctually administered by them 🙂 Haha haha. Tomorrow Santa Claus will come to you!

          • Toni: your comment reminds me of the Mark Twain quote: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

            By releasing these photos and creating a story it does not mean the story is true! It depends on the ignorance but in this important case I only trust something when it is proven. There are many aspects about the PM photos which have a suspicious smell.
            In the meanwhile Kobs make a new report about the PM photos. I will create a blogpost on it.

            It does not mean that if photos are fake, Ukraine shot down MH17. But the story gets some changes when PM are fake.
            Maybe Ukraine SBU faked photos to show that the BUK was transported on the 17th of July while in fact the BUK arrived days earlier.
            In that case Ukraine knew about a BUK and should have closed the airspace.

          • > Refurbished by Ukrainians is perfectly matching the scenario. Argument about 800 km and “coming few days” is not negating the possibility to bring Buk into ATO.

            — Oh, yes, for sure. The ‘Buks’ from, say, Georgia also match perfectly. Or, for that matter, from Finland. Or Belarus, Azerbaijan or Syria 🙂

            > Proof of Russians driving in Buks into the Ukrainian is so Pathetic that I don’t even want to use the word circumstantial.

            — Well, but there’s absolutely no, even if “pathetic,” proof of the Ukrainians using a ‘Buk’!

            Well, I understand it pleases you to think every evil in this world is made by the Ukies. However, you could at least try to put the blame on Ukraine for risking to lose a functioning ‘Buk’ from its nearest inventory — but not for moving a still-not-operable ‘Buk’ for 800 km taking it away from the rest of the SAM complex!

            And, in any case, even if you, for some reason, don’t believe the version of a Russian ‘Buk’ shooting down MH17, how do you explain it being driven from Russia to Ukraine, to a place most suitable to shoot down a plane coming like MH17 did, and, after the incident, taking it away as soon as possible?

          • Toni. Toni. Again you trying general statements to confirm a specific case. I don’t know where you have seen analysis that planes didn’t hit the WTC. It is a obvious ruse to give “stiff necks” (see Plato for definition) a weapon to dismiss any theory that is against government by means of ridicule. Very powerful weapon of propaganda, to flood the space with all possible ridiculous ideas, so that public doesn’t have chance to focus on real thing. Because any individual doesn’t have resources to go through all this crap. It is not a secret weapon and it is perfectly described in Propaganda by Edward Bernays, and he is very proud to use it himself. If you didn’t have a stiff neck you would focus not on the theories that planes were not there, but on theories that government found a passport of one of the terrorists in the debris. It was an official statement, not a statement of loony truther. It was stupid and ridiculous and should have charged masses to check all other statements of the government on credibility. The mistake was quickly realised and the information space wad quickly flooded with other crazy theories, so public didn’t notice the problem. Similarly, to most simple solution in MH17 case, are actual satellite images from USA, in 9/11 the easiest thing was cctv footage around Pentagon, which was plentiful. Again, the crazy stories were flooded to divert attention from the obvious solution. Now in MH17 case, Russian MOD never said that SU25 downed MH17. They just said that SU25 was in vicinity. Then one sensationalist TV host got an email from USA with photoshoped picture and rushed to present it. That became a perfect ruse. He was easily discredited. TV channel withdrawn any support for his conclusions but it was too late. Instead of talking why SU25 was so close to Boeing, people are just switched off, thinking that the discussion implies that SU25 attacked Boeing. And they forget that Ukrs lied through their teeth and even changed wiki to prove that SU25 cannot reach 10000m. Why did they lie? Should be important question but it is not, thanks to propaganda flooding techniques

          • Dear Prostak, again you mention the movement of Russian BUK into Ukraine and back. And this is not a proven fact if we deservingly throw away Bellingcat sect. Who is blaming Ukrainians in all evils? If someone is blamed in all evils that is Russians and this goes for centuries with similar credibility starting from Jesuit monk who created a myth of Ivan IV killing his son. So no surprises there. Regarding 800 km, everyone knew about Ukrs having BUKS in the area. If false attack is on play it would be logical for them to use one that is not officially there. It doesn’t mean that this happened but it could be. So in event that Ukrs present the locations of their operational BUKS(which they still didn’t) on 17th July, JIT should also request about the Buks that would have been “ready in few days” from June 26th.

          • = Antidyatel // September 12, 2015 at 4:47 am //

            Antidyatel, there’s a lot of proof of the movement of the Russian ‘Buk’ to Snizhne and back to Russia. You may doubt it was the one that shot down MH17, you may doubt the exact timing of some pictures of it, you may even doubt the exact dates of its movements. However, you can’t doubt it was there.

            > (which they still didn’t)
            Well, the Ukrainians haven’t provided this data to you and to me. However, it would be difficult for them not to provide the data to both Dutch investigations they are part of. And I’m sure (yes, I can’t prove it either, like you can’t prove your statement) they did submit the data — just to be able to debunk the idea of a Ukrainian ‘Buk’ shooting down the plane in the court, not in a blog.

          • Prosto Tak:

            “don’t believe the version of a Russian ‘Buk’ shooting down MH17, how do you explain it being driven from Russia to Ukraine, to a place most suitable to shoot down a plane coming like MH17 did, and, after the incident, taking it away as soon as possible?”

            I explain it as follows. As of now, there is ZERO verifiable evidence that any of this happened. There is ZERO evidence that the proposed route through Lugansk was available for use by the rebels as opposed to being occupied by Ukraine. In fact, there is no video/photo evidence of any convoys passing from the region of Krasnodon through Lugansk towards Donetsk from any time after July 13, 2014 until the end of summer 2014 because on July 13 Ukraine conducted an offensive operation to Lugansk Airport that severed this route.

            The simplest and most parsimonious explanation of the photographic/videographic evidence that is available, if we accept it as genuine, is that a BUK was driven before the afternoon of July 17 any day back to around July 14 from Donetsk to Snizhne and therefore is likely a rehabed trophy.

            It makes no sense at all to drive a BUK from Russia to Donetsk and then Donetsk to Snizhne when the BUK coming from Russia has to pass through Snizhne to reach Donetsk.

            As an alternative, you are welcome to present a case of how a Russian BUK was allowed to pass through Ukrainian lines between Yuviliene and Bile.

          • Andrew, the same ‘Buk’ has been pictured first in Russia then in Ukraine. What did it do there? You may fantasize about some Ukrainian ‘Buks’ either shooting down the plane from Ukrainian held territory or having being captured by the separatists (of which not a single piece of evidence exists) — but what did the Russian ‘Buk’ do at the occupied territories at the time MH17 was shot down?

          • Andrew, and, on the other side, there is, let’s say, “less than ZERO” evidence of any other version of the events. You are free to doubt the version with a Russian ‘Buk’ because you don’t believe all the existing evidence. However, other versions have no evidence to support them at all, just conjectures.

          • Prosto Tak:

            “the same ‘Buk’ has been pictured first in Russia then in Ukraine”

            Sorry, I don’t agree. I think the Paris Match picture is a crude fake, and there is obviously no other link nor any actual evidence at all of a BUK passing the border.

            “other versions have no evidence to support them at all, just conjectures”

            Russia’s satellite image of Zaroshchenske is pretty compelling, as is the Almaz Antey report. As opposed to amateur speculations by people with no qualifications in weapons design and zero space imagery to back it up.

          • Andrew, you are free to think so and believe in already debunked Russian fakes. In this case, I won’t be able to convince you in anything other. However, we’ll know the results of the investigations sooner or later. But I think you won’t believe it either 🙂

          • You are free to think so and believe in already debunked Russian fakes. In this case, I won’t be able to convince you in anything different. However, we’ll know the results of the investigations sooner or later. But I think you won’t believe it either 🙂

          • Actually, the so called Zaroshchenske picture has been shown to be crudely photoshopped. The AA report is also much biased and unsubstantiated in many points.

          • Prosto Tak: can you please stop posting the same message several times? They end up in the spam folder.
            Also you seem to respond to each and every other comment here.

          • Prosto Tak:

            “Actually, the so called Zaroshchenske picture has been shown to be crudely photoshopped”

            How so, by showing an American space image? No, that never happened, did it. So did Bellingcat contact the Russian company selling space imagery to purchase the original? No, they didn’t do that. So it really boils down to Bellingcat just saying they don’t like the image and the story it tells. I.e., its fake because “isn’t”. That is the argument level of a 2nd grader in a school yard. And yes, boohoo, it was photoshopped to add labels and magnification boxes. That is different than photoshopping the Paris Match photo, where the entire BUK was obviously inserted into the image.

          • Actually Andrew, to me they are clear fakes.
            I can look at the July 15th and July 20th images and not see one single track left by a 30+ ton BUK in the locations the MoD presented them at.
            The MoD image even fails to show the ONE main distinctive tract that is clear on both the GE images.
            It screams the MoD faked it.
            Probably a older June image (which GE does not have) of the farmer’s field and then also the photoshopping of vehicles into the older image.

            You trying to make a joke when asking if BC attempted to purchase or acquire a Kremlin run and controlled satellite image to prove that a Russian MoD image is false?

            Do you really think the Kremlin controlled agency would give away an image that confirmed the MoD are liars?
            That is like a police officer just only asking a business for it’s security camera records (the police will wait for you to tamper with it) after an arson the business owner did to commit insurance fraud.
            As opposed to coming in and seizing it before tampering can happen.
            The MoD images of BUKs in Zaroshchenske are fake as a 100 foot long Anaconda.
            A clear forgery and fraud.

            Fare thee well

  4. 11:00 vs 10:00 Kiev or Moscov or Paris time?

  5. In the second picture, why can the trees in the background be seen through the BUK’s radar cabin?

  6. My photo archive is a mess.
    Do we have all the most high res “rebel BUK” photos collected somewhere?

  7. The full report in which Michael Kobs is succeeding in debunking the Paris Match pics, the Ukraine-at-war claims about the Vostok-BUK movement and a whole lot of other issues:

  8. Ad: is there anything else you can say except lie? Have you used Suncalc yourself? I did and it is clear the shadow comes from slighty behind the truck.
    10:15 is nonsense. If there was a truck, it was photographed around 11:00.

    • The shadows of the backplate are very difficult to see. What about the shadow of the lightpole? And what about the length of the shadows? That is an indication for the time as well.
      And it is strange now all of a sudden the time is adjusted to around 10:15. Because people are digging up the truth?

      • Azimuth of the lightpole’s shadow also indicates the photo was taken significantly after 10:20:

        • Ole, If you stood on the white line and took a photo of the grey pole.
          How do you imagine you would see it from what is shown here?
          To me it looks like the defining shadow/sunlight line would be right at perpendicular to the road.
          IE, you could see half the pole in shadow, and half of it in sunlight regardless of the elevation of the sunlight.
          It does not seem to vary at all up and down the full length of the pole.
          The bell at the top is interesting to look closely at as well.

          Fare thee well

    • AD why don’t you explain why you imagine Kobs is wrong?. All you ever seem to do on here is say people are lying if you disagree but you never give sources or ever explain why in any detail.

      • You provided no actual info, You need to do more than just post a picture and make an assertion. You did not back up your claim that the sun would hit it at 10 am.
        What calculation did you use? Did you even do a calculation at all?

    • Kobs’ report shows better representations of the truck involved than the mystifying pieces of crap you are posting here.

  9. AS usual AD provides nothing that can be tested. AD did not do any actual calculation. If he did then we could test his theory.


    Look at A measurement for 6×4 either 3450 mm or 3245 mm.
    Not sure if it changes by year model or what.
    Saw another spec sheet that listed 3 types of heights for the 6×4 sleeper cab version that were listed Standard, medium and low.

    Isn’t it interesting that Mr. Kobs had a spec sheet that he could have shown both side and front view that had the height, but he showed this view that does not list the height at all???

    Anyone can search and find them, so why didn’t he and produce them?

    I think the one thing that is interesting is if you look at the fuel tank and the fuel tank shadow is that it follows the white line of the road.

    I am not a sundial expert, but doesn’t that mean perpendicular to the sun since the top of the fuel tank is going to be parallel to the road and the shadow is parallel to the line??

    I have never used SunCalc, so I can not tell what measurements are used for it, did Ukraine use Daylight savings time in 2014?
    Did Suncalc figure that in?
    Or did it for what the owner’s of the app host nation does?

    I do not know a lot of the factors that go into it, but I imagine it is a lot and those things could throw it off.

    So let’s talk about some other vagueness when he addresses SunCalc.
    About! 57 degrees
    ABOUT (again the vagueness !) 49 degrees
    Height of cab is 3.49 m (I have showed it could be a variety of heights)
    His math is right for the cotangent of the numbers he uses.

    DO we know the trucks exact GPS coordinates at that time? It looks like a road that has a shoulder that is ending, but when looking at Ukraine at War’s location, I am not sure it is there or if it is, that the lane is exactly straight.

    Mr. Kobs states lanes are 4 m wide, well they are 3.75 according to these figures!!!

    I agree with Mr. Kobs first statement in the next report, amateurs who do not have all facts and figures correct should not play with SunCalc and make a declaration from them, that INCLUDES HIM.

    As I said, I do not use SunCalc so will never be an expert in it quickly, but there is a LOT of room for error using it, and it looks like Mr. Kobs fudged his numbers to me.

    If you look at the two poles in the first image of this article, you will see exactly how the sunshine hits them, not its elevation, but in relation to the road and how perpendicular it is.
    To me, looking at the poles, that is right about perpendicular to the sun.
    You can see the bright spots and where the shadow starts.
    That tell the time in the big sundial to me if it is perpendicular to the road at 10 am, these images are right around that time.
    But I never said I was an expert, but those are some of my observations.

    Fare thee well

    • Another item, I know SunCalc has been used by both sides here.
      Does anyone know the range of error the app designer or others have found for it?
      +/- 30 minutes? +/- 10 minutes? +/- 1 minute? +/- an hour?

      I know a lot could be thrown off by errors in perspective and disputed size measurements of which I do not know the exact sizes, but if someone printed out the photo, and did an analysis of the ration of the sizes as opposed to the actual measurements and gave the front tire, of the loader, width the number ‘1’ in the scale ratio couldn’t you figure some of the others and input those in the calculations?
      And use a regular ruler from there to find measurements.
      The size is not what is important, you could figure from the height of a cup on the ground to the height of a skyscraper.
      The ratios are what is important.

      Going by just one measurement in the image and trusting Hector and crews compilation numbers seems kind of stupid.
      Especialy since AD and I both prove that they screwed with some numbers (to force the equation to meet their conclusion???) it seems rediculous to take their claims at face value.

      I would not expect anyone to trust Ukraine at War’s figures just out of hand either.
      I think my above statement about ratios would get us closer to the actual time frame.
      Or using the poles and the shadows on them as some kind of sundial as long as you figure the position of the camera to the left of the pole in perspective and knew where the sun should be at a particular time.

      To me, it looks like if the camera was sitting on the white line that is parallel to the center of the road, the one by the left drivers tire of the loader which would almost line up with the pole, you would see the shadow and light parts of the left pole have equal parts, which says it is perpendicular to the sun.
      Which says 10 am, if that statement is correct regarding time and the sun and it being perpendicular to the road.

      Fare thee well

  11. The shadowcasting analyis performed by Michael is not dependent on the absolute height of the BUK with trailer. So your louzy 10cm really is no argument.\

    Furthermore he debunks – u@w who is lying though his teeth again, and like you only leaning on his gimmick to portray dissenters as evil Kremlin trolling liers to prove his case – with straightforward arguments using suncalc.

    So what are you gonna do next?

  12. If the sun came from slightly in front of perpendicular to the road this contour of the BUK should be visible in the shadow:

    It isn’t.

  13. If the sun came from slightly in front of perpendicular to the road this contour of the BUK should be visible in the shadow:

    But probably that fits better to the blogpost: Are the Paris Match photos of the BUK fake?

  14. It looks like all the messages of the banned user are now missing. That means a lot of discussions at this site now lack coherence.

  15. Thank you for the updated report admin, interesting read.
    A lot there to assimilate.

    Just a quick thing of note on page 32.
    He states he believes it is a cable in the image or something.
    That really doesn’t make sense.
    It is not the only shadow like that.
    There is no other distortions in the image if the cable was something nearer the photographer.
    Even on a bright sunny day, I doubt a cable would leave a shadow of .5 meters wide.
    I am not sure what it is, but thought I would mention it.
    He mentioned it for a reason.
    It doesn’t seem to be a crosswalk line, however at the end of it there is a path that goes up to the sidewalk.

    The full 36 second video is here –

    I can see the cable ends on the poles nearer the houses he compared Dormer shadows on, but I am not so sure that one is.
    Too wide.
    Thanks Mr. Kobs for digging deeper for the numbers on the cab height and getting a little clearer.
    One little thing about the video, does it sound like a single prop airplane near the end of the video, in addition to the BUK’s diesel motor?
    I guess it could be getting on the gas to go up the hill, but it sounds somehow different to me.

    And one thing I am curious about as far as noises the BUK missile makes.
    Would there be a ‘sonic boom’ also made as the missile crosses the sound barrier?
    So possible 3 booms plus the wooosh of the rockets as they eat up fuel?
    Launch, sonic boom, and detonation of the warhead?

    Fare thee well

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