What do we know of the alleged launch location ?

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Some media like The Guardian and Australian 60 minutes are sure that the alleged launch location south of Snizhne was in fact the location a BUK missile was launched from.

For me this indicates the absolute bias of some of the main stream media. The Joint Investigation Team did not announce anything about the exact launch location. This announcement is expected after summer. Also DSB did not specify the exact launch location other than “the missile was launch from a 320 sq km area”.

This blogpost provides videos and photos of the alleged launch location.

So let me summarize what we know and do not know about this alleged launch location.

  1. On Google Earth photos made at July 16 2014 there are no burn marks to be seen
  2. On Google Earth photos made at July 21 2014 there is an area of about 50 square meters showing traces of burn
  3. There is no Google Earth or any other (satellite) photo available which shows the state of the field between July 16 and July 22 2014
  4. Two reporters, Chris Miller and Roland Oliphant, visited the exact location at July 22. They made a few photos of an area which shows burn marks. See my post here.
  5. A farmer interviewed by Miller and Oliphant stated that he could not recall whether he noticed the burn mark on July 17 or July 18 2014
  6. the reporters found discarded plastic parts that indicate the presence of a weapons container produced by a Ukrainian  Stelko Plastik, a  plastics manufacturer that produce weapon containers. (source)
  7. JIT took soil samples of this field. It is confirmed they took samples of an area 300 meters East of the 50 sq. meters area showing burn marks.
  8. an image released by US Ambassy in Kiev suggest a launch location very close to the alleged one
  9. Kiev Research Institute for Forensic Expertise calculated the area where the missile was launched from and the alleged field is exactly in this area. See DSB report.
  10. It is not known why JIT took samples of an area which do not show burn marks.
  11. Experts consulted by Dutch news RTL Nieuws concluded a small area was burned. A triangular shaped part of the field was ploughed. (source)
  12. Farmers stated they ploughed that triangular shaped area of the field to prevent a fire to spread out.
  13. Not a single expert could confirm the burn marks were made by a BUK missile.
  14. As far as I know there is no indication that a BUK missile launch causes a field to be set on fire. I have not seen any photo nor video indicating this.
  15. Basically the above means a BUK missile could be launched from any location. It does not make sense to exclude locations without burn marks, assuming these burn marks are large enough to be detected on for instance Google Earth.
  16. The cause of the burn could be anything: set on fire by farmers, set on fire by a rocket, flares, a BUK .
  17. Two photos made by a citizen of Torez show black and white smoke in the area of the alleged launch location
  18. It is not confirmed the black and white smoke are related to the same event
  19. The black some could orginate from a diesel locomotive or chimney (see more here)
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19 Comments on What do we know of the alleged launch location ?

  1. Boris Badenov // July 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm // Reply

    Are you saying there is no evidence at all for a launch from that location?

    • Yes. I have not a single indication that there was indeed a launch from this location. From what we know from the facts we cannot conclude the launch location was the alleged spot south of Snizhne.

      Wonder why not a single satellite image is available showing burn marks on the 17th of July?

      • sotilaspassi // July 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm // Reply

        >Wonder why not a single satellite image is available showing burn marks on the 17th of July?

        Well… 17Jul GE images of that spot is not available, right.
        It might show a camp fire on that location or intact field.

        (neither do I know hard evidence that would prove that exact field to be “the” one)

      • sotilaspassi // July 15, 2016 at 1:01 pm // Reply

        + Do we have info if imaging satellites covered that area at 18…19Jul?

      • All the area was scanned on cloudless July 16. Satellites in sun-synchronous orbit fly over any given point at the same time of day, around 11:30 EEST (if at nadir) for this area. July 18 and 19 were cloudy.

        • Many satellites pass over the area which are able to spot a 50sq meters field. There are infra red satellites which might detected some heat.
          So far there is no indication this field was indeed used for a launch.
          I am not saying the field was not used. We just do not have enough evidence for it.

          What we have seen is Google Earth images. Not a single state operated satellite showed proof.

          • Slozhny // July 15, 2016 at 3:02 pm //

            Those are only some military satellites which could scan whatever place on Earth at evening time in high resolution, do you realize that? And their orbit should pass over that area at that exact evening, and they should be ready to get programmed to scan that certain area.

        • > Satellites in sun-synchronous orbit fly over any given point at the same time of day, around 11:30 EEST

          Not exactly. The (sunny side) ground passes of a truly sun-synchronous satellite would be separated by at least 2400 km, which is too wide area to cover for optics. Therefore they modify orbits slightly to drift around, so all area is scanned over time.

          • Slozhny // July 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm //

            You wrote absolute nonsense. Try to estimate how much propellant is required to “modify” an orbit. In reality the height above Earth’s surface is always chosen the way that a satellite does a fractional number of orbits per day, so its passes are shifted each day, so any point on Earth is covered at an acceptable off-nadir angle once a few days.

          • > Try to estimate how much propellant is required to “modify” an orbit.

            They are modified not by continuous thrusting.

            > a satellite does a fractional number of orbits per day

            This is what meant by “modifying”. Such orbits are no longer precisely sun-synchronous, only approximately.

          • Slozhny // July 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm //

            Eugene, stop writing nonsense. RTFM.

          • “A Sun-synchronous orbit is a geocentric orbit that combines altitude and inclination in such a way that the satellite passes over any given point of the planet’s surface at the same local solar time.”


            I let you to figure out why the orbit that by your own admission “does a fractional number of orbits per day” cannot pass the same point at the same time on successive days.

          • Slozhny // July 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm //

            Eugene, I see you lack for understanding of this matter too much. I think short explanations here won’t help you. Sorry.

  2. Slozhny, there is nothing complicated here. If a satellites makes, say 15 1/3 orbits per day, like Resurs-P1, then the next day at the same time the satellite will be 1/3 orbit away from the same point. And, therefore, it cannot be at the same place at the same time on successive days.

    • Exactly. I wrote this time and again when debunked Russian MoD’s faked images of A-1428 created both from the same original image. So what? I guess you don’t understand the difference between mean solar time and civil time. And that any satellite in SSO always crosses any given latitude at the same mean solar time for the longitude it is over. While civil time at the point it is scanning may be whatever (within a corresponding range). Could you manage to learn this matter without my help? Thanks.

      • I think it is you are misunderstanding things. Take that 15 1/3 orbits per per day satellite Resurs-P1. Suppose it flies over Torez at 11:30 Torez time. A simple question for you: where the satellite is going to be the next day at 11:30 (11:30 Torez time)? Over Torez again?

        • Over Antarctica. Civil time has nothing to do with any satellite at all. It will cross 48°N over Akhtubinsk at exactly the same mean solar time (10:55 for 46°E) as it crossed 48°N over Torez (10:55 for 38°E) past day. UTC times will obviously differ (7:59 and 8:30). Hope this is the last explanation.

          • I see the definition of SSO that you have in mind. But then Wikipedia would more likely define such orbits as “orbit with precession time around of exactly one year”, or like you defined above. If wikipedia says “same time same place” then the definition is stricter. Note the article does not mention fractional periods, nor it lists the orbits with non-integer orbit counts per day.

          • Slozhny // July 15, 2016 at 6:51 pm //

            comment deleted by admin for not being ontopic

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