MH17 Ukraine

MH17 Dutch Safety Board Preliminary Report

The Dutch Safety Board, which is the lead organisation in the investigation of the MH17 downing of 17th July, issued a preliminary report today. In this post we will discuss the report and reaction to it

The report is available here.

As the authors said, the “preliminary report will present factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board. In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report can be written. The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish the final report within a year after the crash.“

There is a parallel criminal investigation underway which may produce results faster.

There is no evidence in the Preliminary Report as to whether the US government have provided the detailed satellite images of the area from which they say the missile which brought the aircraft down was launched.

The investigators have been unable to confirm that a BUK missile was responsible for the downing of MH17, but have said that MH17 was hit by “a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.” This is consistent with most theories as to what happened to the plane as photos of damage to the plane have been in the public domain for a long time. (A missile from a BUK explodes near a plane in such a way high-energy objects penetrate the plane).

The theory that MH-17 was strafed by an aircraft does not seem to be supported by any evidence (eg from the cockpit recorders) as might have been expected. The report also states that “According to radar data three commercial aircraft were in the same Control Area as flight MH17 at the time of the occurance. All were under the control of Dnipro Radar. At 13:20 hours the distance between the closest aircraft and MH17 was approximately 30km.”

This (arguably) seems to rule out the SU-25 theory. It may be, as suggested here, that the break up of the plane produced confusing radar signals.

The investigators have not visited the crash site, although they say they still hope to gain access to the site. Those who visited the site were only forensic investigators helping in the recovery of bodies. However, many resources will be available, including those bodies, photographic evidence from journalists, the Cockpit Voice Recorder, the Flight Data Recorder, satellite and other images and radar information.

The available investigative information has not all be published “in accordance with the Dutch Safety Board Act (Rijkswet Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid) and the ICAO agreement.”

It will prove difficult to point the finger of blame based on the information in this report. In the case of the UN Ghouta report systematic attempts were made by media and Human Rights Watch to spin the report – in ways which proved not to be justified. A similar thing may happen with this report although finding “hidden clues” to culpability may be more difficult in this instance.

As argued here previously, an intensive criminal investigation is required to determine responsibility in this matter, which is likely to be difficult, because of:

1) the ongoing war in the area,
2) the ongoing information wars between NATO and Russia and between the Republics and Donetsk and Lugansk and Ukraine.
3) the manifest penetration of rebel communications by the Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) which may have allowed them to manipulate rebel operations,
4) the profusion of anti-Kiev rebel groups and pro-Kiev neo-Nazi “volunteer brigades”
5) the possibility of a false flag organised for geopolitical reasons (for which the video which the Ukrainian Interior Minister published provides some evidence)
6) the manifest Russophobia of those in the neo-Nazi core of the Ukrainian security apparatus.
7) The apparent presence of a number of BUK missile launchers in the general area (according to Russian satellite images, video, photographs and eyewitness reports)
8) The confusing battlefield without strict front lines
9) The reluctance of witnesses on all sides to step forward due to the dangers involved

Whilst the possibility of an accidental shooting down by one of the many rebel groups seeking to defend from Ukrainian air attacks remains and Ukraine argues the downing was part of a false flag with an Aeroflot flight the intended target, an anti-Russian false flag can certainly not be ruled out and would fit in with the historical modus operandi of the national socialists in control of Ukraine’s security service. It is essential that the Dutch Safety Board Report fully explains the circumstances in which this video was made.

Please feel free to comment on any aspects of the report, or reactions to it, below.

20/09/2014 Update – Added the word “arguably” regarding the SU-25 theory being ruled out, given that some are arguing that the Preliminary Report does not explicitly exclude a military plane being in the area. The Russian Union of Engineers has issued a report backing the SU-25 (or MIG-29) theory.

6 replies on “MH17 Dutch Safety Board Preliminary Report”

If the plane came down in say Poland, the first suspect would have been a bomb, followed distant second by weather / pilot error / mechanical failure.

The report properly examines those possibilities rather than focus solely on war related causes.

The intermediate and final reports will examine everything in great detail and will come up with several contributing factors; for instance choice of route and estimated risks given ground situation and combatant capabilities. c.f. Syrian airspace is presently heavily used by commercial aircraft, including some that would have used UA airspace.

Of interest is the term ‘high energy’. That tends to class the projectiles as very high velocity – e.g.. as a result of a very close HE explosion. Canon shells and bullets are typically ~1000m/s. i.e. relatively slow so not usually ‘high energy’. The cratering in the aircraft components reflects the very high velocity of the fragments to the exclusion of surface detonation canon fire or normal bullets. Even more so there are no punch holes indicating a delayed detonation canon shell penetration.

I think these times reported at Dutch Preliminary Report pages 11 and 15 are very relevant:

13:08:00 – MH17 Goes into a conflict zone
13:19:49 – MH17 is asked to divert to RND
13:19:56 – MH17 has diverted its path
13:20:03 – The Black Boxes stopped its recording

Conclusion by the dutch report: Immediately before the impact MH17 has diverted its route, while flying over a conflict zone, acting like a military aircraft, and not like a civilian aircraft.

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