Not BUK-M1 Part II

January 1, 2015

We will visualize what was explained in Part I but still urge you to read it because it contains much more information about the MH17 case not repeated here.
01So far only one eyewitness has come forward in public (anonymously) claiming he saw the plume of the BUK missile that hit MH17 and made a photo of it (upper right corner).
We built a 3d model with Google Earth based on available data to get a bird’s eye view from any perspective. The yellow pin is the position of the flat of the photographer. White is the line of sight from the flat to the plume. The red lines will be explained later as they become relevant. Looks quite similar to the presented witness photo, not?
02Now we start flying as a bird in the direction of the plume. In the right hand lower corner you can read our altitude and GPS position. The yellow line in the distance is the Russian border.
03We fly even closer.
04We leave the plume behind us and fly further in the direction of the Russian border. There is a tiny lake which we mark ‘video spot’.
05We make a turn to the left, gain altitude and keep turning until we can watch the plume along the line of sight again. But now from the opposite direction of the photographers flat which we can see in the distance just left of the plume.
06We fly closer to the video spot. Now let’s watch the video at 5 seconds
Here’s stills from the video, click to enlarge:

This video clearly shows a barrage of Grad BM-21 missiles. They come in different size and intensity, based on the number of missiles loaded and the amount of mobile units used.

The photo of the witness does not show the launch of a BUK-M1 missile on July 17th but the first shot of a ground-to-ground missile system fired July 16th.

With just this video and a photo taken from more than 12Km it is not possible to establish the position exactly. Probably it is slightly closer to the video spot such as the dark grey plume, thus further from the flat? This seems irrelevant, but it is not as you will read in Part III.

Now the red lines explained. This is the direction in which the missiles are fired.
07Watching the plume from the flat, more than 12.3 Km away. 08This is how the first five seconds of the video look like from the perspective of the photographer. And then hell breaks loose.
09The photo and the video at five seconds are a frozen moment of one and the same event that happened on a sunny day, July 16th 2014. That is one day before MH17 crashed. July 17th was a cloudy day. Important to understand: Grad can never hit a passenger airliner unless the latter is parked on the ground at some airport.

Part II

The witness insists the photo is made July 17th

Let’s look more precisely at the picture again. The entire terrain seems to be bathing in light. Exactly the weather circumstances in the area on July 16.MH17 4Strategic relevance

The view from the balconies of the higher apartments is strategically significant because it is in viewing range of Saur Mogila, the highest point of Donetsk and theatre of continuous heavy shelling during the summer of 2014.

Five month’s of silence

December 22, five month’s after the crash, a second photo is released.
Witness claims he made this photo shortly after the first. With the information you have now, it is obvious he is lying through his teeth, but let’s just follow his story. Some time after he made the second photo he went to the other side of the apartment and made a photo of the MH17 crash site.

koens%20en%20getuige_0Dutch journalist Olaf Koens and the anonymous witness.

2There is a 3.6Mb version of this photo.

Before discussing the second photo we take a quick look at the flat.

We have reasons to believe it is exactly the flat in the red circle.
Ukraine@war blog thinks it is within the green circle.FLATgroup

A Buk-M1 on its way to MH17 must have flown close to the zenith of the flat.

The trajectory looks like this from an altitude of about 20Km on a day without clouds.
01wideSHOTcompleteExplosions and shaking windows

Witness claims he heard two explosions at 16:20. The first one was not so loud, but about 15 seconds later a second explosion made all the windows shake. He went to his balcony and wanted to know what caused the explosion. He looked around but saw nothing. He then noticed the plume rising from the horizon into the clouds and photographed it. Few minutes later he takes another photo at the other side of the apartment. This time of the MH17 crash site.
5minfoto Situational awareness

Large amounts of video footage showing smoke column at crash site. Here is a video made just a few blocks from the flat. We watched many other clips and not one of them showed openings in the cloud layer.  This particular video was taken overlooking the sky above the crash site and the photographers flat. Just as the witness, many of these video makers must have heard two explosions five minutes before they could film the fire at the crash site in the distance. Yet not one of them filmed a plume although many were on their balconies as the witness has declared?
We checked every frame in the first video and couldn’t find any shadows. It is for experts to decide if the striking differences between the video and the first photo can be explained due to the five minutes time difference, color balancing, manipulation of the first photo with Photoshop, or that the only conclusion is: same place, different day as we have already proven.

Let us think about those people again at the lake near Stepanovka who took the video of the Grad barrage a day earlier. They started filming immediately, uploaded to youtube and Euromaidan picked it up and published it the same day! And that location is much much closer to the firing range than the flat where the witness was.

One day after the Grad barrage a BUK supposedly was launched in the vicinity, but nobody in the surrounding villages filmed or photographed the contrail that must have been very distinct, was visible for about ten minutes and went together with incredible noise. It is simply impossible this would be noticed only by one anonymous guy more than 12 kilometers away.

While typing the word ‘Stepanovka’ I remember watching a video a few days ago which is probably footage filmed with a drone and shows the surreal and heartbreaking situation of the village in December 2014.


1) Photo one was taken on July 16, not July 17
2) On July 17 no BUK-M1 was fired from the pointed location
3) Photo two was not taken on the same day as photo one
4) Witness is not making a mistake, he is deliberately lying

In Part III we will discuss:

– timeline
– launch site
– photo’s
– smoke plume analysis

Photo forensics – BUK-M1 – Contrail