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The Unanswered Questions of MH17
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“Recent history has repeatedly proven that nothing said by Washington and its officials should be accepted at face value. No other government in the world has been implicated in so many egregious lies as the United States.” Bill Van Auken, “US lies and hypocrisy on Gaza and Ukraine“, World Socialist Web Site

“Mendaci neque quum vera dicit, creditor.” Cicero (“A liar is not to be believed even when he speaks the truth.”)

Without a shred of public evidence to support their claim that Moscow was involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the United States and Europe have levied a new round of sanctions on Russia. The sanctions, which are designed to restrict Russia’s access to both capital and technology, will be imposed as soon as August 1, despite the fact that Moscow has repeatedly denied either involvement in the incident or of providing material support for the militants fighting in east Ukraine. Not surprisingly, Russia will not be given a chance to defend itself in court or present its case before an independent tribunal. Due process and the presumption of innocence are breezily jettisoned whenever US interests are involved. Instead, Washington will act as judge, jury and lord high executioner arbitrarily imposing penalties on the country that has provided hard evidence of what actually transpired prior to the crash using data it compiled from radar and satellite imagery. In contrast, the US hasn’t lifted a finger to help the investigation even though it has the most advanced, state-of-the-art surveillance systems in the world and even though it had a satellite — capable of reading a license plate from outer space — hovering directly overhead at the time the aircraft blew up. And here’s something else to consider from blogger Moon of Alabama:

“Pentagon officials told CNN (on Tuesday) that the Ukrainian government fired three ballistic missiles towards the federalists during the last 48 hours.” (Moon of Alabama)

If the Pentagon picked up the ballistic missile launches on their radar, they certainly saw the surface-to-air missiles that brought down MH17. Case closed.

So why hasn’t Washington been more forthcoming with the information they have? Why are they basing their judgment on the nonsense they’ve gleaned from social media and Twitter feeds instead of spy-in-the-sky photos and satellite imagery? Why are they dragging their feet and obstructing the investigation? And why, for God sakes, why has Europe agreed to go along with this charade when they know there’s not a scintilla of evidence linking Russia to the downed plane?

These are just some of the questions that remain unanswered a full two weeks after MH17 was downed by what appears to have been a surface-to-air missile launched from a BUK platform somewhere in east Ukraine. (Although even that fact is now in dispute given that MH17 was being allegedly being shadowed by two Ukrainian warplanes. Some analysts believe the aircraft was actually destroyed by air-to-air missiles fired from one of the two Su25 interceptors.)

One thing that’s clear, is that the lack of public evidence hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from smearing Russian president Vladimir Putin in the media or blaming Moscow for the tragedy that killed 298 passengers. The campaign to hold Moscow responsible started just hours after MH17 crashed and has only intensified over the last two weeks. This is amazing considering that, most of what we know about the incident has been provided by Russia. For example, it was Russia that provided the information about the two Su25 interceptors and the US satellite. It was also Russia that came up with the photographic evidence that showed Kiev had deployed anti-air missile systems (BUK) around the area where flight MH17 was downed. The Kiev government has repeatedly denied claims that it had BUK systems in the area, but on Friday, Russian military analysts released satellite images that made mincemeat of those denials. Here’s the story from RT:

“Satellite images Kiev published as ‘proof’ it didn’t deploy anti-aircraft batteries around the MH17 crash site carry altered time-stamps and are from days after the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Defense Ministry has revealed.

The images, which Kiev claims were taken by its satellites at the same time as those taken by Russian satellites, are neither Ukrainian nor authentic, according to a Moscow statement.

The Defense Ministry said the images were apparently made by an American KeyHole reconnaissance satellite, because the two Ukrainian satellites currently in orbit, Sich-1 and Sich-2, were not positioned over the part of Ukraine’s Donetsk Region shown in the pictures….

At least one of the images published by Ukraine shows signs of being altered by an image editor, the statement added.” (“‘Wrong time, altered images’ Moscow slams Kiev’s MH17 satellite data“, RT)

Ask yourself this, dear reader: Why would you provide “altered” photos that were taken on a different day to prove your innocence if you weren’t guilty as hell? And why would the US go along with this farce unless they were involved too?

Like we said earlier, there’s photographic evidence that Kiev had BUK systems operating in the area at the time of the crash. These “new” fake photos only increase the probability that it was a Ukrainian missile that brought down MH17. That’s why the administration hasn’t released any of its radar data or satellite imagery. It’s because they know the truth.

Consider this: The Obama administration has never inquired about the communications recordings between Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the aircrew of MH17.

Why? Don’t they want to know what happened?

Nor have they asked for:

“The information on the specific instructions from the Ukraine Aviation Administration to the air traffic control units of Ukraine with relation to the imposed restrictions on the airspace utilization in the area of Donetsk and Lugansk.” (RT)

Nor are they interested in why MH17 was rerouted over a warzone, 200 kilometers north of all previous flights for the last two weeks. Or whether MH17 was in fact being followed by Ukrainian warplanes. Or whether Ukrainian SAM units were active in the area before the incident took place.

How does one explain the Obama administration’s total lack of interest in any area of the current investigation? Doesn’t that suggest that they already know what happened? And doesn’t that also suggest that they’re trying to prevent the facts from leaking out?

Readers should take a quick look at the 28 questions that Russia’s Air Transport Agency would like the Ukrainian government to answer in order to clarify what happened to MH17. (See questions here.) This is the approach the Obama administration would take if they were genuinely interested in finding out what happened. The reason the administration hasn’t taken this approach, is because they’re not really interested in what happened. Why is that?

Most of the lies about MH17 have been coming from the State Department, where just last Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on all five Sunday morning talk shows claiming that Moscow had sent “a convoy of about 150 vehicles with armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, artillery, all of which crossed over from Russia into the eastern part of Ukraine and was turned over to the separatists.”

Imagine making a bold statement like that on five different news programs without even one of the hosts demanding evidence to support the claim. Such is the state of the media in the US today.

So far, neither Kerry nor any of the US Intel agencies have produced proof that Russia is providing material support for rebels in east Ukraine. Zilch. It’s all uncorroborated speculation and unsubstantiated rumor.

Do you remember Kerry said he had proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the Aug. 21 Sarin gas attack outside Damascus, an incident that he hoped would lead the US to launch a war against Syria?

It was a lie. Here’s a clip from Robert Parry:

“A new report by two American weapons specialists, entitled “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack,” makes clear that the case presented by Kerry and the Obama administration was scientifically impossible because the range of the key rocket carrying Sarin was less than a third of what the U.S. government was claiming.” (“The Mistaken Guns of Last August“, Robert Parry, Consortium News)

And what about Kerry’s grandstanding repudiation of the fake leaflets in Donetsk that said “Jews had to identify themselves as Jews … or suffer the consequences.”

Right. That was another whopper Kerry used to promote his attack on Russia.

And what about this from CNN: “Kerry: ‘Drunken separatists’ interfering at MH17 crash site“. Or this from Vice News “MH17 Crash Site Reportedly Looted by Rebels“.

It’s all just more outlandish speculation intended to smear Russia. There’s a great article in the Wall Street Journal by journalist Paul Sonne titled “After Flight 17 Crash, Agony, Debris and Heartbreak in Ukraine Villages” that dispels a lot of the lies that have popped up in the media in the last couple weeks. First of all, the rebels have not prevented inspectors from accessing the site (as Kerry claims) Here’s Sonne in an interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Wednesday:

“The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has actually gotten very good access to the site with the exception of the first day they showed up, which was the day after the crash where their time there was limited to 75 minutes, and they said that they weren’t given access to every piece of the crash site that they had wanted to see. So after the sort of first day standoff that they experienced with some of the rebel militants, it did seem like they were getting pretty full access to the crash site. The problem was that the investigation team, which is now being led by the Netherlands, wasn’t ready and didn’t, in fact, really arrive in Donetsk until a few days ago. And after they finally assembled in Donetsk, it took, you know, about a week or more. Then, fighting had already started to encompass the crash site. And the reason that they’re not getting access to the crash site now is not because the rebels are not allowing them to go to the crash site. It’s because the crash site has turned into an active, violent fighting zone.”

So the inspectors have had access to the site the whole time except just recently when US-backed goons from the Ukrainian army resumed hostilities in violation of their promise to honor a temporary ceasefire. It sounds like Kiev might have something they want to hide at the crash site, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, according to the Independent, “John Kerry accused the separatists of displaying “an appalling disrespect for human decency” in carrying on fighting close to the area.”

Is Kerry lying again or is he just confused about the facts?

As far as the looting and drunken disrespect for the corpses of the victims; that’s all BS too. Sonne paints an entirely different picture of what took place on the ground. Just check out some of his description and see if it squares with Kerry’s breakdown:

“The plane’s cockpit and dozens of bodies plummeted into Rozsypne, about 2 miles from Petropavlivka. One body fell through a woman’s roof. A pilot strapped to a seat wound up next to a flight attendant in a nearby field. …Charred remains of an engine, landing gear and wings fell in a fireball next to Hrabove, with a tumbling storm cloud of at least 70 bodies, some of them largely intact…

No villagers on the ground died, but they are scared of what they might find next…

“We thought it was the end of the world,” the Orthodox priest says. He stayed on the ground in prayer, preparing to meet God, and then ran up the hill as burning pieces of the plane’s undercarriage and landing gear pelted a field like bombs. Then came a hail of bodies: arms, heads and fingers.

Farmers dashed to the village, afraid it would be engulfed by an inferno. Hrabove Mayor Vladimir Berezhnoi screamed at drivers and motorcyclists to get off the road as fire rolled across a field. When he saw bodies, Mr. Berezhnoi yelled at adults to take their children home.

A few miles away, Oleg Miroshnichenko, a retired miner who became the mayor of Rozsypne about 13 years ago, felt panic as he heard two loud blasts and watched the remains of about 40 passengers rain down on yards and homes. His phone started ringing off the hook.

“There’s a body here, a body there, another body,” he says…

“In mines, you don’t remove a body until they investigate it,” he says.

Villagers and emergency workers decided to start bagging bodies that were rotting in the sun. Local miners joined the effort. Heartbroken residents had been pleading in tears for the bodies’ removal.” (“After Flight 17 Crash, Agony, Debris and Heartbreak in Ukraine Villages“, Wall Street Journal)

See? These people were deeply traumatized by the experience, they weren’t throwing bodies around and disrespecting the dead. That’s pure bunkum, just like the claims that Russia has been firing rounds into Ukraine is bunkum. Just like the leaflets ordering “Jews to register or face deportation” were bunkum. It’s all bunkum. For whatever reason, the State Department doesn’t give a rip about its credibility anymore. They’ll say just about anything as long as they can skewer Moscow.

On Friday, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf was challenged by Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee, who demanded that Harf back up her claims that Russia has been firing rounds into Ukraine with something more substantial than the rubbish she’d read on Twitter. Here’s what the AP journalist said:

“I think that it would be best for all concerned here if when you make an allegation like that you’re able to make it up with something more than just ‘because I said so. You guys get up at the UN security council making these allegations , the secretary [of the State Dept., John Kerry] gets on the Sunday shows and makes these allegations, and then when you present your evidence to back up those allegations, it has appeared to, at least for some, fall short of definitive proof.”

The clearly-flummoxed Harf started backpeddling like crazy, unable to provide any hard evidence that her claims of Russian complicity were anything more than a complete fabrication. As it happens, the so called “satellite imagery data” and “electronic intelligence” that was used to incriminate Moscow was originally posted on coup-backer Geoffrey Pyatt’s Twitter account, which further underlines the fact that the real objective was to shape public opinion with propaganda not to reveal the truth. Here’s a bit more from

“During the past several days, there has not been a single report out of Ukraine of an artillery strike against any of their military bases, anywhere in the country. …And this is Ukraine we’re talking about, which comes up with its own dubious stories of Russian attacks on a near daily basis. If Russia was carried out concerted shelling against Ukrainian military targets, Ukraine would be harping on about it constantly. They aren’t even alleging anything close to that is happening. (“US Invents Reports of Russia Attacking Ukraine Bases“,

A Twitter account, for god sakes! The US State Department is basing its theory on the crap they picked up on Twitter. It’s ridiculous.

Then there’s the State Department’s claim that Russia is massing troops along the border, another fairy tale that’s turned out to be complete baloney. In fact, an International team of inspectors were sent to Russia to check things out and here’s what the found:

“No instances of violations by Russia along the Ukrainian border had been registered by the inspectors,” the ministry said. “The last four months have witnessed 18 separate inspections along the Ukrainian border with the Russian Federation, all in line with the Vienna Open Skies Treaty and the Vienna agreement of 2011.” (RT)

If you’re starting to think that everything you’ve read about the MH17 crash is bullshit, you’re probably right. There’s not much truth to most of it.

But why would the administration lie about things that are so easy to disprove? What’s the point? Are they just getting sloppy and apathetic or is something else going on here?

To get a handle on what’s really going on, we have to understand that Ukraine is not just another bloody afterthought like Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, none of which would dramatically impact the US’s role as the world’s only superpower. Ukraine is different. Ukraine is an essential part of Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia. If Washington is unable to achieve its objectives in Ukraine — create a chokepoint for vital resources flowing from Russia to the EU, establish NATO bases in the heart of Eurasia, and drive a wedge between Moscow and Brussels — then the plan to maintain US global hegemony for the next century will fail. And if the plan fails, then China will gradually become the world’s biggest and most powerful economy, economic ties between Moscow and Europe grow stronger, and the US will slide into irreversible decline. Get the picture?

This is the scenario that Washington wants to avoid at all cost. That’s why the anti-Russia hysteria in the media has been so ferocious and unrelenting. That’s why the State Department assisted in the coup d’état that toppled the Ukrainian government and triggered the crisis. And that’s why ruling elites of all stripes have thrown their support behind a policy that recklessly pits one nuclear-armed adversary against another. It’s because the bigshot money-guys who run this country are bound and determined to be the Kingfish for the next hundred years even if it means plunging the world into the abyss of a third world war. That’s just a chance they’re willing to take.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Malaysian Airlines MH17, Russia, Ukraine 
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  1. JC says:

    I haven’t heard anyone yet mention the possibility that Gaza might be a deliberate sideshow to distract the public from the real objective… Ukraine.

    • Replies: @joe
  2. While I agree with much in this article, I think it would be useful not to accept everything the Russians state as “fact”. I think a good working assumption could be that they are lying about as much as the Americans and their allies. A point in their favor is that they released some of their satellite data way earlier, but I don’t think it is decisive.

    While we’re at it, here’s an interesting (“Western”) propaganda lie in the Swiss tabloid Sonntagsblick. They presented the rebels as people without scruples treading with their feet on the bodies of the victims, and they showed a picture of a rebel soldier showing up a soft toy of a child victim “like a trophy”. It turns out someone found a video of the soldier showing up the toy – he’s showing it to journalists and observers (probably to show them that children were among the victims), and then puts it down respectfully and crosses himself. It’s worth watching the video and reading the article. (If you can’t read German, you can use a web translate service.)

    • Replies: @M2
  3. Don Nash says: • Website

    Is coup d’état Ukraine the distraction? Israel’s genocide on Gaza, is that the distraction? One is not coincidentally disconnected from the other. Toss in the ISIL/ISIS Free Syrian Army Cannibals Brigade eating Iraq alive, we’ve more damn distractions than should be humanly tolerable.
    There’s ebola lurking and soon to be out of Africa. Distractions distractions everywhere distractions, and the murderous war criminals dance a lively jig with impunity.

  4. 22pp22 says:

    Long ago my wife was a biochemist. She wondered if they brought the ebola victims to the US so they could study the virus and weaponise it (and she does not entirely share my contempt for the cabal that runs the Western World).

  5. @Ron Unz

    The problem is that it has no source. While absence of evidence is certainly no evidence of absence, I would tend to dismiss it as long as some evidence comes along the way.

    Same thing for the Russians’ (and Mike Whitney’s) claim that the Ukrainian satellite images were doctored. I have no expertise and so anybody could sell me anything about satellite images. I would tend to think it’s one statement against another. However, the Ukrainian side waited way longer for the release of satellite images than the Russians did, so that weakens their argument. Still to me the most plausible explanation seems to be that it was an unplanned accident, showing that air strikes and military air transport in a war zone greeted by anti-aircraft fire don’t mix well with civilian airliners.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    , @joe
  6. If the Pentagon picked up the ballistic missile launches on their radar, they certainly saw the surface-to-air missiles that brought down MH17. Case closed.

    The problem is that satellite surveillance is nowhere near 24/7. It’s more like a couple hours every day. So it’s perfectly possible that no satellite actually saw the MH17 tragedy itself, even if some other shootings were in fact observed.

    • Replies: @John Q. Parvenu
  7. mh505 says:

    “Some analysts believe the aircraft was actually destroyed by air-to-air missiles fired from one of the two Su-25 interceptors.”

    By now the most likely scenario of all (see f.i. Pepe Escobar’s recent take on this; but he definitely is not alone):

  8. Ron Unz says:
    @reiner Tor

    Certainly. I’d assume the claims ultimately derive from RT or some other Russian media outlet, obviously not disinterested.

    I’ve actually been too busy with my own work to investigate the MH17 incident at all, other than closely reading the NYT+WJS/MSM, which are obviously just as non-disinterested as RT. Therefore, it would be nice to have energetic commenters who’ve invested time in exploring the matter debate the conflicting theories for me. Hence the benefits of featuring this very interesting and controversial column.

    This is the methodology of proper intelligence gathering. Acquire a large heap of highly unreliable “raw intelligence,” then gradually winnow it down to try to determine the likely reality of what happened.

  9. joe says:

    It’s a clearly established meme…

  10. “Some analysts believe the aircraft was actually destroyed by air-to-air missiles fired from one of the two Su-25 interceptors.”

    Those “analysts” do not understand what an Su-25 is.
    I’ve gone over this in preposterous detail in my blog, and have argued with endless nincompoopery from the conspiratoid crowd in the comments section. An Su-25 is not an “interceptor” and is physically incapable of shooting down a 777 traveling at 32,000 feet. I am no military analyst and have no axe to grind (and agree with the over all thesis that the West is acting abominably on this issue); I simply understand what an Su-25 is. It is a slow and low flying ground attack plane. Nobody else seems to have bothered actually, you know, googling up its flight characteristics, its weaponry and thinking about the likelihood of an Su-25 with low velocity 30mm round hitting a jet airplane travelling 200mph faster from 2-3 miles away, and 10,000 feet below. Ukraine using Su-25’s to shoot down a jet airliner is about as likely as MH17 being taken out by a meteor or a high flying sparrow.

    A far more likely scenario is the Donetsk bunch were shooting at an Su-25 (they’ve taken out a good fraction of Ukraine’s inventory) and hit the airliner.

    • Replies: @M2
    , @Hunsdon
    , @Anonymous
  11. joe says:
    @reiner Tor


    1) The feds have gone from Kerry’s typical standard absolute proof to saying they have no direct evidence of Russian involvement. Of course, we’ve never seen anything like that before!

    2) Spanish flight controller radar supports the claim that Ukranian jets had intercepted the misrouted MH17 jet (too far north, too low altitude).

    3) The OSCE reports indicate that gun fire or shrapnel perforated the plane but lack evidence of direct BUK impact.

    So that tells us that the feds are, as usual, lying about everything. It also says that MH17 was detoured over an active combat zone by the Ukrainians and that several sources claim that Ukrainians use commercial aircraft as shields when attacking their Russian separatist citizens. Expert analysis of the crash remnants contradict the BUK theory. Perforation of the airframe does not contradict the theory that MH17 was brought down by fire from a fighter jet.

    Is there room for reasonable doubt in any of those arguments? Sure, but the story from the feds is refuted by every bit of actual evidence that has been discovered. The feds overthrew the elected government of the Ukraine to punish them for remaining sovereign and independent of the EU and NATO. No subsequent degree of murderous deceit and betrayal by the feds or their puppets should be surprising…

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  12. @joe

    Your third source alleges that a Su-25 shot it down. The problem with the theory is that it’s an armored ground attack plane, with a service ceiling of 7000 meters (and 5000 loaded with weapons), which is significantly lower than the MH17 flight path. I think the claim is bogus. The Ukrainian Air Force has actual interceptors, why not claim one of those shot it down?

    I’m still skeptical of the claims the Ukrainians did it. I’m less skeptical of the claim (reported by your other source) that the Ukrainian warplanes were hiding behind civilian flights. That is believable (although at this point far from being proved), and actually could explain the whole tragedy – the rebels trying to down a military plane but ending up downing a civilian flight flying very near the military plane. However, if that was true, some reports from civilian pilots flying those routes would be coming forth. I have not seen those, but maybe it’s because their employers gave them a gag order. (After all, if that was true, and they kept flying the routes, that would make the employers look bad either.)

    So I would think the most likely explanation is still the accident by a (possibly Russian-supplied) Buk, due to incompetence.

    • Replies: @Anon
  13. All these pictures of bodies, aircraft sections, aircraft seats, and luggage in Ukraine show what happens when a large commercial aircraft crashes into the ground. You may have heard wild conspiracy theories that a commercial airliner did not hit the Pentagon on 9-11. Yes, it’s true that the place hit was the only part of the Pentagon unoccupied that day as it was undergoing renovation. Yes, it’s true that no large airplane parts, bodies, luggage, or seats were found. The small debris was immediately removed by hand from the scene before FAA accident investigators arrived. Yes, it’s true that none of the dozens of security cameras in and around the Pentagon recorded an incoming airplane, although a partial fuzzy clip was eventually released. And yes, it’s true that a CNN reporter on the scene reported that no airplane hit the Pentagon.

    Ignore all these facts, and facts about the Ukraine incident, lest you suffer ridicule.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @KA
  14. Kiza says:

    @ Scott Locklin

    You write that you are not an expert then you make several expert-level judgement about this incident. You create a straw man ( “Su25 is an interceptor”) then you demolish him (proving that the non-existent statement is wrong). Also, since when does one need an “interceptor” plane to shoot down a slow-flying passenger plane? Since when can only interceptor planes carry air-to-air missiles? Individuals such as you are the noise-creators on the Internet and you are trying to push your noise here too. Naturally, air-to-air is just one of the possibilities.

    Ultimately, in my view, the commentators here are commenting in the wrong direction. Mike Whitney was less focused on Who Done It and more on the fact that, using this incident, the US managed to convince the EU to impose sanctions on Russia and savage its precarious economy without any proof at all. How did it manage to get rational people (EU) to do things against their own interest using fervent screaming (emotional) fact-free propaganda? This is the bottom-line question.

  15. @Carlton Meyer

    The Pentagon crash was different. An airliner at full throttle crashed into a concrete wall. There is at least one video of such an event, when the US Air Force deliberately crashed an F4 Phantom into a concrete wall: it atomized. Why would an airliner behave differently? Same thing happened to Pacific Southwest Flight 1771, a passenger killed everybody in the cockpit and then turned the plane almost 90 degrees to the ground and put the engine full throttle: the plane totally disintegrated, nothing resembling a plane was found, just small pieces of debris.

    Whereas in the case of the Ukrainian plane, it didn’t crash with full throttle into the ground, it was just a normal crash, it basically fell from the sky, probably way slower than gravity acceleration because of the heavy aerodynamic drag.

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
  16. KA says:

    This is from Times of India

    MUMBAI: The ministry of civil aviation’s claim that there was no Air India flight near the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 when it was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday appears misleading.

    An Air India Dreamliner flight going from Delhi to Birmingham was in fact less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft, a distance covered by a Dreamliner or Boeing 777 in about 90 seconds, when the latter was hit. Because of this closeness, the Dnipropetrovsk (local Ukrainian) air traffic controller asked the AI pilots to try and establish contact with pilots of the Malaysian aircraft who had stopped responding to its calls.

    Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called “a direct routing”. This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. “Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal,” said an airline source.

    “The AI Dreamliner was less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft when the latter was hit by a missile. When the pilots learnt the cause of the crash later, they were stunned. It’s like the person standing next to you has been hit by a sniper bullet,” said the source.

    An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner. (TOI file photo)

    As instructed by the controller, the AI pilots tried to contact the Boeing 777 after its transponder display went off the radar. The message they sent was: “Malaysian 17, this is Air India 113. How do you read?” There was, of course, no response.

    Soon after the tragedy, the media picked up data from flightradar24, a live flight tracker website which showed the AI aircraft in the vicinity. But the next day, on Friday, the civil aviation ministry issued a statement that “there was no Air India flight near the ill-fated Malaysian plane at the time of the incident”.

    The Ukrainian airspace is divided into five flight information regions: Kiev, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa and Simferopol. MH17 was in the Dnipropetrovsk airspace flying an east-bound track on 33,000feet and the AI Delhi-Birmingham flight was on a west-bound route and had entered Ukraine after crossing Russia when the AI pilots heard the Dnipropetrovsk controller give the Malaysian aircraft a direct routing.

    Barely minutes later, the AI pilots heard the controller trying to establish contact with the Malaysian aircraft. When no response came from the Malaysian crew, the controller asked the AI pilots to try. It is standard practice for air traffic controllers to ask pilots of aircraft in the vicinity to get in touch with pilots who have stopped responding.

    A part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that crashed after being hit by a missile in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters photo)

    In order to communicate, pilots and controllers tune in to one particular radio frequency, and all the conversation that takes place on that wavelength can be heard by all the aircraft who are tuned in to this frequency. So the pilots can hear each other as well as the instructions given by the controller to all the aircraft in a particular flight information region.

    Other than this particular radio frequency on which pilots can communicate with controllers and other pilots, there is another radio set in the cockpit which is always tuned to 121.5MHz, known as the emergency frequency.

    The pilots would try to contact the non-responding crew on this frequency too, but more importantly, it is on this frequency that they would get to hear the signature distress beep tone emitted by an emergency locator transmitter of an aircraft soon after it has crashed.

    • Replies: @KA
  17. KA says:

    July 20 Times of India

    “Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called “a direct routing”. This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. “Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal,” said an airline source. ”

    Another interesting angle why Indian ministry is denying now?
    Is it out of pressure ?

    • Replies: @KA
  18. KA says:

    The link -

  19. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    “with a service ceiling of 7000 meters (and 5000 loaded with weapons),”

    Not if it is a SU 25M1.

  20. KA says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    What happened to the bodies and parts of the plane that hit the ground in PA on 911? We’re they identified? Was it scattered or more localized?

  21. KA says:

    One thing is clear . If the orders to reroute and fly straight came from Russian side , it would have been forced and etched in the memory of western public like a red hot stone by the media . UN would have demanded investigation and the transcript .
    US would have not stopped repeating it until Putin were deposed .

  22. M2 says:
    @reiner Tor

    Lies are everywhere, but imho the better working thesis is this. If a russian official says something he has no reason to hide it.

    But apart from this, you can simply proof the truth.

  23. M2 says:
    @Scott Locklin

    There is no proof of the plane type. Can be anything that is capable to fly at that speed. and height.

    Russia says there was one. Shows a radar video which some dots on. Explains distance between the civil and military machine. 3000m before the Airliner declines. The western answer is silence.

    A loud silence, murderous in my opinion.

    • Replies: @Scott Locklin
  24. Hunsdon says:
    @Scott Locklin

    Scott, the signal to noise ratio in your post is much better than you generally see, and I applaud you for it.

  25. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Scott Locklin

    SU-25: top speed of 950kph and can be armed with air to air missiles. Do you disagree? Donald A Thomson, [email protected]

  26. @M2

    Russia identified it as an Su-25, flying at 400kph, climbing at around 5000 meters, and pointed in the wrong direction to shoot at MH17. Thank you, drive through. I realize there are 150-odd comments on my blog to sort through to find this out, but it does get a little annoying responding to conspiratoid nonsense like this.

  27. @reiner Tor

    Hello all,

    Re: the assertions of one reiner Tor

    Tor states that: “The problem is that satellite surveillance is nowhere near 24/7. It’s more like a couple hours every day.”

    Tor’s statement is absolutely untrue. The Pentagon, through both orbiting and fixed platforms — operated by its NSA and NRO tentacles — is able to maintain 24/7 space-based visual surveillance over any area in the world it chooses.

    The Russian government, which tracks all American satellites, has confirmed the presence of at least one American spysat at the time the shootdown occurred; the Pentagon has not denied Russia’s assertion.

    We can be no less certain that the Pentagon which operates, or has access to, a bevy of terrestrial and space based listening platforms, retains recordings of all communications between he doomed airliner and Ukrainian air traffic control.

    And what about the information contained within the two flight data recorders currently in British custody?

    The fact that the Pentagon has declined to publicize any of the evidence currently in its possession is anything but exculpatory.

    Tor goes on to question the “claim that the Ukrainian satellite images were doctored.” The fact that the Pentagon has not contested the validity (or the provenance) of the Russian images is a matter of no small significance.

    As someone with extensive experience in the aerospace industry (and who specialized in air traffic control avionics) I can assert with confidence that nothing about the American narrative of Flight MH 17 passes the smell test.

    Thank you for your time,

    John Q. Parvenu

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  28. @reiner Tor

    reiner Tor

    The F-4 didn’t have bodies or luggage that don’t “pulverize” as they aren’t rigid, you’d find body parts for sure and gallons of blood. We are told the Boeing 757 punched into the Pentagon. The ground in Ukraine is more solid than the Pentagon.

    Another fact that a 757 passenger jet could not have flown that path into the Pentagon. Big jets compress air underneath their wings, which provides the lift used to fly. It is impossible to fly a 757 at that speed for 400 yards just a few feet above the ground. An air cushion would instantly build up between the ground and wings and force the aircraft upwards.

    Another expert noted that even if it could skim the surface, the nice Pentagon lawn would have two long black streaks where the engine exhaust torched the grass. In addition, anyone can see that there was no impact damage from two huge solid engines in the side of Pentagon, nor damage from the wings or tail, just a hole the size of the fuselage. The answer was recorded on the dozens of security cameras around the Pentagon, but all those recordings have disappeared.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  29. @Carlton Meyer

    Pacific Southwest 1771: the largest human remains were feet in shoes. No bodies were ever identified.

    I have seen extensive analysis of the Pentagon pictures both pro and con, and I would say that at my level of expertise I didn’t find anything unusual about it. Re: security cameras. Remember we are not talking about GoPro cameras but about standard security cameras installed maybe in the mid-90s, i.e. something like 5 frames per second or less. Have you seen the camera footage of the impact itself? One frame, nothing. Next frame, already the middle of a huge explosion.

    But I think the question that trumps all others should be: Cui prodest? In whose interest was it to hijack AA Flight 77 and killing all onboard and hiding the plane, and at the same time shoot a cruise missile into the Pentagon, and planting pieces of wreckage from AA77 into the scene, and make the government lie to the American people that it was Flight 77 which really crashed into the Pentagon? I think the answer is definitive, it can only serve the interests of Alex Jones. So he must have done it.

    The ground in Ukraine is more solid than the Pentagon.

    It’s definitely not as hard as concrete, but what’s really important is that it didn’t crash full speed into the ground. The plane didn’t crash into the ground with its nose forward, so neither were the engines helping the acceleration nor was it aerodynamically efficient. It crashed relatively slowly (gravity acceleration minus considerable aerodynamic drag).

  30. @John Q. Parvenu

    I’m out of my depth here. I can only repeat what I read, and I have no way of finding out who is the expert on this matter.

  31. Kiza says:

    @Donald A Thomson

    Some people have too much noise in their brains to even know what signal to noise ratio is. This is what brainwashing tends to do to your brain.

  32. Kiza says:

    If EU countries were not such servants of the US, the false flag such as this would not have happened. The fact-free screaming propaganda replaces any rational thought. Further to MH17, who did a violent coup in Ukraine does not matter any more. Who refused federalization of Ukraine after the coup, which then triggered the current rebellion does not matter any more. Therefore, not only MH17 facts but ALL facts about Ukraine have been air-brushed out of the Western Media under the control of the US masters.

    Yet, the goal of the sanctions at this time is still just to provoke a reaction by Russia. Even when Russia does not respond to aggressive moves by the West, this is interpreted as an aggression by Russia through strict media controls. The Western Thieving Club (the self-proclaimed International Community) desperately needs a war because its economy is in a free-fall, the same as the facts about MH17.

  33. I think that it’s important to question the facts of the official narrative, but I find it even more important that even if all the facts of the official narrative were true the responsibility is still primarily with the Ukrainian government. If you conduct air operations (air transport of troops, air strikes, etc.) against a rebel force which you know to possess anti-aircraft weaponry, then you should close the airspace. However, if it was really the rebels (and there were no Ukrainian warplanes in the vicinity), then the responsibility is probably of negligence (failing to close the airspace), and then the rebels also share responsibility (for not properly identifying the target before downing it). But it’s still not cause for sanctions or a hate campaign against Putin. (Who nevertheless is probably a thug, but still might be a better or at least no worse thug than our globalist overlords.)

    • Replies: @johnbarley
  34. eah says:

    Without a shred of public evidence to support their claim that Moscow was involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17…

    The sanctions were levied because Moscow supplied the anti-aircraft missile system the “rebels” used to shoot down the airliner. Not because they think Moscow was directly involved. You i-d-i-o-t.

  35. It’s easy to throw stones at adversaries/rivals, and almost impossible to objectively self criticize.

    ^ Lots of holes can be punched in the MH 17 story put forward by the western press. And in fact, the Russians have put out the better information/invitations to investigate, none of it going anywhere

  36. @reiner Tor

    I think that it’s important to question the facts of the official narrative, but I find it even more important that even if all the facts of the official narrative were true the responsibility is still primarily with the Ukrainian government. If you conduct air operations (air transport of troops, air strikes, etc.) against a rebel force which you know to possess anti-aircraft weaponry, then you should close the airspace. However, if it was really the rebels (and there were no Ukrainian warplanes in the vicinity), then the responsibility is probably of negligence (failing to close the airspace), and then the rebels also share responsibility (for not properly identifying the target before downing it). But it’s still not cause for sanctions or a hate campaign against Putin. (Who nevertheless is probably a thug, but still might be a better or at least no worse thug than our globalist overlords.)

    Add to that the pre-crash events and we can now move onto the USA’s objectives in the whole campaign which probably begin in serious during the Sochi Olympics.

    I can’t think of any good ones, but here are a few guesses.

    1) A political ploy engineered by the Democrat party to portray strength and capitalize on rah rah sentiments? GOP cannot counter because god forbid they appear dovish.

    2) A an expansion of NATO resulting from genuine fear (probably misguided) of a Russian threat?

    3) Normal military-complex corruption looking for an actual war? Hard to imagine the US would go that far against a legit force like Russia, especially since it has not yet closed its Iraq and Afghanistan chapters, but maybe Russia is weaker then portrayed

    4) A reaction by US hawks to Russia’s meddling in Syria, exacerbated by their smooth annexation of Crimea. Likely mostly ego-driven but also strengthens the waning global deterrent toward interfering with America.

    None of these represent clear-cut geopolitical benefits to the USA. I surmise that the US is overreaching, but there are probably some smart players who know what they are doing. Either that or there has been some breakdown in US foreign policy such that it no longer represents the country’s interests.

  37. I can’t find ANY of the 37 comments supposed to exist for this article. Whazzup?

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