Reader David sent an email and accompanying video that purportedly shows the Malaysian Flight 17 being hit by missile. Let's take a look.
David Writes ...
It appears as if the right engine and wing area took the hit. The camera operator is able to record the moment of impact in the first 2 seconds of this clip. Note the smoke burst left behind on impact with the #2 engine area. There is a 18 second delay (speed of sound delay) due to the distance and altitude of the explosion. Question: How did this video operator know to have his camera running just prior to the missile explosion? How many people run their camera in the sky looking for an airplane cruising at altitude so high that most are not visible to the human eye? Note that the pilots are maintaining wings level, the airplane and burning wing still intact, in what appears to be an uncontrolled descent from 33,000 feet when the video ends at 1 minute 19 seconds.
Mish comment. I am not sure if I can make out everything David says, or if it is indeed flight 17, but it is an interesting clip.
Update From Jacob Dreizin
Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks both Russian and Ukrainian provided this update a few hours ago.
This whole thing is a mystery of no lesser magnitude than that other Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared in March. The true picture is even foggier than most people realize, with many questions unanswered.
- For unknown reasons, the flight diverted or was diverted from its usual course to fly smack over a tiny patch of land---of roughly 5000 square miles, or the size of Connecticut---controlled by pro-Russian rebels. (In fact, the 777 went down a few miles from the geographic bottleneck where three desperate Ukrainian brigades are trapped between the rebels and the Russian border.) Why? And if this airspace had been closed by Ukraine (on July 8th), why was that closure never registered with international aviation authorities or coordinating bodies?
- Russian media has quoted multiple Russian defense experts as saying that "Buk" missiles are designed to explode within several hundred meters of a target, sending between 50,000 and 100,000 pieces of shrapnel in all directions at supersonic (maybe hypersonic) speeds. According to these experts, an aircraft met by a "Buk" would be instantly riddled with holes, and the wreckage would evince that type of damage pattern. However, the few large pieces of Malaysia 777 wreckage that we have seen so far don't seem to fit the bill. In that case, was it really a "Buk", or some other missile system? (And if the latter, is it even worth arguing over whether the rebels have a "Buk"?) Or was the plane not destroyed from the ground at all?
- Related to number (2), why were the Ukrainians so quick to say it was a "Buk"? How would they know, within just minutes or an hour of the event? Especially if both the alleged missile launch and the 777's coming down to earth occurred on territory not under their control? And, why did they immediately (and wrongly) claim that 23 Americans were on board the plane? Did they just make that up?
- On Friday, the Ukrainians claimed to have arrested two Russian officers who had helped with targeting to bring down the 777. However, Kiev did not announce their names, nor the location of their arrest, nor did it provide any photographic or video evidence. So who are these people? Do they even exist?
- 23 minutes before the plane was first reported lost, the press secretary for Ukraine's national security council announced that the rebels had acquired a more potent air defense capability. Later that same day or the next morning, Ukraine's chief prosecutor is reported to have said that the rebels don't have any "Buks." What was all that about?
- The Russians claim that Ukraine recently moved an entire unit of "Buks" into the Donetsk region. Ukraine has not denied that. Given the fluidity of the front line, which is changing almost every day, how can Uncle Sam be sure that the launch he claims to have observed did not come from the Ukrainian side? Moreover, if our spooks have the capacity to track such an event from the sky, why can't they produce any satellite pics of all the Russian military equipment coming over the border? Do they really have a good eye on this area or not? And last but not least, within a few hours of the plane being lost, there was already a claim in the media (I think it was CNN) that U.S. spy assets saw evidence of a missile being fired. How can information like that move so quickly through the government and out to the press?
- Finally, on the purely domestic side, why has the U.S. media been referencing airliner shoot-downs in 1983 and 1988, but maintaining total silence about Siberian Airlines Flight 1812, which was downed by Ukraine in 2001? Wouldn't Flight 1812 be at least somewhat relevant to the discussion? It's very strange that it hasn't come up.
Ukraine Confiscated Air Traffic Control Recordings
Yesterday, The BBC reported at 15:29: "Ukraine's SBU security service has confiscated recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew of the doomed airliner, a source in Kiev has told Interfax news agency."
Black Box Thoughts
Don't you think Ukraine ought to release those tapes? Regardless, the recordings should be in the black boxes.
And speaking of black boxes, I am reading conflicting information as to how many have been recovered, who has control of them, and where they are now.
The way to get the most information is if three separate parties have them: Ukraine, Russia, and an independent Agency.
Ron Paul Chimes In
Finally, please consider this reasonable message from Ron Paul:
The Texas Republican said that the fact that Russians may have provided the weapons to the Ukrainian rebels is not enough to put the blame on the Russian president.
"That may well be true, but guess what, ISIS has a lot of American weapons," he said. "We sent weapons into Syria to help the rebels and al-Qaida ends up getting it — it doesn't mean that our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons."
"So who gets the weapons is a big difference between how they got them and what happened and what the motivations were," Paul added. "So even if it was a Russian weapon — doesn't mean a lot."
"It's pretty evident that the whole problem in Ukraine started approximately a year ago when the Europeans, along with the United States, overthrew an elected government and overthrew [former Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych — insisting that there'd be civil strife over there," he explained.
The United States instituted sanctions against Russia Tuesday aimed at Russia's financial institutions and defense sector, which Paul considers "acts of war."
"They want to put on these sanctions, which are actually acts of war and the consequence is usually economic blowback," he said.
Paul says that we should approach the situation with the downed Malaysian jet "cautiously."
"Under these circumstances, it's very difficult to get the real information so everybody's angling to propagandize and make their position known," he said.
"It'd be unwise to say, well, the Russians did it, or the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it."
I am in Glacier National Park, Montana (to be more precise, just outside the park). There is no phone or internet in the park. It can take 1 hour to do an email on the park satellite Wi-Fi. On this monitor I cannot tell exposures correctly.
St. Mary Falls
By the way, waterfalls and river gorges photograph best on cloudy days - bright overcast is best. Heading back to Chicago today.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock