Datingthe perfect crime
When researching this social media evidence – taking the position that no confirmed date means there is no a priori reason to assume all evidence is originating from the same date – it becomes clear this easy-to-understand narrative is not so straight forward as it seems.
Trying to date the video of a self-propelling Buk moving out of Snizhne from the south, heading to its alleged launch site, may explain more.
The first cluster Reviewing this so-called track-a-trail evidence, guarded by NATO affiliated organization Bellingcat, one may observe it actually shows two main clusters of social media evidence.
Researching alleged evidence about a possible weapon and crime scene regarding the downing of flight MH17 as gathered from social media postings, it becomes clear the standing narrative – also pursued by the official investigators office – shows severe difficulties.
Trying to verify the date of a video of a Buk missile launch system, allegedly driving from the rebel held Ukrainian city of Snizhne towards an alleged launch site southwards, sheds light on the way dots of information were suggestively interpreted and connected.
This impression was corroborated further by a few written, “realtime” sightings of the Buk movement.
However, this story seemed to good to be true, at least, for critical people it did.
To this day the official story about the crash of Malayasian Airways flight MH17, followed up by the Joint Investigation Team researching the criminal case, is founded on an alleged trail of a Buk Air Defense Missile System.
This zone, in which at that moment heavy fighting took place involving military jets bombings and shelling with GRAD missiles, was located south from the twin city Torez/Snizhne, about 30 km. It is claimed the Buk launch system came in from Russia in the morning of the 17th, was routed towards a launch site south from Snizhne and then disappeared over the border again the night after the passenger plane was downed.Immediately after the disaster an “information war” broke out in which messages, photos and videos about the Buk movement were published on the internet to be picked up by “citizen-researchers” like the research collective Bellingcat and blogger Ukraine-at-war to interpret and disseminate.For most of us it was not hard to see that dots from Torez to a location south from Snizhne were layed out very swiftly after the crash – and some even before – to be connected easily to construct a trail of a Buk, hauled by a unique truck on a red low-loader, moving from somewhere in the west of Donetsk “oblast” to Snizhne.A couple of hours before the plane was hit it allegedly was off-loaded in the city to drive on its own to the alleged launch site, a burnt field marked – or “geolocated” – with the help of a picture showing an alleged Buk launch plume.
This way a trail of the possible weapon through the Donbass could be reconstructed, although the sourcing of the material was untraceable and information about the exact date of capture of the imagery was missing.But because these images displayed some evident markers (unique truck, low-loader, Buk) and seemed to fit a certain time line, it was easy to suggest they all originated from the same date, that is: the 17th.