An investigation carried out by a Dutch blogger has found that the two photos circulated on social networks shortly after the MH17 crash, which purport to show a trail of smoke in the sky from a missile launcher, are fakes.
On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near Donetsk. Dutch blogger Max van der Werff claims that the photos purporting to show a smoke trail from a BUK missile launcher shortly after the MH17 plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July last year are fraudulent. Last month, he carried out an investigation in Donbass, where the photos were allegedly taken.
“A witness uploaded a photo of the moment of the rocket’s launch. On the horizon the [electircal] cable between Lutugina and Tsof is visible.”
The ‘vapor trail’ photo surfaced on social media in the immediate aftermath of the crash on July 17 last year, having been taken by an anonymous photographer. The image gained traction in a range of media outlets, which cited it as evidence that the plane was shot down by a BUK missile launcher, being operated by pro-independence rebels in the east of Ukraine.
Van der Werff, who traveled to the building in Donbass from which the image was allegedly taken, wrote the results of his investigations in a blog post on May 20. According to the blogger, who took footage of the roof from which the anonymous photographer claimed to have taken the picture, the image is fraudulent, since the view from the roof does not match that of the photo.
Van der Werff’s conclusions also correspond with other doubts over the veracity of the photos, raised because of the relatively clear weather conditions shown on the photo do not match those reported on the day of the crash, which was overcast.
MH-17: ‘Buk launch’ photos are cheats, by Max van der Werff, May 20, 2015