Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down on Thursday, allegedly by Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists. Conspiracy theorists immediately jumped on the event, hypothesizing outlandish claims. Here’s a look at why most of these couldn’t possibly be true with evidence why.
1. Flight MH17 was Carrying Dead Bodies
If you aren’t aware, this outlandish theory is actually pretty common amongst conspiracists, especially those who fall under the “New World Order” school of thought. The most recent example in the United States is that the government staged the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. If you want to read more about this, you can read “Top Ten Reasons: Sandy Hook was an Elaborate Hoax” on Veterans Today, with reasons like:
[Sandy Hook] parents were not even allowed to view their children’s bodies to identify them. Instead, they were reportedly shown photographs of the deceased. This was done, according to the Medical Examiner, Wayne Carver, in order to “control the situation.” But what was there about the situation that required “control”? No parent of our acquaintance would have agreed to accept the death of a child without viewing the body.
A similar theory was advocated by some regarding MH17, but the most damning piece of evidence for this was the fact that an Instagram video was uploaded by a passenger on the flight before takeoff. According to Free Malaysia Today:
Md Ali Md Salim, 30, a Malaysian passenger onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border, had uploaded a video on his Instagram account while seated in the plane moments before take-off.
The 15-seconds video was uploaded under his account name “@masa1777″ at noon (Amsterdam time), with the caption: “Bismillah…#hatiadasikitgentar” (In the name of Allah…feeling slightly nervous).
You can watch the video above.
And as you can see, all the passengers around him look very much alive.
2. Ukrainian Jets Were Escorting MH17
What is notable is the fact that there are emerging reports that the Malaysian flight was actually being escorted by Ukrainian military jets only 3 minutes before it crashed.
However, video of MH17’s impact with the ground shows no jets in the air. You can watch the video above.
3. Separatists Didn’t Have a BUK Launcher/They Couldn’t Operate One Without a Radar Station
On the 29th of June, DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic] has captured the 9K37 BUK SAM from a Ukrainian air defense base.
A BUK launcher is what likely shot down MH17. In the tweet above, you can see that the DNR was happy to promote their collection of the weapon on social media.
As for its inability to reach a target without a radar system, that’s untrue.
Downing an airliner flying at normal cruise altitude would require a mobile SAM system such as a Kub (known to the West as the SA-6 ‘Gainful) or the ‘Buk’. Both are in Ukrainian service.
…a Buk launcher can also operate in stand-alone mode. Its built-in radar is normally used to track the target being engaged, but can be operated in a target-detection mode, allowing it to autonomously engage targets that were present in the radar’s forward field of view.
Simply put, it was and is completely possible to shoot down a jetliner with a BUK missile.
4. The Plane was Purposefully Flown Over a Conflict Area to be Shot Down
MH17 was not operating under any historically abnormal flight pattern when it was shot down.
However, it is true that it did change its course to avoid a thunderstorm, but storms were persistent all over eastern Ukraine on July 17, and even if it did slightly deviate its course to avoid one, it would have still been in the conflict area.
The airspace over eastern Ukraine has been and still is a no fly zone. The FAA issued a ban on operations over the area, however that ban only applies to planes flying between the altitudes of 26,000 and 32,000 ft. At the same time, the Ukranian Government reportedly shut down all civilian flights in the region under 7,900 meters or 26,000 ft. Ukrainian air traffic control assigned MH17 an altitude of 33,000ft, which complied with both no fly orders.
5. There Was No Missile