Will MH17 be our 9/11? (4) Satellite traffic and Malaysia Airlines

A few days ago I received from a contact in Kharkov a report of the Russian geography website Neogeography.ru dealing with satellite traffic around the time of the downing of flight MH17. One day prior to the drama the American satellites suddenly, without any obvious reason, moved their central focus to the area where the disaster was to occur; on the 17th they disappeared. I summarise the key findings in the report; below is the sector that was photographed on the 16th (explained below).

Neogeography.ru makes use of the fact that these days around 70 percent of American intelligence activity has been privatised (see Peter Dale Scott’s latest book, The American Deep State). This mainly concerns Booz Allen Hamilton (the employer of Edward Snowden among others), SAIC, and in this case, DigitalGlobe, which has a monopoly in the American market for high resolution remote sensing. Normally their satellite photography is for both commercial clients and for the American intelligence services, but in this case mainly for the latter.

On 11 July DigitalGlobe produced three area images over the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), in spite of overcast skies; the next day, nine, and on the thirteenth, one more. On the 14th of July no images were produced, but on the 15th five facilities in the DPR were again focused on.

On the 16th, the day before the disaster, the behaviour of the DG satellites changed and instead of photographing specific targets, a corridor of approximately 100 kilometres was recorded. This corridor had one peculiarity: it was the area in which the next day flight MH17 would be brought down, more precisely in exactly the middle of the corridor (as shown in the picture).

Normally the aim of such an area overview is to have an accurate, up-to-date image to allow automated remote sensing from space; in this case, following the disaster, to track pieces of wreckage immediately after the event.

Of course this ‘order’ from an unknown customer acquired a grim significance on the 17th of July. In spite of the fact that the weather was improving (the days before had been overcast), the satellites suddenly left the territory of the DPR—no further images were produced that could have been made public and might have played a role in the investigation.

This clearly raise fundamental questions: why did the satellites ‘not turn up for work’ on the very day of the disaster?

Neogeography.ru argues that the MH17 disaster and the MH370 one, are linked with each other: the key to solving one will also solve the other.

The report concludes with an exhortation to develop a Russian remote-sensing capability which can compete with those of the best foreign companies, but that need not concern us here.

From the Russian side it has of course been urged several times that American satellite images be made available. This has never happened, apart from images dating a few days after the disaster. Yet the Defense Support Program of the American air force has satellites with infrared detection which can register any missile launch anywhere in the world, and it is no riddle why this is so. How otherwise would one be able to mount a missile defence system?

Beginning with secretary Kerry one day after the disaster, the Americans have continually claimed that they possess satellite images proving that the rebels shot down the plane, but these have never been made public.

At the presss conference of the Russian military on 22 July, dismissed by Western media as a concoction of meaningless lies, the last point out of ten was the claim that between 7 to 5 and 21 to 5 Moscow time, an experimental American satellite meant to detect the launching of missiles for any distance, passed over the disaster area. The Dutch Safety Board report of September however is completely silent on the topic of satellite information, both on the issue of whether it has asked for it in the first place, and the reply received to that request.

Maybe the most telling fact is that meanwhile, it is the Russians who do not stop insisting on the publication of results of the investigation, whilst the Netherlands specialises in ceremonies. First this concerned memorial services and now, the possibility of the relatives to come to Gilze-Rijen airbase to come and inspect the pieces of wreckage. That is the news we have to be satisfied with.

Kees van der Pijl

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