Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 11, 2020

Iranian Armed Forces Say They Inadvertently Shot Down The Ukrainian Plane - Updated

Updated below

The Iranian Armed Forces General Staff just admitted (in Farsi, English translation) that its air defenses inadvertently shot down the Ukrainian flight PS 752 shortly after it took off on January 8 in Tehran :

2- In early hours after the missile attack [on US’ Ain al-Assad base in Iraq], the military flights of the US’ terrorist forces had increased around the country. The Iranian defence units received news of witnessing flying targets moving towards Iran’s strategic centres, and then several targets were observed in some [Iranian] radars, which incited further sensitivity at the Air Defence units.

3- Under such sensitive and critical circumstances, the Ukrainian airline’s Flight PS752 took off from Imam Khomeini Airport, and when turning around, it approached a sensitive military site of the IRGC, taking the shape and altitude of a hostile target. In such conditions, due to human error and in an unintentional move, the airplane was hit [by the Air Defence], which caused the martyrdom of a number of our compatriots and the deaths of several foreign nationals.

4- The General Staff of the Armed Forces offers condolences and expresses sympathy with the bereaved families of the Iranian and foreign victims, and apologizes for the human error. It also gives full assurances that it will make major revision in the operational procedures of its armed forces in order to make impossible the recurrence of such errors. It will also immediately hand over the culprits to the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces for prosecution.

The Pentagon had claimed that Iran shot down the airliner but the evidence it presented was flimsy and not sufficient as the U.S. tends to spread disinformation about Iran.

It is welcome that the Iranian forces come clean about the incident.

That is not a given in such cases.

After the USS Vincennes in 1988 had shot down Iran Air Flight 655 and killed 290 people, including many children, the U.S. government denied any culpability. George H. W. Bush, the vice president of the United States at the time, commented: "I will never apologize for the United States – I don't care what the facts are... I'm not an apologize-for-America kind of guy." Despite its "error" the crew was given medals and the captain was even awarded a Legion of Merit "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ...".

We can be assured by the statement of Iran's president that the responsible Iranian officer will receive no such a reward:

Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani - 4:43 UTC · 11 Jan 2020
Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people.
Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752

The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.

My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.

Let us also not forget that the root cause of the accident was an assassination campaign which the U.S. launched against foreign military commanders of a country with which it is not at war:

On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another secret operation targeting a senior Iranian official in Yemen

The strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a financier and key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen, did not result in his death, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The U.S. executed a long planned campaign against several Iranian officers in third countries without any reasonable justification:

“There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks being plotted by Qasem Soleimani,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Friday. “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper have likewise supported the case for an imminent plot.

“Did it exactly say who, what, when, where? No,” Milley told reporters this week. “But he was planning, coordinating and synchronizing significant combat operations against U.S. military forces in the region, and it was imminent.”

Can there be any "imminent threat" when one does not know the "who, what, when, where" of the threat? Why would killing a high officer prevent the execution of such a threat? The excuse is obviously bullshit.

It was the U.S. assassination of the Iraqi and Iranian national heroes Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes and Major General Qassem Suleimani that led to the high alarm and nervousness which, in the end, killed 176 passengers and crew on board of flight PS 752.

Iran's foreign minister is right to point that out:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 4:05 UTC · 11 Jan 2020
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:

Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster

Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.

The death of the people on flight PS 752 is the tragic outcome of unreasonable U.S. aggression.

Update 11:00 UTC

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp IRGC's Aerospace Commander Amir-Ali Hajizadeh just gave press conference. It was an IRGC air defense unit that shot the plane down.

Iran Front Page journalist Reza Khaasteh translated on Twitter:

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I wish I was dead and such an incident hadn't happened. We in IRGC accept all the responsibility, and are ready to implement any decision made by the Establishment.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I was in the country's west following attacks on US base in Iraq when I heard the news. We sacrificed our lives for our people for a lifetime, and now we're trading our reputation with God (disgracing ourselves) and appear in front of the camera to explain.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr says we had requested the establishment of a no-fly zone given the war situation. But it was not approved for certain considerations.

Revision: IRGC Aerospace Cmdr says Air Defence operator sent a message to his commanders; but after he didn't receive any response for 10 seconds, he decided to shoot it down.

Video of IRGC Aerospace Cmdr. showing the place on map where the Ukrainian plane was shot down by the air defence.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I informed Iranian officials on Wednesday morning, and said we speculate our own passenger plane has been shot down. But the General Staff of Armed Forces quarantined all those who knew about it, and decided to declare it later.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr.: The officials, including Aviation authorities, who kept denying the missile hit, are not guilty. They made those remarks based on what they knew. We are to blame for everything.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr.: We were at that time ready for an all-out war with US. We had reports of cruise missiles fired at Iran. It was an individual's error that caused this tragedy.

What I find inexplicable is that the crew of Tor M-1 air defense system did not really consider that the Tehran airport was operating and that civil traffic was likely. More than ten planes had already taken off before the Ukrainian flight took to the air. The accident happened shortly after 6:00 am local time. Pure speculation: I suspect that a crew change had happened at 6:00 am and that the overnight crew did not really brief the one taking over.

Another leak (ukr) from the Ukrainian side of the investigation gives some hints on how the plane came down (machine translation):

"We took up the restoration of fragments of the aircraft. It was necessary to determine how these pieces of metal dumped into a huge pile should be interconnected.

The intrigue remained until late. The fact is that there were no damages on most parts of the aircraft. There was no explosion and no fire in the engines or on the wings. It is possible that the plane could fall almost intact. Unlike the remains of the Boeing MN-17, there were no immediately visible signs of defeat by combat elements on the fuselage and wings. A lot of damage to the case is the result of a fall. But after laying out all the fragments of the aircraft, it became obvious that the bottom of the cockpit was missing.

Among the wreckage, fragments of the upper part of the cabin were identified. And then the find finally took place - at about 22 hours. On a fragment of the cockpit, we found holes in the damaging elements of the warhead of the rocket, which pierced the skin. We found! For the first time, direct evidence appeared in this case, which made it possible to prove what caused the death of the aircraft. For us it was a turning point.

So what we now understand:

Russian anti-aircraft missile "Tor" hit the liner in the lower part of the front of the fuselage, directly under the cockpit.

A direct hit and the cabin flared up inside. Instantly turned off the transponder of the aircraft, which gives signals about the flight. Instantly lost contact.

While there is no data, one or two missiles have caused such damage. It is possible that the second missile also hit the fuselage from below close to the first. But all this remains to be clarified.

We continue to lay out fragments of the aircraft until the complete collection of all surviving parts.

We expect that today we will gain access to all objective control data.

In cooperation with Iranian colleagues, we get the impression that those who contact us sincerely want to help themselves and figure it out, in general, there are no problems. Let's hope that such a mood and working contacts remain with us now."

Posted by b on January 11, 2020 at 4:21 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

"So the explanation is incompetence rather than a willful disregard for civilian life?

Iran hands another propaganda victory to the US." reedw@472

No. The explanation is the US strategy of imposing intolerable strain on Iranian defences.
A strategy that included the criminal assassinations, including that of Soleimani.
As to the propaganda war: by posting this message you have done your bit for Uncle Sam
and its allies. I hope that you are getting paid for it.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 12 2020 18:16 utc | 501

One other thing that came out in the generals video. The general said he didn't know whether the unit commander could not get through because of jamming or because the lines where busy. He had taken all blame on himself and IRGC before this had been investigated, or at least before he knew what had happened with the coms. That Iran radars were getting false targets on their radars meant US was spoofing and no doubt other forms of EW and perhaps cyber attacks against the coms.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 18:19 utc | 502

Posted by: Fog of War | Jan 12 2020 17:37 utc | 484

F.Y.I The site has been down for a second day now. Might be nothing, but who knows. If it stays down it will join the site which has been down for weeks now. Not a good sign.

Your link to the Saker site is incorrect. A correct link is

The site is working now.

Posted by: Sarah | Jan 12 2020 18:22 utc | 503

I listened to Scott Horton interview Gareth Porter who spoke about his article in The American Conservative called
Realism & Restraint
Pompeo’s Gulf of Tonkin Incident

To listen to the audio of the interview on Pacifica’s Radio Archives go to this link and look for Antiwar Radio on 1/12/2020 at 8:30 AM. Pompeo is an ambitious guy and apparently has been planning this since some time since September of 2018. It isn’t posted on Scott Horton’s’s web page yet. It is a good article and so is the interview and not easy to summarize.

Posted by: realtime | Jan 12 2020 18:24 utc | 504

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 17:36 utc | 483

I do not understand the discrepancy. Possibly the written statement tried to give a reason why a plane on a normal civilian flight corridor could have been hit close to the airport.

They probably do not understand it themselves. British RUSI came out with "stressed, nervous, confirmation bias". Iranian version is "The poor guy identified it as a missile". I would say, if something like that happens on a screen, something is wrong with the screen.

I hope Boeing et al are still there and are helping investigations.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 18:29 utc | 505

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 18:29 utc | 505

The other thing that surprises me - when something sensitive is done you usually do not let it do one guy but two guys next to each other.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 18:31 utc | 506

There is a noticeable difference in shape of the flight path between
1. This image (corresponding to flightradar24 path)
2. The image from the IRGC presentation

In image 1 the crash site projects down to approximately the middle point of the flight path (maybe a bit more, like 55%). The flight path is straight there.

In Image 2 the crash site projects to just about where the right turn begins, and the turn extends further compared to image 1

Image 1 (IRGC sketch) seems to cover a different time frame as it extends to the supposed hit from the rocket.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 18:34 utc | 507

Sorry, my last comment should have been "Image 2 (IRGC sketch) seems to cover a different time frame as it extends to the supposed hit from the rocket."

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 18:41 utc | 508

Norwegian @507: noticeable difference


Flightradar24 only shows us info from the plane's transponder. The transmission from the transponder ends WELL BEFORE the missile strike as shown in the IRGC presentation.

PS I'm not sure what you mean to accomplish by projecting down from the crash site.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 18:44 utc | 509

welcome to the club, Norwegian (see preceding comments)

Posted by: mk | Jan 12 2020 18:44 utc | 510


Main roads can be seen on the IRGC map as with the other map. There is a main road running southwest northeast from the flight path, the two cross at the first turn in the flight path on both maps.

The crash site is on the northwest side of this road on both maps and about the same distance off the road. Where they differ... the crash site on the IRGC map is between two roads that run off the main northeast road. On the other map it is out past these two roads. I take it the position on the IRGC map is the correct position of the crash site.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 18:47 utc | 511

@504 realtime.. thanks for sharing that... it puts most all of the blame on pompeo and his lost partner john bolton, which i would agree with.. these 2 clowns have had an inordinate degree of blood lust on them..a closer look at their personalities reveal a good number of outstanding hypocrisies too.. it appears the author wrote this just before the advent of the downing of ukraine flight ps752.. i wonder if this is enough to make pompeos dreams of blood lust a realization? here is a direct link to realtimes link i talk about.. by gareth porter

Pompeo’s Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 18:48 utc | 512

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 18:44 utc | 509

PS I'm not sure what you mean to accomplish by projecting down from the crash site.

Extend the airport as an infinitely long straight line. The first part of the flight is on this line ("flight line"). The projection of the crash site onto "flight line" is where a line drawn from the crash site to the "flight line" intersects at a 90 degree angle.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 18:54 utc | 513

My -- frankly, mundane -- scenario in comments 186 and 205 were completely ignored here. I assume it is because almost all people unconsciously feel like the have to identify with one team or the other. Don't get me wrong - I certainly can identify with opposition to the Hegemon, of course I can. That otherwise intelligent people, however, insist on playing into the false dialectic by not standing in opposition to both sides -- however righteous Iran may appear, relative to the Empire -- disappoints me, because I know from experience that the capture bonding of the highly-conditioned citizen can be overcome by a sustained desire for truth in conjunction with the deep insight into the well-established natures of the various forms of human society that the dedicated field if cultural anthropology has bestowed upon us.

Iran and Empire are at war, but timing is always everything. Wars have various phases. Hot Wars, the main event phase of war, are no holds barred; do not fear this fact or it will become an elephant in your room that prevents you from taking a bird's-eye view; if Iran is to fight a hot war in a professional manner -- which is to say, to fight fire with fire -- it's nature will have to change as does the war phase and, to those here who don't want to face that, well, you must, because its necessary for Iran to do so, according to natural law.

Since Iran naturally is not choosing war with a more powerful adversary than itself, it must not invite hot war before it is absolutely necessary (hemmed-in ground), and until then mobilization is the order of the day; however, THE CLOSER TO THE NO HOLDS BARRED HOT WAR, THE MORE THE NATURE OF HOT WARS CREEPS IN. Iran was presented with the opportunity to respond as forcefully as it could to Empire without taking an American Life.

Prior to the hot war phase wherein Empire can truly flex it's muscle, the main advantage Empire has over Iran is psychological: Empire can annihilate Iran -- WHILE HURTING ITSELF IN THE PROCESS -- but Iran cannot annihilate Empire. The only way that Iran can put itself on a level psychological playing field with Empire is to commit a major, psychopathic act befitting of Empire, THAT ANNIHILATES EMPIRE'S PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE WHILE HURTING ITSELF IN THE PROCESS.

Do you see?

To repeat, the most likely scenario, IMO, is that Iran covert ops downed the jet on purpose in order to meet the necessities of war, and the Iranian PR establishment mistranslated the act as a mistake. It was such a brilliant war move that Trump cancelled his evening war speech for a dovish tweet that night and tactical retreat the next morning. It also explains Putin's quiet admiration, etc, etc.

It's an analysis deserving of discussion here, otherwise Iran becomes a paper tiger, and it deserves a better history than that here at MofA.

Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 18:58 utc | 514

In various online discussions it has been hypothesized (including by some commentators evidently affiliated with nytimes and/or bellingcat) that there were two explosions, and that the plane continued flight for some distance after the first. This could obviously help explain anomalies in terms of flight path, transponder, etc. Has this been ruled out somehow? Sorry if I missed this in an earlier comment.

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 12 2020 19:08 utc | 515

@ 514 reant.. i like what you are saying.. "Iran covert ops downed the jet on purpose in order to meet the necessities of war, and the Iranian PR establishment mistranslated the act as a mistake." so are you also saying in this that the plane turned into a missile theory is legit? it sounds like it... i agree with the logic of everything else you state in the post...

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 19:11 utc | 516

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 18:47 utc | 511T

The crash site is on the northwest side of this road on both maps and about the same distance off the road. Where they differ... the crash site on the IRGC map is between two roads that run off the main northeast road. On the other map it is out past these two roads. I take it the position on the IRGC map is the correct position of the crash site.

I have made an attempted overlay by scaling and rotating, using the start point on the runway, runway direction and crash point in the two images as references. If you do that, the flight paths disagree. If the crash location is drawn in the wrong position in one of the images this could be off.

Overlay image

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 19:12 utc | 517


Try scaling it using the airport as the first marker and the place were the flight path crosses the road that can be seen on both maps as the second marker. Using the crash point on both maps as a marker will throw it out as it is in different positions in relation to the roads.

The first turn in the flight paths on both maps is at that road.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 19:30 utc | 518

I've made this into a blog post:

Ukrainian Jet Shoot-down: Aircraft Afflicted WELL BEFORE It Was Shot Down


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 19:31 utc | 519

@ 516 james

I'm not sure exactly what your asking.


Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 19:33 utc | 520

@ 520 reant.. it has to do with the quote from your post... what are you concluding in that? are you saying iran interpreted the ukraine flight as a war move on the part of the usa? and etc. etc.. that is what i am trying to understand in your comment..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 19:36 utc | 521

reant @514: otherwise Iran becomes a paper tiger

I disagree. I don't think they would play into the AZ Empire narrative of Iran as a "terrorist nation".

I don't think they gain ANYTHING by purposely downing a plane. They have already made it clear that their goal is ejecting USA from the region - not the quick satisfaction of retribution. And their precision hits on USA military installations prove that they are not a 'paper tiger'.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 19:39 utc | 522

I currently have no access to my files, but I distinctly remember reading (5? 10? ?) years ago a very important, (rather obscure?) elucidation of the facts around how the leadership in virtually all of the countries in/around the Middle East were having steady, serious success in moving their respective nations toward embrace of modernization and acceptance of "western" concepts like separation of religion and government. I cannot remember author's name nor any details, so i post this in hopes some of the great researchers here might be able to dig up said paper/essay/article. It was full of names, places, details that backed up the premise that today the countries mentioned would be enjoying quality of life benefits in peace and prosperity if it hadn't been for the sabotage inflicted by the 'western' governments themselves. (which we all know were targeted and zionist infiltrated since the 19th century and zionists are running foreign policy behind a curtain of deception so thick not even Michael Hudson can see thru it, sadly). If Americans Knew...!

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Jan 12 2020 19:42 utc | 523

As indicated previously, the timing of UIA Flight 752's takeoff with Trump's dovish tweet is highly suspicious. Call it a gut feeling, but it seems likely that the US leadership decided to sacrifice UIA Flight 752 if they determined that all-out war would be too risky. Keep in mind that there were at least a few hours between the Iranian attack and UIA Flight 752's original takeoff time - plenty of time for the US leadership to decide on how to respond. Also keep in mind what happened after UIA Flight 752 crashed: 1) the US leadership immediately asserted that it was shot down by an AA missile; 2) the mainstream "Western" media very quickly focused almost entirely on the crash; and 3) new anti-regime protests started almost immediately after the Iranian leadership stated that the plane was indeed shot down by an AA missile. Perhaps there was no "Western" interference with the plane that goaded the Iranian AA operator to shoot it down (if that's even what really happened), but the speed and coordination with which the event has been exploited by the US and allied leadership suggests otherwise.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 19:50 utc | 524

so, iran destroyed itself in order to save itself. if only the village in south vietnam knew about this genius move. the advantage the u.s. has over iran is nukes, and the main thing that stops it from using that advantage is fear of what russia and china would do, along with the desire to save iran's oil- not some self destructive act on the part of iran, which plays nicely into the narrative of those crazy iranians wanting to kill people. once again, through an original twist, we have the portrayal of dangerous iranians vis a vis dangerous empire warmongers.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2020 19:54 utc | 525

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 19:30 utc | 518

Try scaling it using the airport as the first marker and the place were the flight path crosses the road that can be seen on both maps as the second marker. Using the crash point on both maps as a marker will throw it out as it is in different positions in relation to the roads.

You are correct, thanks. Here is that version.

I tried to mark the flight path crossing that road in both images. The comparison is still a buth rough, but much closer, so I can no longer say there is any significant discrepancy, but the IRGC path extends further in time.

The placement of the crash site was inconsistent in the two images, causing the first overlay to show a much larger difference-

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 19:58 utc | 526

I do not think IRGC shot down the plane on purpose, it was IRGC that asked the government to close down the airspace, they refused. Why did they refuse? Perhaps they hoped the use the airspace as a human shield against possible American attacks.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:00 utc | 527

@pretzelattack #525

It appears that the US leadership determined that further escalation with Iran would result in a pyrrhic victory at best. This determination seems to be based on the targeting precision of Iranian missiles, if not also on their ability to defeat the AA defenses at the targeted bases. (The big question, as stated elsewhere, is whether those AA defenses were active during the attack.) So US forces could certainly destroy the 52 targets in Iran, but the cost of doing so would apparently be too big for the US leadership to be willing to pay. Hence their resort to "plan B", which seems to involve using the crash of UIA Flight 752 to turn international and local Iranian opinion further against the Iranian leadership.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 20:00 utc | 528

The Americans/Zionists knew the Iranians wanted to use their airspace as a human shield, so they decided not to attack and instead spoof/jam their radar and hacked their communication lines thus push the Iranian air defenses into making a catastrophical mistake.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:03 utc | 529

@dave #527

It's also possible that the government refused because the US leadership had promised them (via Switzerland) that they would not escalate after the missile attack.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 20:03 utc | 530

@Cynica, then if that is the case they did not communicate that to IRGC cause the IRGC had information of a cruise missile being launched towards Iran.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:05 utc | 531

@ 521 james,

It is possible of course that Iran shot down the plane because Empire was monkeying around with it, but I think it unlikely that Empire was. Empire is in the feeling out stage still, between the economic war and the hot war. Empire is operating on its own schedule, which is determined by the financial sector, since war with Iran is in large part about masking the inevitable financial collapse.

It is a much greater likelihood IMO that Iran was implicitly letting Empire know it knows that commercial airliners are part of Empire's assymetric repertoire. Iran sent a number of messages with that war act. For example, it sent a pretty big message to jet-setting, westernized Iranians, don't you think? I'm pretty sure those Iranians were relieved to be leaving when they were, and it wasn't a very patriotic feeling, and it cost them dearly.

Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 20:06 utc | 532

@Cynica So that means IRGC radar/communication lines got jammed/hacked into provoking a catastrophical mistake.
IRGC computers had been hacked in 2019 according to this article:

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:07 utc | 533

@dave #531

It's unclear whether you're referring to UIA Flight 752 (appearing like a cruise missile at one point, perhaps) or something else. Either way, one or more sources for your claim would be appreciated.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 20:08 utc | 534

@Cynica according to IRGC presentation (youtube) they had information a cruise missile was being launched at least that is what they believed and the SAM operator could not get into contact with his superiors to ask for approval to take down the cruise missile cause the communication lines were down.

Anyway, Americans have acknowledged they hacked into IRGC computers according to this article:

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:11 utc | 535


The Empire's goal has always been to have a color revolution in Iran, not a costly war with Iran.

It appears that Iranian government reactions are being used to discredit the government. And the Iran government don't seem to realize this (and when they do, it's only after they they've played into it).

This is 4th-gen "hybrid" war, which includes information warfare.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 20:11 utc | 536

@ 532 reant... okay.. thanks.. i can see this as a possibility and can't rule it out..i am not sure about your last 2 sentences though... of course it is mostly all speculation on our part.. i relate to most of your speculation... on the other hand jackrabbit sees no value in taking down the airplane and i can agree with that position too from a pr pov.. so perhaps the question for me is how important is pr over reality? i tend to side with the reality at hand, although pr - propaganda in this case - is very powerful in convincing many of the importance of going to war.. it is unfortunate that almost all of the time it is wrong.. the mic/financial sector benefits and the people get screwed... i don't doubt we will continue to see this play out in some type of war dynamic.. we are clearly at war here is how i see it.. the whole world just hasn't woken up to this at this point yet..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 20:13 utc | 537

@dave #535

So then you're referring to UIA Flight 752 allegedly appearing like a cruise missile before it was shot down. That does not refute the possibility expressed in post #530, so it's unclear what your point is.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 20:14 utc | 538

I think I would call that spot on. So the Iranian map and flight parth are accurate and to scale, but flight radar flight path stops short for some reason.

Jackrabbit and others who have speculated as to if the transponder had been turned off. That was also my thought and give more reason for the Tor commander to think it was an approaching target, apart from the extra turn towards the tor position.
The other this is - what is flight radar. Who owns. Who controls it.
Wikipedia entry

I put up a comment on this at the new open thread.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 20:14 utc | 539

@dave #533

It's entirely possible that there was "Western" interference with UIA Flight 752 before it was shot down by an Iranian AA missile. But exactly what happened does not seem as relevant as who ultimately caused the incident. There seem to be two possibilities: Iran and the US. Iran would not benefit in any way from the incident, so if it was the ultimate cause, it was entirely accidental. On the other hand, the US would definitely benefit from the incident, as has been seen, so if it was the ultimate cause, then that would make the incident ultimately deliberate.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 20:16 utc | 540

@ 536 jackrabbit.. it is hard to know how much more discredit can be heaped on iran from the western msm at this point... maybe if they had some images of iranians doing what saudi barbaria does on a regular basis - headchopping and stuff like that - they could do a more convincing job, but overall i think the western msm has been pretty good at painting iran as monster incorporated.. we are essentially at war here, so i don't think it matters anymore with regard the pr - propaganda against iran..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 20:17 utc | 541

@ 522 jackrabbit,

With all due respect you are operating on the level of international public relations. I am asking you to go deeper than that, into warfare itself. It's a dark place; we know this superficially but are we willing to look it in the eye? My contention is that we cannot do so as a citizen. We can only do this as sovereign individuals and societies, self-sufficient in our own capacities.

I have already explained what Iran has gained by covertly downing the airliner. If you disagree then it is on you to argue against my reasoning.


Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 20:17 utc | 542

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 20:14 utc | 539
Agreed, thanks for the comment.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 20:20 utc | 543

@Cynica my point is the Americans were pushing the Iranian defenses into making a mistake after their radar got jammed and communication lines hacked. US government through FAA banned airlines from flying over Iraq and Iran, but the Iranians didn't do the same perhaps hoping to have a human shield against American attacks (or because of miscommunication between government and IRGC).

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:21 utc | 544

@Cynica the Americans knew an accident was about to happen, they banned airlines from flying over Iraq and Iran, Iran did not close their airspace (probably because they had assurance from the Americans they would not retaliate if there were no US fatalities, the "save face" agreement), Americans hacked into IRGC communication lines and jammed their radar thus pushing their air defenses into making a mistake.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:26 utc | 545

@jackrabbit #536

It seems more accurate to say that the empire's goal has always been to install a completely loyal regime in Iran. That has been the case with other countries as well. The empire has clearly not shied away from using outright warfare in order to change regimes, hence it does not stand to reason that the empire would shy away from doing so with Iran per se. Instead, it's a question of costs vs. benefits. At this point, it seems quite clear that the empire has determined that, if it were to wage outright warfare against Iran, then Iran's response would threaten the empire's very existence. So the empire has undertaken a tactical retreat.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 12 2020 20:27 utc | 546


The radicals (IRGC) have been taken out, their number 1 man is dead, the IRGC got hacked and jammed into making a mistake (PS752), now the conservatives are taking over in Iran. The radicals are those that want to export their Iranian Islamic Revolution, the conservatives want to keep it in 1 country, just like Trotsky vs Stalin.
Iran is slowly retreating, USA has won this round:

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 20:44 utc | 547

@ 537 james,

You're welcome.

This analysis is no less speculative than any other analysis, and IMO best explains the actions of two world-class military commands respectively making the right moves.

It is no loss to Iran to have strengthened its war positioning at the cost of losing some public face, especially when that losing of face helps leadership to better know who domestically are the loyalists and who are not.

Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 20:56 utc | 548

Re my 548 comment, that should read "no MORE speculative" :)

Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 20:59 utc | 549

not so sure "USA has won this round"
what the world has seen is that the US army and its thief in charge make a lot of noise but then do not act when an airliner is fired at (French MSM would mention the "Canadians" on board, but the irony is that then it means that the West does not respond when Westerners are killed) and on top of that the whole world can see the demos in Iran and see it is still better there than in many other places: KSA, a number of African countries, some Asian countries, etc.

Posted by: Mina | Jan 12 2020 21:03 utc | 550

@Mina no westerners are killed in the PS752, they were native Iranians or Iranians with a Canadian or other foreign passport. Only foreigners were Ukrainians.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 21:06 utc | 551

Looking through what has occurred and the reactions, responses of the Iranians when they realised they had shot down a civilian plane, and one that was carrying many Iranians, both expats that had come back for a visit and students studying overseas.... this realisation I believe genuinely hit them very hard. Any photos of the leadership, there is never with or splendor where they live and where they work. What I see ranges from spartan to the likes of Soleimani in an ordinary home with many many unframed photos of people pinned up in his home. Like the IRGC general said, they give their lives for the people. They sacrifice everything to protect Iran from the US, and then this happens.
I never see anything genuine in our western leaders, all I hear are narratives, but in Iran, they came across as very genuine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 21:17 utc | 552


Sorry, I'm unconvinced of any need for Iran to down an airliner to look tough. They proved themselves with the precision attack on USA military installations.

But USA, on the other hand, needed to counter the indignation and moral high-ground of Iran and Shia. USA has now successfully done that via: 1) claim of no casualties at military bases (implying a 'for show' attack); and 2) Iran's downing of an airliner. Each of these could be the result of USA manipulation: withholding casualty counts and using Electronic Warfare to trick the Iranians into firing on a civilian airliner.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 21:25 utc | 553


You are incredibly inconsistent.

When others have speculated about EW being used to fool Iran into shooting down PS752 you have disputed to the nth degree. Now you are saying that the US did use EW and was responsible for the shooting down of PS752? And you state this as if it fact rather than speculation or a theory?

What's your game?

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 12 2020 21:29 utc | 554

jr, i think reant was arguing they shot down the airliner to make themselves look crazy. that works from a position of strength, sometimes, but not from their position of weakness. if they had nukes like north korea it could work, but there's no evidence that they do.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2020 21:29 utc | 555

@ADKC Where did i dispute EW being used against Iranians? I only asked why didn't the Iranians close down their airspace? My answer was perhaps they wanted to use the airliners in their airspace as a human shield against American attacks. The Americans were smarter, they didn't retaliate but i believe they did hack IRGC communication lines and jammed/spoofed their radar thus provoking the Iranians into making a mistake which the Americans suspected could happen (FAA gave out a flying ban order over Iraq and Iran).

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 21:38 utc | 556

Peter AU1 346

"This is looking to be a very complex operation the US and five eyes is pulling off. Rather than simply reacting to events after the killing of Soleimani, the killing was inteded to set up circumstances to induce Iran into firing at a civilian aircraft. The act of war in killing the Iranian military official and diplomat followed by threats against Iranian cultural sites. With Iran air dfences on high alert, all it required was to cut air defence coms and turn an aircraft at the same time."

Call me naive but is it really so easy to prearrange such an event as the downing of the civilian liner?
Who "cut air defense coms" and turned the aircraft?
Are you saying this was done remotely?
Was this event managed from Langley, with Haspel at the helm, like the assassination? (As described in the NBC piece---a very disturbing read, BTW.)

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 12 2020 21:39 utc | 557

@ADKC If the Americans did attack Iran while the PS752 got shot down, that would make the Americans and Trump look real bad. But the Americans did not retaliate, physically, perhaps they did electronically.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 21:45 utc | 558

pretzelattack @ 555,

Iran was just speaking to Empire the only language that Empire understands. It was more effective than killing Americans.

Posted by: reant | Jan 12 2020 21:45 utc | 559

@AKDC According to this twitter account

SIX of these people were NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS.
Visiting IRAN.
At the same time.
on the same plane.
What are the chances that it's coincidence?

Iran has a history of mysterious deaths among their nuclear scientists:

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 21:52 utc | 560

dave @560

So now you are saying PS752 was deliberately shot down by Iran? Just two posts earlier you said the US were responsible.

The information you link to is interesting but KerryActivism (the twitter poster) seems to suspect Canadian involvement.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 12 2020 22:15 utc | 561

Dave: "
@pretzelattack Though nothing compared to what the Americans have been doing, they were spreading their Islamic ideology throughout the region ever since the Islamic revolution of 1979, by exporting the concept of suicide bombings to the Palestinian areas (Hamas, Islamic Jihad), their involvement with Yemen where houthi are trying to overthrow their government, they have been involved in Bosnia."

Well, why shouldn't they spread their dogma in their own region if they can. Who is the USA to tell Iran what it can and cannot do in neighboring states??

I don't think the Iranians originated the idea of suicide bombing, and I also do not see this as a particularly effective way to spread anything but terror.

In fact, it is the USA that has used terror to "spread democracy."

Your comments regarding the Houthis also seem to be way off-base.
You seem to be parroting formulaic accusations against Iran, premised on the ingrained and hence unexamined belief that the Iranians, and everyone else, too, have to ask the Americans for permission to blow their own noses in their own houses.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 12 2020 22:18 utc | 562

@ADKC You really cannot understand anything? You must be a westerner, only westerners think in black and white, they don't understand nuance. What i am saying is Iran did not close down their airspace, perhaps they wanted to use the airliners as a human shield in case Americans attacked and if by accident 1 airliner got shot down, that would make Trump look real bad in public world opinion. But the Americans did not retaliate, i do believe the Americans hacked/spoofed IRGC air defenses communication lines and radar, and this pushed the Iranians into making a mistake. The Americans were aware a mistake was about to happen, FAA gave a flying ban order to airliners over Iraq and Iran.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 22:21 utc | 563

Iran has a history of mysterious deaths among their nuclear scientists

@Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 21:52 utc | 560

Yeah... bu it´s long ago that the mystery has been solved....It was Mossad along with Ayatollah Mike and his mariachis who were killing or hijacking these scientists to blackmail them into commiting treason...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 12 2020 22:28 utc | 564

@Really Yes Iranians did originate the idea of suicide bombings, they even had a recruitment center in Tehran for suicide bombers against Israel. They funded Hamas and their suicide bombings. First suicide bombers were Shia, in Lebanon and against Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. There were no suicide bombings in the Afghanistan war against the Soviets. Shia suicide bombings were primarily against military/political targets, takfiri suicide bombings are primarily against civilians.

Also lets not forget, it was the Shia in Iraq who welcomed US invasion in 1990 and in 2003. The Shia were US's darlings, at start, then things changed and now the Sunni have become US's darlings.

What is happening in Yemen, is an internal conflict, none of our business, i am not siding with anyone there and i do not give a fuck, what i do not like is the US being a destabilizing factor in the middle east, i believe Putin's Russia will bring equilibrium in the middle east where no country will have the upper hand at the cost of the other.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 22:38 utc | 565

@ dave | Jan 12 2020 21:52 utc | 560

The qtardation is strong in that twitter thread you posted there.

What's next? "The plane was a hologram?"

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 12 2020 22:56 utc | 566

@Lurk I did not fact check the claim there were six nuclear scientists on board of flight PS752, so i do not know if that is the truth, but they claim they googled the names of the passenger list and found six nuclear scientists. And we all know Israel had been assassinating nuclear scientists in Iran, they do not want a nuclear Iran.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 23:00 utc | 567,_pre-1980
The first known suicide bomber was Russian.[82] The invention of dynamite in the 1860s presented revolutionary and terrorist groups in Europe with a weapon nearly 20 times more powerful than gunpowder, but with technical challenges to detonating it at the right time. One way around that obstacle was to use a human trigger, and this was the technique that assassinated Tsar Alexander II of Russia in 1881.[82] [83] A would-be suicide-bomber killed Vyacheslav von Plehve, the Russian Minister of the Interior, in St Petersburg in 1904.[84]"

"During the January 28 Incident a dare to die squad struck against the Japanese.[101]

Suicide bombing was also used against the Japanese. A "dare to die corps" was effectively used against Japanese units at the Battle of Taierzhuang.[102] They used swords.[103][104] They wore suicide vests made out of grenades.[105][106]

A Chinese soldier detonated a grenade vest and killed 20 Japanese soldiers at Sihang Warehouse. Chinese troops strapped explosives such as grenade packs or dynamite to their bodies and threw themselves under Japanese tanks to blow them up.[107] This tactic was used during the Battle of Shanghai, to stop a Japanese tank column when an attacker exploded himself beneath the lead tank,[108] and at the Battle of Taierzhuang where Chinese troops with dynamite and grenades strapped to themselves rushed Japanese tanks and blew themselves up,[109][110][111][112] in one incident obliterating four Japanese tanks with grenade bundles.[113][114]"

Korean War
North Korean tanks were attacked by South Koreans with suicide tactics during the Korean War.[123][124]

American tanks at Seoul were attacked by North Korean suicide squads,[125] who used satchel charges.[126] North Korean soldier Li Su-Bok is considered a hero for destroying an American tank with a suicide bomb.[127]

It goes on dave. Cut your shit.

Most including hezbollah used suicide bombing against military targets.
US proxies although they do use them against military targets use theirs in marketplaces and so forth as pure terror weapons. The US proxies, al Qaeda, ISIS and so forth are by far the most prolific and much of it is terrorist bombing against civilian targets as a terror weapon.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 23:12 utc | 568

@ 568 peter au.. thanks for that..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 23:31 utc | 569

dave @565

Iran did not originate use of suicide bombs but...

“There is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. Both kill innocent people for political reasons.”

Tony Benn

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 12 2020 23:55 utc | 570

Everything is possible!

I just can’t understand how someone was filming before impact .
Did they have prior knowledge?
It is almost impossible to randomly record the night sky and capture such footage.
Could the missile system be hacked?

Check this article from 2012:

Posted by: Just me | Jan 13 2020 0:31 utc | 571

Posted by: Just me | Jan 13 2020 0:31 utc | 571

Check this article from 2012:

Without a direct link to the Wikileaks site, all this resembles throwing shit on a fan.

Posted by: Don First | Jan 13 2020 6:17 utc | 572

Instead of running into crazy speculations may we come back to the initial problem:
stopping the transponder? Can such a thing be done remotely?
It happened exactly at a moment where the Iranian leadership had to be aware of potential retaliations of the USA.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 8:54 utc | 573

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 23:12 utc | 568

Nah, much older than that. The first were the sect of the Assassins, in the time of the Crusades, much feared by the Crusaders. Of course they didn't have actual bombs, but suicide assassinations they were. The Latins thought they drugged themselves on hashish - hashshashin - in order to do the attacks. The lot on the mountain above Latakia that the Crusaders knew (actually they still exist today, called Isma'ilis) were only a branch of the lot in Alamut in Iran, who were finally exterminated by the Mongols.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 13 2020 9:22 utc | 574

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 8:54 utc | 573

Yes. It is possible.

Boeing Honeywell Uninterruptible Autopilot

There have been claims that the technology has been secretly fitted to some commercial airliners. Some have blamed it for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, whose cause is unknown as of 2018.[7][8][9] According to Bob Mann, an airline industry consultant, there is no evidence that the Boeing Uninterruptible Autopilot has ever been used in a commercial airliner.[10] Safety concerns, including the possibility that such a system could be hacked, have prevented its roll-out.

It is possible that they implemented part of this system in plans for a future rollout that finally did not take place.

I could also imagine that especially the transponder part - hijacked plane - was implemented to mark a plane for military jets. If that is the case, airbus would have the same switch, however it is possible that the code for this is different.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 10:17 utc | 575

somebody | Jan 13 2020 10:17 utc | 575

If it is like this than most probably this was used to create the havoc. To make the Boing unidentifiable in this special moment in this night means to trigger either to shoot it down or to call for a figher jet to control that object. We have no reason to assume that the pilot was on a suicide trip. We can fairly suppose that the pilot did not stop the transponder.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 11:40 utc | 576

add to 575

The Post 9/11 Aircraft Transponder

The panel presented three other methods for consideration: Acquiring software modification kits, allowing users to reprogram their air transport data link (ATDL) transponders so as to "latch" the 7500 hijack code and accommodate the panic button option. In addition, a remotely located circuit breaker could be selected. The change would assure power to the transponder. This method meets all derived requirements. Installing a remotely located transponder control head, preset to the hijack code, in the avionics equipment bay. The panic button would feed into it. This method, which requires adding a new unit to the aircraft, also meets all derived requirements. Airbus recommends this solution to its customers. And changing the current control panel where the codes are set. One possible modification would have 7500 code locked, if selected; if the hijacker turns the knobs, the computer ignores the input. The task force felt that this change, which requires opening up the control panel and eliminating the "standby" function, did not meet all derived requirements; ATC operators did not want to lose the standby function, which is needed in an overloaded traffic environment or when transponders malfunctions

I guess, as soon as something is done remote a hack is possible. The above suggests that customers (airlines) can opt for own solutions.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 12:05 utc | 577

somebody | Jan 13 2020 10:17 utc | 575

Thank you! Do we know which person was able to film the event? It is strange that somebody there at the right spot to film it puts the camera into the dark nightly sky and starts filiming it at the right moment. Makes sense only if this person is been guided for the right moment to start. The moment the transponder is stopped would be the right trigger. Anything else could be an unhappy connection of some bad luck causes. That the transponder was stopped can be explained as bad luck as well? Are transponders known for non-induced failures?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 12:48 utc | 578

Peter AU1,

Thank you for all your forensic analysis.

To respond to your comment on the genuineness of Iranian leadership making an intentional Iranian downing of the airliner inconceivable, I will say that it speaks to my stated point that if we are to remain open to true possibility -- to all of the realistic scenarios -- we must acknowledge that as true people we recognize that Iranian leadership only appears genuine relative to the leadership of Empire.

Just because Pharisaic culture (Empire's culture) is as ugly as it gets doesn't make Iranian government culture beautiful jn and of itself. Put another way, national socialism, even a genuine form, is only beautiful relative to international capitalism. In fact it is NS's relative beauty that speaks directly to its legendary durability; NS is the government system that best handles economic contraction, and because of that fact we are all headed for it.

Objectively, however Iranian government does what all governments do, which is to enact iron-fisted, full-spectrum hegemony within it's borders, with its standing army, over millions and millions of humans and every other species that happen to be born within it's borders.

Posted by: reant | Jan 13 2020 13:06 utc | 579

About suicide bombings:

Buda's Wagon -- Mike Davis (Good Reads)

Mr. Davis is a good read, just like it says, too.

Suicidal attacks in military and political affairs are old and common as dirt. One gets to be a hero that way, as long as one attacks the right parties. War and political conflict have always involved a lot of killing. Killing with hand tools is hard and dangerous work, so bombs immediately became very popular.

Politicians and military leaders love bombs, they just don't want anybody else to have them. Generally they don't want their "citizens" to have anything like as good weapons as they have. That makes them feel safe.

Standoff weapons like atlatls, bows, guns each became immediately very popular because they allowed one to kill people without exposing oneself to retaliation. The US military being both unethical and cowards have always loved "death from above", it makes them feel powerful.

Using bombs didn't start until there were bombs. Once there were bombs, it was an obvious step.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 13 2020 13:10 utc | 580

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 12:48 utc | 578

All I can say is that after 9/11 there was a huge discussion on how/and the ethics of taking down a hijacked airliner before it could fly into huge buildings.

If Iranians, Russians and Malaysians are able to unscrew this they deserve a lot of medals.

Yes the video is suspicious. Yes it presumably can be traced via the people who obtained it and indications from where it was filmed.

Would Boeing be interested in putting a stop to their airliners being taken down?
Or could Airbus shine a light on this?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 15:56 utc | 581

somebody | Jan 13 2020 15:56 utc | 581

Let Occams razor guide us. That some mistakes happen and an airliner is shot down may occur. How likely it is that a transponder out of a sudden stops to function I do not know. - But the existence of such a video cannot be explained in this way. The guy in command of the camera must have known that something will happen and where about at the nightly sky it would happen. The only explanation for that is that somebody knew how to stop the transponder from a remote spot, did that at a certain time and informed the camera guy about it. Or the guy with the camera did both. Boeing cannot be interested in doing such a thing.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 16:23 utc | 582

This video shows that the plane was already in flames for 30 seconds or more before the [final] missile took it down.
Plane video on youtube

So people started videoing because the plane was in flames, and/or because they heard an initial explosion that caused the flames. This explosion might have been an initial missile, or possibly a bomb or mechanical failure.

My guess is a MEK missile, but who knows. Then the IRGC saw a flaming ball descending toward a sensitive military site without a functioning transponder (possibly because of the initial explosion) and took it down.

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 13 2020 18:34 utc | 583

LarryMorgan | Jan 13 2020 18:34 utc | 583

Thanks! So that video did not start with a dark night sky but showed the plane in flames from the very beginning? If it was like that no way to blame the Iranians. That their communications were jammed is the responsibility of the jammers. Can a rocket that puts one engine on fire stop the transponder?
The efforts to let the Iranian side pay the bill seem well prepared. Another hint.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 19:16 utc | 584

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 19:16 utc | 584

I don't know enough about transponders to know what could turn one off. There still seems to be debate (see some of Jackrabbit's posts) about what might have turned it off, and at what point: synchronizing all the events to a single timeline seems to be a challenge. An article someone posted on Medium claims that Iran fired both missiles, not just the final kill shot. But since Iran has not acknowledged two missiles -as far as I know - and since there remains some inconsistency about the transponder and about a possible turn back toward the airport, I'm continuing to try to interpret what I can see in various videos.
I agree there was, and continues to be, a strong push to disseminate a narrative entirely blaming Iran. And I also note there were a few hours before the plane went down, after Iran's attack on the military base and while the plane was delayed for some unclear reason. Lots of time for someone to come up with a plan if it wasn't already in place.

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 13 2020 19:44 utc | 585

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 13 2020 18:34 utc | 583

That is not the New York Times video.

This is it

They have put some explanation into it now. And some sound that I don't remember before. But the guy who did it could not have known this was the right angle.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 21:15 utc | 586

How to hack an aircraft

Meanwhile, US regulator the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) has warned that some computer systems on the Boeing 747-8 and 747-8F may be vulnerable to outside attacks due to the nature of their connectivity.

In addition, weak encryption systems in aircraft communications addressing and reporting systems have raised issues around the privacy of messages sent via the data-link.

According to Nitha Suresh, a cybersecurity consultant at Synopsys, the surveillance signal used to broadcast the position of aircraft can potentially be eavesdropped or spoofed by highly skilled attackers.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 22:11 utc | 587

somebody | Jan 13 2020 21:15 utc | 586

I'm aware that isn't the nytimes video; I did not mean to imply it was. It is another video purported to be of the same event. There seem to be quite a few videos out there. Are you saying it is not the same event? If so, can you tell me how you know?

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 13 2020 22:53 utc | 588

This is the same specific Bellingcat video with more interpretation.

There are lots of other videos out filmed by car cameras around Tehran airport or people woken up by the missile hit, where the situation they filmed is understandable and evident, but none other of the shoot down itself, as far as I know, and this person filmed exactly at the right angle what happened in a dark sky.

The surprising thing is that the burning plane slides down quite a long slide (as seen in the other videos) but does not explode in the air though there is an explosion in the sky (by the missile?)

I don't think we have got the information yet that explains it.
Here is a "Reuters explainer"

Commercial air flights have transponders - radio transmitters that broadcast their identity, speed and altitude at an internationally agreed frequency. There were several other civilian aircraft nearby when Flight 752 crashed just a few kilometers from the airport.

All of those aircraft would have been visible on the radar screen of the Tor battery as well as civilian radar at the airport.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 23:36 utc | 589

Ukraine does not understand it either

The deadly missile launch targeting a civilian aircraft bound to Kyiv suggests either a deliberate act by the operator or flawed Russian software, a think tank reported.


On January 9, 2020, Tehran Airport's online schedule indicated that a number of other civilian aircraft had taken off starting 05:23 local time before PS752 departure on 06:13 with intervals of eight to 33 minutes. Thus, the air defense launcher crew should have seen "targets" similar to PS752 between 4:32 and 06:12. The FlightRadar24 data illustrates an identical altitude gain for five airplanes that took off during this timeframe. Thus, even under psychological stress, the launcher crew could not see flight PS752 as something unexpected or out of the norm to identify it as a hostile object, presumably a "cruise missile".

"crew" not "poor guy"

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 13 2020 16:23 utc | 582

Other explanation would be that he was watching the missile site anyway for other reasons.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 13 2020 23:58 utc | 590

somebody 587

The media stuff on boeing aircraft focuses on hacking. Boing says the systems (automated data links) have good security so hackers cannot tinker.
Boeing is part of US MIC. US have a back door into all boeing aircraft computers through those automated data links.
737 flight controls are not fly by wire, but the engines and some internal systems are. US may well have placed a cruise missile on the Tor radar screen, but shutting down an engine and transponder on the Uki airplane would have the same effect. Because of Iran initial insistence the plane crash was due to a tech problem, I had thought the engine shutdown quite likely. Flight recorders would tell the story, but Iran has given them to France and now the MH17 crew are on the job.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 14 2020 0:11 utc | 591

somebody | Jan 13 2020 23:36 utc | 589

Thanks for that. I admit I'm confused. One of the journalists on the NYTimes article Christiaan Triebert ‏stated two days ago that his working hypothesis was that two missiles had been fired.

the full twitter thread

Here is what he said in response to another comment near the bottom of that twitter thread:

Jan 11
Replying to @trbrtc @nytimes and 17 others
Car alarms are already activated before the missile is fired. Possible that another missile had already been fired and hit the aircraft

Christiaan Triebert
‏Verified account
Jan 11
Yes, that's our working hypothesis too.


Then an article on Medium, which was linked from another thread here, did an analysis based on a two-missiles hypothesis, arguing that Iran fired twice. It's the best attempt I've seen of a definitive timeline, although I'm not sure it all fits:

Medium article with two missile analysis


So as you say there is more to be learned. I suppose one could - and in a perfect world, should - wait for the official narrative after careful analyses of all available information... but I tend to think that by that time inconvenient bits of information tend to be swept under the rug because they threaten the chosen storyline.

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 14 2020 0:12 utc | 592

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 14 2020 0:12 utc | 592

5 eyes said they saw 2 missile launches. It is amazing the plane landed burning.

Possibly they fired at something else, close to the plane.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 14 2020 0:22 utc | 593

somebody | Jan 14 2020 0:22 utc | 593

Right, but has Iran admitted to two missiles? And have they admitted to launching from the site where the Bellingcat video says the missile(s) came from? I haven't seen this.

I guess I'll wait a couple of days and see what comes out.

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 14 2020 0:39 utc | 594

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 14 2020 0:39 utc | 594

Canada - Trudeau - seems to have good relations with Iran again
which cannot have been US intention.

“I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in the interview.

Trudeau said Canada did not receive a heads up before the United States killed Soleimani, and that he “obviously” would have preferred one.

Iran will keep its secrets but be as nice as possible to everybody in the investigation. They either have a systemic error in their hard-/software, communication,training, bureaucracy or something else happened that night alltogether.

The investigation will take a few months if not years.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 14 2020 0:58 utc | 595

Just thought I'd come back to this old thread to note that today, January 14, nytimes posted a new video showing the two missiles. Evidently the first missile knocked out the transponder. Then the second missile was the one in the original Nytimes/Bellingcat video. Both missiles appear to come from the same site, which nytimes says is a military base.

NYTimes article with video

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 15 2020 0:36 utc | 596

LarryMorgan 596

Reading the report and looking at the video, it looks like the video was made by filming another screen the day after the crash.
Perhaps it is genuine, but filming the video that is playing on another screen would remove any doctoring that may be in the original.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 15 2020 1:20 utc | 597

Pompeo's proxies in Iran, perhaps MEK, are sending a lot of stuff to NYT

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 15 2020 1:22 utc | 598

LarryMorgan @596

Problem with the 2-missile theory is that the first missile that "took out the transponder" would have to be fired before, or seconds after, the plane became visible to the Tor operator (due to the mountainous terrain).

And, at the point where the transponder stops, the plane has been acting normally. It had not yet turned toward the Iranian base. Thus, no pressing reason to engage it.

So under the two-missile theory, one can easily make the case that the Iranians INTENDED to shoot down a plane with travelers that were mostly Iranian (it was not an accident). And many were students. That makes no sense to most of us.

And then, after firing ONCE, the Tor operator still fails to identify the plane as a commercial airliner and fires a second time?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 15 2020 3:26 utc | 599

@597 Peter AU1 @599 Jackrabbit

I agree the video and its interpretation seem a bit suspect and a bit too tidy in terms of the mainstream narrative. I just wanted to make note of it here because it does tie in with the NYTimes reporter saying days ago that his working hypothesis was that there were two missiles (and as an earlier comment said, this was the initial claim made by 5 eyes). I couldn't figure out when the other missile was fired or where from; I couldn't figure out why the original NYTimes smoking guy started videoing the night sky; and as you have been saying JR there also was no compelling explanation of why the transponder signal was lost. So this at least potentially ties off some loose ends by proposing an initial missile disabled the transponder and alerted the guy on the ground to start videoing. But as you say it doesn't make any sense in terms of the actions of the Tor operator, unless that individual was working for somebody else and in fact it was intentional.

I had anticipated that it might turn out that a first missile was fired by MEK, which disabled the transponder and might have had some other impact on the plane that led to the Tor operator's action. But IF the video is authentic then it does appear that both missiles came from the same place or very close to one another.

Let's hope more information comes out to provide more clarity.

Posted by: LarryMorgan | Jan 15 2020 5:53 utc | 600

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