Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 09, 2020

Pentagon Accuses Iran Of Shooting Down A Ukrainian Plane But Its Evidence Is Flimsy

The Pentagon is accusing Iran's air defense of shooting down the Ukraninan plane that crashed yesterday near Tehran. The Pentagon says that it was an accidental incident. But the evidence on which the claim is based is flimsy.

We reported yesterday on flight PS752:

Hours after Iran had launched the missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three minutes after it had taken off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died. The passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, the country's flag carrier. Video shows the burning airliner coming down on a glide path. Photos from the crash site show shrapnel like impacts on the fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an uncontained turbine disc rupture but other potential causes can not be ruled out. The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

In the update we added:

Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane were found. Iran will download the data from them or, if it does not have that capability, will ask some other country (France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary accident report will be published after one month.

Newsweek now reports:

The Ukrainian flight that crashed just outside the Iranian capital of Tehran was struck by an anti-aircraft missile system, a Pentagon official, a senior U.S. intelligence official and an Iraqi intelligence official told Newsweek.
The aircraft is believed to have been struck by a Russia-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system, known to NATO as Gauntlet, the three officials told Newsweek.

Two Pentagon officials assess that the incident was accidental. Iran's anti-aircraft were likely active following the country's missile attack, which came in response to the U.S. killing last week of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, sources said.

How would an Iraqi intelligence official, likely controlled by the CIA, know what happened in Tehran? The evidence the reporter notes is not very convincing:

Images began to circulate Wednesday of what appeared to be fragments of a Tor M-1 missile said to have been found in a suburb southwest of Tehran. Ukraine Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danylov said Thursday in a statement that contact with a Tor M-1 system was among the potential causes for the plane's destruction that his country was looking into.

Other potential scenarios involved a collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or another flying object, technical malfunction and a terrorist attack.

These are the two images in question:

bigger - bigger

The left picture was posted yesterday at 17:50 UTC on Twitter by the Farsi and English tweeting account "Azematt".


The second picture was posted by another Farsi and English tweeting account name "Liberalist_30" at 10:15 UTC today.

Both pictures show the navigation and steering head section of a 9k331 missile used in the Russian Tor M-1 anti-air system. (The warhead is behind the head section and explodes towards the sides of the missile. This leaves the head section intact.)

The Independent had already reported on the images and noted the problems with them:

Over the last day, at least two images of what appeared to be missile debris from Russian-made Tor missiles have appeared on social media. The photographs had not previously been uploaded to the internet before yesterday, but attempts to geolocate to the crash site have so far been unsuccessful. They may be unconnected.
Elliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, the digital investigation group famous for their investigation into the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, confirmed that the photograph of Tor missile debris were new images as far as the internet was concerned. But writing on Twitter, he suggested independent verification may prove elusive.

“There’s other examples of this type of debris documented in other conflicts, so there’s no way to know this is in Iran,” he said.

Even a blind chicken might find a corn. For once Higgins is right. There are certainly other pictures of used Tor missile heads available.


There are also many Farsi/English Twitter accounts that are operated by the anti-Iranian MEK cult known for its cooperation with U.S. intelligence services. Whoever provided the pictures might have done so to falsely accuse Iran.

The Tor-M-1 (video) is a highly-mobile Russian-made system used for medium altitude anti-aircraft tasks. In 2007 Iran bought 29 Tor M-1 units from Russia. The Iranian Tor are operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).


It is likely that there are Tor systems around Tehran and it is certain that they were on high alert in the hours after Iran had launched missiles towards U.S. bases in Iraq.

But there were several flights out of Tehran in the early hours of January 8. The departure of flight PS752 was delayed. It took off at 6:12 local time. The airplane climbed out of Tehran airport in a rather straight line. The teams that man the Tor systems around Tehran must be used to the regular radar track of civil planes coming out of Tehran airport. That makes an accidental launch somewhat unlikely.

As the Independent also noted:

Early theories about the cause of the crash focussed on engine failure. On Wednesday evening, a Reuters report, citing five intelligence officers, said the western intelligence community was minded to believe technical malfunction was the most likely reason. Ukraine’s embassy in Iran initially sided this way, ruling out the possibility of a missile attack, before hastily removing the statement.

The Ukrainian plane had CFM 56 engines. These have in past years experienced uncontained failures. In April 2018 BBC reported:

A female passenger died after she was nearly sucked from the cabin of a Southwest Airlines flight travelling from New York to Dallas on Tuesday.
An initial investigation found evidence of metal fatigue where a fan blade had broken off, according to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

A similar incident was recorded in 2016 involving a Southwest flight that landed safely in Florida.

Uncontained engine failures can damage the tanks of an airplane and can set it on fire. They can also lead to all kinds of other damage. Any plane that survives such an incident is very lucky.

It is possible that an Iranian Tor system accidentally brought down the Ukrainian plane. It is also possible that it experienced an engine failure that ruptured the full fuel tanks and set it on fire. Something else like a bird strike may have cause engine damage. There are many other possibilities. We will have to wait for more evidence and for the results of the ongoing investigation to learn what really happened.

But there is one thing that we can say for sure. Two pictures of missile heads taken at an unknown location by unknown persons at an unknown time are not sufficient evidence for any accusations against Iran.

Posted by b on January 9, 2020 at 18:49 UTC | Permalink

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I find the evidence on social media quite convincing. It seems that two Tor M1 missiles were fired at the Ukrainian plane. Petri Krohn @ 161 2) An IR-seeking MANPAD does not discriminate between engines. It goes towards the brightest IR signature it sees, which would be the closest engine. Considering the aircraft's abrupt right turn, it would have been the starboard engine that failed, not the port one on the side the missile came from. PavewayIV @187 I take it the aircraft was shot down with small surface to air missiles on take off. Five-eyes backed MEK and manpads are the most likely culprits. by: Peter AU1 @ 197
Iran certain no missle hit Ukrainian plane.. its official

Posted by: snake | Jan 10 2020 9:29 utc | 201

Well well!
Detailed pictures of Iran being accused over the Ukrainian plane...
But somehow there are no such pictures showing the fate of MH17.
And the Russians who have them - frozen out.
Tells you all you need to know.
Ukraine shot down MH17 and the USA and NATO know it - as I suspect does Malaysia and anyone with half a brain.
And that was a no excuse deliberate act of murder.

Posted by: Emily | Jan 10 2020 9:31 utc | 202

I keep reading claims that Iran has “bulldozed the site of the crash”. Is there any evidence of that?

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 9:40 utc | 203

@bjd #100:

While airlines in the former Soviet Union have a generally poor safety record…

Got any source for that? lists the following ratings for the largest Russian airlines: Aeroflot 6/7, Rossiya 7/7, S7 Airlines 7/7, Ural Airlines 7/7, Pobeda 7/7, UTair 6/7.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 9:47 utc | 204

Iran can prove the plane was not hit by a missile. There is also new video from a car travelling from Teheran airport showing the burning plane slowly landing - not having exploded in the air - automatically filmed by car camera ie less likely doctored than the New York Times/Bellingcat one which was pointed on a piece of sky for no reason.

If Iranians can finally discredit the Bellingcat propaganda outfit they have done Western media a huge service.

Iran also seems to have cleared up the - small - crash site.

Ask your physics teacher - can a fast travelling plane take a hit by a fast travelling missile, not explode in air, and then slowly land burning and then explode on the ground.

The - intended - result of this is that Western airlines have stopped travelling to Teheran airport.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 9:51 utc | 205

@JohninMK #112:

The Tor missile isn't all that much bigger than a MANPAD.

@Jason #181:

TOR missiles have small warheads, too.

Not true.

Igla’s missile 9M39: 1.574 m long, 10.8 kg, 1.17 kg warhead, Mach 1.9 peak speed.

Tor-M1’s missile 9M330: 3 m long, 167 kg, 15 kg warhead, Mach 2.8 peak speed.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 9:53 utc | 206

Shooting down passenger aircraft is modus operandi for five-eyes, as well as projection. Iran saying definitely no missile makes it interesting. Ukraine has stopped flights to Iran but apart from being a US UK vassal, Ukraine and Canada are as close as copulating snakes. Bellingcrap will sort it out.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 9:57 utc | 207

@maxpayne #132: No missile visible in this new video. The very first video didn’t show a missile either. Perhaps, the video with the missile was faked in a video effects application such as Adobe After Effects. It’s very simple to add a moving bright dot that hits the plane right at the moment of the engine bursting into flames. So it could have been a sabotaged engine with “the missile” added in post.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 9:59 utc | 208

@PavewayIV #187:

I'm guessing they will never retrieve it because MEK doesn't want Iran to know it was last attached to, say, a Cypriot, Egyptian or Azerbaijani TOR M-1.

Or an already used one, removed from a battlefield in Donbass, then placed near the crash site by MEK. Could have arrived in a Ukrainian diplomatic “bag” (container) on that very plane.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 10:02 utc | 209

This here is the psy-ops calculation:

If the U.S. or Canada were to present incontrovertible evidence that the plane was shot down by Iran, even if unintentionally, it could have a dramatic impact on public opinion in Iran.

The Iranian public had rallied around the leadership after the killing of Soleimani last Friday, with hundreds of thousands joining the general’s funeral processions in several cities, in an unprecedented display of grief and unity.

But sentiments in Iran are still raw over the government’s crackdown on large-scale protests late last year sparked by the worsening economic situation. Several hundred protesters were reported to have been killed in the clampdown.

Those fissures could quickly break open again if public evidence is presented that Iranian authorities were responsible for the deaths of 176 people, mainly Iranians or dual Iranian-Canadian citizens.

Luckily Iran teaches solid physics in their schools. Unlike some Western countries I know.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 10:05 utc | 210

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 9:59 utc | 207

The New York Times "verifying" the video via propaganda outfit is an obvious hoax. It is impossible to verify a doctored video if the people doctoring it put their heart into it. But as you explain, they propably did not need much effort.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 10:10 utc | 211

I’m also skeptical of the claims that the plane made a U-turn to return to the airport. Where’s the evidence of that? All I’m seeing in the ADS-B flight track is that the plane has turned slightly to the right, either because of the engine failure or because the pilot tried to avoid hitting residential areas (in which case Iran should give him a posthumous award).

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 10:12 utc | 212

Posted by: dh | Jan 10 2020 1:23 utc | 148

"Trudeau....He's anti oil pipelines, big on native rights..."

That's as wrong as it's possible to be. Trudeau has been very aggressive in championing Canada's ongoing tar sands self-immolation and its general policy of debasing itself into a raw materials colony, politically forcing the Kinder Morgan pipeline including violating the First Nations' legal rights, ordering violent police assaults on native protesters, and using taxpayer money to buy out the whole project when Kinder Morgan indicated they weren't willing to sink any more money into it.

Why do you think so many revile him as Pipeline Boy?

Trudeau is as pure a poodle for the US empire and the US-driven global oil economy as one can be. So of course he's always on call for any propaganda service needed, as in this case.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 10:14 utc | 213

@5 Clueless Joe

Changing a transponder code does not magically change the radar signature of a wide body like a 737 to that of fast jet like an F16.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 10 2020 10:28 utc | 214

This is interesting.
"KIEV, January 10 (Sputnik) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday said the West's claims about a Ukrainian airplane that crashed in Iran allegedly being downed by a missile were possible, but remained unconfirmed and called on the US, UK, and Canada to provide evidence."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 10:34 utc | 215

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 10:12 utc | 210

I would not trust ADS-B

Iranians during Soleimani funeral making fun of Western media

"Why did you come here today?"

"We're not here, we've been photoshopped...

This crowd is made up of ten cops, six revolutionary guardsmen, & two guys they bribed with juice packs"

Talking about Iranian education:

World Bank blog

Update from Iran: Iran’s Over-Education Crises ... I have been approached many times by these students seeking advice on how to get admission to American or European universities for their graduate studies as they see no future for themselves in their country. This brain-drain is the second crisis facing Iran’s higher education system. In other words, Iran’s universities are training top students (often free of charge) only for the Western economies to benefit from such investment by absorbing them. According to an old IMF study dating back to 1999, it is estimated that over 25% of Iranians with tertiary education live and work abroad in OECD countries. The picture is certainly worse now. Iran’s brain drain is estimated to cost the country over $50 billion each year in economic losses or one-eighth of its GDP in 2016. Without any doubt, this poses a significant loss for the country in economic terms.

It is a problem some countries would like to have: Lots of highly educated young people. You have to be a demented economist to call it "over-education". It is potential.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 10:36 utc | 216

So no more space for legal debate:
Iraqi PM tells US to decide mechanism for troop withdrawal

German parliamentary scientific legal service has just concluded that it would be illegal to stay against the wishes of the Iraqi government.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 10:46 utc | 217

@someone #216, #217: Please don’t post off-topic comments. This comment thread is about the plane crash. You can post other comments to Iran's Missile Launch Against Two U.S. Bases in Iraq Calls Trump's Bluff - Updated or Open Thread 2020-02.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 10:52 utc | 218

@213 Trudeau got elected on progressive issues. He has since succumbed to political realities. He is still anti-pipeline and continues to pay lip service to native rights.

Posted by: dh | Jan 10 2020 11:07 utc | 219

Looking at the dashcam video, the burning plane looks to be on a long shallow glide, but from the results, it does not seem to have flared to land, rather just flying into the ground on the same glide path as though no one was at the controls.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 11:12 utc | 220

@ 219

Yeah, he's as "progressive" as the Clintons or Obama or Warren. If anyone ever was stupid enough to think a corporate rightist like Trudeau was a progressive, those must be the same kind of idiots who read their "progressive" fantasies into his hard-right corporate Democrat US colleagues.

To repeat, it's not possible to be more pro-pipeline than to launch a taxpayer bailout when the corporation demands it. I guess you also believe Obama and Clinton were "anti-pipeline". And your notion that an imperialist who deploys state violence against the natives and their land rights is "pro-native" is obscene.

"Succumbed to political realities" - Suuuuure, just like Obama, just like Trump. Please don't throw me into that briar patch!

I guess "they" also are forcing him to push the pro-Boeing anti-Iran propaganda line on the plane crash too.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 11:27 utc | 221

@219 He effectively lost the last election...along with his mojo. But he deserves some credit for downgrading Freeland.

Posted by: Dh | Jan 10 2020 11:28 utc | 222

@ Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 10:12 utc | 212

The evidence of that are the radar of the air control from the airport - which is readily available to the Iranian competent authorities.

And they didn't say the pilot did a U-turn, they said he tried to do one.

Anyway, Iran reinforces the plane wasn't downed by a missile. From today:

Iran says is certain no missile hit Ukrainian plane before crash

“However, we can state it with certainty that no missile has hit this airplane. The plane was flying for over 1.5 minutes while it was on fire, and the crash site shows the pilot had decided to return [to the airport],” he noted.

They don't know why the plane crashed - but they know for sure it wasn't because of a missile. The data hasn't been downloaded yet because the black box is damaged (they may need foreign assistance to do that). But not knowing what caused it is different from knowing what didn't cause it. That's why Iran has publicly denied it downed the plane with its air defense, but didn't publicly announced what downed it.

Most likely these videos circulating on the internet are from a different event, maybe even from a different country in the Middle East (if there's someone from Tehran here, you could help us confirming this information). Maybe they are even forged.

Posted by: vk | Jan 10 2020 11:31 utc | 223

Peter Au, Correct me if I am wrong but I am sure the plane in the dash cam video was on fire as burning material came off the plane as it fell to earth. What that means i am not sure. Maybe shows engine on fire? Was it you that showed wear and tear on the engine fans? We must hope that soon the Establishment Intel's blazing lies and complete lack of human dignity is revealed to the whole world!

Posted by: col from Oz | Jan 10 2020 11:32 utc | 224

Could have been a pre-planned action, something to occur around the same time as the Solemani hit. Had nothing to do with Iran's missile strikes, that is, the downing of the passenger jet wasn't an action triggered by the missile strikes.

MEK and Ukrainian neo-Nazi job. US (along with Israel and the UK) rely on their own foreign terrorists to get their dirty work done.

Need a timeline of actions with that aircraft leading up to the disaster. Did it take along Ukrainian hit-men somewhere along its route? MEK would be a local scheduling: perhaps they did the actual placement of any explosive device (made available via Ukraine nationals?). Total materials for creating an explosive event might have been on the aircraft for some time and then not assembled and enabled until just before its final takeoff.

Again, the US has backed terrorists in two key countries associated with this airplane: Ukraine (neo-Nazi nationals) and Iran (MEK).

Civilian aircraft flying in a war zone. A Boeing plane. Ukraine in the equation. Blamed country (or area) listed as enemy of US (and other five-eyes countries) lacking any real motive. MH17. PS752.

It's possible that it's an Iranian version of Operation Northwoods (carried out), but such action would be to rally the people around the war wagon, something that had already been set in place (and occurring) with the hit on Solemani. Possible, but not probable.

Strong argument for this NOT being some sort of mistake by Iran. Had it been an incoming airliner I might have given this a bit more of a probability. If this is obvious to anyone plotting all of this then why not have had this happen with an inbound craft? THIS would seem to suggest MEK as being the strongest suspect. I don't believe that MEK or neo-Nazis are suicide bomber types, meaning that they wouldn't likely be on the plane they rigged. Or so I'm thinking.

Anyone have the recent flight paths/destinations of this airplane?

Posted by: Seer | Jan 10 2020 11:32 utc | 225

This just came out:

Boeing Employees Mocked F.A.A. and ‘Clowns’ Who Designed 737 Max

The company expressed regret at the embarrassing communications it sent to investigators on Thursday, which included a comment that “this airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys.”

Posted by: vk | Jan 10 2020 11:33 utc | 226

Flightradar24’s blog post about the crash notes:

There were 10 departures from Tehran-IKA from midnight local time 8 Jan through the departure of PS752 at 06:12 LT. Prior to PS752, the last flight movement at IKA was the departure of QR8408 at 05:39 local time.

There’s also a diagram of the paths of these flights at the end of the post.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 11:37 utc | 227

Sorry, only found in German wikipedia

List accidents with Boeing 737

Vom Erstflug im Jahr 1967 bis Februar 2019 kam es mit Boeing 737 zu 210 Totalschäden. Bei 91 davon kamen 5010 Menschen ums Leben.

Translation: From first flight in 1967 to February 2019 there were 210 write-off incidents with Boeing 737. In 91 of these 5010 people lost their lives.

My Comment: That is 91/52years deadly accidents or 5010/52 close to 100 people per year.

As of now, the number of incidents has risen to 214 incidents in the aviation security database.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 11:40 utc | 228

@221 You seem to think I'm defending Trudeau. I find him wreak and hypocritical. but yes I think he has given in to political and economic forces....They all do.

Posted by: dh | Jan 10 2020 11:40 utc | 229

somebody 216

It is a problem some countries would like to have: Lots of highly educated young people. You have to be a demented economist to call it "over-education". It is potential.

"Education" sure is no social boon here in America. It takes a lot of education to make people stupid enough to believe the New York Times is a reliable source of truth about the world, or that there was/is no housing bubble, or that industrial fake-"renewables" and fracking cars are an answer to incipient ecological collapse, or that neoliberalism ever has made the slightest sense.

All too many uneducated people follow the leaders, but it takes plenty of formal education to formulate the lies to oneself and become stupid enough to really believe them.

Is this endemic to Western systems, or is it true of systemic formalized hierarchical higher education as such? From that excerpt it sounds like the Iranian system is breeding the same objectively pro-Western fifth column of nihilistic gilded youth who hate everything but neoliberal careerism.

This isn't completely off-topic: Some commenters assume a plane filled with Iranian expatriates and Ukrainians must have been full of spies and fifth columnists. Indeed, I'd be surprised if there were no such operatives among their ranks. Some people seem to think that gives Iran a motive to shoot the plane down.

But that sounds absurd to me. Especially under the circumstances of a war crisis, the best thing for Iran (assuming they had hard feelings toward anyone on the plane) would've been to let them go and never let them back in.

And I'd say the same for any "students" who have an incipient color-revolution mindset like you describe. That's the main "potential" they represent.

Iran’s universities are training top students (often free of charge) only for the Western economies to benefit from such investment by absorbing them...these students [are] seeking advice on how to get admission to American or European universities for their graduate studies as they see no future for themselves in their country.

Any educational system producing a significant amount of such antisocial ingrates is an unhealthy system.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 11:46 utc | 230

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 8:43 utc | 197

Deutsche Welle has just been interviewing a German specialist confirming that the fact that the plane did not explode in air means it was not shot down by missile and that particles of the exploding engine could have pierced the plane parts from outside on the ground. But the holes could be easily distinguished from the holes made by a rocket.
The expert also said it will be absolutely clear within a few days if missile or not.

He said something else which is interesting: There is absolutely no reason a plane leaving Teheran airport - location et al - could have been mixed with an incoming threat. So the 5 eyes political mix - unintentional mistake but sure it was a missile - is a fudge of intentions.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 11:47 utc | 231

@Seer #225:

Anyone have the recent flight paths/destinations of this airplane?

Yep: Click on table entries under “Activity Log” to see flight paths and height/speed graphs for each day. The flight paths for December 30 and January 1–4 are all identical, but the flight path for January 6 is different.

Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 11:53 utc | 232

col from Oz 224

The dashcam video I saw was in a Sputnik article.

Rather than falling from the sky, a long shallow glide, so shallow that I take it it is still under power but not able to hold height.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 11:54 utc | 233

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 11:46 utc | 230

Sure, if you want people to vote for Trump you have to stop all education.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 11:54 utc | 234

Would require serious mental contortions to believe Iran did not shot down plane and would assume it was accidental. Possible yes, likely no.

"Outrage" over unwarranted and dangerous provocation already disipated.
Expect "Shock and Awe"(tm) within 30 days.

Normally would be opportunity to short the market, but FED is intervening in obvious and heavy handed manner.

Posted by: jared | Jan 10 2020 11:55 utc | 235

S 232

Flight radar have previous flight paths marked in green. The uncompleted flight is a simple white line from point A to point B.
At the top of the page, it has 'result unknown' and under that a 'learn more' link.
Clicking on the link brings up this ..

"What do "estimated arrival" and "result unknown" mean?
This occurs when the arrival time of the flight passes without FlightAware marking the flight as "arrived" at a destination airport. The most likely reasons this happens are:

The controlling air-traffic control facility did not send an arrival message for the flight.
The aircraft entered a gap in FlightAware's coverage while in flight, and data is no longer available."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 12:14 utc | 236

Posted by: jared | Jan 10 2020 11:55 utc | 235

Would require serious mental contortions to believe Iran did not shot down plane and would assume it was accidental. Possible yes, likely no.

No, the uncontorted default is that Boeing struck again. It requires contortions to invent other scenarios, such as the US and Canada are doing. (I saw that Zelensky is trying to avoid committing himself to that narrative. Probably won't work - he'll have to choose.)

The fact is no one here at this site knows anything other than Boeing's record. The rest is made up contortions.

Like I mentioned in a previous thread, it's interesting to have such a demonstration of the hierarchy of themes at MoA: Conspiracy theories about downed aircraft evidently take precedence over condemning Boeing for its design screwups and mass-homicidal negligence.

Several people mentioned how a crashed plane gives an excellent opportunity to redirect attention from more important matters. For example those here obsessing on this plane crash, which objectively speaking is a piece of trivia given the big picture of looming full-scale war.

And it is still inevitable; I agree with the few people here who said they see no virtue in having momentarily postponed the inevitable.

There appears to be at the very least an ‘unspoken communication’ at play, where strikes are made to assuage political needs but not to inflict serious damage. If Trump really wanted an excuse to strike Iran, he’s had it before.

There was precisely such an opportunity when subversives in government hatched a plan to push Trump into a war with Iran, when two planes were sent to violate Iranian airspace – one manned, the other unmanned – flying in close proximity. This created the chance that Iran’s downing of either plane could be used as a pretext for a major war-creating strike on Iran.

Despite Trump’s acting reasonably, government actors and media attempted to create a sensation where Trump was ridiculed for ‘calling off’ a planned retaliation in the aftermath of the downed drone....

Here, in the aftermath of the drone incident, a Trump policy was formulated – and it’s a policy that figures prominently in de-escalation in the aftermath of the assassination of Soleimani and Iran’s measured response.

The policy is this – if Iran kills Americans, then the U.S escalates. If the U.S does something provocative, then Iran is actually allowed to respond militarily, so long as American personnel are not killed.

Except for the part about Trump being "reasonable" (as opposed to highly mercurial, capricious, alternately bellicose and chicken), this seems to fit the evidence record so far. And now Trump and these same war-mongers agree that the US pattern of provocation will continue. In that case it's only a matter of time before they're able to engineer the incident which causes Trump to agree to a full-scale attack.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 12:25 utc | 237

The Iranians have found both black boxes - the Cockpit Voice Recorder & the Flight Data Recorder. My knowledge of black boxes hasn't been updated since the 6-part BBC series Black Box was broadcast in Oz circa 1996. I heard on the Fake News this morning that modern Cockpit Voice Recorders store their info on a chip, rather than on magnetic tape or wire (like back in the Good Old Days).

In my (uninformed) opinion the damage to the black boxes will be superficial. They're designed to protect the recorded data for a significant number of minutes even if exposed to fire. I would therefore assume that even if the external electrical connections were destroyed in the crash, it would be simple enough to dismantle and rewire them. Similarly, other bits such as drive motors could be replaced.

Iran should get both both black boxes functioning well enough to copy the data from both BBs before they contemplate handing them over to any mendacious Christian Colonial types. If three heads are better than one then they should let the Russians and Chinese have a crack at them before handing them over to the 5 Liars.
I had to laugh when I heard that Ju$tin True Dough is convinced by the unfounded, remote, speculation of the West's "Intelligence" Community.
Isn't Canada's Foreign Minister called FreeLand? Hardly impartial amid a War On Islam...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 10 2020 12:26 utc | 238

Nothing to do with anything but a crappy airplane with GE engine with poor maintenance and chewed up in her guts from foreign material. Obvious from scene pictures of engine. It was a plain jane fubared engine leading to reduced thrust and tailpipe fire (from the ruined internal spewing kero unburned out the tail) but sufficient that pilots made turn, a risky procedure at the altitude and situation, but they pulled that off. Then as they made or tried to make approach they lost the rest of the thrust on ruined engine when below Vml, yaw, roll, bang with heavy full of fuel. It's a classic. The rest of the discussion is bs. 737 engine hang low and suck up debris all the time. Lookit the foreign material damage on those wheels... see wiki for a fair explanation of minimum controllable airspeed. Is remote possibility somebody tossed in a rock or a wrench...or death ray from mars. Don't bet on it. Empire lying to distract from their murders.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 12:28 utc | 239

All the MH17 crew back together now.

Eliot Higgins Retweeted
Danny Kemp
‏Verified account
1h1 hour ago
Dutch PM Rutte has offered Canada's Trudeau 'all the support that the Netherlands can offer' after Trudeau called him to ask about his experiences with flight MH17, in relation to Iran crash, ANP news agency reports

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 12:31 utc | 240

RT reports "Boeing has released another trove of internal company messages " related to the 737 Max. It quotes an employee having said

"This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys."

Also very telling,

"The union for flight attendants at United Airlines said it wants a global consensus on the plane’s safety before its members will work again on the MAX."

The quote from the 2nd link speaks to TRUST. American's trust in their own employers, their government and it's official agencies like the FAA. If they trusted those entities, they wouldn't be looking for a global consensus.

As for this crash in Iran, I sincerely hope it doesn't have anything to do with a missile. That would put it in the category of another disaster caused by those who initiated the current atmosphere of hostilities which began with trump withdrawing the US from it's legal commitments to the JCPOA.

Which brings me to this, "root cause" as Justin Trudeau used to like to say;

" The signal for the deterioration from diplomacy to the violence that is now threatening a conflagration in the Middle East was given with Trump’s 2018 decision to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran and restore sanctions on the regime, subsequently tightening them. As Netanyahu himself testified, he was the one who convinced Trump to withdraw from the world powers’ agreement with Tehran."

I hope young Mr. Trudeau remembers his past fervour for examining and identifying 'root cause'.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 10 2020 12:31 utc | 241

USA with its allied countries again shows us that they want to impose an invented reality that has nothing to do with the truth of the facts in the case of the fallen Boeing 737-800 NG within a few minutes of taking off from Iran, this plane is a previous version to the recently sinister Boeing 737 MAX. Without showing any evidence they claim that Iran shot down the plane. Already for the USA and its allies, the shameless lie is the truth and it is imposed in the media controlled by them, but people are realizing the deception and lies they show us.

Posted by: Julio Cesar | Jan 10 2020 12:32 utc | 242

lots of efforts of people here to delude themselves. Sound like theie brain can't accept facts. So it would nice to read your opinion.
if the engine is to blame, why did the regime bulldozed the site and refuse to hand over the black boxes ?

Posted by: murgen23 | Jan 10 2020 12:36 utc | 243

@ 235

BTW the Boeing-causation thesis is not to posit an "accident", but criminal negligence on Boeing's part.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 12:36 utc | 244

“I keep reading claims that Iran has “bulldozed the site of the crash”. Is there any evidence of that?”

That claim has been amplified by Bellingcat. It all comes down to some photos showing a bulldozer at the site, removing debris. The site is not being systematically bulldozed.

Posted by: outerreef | Jan 10 2020 12:37 utc | 245

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 11:54 utc | 234

"Sure, if you want people to vote for Trump you have to stop all education."

So they'd vote for the likes of Hillary or Biden? No thanks.

Here again, just as it take "education" to believe the likes of the FAA, NTSB, US-Canadian corporate media, Dutch government (or OPCW, HRW etc...), it takes education still to believe religiously in electoralism as such, even though it's clear that electoralism was tried and failed, where it came to any of the things that matter - ecologically sound living, human health, well-being, freedom, social/community closeness, happiness. Seeing clearly about any of those things has to be "educated" out of you.

BTW the evidence is against your thesis that Trump supporters are "deplorable" illiterates living in trailer parks. Research demonstrated that the Tea Partiers were as a whole above average in formal education and income/wealth. No doubt the same is true of Trump voters. Ironically, by your own lights you failed to become educated enough even to use a factually correct Trump-Deranged one-liner.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 12:40 utc | 246

It was instantly observed that the airplane catastrophe in Iran few hours after the strifing of two American bases is a freakish coincidence. However, if something is discovered by Bellingcat, corroborated by "American intelligence", and instantly repeated by a bevy of Western heads of governments, AND YET IS TRUE, that would be coincidence of the order of our own good old Sun suddenly going nova.

Incidently, the images of the missile heads seem to defy normal physics. They lie on rather soft ground, with no traces of indenting it or scratching after the fall.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 10 2020 12:51 utc | 247

@ Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 12:25 utc | 237

The plan is for war.
That is the path.
As others have noted, the killing of Sulemani was not done to avert war.
Cake is baked.
Public now being entertertained by more important royal scandal.

Posted by: jared | Jan 10 2020 12:54 utc | 248

@ "elections"

This old thing comes to mind of course> “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.” Uncle Joe

and this>"right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must." Thucydides

Now then, just how much power you? Right. None. Well, maybe a tiny bit in very rural places and in selecting a sheriff, but that's about it. Carlin was right.

By all means, vote. That way 2 things happen. 1) "They" think that you believe their bs. 2) You may be called to jury duty, then you have the power to free man. That's important.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 13:02 utc | 249

@ Posted by: murgen23 | Jan 10 2020 12:36 utc | 243

Let's assume what you posted is true (which it isn't).

Even then, there's the pivotal question: why do you care? Why would the Americans care?

After all, history tells us Americans don't give a damn about lives lost in the Middle East. It killed 300,000 innocent Iraqi lives during its invasion in the country and nobody cared (it was promptly dismissed as "collateral damage", "the cost of freedom", "the cost of doing business" etc.). When Libya was destroyed, no American ever cared about the thousands of innocent lives lost. When those boats full of war refugees sunk in the coasts of Italy and Greece, no American cared - in fact, many commemorated those deaths (so as to maintain the European race pure). If you go through the internet, many Americans are in favor of nuking Iran - a feat which would, I guess, kill a lot of innocent people.

As you can see, Americans don't care about lives being lost. Not only they don't care, but they usually cherish those deaths. They know they are part of the plan, the plan for a New American Century.

So, I ask you again: why are you pretending to care about those 176 lives? Were one of your family members in the plane? Are you Canadian? What is so special about those 176 lives that makes your blood boil with anger?

Posted by: vk | Jan 10 2020 13:06 utc | 250

As for all the crap coming out of the usual suspects, this is done in the full knowledge that the western MSM stenographers will accept it lock, stock and barrel and the propaganda becomes the "truth". Goebbels would be proud even his propaganda skills were shit. Even when the Iranian authorities do present their case, the stenographers will ignore it and Washington's fabrication will remain the "truth".
BTW, we've yet to see any evidence from the intelligence gathering systems said to be able to track missiles through their infrared signature. We are told that the United States doesn't want to reveal its capabilities so will not make this information public. I suspect that perhaps these capabilities do not exist for whatever reason and this is the secret that Washington doesn't want to reveal.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 10 2020 13:12 utc | 251

"if the engine is to blame, why did the [Iranian Gov't] refuse to hand over the black boxes ?

Posted by: a troll | Jan 10 2020 12:36 utc | 243"


The US has committed acts of war against Iran

To whom should they hand it over?

US military contractor Boeing? LOL
US Ally Canada? LOl

Nazi-run US puppet Ukraine?

There's precident for not trusting any US ally or puppet with such data.

Malaysia had to dispatch a special forces team to secure the recovery of their airplane's black box in Ukraine.

Neither the Ukrainian Nazis, the Dutch nor anyone else, did anyhing to secure the black box for several days after the event. The Malaysian military had to do it themselves.

They then foolishly handed it over to the Dutch run investigation, which initially lied about the contents. That decision is something I am sure the Malaysians regret to this day

Posted by: Realist | Jan 10 2020 13:17 utc | 252

New article on PressTV:

'Designed by clowns,' Boeing employees ridicule 737 MAX, regulators in internal messages

Boeing Corp. has released hundreds of internal messages that contained harshly critical comments about the development of the 737 MAX, including one that said the plane was "designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys."

Posted by: BM | Jan 10 2020 13:19 utc | 253

@S #232

Not quite sure what to make about the 8th. I'm kind of confused as to when things happened, what dates were what (time zone difference and reporting in local times creates a headache).

Kind of interested to know about the actual physical plane's activities vs. that of the flight. Tail numbers are available from the site you provided, but requires an account (costs?).

My money's on the MEK and Ukraine neo-Nazis being the perps (commissioned by US/UK/Israel).

Posted by: Seer | Jan 10 2020 13:24 utc | 254

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 10 2020 12:51 utc | 247

"It was instantly observed that the airplane catastrophe in Iran few hours after the strifing of two American bases is a freakish coincidence. However, if something is discovered by Bellingcat, corroborated by "American intelligence", and instantly repeated by a bevy of Western heads of governments, AND YET IS TRUE, that would be coincidence of the order of our own good old Sun suddenly going nova."

Very true! That outcome is so improbable, Sartre even wrote a story which concluded with such a crazy twist.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 13:41 utc | 255

Posted by: Realist | Jan 10 2020 13:17 utc | 252

There is an international legal framework for how this is done. As the plane crashed in Iran, Iran is leading investigations. They have now invited everybody concerned.

Problem with MH17 crash was that theoretically it was Ukraine's space but de facto Ukraine did not have access.

Boeing would very much like this not to be a defect, and General Electric and French Safran would very much like this not to be their engine, Ukraine International Airlines would like that outcome as the manufacturers would have to pay. That way the families of victims would get money, too, which MH17 families will never achieve.

It is a simple public relations exercise for Iranian authorities as there is zilch indication this could have been caused by a missile, and Ukrainian technical experts will not go for this. Actually any technical expert.

If interested parties succeed to undermine international flight regulations this will stop international flights. That outcome maybe ecologically desirable.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 13:44 utc | 256

I don’t know how anti aircraft systems work but if it was shot down - coming from the capital city’s airport and flying away from the city... it doesn’t make sense.

The Times video is indeed odd, they have confirmed it was filmed in Tehran but have not confirmed who filmed it or why so far as I know. Why was someone filming a plane coming up from the airport before it was hit by a missile? It looks just like a jihadist video from Syria when they fire at planes, without all of the “god is great” chants.

As for the image of the Tor fragment - thee fact that two social media accounts throwing something onto twitter can earn it the right to be considered evidence in any way is a problem in itself. And in this age of internet flame wars, it is just another talking point for the usual suspects online to bring up - and what is politics anymore except people blabbing online to confirm one narrative or another?

With the plane down, With an engine clearly alight, and some miraculously framed video evidence coming out, I would have to agree with those who think this was a manpad launched by one of the many groups inside Iran who might do this for the US.

All we have are “reports” and social media posts and operatives like Higgins with his bulldozer rumors.

We don’t know anything right now but the US will use this and shape the story. And it is a good one. Flight 655 can no longer be mentioned without this event. It damages Iran’s economy - foreigners are less likely to visit and domestic travelers may think twice about flying. It is bad and sad no doubt. and will be seen in different ways by different groups and each will struggle to put their version to political use for them.

I only wonder why Iran wouldn’t ask Japan to help them investigate instead of France. Japan is a very popular country for Iranians and highly trusted by westerners.

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 13:47 utc | 257

"On a completely unrelated topic, whatever happened to UK leaving the EU? Is it still happening in three weeks, or did the story fall into my personal memory hole?"

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 9 2020 20:14 utc | 34

Best place to keep up with the saga is here -

Posted by: English Outsider | Jan 10 2020 13:53 utc | 258

The socialists are coming for trump's ability to unilaterally order acts of violence not supported by hard evidence.

Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar push Democrats left on Iran war powers

"The increasing reliance on the Vietnam-era War Powers Resolution and pushback against Trump’s Iran policy illustrates the growing influence that left-wing firebrands such as Sanders and Omar have on foreign policy within the Democratic Party. They’re getting results — and the progressive caucus isn’t done yet. "

See? Some elections ARE more equal than other elections.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 10 2020 13:58 utc | 259

making the world think your enemy is so inept and dangerous they would kill almost two hundered civilians has got to be worth... an aircraft carrier? In this world of information war, anyway. Not to enticing that it is another regime change talking point inside the country you’re targeting.

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 13:59 utc | 260

It is VERY LIKELY that it is the CIA agents in Iran who perpetrated that crime to respond to the successful bombing of the US bases in Iraq.

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 10 2020 14:03 utc | 261

OHH 260

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

Rahm Emanuel

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 10 2020 14:04 utc | 262

"Problem with MH17 crash was that theoretically it was Ukraine's space but de facto Ukraine did not have access.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 13:44 utc | 256"


This is only partly true.

The military forces of the break-away republics announced very shortly after the event that they would allow and co-operate with any international or Ukrainian Gov-led team which wanted to enter the site.

The internationals, the Ukie Nazi-led Gov and of course the Western MSM, completely ignored the invitation, and continued to claim for days afterward that their lack of interest in the crash site was due to concerns for their safety.

When the international team finally decided to visit the site they were fired upon by Ukrainian /Nazi forces, and simply withdrew.

The various Western gov'ts and media orgs ignored all of this and continued to claim that the breakaway republic's military forces were the threat to the investigation. The Ukie/Nazi attack on the investigation team was simply ignored

Posted by: Realist | Jan 10 2020 14:05 utc | 263

It is only the fact the the Iranians so quickly pushed out mechanical failure as the cause, as is reported.

That is not a good look. They’d have done better to just start putting out a litany of “possibilities” until they could either confirm what happened or failing that keep some wiggle room while the powerful US narrative makers roll into action.

The idea of a manpad isn’t too far fetched I don’t think - the US has been extremely worried about this possibility in its own realm. Why not use it against someone else then?

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 14:12 utc | 264

"The Times video is indeed odd, they have confirmed it was filmed in Tehran but have not confirmed who filmed it or why so far as I know."


The most odd thing is that they have edited the video. The video now starts immediately before the explosion.

The original video posted on Twitter had several seconds of nothing at all happening before one sees the explosion.

The Belling Cat explanation of why that person was videoing at that time and place makes no sense at all.

When one sees the original video it seems obvious that there is nothing happening which might cause one to start videoing.

Given how short the original video appears to be, there does not seem to be any good reason for the NYT to edit it further

Posted by: Realist | Jan 10 2020 14:14 utc | 265

Sorry, the conspiracy theories around deliberate and/or accidental shoot down of the airliner are extremely low credibility.
It is *hard* to hit a plane with anything. Disabling computers in missile systems = non-functional missile systems. Period.
Taking over the system remotely? Theoretically possible as Paveway notes, but even if you could do it - operating it remotely is not going to happen. These aren't Ring doorbells - you can't just pirate an internet feed.
Manpad? Why would Iran shoot a manpad at an airliner taking off from an Iranian airport? Makes zero sense. A false flag, sure - but the guaranteed way to make Iran look good is to have an agent or disaffected minority do this shoot down.
Accidentally being struck? Teheran airport isn't the most busy in the world, but I'm sure there are dozens of planes taking off every day.
It is not believable that "oops, I shot down a civilian airliner taking off from the airport I'm protecting".

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 10 2020 14:17 utc | 266

Important info from the initial report by the Iranian aviation office:

///According to witnesses (people on ground as well as the crew of the passing flights in higher altitudes observing and reporting the event), a fire appeared on the aircraft which was intensifying, then impacted the ground causing an explosion.///

an intensifying fire... doesn't sound like a missile for me. Observed and reported by the crews of other planes flying nearby, i.e. witnesses in a good position to watch and identifiable by default, as well as the content of the emergency calls.

And apparently, nobody has seen the glary flash from Bellingcat's video.

How embarassing for Bellingcat and the New York Times.

Posted by: mk | Jan 10 2020 14:24 utc | 267

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 14:12 utc | 264

"It is only the fact the the Iranians so quickly pushed out mechanical failure as the cause, as is reported. That is not a good look."

As contrasted with the cautious deliberation and reservation of judgement the West has displayed, and having vastly less information (i.e. zero) than the Iranians?

But seriously, if the Iranians have any idea what they're doing they would've known the West would propagate a fake narrative blaming them. So it certainly behooved them to get a firm theory out there first. They know they're going to be accused of lying anyway, so better to give their theory confidently than in a wimpy reactive way. In spite of the many who think "the crisis is over", this is war you know.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 10 2020 14:26 utc | 268

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 14:12 utc | 264

It is only the fact the the Iranians so quickly pushed out mechanical failure as the cause, as is reported.

It may be due to the fact that it seems to be so clear cut. Remember that they have all the radar. Ukraine said the same before they allowed for other possibilities.

Posted by: mk | Jan 10 2020 14:24 utc | 267

How embarassing for Bellingcat and the New York Times.

Yes. And all the "leading news media" taking up the story without checking. However it seems a serious secret service intervention backed up by US pressure/blackmail. Trudeau looked coerced in his statement, I don't know the guy, maybe he always looks like that. They now got the Netherlands to state that "there is strong information" that it was a missile hit.

They will keep up this crap for quite a while.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 14:36 utc | 269

Well, there's a continuous footage of the plane on fire gliding and slowly falling for one full minute, before crashing and exploding. So it didn't explode following a missile impact and didn't break down, or went into a free fall.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 10 2020 14:37 utc | 270

It should be interesting for know which is the standard flight path thru the vey high Elburtz mountains between Tehrân and the Kaspik sea. Would the freight follow any of the major mountain passes (For the reason of being able to land at a minor airport in case of an emergency? And isn't it just possible that a missile or drone attack -- for instance belonging to or commandeered by air power stationed in Azerbaudjan belonging to some minor power south along of Lebanon on the Levantine coast -- might possibly use such a mountain pass approach against some kind of goal around Khomeini Airport or Tehrân/Shimrân proper?

Posted by: Oū Sī/區司 | Jan 10 2020 14:57 utc | 271

I only wonder why Iran wouldn’t ask Japan to help them investigate instead of France. Japan is a very popular country for Iranians and highly trusted by westerners.
Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 13:47 utc | 257

One should not forget that Japan, like Germany & South Korea, is an occupied, submissive colony of AmeriKKKa, somewhat like Oz. We don't have the the ubiquitous and overt presence of the US Military but we have a Christian-Zionist PM (Scum Mo aka Mr Glib/ Mr Top Secret Everything) and when the US says jump our bribed & corrupt politicians ask "How High?" And that's been the case since the 1960s (Vietnam Fake War).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 10 2020 15:17 utc | 272

Reposting omid’s comment from another thread:

Reference about the fact that Boeing 737 was heading back to the airport:

- Iranian Flight Captain Hooshang Shahbazi (35 years flight experience) in his interview with Tasnim News on 9.1.2020


Posted by: S | Jan 10 2020 15:20 utc | 273

An interesting video here of an Australian broadcast documentary on poor manufacturing standards on the 737 NG, which is the model that crashed

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Jan 10 2020 15:29 utc | 274

Realist / OHH

Apparently this guy started sharing the video, he claims he got it sent to him anonymously, his tweets are full of anti-Iran propaganda. He seems to be some kind of cyber activist that do not like the iranian state, thsts for sure. Info, which might tell us that the might have been doctored with and/or being a false flag that someone made sure to record.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 10 2020 15:31 utc | 275

Posted by Anna, Jan 9 #75

Your ref: does not seem to ring any bells with Global Research.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 10 2020 15:32 utc | 276

Iran reinforces its argument that missile attack is already ruled out:

Iran’s civil aviation chief dismisses reports of Ukrainian plane being hit by missiles

Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Thursday, adding, "From a scientific viewpoint, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane."

“The plane caught fire three minutes into the flight, according to what the witnesses have reported and the data collected from the parts of the airplane,” Abedzadeh told Press TV.

“The pilot tried to return the airplane at the altitude of 8,000 ft., but due to the fire, the airplane crashed and exploded,” he added.

“We can say that the airplane, considering the kind of the crash and the pilot’s efforts to return it to Imam Khomeini airport, didn’t explode in the air. So, the allegation that it was hit by missiles is totally ruled out,” the official noted.

About why Iran didn't "give" the black box to a third country yet:

“According to international regulations, it is the responsibility of the country, where the incident happened, to probe into the incident. So Iran Civil Aviation Organization is in charge.”

Iran will only give the black box to a third country if it is unable to download the data from it.

This also just came out:

Trump gov't ties with Boeing run deep as US tries to blame Iranian missiles for Boeing crash

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburgm, who allegedly briefed Trump clearing the Boeing Max 737 of safety concerns on March 12, enjoys close business relations with Trump, Reuters reported.

The report also said Patrick Shanahan, who was at the time acting as defense secretary, worked for 31 years at Boeing where he was general manager for the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet.

Nikki Haley, Trump’s former US ambassador to the United Nations, who continues to be closely affiliated to Trump, also joined Boeing's board of directors in April last year.

Looks like the Iranians agree with me (see my fist comment in this thread).

Posted by: vk | Jan 10 2020 15:33 utc | 277

FlightRadar24 released the detailed data from PS752's last ADS-B transmissions. Normally, FlightRadar24 will only show summary data points 5 - 10 seconds apart.

Aircraft broadcast ADS-B data every second, but ADS-B receivers on the ground usually don't report every broadcast from every aircraft (noise, overlapping broadcasts, etc.). There were three ground reception stations (radar_id) collecting PS752's data during climbout and all stopped hearing PS752's broadcasts at 2:44:57 UTC (Tehran 6:14:57) Tehran time = UTC +3.5

An Instagram video of a CCTV camera recording the crash, itself, shows it occurring at 6:19:15 Tehran time, or four minutes and 42 seconds after ADS-B stopped. We have no idea how accurate the CCTV timestamp is, but this is still much longer than suggested by any video. Four+ minutes from loss of ADS-B until impact would also suggest a slow, controlled right turn in an attempt to return to the airport, not an abrupt right turn and a straight path to the impact point.

Also note that the Iranian aviation authorities have airport approach/departure radar tapes that show the aircraft's actual path from its radar reflection, independent of any ADS-B transmissions. That close to the airport, it would also show regular SAM missiles (like a TOR or BUK) approaching the aircraft. Not sure if it would see a MANPADS-sided rocket, but they sounded pretty confident that no missile(s) were flying around and hit PS752. I'm assuming that claim came from seeing nothing on the radar image.

That certainly makes me question the validity of all the 'missile strike explosion' videos offered so far, or the apparent sharp right turn and an impossibly-short 30-second fiery fall to the impact point. Toss in the sketchy 'discovery' of a TOR nosecone (relatively undamaged after falling 8,000 ft) that keeps changing locations and it's starting to look like another ham-fisted Tailor-made-for-the-Bellingcat-sycophants PSYOP trail of clues. No doubt to be faithfully reported by the ex-Bellingcat Iran-hater guy at NYT [sigh...]

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 15:45 utc | 278

The Global research article on MH17 has been taken down.
Archived version can still be found at
Essentially just gives some points from a Youtube video on the subject titled 'MH-17: In Search of Truth'.

Posted by: Bran | Jan 10 2020 15:46 utc | 279

@zanon #31 et Al
This video is not real, can't be. If it was a rocket you would see the plume enlightet by the engine. You also would hear a sound even from that distance. This is the quick and dirty evidence they have to play with in future. It will not be a hit, to boring. This really took them by surprise obviously.
If it's would be real, it would have the same scare like then the su25 footage. Who in hell points an camera chip towards an empty spot in sky before something happen.
Above all, any information consists of two part, the facts and the source. Without the second, at least no computer starts to work.

Posted by: rico rose | Jan 10 2020 15:48 utc | 280

Turd-eau (I'm Canadian, I can say that) barely held onto power in the recent election. The Liberal Party's US/ZIONIST-ass-kissing was kept very low profile until this speech. Our Prince of Selfies has now been 100% subjugated, even though it seemed all the Trudeau-family dirty laundry had been aired. But with the Epstein files being passed on to the NSA/CIA/Mossad, who knows what else is providing such an obvious lever?

Iran is going to tightly control access to the black boxes, the Dutch can stay home. Why Turdeau thinks Canada should be directly involved in the investigation after laying blame on Iran before the bodies are cold shows how much the Cdn gov't (Lib or Con) is controlled from Washington and Israel. The Cdn Transportation Safety Board is mostly a rubber-stamp of the US FAA policy.

I'm sure Freeland is VERY frustrated in recently being shuffled out of the Foreign Affairs portfolio, but was probably the loudest voice in the room while concocting Turdeau's speech. Hopefully Freeland has been taken off the Liberal PM-track, as she is a dangerous person who can't reconcile, and still attempts to hide the truth about her Nazi ancestors. Oddly the Uki Association building in Hamilton had a huge archive of Uki WW2/postWW2 documentation... it burned down after Freeland's history was made known... makes ya go HHHHMMMM.

Posted by: A P | Jan 10 2020 16:00 utc | 281

The strike against Soleimani was information warfare designed to demoralize.

USA/Trump shaping the response was also information warfare (threats of massive response if the strike was not "proportionate" coupled with offers to de-escalate if it was) and was further capitalized upon with the depiction of the attack as just-for-show.

Just how far does this go? Did Trump intend to goad Iranian complaints about IR655 when he said that USA would target 52 sites for each American held hostage?

We'll the Iranians did just that! Rouhani tweeted:

Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290. #IR655

Never threaten the Iranian nation.

Shouldn't we be a bit suspicious, then, when an International flight crashes in Tehran? Oh, and it just happens to be a plane owned by an airliner that is majority-owned by Kolomoisky!

Until we get more info, my expectation leans towards CIA/MEK with MANPAD or Mossad/Kolomoisky planted bomb.

PS Iran is also conducting info war - as a response to US info war. AFAIK They haven't provided any evidence to prove their assertion of 80 US dead or planes evacuating casualties to Israel.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 16:01 utc | 282

Canadian here
I have read blog and most of comments here--i can't weigh in on what did or did not cause the flight to crash as i do not have enough technical expertise in this area.

However, as noted by Psychohistorian and Karlofi, I smell a strong whiff of 'narrative control' in the Trudeau press release and CBC radio commentary .

Hopefully it will be obvious to listeners of CBC that it is absurd to draw conclusions as to cause of crash without evidence, and without investigation. Of note:

CBC broadcaster stated: (as i recall from listening)
" now, there will be lots of FAKE NEWS coming out about this story. It's important that citizens rely only on reputable sources of information, SUCH AS THE CBC"... (Wink wink)

"Trump said that he did not retaliate because there were no casualties. Now that it apppears that there have been casualties, what will Trump do?"

There was also an interview with a Canadian from Iran who lost four friends in the crash. He has apparently been very active in being a spokesperson for Canadian Iranians affected by the crash. He spoke of having lost family members to the IRGC and felt that they should be declared a terrorist organization...

Overall, I found the tone of the CBC commentary to be far more aggressive sounding towards Iran government than that of Trudeau, who did still appear to have a small opening for investigation to bring new information and conclusions...

Posted by: Bluemot5 | Jan 10 2020 16:12 utc | 283

The countries that are so vocal about the fact free missile theory should send some people to Iran on a fact finding mission.

Iran should only allow them to return home after their governments make the purported evidence public.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Jan 10 2020 16:23 utc | 284

@137 somebody

There is no evidence there was ever a drone near Gatwick, it seems most likely to be a propaganda created by the UK government. They have now brought in rules so they can tax drones and autonomous ones are banned altogether, anyone would think we lost WWII.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 10 2020 16:30 utc | 285

I do not totally discount the possibility of a false flag incident to divert blame away from Soleimani murder and to focus blame on Iran...This passenger plane incident bears the ingenuity of a mossad combined strategy included in their having a hand in killing Soleimani....US "intelligence" isn't sufficiently intelligent/clever to put such a combined action together, but mossad is.

Posted by: john | Jan 10 2020 16:34 utc | 286

Bluemot5 283

Re: CBC and talking heads. First look to see if comments are allowed on their push poll style articles and if so check out most popular to see if the heads or the tails are winning the propaganda war. If no comments allowed, you can assume they don't want any back talk on their propaganda effort.
Further, there may me more enthusiasm on the part of CBC than trudeau has for it. Check out what the Harper hoarde did to the CBC during it's 9 years in power. As a prominent Israeli once remarked about Harper's man John Baird, 'He seems like he is more Israeli than us'. The take down of the public broadcaster was always high on their agenda and they sold their bill of goods under the All Lefties must go banner.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 10 2020 16:35 utc | 287

Jared and Russ, think of me as the one here who removes all illusion as you continue to spread the Trump cult bullshet mantra, even after Trump ordered the murder of Soleimani and has been smearing and demonizing his memory since.

I have a wake up call for Congress. Every time Trump and Pompeo bring up IMMINENT PLOT to justify the murder of Soleimani, remember you heard this from the horse's mouth.:

When someone tells you who they are, BELIEVE THEM, ALREADY!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 10 2020 16:37 utc | 288

hey 'john' @ 286...

why don't you get another handle? i've been posting here under 'john' for 4, 5, or 6 years now. do i have to change it?

Posted by: john | Jan 10 2020 16:43 utc | 289

Of course the US would use the “ the Iranians shot it down”. Personally I don’t think rushing to get a narrative out there helps fhe Iranians at all. The US knew they would use this narrative, true or not, but still they waited a couple of days so their pretense of developing “evidence” seems more believable.

I don’t believe at all that anything about a plane crash can be described as clear cut. The way I saw it, the news of the crash was simultaneous with the news it was declared a mechanical acccodent.

Suppose it does turn out to be a manpad? And if it doesn’t well then maybe they should claim it was and grab a couple of CIA agents anyway. No reason to let the US be the only country that runs a decent psy op.

The idea that the plane would crash coincidentally on the same night these missile strikes occurred is too much to believe for most - even if it is true. Nor does the idea that Iran is just blasting planes coming out of their airport. Especially after reading the explanation of how these systems work in the comments previous.

I don’t believe it anyway. Only thing less convincing is that someone magically videoed it and just perfectly. The video likely is real - and the person filming it was likely involved. I don’t see any other possibility, personally.

As for what a manpad would do I am not an expert but it didn’t destroy the Hasenfus plane and presumably a commercial airliner is much larger?

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 16:43 utc | 290

Posted by: TJ | Jan 10 2020 16:30 utc | 285

But you did lose WWII everything else is propaganda .... :-)

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 16:44 utc | 291

I'm not an expert about these things by any means, but I find the speculation fascinating. We've got several WAG theories posted here---so I might as well post another. Bear with me.

The best way I can think of this is to employ a "what if?" or "what would the United States do?"

What if . . . this had occurred at Reagan Int'l Airport in Washington, D.C. . . . at a time of extremely tight security (paranoia) like we have seen in the past week; and what if a 737 took off from Reagan . . . and during its climb it experienced some sort of massive engine failure . . . which somehow caused its ADS-B and Comm . . . and the aircraft turned (regardless of whether an intentional effort by the pilot to return to the airport or avoid populated areas or the result of drag caused by the engine failure) . . . IN THE DIRECTION OF . . . all of the highly-protected areas of Washington, D.C. . . . (you can probably see where I'm going with this) . . .

. . . AT WHAT POINT . . . do the U.S. air defense forces . . . considering that the plane may have been hijacked . . . fire a missile to take down the plane?

In light of the fact that PS752 may have remained in the air for more than four minutes (as observed by @279) and was maneuvering in an unexpected (suspicious?) manner . . .

I guess what I'm asking is, is it possible that the plane experienced a severe mechanical failure AND THEN it was shot down by a missile? So that despite the presence of a video showing a missile strike AND evidence of such in the debris (if that is true), the real cause of the crash is mechanical?

Thank you for bearing with me. Yes, it's just a WAG.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 10 2020 16:47 utc | 292

Did anybody see that supposed moron on Tucker Carlson last night? It was a missile attack and it blew up in front of the cockpit and killed the pilots he said.

....Well if that's the case, I want to know how a dead person was trying to return the plane to the airport?

Posted by: ebolax | Jan 10 2020 16:47 utc | 293

Just up at 6am standing in an empty field filming the pitch black sky and sending the amazing coincidental results to someone who hates my country for distribution.

As one does.

Posted by: OHH | Jan 10 2020 16:50 utc | 294

Enter this as another possibility. When the plane was serviced in Ukraine two days before the incident the Ukrainians put a bomb on it. It was triggered after takeoff.

Look at the time line. If Iran had not made its retaliation, assiduously avoiding casualties with its rocket attacks, and then announced that it would not take further actions, what you would have had was the Soleimani murder and then this airliner incident. It would have looked, via western media, that this was Iran's retaliation.

Why would Ukraine blow up its own airliner and kill its own people? Ukraine is a fascist nation seeking to create a war that involves Russia versus the US. Their intelligence community has essentially been the CIA's junior partner.

Operation Northwoods has been in the US intelligence playbook for well over fifty years. Hijacking or actually destroying airplanes strikes terror in general populations. People watching the teary-eyed victims of an airline disaster is quite powerful propaganda.

In any case, as information comes out, let's see where the finger points.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Jan 10 2020 16:53 utc | 295

They are walking it back now

“We do believe that it's likely that that plane was shot down by an Iranian missile," Pompeo told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl during a White House press briefing. "We are -- we're gonna let the investigation play out before we make a final determination. It's important that we get to the bottom of it."

They should roast the New York Times and Bellingcat for this.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 16:56 utc | 296

it's been a big story here for the obvious reasons but especially given the highly (persian/iranian-)canadian demographics of the victims. most from edmonton and many college students.

so of course trudeau immediately prances out and declares the "evidence" "proves" the iranians shot down their own plane. not sure if it will have any "legs" but then the mh17 stupidity and soleimani's "totes imminent hit list of 'muricans" aren't hopeful precedents for what bullshit will stick when thrown against a wall. also both predictable and depressing how these idiots threw in "by a RUSSIAN made missile". i'm assuming the same ukie dipshits who reversed their story on the "real cause" also grafted that on for their own benefit.

even these stupid "evidence" pictures remind me of the "chlorine bomb" sitting gingerly on a bed in douma. it's also a vivid case of overlapping corporate (boeing) and military interests. they're always intertwined but this is an extreme instance given the stakes for both reputations.

"boeing: so now we're responsible for this?!?!?!"
"military: how's that new gulf of tonkin bullshit playing?"
blame the dog.

Posted by: the pair | Jan 10 2020 16:57 utc | 297

The Iranians said it was a " technical issue " fairly quickly. How would they know that. Not saying they did anything, but arriving at conclusions in these type of events takes a lot of time.

Posted by: Fog of War | Jan 10 2020 17:03 utc | 298

Concerning the video of the supposed rocket hitting the aircraft, there are some logical inconsistencies that others have already touched on. First is the lack of visible rocket exhaust approaching the aircraft. This may not be a surprise for a smaller rocket like a MANPADS, which may expend its fuel and be coasting prior to entering the frame of the video, but then it would be striking a target at 8000'. That would be quite the feat for a MANPADS class rocket as few (as in none?) can reach that altitude.

The 9M330 missile used by TOR certainly could reach that altitude, but then they have significantly larger fuel capacity and the range isn't really that great so its engine would still be firing at the time of impact... it would be clearly visible in the video, in other words. We see no sign of that in the video. Perhaps the next edition of the video will include that detail?

This doesn't exclude the possibility of a rocket attack on the aircraft. As others have pointed out already, if it was attacked with a MANPADS then that likely occurred almost immediately after take-off as a commercial airliner would otherwise very quickly be out of range (too high). Almost all MANPADS class rockets that I know of are IR guided (heat seeking) and so would seek out and detonate in the aft portion of the engine.

Keep in mind, though, that despite reliability issues of this particular model these engines are fairly rugged pieces of hardware. It is not inconceivable that they can take a hit from a small rocket (about a 1kg warhead, of which only 200 to 400 grams is explosive) and continue to be marginally functional for a little bit, and the engine cowling is supposed to be able to handle containing some flying debris in the event that the engine self-destructs (737s have been failing in that regard, but the cowling on them is still a relatively tough enclosure).

So it is possible that the flight was hit with a MANPADS as it flew over the airport perimeter road, but then was able to continue climbing for a few minutes before the engine succumbed to the damage and disintegrated. What would a large turbine engine disintegrating in a darkened sky look like? An explosion, of course.

Would a small MANPADS rocket be visible to air traffic control radar if it hit the aircraft while it was still only a few hundred feet above the ground? Possibly not.

I think it is safe to discount the possibility of a larger anti-aircraft missile being responsible like those used by TOR, based upon what we have seen, but a small MANPADS class one still fits in as a possible explanation for the evidence thus far. Of course, that largely eliminates the possibility of a deliberate or accidental shoot-down by the Iranian military and indicates terrorist activity instead.

None of this speculation discounts the possibility that the engine disintegrated without first being hit by a missile either.

Still, I like to imagine that the Iranians managed to arrange for the plane to be loaded with western spooks and deliberately euthanized them, but I suppose that is looking less probable.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 10 2020 17:03 utc | 299

Many Iranians inside the country (and outside) believe the Iranian military inadvertently targeted the plane and is now covering it up rather clumsily, by being secretive, defensive and cleaning up the crash site. If the military was not responsible, it has such a bad reputation (along with the government) that people automatically point their fingers to their own officials when something like this happens. This should give you some clue as to the general population's feelings toward their ruling elites.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:05 utc | 300

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