The cockpit, as I understand it, pretty much went straight down, the rest of the plane, the part with engines and momentum, disintegrated and came down in pieces spread out over a larger area. Chilling reports from villagers on the ground confirm this, their stories of body parts landing in their gardens and on their streets are as horrifying as the loss of human life on such a massive scale due to something so inhumane as a weapon of mass destruction. The Guardian, in writing about the report released today, may shed some light on events, may possibly explain, partly, why MH17 was downed.
"The report shows how easily a different airliner could have met the fate of the doomed plane instead, had the crew of MH17 been able to comply with a controller's request to fly higher in the minutes before it was shot down.
Air traffic controllers were attempting to clear traffic as three other commercial flights, unidentified in the report, were in the vicinity – two other Boeing 777s and one Airbus A330.
At 12.53pm, Ukrainian air traffic controllers at Dnipropetrovsk asked MH17 to climb 2,000 feet to flight level 350 over eastern Ukraine, in accordance with the original flight plan, to clear a "potential separation conflict" with another Boeing 777.
The crew said they were unable to comply, possibly due to weather. Instead, at least one other plane climbed higher.
Just after 1pm the crew, running into bad weather, requested to climb to 34,000 feet – although air traffic control said the plane should keep at the same altitude. At 1.20pm, MH17 exploded in mid-air.
The other plane was not identified by investigators but it is known that a large Singapore Airlines jet, many of which are 777s, was nearby."Reading this makes me question once again if MH17 was actually the target of this attack. I remember Twitter / social media speculation soon after the crash which said Vladimir Putin may have been in the air at the same time, may have been the actual target instead of MH17. Whether those speculations are based on fact, rumour or fantasy I don't know as I'm not Putin's right hand person nor party to knowledge gathered by Russian intelligence. What I do know is this: There were at least three other aeroplanes flying relatively close to MH17, close enough for (minor?) course changes to be necessary. Was one of these aeroplanes the actual target instead of 298 innocent people?
As long as we're speculating, is there even the remotest chance that it was a meteor or a satellite or anything that came from space or from higher up in the atmosphere (?) that hit MH17? Any chance that it really was just a freak accident, that 298 people weren't shot down in cold blood by fellow human beings? Is it possible that MH17 was shot at by other aeroplanes? The closest were some 30-ish kilometres away from what I understand. Could one of those have shot at or fired a missile at MH17, as unlikely as it sounds?
Are there any other possibilities left, is there any way to make the facts (and the speculations...) fit another conclusion, other than the growing likelihood that it was a surface to air missile shot from rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine? Probably with a BUK system that was brought in across the border from Russia shortly before the downing of MH17 and left again, one missile short, soon after? Is anything else still possible?
While the report itself sticks to facts only and refuses to speculate as to what happened, the media of course are keen to speculate based on this new information. I am too, in all honesty. Because I want answers too. Without assigning blame (I will leave that for the courts and for God) or pointing fingers prematurely, I do want to know what happened. I want to understand what went on, want to understand why MH17 was shot down. I need this senseless tragedy to make some sort of sense, I need to understand the why and the how, if only for my own peace of mind.
Rapport van eerste bevindingen wijst op externe oorzaak crash MH17 (Onderzoeksraad.nl)
Eerste bevindingen MH17 openbaar (NOS.nl)