Malaysia Airlines crash debris reveals forensic clues

Images shared on social media by observers at the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site in eastern Ukraine show possible forensic evidence that yes, a surface-to-air missile did shoot down MH17--and that it may have exploded just beneath the plane, rather than exploding on impact with the aircraft.

From the Washington Post:

The images show pieces of the aircraft riddled with holes roughly the size of a child’s fist. Evidence, some experts say, of a surface-to-air missile’s distinct detonation pattern.

“Although many of the holes may vary in size, the punctures seen in the photograph attached are relatively uniform in size, consistent with patterns exhibited by fragmentary warheads detonated at a proximity from the target,” Jane’s Military Capabilities Manager Reed Foster said in an e-mail. “This would potentially be consistent with a fragmentation type warhead employed upon a number of modern and legacy surface-to-air missile systems.”

"A piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines jet downed over eastern Ukraine last week shows damage, including shrapnel holes and blistered paint, that is consistent with a hit from a fragmenting warhead, according to consultants with IHS-Jane’s." Photo: Noah Sneider, via NYT


"A piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines jet downed over eastern Ukraine last week shows damage, including shrapnel holes and blistered paint, that is consistent with a hit from a fragmenting warhead, according to consultants with IHS-Jane’s." Photo: Noah Sneider, via NYT

And from the New York Times:

The wreckage, photographed by two reporters for The New York Times in a field several miles from where the largest concentration of the Boeing’s debris settled, suggests that the destruction of the aircraft was caused by a supersonic missile that apparently exploded near the jet as it flew 33,000 feet above the ground, according to an analysis of the photographs by IHS Jane’s, the defense consultancy.