Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Just another small wave in the growing tide of media disinformation on Flight MH17

Putin MA plane

In today’s Observer we can read an article headlined: Pilots’ group president says MH17 shot down after attempt to avoid storms. The article starts with the claim that adverse weather conditions in east Ukraine on the day of the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 could’ve led to a change in the flight plan. And that change may have ultimately resulted in the deaths of 298 passengers and crew. Pure speculation based on an unsubstantiated claim quoted incorrectly in the headline and opening sentence.

Distressing enough for the families bereaved, the amount of rumours, threats, and downright lying, coming from all corners, only adds to their uncertainty and pain. There is no need for the supposedly responsible section of the mainstream media to pile on more unfounded speculation, yet Daniel Boffey, policy editor of The Observer – the Sunday edition of UK newspaper The Guardian – saw fit to publish an article containing information anyone can challenge within minutes. I quote part of it here:

Nico Voorbach, a pilot who flew the same journey earlier this summer for KLM, and who is president of the European Cockpit Association, said poor weather might have been the reason why flight MH17 found itself in the sights of a surface-to-air missile launcher. The aircraft was shot down in the separatist Donetsk region of east Ukraine.

Voorbach said: “I heard that they were diverting from some showers. I think there were thunderclouds. You would ask air traffic control to divert left or right, and they would give you the permission.”

Nico Voorbach ‘heard’. But a quick look at Kiev’s own weather chart for Thursday – which admittedly is more over 400 miles from the crash scene – reveals the skies were clear on Thursday. The type of low pressure areas, which cause storms potentially hazardous to planes, are massive weather systems difficult for aircraft to avoid without going many hundreds of kilometres off-course. Of course, they usually fly well above them, unless taking off or landing.

Coincidentally, or not, there were isolated showers and thunderstorms registered in the Kiev area the following day, Friday, 18th July, as can also be seen from the chart below.

Weather Ukraine 17 July 2014

The most danger for aircraft from thunderstorms is in the area of maximum turbulence, which occurs at the mid-level of the storm, between 12,000 and 20,000 feet. Flight MH17 was flying at a height of between 30,000 and 33,000 ft, according to which source you’d prefer to believe. Most commercial aircraft have been flying over the region at an altitude 35,000ft, and many have been avoiding it altogether, due to the conflict.

Of course, one might be forgiven for wondering why the president of the European Cockpit Association thought this was important when planes fly into bad weather all the time, and flight MH17 was way above most clouds that produce showers, but then for Daniel Boffey to headline an article on what Nico Voorbach ‘heard’ – and headline it incorrectly at that – without checking the facts, which took  me all of a few minutes, is unforgiveable. Not only does it show despicable disregard for the families of the victims, it once again stains the reputation of the Western mainstream media.

For some this might seem like a quibble, but unfortunately it’s just a small part of a much larger jigsaw typical of mainstream journalism today, where the culprits don’t care a jot for the families of the victims or their friends. Journalists now publish stuff somebody else told them they heard, and even then they get it wrong. And they wonder why more and more of us are losing faith and trust.

Copyright © 2014 Bryan Hemming


9 comments on “Just another small wave in the growing tide of media disinformation on Flight MH17

  1. Pingback: Curtain Raiser | CollTales

  2. jmsabbagh
    July 20, 2014

    Mainstream medai main target is to protect the liberal politicians the rest is minor issues.


  3. auntyuta
    July 20, 2014

    ” . . . . why flight MH17 found itself in the sights of a surface-to-air missile launcher . . . . . ”
    I definitely would like to know this. Are we ever going to find out the truth and the whole truth?
    Was it a case of mistaken identity? What really happened?
    Is there a cease fire at present in the Ukraine or is the fighting in some parts of the East Ukraine still going on? Even though there are a lot of pictures circulating in the media right now, does this make us any the wiser? Does anyone know:
    What sort of actions may be taken in future or in the next few days? Where the bodies are taken and what is going to happen with the bodies? What chance the families of the victims will be given to go near the crash site?


    • Bryan Hemming
      July 21, 2014

      Unfortunately, I can’t answer any of your questions, Uta. I wish I could.

      The link you posted in your second comment doesn’t function correctly, so I have not posted it to save people time. If you find one that does, please send it, as I’d be interested to read any information.

      Thanks, for your input, and hope both Peter and yourself are well.


      • auntyuta
        July 21, 2014

        “ICAO > Newsroom > ICAO Monitoring Loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
        ICAO Monitoring Loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
        ​The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expresses its deep regrets following the loss of the passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. ICAO is closely monitoring reports on this tragic incident and is coordinating with all relevant parties.

        ICAO recently issued a State letter advising States and their air operators of a potentially unsafe situation arising from the presence of more than one air traffic services provider in the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR). The loss of MH17 occurred outside of the Simferopol FIR and ICAO stands ready to support the accident investigation upon request.”

        I copied here the letter by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

        They were advising States and their air operators of a “potentially unsafe situation arising from the presence of more than one air traffic services provider in the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR)”.

        However, “The loss of MH17 occurred outside of the Simferopol FIR”, probably meaning that no warning existed for the flight region where the plane came down.
        What a mess!

        I hope eventually the people concerned are going to get some of the answers. It is a very complicated situation, this is for sure. And I think the fighting between Ukrainians and insurgents still goes on. All this fighting creates a lot of refugees.
        I reblogged an article about this:

        I also reblogged an article from DER SPIEGEL about the refugee crisis in Germany:

        Peter published what he remembers about the July 20th, 1944. He was only nine years old at the time!

        Peter just reminded me that I forgot to mention the source of the articles that I reblogged and why I reblogged them. So I better go back to it now.

        Thanks, Bryan. So long, Uta


      • Bryan Hemming
        August 16, 2014

        An interesting link to an article referring to a news item that appeared in the New Straits Times of Malyasia. This might explain why have heard nothing but deadly silence from the West over MH17. If this is true, John McCain vowed that the perpetrators would be punished.
        This is the link to the New Straits Times article:

        Shameful neglect of evidence

        And this is the link to the article that brought it to my attention:


  4. eremophila
    July 20, 2014

    This latest episode is linked to the other plane that went down, and the Truth behind it all is being hidden behind a smokescreen that all governments are colluding with. Mainstream media is simply another form of brainwashing by governments. It’s up to the Sheeple to see through it…..


Don't bottle it up, let everybody know your opinion. And please feel free to leave a link to any of your recent posts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on July 20, 2014 by in Articles and tagged , , .

Member of The Internet Defense League

Rules on comments

As the comments sections are not intended to be general forums, comments are expected to bear some relevance to the subject of the post. Nevertheless, I do allow some generous leeway in this, particularly if I judge the comment to be of special interest.

Although I'm only too happy to link to your posts, those posts should be your own work, and not the work of others, due to copyright issues.

Follow Bryan Hemming on

Blogs I check out

Follow Bryan Hemming on

These caught my eye

Follow Bryan Hemming on


  • 96,889 hits

Top Clicks

  • None


Caitlin Johnstone

Daily Writings About The End Of Illusions


To write about my memories, past and present

The Silent War

An exploration into understanding the complexities of the Chemical Age, the Synthetic Chemical Revolution, and the toxins that impact us all

Carol Grimes

Singer, songwriter, poet & writer of The Singer's Tale

Once. Again.

Une fois. Encore.

Politics and Insights

Public interest issues, policy, equality, human rights, social science, analysis


Hold your verve

El Coleccionista Hipnótico

hypnotist collector

More Crows than Eagles

More Coyotes than Wolves

%d bloggers like this: