Myths, Lies, and Other Nonsense About MH17: Conspiracy Roundup

Absolutely nobody should be surprised that conspiracy theories and bad reporting regarding the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 tragedy sprang up almost as soon as the plane went down. And with complicated international politics at play, the conspiracies, misinformation and hoaxes came fast and furious.

At this point, the most widely accepted theory is that Russian paramilitary militiamen in occupied eastern Ukraine, irregulars trained and armed by Vladimir Putin’s government, shot down the plane with a Russian-made Buk anti-aircraft missile system because they thought it was a Ukrainian transport jet. Intercepted phone calls, eyewitness accounts, investigative journalism and signals intelligence all corroborate this story.

Of course, this is the “official story.” And as all dedicated Skeptoid readers know, the “official story” is not the one everyone believes. So legions of dedicated truthers are out there “doing their research” because they want us sheeple to “think” and “wake up” to what “they” are really doing. Most of their theories have nothing substantial to back them up. A few are just silly. But someone out there believes every single one of them. And so I’ll examine a few of the most interesting ones.

MH17's flight path until its destruction (Wikimedia commons)
MH17′s flight path until its destruction (Wikimedia commons)

Ukraine actually shot down MH17 to start WWIII/embarrass Russia – It’s easier for conspiracy theories to gain legitimate acceptance when massive, state-controlled journalism organs dispense them. So the Russian media, along with their Putin-admiring shills in the west, have been loudly proclaiming that Russia is the real victim here, rather than the 298 people (allegedly) murdered by Russian thugs trained and armed by Russians using Russian heavy weapons.

Russia’s “theory”, released on Monday by their Ministry of Defense and dutifully reported by their media stooges, is that a Ukrainian SU-25 close air support plane was taking off at the same time as MH17 was passing over eastern Ukraine. This SU-25 then moved to escort the jetliner and yadda yadda yadda, MH17 exploded. All of this happened with a US spy satellite conveniently flying directly overhead.

Before you think I’m being too glib, please note that the Russian theory was immediately jumped on by numerous experts as being impossible for a very good reason: the SU-25 isn’t an interceptor and has a ceiling of just 23,000 feet – and MH17 was flying at 33,000 feet when it went silent. Also, the Russians aren’t actually saying what happened to MH17, just throwing stuff out there and forcing people to make their own judgments. Maybe this works for tabloid news, but for an act of mass murder, not so much.

Russian accounts have also been caught editing relevant Wikipedia entries, posting false stories in social media and leaving obviously biased comments on legitimate news stories. Approach them all with extreme caution.

Ukraine actually shot down MH17, because they thought Putin was on it – Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency tossed out the rumor that Putin’s private jet was flying the same route as MH17 at almost the same time. Not only that, they claimed, but Putin’s plane, an IL-96, was similar in design and decoration to the Malaysian Boeing 777. So it was natural for Interfax to conclude that the Ukrainians were trying to behind the Russian government.

While a number of conspiracy-minded people took it as fact, their source was anonymous, repeating “information” that had no supporting evidence. It was, of all things, another Russian news outlet, RT, that debunked the Interfax story. They pointed out that Putin hasn’t flown over Ukraine in some time, and was nowhere near Ukraine at the time of the incident, flying back from the BRICS summit in Brazil.

MH17 wasn’t shot down in the first place, you dumb sheeple! – An alternate theory (or at least alternative to the alternative), was propagated by conspiracy YouTube vlogger Dahboo7. This gentleman (who also goes by Dahboo77 or Dahboo777, for some reason) stated in a popular clip that had over 250k views that the plane wasn’t actually shot down, but was blown up by pre-rigged explosives. Dahboo’s evidence of this is a wonky timestamp on a Ukrainian YouTube video, along with the stunning revelation that the explosion of the plane, recorded by a dashboard camera, doesn’t look like aircraft shootdowns in “movies and cartoons.”

What’s far more likely is that the missile exploded near a non-flammable part of the plane and brought it hurtling to the ground, where it blew up on impact. But that’s not as fun and kooky a theory as FaLsE FlaG!!! Forensic evidence trickling out of the scene is starting to confirm this, including shrapnel holes near the plane’s cargo bay.

MH17 was shot down because it was carrying the cure for AIDS – The flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur was carrying six (not 100, as was previously reported) delegates to the XX International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, including several prominent researchers. While most people rightly found this horrifying, a few saw it as evidence of a nefarious plot. Obviously, by “a few” I mean Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.

On his site Natural News, Adams gave legitimacy to an insulting theory that these brilliant, irreplaceable scientists were about to present research that represented a cure for AIDS or that proved AIDS was a man-made illness. This would deprive Big Pharma of the limitless money that cancer drugs bring in, and so these great minds had to be taken out.

Now, I’m not a doctor (neither is Adams, incidentally), but I know that “cancer” and “AIDS” are not actually the same thing. And I don’t know why Big Pharma would shy away from the unveiling of a drug that would probably make them zillions of dollars. Not only that, but I find it a stretch to think Russian militiamen have a direct line to US pharmaceutical companies – unless “the conspiracy” stretches even deeper than we could imagine.

A few other more zealous conspiracy theorists believed God took out MH17 as punishment for society condoning same-sex marriage. As God was unavailable to corroborate this story, we can only accept it as a rumor.

There were 23 Americans on board MH17 – This isn’t a conspiracy theory, just a widely-reported bit of information that happened to be totally inaccurate. The source appears to be an anonymous official in theUkrainian Interior Ministry, giving out a piece of news that numerous outlets ran with before confirming. Meanwhile, the State Department wouldn’t confirm or deny the news, and it later was revealed that only one American with dual citizenship in the Netherlands was traveling on MH17.

Various Illuminati/Numerology stuff – Eagle-eyed numerology experts seized on a confluence of the number 7 related to the flight. Obviously, the flight number itself, and the day of the crash, 7/17, are equal. Not only that, but MH17 was a Boeing 777, it allegedly had its first flight 17 years earlier on 7/17/97, and so had been in service for 17 years. All of these are obvious signs that the flight an Illuminati sacrifice, brought down to appease the globalist controllers who run our lives.

Sure, it’s a funky coincidence to have a flight that shares the same number as the day it crashes and had its first flight exactly that same number of years earlier. But what does that prove? Why is 17 an important number to the Illuminati, and not 16, 19 or 64? Why does it matter?

Any flight with a number lower than 31 has a chance to crash on the day linked to its number – a 3.2% chance in this case. Without any information that the plane was shot down because of any of these numbers, all we’re dealing with here is pattern recognition. And it’s a pattern that, while spooky, ultimately means nothing.

The crash of MH17 shares an anniversary with another horrific plane crash – the explosion of TWA 800, also fodder for conspiracy theorists who believe that it was downed by a missile. It wasn’t. There is just as much of a chance that the plane could have gone down on the anniversary of some other transportation disaster.

Also, if the Illuminati were rigging the numbers related to MH17, they goofed here. Flight 800 went down on 7/17/96 – exactly 18 years before MH17, not 17 years.

The last location of MH370 - ie, not near Ukraine (Wikimedia commons)
The last location of MH370 – i.e., not near Ukraine (Wikimedia commons)

MH17 and MH370 are Actually the Same Plane – The disappearance and resulting media circus of Malasyian Airlines Flight 370 back in March feeds easily into whatever chosen conspiracy you believe about MH17. On the surface, two 777’s lost by the same airline in a matter of months strains credibility. And since MH370 still hasn’t been found, it’s natural that some people would think they’re the same plane.

Well, it’s natural if you think MH370 was stolen out of the air, taken to an unknown location, had its 239 passengers and crew removed, was then taken to a different location, had 298 passengers and crew put on (or created out of thin air) and sent flying over Ukraine by an unknown power for no apparent reason.

Of course, we have multiple pictures of MH17 from before the crash, along with a complete passenger manifest and long life histories to support it. But hey, they’re both the same type of plane, so they might as well just be the same plane, right? I’m just asking questions.

The MH17 shootdown and the Gaza offensive happened on the same day on purpose – Conspiracy theorists apparently think people can’t process more than one thing at the same time, and love to talk about how one thing is a distraction from another thing.

So it goes with the Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge. Since MH17 crashed on the same day as ground troops went into Gaza, Illuminati watchers deemed that the plane was brought down to divert our attention from that. Of course, that hasn’t happened at all, since news outlets have been giving both the crash and the offensive massive amounts of coverage.

Also, major ground offensives don’t just happen on a whim. The Israeli operation had been going on since July 7th, and rumors of a ground incursion had been swirling since then, with 40,000 reserves being called up the next day.

None of these facts are going to stop conspiracy theorists from trying to see something other than the ugly truth. And with MH17, the truth is far uglier than any conspiracy – a plane full of innocent people shot down by paramilitary thugs who have done everything possible to obstruct the investigation and deny the families of the dead the closure of having their loved ones back.

And that’s far worse than any meaningless numerology or dopey distracting theory.

Cross-posted from Skeptoid.com.

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Mike Rothschild

Mike Rothschild is a writer and editor based in Pasadena. He writes about scams, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and pop culture fads. He's also a playwright and screenwriter. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rothschildmd.

View all posts by Mike Rothschild

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