Mystery of the Satellite Photos from Smolensk


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11-15-2012 10:36 P.M.

[Translated by Marzena Pliżga]


Why and by whose order were satellites positioned over the Smolensk catastrophe location? Would it have been of interest to someone had the satellite photographs from Smolensk not revealed the whole truth? 31 months after the catastrophe there are still more questions than answers regarding the satellite photos.



"Gazeta Polska" spoke to professor Chris J. Cieszewski, author of one of the most interesting presentations made at the October Smolensk Conference. Professor Cieszewski is a researcher at Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia) in the United States and the chief editor of two, and a member of three editor committees of the international scientific magazines. He is a reviewer for 23 other international speciality magazines and founder of the international magazine "Mathematical and Computational Forestry and Natural Resource Sciences", as well as the professional organization of the Southern Mensurationists associating the specialists of biometrics from the South of the United States. He is also co-founder of the international scientific magazine "Biometrics, Modelling and Information Sciences". He published over 120 scientific articles, which have been cited over 750 times in the international research literature. He is also the author of the most developed and advanced website committed to the Smolensk Conference (smolenskcrash.com). The conclusions professor Cieszewski draws from the analysis of the available Smolensk satellite photographs are exceedingly interesting.


Satellites per order



“We purchased and analyzed photos from the period directly preceding the Smolensk catastrophe and from the days which followed it. The most important photos come from the 5th, 9th, 11th, 12th and 14th of April 2010,” says prof. Cieszewski.


“To me, intriguing is the fact that the earlier satellite photos of high resolution (i.e. 50 cm) from the area over the Smolensk airport, were last taken in 2007. For a long time afterwards no such photographs were made at that area and all of a sudden on the 5th and 9th of April and then on the 11th, 12th and 14th of April 2010 photos started to appear one by one, he adds.


Astonishing is the fact that, as the scientist says, requesting satellite photograph-making of a certain site, so called satellite tasking, has to be done 2 to 4 weeks prior to the actual taking of the photo (the satellite has to travel to the requested place and match the schedule of other clients, which takes a lot of time). So if someone ordered satellite photographs of the Smolensk airport between the 5th and 14th of April 2010, either he knew something would happen there, or this is indeed a surprising coincidence. True, there is a theoretical possibility that someone with exceptional financial or political influence, not considering the existing schedules, directed the satellites over the area of Smolensk just after the catastrophe (for example to make photos of the aircraft wreck); however let us emphasize the fact that the first satellite photos come from the 5th of April 2010, so they were made already five days before the tragedy.


Probably all the photos, together with those commercially unavailable were handed to the Polish authorities after the catastrophe. Unfortunately, they were lost at some institution subjected to the prime minister and thus one of the most vital pieces of evidence in the Smolensk tragedy has been forfeited. The authorities mutually accuse each other of hiding the materials received from the U.S., including the satellite photos. The Military Counter-Intelligence Service, The Internal Security Agency and The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated they submitted them to the prosecutor’s office on time, but the prosecutor’s office says… they have never received them.


On July 29th, 2011, deceased general Slawomir Petelicki said: "Americans have frame by frame of what has happened. They have recorded all the conversations and they know the truth. Today they wonder why Poland does not turn to the U.S. for help, but when any prosecutor does turn for help he is immediately suspended. A NATO report would be crushing for this prime minister and the government, who would need to resign immediately".




Smolensk manipulations



Sudden activities or rather over-activities of teledetective satellites (photo making) over Smolensk in April 2010 is not the only mysterious occurrence connected with the analysis of the satellite photos.


"Many things indicate,” says prof. Chris Cieszewski to ‘Gazeta Polska’, that over the few days after the tragedy, many manipulations were done at the catastrophe site.”


The most striking is the movement of the left fin of the aircraft 50 meters in the direction of the center of the catastrophe site, made visible by the comparison of the photos from the 11th and 12th of April 2010. What was the purpose of this? It’s not known. Certain is the fact that the MAK report considered the position of the fin in relation to the site where it was transported.


Prof. Cieszewski made a detailed comparative analysis of the high-resolution satellite photographs from the 11th, 12th and 14th of April 2010. It turned out that besides the fin, at least seven other parts of the aircraft changed their position, were displaced and perhaps grouped in different places of the catastrophe area.


Another unresolved case is the lack of machines in the photographs which, for many days after the catastrophe, were present at the site almost all the time (we know this from the witness testimonies and photos and films made on the ground). “There were big machines, bulldozers, excavators, cranes, which would be very easy to identify in the satellite photos. However, in none of the attainable photos made by the satellites, these machines are seen. This may indicate that someone knew when those photos would be made,” says prof. Chris Cieszewski. The scientist also thinks that the satellite photos made soon before the Smolensk catastrophe are burdened with some hard to explain defects. The photograph dated April 5th 2010 was made under a very acute angle, which makes it difficult to analyze. On the other hand, the photograph dated April 9th 2010 disregards by a singular coincidence a part of the airport, where the Polish aircraft Tu-154 crashed.


We asked prof. Cieszewski whether it is possible that photos were also made on April 10th 2010 or even at the moment of the catastrophe and that they are only at the disposal of western government agencies. “Of course, it is possible,” answers prof. Chris Cieszewski, adding however, that if in fact, during the tragedy, a fog enveloped (real or artificial), as results from the testimony of witnesses, the course of the catastrophe could not be visible in the satellite photo.



Everything indicates explosion



Prof. Cieszewski reserves that these facts do not forejudge anything and as a scientist he has to be careful in his opinions and conclusions.


With all these doubts concerning the satellite photos, one is almost certain: visible spatial unfolding and magnitude spread of debris of the aircraft, together with the way particular fragments of the aircraft were destroyed, indicates for an explosion over ground rather than a collision with the soil.


“Specialist literature of the highest class, among other publications of Dr. Eng. Wlodzimierz Abramowicz (deceased in February 2012, distinguished specialist in the area of mechanics and construction dynamics, creator of modern methods of computer simulations in the analysis of vehicle collisions, ship crashes and aircraft catastrophes – ‘GP’), as well as documentation of other aircraft catastrophes, prove, that an aircraft with that structure (i.e. thin-wall structure) and made of that particular material would not crumble into small pieces like a glass. Thin-wall constructions undergo bending, cracking, flattening etc., but not complete fragmentation which we see in the satellite photos from the site of the catastrophe,” says prof. Cieszewski.