the home of online investigations

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 4: The OPCW Investigation

February 11, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Introduction

Over the last year, the OPCW has faced a series of leaks related to the Fact Finding Mission’s (FFM) investigation into the Douma chemical attack. The OPCW have now released their investigation into these leaks. These leaks appear to have originated from two former employees: Inspector A, who is Ian Henderson and Inspector B, a.k.a “Alex”, who is almost certainly Brendan Whelan.

In previous parts of this series we looked at the claims associated with Whelan and Henderson, and consulted chemists, toxicologist and chemical weapons experts. It became clear that Henderson and Whelan’s claims were flawed, overstated and at times actively misleading.

We also assessed what would be required for a “false flag” attack to have taken place in order to result in the the huge amount of evidence found related to this incident. Once available information is taken into account, it is clear that faking the Douma chemical attack would have been effectively impossible. 

The OPCW investigation

In short, the OPCW’s investigation agrees with the key points that we identified using openly available information. These two employees not only had limited access to information related to the Douma investigation, but also actively misled people on issues, including their status and the work they were authorised to conduct.

Ian Henderson a.k.a Inspector A

The OPCW report makes it clear that Henderson was not a member of the FFM. He aided the FFM by collecting data at sites of interest, including processing the cylinders from the two locations. He was later assigned to conduct an inventory of information and assess what other information would be required for future studies. The OPCW investigation states he had no further official part in the FFM investigation. It is important to note that this means Henderson would not have had access to large amounts of information regarding the Douma attack, including further investigations conducted by the FFM. 

Extract from OPCW investigation

Henderson’s status was already possible to establish using both OPCW statements and internal documents leaked by WikiLeaks, specifically an email from Sebastien Braha, the Chief of Cabinet to the Director General of the OPCW. In this email Braha finds out that Henderson had produced an “engineering assessment” and asks why someone who was not a member of the FFM was carrying out this work.

Extract from leaked email chain

It is ironic that this email chain was leaked in an attempt to support the narrative of Whelan and Henderson, but resulted in a clear demonstration that Henderson was not regarded as being part of the FFM by the OPCW.

Despite not actually being part of the FFM, and despite being told specifically not to do so, Henderson decided to conduct his “engineering assessment” anyway. This not only involved misleading senior members of the OPCW, but also lying to the university which carried out his simulation. Henderson told this university they were being officially engaged by the OPCW. They were not. Indeed the OPCW even claims Henderson was on leave when this simulation was carried out.

Extract from OPCW investigation

During this period, Henderson also improperly handled extremely sensitive classified information. As well as disclosing this information to external organisations without proper authorisation, he also requested that they email him using his personal Gmail address. Considering the sensitivity of this kind of information, Henderson’s actions in handling it appear to be extraordinarily reckless.

Extract from OPCW investigation

In short, the OPCW report confirms the key points of our reporting on Henderson: his “engineering assessment” was an unauthorised report carried out with incomplete information by a person who consistently misled in order to achieve what they personally wanted. Henderson himself acted in a cavalier attitude with incredibly sensitive information and deceived those around him, both inside the OPCW and at external organisations, to achieve his own goals. 

Brendan Whelan a.k.a Inspector B

We have previously examined Whelan’s claims in detail. In short, they are flawed, hugely overstated and, at times, actively misleading. As with Henderson, the conclusions of the OPCW investigation on Whelan are very similar to ours. 

The most important point of the OPCW investigation is that Whelan left the OPCW altogether in August of 2018. This was the month after the interim report was published. Whelan was not present for, nor had access to information relating to, the majority of the FFM investigation. Although we noted this as a possibility, the OPCW investigation confirms it. 

Extract from OPCW investigation

Timeline of Whelan’s presence at the OPCW with reference to the Douma investigation

This is an absolutely vital piece of information that was not mentioned by any previous coverage of Whelan’s claims. By excluding this detail, organisations such as WikiLeaks, the Mail on Sunday and CounterPunch have potentially misled their readers about Whelan’s capacity to dispute the findings of the FFM. 

The OPCW investigation also claims that Whelan confirmed in writing that he was satisfied with the Interim report that was eventually published. Although the OPCW does not provide any direct evidence of this, it is not entirely surprising. The only firm conclusion the published Interim report made about the Douma attack was that nerve agents were not used. As with all versions of the Interim report, it noted that further investigations were required. 

Extract from OPCW investigation

The OPCW’s conclusions about Henderson also reflect on Whelan too. Whelan clearly made misleading statements about Henderson’s status, possibly in an attempt to lend more weight to Henderson’s analysis. It seems possible that Whelan’s email of the 20th May 2019, which criticises the OPCW for kicking out Henderson and insists he was a member of the FFM, was written with the intention of leaking it later in support of Whelan’s own claims. As we now know, those claims were false. 

Extract of email from Whelan dated 20 May 2019

Conclusion

Even using open sources, it was possible to demonstrate that the claims of a conspiracy at the OPCW were misleading. We have previously covered this with a series of articles looking at the claims made by Henderson and Whelan, consulting with chemists, chemical weapons experts and toxicologists. 

The OPCW investigation supports these conclusions: Whelan and Henderson made claims unsupported by evidence, misled their colleagues and lied to external organisations, mishandled sensitive classified information and made misleading claims about the attack in Douma.

It is fitting that the last word on this subject should go to Mr Fernando Arias, the Director-General of the OPCW:

“Inspectors A and B are not whistle-blowers. They are individuals who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence. When their views could not gain traction, they took matters into their own hands and breached their obligations to the Organisation. Their behaviour is even more egregious as they had manifestly incomplete information about the Douma investigation. Therefore, as could be expected, their conclusions are erroneous, uninformed, and wrong.”

 

Bellingcat Investigation Team

The Bellingcat Investigation Team is an award winning group of volunteers and full time investigators who make up the core of the Bellingcat's investigative efforts.

Join the Bellingcat Mailing List:

Enter your email address to receive a weekly digest of Bellingcat posts, links to open source research articles, and more.

96 Comments

  1. SorryViennese

    second typo correction (“at” instead of “a”)
    correct is:
    As logic clearly says, if one cylinder was not airdropped, there was at least one manual operation.

    Reply
  2. Jeroen

    So you think one cylinder was a genuine air attack being dropped by an Assad forces operated helicopter and some other “false flag” people timely spotted a second helicopter in the area, and thought it a great idea to place another cylinder somewhere near in that same area “manually” or even drop some 34 dead bodies they held already in the frig anyway for some days, to add some extra effects, to make things much worse?

    Well know I understand why your scientifical career never really lifted off.

    But thank you for sharing your interesting thoughts, much apreciated.

    I strongly advice you to look for some conspiracy loving niches in the World Wide Web where they adore such things.

    You missed something essential, people like BC for fact checking.

    When you have finished your study about dropping camping gaz cylinders dropping 500 of them by small drones at different height and speeds and describing their behaviour and impact patterns you still have to proof your findings can be extrapolated to heavy chlorine cylinders dropped from helicopters. Love to read your articles about it in some real peer review journals, I will check for them in 2023 and later years.

    Reply
    • SorryViennese

      Dear Jeroen,
      thank you for your swift response.
      However, you did not address the central conclusion of my finding on the facts above:
      The cylinder at Location 4 can not have been airdropped. In simplest language: It was not airdropped.

      Your answer has to address and quote my findings specifically.
      Your answer is just creating fog and distraction, it is not specific. Why are you doing it? Better to stay calm and accept a small defeat.

      Please refrain from attacks ad hominum, at me.
      KR, SV

      Reply
      • Jeroen

        Publishing any findings and ideas at an peer review journal will accelerate a scientifical career more than dropping some lines here every two weeks.
        It would be great to find out that some “false flag” operation was carried out somewhere on this planet not particularly in Syria.
        Bellingcat would love to prove the world that “false flag’s” were planned or. carried out.
        It is important to do such.
        For example when soldiers mask them selves take of their insigna on order, lie about it against journalists and illegally blokkade streets, buildings, enter them illegally with weapons, threatening other people.
        A Buk System is illegicaly entering a neighbouring country to shoot down aircraft. And when a civilian plane is shot down the responsible authorities lie about it. Statements are made that it was a “neighbours” Sukhoi, or a “neighbours” Buk, “that did it”. Tests are done and aired to “proof” that a Sukhoi did it. And so on and on.

        As you pretend to be so concerned about finding out what really happened you might adress some of your attention and time (here at BC) at the MH17 case.
        Not only the families of Syrian people want to know who dropped cylinders killing their loved ones.
        But you could really help to make Belingcat question more. Try to find some false flag operation still not covered with additional supporting proof in Syria that we can really work on. Were additional proof is possible to find, like just for example cellphone recordings of cylinders in ambulances we can geolocate, driving around, people lifting cylinders with cranes on roofs and so on and on. But you do not find about Douma, they are not there, because these cylinders were airdropped.
        Your current examination is not very promising.

        Person A states at BC comment section.
        The earth is flat, do you agree?
        Nobody answers
        Then states nobody disagreed so all at BC comment section agree earth is flat! Nobody disagree, all agree?!
        So next thesis.
        Earth is not only flat but also cubic.
        Wait two weeks.
        Nobody openly disagree?
        Oh then all agree.
        So earth is cubic.
        Now earth is cubic and larger and also heavier than the sun.
        Everyone clearly can see that every day can not you?
        Now do you all believe Newton was right?
        Yes we do because nobody openly disagreed.
        Look people person A claimes he just proofed the earth is a cubic and the sun is circling around the cubic.

        I believe one round cylinder fell through the roof, the other just punctured a hole in it.
        No cubics here.

        Reply
        • SorryViennese

          Dear Jeroen,
          you again do not address my central argument presented . It is about facts. Your are trying to obfuscate, to create fog and distraction.

          I repeat it now, that you can address it piece by piece, taken from my argument above:

          This “airdorpped” cyclinder could only have fallen vertically after pentrating the roof (see interim report above, Figures 6 – 8). His next hit after the penetration hole, must have been vertically below that hole. However the cylinder was found in the bed, 3-5 meters away from that – hit the floor spot (“initial landing point”) (see Figure 9).

          So dear Jeroen, I asked you to look at the figures of the official OPCWW report , especially figure 9 and comment that.
          We have to speak about what every reader of this report, can see there in figure 9.

          And the conclusion is inevitable, whatever fog and distraction you create in your answers.
          The Location 4 cylinder was not airdropped.

          Sorry your case is lost … ,
          KR; SV

          Reply
          • Servus

            …read few entries above, I’ve made “kotleti” of your caricature of a technical text..

  3. Jeroen

    First
    Information presented by Henderson or adressed to him does not include open available details to check about the simulation or large amounts of the data associated with the simulation, where his conclusions were based upon.
    Also the technical drawings in both versions of his leaked report are too low quality to read properly. This makes it very difficult to assess the simulation itself, if not rather impossible.

    Secondly Henderson did not have all data collected by the FFM.

    Thirdly most of use neither posses all data collected by FFM about the Douma case, neither posses other data collected at those locations by other actors.

    Therefor one could theoretically formulate an endless number of hypotheses about what could have happened, what if’s, what about, and so on and on and on.

    One might for example asume that a certain cylinder had zero horizontal speed, one might asume that a certain cylinder had no vertical speed, being only manually placed, just for example.
    To me it seems rather unusal for a cylinder being dropped from a helicopter to have no forward speed, it normaly does, allthough vertical downwards speed would be of greater importance while impacting.
    There would be no need for hoovering stationary over a certain spots, dropping two chlorine cylinders over living buildings, the effects on the population would not be different. But I could be wrong here, of course.
    Well the point is here, we do not need most if not all of these hypotheses so much, they are rather useless, without proper data, without sufficient insider knowledge.

    There was a fact finding mission to establish the facts about these Douma events. And they reported that the team analysed the available material and consulted independent experts in mechanical engineering, ballistics and metallurgy who utilised specialised computer modelling techniques to provide qualified and competent assessments of the trajectory and damage to the cylinders found at Locations 2 and 4.

    Moreover they staed that the analyses indicated that the structural damage to the rebar-reinforced concrete terrace at Location 2 was caused by an impacting object with a geometrically symmetric shape and sufficient kinetic energy to cause the observed damage. The analyses indicate that the damage observed on the cylinder found on the roof-top terrace, the aperture, the balcony, the surrounding rooms, the rooms underneath and the structure above, is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.

    And at Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

    That is what the Douma FFM concluded and reported.
    Everybody can read that (on page 4) in the final report.

    Speculations about the possible and theoretical effects about dropping 22kg camping cooking gas cylinders on the office floor standing on one’s desk or chair,
    do not add a drop to usefull knowledge about these chemical attacks.

    Back to OPCW and credibility.
    I prefer to believe that most if not all are competent, responsible and conscientiously working professionals with OPCW.
    Until proven differently.

    Reply
    • SorryViennese

      Dear Jeroen,
      Twice I asked you to look at the official interim report, and in that at Figure 9, which shows the bedroom and impossible trajectory very clearly: Thus the most important facts are presented. You decline to look at it, you obfuscate again in your lenghty answer.

      You did not look at it, you did not comment it. Why? ….

      Everybody else, please look at the official OPCW interim report, and the Figures and paragaphs describing the facts at Location 4, as I have mentioned several times above (see my posts 15th of Feb).
      And jugde yourself, I do not ask for more.

      KR, SV

      Reply
  4. SorryViennese

    Dear Servus,
    you attack me personally above, try to offense me … and you write verbatim 2 sentences (see above)
    …”…after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.” [quoted from the final OPCW report

    ´The trajectory [1] through the crater [2] can be seen at the fig 10, the cylinder continues [3] horizontally.´
    [written by Servus, numbers in [] added by me

    [my comment on that, a small sketch to illustrate this proposed trajectory by Servus:

    1 airdrop
    2 impact floor crater
    3 continues horizontally

    1
    *
    *
    *
    2__*_______
    3 L >>>>>>>>>

    Who, dear readers, has ever seen such a trajectory (**** L >>>>>> ) of a gas cylinder weighting perhaps around 100 kg …

    KR, SV

    Reply
    • SorryViennese

      small correction
      The sketch is distorted by the BC website, the * * * * line should be quite vertical above the hole (crater) and the vertical leg of the “L”

      Reply
      • Servus

        Dear Vienia,
        finally a small progress, you start understanding that the cylinder fell flat, made a rectangular hole and continued horizontally. While you were falsely certain that it fell vertically . Do you agree to it at this stage ?

        Take your time with the next piece of the trajectory, it took us just two week to get horizontally through the roof .

        Reply
        • SorryViennese

          Dear Servus
          A fall is never flat. Galielo found this even before Newton. An apple or cylinder falls vertically.

          You do not look at the figures, you do not answer all my crucial questions.

          The airdrop to the ceiling of the bedroom can only have been nearly vertically. Assuming your proposed straight flight from the hole to bed, is not possible. As the only allowed drop direction from above is, in the opposite direction for a straight “flat” continuation to the bed, from the hole in the ceiling.
          All other axes are blocked by untouched walls, above and below the ceiling of the bedroom. You never looked at the figures of location 4, I urged you, then it is easier to understand.

          And then, after the floor/ceiling impact – crater – you name it, the slow speed leads to a vertical drop from the ceiling to the floor. That is presented in the diagram.

          And the vertical drop is presented in Figure 11 in the offical final report, too, look it up.

          So in summary, the only possible trajectory, which would need a jumping cylinder in the bedroom, is impossible. This simple fact, has to be obfuscated, by many words, distractions by commentators like you, that seems to be their job or mission.

          However, ballistics is king in war and forensic. Sorry for that.

          KR, SV

          Reply
          • Servus

            Your assumption about “vertical only ” velocity vector after penetrating the roof is arbitrary.

            2. False and arbitrary assumption.
            The false, arbitrary assumption is that “This “airdorpped” cyclinder could only have fallen vertically after pentrating the roof”.
            The cylinder fell almost flat on the terrace, leaving a rectangular hole roughly 1m x 1.6m and according to simulations : “The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.”
            The trajectory through the crater can be seen at the fig 10, the cylinder continues horizontally.

            Arbitrary and false assumption lead to false conclusions, is a grave methodological error that alone disqualifies you as a serious discussion partner.

  5. SorryViennese

    Dear Servus,
    you address figure 10 (from the final OPCW report, publ. 1. March 2019).
    I agree, it is about the moment of penetrating through the roof.

    As diagramm, it is a speed / time diagramm.
    I shows milli seconds on the x-axis, speed on the y axis.
    It does not report on the movement within the room.

    And the next Figure 11 is completely consistent with the Figure 9 from the interim report, I urged you and Jeroen several times to look at, and comment it already. So the Figure 9 reports the facts, as I stated several times before.

    Or do you challenge now the final report of OPCW, as you tried with the figures in the interim report, quoted by me above ?

    KR, SV

    Reply
    • SorryViennese

      small improvement, more precision, replace “movement” with “direction, or trajectory of the cylinder, ” above.
      The sentence regarding diagramm in figure 10, should be
      “It does not report on the direction, or trajectory of the cylinder within the room”

      KR, SV

      Reply
      • Servus

        Dear Vienia ,
        I will wait for a while until you correct your errors. You should still study my answers.

        Reply
        • SorryViennese

          Dear Servus,
          I studied all your answers carefully. You can wait as long as you like.

          The corrections/improvements were necessary to highlight your misunderstanding on the diagram of figure 10 (final report).

          The precision, including the sketch, helps to clarify your errornous thinking on this diagramm.

          There was no evidence presented, how such an “alternate” trajectory could have come about. What was the cause of your “horizontal” movement? Only God´s hand, deflecting the dropping cylinder, could have done this what you think happened.
          The cylinder dropped straight from the floor to the ground. Even the final OPCW report says so.

          And it was no “horizontal continuation” at all, as you claimed. That is your misunderstanding of the diagramm in fig.10., page 18 (see above).
          The horizonatal part of the diagramm just reflects the calculated low speed of the cylinder´s straight drop from the floor. I hope you are able to acknowledge that.

          KR SV

          Reply
          • SorryViennese

            meant the ceiling above:
            .. cylinder dropped straight from the ceiling to the floor (of the bedroom). …

          • Servus

            Dear Vienia,

            “horizontal movement” and act “act of God” , yes, complex behaviour may look like a magic ! Yet…..

            The OPCW final and it’s simulations are not based on any assumptions, but observable facts.
            OPCW simulations have found combinations of cylinder velocity vector and trajectory, that matched the cylinder’s final position in the bed.
            Actually, even two such combinations, it is obvious from the simulations’ diagrams.

            You don’t seem to be convinced by this argument, so please think for a brief moment, maybe I have not understood something? Maybe my knowledge of things falling through the concrete is not as deep as I think?
            Three engineering teams made simulations and found out ways for the cylinder to arrive in the bed… maybe, just maybe, they know something I don’t know?

    • Servus

      Dear Vienia,

      we are making progress you look into documents now, I’m please with it.
      “As diagramm, it is a speed / time diagramm.
      I shows milli seconds on the x-axis, speed on the y axis.
      It does not report on the movement within the room. ”

      Yes, you are right, it’s a velocity/time diagram. But it has a hidden secret in it, …
      actually two, the easy one is , why does velocity never go to 0? Is the cylinder still flying ? The second secret is more secret, it will take us easily two weeks, so, take your time.

      Reply
      • SorryViennese

        Dear Servus,
        why did you try to mislead me then.
        Of course i have studied figure 10, befor I even studied the interim reports figure 6-9 including text.
        your secret
        “velocity never go to 0”, as I answerd you above already, cylinder dropped vertically from the ceiling to the floor of the bedroom, no spikes, …. no jump in this “final report” – simulation diagramm I agree.
        The just showed the 15,x milliseconds of their simulation around the time when the crater was formed by the assumed “airdrop” in the diagramm.

        And I agree, and said it befor. Gently must have been the cylinder falling from the ceiling.. (see my comments as of 15. Feb.)
        The diagramm has not further title, is was done to simulate the forces at the assumed penetration … see the line “Effective Plastic Strain” in the right upper corner

        But note, the simulation diagramm has never a “bed ” as endpoint, this was was cleverly avoided by the final report makers.

        And do not forget, your implied “flat” (horizontal?) direction from the ceiling hole to the bed is impossible (see above), the untouched wall situation does not allow this flight. . and the OPCW does not claim it ….it is your private thinking, do you need a proof for that?..

        Alas, the cylinder, did not jump, did not fly flat in the bedroom, the trajectory is impossible, it was not airdropped…

        KR, SV

        Reply
        • Servus

          Dear Viena,

          Lets try to use more precise terms otherwise its a bit of a mess.

          When I mean that the cylinder fell “flat”, I mean that it’s longitudinal axis was horizontal, so it fell flat on for example a terrace floor. And I don’t assume anything about it’s velocity vector.

          When you say that the cylinder fell vertically, you only mean that it had a velocity in the up and down direction, and no lateral velocity component.

          As Jeroen has already pointed out for you, this an arbitrary and highly unlikely scenario. These cylinders are launched trough a hatch in the helicopter floor, two or more guys roll the cylinder on it’s wheels and push it out through this opening (there are photos and videos of it). So it has some “horizontal” velocity component to start with, even if the helicopter would hoover in place, which is not too likely.
          Anyway, you made an arbitrary assumption, so let me quote myself:
          “Making arbitrary assumptions results in arbitrary conclusions and is a grave methodological error that disqualifies you as a serious discussion partner”

          And your conclusion “So in summary, the only possible trajectory, which would need a jumping cylinder in the bedroom, is impossible. ” is simply invalid.

          Reply
          • SorryViennese

            Dear Servus,

            In your answer you do not adress that facts in the figures. You refuse to look at it. You do not answer my questions. It is about what has happened within the bedroom. By talking of helicopters, you just want to create fog, that is not at stake here at all.

            You just always claim my arguments as “invalid”..
            Fact is: your discussion behaviour here is invalid, obfusctating, not looking at the final OPCW report: This cannot be apologized.

            You do not answer my precise questions. Your discussion style is not constructive at all.

            We have to close it, until you bring along the ballistic expert papers, entailing the explanation, why the “impossible” wondersome alternative trajectory of the cylinder was possible within the bedroom of Location 4.

            SV

        • Servus

          Dear Vienia,

          we are making a progress, but you still did not understand the diagram and did not understand the two hidden gems…. Try harder !

          Reply
  6. Jeroen

    Sorry dear Viennese,
    rather reluctant and unfortunate I can’t refrain from reaching an unpleasant conclusion.
    You seems to suffer from a number of false asumptions and conclusions, moreover you might seem to be slightly obsessive about it.

    In short your thesis seems, “the cylinder, did not jump, did not fly flat in the bedroom, the trajectory is impossible, it was not airdropped.” as you wrote.

    First (empty) cylinders do jump, when being dropped from height, impacting depending on a number of factors, material of the cylinder, the surface or material it impacts, height, speed and so and on.

    Look at this YT “Dropping Gas Cylinder From 120 Feet Height || Gas Cylinder vs 120 Feet Water Tank || Experiment King”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW1weVTSgvI

    This cylinder, just an example, was empty and dropped from 120 feet. about 36,5 meter. One can clearly see that cylinders do jump, this particular one at least roughly 1 or 2 meters high, 4-7 meters away, had there been a bed, it easily could have made it upon that bed. If the speed after breaking through one roof is still high enough it might jump also after hitting the floor within a bedroom.

    But we asume the cylinders dropped by those Syrian helicopters were not empty.
    They were probably partly filled with liquid chorine partly with gas.

    After impacting the cylinders were damaged, gas escaped from them.
    Gas escaping from a cylinder forces it into a direction opposite to the hole, the created opening, a broken valve or one or multiple rupture(s).
    Depending on the pressure in the cylinder, the form and size of the opening, the amount of gas and liquid in it, the temperature, it can travel smaller or larger distances, while either roling on the ground, flying around, impacting and bumping hitting objects in its area.

    You seem to be either unaware of such behaviour (or otherwise deliberately left it out, which I prefer not to believe), though you claimed to posses a fair amount of knowledge about ballistics, and suggested (though vaguely) possesing a scientifical degree at Harvard, or I may have misunderstood that.
    It is a well known basic fact of rocket science, without it we would not have launched sputnik, or visited the moon.

    Just two exaples, “Broken Cylinder Valves” as tested by the swiss firebrigade’s Arbeitsgruppe Technische Fragen Atemschutz/Groupe de travail pour les questions techniques de protection respiratoire (TEFRAS) der Schweizerischer Feuerwehrverband
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-xmaPSZ6GM

    Example 2 “More Valve Breaking on cylinders (Dancing Cylinders)”
    CNPP division mecanique
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1_CQc85jrU
    One can observe different 2003 filmed tests from different perspectives with cylinders at 200 bar behaving after deliberate failure of their valves.

    Besides there is at least as third possibility how an cylinder can travel.
    A cylinder with fins added might be sort of stable ‘in flight’, hitting an object like a roof or a wall it might start to rotate or roll more strongly.
    If a cylinder drops on a floor tail first it might tilt, jump up again bit, and its center of gravity move sideways until coming to rest.

    All these forces combined and possible other factors I might not be aware of can cause “a certain trajectory”, which seem to be so called sort of “flat”, as you named it, or just “an altered trajectory”.
    I personally believe about 90-95% of dropped cylinders, travelling nose first while with fins attached, will damage their valves on impact, enough to enable gas to escape.

    But as it seems to me you prefer not to believe the OPCW anyway, I expect you will start looking for more or something else, which would support my thesis that you possibly may suffer from a mild obsession. No doubt you will find something else “odd” and start over again trying to convince readers to adopt an alternative theory. Please do feel free to do so. It is of great value in open democratic countries to express your opinion, and challenge it, against fact checking, simple logic, opinions of others. You really seem to enjoy that fully, it makes me very happy seeing you doing so. And of course there is nothing wrong with a mild obssesion.

    Anyway the OPCW, whose experts examined Douma are the authority here and they concluded:

    2.15 At Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

    Moreover we know that these two cylinders were airdropped by two Syrian helicopters.

    Reply
  7. SorryViennese

    Dear Jeroen,
    thank your for taking over from Servus, and for your more constructive contribution. As you say above, I agree completely: It is about the so called “altered trajectory” of the bedroom cylinder, found in the bed – “until reaching the position in which it was found” (original wording OPCW final report).

    I am happy that you come up now with a similar example, as I did before (15th of February). And you even used an empty standard gas cylinder (hight ca. 45 cm), as example, understandable to many (13.6 million viewers of your proposed youtube video “Dropping Gas Cylinder From 120 Feet Height || Gas Cylinder vs 120 Feet Water Tank || Experiment King”).

    So very fine and instructive.

    The amateur video is about dropping a standard camping gas tube, that was falling 36m (they say), and then, after first impact, jumped/tumbled around his own length up, that is max. 45cm, and horizontally 1m, not more: please look at the exact still picture of it´s first jump at 2min 48secs.

    And it is not jumping 2 m high, as you claimed above. And it tumbled along on the ground, turning over like a wheel. Everybody may look at it, that I am right here. And it was a very solid concrete ground on earth, for the first hit. Such a ground is higly elastic, cannot break in easily. The, as seems, empty gas tube had only around 10kg (easy to lift).
    Your youtube example shows this exactly, thank you for that!

    The impact floor in the video was not a thin floor of a Syrian appartment building, where a much larger heavier full cylinder (ca. 100kg?) could have crashed easily through, to the next room beneath (see also figure 11).

    However, as Servus has highlighted, the diagramm in final OPCW report figure 10 shows, that the cylinder must have fallen gently from the ceiling-hole-crater to the floor of the bedroom. Otherwise it would have smashed through the floor to the room underneath, or got stuck there.
    Thus the cylinder had quite little kinetic energy at the first bedroom-floor-impact (see also figure 11, final report). And the airdrop direction would have additionally been the wrong one, do not forget (see discussion from 17th February with Servus above).

    This low speed however restricts any further substantial jump. It was not able to jump 3 meters horizontally and half a meter up again. It would have jumped few centimeters, slided, tumbled on the floor at best, crashing into the edge of the bed, destroying it partly, not jumping on it, leaving the edges intact (see fotos of the site).

    As long as the 3 contra-H.-experts, or their reports, cannot be scrutinized in the public, the conclusion holds:
    There was no airdrop at Location 4.

    No further discussion helps to obfuscate that. Only hard facts on the ballistics in the bedroom by those 3, disemminated in detail in the public, could proof the contrary.

    KR SV

    Reply
  8. Servus

    Dear Vienia,
    lets start a new reply stream, I will concentrate on essentials and not on all arbitrary statement you made.
    So, the cylinder falls flatly (it’s longitudinal axis is horizontal) through the rectangular crater, this is picture 10, it’s main velocity vector component is of course vertical but there is no documented information about additional lateral velocities. While it’s highly likely that the cylinder had a forward velocity in the helicopter’s forward flying direction and the same cylinder’s launching direction (horizontal velocity vector component in the cylinder’s longitudinal axis).

    The low speed simulation graph text says:
    “The assessments further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.”

    Translation of this text is:
    “cylinder continued altered trajectory” – this means that cylinders trajectory was altered by the violent collision and passage through the roof.

    ” until reaching the position in which it was found.” It was found in the bed. All reports and photos corroborate this fact.

    ———————————————————————

    Lots of mechanical interactions were happening during the impact on the roof, breaking up of the concrete and its wires, being flatten and bent, this “traversal” was very energetic event with loss of velocity and possibly changing in trajectory.

    Now dear apprentice, you seem to be absolutely certain that the cylinder’s violent interaction with the roof did not change it trajectory.
    Such “common sense” conclusions are typical for layman. Professionals say, lets simulate it and lets see. And… quite often the simulation shows some effect and interactions that differ from “initial” common sense conclusions.
    So, we have to understand what we missed and what is the reason for the surprising results. (denying facts or correctly performed simulation’s results is not an option for a professionals).

    BUT the “slow speed diagrams” and it’s description says it all.

    First to the question you were unable to answer, why the cylinder’s velocity does not go to zero. Triviality … The simulation’s objective was to figure out how the cylinder got into the bed, it did not contain the model of the bed, mattress, springs etc. If it had, you would see and oscillation of the speed of the cylinder bouncing on the bed until it stopped. So the continuing velocity in the diagram is an artefact of the simulation. Actually, the simulation algorithms stopped after reaching the bed but the background time was still running.

    There are two simulated cases in the diagram with different velocities and certainly some other parameters and show two possible velocity developments.
    The shown velocity is in the resultant velocity vector in the flight direction.
    With the lower velocity (blue) the cylinder hits the ground at 1.7 sec rebounds and jumps to the bed. With higher velocity, it lands in the bed without a rebound.

    In order to do this acrobatic feast, the cylinder must have had a lateral velocity component into the room and a also in forward direction.

    The ‘into’ the room velocity IMHO comes from the interaction with the roof, the roof’s mechanical resistance is lowest in the middle and gets stronger at the edges, an the falling cylinder experienced more resistance along the wall and less towards the centrer and thus got deflected (can be also seen by the type of damage at the edges, a violent break through or a break through and elastic bending).
    The forward velocity component was highly likely given to the cylinder by the helicopter and the launching through the hatch.

    QED

    Reply
  9. SorryViennese

    Dear Servus,
    alas, your confused writing just repeats what I and Jeroen have said in essence.

    However you do not understand what Jeroen and I have stated also, however.

    The cylinder passed through the hole “crater” (1), hit the floor (2), and then altered it´s (3) trajectory, to end up in the bed (4).

    So the sequence was 1->2->3->4. Not as you still insist: 1->3->4.

    Please read the quoted original sentence of OPCW (see above) carefully, it is exactly their official final sentence on Location 4.

    Creating chaotic words do not help anybody, just obfuscates. You only can impress people without any understanding of physics, Newton and ballistics.

    This kind of communication style is a well know war propaganda strategy: obfuscation, smoke and fog creating.

    Please provide the answer to my simple questions instead, you decline since the beginning.

    You repeat in your final 2 paragraphs above unecessary, what we all have already statet and agreed, and nobody challenged that this was assumed: The cylinder should have smashed through the ceiling.
    Why so many words then? Are you confused? Why do you state it again? Or do you want to confuse?
    Or, should we not note, what the real problem is?: The altered trajectory within the bedroom.

    The hard conclusion still is: The “altered trajectory” within the bedroom, claimed, has no evidence supporting it. Thus the cylinder was not airdropped, but – alas – placed manually.

    You can now continue to produce words, as long as you like, in this confused way. Everthing was said at great length and detail by us 3 (Jeroen, you and me) in the last 3 days. Readers may draw their own conclusions now.

    I will just provide links to the important documents used in our discussion, for helping others to read through it, in some time to come.

    KR, SV

    Reply
    • Servus

      Dear Vienia,

      your response is what I have expected, you have no arguments and restore to some childish invectives.

      But just for fun of it, you say:”The hard conclusion still is: The “altered trajectory” within the bedroom, claimed, has no evidence supporting it.”
      The evidence are the simulations of the trajectories and the crystal clear graphs of two such simulations, BUT of course, an internet saboteur is not prepared to understand any graphs and looks at these with amazement as cow on a passing train. The fact that you are incapable of understanding some basic simulation’s results does not invalidate the simulation.

      I did not expect you to understand much of the technical analysis or FSB forbid, change your mind, after all, you are just an apprentice troll paid to defend RF position and not an honest person.

      Typical reaction to a hopeless situation you guys find yourself in, is to go into “mental constipation state” (психический запор), just repeating the unsubstantiated, false claim that “cylinder was placed manually”.

      Bellingcat has written a long article well analysing and ruling out any manual placement, there is not a shade of evidence of it.

      But of course, you will continue repeating yourself, trying to insult me and create more smoke screens, trolling for RF is a dirty job and somebody apparently wants do it!
      On a personal plane, how does it feel to be constantly laugh at, sweating to come up with yet another argument in a hopeless case, knowing well that you lie and create falsehood? And failing miserable every time?

      Reply
  10. Jeroen

    How to rotate and handle a gas cylinder the way like a real Russian expert, these 3 brave men demonstrate here, I apologize for the bad wording.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1tosV3KSFc
    It clearly proofs how a gas cylinder with for example a damaged or broken valve can travel for a small distance some trajectory.

    Further I keep to other experts like from the OPCW, whose experts examined the Douma attacks, they are the authority here and they concluded:

    2.14 The analyses indicated that the structural damage to the rebar-reinforced concrete terrace at Location 2 was caused by an impacting object with a geometrically symmetric shape and sufficient kinetic energy to cause the observed damage. The analyses indicate that the damage observed on the cylinder found on the roof-top terrace, the aperture, the balcony, the surrounding rooms, the rooms underneath and the structure above, is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.

    2.15 At Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

    Moreover we know that these two cylinders were airdropped by two Syrian helicopters.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

You can support the work of Bellingcat by donating through the following link:

TRUST IN JOURNALISM - IMPRESS