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The Weird World of MH17 Conspiracy Theories

August 7, 2015

By Aric Toler

Just over a year after the anniversary of the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, a new trickle of conspiracy theories have emerged, including the use of an Israeli rocket launched from a Georgian aircraft downing MH17 and an undercover CIA agent working for the BBC plotting the plane’s downing. These new narratives are yet more entries in an ever-expanding corpus of outlandish theories to explain the tragedy, which have received varying levels of support from the Kremlin and its media outlets.

This is the first half of a two-part series that will attempt to catalogue all of these theories, from completely outlandish ideas that receive virtually no attention to elaborate theories touted by Russian state media. This half will document the more outlandish theories that have not received Russian support, though the second half will also have a few oddball ideas.


Israel assisted the Ukrainian shoot down of MH17 by using an F-15E plane out of Azerbaijan as an airborne radar system, allowing a Ukrainian SU-22 to target the passenger plane. Poroshenko was acting under the orders of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


In order to distract the world from its ongoing offensive against Gaza, Israel framed Russia for the downing of a civilian airliner.


“I’ll put my hand on my heart & say Putin had nothing to do with this. He had nothing to gain, everything to lose & there is NO evidence to even suggest he did such a thing! (…) Here’s what’s in my tank – there is zero question in my mind as to who was responsible for the downing of flight MH17 – BENJAMIN NETANYAHU!”


2 out of 5




The Illuminati/New World Order/Satan downed MH17 in a false flag attempt, with Russia, Ukraine, and all other major countries in the world complicit in the disaster.


In order to usher in World War III, the rise of the Antichrist, and the end of the world, Satan used his Illuminati reptilian puppets of Putin and Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk to commit a horrible tragedy.


“The MH17 false flag attack has been orchestrated by the illuminatis as a trigger for 2014 WW3 in order to open the reign of their master Satan: The New World Order.”


6 out of 66




MH17 never existed. No plane ever crashed. The West transported debris into a poultry farm in the village of Grabovo, spread it out, and said that a plane was shot down. There are no victims, and all of the relatives are lying crisis actors. Russia always knew that there was never an actual plane crash, but could not say this without coming across as heartless, so they put together a series of ineffective retorts to the West regarding SU-25 planes, a Ukrainian Buk, and so on. However, none of these worked, and Russia has been outmaneuvered in a grand conspiracy.


To humiliate Russia and isolate it from the West.


“They just trivially planted a stale corpse at the door of Russia and forced it to make roundabout excuses about how it didn’t kill anyone. And then they invited Russia to court. And now just try to prove that you didn’t kill anyone, when you have already acknowledged a corpse that doesn’t even exist!”


There is no rating low enough for the breathtaking amounts of insensitivity in this theory




Occult forces guided by the IMF and its head, Christine Lagarde, orchestrated the downing of MH17, as proven by the event’s connections to numerology. This allegation is irrefutable due to the repetition of the number 7 (MH-17, 7/17/2014, Boeing 777), an occult number that was discussed by Lagarde in a 2014 speech.


To gain a casus belli against Russia, the lone country that stands in the way of the New World Order and its economic hegemony over the world.


“It is my thesis that Lagarde is referring possibly to the “magic 7” event of the Malaysian Plane false flag, and that this may be a signifier of the coming international economic order and reorganized monetary reset, as well as war with Eurasia or Russia, primarily signified and fulfilled in the MH17 false flag fiasco.”


7 out of 7




The West framed Russia and its separatists for MH17 by repainting and planting the debris of a previously crashed plane in the fields of eastern Ukraine. This flight was likely British Airways Flight 38, which crashed outside of London Heathrow airport during a botched landing. MH17 disappeared (along with its 298 souls) and no one knows where it is now, if it ever even existed.


The United Kingdom (and only them) wanted to frame the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine of shooting down a civilian airliner.


“The MI-6 and British government are preparing a justification for a situation in which parts of other aircrafts are found in the remains of MH17, and accordingly, it turns out that no one ever shot down MH17 and to this day its location is unknown.”


0 planes out of 5




Ukraine and its Western, Modi-hating backers shot down MH17, thinking down the flight was actually the plane carrying Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Frankfurt.


In order to prevent the rise of India and its independence from Western institutions, Ukraine and its western allies shoot down Modi’s plane in order to further entrench themselves into the Indian economy. Unfortunately for them, Modi’s plane narrowly missed the time frame in which MH17 was targeted and shot down.


“If it was mistakenly brought down, it is important for those who are interested in the truth to investigate those who have opposed Modi for more than 12 years. Since late 2001, many international forces have carried out a sustained campaign against Modi and have used their favorite method of using human rights organizations to fling mud at him and have even accused him of human rights violations.”


I out of BRICS




The Illuminati shot down MH17 in order to kill AIDS researchers


The global elite, who have a vested interest in the continued growth of the pharmaceutical industries and the depopulation of the planet, shot down MH17 in order to prevent a cure for AIDS to surface. The conspiracy theorist is “just asking” the question if the actual cure for AIDS was on board MH17, giving a motive to the shadowy global conspirators to shoot down the plane.


“If we take all of these ‘clues’ into consideration would it be safe to assume that the scientist on board MH17 were about to present breakthrough research which could have resulted in the AIDS cure? Could these men have been ‘taken out’ by the global elitists in order to protect their highly-profitable AIDS industry, which generates billions of dollars for government run pharmaceutical companies?”


3 Rothschilds out of 5




A Chinese crew shot down MH17 with an anti-air missile, and Putin knows about it, thus causing a supposed cool down in Sino-Russian relationship building. A Chinese crew used an HQ-16, a Chinese mid-range surface-to-air missile system. Oh, and China also shot down MH370 too, probably with an HQ-16 as well.




“This raises the intriguing possibility that MH-17 was actually shot down by the Chinese, as the Ukrainians would not have any crews trained on the HQ-16, whose instrumentation would probably be marked in Mandarin or Cantonese. There are not a lot of Chinese-speaking Ukrainians, in fact there are not a lot of Chinese restaurants in Kiev.”


HQ-16 out of SA-11



Aric Toler

Aric Toler started volunteering for Bellingcat in 2014 and has been on staff since 2015. He currently heads up Bellingcat's training efforts and its Eastern Europe/Eurasia research.

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  1. boggled

    Aric and all,
    I just noticed a thing that popped up on twitter, and if the statement is true, then it could dramatically change what is known about and what everyone’s analysis is about the MH17 ‘accident’.

    I know there could be mistakes by interns, problems with translation, English is not the easiest language to learn all the grammar for, etc. but this seems like it is a statement that needs clarification.

    The statement is – .@StateDept: We’ve been clear about our assessments. #MH17 was shot down by missiles fired from separatist-controlled territory in east Ukr.

    If it was based on what everyone is assuming, it should read –
    .@StateDept: We’ve been clear about our assessments. #MH17 was shot down by A MISSILE fired from separatist-controlled territory in east Ukr.

    The missiles part really strange thing to see, no one before has suggested more then one missile was fired.
    Does this mean they detected two or more launches at MH17?
    Suggesting an intentional targeting?
    Does it suggest 2 were launched at different targets?
    I am not sure.

    I think someone who could get a response from them, like you or some other media organization should ask for clarity on this because I think it is that important for what is known.
    I doubt if they would answer me or someone without some kind of ‘VIP’ status, so I ask point it out here and ask you.
    It would certainly change a lot of what is known if it is true.
    I do not think it is, but if it is, OMG.

    Fare thee well

    • Aric Toler

      I think it was just a typo, though it is worth noting that often, Buk systems fire two missiles. From what I’ve been told, this is done most often when firing from the side rather than head-on, as it’s easier to hit head-on than otherwise.

      • boggled

        Yeah, I think it is a typo, but if it isn’t….
        Clarity should be asked, or retraction and reissued correctly, I think.
        If an official body says missiles, it is not like you and I discussing it, it is somewhat of an official record.

        I heard also two missiles are generally used in combat situations against fast flying combat aircraft and missile interception.
        The first I guess is because of ECM and other countermeasures and high speed maneuverability.
        But not against naval targets or helicopters.
        If I remember right, someone mentioned that is from their training procedures in the manual.

        Fare thee well

      • boggled

        Found out what it was, and yes it was a typo in the transcript.
        The spokesperson for the State Depart in a briefing on August 11, 2015 said ‘A’ missile.
        The reporter who asked him asked a leading question that stated Russian fragments from Russian surface to air missiles – in connection with the Dutch and JIT press release.

        The press release never said Russian fragments or Russian surface to air missiles.
        I think the reporter should be fired for asking a leading question with so many fallacies in it.
        The State Department spokesman should have also corrected her, in my opinion.
        But to be honest, it looks like the briefing only had a couple questions regarding Ukraine in the transcript and hour long press briefing.

        Fare thee well

    • boggled

      So many strange connections.
      The mob boss in Israel that had connections to Alexander Litvinenko, and his security expert, makes some more fantastic theories.
      He is identified in this article –

      One who initially said it was a natural death, then later changed his tune to it was a CIA plot.
      The crazy lives of organized criminals and those who investigate them.
      My guess is this security agent killed Boris, slowly erasing connections to vova in relation to Litvinenko.

      Interesting addition to the conspiracy theories, Thanks for increasing my knowledge.

      Fare thee well

    • TTB

      Look, I get it that this clown is just some jumped up security guard and speaks for no-one in Russia and this appears cooked up for a certain tabloid reading clique -but these little stories do help illustrate a certain mindset and a lack of analytical cop-on.

      One little quip demonstrated he’s not up to speed with what information is widely known and it catches him in a lie. (I know, I know the whole silly story is a lie but humour me a sec)

      Article reads: “He alleged that one part of a sophisticated explosive device was planted under the control panel in the cockpit. The other was with luggage on the left side of the aircraft. ”

      Much of that ‘control panel’ was found blasted and/or crushed downward into the nose wheel hub. Some feat if an explosive device had been placed underneath it.

      • boggled

        That is the mindset of a lot in the Security business I think.
        Even Billary, did you see the IG said she had top secret non foreigners clssified info on her server?
        Live by a lie, eventually one of those will get exposed and your whole house of cards falls down.

        They tell so many lies they hope people do not go thoroughly through what they said.
        Then they forget which lie they told and tell a new lie to cover the old one.
        Politicians and crooks, cut from the same mold a lot of times.
        Don’t get me wrong, I understand that to catch a crook sometimes you have to portray yourself as a crook, but it really is outrageous the media lies mostly Kremlin sponsored media that is broadcast in other nations can get away with.
        This whole time, I would have been fining them for each false story until third strike your out comes into effect.
        Ban them for 2 years for their falsified stories, is my opinion.
        But then that would go also for some of the conspiracy sites like DemocracyNow and others also.
        The courts should be full of cases holding media and journalists to task, both in MSM and other media outlets.
        This idiotic stuff needs to stop, media, politicians, and others.
        Time for the FCC and others like regulating boards of other nations need to start pulling national inquirers out of service.
        Sorry Larry Flynt, there is a limit to Freedom of Speech in my book.
        And time of reckoning for people like Billary.

        Fare thee well

  2. boggled

    I will see you and raise you a possible ICBM Laser interception test by the the USA gone bad and an intentional DEW Laser targeting theory.

    This article alleges that on the Germanwings flight that crashed, but makes allegations about connections to MH17.

    And this one suggests Laser also for MH17 –

    Not as out there as Aric’s fine work, but WOW, laser cannons!

    Fare thee well

  3. beeco

    ah, Peter, seems I have been to early with my appraisal of decent… because slandering countries in the way you do is not nice at all but provocative and ment to be. Did I do something similar with NZ no I did not. And well one last word in Hiroshima: you are on full scale compliance with the official and immoral legend of the US about Hiroshima, do me a favor and think again. This many CIVILIANS would not have been lost when the US would have invaded Japan besides Japan already was down on its knees and negotiating surrender before the A-bomb was used. So talking about saving of lives when taking them is just the epitome of hypocrisy!
    On this note outta here for real.

    • peter

      Beeco sincere apologies if I offended you. My point was that all countries have done some dastardly things at times, sometimes through short sightedness, sometimes with the best of motives. And yes, even the neutral countries who so many hold Ut as many morally superior.

      • beeco

        accepted, Peter, and I know there are times when discussion gets out of hand, and yes I know most every country has done something dastardly, but: The sheer scale of perfidy which sums up for the US is incomparable to all others. I have been on good terms with the US for a long time of my life, but 9/11, patriot act, calling everything terrorism which does not fit their system, the so obvious lies when making up the reasons for a war in Irak, sacrificing their own soldiers and a lot of others and the civilians on the ground under false pretenses, just for political and resource gain made me look closer on what I thought to be a good and well meaning country. And what I found out than, got confirmed by my personal contacts and experienced up until today made me think very different. And there is no going back to the blue pill of oblivion for me…

        • boggled

          beeco, your belief that they label everything very easily terrorism is a joke and disrespects all those who lost their lives at Fort Hood in 2009.
          To me it is a clear case of terrorism.
          The government of the USA doesn’t think so.
          They do not throw that name around haphazardly or use extreme force without justification.

          As far as resource gain, you should look up who got the contracts in Iraq, or as you spell it Irak,.
          Know who got most all of those contracts? China.
          Yup, it is true.
          What was their part in the Iraq wars if anything?
          You really need to stop reading Hamas and ISIL web material and believing it.
          It rots your brain and does not conform with reality.
          Every one of your points are terrorist related propaganda talking points that are from an alternative universe to actual facts that are easily searchable, even in other ‘neutral’ countries such as China India or New Zealand.

          Your statements fit this article very well, because you cover almost all the terrorist propaganda talking points that are regularly PROVEN false.
          You just refuse to accept reality, and for that I am sorry and have pity for you.

          Fare thee well

        • Geo

          “but 9/11… so obvious lies… made me look closer…”

          You talk like parents of the bully, who say that their kid is innocent, and blame a child beaten by the bully and his parents for “outrageous lies”.

          You compare Russia and US, really? Is US waging a secret war, annexing territories of other countries, supplying weapons of mass murder and denying this fact from happening?

          You are trying to compare a policemen (US) with criminals (Russia), saying that if the policemen inadvertently, accidentally, or even willingly (yes, there are corrupt cops!) kills innocent bystanders, then the whole system is broken, and it justifies criminals to commit gruesome mass murders. Great logic! Did you learn it in Moscow school?

          • Brian

            1: “You talk like parents of the bully, who say that their kid is innocent, and blame a child beaten by the bully and his parents for “outrageous lies”.” Tick… USA very much the bully.

            2: “You compare Russia and US, really? Is US waging a secret war, annexing territories of other countries, supplying weapons of mass murder and denying this fact from happening?” Tick… Turkey has revealed US Secret bases in Syria. Known to be training ISIS.

            “You are trying to compare a policemen (US) with criminals (Russia), saying that if the policemen inadvertently, accidentally, or even willingly (yes, there are corrupt cops!) kills innocent bystanders, then the whole system is broken, and it justifies criminals to commit gruesome mass murders. Great logic! Did you learn it in Moscow school?” Tick… The entire USA Government are a criminal gang, makes Russia look like a bunch of boy scouts in comparison.

            Oh yeah. Seems that MH370 was repurposed somewhere along the way, replacing MH17 and all the bloated and naked bodies preserved with formaldehyde were scattered almost on top of each other. Bloated bodies with black lips. No one ever seen like that at any other airplane crash site! Around 5000 cadaver and showing wreckage, photo’s exist. The Dutch didn’t get on the scene for 3 days. The Russians have all the evidence. When are they going to play their “Trump Card”, that is the question? Majority of PAX were Asian, according to Donbass locals were Asians.

            Question remains… Where is the real MH17? Diego Garcia?

  4. Mad Dog

    beeco, you really need to get your facts straight. If you think the assessment of probable civilian deaths is wrong, then just take look at the numbers for Okinawa. They were greater than either of the A-bombs. You show little knowledge about that situation but allied assessments of casualties were probably pretty accurate. Also, take a look at what the Japanes had waiting for any landing and don’t forget the legions of school children trained to sacrafice themselves.

  5. Andy Popov

    Dear friends!! Can somebody of You give here any reasonable explanation – WHY UKRAINE was shelling two months the crash area of MH-17 preventing collection of facts and clues – if Ukrainian government was innocent???
    After the year of investigation there is not even one witness dweller of Ukraine who had seen the launch of the Buk missile. And there are hundreds of people who had seen the military jet near Malaysian Boeing MH-17 before the crash.
    Also I had looked several fresh video from Youtube about how burning Boeing fell. There is no even the hint on the rocket “Buk” trail. Correspondent BBC Olga Ivshina arrived into the crash area next day and she took several interview with witnesses who had seen the military jet near the passenger Boeing before the catastrophe.

    • Geo

      You are not paid enough, my friend. You are so full of lies that one only wonders if you are a simple victim of watching Russian TV, or a person writing those fake scripts?

      >>WHY UKRAINE was shelling two months the crash area

      Not true. It was Russian invasion force that was shelling the area. Proof: analysis of the direction and impact craters.

      >>not even one witness dweller of Ukraine who had seen the launch of the Buk missile

      Not true. Not only there are witnesses, and the pictures taken of the BUK missile trail, – the crew that operated the system has been identified by name.

      >>there are hundreds of people who had seen the military jet near Malaysian Boeing MH-17 before the crash

      Oh, yes, except it was a Ukrainian-Bandero-Martian saucer with “Right Sector” emblem on it, and they did not only shoot the plain but also played Ukrainian anthem, making the engines explode.

      I suggest you go watch more of “Domask Nash, Syria iskonno Russkaya zemlya” on Russian TV. Nothing here will ever be a proof for you.

  6. niels bosman

    Where can i find the American Satellite data, data from 2 awacs and information about operation Seabreeze? or Operation Gladio or operation Ajax?

  7. Dan

    Aric, it baffles me that you and/or your team, still continues to avoid one of the strongest theories of cause of incident besides the BUK theory of that which you and your team support.

    The SU-25 air to air assault on MH17.

    Why exclude this strongly supported and widely believed theory ?

    There is absolutely no mention of a F-15E nor of an SU-22 in any conspiracy theory online in any forum besides that which is being discussed abroad of the local Ukrainian eyewitness accounts of the SU-25 attacking MH17.

    It would of been less obvious, to simply include this on your website.

  8. Tristan

    With all due respect, you seem to be missing out on one possibility slightly less crazy than some of the conspiracy theories that are going round.

    I’m not saying this is what happened, but if we adhere to what seem like a set of basic principals in truth finding under these circumstances, I believe it’s worth debunking.

    Ukraine is part of the JIT and as such has veto rights over publications. This is what bothers me most. Although I personally believe it were in fact rebels who were responsible, I can’t help but feel that Ukraine is in fact just as much a suspect as are the rebels or Russian troops in Ukraine, and therefore their contribution in the JIT makes the JIT appear less than ideally suited to investigate this case, although I also understand that there is no other option at present.

    It is not unthinkable that (rogue) elements within Ukraine were responsible for the downing of MH17. Motive wise, it would make sense in a twisted way, although it would be a very risky course of action of course. But we can’t deny that there is a certain Ukrainian element within this conflict that follows it’s own rules (I assume people know this, if not, I will gladly elaborate).

    How are we to know that Ukraine would not cover up such fact if it were true?

    Call me suspicious, but my distrust is based on the following facts:

    1. The public has been lied to before. These are politically very sensitive situations and we all know that distortions of the truth happen in these circumstances. This goes for all parties involved.

    2. Ukraine is part of the JIT and hosts much of the research. In the context of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, one cannot deny the fact that this is a less than ideal situation when trying to conduct a transparent investigation.

    3. The public discourse and at least part of the investigation seems to focus very much on Russia. There is certainly reason to investigate their possible role in the case of course, but it seems to me that the other suspect, Ukraine, is getting a lot less attention.

    4. Seeing how the EU brokered deal with Yanukovic was ultimately not respected, turning the Maidan revolution into a de facto coup d’etat that was immediately recognized by the US (and many in it’s footsteps – compare to the Turkish coup if you will, especially the reactions to it), I cannot help but wonder why so little attention is being given to mister John Kerry’s claims of conclusive evidence shortly after the downing of MH17. Should conclusive evidence not be our main concern?

    5. And isn’t it odd that US officials afterwards point to YouTube video’s rather than their own conclusive evidence? Even more strange, isn’t it odd that the US, holding that conclusive evidence, officially states it does not know who the perpetrators are? Has Bellingcat enquired about the American evidence?

    Adding these things up, like I said, I see another possible (but admittedly somewhat fetched) explanation. Why am I watching YouTube videos when there is conclusive evidence? As far as I know, the official US standpoint is that their conclusive evidence was not deemed necessary for the investigation.

    Am I missing something?

    I think straightening some of these things out would go a long way in stifling some of the tiring conspiracy theories out there.

    I personally have no interests in any outcome of the investigation, but I feel it is of the utmost importance that we end up with a result that is clear and conclusive, so the the perpetrators may be caught and the relatives of the victims may find some closure. It remains a horrid history with potentially grave implications well beyond the tragedy of the crash itself.

    Thanks in advance for any replies and best of luck with your research.


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