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1/ OPCW document entitled "Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at the Douna Incident", Draft for Internal Review, Expanded Rev[ision] 1, dated 27 Feb 2019 syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers… is astounding. Totally undermines US and UK government statements. Also OPCW report.
2/ chlorine cylinders were observed in two Douma locations. "An engineering assessment has been conducted, using all available information, to evaluate the possible means by which these two cylinders arrived at their respective locations as observed". Just what was required.
2/ at both locations, the engineers fairly stated the two competing hypotheses:
A) that cylinders dropped from aircraft (helicopters) creating crater in roof
B) that cylinders manually placed, craters pre-existing (false flag)
3/ at Location 2 (cylinder on balcony of building where bodies located), engineers found that observed impact event could not be reproduced even with drop heights as low as 500 m (much lower than actual helicopter operating heights).
4/ simulations showed that a cylinder puncturing a concrete roof with steel rebar (as observed) would be marked by steel rebar, but "no traces" of such interaction in the balcony cylinder
5/ engineers point out that "observed appearance of cylinder and rebar not consistent". Front of cylinder shows "no signs" of impact with concrete slab or cylinder, while observed rebar "does not indicate" that it slowed cylinder to stop.
6/ New York Times postulated a theory in which cylinder bounced off a corner of terrace wall. Engineers pointed out that observed deformation "not consistent" with this theory and that supposed "cushioning" effect of wire netting "negligible" relative to energy of cylinder
7/ Engineers reported that observed crater on balcony "more consistent" with that expected from mortar or rocket artillery round than falling cylinder, and that this explanation supported by similar craters on nearby buildings
8/ Engineers dismissed another element of New York Times theory in which criss-cross pattern on cylinder postulated to have occurred as scratches from cylinder penetrating mesh. They observed that pattern "inconsistent" with postulated near-vertical trajectory.
9/ Engineers also dismissed New York Times theory that "mangled remains" of "mild steel framework and fins" located on balcony had ever been fitted to cylinder or (somehow) stripped from cylinder during impact
10/ their assessment of Location 4 (the bedroom cylinder) was just as savage. They observed that it "was not possible to establish a set of circumstances" where post-deformation cylinder could fit through crater with valve intact and fins deformed as observed.
11/ they observed that corrosion of damaged areas shows that cylinder had "spent some post-damage time being exposed to the elements", dryly adding that it "would most likely not have degraded to such an extent ... inside the bedroom".
12/ they observed that observed deflection of the shower frame in the bedroom was "not consistent" with direction of required movement of cylinder from crater to the bed.
13/ the engineers resoundingly dismissed the facially implausible theory that the cylinder "bounced onto the bed" as being contradicted by observed features of the bedroom
14/ the FFM engineering sub-team said that the "dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft".
15/ FFM engineering sub-team stated that "alternative hypothesis", manually placing" of cylinders, produced "only plausible explanation for observations", rejecting theory that cylinders had been "delivered from aircraft"
16/ this document is absolutely devastating both to intel assessments by US and other governments and to the OPCW report published on March 1, 2019, raising serious questions about the integrity of each.
17/ here is link to blog post by Paul McKeigue, David Miller and Piers Robinson breaking this story: syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers…
18/ Bellingcat and UK propaganda IntegrityInitiative have laughable response. Higgins linked to Scott Lucas tweet
which (falsely) claims to "dissect" "new engineering document"
19/ Lucas (part of "Integrity" Initiative) wrote Facebook post facebook.com/EAWorldView/ph…
20/ Bellingcat ally Lucas confirmed "investigation undertaken by engineering sub-team of FFM, beginning with on-site inspections in April-May 2018, followed by a detailed engineering analysis" and that "report of this investigation was excluded from the published Final Report"
21/ remarkably, the chronology of events in OPCW report did NOT cite this original work by engineering sub-team of FFM, instead citing only the much later (Oct-Dec) work commissioned from "unidentified 'engineering experts'"
22/ Bellingcat ally Lucas observed that Ian Henderson, a named assessor in report, is identified as "OPCW Inspection Team Leader" in Feb 2018 OPCW Scientific Advisory Board report opcw.org/sites/default/…
23/ to give an idea of Lucas' sloppiness, he says that Henderson stated that "'the alternative hypothesis' provides the only explanation for both cylinders", but that Henderson did "not delineate that hypothesis"
24/ however, a few pages earlier in relatively short document, Henderson clearly set out "alternative hypothesis" L2-2 for Location 2 (balcony) and L4-3 for Location 4 (bedroom) - that persons placed the cylinders manually.
25/ against many inconsistencies in Henderson report, Lucas offered single "explanation": that, per OPCW report, balcony cylinder first hit roof decreasing speed, so that it "hit concrete floor of balcony causing a hole in it, but without sufficient energy to fall through it".
26/ more on this after dinner
27/ Lucas falsely reduced the many FFM engineering sub-team issues to a single Location 2 issue: that "deformation of part of cylinder but not of rest is not consistent with an “intermediate impact”", also falsely claiming that sub-team failed to "refer" to roof damage.
28/ Lucas claims that "apparently", this argument was "rejected by the OPCW Fact Finding Mission before Henderson submitted his assessment, or in the 48 hours before publication of the final report."
29/ in reply to Lucas' skimpy argument, first an obvious point. Engineering Sub-team presented contradictions at two locations: Location 2 (balcony) and Location 4 (bedroom). Lucas totally ignored the Sub-Team's devastating critique of implausible bedroom scene. Zero discussion
30/ before turning to Lucas' single point, take note of huge contrast between Engineering Sub-Team (Feb 27) and OPCW Report (Mar 1) on whether balcony crater could be due to incoming mortar fire (explosive).
31/ Sub-Team stated that appearance of balcony crater "more consistent" with "mortar or rocket artillery round" (explosive) than "impact from falling object". They gave multiple reasons: deformed rebar splayed out and concrete spalling underside of crater (no photo in report);
32/ Sub-Team observed that mortar explanation supported by "more than one crater of very similar appearance in concrete slabs on top of nearby buildings". An example of such "very similar" crater is shown in OPCW Report Figure A.6.3; balcony crater also shown to compare.
33/ Sub-Team: also supporting mortar/rocket artillery attribution was "fragmentation pattern on upper walls" (while noting unusually elevated), concrete spalling and "black scorching" (also noting fire in corner of room)
34/ despite Engineering Sub-Team finding that crater "more consistent" with mortar/artillery, OPCW report stated that FFM "analysed the damage" and found that "this hypothesis is unlikely" "given the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristic of an explosion"
35/ so, on Feb 27, OPCW Engineering Sub-Team said "fragmentation pattern on upper walls" supported likely attribution of crater to mortar/artillery. On Mar 1, OPCW Report stated opposite: that attribution to mortar unlikely because of "absence of fragmentation". Who to believe?
36/ Engineering Sub-Team cited "black scorching" underside of crater as support for attribution to mortar/artillry, while also noting post-crater fire in room. Skeptics earlier cited fire as evidence that crater long preceded Apr 7. OPCW weakly said that fire to "detoxify".
37/ seems odd that White Helmets would set a fire in this upstairs room on April 8 when so many dead bodies being removed from house. On April 9 afternoon, Russians inspected.
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