Christoph Koettl Profile picture
@nytimes Visual Investigations journalist, with a weakness for satellite images. Austrian in NYC.
Adam Smithee Profile picture Magdi Shalash Profile picture Eduardo Iturrate Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
Dec 22, 2022 16 tweets 10 min read
The videos that came out of Bucha in April are impossible to forget: Dozens of bodies, some with their arms bound behind their backs, strewn along a single street. We set out to uncover who did it: Russia’s 234th Air Assault Regiment This Visual Investigation uses thousands of hours of exclusive videos, phone records, interviews and documents to unmask the Russian unit behind a massacre in Bucha.
Sep 10, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
We obtained exclusive footage to identify the last movements of Zemari Ahmadi, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in #Kabul. Running office errands & loading canisters of water into his car, the military might have misinterpreted his actions.… The strike killed the 43-year-old Ahmadi, who worked for a U.S. based organization, and 9 of his family members. The military knew little about him, incl. where he worked or lived. They followed his white Toyota because they claimed he went to an ISIS safehouse that morning.
Jul 7, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
New analysis published by @janesintel with @stanfordcisac powerfully shows some of the future possibilities of satellite imagery analysis: intra-minute collection by @BlackSky_Inc shows a vehicle in motion at the #Natanz Uranium Enrichment Complex. h/t @puccioni1 #Iran The vehicle is moving back and forth over the same area, suggesting it is possibly hardening the road in preparation for heavier vehicles or the transport of sensitive equipment, according to the analysis.
Jun 28, 2021 9 tweets 5 min read
Where are the graves of Louisiana’s enslaved people? Our latest story combines historical maps, aerial photos & contemporary satellite images analyzed by @ForensicArchi with compelling field reporting to uncover hidden burial sites.… The maps allow us to go back in time. 19th century maps show cemeteries or other markings; aerial photos, starting in 1940, often show groves of trees in the same locations. Several of these landscape anomalies persist today, marking possible grave sites.
Mar 22, 2021 20 tweets 16 min read
A mysterious tanker. Oil transfers at sea. A retired sailor & a multinational oil trader. What do these four things have in common? They are part of the same convoluted web that helps explain one way #NorthKorea evades sanctions. w/ @RUSI_org & @C4ADS For our newest Visual Investigation, we spent months reviewing ship tracking data and corporate records, satellite imagery and interviewing some of the key players to find out how #NorthKorea sidesteps strict international sanctions.
Dec 9, 2020 8 tweets 5 min read
In our latest story, I break down some of the recent construction at the Natanz nuclear facility, #Iran. Using satellite images, we identify likely new tunnel entrances for an apparent new underground facility.… The article is a snapshot of ongoing developments in Natanz. Here are some of the things we can see as of early December. With analysis by @ArmsControlWonk & graphics by @arielle_designs
Sep 20, 2020 9 tweets 6 min read
The Almeda Drive fire left a path of destruction as it tore through an #Oregon valley. Using satellite images, videos and social media posts, our video reconstructs what happened.… The fire destroyed so many homes because it started in a well populated area, after a period of hot and dry weather. And the direction of the strong winds that day perfectly aligned with the valley, pushing it quickly through several towns.
Aug 7, 2020 7 tweets 5 min read
The cargo ship #Rhosus brought 2,750 bags of ammonium nitrate to the port of #Beirut in 2013. I tracked what happened next. The story ends with a massive explosion — and a hidden ship. 🛰️📷 @maxar… Here's the ship in 2014 at the docks. The captain is in front of ammonium nitrate bags, which match the ones in the warehouse that blew up. Photos from @DimaSadek also show the Georgian company Rustavi Azot, listed as the shipper in documents from 2013
Jun 25, 2020 11 tweets 8 min read
Our latest Visual Investigation reconstructs how @PhillyPolice violated its own use-of-force guidelines by using tear gas & pepper spray on a nonviolent group of protesters in #Philadelphia, some of whom were trapped on a highway. Watch what happened.… We went to the site, interviewed witnesses and analyzed dozens of videos. Many thanks to the witnesses Drew, Diamonik, Elias & Callan, who talked to us. Special thanks to Sunny Singh @hate5six — who filmed the whole episode — and to @rohinihaar for her analysis.
Aug 15, 2019 8 tweets 9 min read
This is a first look at the offshore platform in #Russia, which was likely involved in a nuclear explosion last Thursday. The incident is related to a suspected missile test. The platform is about 2.5 miles from the #Nenoksa missile test range. @Maxar The platform seems mobile & appears to have been moved into place before the explosion —not visible at that location in satellite imagery from July. A nuclear fuel carrier, the Serebryanka, was moved into place around the same time. Image & Data via @MarineTraffic
Dec 17, 2018 22 tweets 13 min read
#Nigeria’s military used a speech by Donald Trump to justify shooting at protesters in October. We investigated what happened and uncovered that an elite battalion fired machine guns into a crowd of unarmed marchers. The military @HQNigerianArmy made several questionable claims:

1. The marchers blocked traffic.
2. The marchers attacked a military checkpoint with weapons and rocks.
3. Only 3 people were killed.