The 'vapor trail' photo surfaced on social media in the immediate aftermath of the crash on July 17 last year, having been taken by an anonymous photographer. The image gained traction in a range of media outlets, which cited it as evidence that the plane was shot down by a BUK missile launcher, being operated by pro-independence rebels in the east of Ukraine.
Van der Werff, who traveled to the building in Donbass from which the image was allegedly taken, wrote the results of his investigations in a blog post on Wednesday. According to the blogger, who took footage of the roof from which the anonymous photographer claimed to have taken the picture, the image is fraudulent, since the view from the roof does not match that of the photo.
Van der Werff's conclusions also correspond with other doubts over the veracity of the photos, raised because of the relatively clear weather conditions shown on the photo do not match those reported on the day of the crash, which was overcast.