TVN24 deceives the public on the Smolensk Investigation
Published April 17, 2017
On April 7, 2017, Chairman of the Polish National Broadcasting Council ordered that TVN24, a nationwide news network owned by TVN, exercise due care and diligence while reporting on the matters pertaining to the investigation of the crash of the Polish Air Force One in Smolensk, Russia. This order was issued pursuant to par. 10.4 of the Broadcasting Act of December 29, 1992 (“Broadcasting Act”) that may trigger the suspension of a broadcasting license.
The program "(Im) pure theories" shown on TVN24 in October 2016 represented a brutal and dangerous disinformation attack on the Parliamentary Committee and the current State Sub-commission for Re-Investigation of the Smolensk Crash (“Sub-commission”). The purpose of this disinformation operation is to discredit individual experts and the entire Sub-Commission in order to obstruct and frustrate the investigation of the Smolensk crash. The TV program contained premeditated manipulations and blatant lies and presented carefully fabricated material in a refined, professional manner in order to gain trust and convince the Polish public that the work of the Subcommittee is not trustworthy. This is a dangerous disinformation campaign with regard to the unprecedented crash of the Polish military airplane that killed the President of Poland and the Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces. The massive disinformation campaign on this subject conducted on a regular basis by TVN24 aims at turning the Polish public against any further efforts to investigate the Smolensk crash, thus negatively affects the ability of the Sub-commission to perform its duty.
In this process, TVN24 and its owner TVN controlled by US based Scripps Networks Interactive, violated the Broadcasting Act, which requires that the broadcaster provide reliable information to the public and prohibits broadcasts that promote activities harmful to the raison d'etat of the Polish State, attitudes and beliefs contrary to morality and social good. Also TVN24 violated the [Polish] Press Law of 26 January 1984, which imposes an obligation on the broadcaster to present truly and fairly discussed events.
The program "(Im)pure theories" contained blatant lies and manipulations committed intentionally and with premeditation. In particular, it is aimed at the destruction of credibility, scientific achievements, and the reputation of Prof. Binienda, who is a member of the Sub-commission and a respected scientist of international stature, American professor and chairman at the University of Akron, a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers awarded with ASCE Fellow recognition, and Editor-in-chief of an important international scientific magazine "Journal of Aerospace Engineering."
Below are some examples of techniques to manipulate and discredit the work of one of the experts of the Sub-commission used in the program presented in in the prime time on TVN24 in October 2016. They include, among others, false and manipulated facts, denying facts, and fake visual material. Its purpose is to lend extra credibility to a false fact or narrative.
At the outset of “(Im)pure theories" the speaker criticizes the exhumations of the victims of the Smolensk tragedy: "Opening the graves and the families ask: what for?" He then argues why exhumations are unnecessary: "The question is even more dramatic when it comes to light how Macierewicz’s experts challenge the official determination of the causes of the Smolensk Crash." Next, a brutal attack on the individual members of the Subcommittee begins with the following opening statement:
• 2:30 - 2:46 Setlak - "... you cannot understand how people with the titles of professors can say such nonsense ..."
• 2:46 - 3:00 Jaworski - "... you cannot do this unconsciously, it's not even manipulation, it is simply a fraud."
Everything that follows next is presented as exposing the "fraud" committed by these professors.
A person who is especially appallingly attacked in this program is Prof. Wieslaw Binienda. In the attack on him TVN24 committed forgery and disparaged him on unprecedented scale, unmatched by any other previous attacks. Acting with a sense of total impunity, the authors of this program first falsified selected fragments of his presentations and next accused him of forgery and fraud.
The attack on Prof. Binienda was conducted by various means, for example by confusing and distorting complex scientific concepts, manipulating and falsifying his simulations and explanations, presenting obviously incorrect translations from English, ridiculing his work, misrepresenting results of NASA research in order to discredit his results, etc. In order to understand the extent of deceit and size of these manipulations perpetrated by TVN reporters it is necessary to delve into the field of knowledge about the strength of materials. Clearly, the authors of this charade prey on the ignorance of the public unable to notice and understand their cunning manipulations.
In the attack on Prof. Binienda, fragments of the several presentations available on the Internet were used. Various fragments were compiled in such a way as to convince the public that Prof. Binienda conducted research in a dishonest and incompetent manner. For this purpose, TVN24 uses the following presentations of Prof. Binienda:
Discrediting under the catchphrase "Errors of Binienda"
Challenging Knowledge and Competence
TVN24 attempts to crush Prof. Binienda using the strategy of "Operation Binienda" from 2013 conducted under the slogan "Errors of Binienda." Between minutes: 4:25 - 5:30 the narrator shows a fragment of the presentation from 2013 UKSW Conference and comments: "... the joke is yet to come.” As we can see, Jaroslaw Kaczynski is watching a presentation by Professor Binienda." In the background, the viewer sees Prof. Binienda speaking at the UKSW  Conference. Then TVN shows a fragment of his presentation from the 2012 Conference.
Then, while showing a slide of one of the presentations posted on the University of Akron website, the narrator says: [President Kaczynski] "does not know that a simple mistake is hidden in there [the presentation]. One parameter "GHARD" equal zero, which has the effect as to if and how the airplane wing cuts the birch tree." As an alleged proof of this mistake, the camera shows a close-up portion of the instructions for the program LS Dyna Wood Material Model Mat143: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/04097/04097.pdf, where you can see information about the parameter Ghard = 0
So, TVN24 seeks to discredit Prof. Binienda by accusing him that he incorrectly used the parameter Ghard = 0, whereas it is not a mistake at all. To the contrary. This is the central and most important premise of the scientific method used by Prof. Binienda. The method adopted by him to analyze the impact of the wing hitting the birch tree involves the analysis of two extreme cases for the two extreme material models of a birch tree.
- The first analyzed model is "basic," which refers to a linear material model, or material with an elastic behavior, which represents the case of the smallest energy absorption. This model applies to dry wood.
- The second analyzed model is extremely non-linear - that is - of the plastic behavior, which represents the case of the largest energy absorption by the birch tree when in contact with the wing. This applies to a wet tree.
If the simulations in both these extreme cases show that the airplane wing cats through the birch tree, it means that all intermediate cases of energy absorption by the birch tree were taken into account, and it can be concluded with certainty that the wing cuts the birch tree in all cases falling between the two extremes. Both material models were presented with all their parameters and this method was well explained in the presentations of prof. Binienda used by TVN as a source material. TVN ignored these explanations hoping probably that the viewer would not reach to the entire original presentation.
For the extremely nonlinear model, which consumes the most energy, Ghard parameter must be zero. This is explained precisely on page 29 of the Instruction to LS Dyna Program: "A value of zero for Ghard will produce perfectly plastic behavior. The default value is zero." The Polish translation of this quote follows here..…
Thus for Ghard = 0, the behavior of the material is the most non-linear, which means that when using the same force (stress) the greatest deformation (strain) is obtained. And because the impact force multiplied by the amount of strain gives the work of the airplane needed to cut the tree, it means that it is the most difficult to cut the [tree] material with the nonlinear parameter Ghard = 0. This is due to the following formula for unit volume of the tree material:
Work W = ∫ σdε
So, the work needed to cut the tree is represented by the area under the stress strain curve, mathematically calculated by using the above integral. In contrast to prof. Binienda, who presented the research method, the adopted parameters, and the results obtained, [his] critics in no way show how the assumptions they make (eg. Ghard different from zero) would lead to different conclusions.
The authors not only do not explain that the rupture of the material corresponds to the "toughness," which is the energy required to break the molecular structure of the material, which is represented by the area under the curve of stress and strain. The greater the deformation (strain), the greater the area under the curve, other words a more energy absorbing material before rupture. Thus, although from a scientific point of view it is clear that the inelastic material model is stronger, TVN suggests that the opposite is true.
Discrediting by ridiculing the work of Prof. Binienda:
Animation, Play-Doh, Noodles, Graphics
Similarly to the earlier attempts to discredit the notion that Tupolev’s hull was destroyed by explosion by ridiculing the analogy to bursting hotdogs, this time Mr. Setlak tries to ridicule the work of Prof. Binienda by comparing the behavior of a birch tree in the presented simulations to Play-Doh and noodles, and mocking scientific simulations as "animations", i.e. mere products of free imagination.
Mr. Setlak states: "After setting the parameter [Ghard], the wood behaves just like Play-Doh. We see it in these animations when the birch tree bends like noodles."
The use of the word "Play-Doh" and "noodles" in relation to the computer model of a birch tree with Ghard = 0 has to convince the public that the tree model used is weak, where in fact the opposite is true because the nonlinear tree model with the parameter Ghard = 0 absorbs the most energy in contact with the wing.
The simulation clearly shows that the tree bends, but its trunk is not flatten at the point of contact. This means that comparing the tree to Play-Doh in this simulation is unacceptable because the Play-Doh would flatten as a result of this blow while the tree in this simulation bends. Therefore, the analogy to the Play-Doh is inappropriate and deceives the viewer. The material used in the simulation does not behave like Play-Doh, since the diameter of the tree is not flattened as a result of the impact, in other words the trunk is not flattened like a pancake.
This simulation shows that the behavior of the given model of the birch tree is non-elastic (i.e. plastic), it means it causes large deformation when bending. In the event of impact, such material absorbs the most energy. Materials that are subject to large deformation such as low carbon steel or aluminum absorb the most energy during a collision. That is why they are used to build cars in order for the car body to absorb as much energy as possible during the accident, hence protect the passengers and the driver.
Thus, the more non-linear the tree model is the more energy [the tree] is able to absorb. So it is stronger. Such tree is more difficult to cut. But Mr. Setlak suggests to the viewers exactly the opposite conclusion. Because such an interpretation is contrary to the fundamental laws of physics it must be assumed that the authors of this program consciously and deliberately lie and mislead the audience in order to discredit Prof. Binienda.
The very use of the word 'animation' instead of computer simulation, which represents a virtual experiment that accurately reflect reality, is inappropriate and shows bad intentions and negative attitude of the authors of the program. Animations are cartoons made by a graphic designer or the artist to visualize desired imaginary picture, whereas simulations represent visualizations of the behavior of the material and structures precisely calculated by a sophisticated computer program based on input data. These calculations are made on the basis of scientific studies that precisely define the initial and boundary conditions and the material model behavior used. Mr. Setlak thus lies when calling computer simulations as animations, and debases their importance.
While showing a fragment of another simulation from 2012, the narrator says: "This image presented since 2011 supposed to prove that the birch tree had nothing to do with causing the crash," and soon thereafter we hear a voice Prof Binienda "in none of the cases under examination the birch tree breaks the wing." Thus, the research of Professor Binienda is here discredited as "this image" even though it is the scientifically calculated computer simulation.
Fraud in translation
In minutes 5:30 - 5:35 the narrator says: "while in the manual for LS-DYNA ..., used by prof. Binienda, the value of zero means complete elasticity," and the camera zooms at this moment at a definition of the parameter Ghard from page 69 of the LS Dyna manual, as shown below:
As shown in the above English text, the second to last sentence reads: "A zero-value models perfect plasticity (no increase in strength with increasing strain)." Although the used term here is clearly "perfect plasticity," in other words “total plasticity,” the authors of this reportage put on the screen the following (Polish) translation of this text: "the zero value means total elasticity," thereby wrongly translating plasticity as elasticity. In science of material behavior, the notions of plasticity and elasticity represent two opposite extreme concepts - the opposite behavior of the material. "Elastic" means a linear behavior while “plastic" means a non-linear or non-elastic behavior. By using such an obvious and ostentatious error in translating a simple text TVN intentionally and deliberately misleads the viewers. [The English words “plasticity” and “elasticity” are translated into Polish as “elastyczność” and “plastyczność.”]
Falsification by manipulating simulations
Minute 5:40. The authors show a simulation of an airplane wing hitting the tree that represents the non-linear material model Mat143, in other words the plastic model. Then the narrator says: "Interestingly, after the impact on other materials the Play-Doh tree returns to the vertical position." At this moment, the camera jumps from this simulation to the end of another simulation with the linear material, which is elastic, in other words no longer the "Play-Doh tree." But the narrator continues that "the Play-Doh tree returns to the vertical position," in other words he talks as if it was the same simulation, thus suggesting this way that we watch still the same (plastic model) simulation. Even though for a moment titles of the two different simulations are visible on the screen - that is the first simulation using a non-linear (plastic) model and the second simulation using the basic linear elastic model - not plastic – with the title: "Models for Basic Materials", the authors comment as if this was one and the same simulation. The camera quickly zooms on the trunk to hide the title, which disappears from the screen. The effect is ominous. The camera turns at smiling Prof. Binienda, sending the viewers a message that he is happy albeit wrong. In the background his voice is heard: "... the ultimate effect is the same." This is how TVN presents Prof. Binienda as a fool and fraud.
Fragments of two different simulations, which demonstrate the behavior of two different material models of a trees, TVN combines and presents as one simulation. Prof. Binienda presents them separately under two different titles, as shown above. TVN, however, suggests that this is one simulation, which serves as a proof of the errors committed by Prof. Binienda. It is a reprehensible falsification, outrageous lie, and a deliberate effort to harm Prof. Binienda.
TVN does not show that on the previous slides of the same presentation two contrasting models of tree material behavior were explained, and all their parameters were shown. TVN does not show that for the aluminum material also two contrasting models were analyzed and all the parameters used were shown. TVN does not explain that in previous slides presented by Prof. Binienda the parametric method of research is fully explained. This method is widely used in scientific research throughout the world. This method requires that two extreme models (eg. linear and non-linear) with extreme initial conditions are thoroughly analyzed. If each extreme model under the same initial and boundary conditions produces the same result it means that all models within the ranges studied must produce the same final results. In this case, both results generated a negative answer to the question whether a birch tree could cut the wing.
More specifically, for both models of the birch tree, that is for 1) linear elastic model named in the presentation as the basic model, and for 2) a non-linear, plastic, or Mat143 model with parameter Ghard = 0 that gives the maximum nonlinear effect named in the manual as plastic and called by TVN as "the Play-Doh tree", the effect is always the same: the wing cuts through the birch tree for all the density of mesh elements used, for all the angles of attack of the aircraft, and for extreme material models linear and non-linear. So it means that the material of the Smolensk birch must be within the examined range, hence it will produce the same result. This conclusion, made by Prof. Binienda as follows: "in none of the cases under examination, the birch tree cuts through the wing" is ridiculed by TVN.
The analysis presented by Prof Binienda is professional, interesting and convincing. However, the TVN narrator manipulates with the voice and choice of audio-visual combination, with the selection of facial expressions and gestures, in order to undermine the credibility of reliable scientific work, shown many times on international scientific conferences for experts in the field and published in the preeminent peered reviewed scientific journals.
Manipulations by omitting key information and explanations
6:00 – With the crash site in the background, TVN narrator says: "Another presentation of Binienda was to prove that the fuselage could not fall apart the way it happened in Smolensk in any other way but as a result of a bomb." Then, he shows a simulation of Prof. Binienda in which the middle part of the fuselage drops vertically at a speed of 9.8m / sec. This time TVN wants to draw the viewers’ attention to the title of the slide, whereas in previous passages either did not notice it or hid it. The narrator says: "Here you have to zoom in to small font at the bottom. Binienda drops the fuselage down and crushes it with a speed of almost 10 m / s. But he does not say that there was also 75m / s speed at which the aircraft was moving forward."
This computer simulation shows how a fuselage would behave when dropped vertically. Prof. Binienda explains that the purpose of this simulation beyond the illustration of the behavior of the portion of the fuselage was to validate the computer model of the structure of the fuselage, which can be correlated with a similar real experiment by NASA Langley, which is described in the publication A SURVEY OF RESEARCH PERFORMED AT NASA LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER'S IMPACT DYNAMICS RESEARCH FACILITY (page 7 FIGURE 11): http://bit.ly/2rkrUwj
On this point TVN hides the fact that in the next group of slides of the same presentation Prof. Binienda shows simulations of the entire aircraft striking the ground at the speed of 80m / s moving forward, at an angle of 10 degrees or 30 degrees, with the wheels down and up. TVN does not show either any simulations contained in the same presentation and made by the Sandia National Lab, which show the tearing of the fuselage by an explosive charge that gives the same effect as the one visible on crash site in Smolensk. This simulation can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2rkizVj
The next series of slides from the original presentation of Prof. Binienda that was hidden by TVN included the following: Slides 32 and 33 showing a vertical straight fall and a vertical fall with the rotation, Slide 34 shows simulations by Sandia National Lab of a portion of the fuselage subjected to an explosive charge Slide 35 shows destruction of the portion of the fuselage in Smolensk similar to the simulation results of Sandia National Lab, Slide 36 shows a simulation of the vertical drop of the fuselage after an explosion in the air. Slides 41-46 show the initial conditions for parametric simulation of the impact of the whole plane Tu154M into the ground with a speed of 80m / s and the results of this impact.
However, this publication, in particular the research results shown in Figure 14 below, clearly shows that the pilots can counter the loss of a portion of the wing with the aileron on the other wing, even if the loss is as big as 55% of one wing. The pilots would have to reduce the climbing angle to 2.5 degree. With the loss of 33% of the wing they may be climbing with an angle of 3.5 degrees.
9: 45 - Mr. Setlak misleads the viewers stating that "after losing such [1/3] part of the wing Tupolev could keep flying, could retain stability, but only at speeds above 650km / h." Such assertion is clearly contradicted by the Pan Am airplane accident from 1965, in which Boeing 707-321B, after losing 1/3 of the wing landed without any loss of life. Boeing 707 landed safely without 1/3 of the wing even though it had to slow down to come to a complete stop. While landing it did not fall over, which means it was a stable landing. The whole event was recorded by a passenger and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw2RW7xybmU
The cited NASA Publication and the Boeing 707 case clearly support the conclusions presented by Prof. Binienda and Dr. Berczyński and contradict hypotheses disseminated by Mr. Setlak on TVN24.
 To see the link, please use the link at the bottom of the slide.
Click on the thumbnails below to view screen dumps from the detectors used to examine the wreckage and seats from the Polish president's plane crash in Smolensk. An "X" denotes the presence of the detected explosive substance and its type. The underlined Polish word "Probka" or "probka" in the screen dump 1 and 2, means "Sample"
Why did they all fly on the same plane?
Synopsis: January 12, 2013, Toronto, Canada. The wife of the late Deputy-Minister of Culture Tomasz Merta: "What I am about to tell you now, are suspicions - and not even my own - but, rather the [suspicions of the] individuals in the inner-circles of the [Polish] military... I heard a statement that was made - but, I am not taking any responsibility for how credible, or not credible it is. [I heard that] had the generals and journalists' not been re-assigned to different aircraft, it wouldn't have been the Tupolev [Tu-154M], but rather the Casa [transport aircraft] that would have been taken out.
Because the Generals were no longer onboard the Casa, there was no reason for it to get airborne. And for this reason it was the Yak[-40] that flew off to Smolensk. This Casa [transport aircraft] was never examined in any way. It was not subject to any examination. Aside from a single note in the deposition given to the military, no one was interested why this aircraft didn't fly [to Smolensk]. Perhaps, this is someones crazy phantasy, but perhaps it isn't.
Some [Polish] military personnel had suggested, that it [the Casa] had to stay behind at the Okecie military [tarmack], so that the explosives could be removed from it - because they were no longer needed [...] I am only repeating what I was told."
"Disarming" Explosives ...
It is worth for us to retrace the entire process of "disarming" the case of explosive substances at the crash site. It all started with the publication of Cezary Gmyz in "Rzeczpospolita" on October 30, 2012, and information that the detectors, which were used by experts in Smolensk (in late September and October) showed traces of TNT and nitroglycerine.
As it turned out, the journalist was also reporting about the indication of Hexogen. The storm broke. The prosecution denied the publication, and ultimately, the editor-in-chief of "Rzeczpospolita," Cezary Gmyz and two other journalists lost their jobs. The entire editorial staff of one of Poland’s most popular weeklies, "Uważam Rze", was also silenced.
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