Milkin’ it: Another bomb expert thinks Reuters van was hit by 70mm rocket (Update: IDF vet disputes) (Update: CY disputes)

posted at 11:33 am on August 30, 2006 by Allahpundit

I just set him up with a comment account, so maybe he’ll elaborate below. But here’s what he e-mailed me last night:

NPP and I are saying the exact same thing. While it’s not certain that it was a 2.75″ rocket, all the evidence points to it. It’s a matter of knowing what load-outs the IDF helicopters carry. During my EOD career, I did literally hundreds of post blast investigations. I’d bet beer that it was a 2.75″ hit.

“NPP” is the guy who first suggested it was a 70mm (a.k.a. 2.75″) rocket; you can read his original e-mail to me here. He’s been debating with a few other readers down in the comments to that post as well. Highlights:

I didn’t make it clear in my email to Allah, but the rocket itself certainly did not penetrate the vehicle before exploding. It detonated at, or just above the roof. The ‘crater’ seen in the pictures with torn metal is consistent with blast damage pushing the metal down and tearing it. In other words, the “crater” was caused by the blast, not the impact of the rocket itself. If the weapon had penetrated the roof and exploded, everyone inside would probably be dead and the hole would be blown outwards, not inwards. Another indicator (that I should have noticed earlier) that the weapon had to have detonated at or just above the roof is the lack of much, if any, frag damage on the hood of the vehicle…

This vehicle appears to be a level 6 armored Land Rover Defender… Level 6 protection means that a lot of ballistic steel is used instead of Kevlar blankets, so the roof is not thin sheet metal.

Finally, I don’t understand why people are disputing the rust thing. It’s obvious from the pictures the vehicle rusted rather quickly, and a quick google search would tell them why. I completely agree that the Lebanese ambulances were a complete fraud, but this rust conspiracy is getting out of hand.

Indeed it is. Another commenter, “Egfrow,” found this photo of the van taken shortly after the attack. What’s missing?

norust.jpg

As for why there are no scorch marks on the roof, NPP again:

As for the fireball, there isn’t much of one. I’ve seen a couple of these (not from real close, admittedly), and I don’t remember a fireball at all. One of the EOD guys could give you a definitive answer, but I believe that comp b (the explosive in these rockets) isn’t going to burn any paint that isn’t blasted off – IOW, most of the explosive energy is blast energy, not heat energy.

The leading alternate theory is that it was shrapnel. And yes, that’s an important distinction, although not as important as some might think. If a rocket hit the van, it proves that the IAF was aiming at it. If it was shrapnel, it suggests that they were aiming at something else, which would put the kibosh on hysterical claims that Israel is targeting the media. On the other hand, NPP insists that it’s impossible to see the markings on a vehicle like this from overhead at night, so even if you accept the rocket theory, it still doesn’t prove Israel was gunning for the press. Although that won’t stop Reuters from insinuating it in the breathless lede to their article about this incident.

Update: Just received this from someone claiming to be a veteran of the Israeli army. I’m going to e-mail NPP and the other guy who thought it was a 70mm rocket and see what they say.

I can’t remember at any time seeing an Apache taking off with more than hellfires and two gas tanks on the wings. Never seen the hydra going up to a mission on Aza. The Hydra (the rockets in question) are almost never launched single, or in pairs, but in salvos – at least that has been my experience. Also, they have a very large dispersion area – they’re not precise at all. They’re more of a saturation weapon.

Considering the IAF’s worry about collateral damage, and the nature of the attack and the damage itself, I’d be surprised if the hydra had been used in that particular setting, unless the van was located near a target that demanded the amount of fire over an area that it can provide…

You may be able to find pictures of IAF Cobras carrying rockets, but those, if I am not mistaken, are of the Zuni variety, smaller than the Hydra. But, the Cobras are not used for night attacks in the IAF, to the best of my knowledge…

The sensors used by the missiles prior to firing can’t really see writings on a van (unless they’re the kind that gives off IF radiation. These are sometimes used for IFF purposes). But the night-vision googles can, on normal conditions. And I know for a fact that the amount of “should I, shouldn’t I” questioning that comes before a pickle by a pilot would put any good iddishe momma to shame, for the number of concurring factors that have to be “in line” in order to enable a firing.

Unless it is a “special occasion”, the final command that releases the helicopter for firing is given to the regional commander, who is in contact with “eyes on the ground” most of the times. These are troops with very potent optical and night vision equipment, who have immediate access to the area to be attacked. All these officers have been almost indoctrinated to the power of the press and to the way bad press can come back and haunt the army and the coutnry. All IDF soldiers know they are, ultimatelly, representing the country in the eyes of an unforgiving and critic world opinion arena. So, again, I’d be very surprised if the firing order was given once the vehicle was identified, if it was.

Hellfire, or as it is known in the IDF, Kardum, would have transformed that little jeep into a smouldering pile of metal. The M variant, which was not in service during my time but might be now, in my humble opinion, would be a very poor choice of weapon for attacking in the Aza conditions. For starters, it is expensive. It is not “pinpoint” enough. It’s blast can’t be contained properly.

I don’t presume to discuss it at the level of the EOD experts (if at all, in deferrence to the sheer balls required by their work :) ), but for the fact that identification of targets is important in the IDF and that the damage done was, really, minimal, I’d say it was either a mis-representation of truth, or collateral damage. Btw, one of the experts said the climate in “South Lebanon”, having 70-80% humidity, would lend itself as the cause for the rust. Aza, of course, doesn’t have the same climate (they wish). But I really know nothing about that, I just didn’t see the location of the occurence corrected anywhere, probably my mistake. Also, the “bloody vest and clean undershirt” make me think…oh well.

Update: Confederate Yankee talked to some experts and they don’t think it was a 70mm rocket either. Although at least one of them seems to think, by virtue of the rust, that the hole wasn’t recently made — a conclusion the photo posted above disproves.


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Terrorism apologists of SJP spew lies at USC Daily Trojan;

Israeli actions in Lebanon clearly constitute crimes of war

Hezbollah is not a “terrorist organization that infiltrated throughout Lebanon beginning in 1982″ (“Don’t Fall for Hezbollah’s PR campaign,” Aug. 24), nor is it a “faction of terrorists bringing utter devastation” on Lebanon, as a more balanced piece published Monday insists (“U.S. media reports lost in the fog of war,” Aug. 28). Rather, it is a guerilla force that has been linked by commentators to certain terrorist actions in the past – these links remain a matter of debate – but has chiefly concentrated on resistance against legitimate military targets.

Recall

Terp Mole on August 30, 2006 at 12:08 PM

Finally, I don’t understand why people are disputing the rust thing. It’s obvious from the pictures the vehicle rusted rather quickly, and a quick google search would tell them why. I completely agree that the Lebanese ambulances were a complete fraud, but this rust conspiracy is getting out of hand.

If this is true, then I was definitely wrong on the rust. That rusting pattern sure doesn’t look new to me.

High Desert Wanderer on August 30, 2006 at 12:29 PM

I’m kinda repeating myself here, but I think the original post went under the radar.

I found all the unambiguous Israeli Apache pics I could on the internet (admittedly not a very large sample). They all have something in common. They are never shown with a 2.75 FFAR rocket pod. You can see from these that the common configuration seems to be two external fuel tanks and eight Hellfires.

This one looks like Apaches are on review.

Flying overhead and firing off a Hajj.

Another pic showing the “standard configuration”

I don’t mean to harp on this, but I just can’t believe they’re using FFARs in urban combat. FFARs are a wide area weapon—not intended for pin-point attacks, and inconsistent with a fighting force that warns everyone before it attacks.

Although laser guided 2.75″ rockets are in development, there’s no indication that there are any in use.

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 12:44 PM

jdpaz, I was having the same problem. NPP in one of the other threads says that they do indeed carry them on Apaces and Cobras, although if that’s all they do, I don’t see why. :-P

Pablo on August 30, 2006 at 1:07 PM

I know they carry them. I can go next-door to the flight test hangar and see them. Their purpose is to destroy buildings, massed troops, stuff that doesn’t require any degree of accuracy. If I was trying to destroy a small vehicle in an urban environment the last thing I’d use is a FFAR.

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 1:16 PM

I should change that first sentence to: I know they can carry them.

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 1:22 PM

Ahh yes, the mysterious rocket weapon that sprays lethal shrapnel in excess of 50 meters that… will barely scratch the paint and not even penetrate a thin sheet of metal on the roof of a civilian vehicle.

And I don’t think that is rust on the roof, I think it is dirt. The roof of the vehicle is generally dirty anyway, look at how the R in PRESS is obscured by the dirt.

Shrapnel does more than just scratch paint.

As for scorch marks, all explosives give off heat. Comp B is about 1/3 TNT and 2/3 RDX. The explosive force is caused by the explosive’s very rapid decomposition into gasses, which expand to fill a much larger volume, forming a shock wave. RDX explodes very quickly, something called brisance, which makes its shock wave (and shrapnel) more destructive.

If the rocket exploded close enough for the shock wave to make that hole, a much larger section of the roof would be dented/caved in, and the whole roof would be shredded by shrapnel.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 1:32 PM

Here is a picture of RDX being used in a demolition. As you can see, the explosion still does result in a fireball, and still does give off plenty of heat. The thing with RDX is, this explosion happens very quickly and will only look like a brief flash to the naked eye.

Picture:
http://www.physicsofdemolition.homestead.com/files/dyk32.jpg

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 1:35 PM

Somebody on the DU has to conduct an experiment with a Tonka truck and an Estes rocket.

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 1:39 PM

From NPP on the previous topic:

It’s always possible the palestinian just put a chunck of C-4 on the roof to make the hole.

lol, such a 1 track mind! ;)

There are many ways to make a hole without explosives. Although it doesnt really matter how the hole got there if it wasnt an Israeli missile, a vehicle rollover, something falling onto the roof, or simply a guy with a crowbar all make for far more likely explanations than the palestinians wasting precious suicide-bomber-vest explosives making little holes in beat up land rovers.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 1:42 PM

From the Washington Post article AP linked to on Sunday:

The current air force chief, Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, said in an interview that collateral damage had been decreasing from one civilian death per assassination in 2002 to one civilian death for every 25 terrorists killed in 2005. One reason was technology, Yaalon said. At first, Apache helicopters fired Hellfire antitank missiles, he said. Yaalon asked Rafael Armament Development Authority, a Defense Ministry affiliate, to manufacture smaller warheads.

“A person isn’t a tank,” said Avi Galor of Rafael, who supervises a team that is miniaturizing missiles. Rafael is developing “the Firefly,” a warhead the size of a soda bottle. Galor said, “We want to kill terrorists — and not little girls, and it’s on CNN, and you can’t explain it.”

I wonder if the Firefly isn’t further along in development than the Israelis are letting on.

Jobius on August 30, 2006 at 1:45 PM

The Hydra (the rockets in question) are almost never launched single, or in pairs, but in salvos – at least that has been my experience.

I don’t agree with that at all. It’s very common to fire them in single fire or salvo.

You may be able to find pictures of IAF Cobras carrying rockets, but those, if I am not mistaken, are of the Zuni variety, smaller than the Hydra. But, the Cobras are not used for night attacks in the IAF, to the best of my knowledge…

Zunis are 5″ rockets, nearly twice the size of 2.75″ rockets.

As was posted for me yesterday, I have been looking at every picture I can of the incident and nothing leads me to believe this was not caused by a 2.75″ HE rocket exploding 12 to 18 inches above the vehicle.

24 years in EOD with 15 years of post blast investigation experience.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 2:55 PM

Re: the updates; This is why I love the blogosphere!

Pablo on August 30, 2006 at 3:05 PM

And as for the rust issue, I don’t have the link at hand, but there are photos in which the area in question doesn’t appear to be rusted at all, just gray metal.

And for the record, now I’m entirely confused. :-)

Pablo on August 30, 2006 at 3:06 PM

Pablo

And as for the rust issue, I don’t have the link at hand, but there are photos in which the area in question doesn’t appear to be rusted at all, just gray metal.

Which is consistant with metal subjected to an explosion. The gray looking metal and the grayish residue on the roof are the remnants from a typical HE explosion.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 3:10 PM

The gray looking metal and the grayish residue on the roof are the remnants from a typical HE explosion.

Which would rule out the shrapnel theory.

Sarah D. on August 30, 2006 at 3:42 PM

Sarah D.

Which would rule out the shrapnel theory.

There is some fragmentation damage to the vehicle. But as I said before, it’s not uncommon for 2.75″ warheads to break in mostly large pieces.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 3:49 PM

I’ve been pursing an alternative theory based on an interesting article and forum thread. Both of those are largely in line with the WAPO article that Jobius linked and quoted in the comments above.

My original analysis, which Bomb Doctor agrees with, is that the damage is consistent with a 2.75 rocket. I originally picked the 2.75 for that reason – I didn’t see anything else in the Israeli inventory that would cause that damage.

However, after reading the above links and doing some more research, I’d like to put forward another theory: The van was hit by a new, unknown Israeli missile fired from a UAV or possibly a helicopter. A good candidate for such a weapon is a variant of the Rafael Spike/Gil anti-tank missile. I postulate that this variant has an HE warhead instead of the standard tandem HEAT warhead to improve lethality against personnel and soft vehicles. Info on the Spike/Gil can be found here (pdf) and here.

There is a lot of secrecy surround the Israeli armed UAV program. However, we know it exists from eyewitness reports that saw UAV’s firing missiles . In light of the articles linked above, it seems eminently reasonable to assume that such a missile exists.

The Spike/Gil is a good candidate for several reasons. First, it’s small – small enough to fit on Israeli UAV’s. The small size (the missile weighs about 25-50 pounds, depending on the variant) means a small warhead – similar in size and power to a 2.75 rocket. Second, this missile has several features that help reduce collateral damage, which is something the Israeli’s have tried and succeeded in doing (see the linked articles above). Third, the missile is very accurate and could hit the van from a longer distance than a 2.75 rocket could. Fourth, I think the point jdpaz made about using rockets in an urban environment is a good one. I don’t know just how urbanized the area was where the attack took place, but that is certainly a factor to consider.

To recap, the primary reason I picked the 2.75 is because its effects closely match the damage to the van. However, I think that a small missile with an HE warhead like the Spike could cause similar damage and has the added benefit (to the Israelis) of accuracy, precision and standoff range. Hopefully Bomb Doctor will give his assessment and agree or tell me I’m full of it.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 4:03 PM

24 years in EOD with 15 years of post blast investigation experience.

I see a lot of credential-waving and not a lot of common sense in a lot of these posts. The inherent problem with the internet is the inability to verify credentials. The focus should be on common sense. When an expert witness gets up in court, the expert does not say “my opinion is X, I have 30 years experience, so just trust me”. That is a bad, ineffective witness. The good experts do their best to explain why their conclusion is the right one in laymans terms. An observer should not have to merely trust you, because the fact is that I simply am not going to trust an “expert” and follow what he says if he wont give me an explanation of the basis for his opinion.

I am not targetting this at any one person in particular, certainly not at Bomb Doctor, I am just making a general observation about this debate. I am unconvinced by the various EOD experts, and not because I am being unreasonable. The idea that a blast/frag rocket exploded above the roof is, unlike the roof, full of holes.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 4:04 PM

Here are the various conclusions I have problems with from the NPP quote in the post:

The ‘crater’ seen in the pictures with torn metal is consistent with blast damage pushing the metal down and tearing it. In other words, the “crater” was caused by the blast, not the impact of the rocket itself.

I don’t buy it. Blast waves arent the size of a basketball, they are very wide (an expanding sphere), the damage should be distributed more widely. The rest of the roof is not even slightly dented.

Another indicator (that I should have noticed earlier) that the weapon had to have detonated at or just above the roof is the lack of much, if any, frag damage on the hood of the vehicle…

Or anywhere else, including the roof. Im sorry, but scuffed paint is not what shrapnel does to a car. I don’t care what kind of expert credentials someone claims, the laws of physics will remain a higher authority for me.

This vehicle appears to be a level 6 armored Land Rover Defender

The vehicle is a land rover defender alright, an older one, this has been said before. I do not believe for a second that you can identify that this vehicle has “level 6″ armor from those pictures, and that you know what the composition of “level 6″ is. CEN B6 armor is designed to stop RIFLE rounds, and it is very expensive. The standard is based on what the armor can stop, not the composition of the armor. I strongly doubt some beat-up “press” land rover in the palestinian territories would be outfitted with sophisticated armor like that.

the roof is not thin sheet metal.

Who are we going to trust, you or our lying eyes? I can see that picture. I can see the thin edges of the outer skin of the roof. I can see the hollow area underneath. I can see that the rest of this thin-skinned roof is not dented and there aren’t holes in it.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 4:05 PM

kaltes

I don’t buy it. Blast waves arent the size of a basketball, they are very wide (an expanding sphere), the damage should be distributed more widely. The rest of the roof is not even slightly dented.

So tell me, how many explosions have you set off? What are your credentials on explosive theory?

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 4:08 PM

kaltes,

The vehicle is a land rover defender alright, an older one, this has been said before. I do not believe for a second that you can identify that this vehicle has “level 6″ armor from those pictures, and that you know what the composition of “level 6″ is. CEN B6 armor is designed to stop RIFLE rounds, and it is very expensive. The standard is based on what the armor can stop, not the composition of the armor. I strongly doubt some beat-up “press” land rover in the palestinian territories would be outfitted with sophisticated armor like that.

I’ve posted this a few times now, which you seem to have missed. Look up the stats on an armored Humvee, they are almost the same.

Im sorry, but scuffed paint is not what shrapnel does to a car.

See above, this is not a “car” this is an armored vehicle. Fragments do not typically penetrate plate steel.

Who are we going to trust, you or our lying eyes? I can see that picture. I can see the thin edges of the outer skin of the roof. I can see the hollow area underneath. I can see that the rest of this thin-skinned roof is not dented and there aren’t holes in it.

Again, look at the link above. The vehicle is almost identitical.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 4:20 PM

So tell me, how many explosions have you set off? What are your credentials on explosive theory?

I see, so now it isn’t sufficient to have seen explosions and know the physics (both these things are within the grasp of laypersons) to have an opinion, evidently the knowledge of how explosions work comes solely from setting them off and being credentialed in explosive theory?

See, when I see experts retreat behind their credentials, I know they have a weak position. If someone knows what they are talking about, they don’t need to hide behind credentials, they are fully capable of taking all comers in a debate in laymans terms.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 4:21 PM

Bomb Doctor

As was posted for me yesterday, I have been looking at every picture I can of the incident and nothing leads me to believe this was not caused by a 2.75″ HE rocket exploding 12 to 18 inches above the vehicle.

the only part about that that doesn’t ring true is that if the explosive was that far up, you should see shrapnel marks on the hood, fender, and possibly the passenger door (though not necessarily) I’m either missing it, or it’s just not there. The seat of the blast would have been closest to the dent, in this case (even 12-18 inches above) and there doesn’t seem to be anything elsewhere.

this article the shrapnel theory seems to fit better with the damage, the typical rules of engagement for the IDF, and the circumstances (what would they have to gain by targeting press?)

As to the rust issue, it really isn’t uncommon to see the metal at the site of a blast rust immediately after. The heat of the blast probably oxidizes the metal, much like a car with an engine fire has a rusty hood.

The explosions generate heat, but you seldom see any sort of scorch marks like a normal fire – there’s no soot and the fireball lasts milliseconds. I could go either way on the rust issue, and I personally feel that the rust doesn’t prove one way or the other on this one.

The way the stories go, it’s very likely that this is not a hoax, rather an exploitation of existing events for propaganda purposes. The vehicle was likely at the site of an attack, the damage is consistent with some sort of military attack (whether you prefer the shrapnel or the direct hit theory).

The big question, is the characterization of the damage. Was it deliberate targeting of the press? or were they simply too close to the actual target?

I find it difficult to believe that these pilots are part of some great cover-up that hides something so heinous that they have to dispose of witnesses by blatantly attacking them. I think that’s on par with that kidnapped Italian journalists claim that the U.S. targeted her for assasination by firing on her vehicle at a checkpoint I don’t know much about how the IDF operates, but I know that it would take an awful lot to keep cover-ups of this magnitude quiet.

RustMouse on August 30, 2006 at 4:28 PM

Good points RustMouse.

However I disregard the shrapnel theory for two main reasons. First, the hole is on the roof with damage extending downward into the passenger compartment. For an unusually large piece of shrapnel to penetrate at that angle through an armored vehicle the exploding ordnance would have to be above the vehicle and fairly close. Debris raining down on the vehicle from a more distant explosion would not have the kinetic energy to penetrate the armor and do such extensive damage to the interior. If the hole was in the side of the vehicle, then I could see it happening, but not on the roof.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 4:39 PM

kaltes

I see, so now it isn’t sufficient to have seen explosions and know the physics (both these things are within the grasp of laypersons) to have an opinion, evidently the knowledge of how explosions work comes solely from setting them off and being credentialed in explosive theory?

No, it’s absolute refusal to listen to people who that for a living.

Ok, explain this series of photos. Where are the scorch marks? That’s over 2000 pounds of high explosives.

Or how do you explain this photo? Why isn’t there scorch marks? Why no frag hits? There was 37.5 pounds of C-4 against the side of this tank.

How do I know about these pictures? I set up the explosives, set them off and took the pictures.

Now explain to me in your opinion, why there isn’t any scorch marks or a hole in the tank.

Sorry it took me so long to post, I had to scan then upload the images.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 4:46 PM

RustMouse

the only part about that that doesn’t ring true is that if the explosive was that far up, you should see shrapnel marks on the hood, fender, and possibly the passenger door (though not necessarily)

Not always. A pair of my friends were standing on an IED in Iraq when it went off. The IED was later identified as a command destruct with 2 120mm rockets. Neither of them recieved any frag wounds at all. Both had broken legs and blown eardrums, but no frag wounds. The IED was around 12″ under their feet buried in the dirt.

I could go either way on the rust issue, and I personally feel that the rust doesn’t prove one way or the other on this one.

I was a steel worker before I enlisted. It wasn’t uncommon to grind off the paint on a piece of steel, go to lunch and see rust forming by the time we got back.

The big question, is the characterization of the damage. Was it deliberate targeting of the press? or were they simply too close to the actual target?

That I have no way to answer.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 4:52 PM

Given the speed (2425 fps max) and fuse (.0005 sec max), the furthest the rocket could travel is 14.55 inches after impact and before detonation. It would have had to have been a shallow angle “glancing blow”, since there seems to be no rocket parts inside the vehicle. To be very generous we can say there’s a 22.5 degree incidence angle. Assuming a perfectly elastic collision, the detonation would occur at a maximum of 5.6 inches above the vehicle. These are all very generous assumptions and the actual distance would be quite a bit less. The physics of the thing does not allow the blast to be 12 to 18 inches away. Does this look like a rocket burst from 0 to 5 inches away, bomb doctor?

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 4:52 PM

Test, my last two posts got eaten.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 4:53 PM

Just checking in:

1. I think the grey dust covered the rust (my top post at junkyardblog.net)

2. Expertise–the preponderance of experts here weigh in toward a rocket hit; experts at Powerline and Confederate Yankee disagree. As kaltes says, I’d like to see the science.

3. I have seen cars which had been hit by bricks or concrete blocks. If the car was going pretty fast the bricks would shatter when they hit and sent little bits out in a splatter pattern like the one I see on that roof. While the pattern may resemble a close-in blast, I think it also resembles damage caused be flying debris. Can the pro-missile crowd explain why I’m wrong there and why it definitely couldn’t be a concrete block?

see-dubya on August 30, 2006 at 5:03 PM

I vote for the concrete block.

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 5:10 PM

Test

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 5:11 PM

I just read the CY post with the emails from the armor companies. Based on the this link the van was either a level or 5 or 6 armored vehicle, not level 4.

I also don’t see how the SUV IED blast picture he shows is applicable. IED’s are commonly made from 155mm artillery shells (often times many daisy-chained together) and other big ordnance. That SUV was hit with a lot larger blast than the van was. Remember, the 70mm has a pretty small warhead – as well as Spike I talked about above (which will hopefully show up – there seems to be a 30 minute delay between when I post and when it appears).

Again, I could believe the shrapnel theory if the hole was in the side. Also, Bomb Doctor said that the gray residue on the white paint in the picture at the top of the page is consistent with explosive residue. Then there is the spray pattern of chipped paint caused by little pieces of shrapnel radiating out along the roof from the hole. How is all that caused by either a single large piece of shrapnel, or a ton of it falling from the sky?

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 5:11 PM

see-dubya and jdpaz,

The armoring executive on CY’s site says that level 4 armoring has 8mm hardened steel on the roof, which is about 1/4 of an inch. I think the van was level 5, but let’s assume level 4 for a minute. Let’s also assume it was a round rock since the indentation is roughly round. That’s a heck of a rock to bend and tear 1/4″ hardened steel. Then the rock must have broken apart, traveled into the passenger compartment and torn up the dash something awful. I’m no expert on rock-steel physics, but my opinion is that hardened steel > rock/cinderblock.

For now, I think my assessment remains the most probable.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 5:23 PM

My posts got held up in moderation, please scroll up and take a look.

jdpaz

The physics of the thing does not allow the blast to be 12 to 18 inches away.

You’re assuming it was only a PD fuze. Some fuzes also use a graze sensitive feature, you’re looking at a longer delay time.

Does this look like a rocket burst from 0 to 5 inches away, bomb doctor?

Nope, 12 to 18 inches.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 5:24 PM

see-dubya

Can the pro-missile crowd explain why I’m wrong there and why it definitely couldn’t be a concrete block?

Wrong color dust, circular blast pattern and the way the steel was torn.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 5:25 PM

Bah, it looks like several posts of mine were eaten as well.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 5:26 PM

NPP

I also don’t see how the SUV IED blast picture he shows is applicable.

It’s not. An SUV is thin skinned. This Land Rover had a appliqué armor package. Armor won’t deform that way.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 5:27 PM

NPP

Bah, it looks like several posts of mine were eaten as well.

Allah just emailed and said their traffic is way up, be patient!

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 5:35 PM

Bomb Doctor (and everyone else),

I had an alternate theory that just was posted after being held up for a bit. Scroll up to see a long post by me, now 21 comments up.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 5:39 PM

NPP

The small size (the missile weighs about 25-50 pounds, depending on the variant) means a small warhead – similar in size and power to a 2.75 rocket.

I’m looking at your links. But I have to say up front that I doubt it. Just from visual clues, it appears to be very similar to Javelin. That type of missile tends to be a HEAT warhead. The blast pattern of the truck does not jibe with a HEAT warhead.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 6:09 PM

I’m not buying the level 4 or 5 armor thing. The metal just doesn’t look like it’s a 1/3 of an inch thick. Look at the wrinkle in the skin just above the “P” above the windshield. The metal is bent right over tight on itself. Hardened steel of that thickness couldn’t do that without rupturing.

Bomb Doctor: Assuming the 22.5 degree incidence angle and elastic collision, in order for the warhead to be 12 inches off the surface of the vehicle it would have had to travel 31.4 inches along the vehicle. This would put the blast point more in the center of the roof. Comments?

jdpaz on August 30, 2006 at 6:11 PM

jdpaz

I’m not buying the level 4 or 5 armor thing. The metal just doesn’t look like it’s a 1/3 of an inch thick. Look at the wrinkle in the skin just above the “P” above the windshield. The metal is bent right over tight on itself. Hardened steel of that thickness couldn’t do that without rupturing.

I enlarged the photo and honestly, there’s not enough resolution to tell.

Assuming the 22.5 degree incidence angle and elastic collision, in order for the warhead to be 12 inches off the surface of the vehicle it would have had to travel 31.4 inches along the vehicle. This would put the blast point more in the center of the roof. Comments?

I’m not sure how you got those numbers.I’ve seen no pictures yet that shows me which direction it was fired from or where it ricocheted off the vehicle.

I base my opinion on only one thing, the pattern of the blast damage.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 6:21 PM

NPP
After looking at your link to the SPIKE missile, I have to say, no way! It really is very similar to Javelin.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 6:30 PM

Or how do you explain this photo? Why isn’t there scorch marks? Why no frag hits? There was 37.5 pounds of C-4 against the side of this tank.

See, it figures that you would compare a land rover to a tank. All that expertise but where is the common sense? Shrapnel from a rocket would bounce off a tank, sure, but not a land rover, for the same reason that a .50 cal burst would bounce harmlessly off the tank while shredding the land rover.

Based on the this link the van was either a level or 5 or 6 armored vehicle, not level 4.

I looked at the vehicle pictured in your link and the “news” vehicle side-by-side and they look quite different. The news vehicle looks flimsy compared to what you have in that link. The vehicle in the link looks more like the classic armored cars you see companies like Brinks using.

Also, Bomb Doctor said that the gray residue on the white paint in the picture at the top of the page is consistent with explosive residue.

I wouldn’t want to let a simple explanation get in the way but… grey would also be the color of the metal underneath the stripped paint.

I’m not buying the level 4 or 5 armor thing. The metal just doesn’t look like it’s a 1/3 of an inch thick. Look at the wrinkle in the skin just above the “P” above the windshield. The metal is bent right over tight on itself. Hardened steel of that thickness couldn’t do that without rupturing.

Even better, look at the angled pictures where you can see the hole more from the side than the top, the skin looks very thin, like you would expect from a typical, unarmored land rover. If the vehicle is armored, it could be that the armor was bolted on the inside, underneath the hollow gap you see past this thin outer layer. The armor experts weren’t looking at all the pictures, just the one photo yankee sent them.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 7:55 PM

kaltes

Shrapnel from a rocket would bounce off a tank, sure, but not a land rover, for the same reason that a .50 cal burst would bounce harmlessly off the tank while shredding the land rover.

You really have issues with people that have done something you haven’t don’t you? Have you ever seen what .50 cal does to steel? The tank in my photo link was a WWII Sherman tank. The armor wouldn’t stop any German tank round. US troops called the Sherman “zippo” because it would go up in flames after almost any hit. .50 cal left 1″ wide by 1″ deep holes in the armor.

I looked at the vehicle pictured in your link and the “news” vehicle side-by-side and they look quite different. The news vehicle looks flimsy compared to what you have in that link. The vehicle in the link looks more like the classic armored cars you see companies like Brinks using.

I never said that or linked to any armored car.

I wouldn’t want to let a simple explanation get in the way but… gray would also be the color of the metal underneath the stripped paint.

Umm, steel isn’t gray.

If the vehicle is armored, it could be that the armor was bolted on the inside, underneath the hollow gap you see past this thin outer layer. The armor experts weren’t looking at all the pictures, just the one photo yankee sent them.

No, the armor on the vehicle is appliqué’ armor, it’s on the outside. Really, why are you so afraid to admit that you may be wrong?

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 8:06 PM

No, it’s absolute refusal to listen to people who that for a living.

Bomb Doctor, I value and appreciate all the expert input on this subject, including yours. That doesn’t mean I am going to agree with all of it, and of course even the various experts are coming up with very different opinions.

I work with expert witnesses, so I challenge experts all the time, including my own. It is important to challenge expert opinions so that you can get at the basis of those opinions and critically evaluate them. You are going to get experts on both sides of almost every issue.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 8:13 PM

kaltes

I work with expert witnesses, so I challenge experts all the time

Fine, show me how I’m wrong. You keep making an unexperienced opinions, show me how my opinion is wrong. BTW, every single time I testified in court as an SME, we got convictions.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 8:20 PM

After looking at your link to the SPIKE missile, I have to say, no way! It really is very similar to Javelin.

Look at this video, you have probably already seen it: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-689902620988043628&q=Javelin

Now that is what 18.5 lbs warhead does to a TANK, we are discussing what a 10 lbs warhead does to a land rover…

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 8:22 PM

kaltes

Look at this video, you have probably already seen it:

I have the original video from the test, not the internet video. I know many people involved in that test.

Now that is what 18.5 lbs warhead does to a TANK, we are discussing what a 10 lbs warhead does to a land rover…

You are mixing apples and oranges. The warhead(s) in the Javelin the total weight of both warheads. The M-151 2.75″ warhead is a total weight of 10 pounds, the explosive weight is about 2 pounds. Really, I’m done with you. Believe what you want. You have used your “expert” opinion since this story first came up regardless what people with real experience in this field know.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 8:32 PM

kaltes
One last thing:

Now that is what 18.5 lbs warhead does to a TANK, we are discussing what a 10 lbs warhead does to a land rover…

Earlier you said that I was comparing a Land Rover to a tank. Even though I have been saying all along that the Land Rover took a 2 pound HE hit and the picture I linked to took a 37.5 pound hit. Now you are saying that 18.5 lb hit on a semi-modern MBT is better than 37.5 pound hit on a MBT from 60 years ago?

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 8:36 PM

You really have issues with people that have done something you haven’t don’t you?

Don’t worry, Im not going to respond in kind, I have too much respect for this site.

The armor wouldn’t stop any German tank round.

Actually it would and did, just not later in the war. It wasnt designed to fight other tanks.

I never said that or linked to any armored car.

I was quoting different people in the same post. That was NPP. If you know you didn’t say something, don’t assume I am trying to falsely attribute something to you. There is that common sense issue again.

Umm, steel isn’t gray.

That color is far more easily explained as dirt-covered metal under the stripped paint than as explosive residue. Besides you are assuming the mtal is steel, Defenders are made with an aluminum body on a steel frame, so that outer metal skin is almost certainly aluminum. If there is an armor upgrade, the armor would be added to the interior of the vehicle.

kaltes on August 30, 2006 at 8:48 PM

Bomb Doctor,

After looking at your link to the SPIKE missile, I have to say, no way! It really is very similar to Javelin.

Thanks for looking. The UAVs are firing some kind of guided missile that’s pretty small and is taking out individuals and small groups of terrorists with little collateral damage. Perhaps it’s a completely new design, though I think that’s unlikely. Whatever it is, this would be my alternative to the 2.75 rocket in this case.

Kaltes,

I looked at the vehicle pictured in your link and the “news” vehicle side-by-side and they look quite different. The news vehicle looks flimsy compared to what you have in that link. The vehicle in the link looks more like the classic armored cars you see companies like Brinks using.

I don’t know what to say to that. They are virtually identical. I don’t know how a vehicle that’s obviously armored with plate steel can look “flimsy.” Take a look at each vehicle: the grill – the same. The windshield – the same, in cluding three large bolts on each side of the windshield and the box extension underneath where the windshield wipers would be. The armored rear hatch – the same, except the hinges are on different sides. The doors – exactly the same except for the door handles. What more do you want?

I wouldn’t want to let a simple explanation get in the way but… grey would also be the color of the metal underneath the stripped paint.

I’m talking about the gray that is on top of the paint, not the paint that was stripped away.

I’m willing to look at alternatives, but so far the alternative theories seem lacking to me. Shrapnel from the sky? A cinder block that punches through 1/4″ steel, continues on and partially wrecks the interior?

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 8:52 PM

Now that is what 18.5 lbs warhead does to a TANK, we are discussing what a 10 lbs warhead does to a land rover

There is more to warhead performance than the size of the warhead. The javelin and other missiles used against tanks have some kind of shaped-charge or EFP warhead that is specifically designed to defeat armor. The Van was not hit with this type of warhead, but a standard HE warhead. HE warheads are much less effective against armor because they don’t have any inherent penetrating ability.

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 9:06 PM

NPP

There is more to warhead performance than the size of the warhead.

There was quite a bit of sarcasm on my part in that post. I was trying to make the point to kaltes that he/she doesn’t know nearly as much about explosives as he/she thinks.

Good night, I was up at 3:30 am.

Bomb Doctor on August 30, 2006 at 9:50 PM

There was quite a bit of sarcasm on my part in that post. I was trying to make the point to kaltes that he/she doesn’t know nearly as much about explosives as he/she thinks.

Good night, I was up at 3:30 am.

I’m off too. Your replies to him weren’t up when I replied – comment lag is a bit annoying!

NPP on August 30, 2006 at 10:47 PM

There is more to warhead performance than the size of the warhead.

The size and composition of the warhead determines how much energy is released in the explosion.

The javelin and other missiles used against tanks have some kind of shaped-charge or EFP warhead that is specifically designed to defeat armor.

Yes, the energy from the javelin is focused better in order to penetrate armor, but the comparison I was making is apt as far as the energy released is concerned.

The Van was not hit with this type of warhead, but a standard HE warhead. HE warheads are much less effective against armor because they don’t have any inherent penetrating ability.

Even assuming the vehicle was armored up to the CEN B6 standard, that is just enough armor to stop something like AK47 rounds. A rocket with a 10 lbs warhead isn’t going to be stopped by armor that can barely stop rifle rounds, and the roof is the least armored part of the vehicle.

kaltes on August 31, 2006 at 2:52 AM

Bomb Doctor, regarding the 22.5 degrees: In my area of expertise ;-) physics and engineering, I made an educated guess at the maximum angle that the projectile could hit the van and be deflected. Any steeper and the rocket would have penetrated the skin rather than bounced off. All my assumptions were made such that they would be favorable to your case. If you insist upon the 12-18 inch blast height, the physics of the issue put the blast at least 30-some inches from the leading edge of the roof—somewhere in the middle.

We’ve got the highly irregular situation of using a FFAR in an urban environment. The IDF guy says—and all the pictures show—the Apaches carry fuel tanks and hellfires, they don’t run the Cobras at night. These mitigate against it being a FFAR rocket blast.

The roof armor is very questionable. We’ve got sheet metal bent over double on itself—the picture quality is sufficient to see this. 1/3 inch thick hardened steel can’t do this without metal failing and the paint cracking and chipping off. After-market armor is more likely bolted on the outside. This isn’t the case with this vehicle. Thus we’re left with stock .090 thick aluminum (possibly steel).

Regardless of whether it looks like the damage a rocket could make, it also looks like the damage a chunk of building material would make falling from, say, a couple stories up.

You’d expect blast damage to the guy and vehicle interior as the blast gasses would expand inside the vehicle once the roof was breached. All we see is some audio tapes thrown around and some bits of junk here and there. The head injury is consistent with the guy pitching forward into the jagged sheet metal.

Anyway, I think I’ve beaten this one to death. Time for me to move on.

jdpaz on August 31, 2006 at 11:14 AM

Kaltes, you’re beating a dead horse on this one, at least as far as bomb doctor goes…

It’s that ‘expert syndrome’, you see it very commonly in EOD (particluarly among the old-timers). They’ve made their pronouncement, and there’s nothing you can do to sway their opinion.

I don’t believe it’s a direct hit from any sort of missle/rocket warhead. I’ve seen what a few pounds of HE from a mortar round dropped off an overpass does to a fully armored Hummer. This doesn’t come close.

Though it remains a possibility, because it can’t conclusively be ruled out (and that opening is what allows the discussion to continue), between the armored vehicle manufacturers responses, the Singapore Times article and my personal experiences in Iraq, I’m still convinced it wasn’t a direct hit of any kind.

All this credential waving and chest beating is turning dangerously close to a flame war, and I’d like to think that we’re better than that, as a whole.

RustMouse on August 31, 2006 at 11:20 AM

All this credential waving and chest beating is turning dangerously close to a flame war, and I’d like to think that we’re better than that, as a whole.

Yes, please.

Pablo on August 31, 2006 at 1:17 PM

The size and composition of the warhead determines how much energy is released in the explosion.

Yes – a bigger warhead means more energy. A bigger warhead does not mean better capability against armored targets. That’s why a 2 pound EFP warhead can cut through modern tank armor, but 38 pounds of C-4 can’t cut through 60 year old tank armor. In shaped charged explosives (like in the javelin), the explosive is not defeating the armor. The explosive creates a superheated beam of plasma that cuts through the armor. The EFP warhead use explosives to form and accelerate a piece of metal, which penetrates the armor. The explosion doesn’t penetrate the armor, the projectile and it’s kinetic energy do. A simple HE round does not focus energy at all, so explosive energy that hits any one point on a the armor is much less – therefore more explosive is required to penetrate the armor – several orders of magnitude more. Furthermore, steel tends to reflect the blast shockwave and it’s very good at absorbing that blast energy. This is one of the principle reasons that 38 pounds of C-4 didn’t do much to Bomb Doctor’s tank – the energy of the explosion was reflected away from the tank.

Even assuming the vehicle was armored up to the CEN B6 standard, that is just enough armor to stop something like AK47 rounds.

Yep.

A rocket with a 10 lbs warhead isn’t going to be stopped by armor that can barely stop rifle rounds, and the roof is the least armored part of the vehicle.

That’s just wrong. You’re comparing apples and oranges again. You’re comparing a weapon that relies on kinetic energy to one that relies on blast. They are two completely different physical processes and effects.

We’ve got the highly irregular situation of using a FFAR in an urban environment. The IDF guy says—and all the pictures show—the Apaches carry fuel tanks and hellfires, they don’t run the Cobras at night. These mitigate against it being a FFAR rocket blast.

I agree with that, which is one reason why I started looking for alternatives. I’ve said a few times now that the primary reason I originally picked the 2.75 is becuase the damage to the van is consistent with that piece of hardware. My research has shown that UAV’s and possibly helicopters are using a new type of missile that has a small non-armor penentrating warhead designed to kill small groups or individuals with little collateral damage. To do that would probably require a small warhead (like the 2.75) with a limited number of small frags that would be lethal up close with greatly diminished lethality further out. We know the Israeli’s have such a missile becuase it’s been used many times, it’s been seen coming off the rails of UAV’s, and senior Israeli officials have talked about new weaponry to reduce collateral damage in urban areas.

I can also respect the former IDF guy and his statements about identification of targets. I’m sure the Israelis go to great lengths (as do we) to mitigate targeting non-combatants. Despite our best efforts, however, it still happens, whether through confusion, mistakes, or actions of the enemy.

The roof armor is very questionable. We’ve got sheet metal bent over double on itself—the picture quality is sufficient to see this. 1/3 inch thick hardened steel can’t do this without metal failing and the paint cracking and chipping off. After-market armor is more likely bolted on the outside. This isn’t the case with this vehicle. Thus we’re left with stock .090 thick aluminum (possibly steel).

Regardless of whether it looks like the damage a rocket could make, it also looks like the damage a chunk of building material would make falling from, say, a couple stories up.

If the roof armor is standard vehicle skin, then falling debris could cause that outside damage to the skin. However, it’s obvious from the pictures that the cinderblock, or whatever, did not go all the way through the skin of the vehicle, only partway. If the skin itself is not armored, then the armor must exist below the skin. That armor would probably be steel plate, kevlar blankets, or some kind of ceramic composite (this is based on the materials armored car manufacturers use). My question is this – what broke through that armor and took out a chunk of the dashboard?

I still think the armor on the vans roof is probably 1/4″ steel. The manufacturer on CY’s website said so, and looking at similar vehicles with the same level of protection indicates this is usually the case. The exceptions are vehicles that look stock from the outside – certainly not the case with the reuters van.

I’m not sure what you mean about failing metal. The metal did fail, as can be seen in the photographs. Just because metal is certified to a certain strength and hardness or it is thick does not mean it can’t bend. In this case, the metal deflected, failed, and tore open.

All this credential waving and chest beating is turning dangerously close to a flame war, and I’d like to think that we’re better than that, as a whole.

I understand the danger of credential waving, especially in an anonymous comment thread. I’ve tried to stay away from credential waving as much as possible. However, some of the comments – like comparing an AK-47 round to an HE warhead, show a fundamental ignorance of basic physics. How much effort should the so-called “experts” be required to go through if people don’t seem willing to do some basic research on their own? It’s been shown in this thread several times that the size of a warhead means little when talking about armor penetration and demonstrated examples have been given, yet this evidence is dismissed out of hand. If you think the evidence is wrong, then do the research yourself and disprove it.

I’m certainly amendable to other theories. The two most prominent ones are the falling cinderblock and shrapnel. I’ve stated what I believe are obvious problems with those theories but have yet to hear replies to those answers.

Finally, I think this is it for me in this thread too. Unless the Israeli’s come out with something definitive, and I seriously doubt they will, we won’t know the whole truth. I’ve stated my theories, and have amended them with good input from others. Although I still believe the damage to the vehicle is consistent with a 2.75 rocket, I’m more inclined to believe it was caused by the new missile on the UAV’s because of the valid points about operating in an urban environment.

NPP on August 31, 2006 at 4:06 PM

Kaltes, you’re beating a dead horse on this one

All this credential waving and chest beating is turning dangerously close to a flame war, and I’d like to think that we’re better than that, as a whole.

You are right, hot air is better than that. I agree it seemed headed in that direction, I didn’t take the bait. The comments on this site generally impress me a great deal and I would not want to sully the site with such things.

I’d like to thank you for your expertise as well, reader-experts are the backbone of blogger fact-checking, and it is great that hot air has such resources to draw upon.

You’d expect blast damage to the guy and vehicle interior as the blast gasses would expand inside the vehicle once the roof was breached.

jdpaz, do you think the roof was breached? I never thought it was. The way I see the pictures, the roof is comprised of a thin outer layer, a hollow area beneath that, and an inner layer. This makes sense, because the stock land rover defender has these aluminum outer layers, with the “hollow” portion in between containing the steel frame. I do not see, from the pictures, that the inner layer was breached.

To me it looks like whatever hit the vehicle hit near the corner 1st, bent the outer roof downward tearing it towards the left-rear (I think rustmouse mentioned this in an earlier topic), until it hit the frame. If you look at the picture on this post, there is a little piece of metal you can see under the edge of the tear on the right side. That looks like it would be part of the frame. It makes sense that whatever hit the vehicle would stop there.

I dont know what caused the hole, maybe falling debris, maybe a rollover, I dont know. I think it is far easier to say what did NOT happen than what did happen, because there are just so many possibilities.

kaltes on August 31, 2006 at 4:08 PM

That’s just wrong. You’re comparing apples and oranges again. You’re comparing a weapon that relies on kinetic energy to one that relies on blast. They are two completely different physical processes and effects.

Actually NPP Im sure you know that blast isnt really the point of the blast/frag warheads, the fragmentation is the mroe dangerous part. All the shrapnel relies on kinetic energy just like EFPs, it just gets sprayed all over the place. This vehicle just has some paint scraped off, the shrapnel from a rocket would do more than that, don’t you agree?

My question is this – what broke through that armor and took out a chunk of the dashboard?

That is a good question, of course it is easily explained if you are willing to believe the palistinians wrecked the interior on purpose to make the “wounds” of the “reporter” seem more credible.

However, some of the comments – like comparing an AK-47 round to an HE warhead, show a fundamental ignorance of basic physics.

Not really. Ignoring the fragmentation and talking only about the blast would show a “fundamental ignorance” the rocket warhead, but I wouldn’t accuse you of that.

It’s been shown in this thread several times that the size of a warhead means little when talking about armor penetration and demonstrated examples have been given, yet this evidence is dismissed out of hand.

No, your mistaken assumption is that you assumed I knew almost nothing, and you assumed I ignorantly thought that a javelin and a rocket were identical. Obviously not. I knew they are very different. I linked that video because it was cool, and because it gives someone an idea of the scale of the explosion a warhead of that size creates. Now you take a warhead over half that size, you detonate it close to a land rover, and all you get is a smallish hole in the thin outer roof, scuffed paint, and some cracked glass? That is hard to swallow.

kaltes on August 31, 2006 at 4:35 PM

This tight crease is what tells me the outer skin is not too thick. It looks like it’s bent right over double on itself without cracking even the paint (in those spots where the paint is still there). Another point that supports a thin outer skin is the severe bend radius manufactured into the edge of the roof. You wouldn’t brake form 1/4 inch steel that tightly.

I see what kaltes calls the underlying frame. I agree that’s probably what we’re seeing. Looking at the shadow beneath that frame tells us that whatever is under it is not attached to the frame. This is no way to attach armor. If I was an armored car manufacturer, I’d put the armor on the outside…makes replacement so much easier.

I think we’re looking in at the soundproofing and not armor at all. I know I’m way out on a limb here but I don’t think the roof is armored at all.

Anyway, interest is waning….it’s been fun, all.

jdpaz on August 31, 2006 at 5:36 PM

I think it comes down to whether the top skin of metal is armor or not. If it’s not, then my theories are out the window and it’s probably a cinder block. If it is armored, then it’s probably from a weapon and my theories are back in. I examined the pictures and I think it’s too it’s too hard to tell. If this could be verified one way or another, it would answer most of the questions.

NPP out.

NPP on August 31, 2006 at 6:09 PM

I agree with you NPP.

kaltes on August 31, 2006 at 6:40 PM