4.3. Babi Yar
It is said that after the city of Kyiv was occupied by German troops the Jews of this city were taken to Babi Yar, a ravine at the northwestern edge of the city, near the Jewish cemetery. According to eyewitness accounts, they were shot there, thrown into the ravine, and buried - according to some witness statements, the ravine was also blasted and the bodies buried under the rubble.
In late summer of 1943, when the Front retreated again, the bodies were allegedly exhumed and cremated on gigantic funeral pyres or in pits. These activities allegedly ended on September 28, 1943, when the Kyiv area was already part of the main battle zone.
Illustration 3 shows the ravine of Babi Yar in an air photo taken by the Luftwaffe on September 26, 1943. The part of the ravine (near the Jewish cemetery) where the massacre allegedly took place is shown as enlargement in illustration 4. What we see is in fact a placid and peaceful valley. Neither the topography nor the vegetation has been disrupted by human intervention. There are no access roads for the transport of humans or fuel, no fuel depots, no excavations, no burning sites, and no smoke.
We may conclude with certainty that no part of the Babi Yar ravine was subjected to topographical changes of any magnitude during the war years right up to the Soviet reoccupation of the area. The vegetation in this valley was also not disturbed. Hence, there can have been no mass graves in these locations, and the mass cremations attested to can also not have taken place at this time.
 Cf. the chapter by H. Tiedemann, this volume.
 Ref. No. GX 3938 SG, exp. 104 and 105.
 This statement can be documented with further air photos showing the valley prior to the war and again after Soviet reoccupation: the vegetation in the valley has grown, but nothing else has changed (May 17, 1939: GX 988 - exp. 48, 49; April 18, 1944: GX 4793 SK - exp. 39, 40). Due to space limitations we have dispensed with showing these pictures here, and chosen one instead that shows the location during the time of the attested-to mass exhumation and mass cremation.
1) Ball analyzed wrong area. I have outlined the area where most people were shot with the red circle. Therefore, Ball's allegations about vegetation are irrelevant (I see none in this part).
2) Of course, people were killed not only at this spot. They were killed and buried in many parts of the ravine, upper part too. It is logical to assume that when Aktion 1005 began in August 1943, it started within the red circle - in the place where most of the bodies lied.
The photo was taken at 26 September, 2-3 days before the escape of the prisoners. By that time they would have burned most, if not all bodies "within the red circle", therefore we shouldn't expect to find much traces there (although we might find something).
They would have been in other parts of the ravine. Yet, as we can see, most parts of it are covered by shadows. Of course, there still might be some visible traces of activity (although not necessarily). E.g. there might be smoke on the photo (I'm not an expert, so I won't make any claims about it).
So, in the end, should we find any traces of body disposal on this photo? We might find them, but if we don't, that wouldn't mean that there was nothing going on there at that time. Therefore, Ball's claims are not proven.