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The realist in me agrees that this 777 is probably one with a mountain-side or deep under water. However, there's this wild little thought that keeps popping into my head that the pilot was up to something (what, I have no idea) and they're all alive somewhere.
The UK is one of the world's leaders in CCTV coverage. You wouldn't lose a huge plane in London, but a plane flying over open water and triple-canopy jungle is another story.
(CNN) -- A Chinese satellite looking into the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 "observed a suspected crash area at sea," a Chinese agency said.
Plane disappears, transponders turned off, veers west unexpectedly (maybe). Explosion at high altitude? Maybe, but satellites are good at detecting explosions at altitude. Terrorism? But no claim of responsibility, and no anguished cell phone calls to loved ones or texts, as in 911.
What fits the fact pattern is a depressed and/or psychotic and/or angry pilot with a grudge. He's gonna take it down, and he wants to mess with all the governments and searchers. The plane flew at night in the dark. He turns off the transponders and veers west over peninsular Malaysia. It's dark so passengers have no idea. He continues on for a very long time, out where searchers would look last, way out in the Indian ocean. He gently descends so as to keep the passengers unsuspecting. From maybe a few hundred feet up, he plunges the plane down. It sinks. No wreckage. Oh yeah -- maybe he had to kill the copilot. It works, I think.
In 2134, as surveys are being conducted for the construction of underwater cities to house Indian and Bangladeshi refugees from the catastrophic coastal flooding due to rising sea levels, the plane is finally discovered on the ocean floor.
Alternatively, terrorists take over. They are going to crash the plane 911-style. A government takes them out with a missile. There is a US missile said by defense dept people to be powerful enough to obliterate the plane with only microscopic debris. The truth is never announced, as said government has no interest in publicizing. This has more holes in it.
Of course, it probably has more prosaic explanation :)
And the plot continues to thicken: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/13/1284331/-Report-Malaysia-Airlines-Fligh...
I stick by my theory! (As a theory:))
I'm still troubled by terrorist theories based on no cell phone SOSs, though one could think up scenarios to make that work, I guess. The theory I read (I think by a US analyst) that the plane may have been commandeered "for later use" by someone -- that seems far fetched. The longer they wait for use, the greater the chance of being discovered and thwarted.
I could see the idea of a crash in a remote jungle redoubt. Not inconceivable. Puzzling.
Are you all as glued to this story as I am?
The biggest problem with the highjacked for later use scenario is that no country in that area seems to have picked up an unidentified 777 within its airspace. Unless there's a giant secret lair with a mile plus of runway I can't figure out where it went. With the Malaysians being too quiet through all of this maybe they have suspicions they aren't sharing.
My theory gains support. :)
If N Korean agents boarded the plane using Chinese passports, conceivably they could take control and order the pilot to fly west and then low, under radar, north along the Andaman Sea. Staying at sea so as not to be detected by neighboring countries, they land on a remote airstrip in Myanmar with consent of the military dictatorship there. Why do they do this? Who understands the North Koreans?
I'm wracking my brains trying to think of a rational reason for someone to take the plane, conceal their identity, obscure the outcome. Terrorist goals involve stoking fear. Is there more to come? Ransom request? Weaponizing the plane? Possible but arguments against it are strong.
I'm left with my original: deranged pilot or skilled commandeering pilot, carefulling ditching the plane, sinking it, ie an irrational reason. An irrational motive but carefully planned.
I can't sleep. I need to figure this out. Give me more data!
I didn't think about North Korea, but it makes some sense. The one thing that keeps popping into my head is the story that the pilot was such a flying buff that he had a flight simulator in his home. If he was using this often, perhaps he was training for something other than routine flights. Something nefarious, even.
The first thing any plot to secretly do anything with an airplane these days needs is a way to disable the passengers cell phones. My thinking goes back to an American golf pro who died after his aircraft depressurized but it flew on until running out of fuel on autopilot.
So here are two interesting developments.
• Now they're saying there's a possibility the plane landed somewhere on the Andaman Islands, in the Indian Ocean. But they said "The radar data doesn't show the plane over the Andaman Islands, but only on a known route that would take it there."
• "Chinese researchers say they recorded a "seafloor event" in waters around Malaysia and Vietnam about an hour and a half after the missing plane's last known contact. The event was recorded in a nonseismic region about 116 kilometers (72 miles) northeast of the plane's last confirmed location, the University of Science and Technology of China said."
But IMHO it is not impossible that the pilot had equipment to allow flight in depressurized circumstances, as a deliberate way to deal with the problem off the passengers. In that scenario, plane is commandeered, doors are opened, passengers are unconscious at best, and pilot takes plane to his destination.
Also, there is evidence that steering took place that needed to be intentional to drive the plane to the west, otherwise in the P.S. Scenario, the plane's autopilot takes it to the programmed destination.
Problems: the Indian military has bases on the coast there and almost certainly would have detected an incoming plane. Also, the place is utterly undeveloped except for the bases, so I'm wondering whether there is any place to land a plane.
FIRST ON CNN: A classified analysis of electronic and satellite data conducted by the United States and Malaysian governments shows Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 likely crashed into the Indian Ocean on one of two flight paths, CNN has learned. One flight path suggests the plane crashed into the Bay of Bengal off the coast of India; the other has it traveling southeast and crashing elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, according to the analysis.
>31 stellarexplorer: Just wait for the blockbuster movie!
I've always felt uneasy at some of the TV coverage of some events such as child murders, helicopter crashes. When a killers walked into a Dunblane primary school many years ago cameras were being thrust into the faces of grieving parents gathered outside.
These people are near criminals.
How many times have I heard questions like this even from supposedly reputable news outlets. It makes my blood boil. As SlyviaC says above, it's grief porn and I despise them for it.
It's depressing because I realize how true Amusing Ourselves to Death is.
All this suggests at least some involvement of one of the pilots. Also, it is hard to imagine even the most composed pilot giving no sign whatever of tension in his voice if compelled by hijackers to sign off verbally to air traffic control.
I'm still leading with some version of the pilot suicide/homocide theory I have held all along.
What if the plane landed on the remote Kazakh high desert, which fits the putative arcs of possibility? Could be, but hard to imagine no country would have detected it on its way. Indian Ocean floor much more likely, sadly.
The whole episode has been an exercise in whom to believe, if anyone ;)
One thing that was noticed in retrospect with the 9/11 hijackers was they weren't very interested in learning to land the plane.
They're also reporting now that the flight simulator in the pilot's home was homemade. They had to take it apart to get it out of the apartment. They're wondering now if he was using it to train someone else.
It's a mystery inside of speculation inside of news broadcast filler. But fascinating.
But there are some troubling questions that make this hard for me to square with that notion.
Why crash the plane 7 hours later if this is suicide? Just point the thing down and be done with it. Where is the motive for a crash hours later? And the deliberate sinking of the plane without debris is frankly hard to find a motive for either. I first thought that before the flight pattern was revealed, ie turn west, climb to 45000 feet, then down to 20-some thousand.
Accident is also hard to square with the flight pattern and the turning off of the transponders.
A remote crash in the ocean should initiate a repeating underwater sonic ping detectable from a great distance. None reported.
Why go up that high, above the recommended altitude for that plane? It is tempting - though highly conjectural! - to think it was to kill the passengers rapidly after depressurizing the plane. (I read that at 45000 ft passengers are expected to be conscious only 5 to 9 seconds after depressurization.) Thus no emergency cellphone calls or texts. The pilot uses oxygen mask. He has disabled the copilot. Maybe put something in his coffee, or locked him out of the cockpit.
I heard but cannot confirm that Malaysia said the last satellite ping detected appeared to be coming from the ground. Not the air.
All the above makes me wonder whether somehow, surprisingly, the plane is not in water, but rather was landed on the ground, somewhere along that northern arc. And not for a good purpose.
I'm thinking we are getting very limited information because governments are busy trying to figure out who did it, where the plane is, and what's going on.
I'm going to sleep. I hope when I wake up I'll realize how flawed that logic is, and I'll delete this. Or someone can set me straight on where I've gone wrong. That would be welcome.
One of the most frustrating parts of this is that so many countries are playing their cards close to their vests because they don't want any of their neighbors/enemies to know what their radar capabilities and limitations are.
I was afraid of that.
If true, it's too carefully planned for them not to know what they are going to do. One possibility: repaint the plane to look like a conventional carrier from a different airline. Either shoot another plane down while the 777 is near, and on radar assume the position of the first one. Or obtain the transponder code for another plane, and plug it in so that the plane looks like all is in order.
I too wonder where this plane, when weaponized, might head. Prime candidates: US, China, Russia, Israel. My biggest fear: they have obtained a small nuclear device and just obtained the means to deliver it.
I know, I'm sounding like one of those crazy people on late night talk radio.
(Yep, small nukes were the first thing that popped into my head. Edited to add: Originally I was concerned about North Korea, but I'm less worried about that, now.)
"Malaysia's police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, said an examination of the simulator, taken from the home of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, showed its data log had been cleared on February 3..."
But if indeed the Australians have located debris from the plane, I can return to whatever measure of sanity I usually possess.
My wife just left for China on a 777-200ER so I am going to ignore all this for the next 14 hours.
Then there will be a gathering of several talking heads, and they'll discuss topics like "Have they investigated whether the copilot traditionally signed off with 'All right, goodnight'?"
It's enough to make you turn your attention to the situation in Ukraine!
My attitude toward this is when and if (looking less and less likely) someone nas the real story to tell, I'll pay attention, otherwise I'm not interested. I follow this thread, but's that's mostly to see if there is a real story, yet. The coverage of this jumped the shark when a reporter on CNN pressed an investigator over the possibility of the supernatural being involved. My own speculation is the rapture, but that can't be it because I wasn't taken.
Just comes down to, a bunch of talking heads saying the same thing over and over is cheaper to produce than actual news coverage.
All I heard is that further evaluation of the satellite data tracking the plane confirmed that it flew to the southern Indian Ocean. No word yet about anyone in line of site contact with any debris. (to the best of my knowledge)
I had liked the idea that the pilot wanted to commit suicide but couldn't face diving into the ocean so he just went high and depressurized the airplane. That left the descent to 20,000 feet unexplained, and later a pilot commentator said it couldn't be done.
I've been to Diego Garcia, and I think they could hide an airliner there.
If it worked out that way and the pilot only had a few minutes to make sure the plane came down outside a populated area he did a very good job.
All news is a great format when there is something happening. The rest of the time it becomes corrosive.
Instead of 24/7 news, we get 24/7 All One Story, All The Time, Until The Next One.
Do they have a different message for every country?
The same could be said about people building million-dollar homes on the beach in hurricane country. 'Cause the awful stuff will happen to someone else, right? 'Cause it's my home it's magically protected, right?
Stem: Do you think these reported pings will result in locating the plane?
A big and long task to find the wreckage and bodies, if any?
"Pings" heard but no trace of anything showing the evidence of varnished Malaysian Airlines Flt MH 370.
May there be a closure to the bereaved families of the missing passengers as soon as possible .
The first is the head of Emirates Air Tim Clark, who vigorously suggests a whitewash:
And the second is this week's NOVA episode, "Why Planes Vanish", which doesn't definitively take a position, but prominently features experts who make a similar case:
Expert concludes plane was deliberately flown into water
Pilot of missing plane had a flight path on his home flight simulator that took the plane over the southern Indian Ocean:
I often envision a future Earth where the oceans are gone. The plane is revealed somewhere on the remote dry old ocean floor.
Yes, several more experts in agreement with him would add undeniable weight to his statement.
>130 SylviaC: I have several in the Mammoth Book of . . . . series and they re all surprisingly enjoyable; I d expected them to be full of out-of-copyright pulp stuff, but they re not at all. A bonus is that I found them all remaindered. (Sorry, no apostrophe at the mo.)
Im sure there's a good reason, but without looking into further, I'm not sure why Australia has to pay just because they are likely the closest country to the crash site. It seems awfully nice of them to have committed the huge number of hours and equipment to the effort.
Making these recommendations:
A state-to-state approach
In the absence of any ICAO multilateral approach, we have argued that there may be some worth in concluding a state-to-state agreement between relevant states in the event of an accident. Such an agreement could incorporate the following six principles:
The state most proximate to the area in which an aircraft is lost would control the search and rescue operation and would fund that operation.
The state of registration/owners of the aircraft would be granted special status and consulted regarding the particulars of the search and rescue operation.
States with nationals on board the aircraft would be apprised of the parameters of the search on an ongoing basis, and would be invited to monitor that search (through physical representation or otherwise).
Reimbursement of costs incurred by the state controlling the search and rescue operation would be made at periodic intervals during the search (if lengthy) or at its conclusion, with (a) half of the costs borne equally by the state controlling the search and rescue operation and the state of registration/ aircraft owners, and (b) the remaining costs borne by states in proportion to the passengers on board.
If a state cannot afford its apportioned costs, those costs would be assumed by other states on the above basis.
The state most proximate to the area in which an aircraft is lost (in formal consultation with the state of registration/ aircraft owners), would determine when the search concludes.
It seems to us that, no matter whether a multilateral or state-to-state approach is taken, either approach may well afford a measure of certainty (and perhaps comfort) to relatives and friends of passengers.
There's a link on the linked page for downloading the full report PDF — nearly 40MB. I have downloaded it but haven't read it yet and quite possibly never will as obviously it won't have answers.
I say drain the ocean and find the wreckage. Then put the water back ;)
But will there be any money to pursue this as any new search would have to cover a large area? Perhaps in the fairly distant future the remains will be found serendipitously by someone not even looking.
I do think it will be discovered eventually, probably serendipitously. Although as I said upthread, I often imagine a far-future Earth, oceans boiled away as the dying sun expands, with the tiny rusted wreckage visible on the uncovered ocean floor.
The Taking of MH370
by Jeff WisE
It is a good piece. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, I can tell you its main conclusions, fairly plausibly arrived at:
1. The flight was deliberately diverted and terminated.
2. The senior pilot was responsible.
3. A corrupt Malaysian government has withheld the truth about what its investigation has turned up about the pilot and his troubled inner life and likely clinical depression.
4. The Malaysian military failed to send planes to investigate while still nearby in-flight, despite having the information about its strange behavior. This is depicted in the article as negligent, not complicit.
There’s a lot more, and as an inveterate obsessive on the topic, I had to read it. I was surprised to learn how much debris has actually been recovered. I thought it was only a few pieces, but there’s more than I had realized.
Thank you. There was a page in The Times (London) based on this article but I'm glad for the link to this much more detailed article in the Atlantic (which The Times did acknowledge as source).