Malaysian Plane

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Malaysian Plane

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mar 12, 2014, 10:52am

Does this count as History at 30,000 Feet? ;)

Redigeret: mar 12, 2014, 11:51am

Perhaps it did at some point. Unfortunately, I think it's more likely "history in 30,000 pieces" now. An intact aircraft that large is pretty hard to miss, and there's been no evidence of it other than an oil slick which may or may not be relevant.

mar 12, 2014, 12:23pm

The oil slick has been ruled out, BTW.

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.

mar 12, 2014, 12:50pm

Looks like they're looking for help combing satellite pix:

mar 12, 2014, 3:13pm

To some extent this shows the limits of our technology. It always (even still) amazes me that when someone in UK gets murdered or just vanishes that they soon get pictures of him/her on CCTV in the local supermarket or such. Drive down a motorway and cameras are automatically checking if the car is insured and taxed. We're told that satellites can read car number plates from goodness knows how high. And yet a huge plane can just vanish without a trace. The suggestion it turned round with no information from the pilot as to why certainly raises questions.

mar 12, 2014, 4:36pm

>5 PossMan:

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.

mar 12, 2014, 4:44pm

Just got an email from CNN:

(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.

Redigeret: mar 12, 2014, 5:48pm

So before they announce that it just crashed in an area not previously searched, here's the picture I've been imagining (not believing, mind you!):

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 :)

mar 12, 2014, 6:52pm

>8 stellarexplorer: Well, they showed the Chinese satellite photos on the national news and they did not look much like plane wreckage to me, but what do I know?

mar 12, 2014, 6:59pm

Well utilizing my years of expertise in aviation disaster oceanography... I have no idea!

mar 13, 2014, 11:06am

Well, they found bupkis in that area where the Chinese satellite photos indicated there should be wreckage.

And the plot continues to thicken:

mar 13, 2014, 11:51am

I have to admit to a fascination with this story, chilling as the human lives at stake indeed are.

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?

mar 13, 2014, 11:59am

Yes. While I'm horrified at the human aspect of it, I'm also fascinated by the idea of a plane just vanishing, given the amount of technological tracking that exists now.

mar 13, 2014, 12:00pm

I'm obsessed. :o(

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.

Redigeret: mar 13, 2014, 1:36pm

Yeah, hard to know what's going on with the Malaysians. I've been assuming that they are merely being protective of their technical capabilities out of national security concerns. The Chinese, in particular, would be the ones they'd most like to keep away from that information. But the truth is often stranger...

mar 13, 2014, 3:42pm

So now the latest is that the the "US has indication that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean".

My theory gains support. :)

mar 13, 2014, 4:48pm

Yes, I think I linked in #11 to the story about how the engines sent data to Rolls Royce for four hours after the transponder was turned off or malfunctioned. Several paragraphs down they mentioned that would have taken it over the Indian Ocean.

mar 13, 2014, 5:30pm

I interpreted the new US suspicions - perhaps erroneously - as based on other as yet undisclosed info. But maybe not.

Redigeret: mar 13, 2014, 8:56pm

It's the same data. I'm watching Anderson Cooper now. That data combined with what possibly looks like the plane heading that way on radar.

Redigeret: mar 13, 2014, 11:25pm

One more way out idea. The only state crazy enough to commandeer a plane is North Korea. As you will recall, they are friendly with the Burmese (recall the assassination attempt on the S Korean president while he visited there, and the 2008 pact between the two countries).

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?

mar 14, 2014, 5:37am

20> "How do you rike me now, Hans Brix?"

mar 14, 2014, 6:57am

Right, just not fiction, maybe.

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!

Redigeret: mar 14, 2014, 8:00am

I can sleep, but I check Google News first thing each morning to see if there have been any new developments.

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.

Redigeret: mar 14, 2014, 9:25am

Considering how little pilots are paid how could he afford a simulator?

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.

mar 14, 2014, 10:10am

>24 TLCrawford: Yes, that case has been sited a few times this week.

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."

mar 14, 2014, 11:42am

>24 TLCrawford: The Payne Stewart scenario, as it is often dubbed, has generally been rejected because of the finding that the transponders were turned of at different times, implying deliberately rather than due to mechanical failure of the plane or structural catastrophe, or

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.

mar 14, 2014, 11:48am

I've been thinking about the Andaman Islands as a landing place too. Keep in mind this is among the most remote places in the world, it's natives having only limited contact with the world. I saw a video of terrified inhabitants attacking a helicopter with sticks.

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.

mar 14, 2014, 10:02pm

Just noticed that I got this message from CNN at 5:00 this evening:

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.

Redigeret: mar 14, 2014, 10:13pm

Yeah, things like that are being said, but so far it strikes me as only based on the initial direction change and believed duration of flight, but no one has any actual knowledge of how the flight ended. yet. But fascinating. People seem to keep raising the decompression scenario, followed by the argument that the turning off of the transponders and manual change of direction would seem to rule that out.

mar 14, 2014, 10:21pm

Yup. And I'm still fascinated by the seismic-type 'seafloor event' the Chinese say they recorded.

mar 14, 2014, 10:31pm

The creativity arising from this event is a tribute to the variability in human perception...

mar 14, 2014, 11:09pm

Imagine trying to pinpoint airplane debris in the Indian Ocean.

>31 stellarexplorer: Just wait for the blockbuster movie!

Redigeret: mar 15, 2014, 8:32am

mar 15, 2014, 8:36am

I was reminded this morning that it took 2 years to locate the flight recorder from the Air France plane that went down in the Atlantic so I am beginning to despair of anything conclusive in the near future. On a more human aspect of the search I came across this at "The Converstion" :-
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.

mar 15, 2014, 10:51am

I'm very often bothered by the media displaying the grief of victims' families. I realize that it is part of the story, and that some people want to have their say, but too often it seems that the media is hounding them, and adding to the trauma. It's grief porn.

Redigeret: mar 15, 2014, 12:12pm

"So how does it feel to hear that your child has just been killed?"

These people are near criminals.

mar 15, 2014, 1:58pm


mar 15, 2014, 7:42pm

"So how does it feel to hear that your child has just been killed?"

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.

mar 16, 2014, 1:03pm

So now they have revealed that the first transponder was turned off BEFORE the final calm, routine voice contact with the pilot. There seems to be agreement that a skilled pilot was necessary to fly the way the plane apparently did. And that the doors are secure enough that it would be unlikely for them to be forced so quickly that there would be no time for a message of "Hijack Underway" to have been sent.

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.


mar 16, 2014, 3:18pm

#39: Just watched a BBC news programme in which their reporter as good as said changing course was easy peasy. He'd learnt how (he claimed) in just a few minutes, punched in few numbers on the console and hey presto outside the simulator window the landscape wheeled round as the plane headed for a new waypoint. I'm inclined to think there's probably more to flying than that and if asked to bet would go for your last sentence.

Redigeret: mar 16, 2014, 4:48pm

>40 PossMan: It's odd - I keep hearing people identified as "aviation experts" arguing that the specific flight maneuvers (climbing, descending, and slicing right along the limits of various countries' radar monitoring zones) requires a great deal of skill. But I also recall that the 911 hijackers only needed a fraction of the skill to fly the planes as they would have to get them into the air successfully.

The whole episode has been an exercise in whom to believe, if anyone ;)

mar 17, 2014, 5:36pm

>41 stellarexplorer: Good point. It's easy to drive a car when you're cruising along the Interstate, less so when you're backing out of steep, icy driveway or getting across six lanes of traffic to make your turn.

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.

mar 17, 2014, 5:54pm

Shhh, the plane's in my backyard.

Redigeret: mar 18, 2014, 5:15am

I have to admit that for the first time I am starting to shift away from the suicidal pilot theory. It's the middle of the night, so maybe this will seem crazy in the light of day.

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.

mar 18, 2014, 8:41am

Makes perfect sense to me, and it's morning. (But I can't tell if it's because you're really on to something, or because I'm somewhat paranoid.)

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.

mar 18, 2014, 10:22am

Last night they were saying that the plane's computer had been reprogrammed, with new coordinates punched in manually. But nobody said how they knew this. Has anyone heard how investigators would have found that out?

mar 18, 2014, 11:20am

How many people are going to be confused if this was the rapture?

Redigeret: mar 18, 2014, 11:28am

I have a bad feeling that only a few individuals, skilled at planning, are experiencing rapture over this. But,yeah, that would put a new perspective on things for me, certainly!

mar 18, 2014, 11:31am

>46 clamairy: "Makes perfect sense to me, and it's morning."

I was afraid of that.

mar 18, 2014, 12:30pm

At least according to MSNBC Malaysia has been putting out a different contradictory story every few minutes so you can't really trust anything they say.

Redigeret: mar 18, 2014, 1:04pm

That's right. But the data coming from the manufacturers is more believable, and that's some of the most important stuff in constructing the rough outline of a story. Which could still be entirely inaccurate.

Redigeret: mar 18, 2014, 2:04pm

So... what do we do if the plane suddenly reappears in the air and tries to land somewhere? Do we let it? Do we threaten to shoot it down and try to force to land somewhere 'safe?' Could anywhere actually be safe? Was it taken by people who hate us, or those who hate the Chinese? Yes, I do worry about these things. It sounds terrible but I'd rather it were under the water somewhere than to have all those people used as human shields for some twisted group.

mar 18, 2014, 3:22pm

>53 clamairy:: That scenario would seem to assume that the plane not only landed but landed somewhere where it could be refuelled so not some mid-ocean island unknown to us (or to the US). Were the passengers already dead when it first landed? Or were they kept alive as hostages for the sort of of reasons you seem to suggest? A horrible dilemma if it reappears but I've a feeling it wont't.

Redigeret: mar 18, 2014, 4:50pm

My thought is that if the diversion story is true the passengers are probably dead. And yes, certainly, if the plane is detected in flight, it cannot be allowed to reach its destination. Just as fighter jets were scrambled after the first three planes hit buildings on 911. The jets had orders to shoot down the fourth if it necessary.

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.

Redigeret: mar 18, 2014, 9:23pm

Well, you're not alone in your paranoid musings. Small comfort, I know. I'd rather The Powers that Be were worried and vigilant for no reason than to have them just assume the jet went down with all hands.

(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.)

Redigeret: mar 20, 2014, 2:06am

This seems possibly more significant than the lack of interest it's garnered:

"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.

mar 20, 2014, 8:03am

Those are some pretty big pieces they're saying they've spotted. I wonder how long we'll have to wait for confirmation.

mar 20, 2014, 1:51pm

Until a ship finds the reported debris and has something in hand that can be positively linked to the plane I remain skeptical. 80 feet is only two cargo containers and 15 feet could be one floating on end instead of on its side. It is a big ocean.

My wife just left for China on a 777-200ER so I am going to ignore all this for the next 14 hours.

Redigeret: mar 20, 2014, 8:24pm

>59 TLCrawford: Hope her travels are non-eventful!

mar 21, 2014, 8:48am

She landed at 3:43 my time this morning, somehow I was awake for here text message. I can relax for two weeks now.

mar 21, 2014, 11:20am

Good to hear!

mar 22, 2014, 9:42pm

From CNN: NASA said Saturday that it plans to point some of its satellites at the search area.

Redigeret: mar 22, 2014, 10:41pm

The news is full of bulletins like this : BREAKING NEWS! NO NEW NEWS ABOUT THE MISSING PLANE!

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!

mar 22, 2014, 11:23pm

Cover actual news? Heaven forfend!

mar 22, 2014, 11:48pm

Yesterday there was a one hour special about it. An hour of people saying, "After two weeks, no one knows anything."

Redigeret: mar 23, 2014, 8:21am

On its iPad edition the Sunday Times (UK) says that the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmed, took a mystery 2 minute phone call just before the flight. Called from a pay-as-you-go card that was obtained by someone using a false identity (under Malaya's anti-terror laws everyone buying a SIM card has to provide details of identity card or passport number. It suggests the pilot may have had links with an anti-government group. Meanwhile the familes of the 2 pilots and the families of the cabin crew are being held at separate locations. Mind you I can imagine lots of people with PAYG phone cards do not identify themselves properly but are without malicious intent.

mar 23, 2014, 12:01pm

Yesterday someone tweeted that CNN had renewed The Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight for a second season.

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.

mar 23, 2014, 1:05pm

Realistically, abduction by aliens for placement in a Galactic Zoo is looking more and more likely as the explanation. ;)

mar 23, 2014, 1:39pm

Someone else tweeted that wherever the plane was, it took the last shred of CNN's credibility with it.

Just comes down to, a bunch of talking heads saying the same thing over and over is cheaper to produce than actual news coverage.

mar 24, 2014, 10:56am

Malaysian government announces plane crashed in Indan Ocean. Could this be the time they got it right?

mar 24, 2014, 2:19pm

At 10:00 this morning I got and email from my wife saying that there was news coming in about the plane. The hotel that they do the news briefings from is around the corner from her hotel. She said that the streets were nearly blocked from news trucks. It seems that CNN is not alone in making a big deal out of "nothing new".

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)

mar 24, 2014, 10:35pm

Here's my favorite explanation so far:

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.


mar 25, 2014, 12:46am

That's about as likely as many of the ideas out there. Including mine!

mar 25, 2014, 10:17am

There was an article I read titled something like "The four least crazy theories" that contained one that struck me as very possible. A pilot suggested that a a combination of high heat, dry conditions, and low tire pressure could have started a smoldering fire. We know that the runway was dry and hot. According to the pilot the first thing to do with a fire of unknown origins is to start pulling circuit breakers and the last thing to do is turn on the oxygen, don't feed the beast. Climbing to a high altitude might have been to starve the fire of oxygen and heat, that is my theory. According to the article pilots have hoods to keep smoke away but it does not supply oxygen and it is possible they only had a few minutes to take counter measures before the smoke got to them.

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.

mar 25, 2014, 10:51am

I heard that too and it sounded plausible. The suggestion is also that you try to get to the nearest airport to get the plane down, and there was one on the Malaysian coast, just in the western direction the plane turned to. The pilot would have been very familiar with it. I've heard it claimed that the lack of cell messages may be attributable to poor coverage in the area. And at high altitude, even more so.

mar 25, 2014, 11:26pm

In other, off-topic news...

Redigeret: mar 26, 2014, 2:00am

>77 binders: heard an npr interview with him, and he made a lot of sense. Nothing you didn't already think, but it's a message that deserves more attention. I'm paraphrasing and reinterpreting here, but I took from it Stop wasting your previous time on the planet, and don't cede it to the news/entertainment/corps who are only too happy to increase their profits by feeding you addictive pablum.

mar 26, 2014, 9:33am

#77 I freely admit to being a news addict, I can even name when I became addicted. I first heard about Bobby Kennedy's assassination when my mother picked me up from spending a weekend at a friends house. Now I hate to be away from a radio that I can trust to let me know when the missiles start to fly. I disagree that we spend to much time with the news. I get mine during my commute to work. My parents would spent 45 minutes each morning going through the newspaper. They got better local news but I listen to NPR so I think I manage to stay as informed on international and cultural news as they did. I think driving is a waste of my time, staying informed is not.

All news is a great format when there is something happening. The rest of the time it becomes corrosive.

Redigeret: mar 26, 2014, 10:00am

>79 TLCrawford: de Botton on that "breakfast news" programme (consumption metaphor anyone?) could be seen as them having run out of actual news on the malaysian plane, and getting a talking head to tell us about the phenomenon of the story itself.

mar 26, 2014, 10:40am

John Stewart did a great bit on the over-coverage on The Daily Show the other day:

mar 26, 2014, 12:53pm

These kinds of events, events that carry over several days/weeks do not absorb my attention, in fact, when I see some tragedy has taken place like a massacre or an oil spill or a plane crash or a terrorist attack I pay attention to the general outline of the issue and then, through my news sources pay only enough attention to what's going on to know when it's time to pay attention again. This way I don't get hung up in the speculation and hype. I have found this approach keeps me from getting too tense about stuff. The worst thing about 9/11 was when BushCo said the whole world had changed. It hadn't, we just were included with everyone else. That kind of talk opens people to emotional manipulation which always leads to poor decisions and stupid, pointless actions. So, when there is real news about this event I'll pay attention to the real news and continue to ignore the hype.

Redigeret: mar 26, 2014, 1:00pm

>81 clamairy: Loved that - hilarious!

mar 26, 2014, 1:35pm

The Malaysian plane coverage reminds me of when John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s plane crashed. That had days of round-the-clock coverage whether there was any "breaking" news or not. It's like, they get started on these things and it becomes an addiction. They just can't stop...

Instead of 24/7 news, we get 24/7 All One Story, All The Time, Until The Next One.

Redigeret: mar 26, 2014, 8:19pm

>81 clamairy:

Do they have a different message for every country?

mar 26, 2014, 5:01pm

>85 SylviaC: Bwaa haa haa!!! That's brilliant!

mar 27, 2014, 10:31am

My attention has been temporarily diverted by the landslide in Washington state. Not the rescue / recovery but the revelations that everyone knew it was going to happen. It has a long record of happening in that valley, along that road, and the local government kept issuing building permits. Property value is higher than the value of lives.

mar 27, 2014, 3:19pm

>87 TLCrawford:

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?

apr 7, 2014, 12:53am

Poll: do you think these reported pings will result in locating the plane?

apr 8, 2014, 5:06am

>89 stellarexplorer:, IRT your poll, no. I base my opinion on the track record of hope and disappointment experienced already. But that's just me being pessimistic. It's a big ocean.

apr 8, 2014, 11:24am

Thanks for the input. I think there's a way do do a formal poll using the site software. But that's beyond my limited technical expertise.

apr 8, 2014, 12:06pm

<vote>Type your question here.</vote>


Stem: Do you think these reported pings will result in locating the plane?

Nuværende optælling: Ja 5, Nej 7, Ved ikke 2

apr 8, 2014, 12:13pm

>92 SylviaC: SylviaC, Very cool.

apr 8, 2014, 3:10pm

Thank you Sylvia. Next time I'll know! :)

apr 9, 2014, 7:43am

Ha! I am changing my answer in that poll because of today's news.

apr 9, 2014, 8:26am

This anti submarine listening gear is amazing but until they get three readings from very different areas I remain undecided. I could be mistaken but I feel that the first readings were made from locations too close together to really help pinpoint the source. Triangulating with two lines that are nearly parallel can not be that efficient.

apr 9, 2014, 10:07am

I have an inclination to believe, but fear I've been burned by this story too many times.

Redigeret: apr 9, 2014, 2:29pm

I'm feeling more confident. I don't think we are going to have any quick answers but feel the evidence they now have will lead them to do a search with submersibles etc in a much smaller area than the original search. But still quite a big area and at quite a depth. And it's probably not all in one spot.

apr 10, 2014, 10:03am

apr 10, 2014, 10:13am

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 .

apr 11, 2014, 2:43pm

apr 11, 2014, 11:58pm

Mysterious !!!

Redigeret: maj 15, 2014, 3:06pm

Regarding the poll, not much evidence yet that the pings helped...

:) :(

Redigeret: okt 11, 2014, 3:46am

Not much news on this front, but I did come across two interesting sources today, both arguing that the satellite data suggesting an end in the Indian Ocean are unreliable, and expressing the belief that human intervention was probably involved. These were not crackpot sources, and I'm not sure where to go with this. I wanted to let the plane rest on the bottom of the ocean, 300+ souls long oblivious to their destination.

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:

okt 11, 2014, 7:39am

Yesterday's newspaper (London Times) had another interesting fact. Franz Timmermans, the Dutch Foreign Minister, mentioned in a television interview on Wednesday that one of the passengers had an oxygen mask on which means that passengers didn't all die instantly. FT acknowledged that no passengers would have seen the missile hit as shrapnel blasted through the fuselage but added "..... do you know someone was found with an oxygen mask on their mouth and so they had time to put it on?"

okt 11, 2014, 9:32am

>105 PossMan: The Dutch Foreign Minister was referring to Flight 17, which is the one that was shot down. This thread is about Flight 370.

okt 11, 2014, 10:04am

Denne bruger er blevet fjernet som værende spam.

Redigeret: okt 11, 2014, 10:21am

>106 clamairy:: Of course. My apologies - it's been quite a while since I was in this thread and just got confused. My fault for not taking the time to check back posts.

okt 11, 2014, 1:04pm

No problem at all. Actually, I wish we knew whether passengers on Flight 370 wore oxygen masks at any point in the flight....

jul 29, 2015, 11:38pm

At last, a clue.

jul 30, 2015, 7:01am


Redigeret: aug 2, 2016, 12:52am

A year since last post.

Expert concludes plane was deliberately flown into water

Redigeret: aug 6, 2016, 12:33pm

Is there a story finally falling into place?:

Pilot of missing plane had a flight path on his home flight simulator that took the plane over the southern Indian Ocean:

aug 6, 2016, 12:13pm

I just saw that NY Times piece and came rushing in to see if anyone was discussing it. They are claiming it's not totally conclusive because there were so many other routes on the simulator. But...

aug 6, 2016, 12:37pm

Right, it sounds like it's one more piece to mull over, but not conclusive. Suggestive, I would think. And expert opinion is often hard to parse, so I don't know what to do with the Canadian expert's conclusion in >112 stellarexplorer:. I'd like to hear from another "expert" to gauge the validity. But maybe we'll have something to hang our hats on eventually.

I often envision a future Earth where the oceans are gone. The plane is revealed somewhere on the remote dry old ocean floor.

aug 6, 2016, 12:52pm

>115 stellarexplorer: But then who would be here to observe it?

Yes, several more experts in agreement with him would add undeniable weight to his statement.

aug 6, 2016, 12:55pm

>116 clamairy: is that a trick question? ;)

aug 6, 2016, 12:58pm

aug 6, 2016, 11:03pm

>117 stellarexplorer: >118 clamairy:
"If a tree falls in the forest..." seems to have a double meaning here, doesn't it?

aug 7, 2016, 12:41am

>119 AnnaClaire: quite right!:)

nov 1, 2016, 10:26pm

"Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Likely in Steep Dive Before Crash"

nov 2, 2016, 10:23am

An image has periodically flashed through my mind in recent months: a future Earth, seas dried up, and a vision of the remote debris field on the dry ocean bed

Redigeret: nov 2, 2016, 3:23pm

And a future SF author might write about a world where the wreckage (not in one piece) is visible to all. Although if it's at a depth we're led to believe most of the earth's surface would be land.

nov 2, 2016, 5:43pm

>123 PossMan: right, in my image the surface is entirely solid, the oceans having disappeared

nov 2, 2016, 5:53pm

Oh, that doesn't sound good!

Redigeret: nov 2, 2016, 6:18pm

>115 stellarexplorer: Ive actually read a story set on the earth after oceans have disappeared centred on travellers crossing a dry ocean bed, probably in The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic SF; shall have a look, at least a cursory one, for the title of it if you like.

nov 2, 2016, 6:52pm

>126 bluepiano: Thank you bluepiano. That sounds interesting. No new idea under the sun, naturally!

nov 2, 2016, 8:31pm

If alien explorers come here after the oceans dry up, I imagine they will be impressed with the amount of human crap to be found in the former depths.

nov 2, 2016, 9:35pm

>128 PhaedraB: That's quite funny!

nov 2, 2016, 10:08pm

>126 bluepiano: Something for my wishlist!

nov 3, 2016, 5:43am

>127 stellarexplorer: The story is indeed in that anthology; it s "Guardians of the Phoenix" by Eric Brown.

>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.)

nov 3, 2016, 10:20pm

>132 binders: That was awesome!

nov 7, 2016, 12:00pm

>132 binders: Indeed, stellar is right. Love it! Thank you for that.

Redigeret: jan 17, 2017, 2:33am

The official announcement came today: The underwater search for Malaysia Air Flight 370 has been terminated, the main remains or debris field not found.

jan 17, 2017, 7:44pm

>135 stellarexplorer: I'm somewhat ashamed to admit I didn't realize they were still actively searching.

jan 17, 2017, 8:00pm

>136 clamairy: I wouldn't be ashamed to admit it. I think most people would have assumed it called of a long time ago but they have been wasting extraordinary amounts of money and time looking for this.

jan 17, 2017, 11:01pm

Speaking of money, the search cost $160 million. Australia has agreed to pay $60 million and China $20 million. Malaysia has paid $80 million and has agreed to pay the balance of the final search cost.

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.

jan 17, 2017, 11:19pm

Admittedly there were a number of Australians who died in the incident but I still think Australia wore a disproportionate share of the costs.

jan 17, 2017, 11:44pm

I think it's because of arcane clauses in treaties about who's responsible for which swath of ocean.

jan 18, 2017, 12:38am

>140 PhaedraB: Yes I think you're right but they've spent over 2 years working on it.

jan 18, 2017, 1:27am

>140 PhaedraB: I'd read something to that effect, but it seems a trifle to unfair. I haven't heard much complaint voiced at least in the international media from Australia. I wonder what the view is there?

jan 18, 2017, 1:33am

I found this paper from an Australian group:

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.

jan 18, 2017, 7:22am

A bit OT but it seems to me that sometimes a lot of pressure comes from the families of victims for the recovery of victims' bodies. I'm thinking also of mining accidents where mines can be sealed off as being too dangerous to enter after initial efforts. Sunk fishing vessels around Scotland have also occasioned demands for recovery. I'm not sure the demands for recovery are always reasonable as the costs will often be very high. I believe there are a lot of bodies on the slopes of Everest but the mountaineers accept the risk and their families 'know the score'.

mar 28, 2017, 1:12pm

It's been over two months since the last post on this thread. Has there been any further information, such as whether the crash appears intentional or not. The only thing I've seen was the search being suspended, which I thought (with respect to the families) was overdue. Kudos to Australia for being thorough.

apr 3, 2017, 4:40pm

I haven't heard anything further. It looks now like a cold case at the bottom of the ocean. One day, a billion years from now or more, the oceans will boil away and the remains of the wreckage will lie exposed. Or more likely, technology identifies it within a few decades.

apr 4, 2017, 10:49am

Or some researchers will stumble upon it while searching for something else. It's sad the plane couldn't be found to give closure to relatives and some potential answers to investigators. Still, how many thousands of years have we been sailing the ocean and the many, many wrecks that have occurred. I think it's probably a modern phenomenon thinking we can solve all disappearances. We can do a lot, but every once and a while we're reminded how truly big the ocean is.

apr 4, 2017, 6:50pm

Yes, and how little we are whether we like to think so or not.

apr 4, 2017, 9:29pm

>148 stellarexplorer: Puny insignificant mortals...

Redigeret: apr 5, 2017, 12:01am

Who've gotten just a little too taken with their own importance, a trait that rarely goes unpunished...


Redigeret: okt 3, 2017, 9:52am

There's a Guardian story here as the investigation is (officially at least) closed:-

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.

okt 3, 2017, 10:34am

If not found before, one day the oceans will burn off, and the main debris field will finally be visible on the former ocean floor somewhere.

okt 3, 2017, 12:03pm

>152 stellarexplorer: Now there’s something to look forward to...

okt 30, 2017, 1:03pm

>152 stellarexplorer: Actually, if it doesn't happen relatively soon (like within a few millennia), the airplane debris will likely be entombed in oceanic debris and rendered all but invisible. But then I suppose any curious aliens, or humans curious about their ancestral homeworld, will have sophisticated means to scan the ocean floor for evidence of any such entombments. The question then becomes, will the 2014 Malaysian plane attract much notice amid all the other wrecks of ships and planes that have been lost under the waves?

okt 30, 2017, 1:57pm

>154 Muscogulus: And on a slightly longer timescale (a few hundred million years, well before the oceans boil away) the local ocean crust will probably have been subducted, along with its cargo of Anthropocene litter.

okt 30, 2017, 3:13pm

>154 Muscogulus: >155 Cynfelyn: Yes, you are both quite right. I was being excessively romantic. On further reflection, I suspect the most likely scenario is that we humans develop better technologies for looking at the ocean floor ourselves within the next few centuries, and we locate the wreckage before the onset of the events you quite rightly point out.

okt 30, 2017, 3:26pm

My prediction is that we humans will develop better technologies in a fairly short time, decades at most rather than centuries, but by that time we will have lost all interest in solving this particular problem. We may find the answer by pure chance whilst investigating something entirely different.

jan 10, 2018, 11:24am

jan 11, 2018, 11:04am

>158 stellarexplorer: Wow, how will they make payroll and overhead if they don't find anything?

jan 11, 2018, 12:36pm

The risks and rewards of capitalism? I kind of like when people take on projects with clear incentives and the risk of no gain, but that’s me.

jan 12, 2018, 11:58am

Especially when you lose you can make someone else pay for it. That's the best part: privatize the profits, socialize the losses. Wow, can't beat that.

jan 14, 2018, 3:51pm

This is incredible news. I do hope their equipment functions as planned.

jan 16, 2018, 11:42am

Much of the search should be made easier with the use of underwater drones or underwater autonomous vehicles (UAVs). I look forward to following this story.

jan 16, 2018, 10:54pm

>163 pmackey: They were using drones before, but they were cabled to a ship on the surface. Now they will be using UAVs.

jan 17, 2018, 7:31am

From what I understand if success comes it will not be new technology but rather they are going to be searching a new area.

feb 3, 2018, 2:52pm

It's been 24 days. Has anyone seen even a tiny blip in the news about this? I have not. :o(

feb 3, 2018, 4:54pm

Nope. But any day now....

maj 14, 2018, 9:16am

An article in the Independent (UK) claims that this was deliberate suicide/murder. I would like to see what the hard evidence is but can't say I'm surprised. Perhaps we will never know unless the plane is found (and recovered?)

Redigeret: maj 14, 2018, 12:09pm

That’s the kind of speculation we heard on day 1. The evidence for it is that there has been no other explanation found. Could be right. I’m not even doubting that the pilot is responsible. But where is the evidence? And what good is terrorism, if the public isn't terrorized? The example is given in the article of the Germanwings flight. But no one argues that was terrorism; rather a deranged and suicidal pilot.
I say drain the ocean and find the wreckage. Then put the water back ;)

maj 14, 2018, 2:15pm

>169 stellarexplorer:: A deranged suicidal pilot seems to be what the link in my post is suggesting although lucid enough to do some prior research and planning so not just "spur of the moment".

maj 14, 2018, 3:25pm

>169 stellarexplorer: I have a couple of buckets and a wet vac. When do we get started?

maj 14, 2018, 4:09pm

>170 PossMan: Oops, you are right, somehow I misinterpreted. Deranged pilot. Yep, makes as much or more sense than anything else.

maj 14, 2018, 4:10pm

>171 pmackey: I have another wet vac, and a basement pump. Just say the word!

maj 14, 2018, 4:51pm

Do you have an aqaurium to put all the fish you vacuum up?

maj 14, 2018, 6:06pm

Oi, pm & explorer, I've been looking for ages for seaweed in bulk to make a hooked rug for the sitting room. If your vacs' filtration systems tease out the stuff and you send it on to me I'll be happy to pay postage. Only if it's no trouble, mind you. And I promise that I'd return any airplane parts you overlooked.

maj 15, 2018, 5:19am

>175 bluepiano: A hooked rug from seaweed??? Is that a thing? If so, my mind has been expanded. I'll stick with wool, thank you, though the farmers are getting angry about all the bald patches on their flocks.

jan 30, 2019, 10:04am

A newish line of inquiry reported in "The Conversation".

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.

jan 30, 2019, 10:58am

It would be costly. You’d have to convince deep pockets of the likelihood of success. I read that and though “oh there’s another approach”, but not “I hear a call to action”.

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.

apr 8, 2019, 10:09pm

And now there’s this book:

The Taking of MH370
Kindle Edition
by Jeff WisE

apr 9, 2019, 7:38am

>179 stellarexplorer:: Looks interesting.

apr 17, 2019, 11:24am

Amazon just sent me 9 offerings of books on the missing plane. How did they know? ;)

apr 17, 2019, 11:39am

>181 stellarexplorer: I am both pleased and horrified when that happens.

apr 17, 2019, 11:43am

>182 clamairy: Yes, and it’s hard to be surprised anymore, but I still shiver. One day (maybe already?) it will seem quaint and archaic to feel one’s privacy invaded.

apr 17, 2019, 1:45pm

If you order from Amazon through LT, they'll get you

apr 17, 2019, 2:51pm

I think they’ll get you no matter what. Unless you go off the grid.

Redigeret: jun 20, 2019, 11:24am

In the continuing narrative of “The Flight That Never Ended”, we now have this long form article in The Atlantic :

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.

jun 19, 2019, 1:22pm

I'll read it on the plane to Bangkok

Redigeret: jun 19, 2019, 4:02pm

>187 Macumbeira: From the way the article portrays the role of the Malaysian government, you might not want to carry the article with you on the stopover in Kuala Lumpur

jun 20, 2019, 12:38am

flying over Abu dhabi : )

jun 20, 2019, 6:21am

>186 stellarexplorer::
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).

jun 20, 2019, 5:53pm

>186 stellarexplorer: Oh, thanks for this. I'll have to check it out when I have a bigger chunk of time.

jul 12, 2019, 7:47am

aug 2, 2019, 10:56am

Thanks. Sad. But the main new idea there is that bereaved families don’t want to hear the “single disturbed pilot” theory. There must be conspiracy.