Sadly, in a way, 2015 is starting off rather like 2014. During the first quarter of last year, we had the now infamous case of Malaysia Air flight 370 disappearing on March 8. Now, we have the apparent crash of Air Asia flight QZ 8501 ushering out 2014 and ushering in 2015. Unlike Malaysia Air 370, which they're still trying to get their story straight on, some of Air Asia's bodies have been quickly found, raising, again, all those troublesome questions about Malaysia Air Flight 370, around which various speculations continue to swirl, including the notion that MH 17, shot down later that year over the Ukraine, was full of bodies that had all apparently died prior to that flight being shot down(some speculating, of course, that the bodies were from flight 370. And for those of you who track such things, there was a similar plot in the BBC's celebrated series Sherlock, the up-dating of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective into a 21st century context. In one episode, Sherlock's older brother, Mycroft Holmes (who works for the British government in some shadowy capacity, and who, it is made clear, has some sort of connection to MI-6) discloses an MI-6 plot concerning an airliner full of dead bodies that would be flown by remote control to create an "incident," and, to sweeten the plot line a bit, also reveals that they'd done it before, in conjunction with ... here it comes... the Germans. (In this context, it needs it be pointed out that the episode, A Scandal in Belgravia, aired almost three years ago to the day, on Jan 1, 2012.)... (...and yes, to answer the question some of you have, I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan, and though I don't think anyone can improve on British actor Jeremy Brett's portrayal, the BBC's classy updated version Sherlock is quite good and Benedict Cumberbatch has certainly made the character his own in an almost Brettian fashion.)
But back to Air Asia QZ 8501, which appears to be a "straightforward airline disaster."
Or does it?
For now there are beginning to be stories that the actual flight path of the aircraft was "somewhat unusual':
Here's the relevant information:
“This morning, we recovered a total of four bodies and one of them was wearing a life jacket,” Tatang Zaenudin, an official with the search and rescue agency, told Reuters.
He declined to speculate on what the find might mean. AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes told reporters there had been no confirmation yet of the sonar image, nor of the discovery of the body wearing a life jacket.
Why is this surprising? Because as Reuters also conveniently notes, the fact that one person put on a life jacket suggests those on board had time before the aircraft hit the water, or before it sank. And yet the pilots did not issue a distress signal. The plane disappeared after it asked for permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather.”
And the article goes on to cite an anonymous pilot who concludes that this means the aircraft did not just "fall out of the sky."
Except, then there's this from the U.K.'s Daily Mail:
And this from Australia's Sydney Morning Herald:
As the latter article points out, an Indonesian expert is saying that the aircraft climbed rapidly, and then went into what for all intentions and purposes was a "power dive"(shades of a certain Egyptian airliner a few years ago):
"The AirAsia jet in which 162 people lost their lives this week behaved in ways "bordering on the edge of logic" according to Indonesian aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman citing leaked information from the air crash investigation team.
"The Airbus 320-200 climbed in a way that was impossible to achieve by the pilot, adding that it subsequently "didn't fall out of the sky like an aeroplane", he told Fairfax Media.
But Australia is saying something else:
"'It was like a piece of metal being thrown down. It's really hard to comprehend … The way it goes down is bordering on the edge of logic'.
"But Australian aviation expert, Peter Marosszeky, from the University of NSW, disputed some of the figures cited, saying the descent figures particularly were 'highly unlikely'."
But the Indonesian expert is sticking to his analysis:
"Mr Soejatman said that at least as baffling was "the extremely low ground speed" which was as low as 61 knots during the descent. This would suggest the plane was heading almost straight down, explaining why it was found in the water just 10km from its last point of radar contact."
In other words, the Indonesian expert is stating basically that the aircraft went nearly straight up (which may have led to a stall), and then almost straight down, covering only a distance of about 6 miles (10km) on the ground, a point made later in the article:
"Leaked figures show the plane climbed at a virtually unprecedented rate of 6000 to 9000 feet per minute, and "you can't do that at altitude in an Airbus 320 with pilot action".
"The most that could normally be expected would be 1000 to 1500 feet on a sustained basis, with up to 3000 feet in a burst, he said.
"The plane then fell at an even more incredible rate: 11,000 feet per minute with bursts of up to 24,000 feet per minute.
"He said the Air France A330 Airbus that crashed in 2009 killing 228 passengers also reached dizzying ascent and descent rates, but some of the figures cited by Mr Soejatman are higher.
'We can't rule out that the data is wrong,' he said, but added that they came from the aircraft itself, transmitted over the Mode S radar."
So what to do? Blame it on "highly unusual weather circumstances":
"The new claims lend weight to the impression that the plane was subject to extraordinary forces from the weather. AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said earlier this week that preliminary investigations suggested the jet encountered "very unique" weather on its flight last Sunday morning from Surabaya to Singapore."
And, just to reassure everyone that it was the weather, the tragedy of the Air France Airbus that crashed over water on a flight from South America to Europe during a storm is recalled:
"He said the Air France A330 Airbus that crashed in 2009 killing 228 passengers also reached dizzying ascent and descent rates, but some of the figures cited by Mr Soejatman are higher."
One certainly cannot rule out weather, since the pilot of Air Asia QZ 8501 did request a change in altitude due to the weather. But given the steep angles of ascent and descent, one wonders just exactly how or when this particular passenger had time to put on a life-jacket. Was this done prior to the steep ascent or descent?
However, I don't know about you, but something in my high octane speculative intuition finds this all very unsettling, not the least of which is because MH 370's disappearance is still shrouded in mystery and obfuscation, and I cannot shake the impression that someone, or something, maybe both, appears to have some sort of curious interest in flights in the southeast Pacific. Weather? Sure, it could do that. Anyone who has seen weird pictures of things like hay embedded in trees after a tornado can attest to the fact that weather can and does do all sorts of unusual things. Scooping up an airliner and then slamming it down into the ocean a bare 6 miles from it's last recorded radar position might be one of them. But in an age where banksters are conveniently talking about "weather derivatives" (i.e., financializing weather itself), and when weather manipulation and control have entered into the capabilities of human technology(a handy thing to have around when one wants to financialize weather!), when Indonesian sovereign securities are sold off - for no good nor apparent financial reason - a week before the tragic tsunami, one begins to wonder. The bottom line for me is that MH 370, 17, and now Air Asia, may somehow be connected.
As the articles themselves note, the Indonesian expert is much less interested in the black box of the aircraft, than the wreckage of the aircraft itself, which will tell a great deal about the forces acting on the unfortunate airliner. To my mind, it is even more interesting that it is Indonesia that is observing, and stating for the record, the strange behavior of the Air Asia flight, and that it is Australians that seem to be questioning the Indonesian expert. And both suggest to me that there are aspects of this sad story that both parties know, and are not openly discussing. My high octane speculative guess is that Indonesia knows that something is fishy, and that someone there is thinking in terms of technology, and perhaps connecting dots to the still mysterious disappearance of MH 370, and that the west wants to write it all off to a freak accident of the weather.
This may or may not be one to watch folks, but for my two cents' worth, I think it is.
See you on the flip side...
(My thanks to all of you who sent me these and other articles about this sad event.)