While this story is now over a week old, it prompts certain questions, which, when I saw the article, were the same questions that its sender, Mr. S.D., raised in the email in which he shared it with me. We'll get to the basic question, and today's high octane speculation, after the article itself (which will, I suspect, immediately raise the same questions in the reader's mind):
Doubtless your reaction was the same as mine, and the same as Mr. S.D.'s email:
Hence my high octane speculation of the day: why Russian divers? I can understand Indonesian divers, even Australian, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, or Vietnamese divers. Maybe even Indian or Filipino divers, but Russian divers?
The article makes a curious statement, as if to underscore the strangeness:
"BALI, January 6 (Sputnik) – Five divers from the Russian Emergencies Ministry's Centrospas team have picked up signals from a large object in the area of the Java Sea that is being searched for Indonesia's AirAsia plane, the ministry's chief military expert Eduard Chizhikov said on Tuesday.
"Chizhikov underlined that Russia's search and rescue teams have extensive expertise and equipment in finding black boxes. However, searches for the aircraft's flight data recorder have produced no results as efforts entered their 10th day."
OK, I can buy that Russian search and rescue teams "have extensive expertise and equipment in finding black boxes," but I don't seem to recall that Russia is composed of an archipelago of islands surrounded by lots of water over which Aeroflot flights have mysteriously disappeared. Come to think of it, I can't recall a single case - I may be wrong or mistaken here - but I can't recall a single case of an Aeroflot flight being lost over an ocean. Which makes that remark about Russian expertise recovering black boxes from airline crashes in bodies of water a little suspicious. In fact, it highlights the presence of Russian rescue and recovery teams in the case in a rather dramatic fashion.
So ... why are they there? Here's where, to my mind, it gets interesting. Their presence would not, it would seem to be, to be welcome unless they had been invited. Additionally, their presence could not occur without the permission and interest of the Russian government. So here's the high octane speculation: whoever invited them, and the Russians themselves, suspect something very fishy, that the whole Air Asia tragedy, has a high odor to it (especially in the wake of the two other Malaysian airliner disasters, the still-missing and as-yet-to-be-agreed-upon-story of the missing Malaysia air flight 370, and the murky downing of Malaysia Air flight 17 over the Ukraine, which, you;'ll recall, every effort was made to blame Russia for (an effort you'll also recall, quickly evaporated as it became clear that the finger of blame could not be pointed at Russia). To put it country simple: both Russia and their "hidden inviter" suspect something is off with the Asia Air disaster, and they're looking for evidence not only of what happened, but moreover, who was behind it. And if they suspect something fishy about the whole affair, they probably already have an idea about the "what" and the "who", and even the "why"... Perhaps they even suspect that, in uncovering or confirming those suspicions, they will clarify the downing of Malaysia air 17, and even perhaps shed some light of the biggest mystery in the puzzle, the disappearance of Malaysia Air 370.
See you on the flip side...