Yesterday I ended this multi-part blog on the missing Malaysian airliner, Flight 370, with the following versions of the story of the murder of a Malaysian diplomat in Madagascar, who was apparently assisting the Malaysian government's recovery and investigation of the flight's alleged debris, which is allegedly washing up on the shores of Madagascar from... well, from "somewhere" but we're to this day not really sure. Here's those story links once again:
For the purpose of this blog, we'll take the Daily Mail version of the story as being the "seed article", and concentrate on that. The narrative it outlines is clear enough:
A diplomat probing the doomed MH370 flight has been shot dead amid claims he was about to deliver newly-found parts of the jet to Malaysian investigators.
Zahid Raza, Honorary Consul of Malaysia, was gunned down in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa, last week.
There is speculation that he was already a marked man and may have been assassinated over claims he was involved in a kidnap conspiracy in 2009.
But US lawyer Blaine Gibson, who has been retrieving suspected pieces of the doomed Malaysian Airline's jet washed up on the shores of Madagascar, said Raza had been due to deliver newly-found items to Malaysian investigators when he was killed.
You'll note that the Daily Mail's review of the various theories includes all but the "just went poof theory" which is the most outlandish of them all, but does a fairly decent job of reviewing the others, including their most recent morphologies. Additionally, it gives a helpful review of the more significant debris found thus far, where it was found, when it was found, and so on. In reading this review of the debris, I was struck by one consistent pattern: the use of qualifiers such as "almost certainly" or "most likely" such and such a piece was from Flight 370.
Precisely: the idea of a salted debris field is not being considered. In only one instance is a piece said to be "confirmed" to be from Flight 370, but were not informed in the article how this confirmation was made.
But all of this brings us to high octane speculation number one: Assume for the sake of argument that this is debris from the missing flight; indeed, there is no good reason to assume it is not. Then why assassinate a man delivering pieces of the flight to the Malaysian government, if indeed his assassination is linked to Flight 370,which, again and for the sake of speculation, we assume it to be? The presence of an American lawyer suggests one reason immediately: there is some connection between the disappearance of the flight and the USA, and as we saw yesterday, the US military was quick out of the gate with generals on television channels offering bizarre explanations, which suggests involvement or at least knowledge of what happened at some level. A lawyer would represent the Malay, American, and Chinese clients in any legal action to be pursued. But such legal action would require firm evidence of negligence, or deliberate action, having been taken, and this would show up in certain pieces of debris; the debris constitutes a kind of pathology of the flight's demise which an "autopsy" would reveal: was this death accidental? or was it the result of murderous intention? But why assassinate the ambassador delivering debris?
Here it gets more murky, but one has to assume that he is the one individual who has seen the whole catalogue of delivered pieces, and should any pieces go conveniently missing, or be altered in any way, he would be presumably the one individual who could testify that when he saw such-and-such a piece, it looked different. One can only presume that the Malaysian government has also taken the precaution of photographing each piece from multiple angles, inventorying it, both prior to and upon conclusion of, delivery. But in any case, if the unfortunate Mr. Raza's murder is connected to Flight 370, then it is because he knows, or saw, something, and perhaps that something was evidence that (1) the debris was not genuinely from flight 370 and thus was being salted, or (2) that the debris showed an unusual mechanism of destruction or (3) the debris showed or indicated who possibly may ultimately have been behind the demise. Indeed, there many more hypotheses that might be advanced here, and your guess is as good as mine, but these three grabbed my attention, and particularly the first of my enumerated possibilities, which brings us to what is, I must admit, one of my craziest high octane speculations ever.
But it should be at least considered simply for "completeness's sake" because the media coverage of the story appears not to even want to consider such ideas, and to stampede us into another direction (that, namely, of "this is real flight 370 debris"). So let's speculate on the hypothesis that Mr. Raza saw or discovered something that made him doubt the debris that he was delivering was from flight 370.
If so, then presumably Mr. Raza would have shared the observation with someone connected to the investigation whom he could trust. The sharing itself was either intercepted by parties implicated by the discovery, or the parties with whom he shared it were already compromised. If Mr. Raza had concluded or seen evidence suggesting falsified debris of any fashion, then the hypotheses of what happened to the airliner, including the most exotic ones such as my initial "it just went poof" theory, and my corollary suggestion of the involvement of a very exotic phenomenon and/or technology, are still in play(and incidentally, they may be different technologies than I originally envisioned).
If on the other hand Mr. Raza had seen evidence of (2), some evidence of an "unusual mechanism of destruction", implying that it was genuine debris, then again, he would have shared it with trusted associates, and been silenced, while the evidence itself can either be tampered with, or removed completely and any official debris inventories adjusted accordingly. A similar chain of argument results if option (3) is considered. And of course, there can be combinations of two or even all three options (if one really thinks hard about it).
Which brings me to my ultimate speculations: what if Flight 370's disappearance, and the recent Fitzgerald and John McCain incidents are all connected? If one assumes, as I have, that a technology might exist that can reach in, perhaps by remote electromagnetic intrusion, or that actual computer chip hardware with radio-entry backdoors, or software with backdoors, was utilized by "someone" to cause the strange ramming incidents we have seen, then the cyber-jack scenario of MH 370 looms even larger. The problem here, of course, is that we lack an explanation of motive and opportunity, and thus, of who would be willing to send such messages by the destruction of a civilian airliner? And there's another problem: faulty Chinese computer chips have been proposed for the Fitzgerald and McCain incidents, as well as faulty crew training. But these explanations fail in the case of the Donald Cook, since the USA does not buy computer chips from Russia, and in the case of this incident, it was thus by process of elimination a purely remote electromagnetic interference with the ship's systems (unless, of course, the Chinese are sharing their faulty chip secrets with the Russians!).
Either way, perhaps some similar sort of technology was involved with Flight 370. But then, that raises the issue of why Russia or China would do such a thing? There's no good motive for them to do so (and I argued the same in the cases of the Fitzgerald and the John McCain incidents). We might thus be looking at some extra-territorial entity again with access to advanced technologies.
And finally, there is that disturbing, off-the-end-of-the-twig speculation, that 370 did, indeed, just simply 'vanish' only to reappear elsewhere with sudden displacement, with the displacement itself perhaps causing the disintegration of the aircraft, the result perhaps of some bizarre natural phenomenon, or some extremely exotic technology. Such "displacements" have been reported by pilots over the years (see, for example this intriguing book Beyond the Bermuda Triangle: True Encounters with Electronic Fog, Missing Aircraft, and Time Warps by Bruce Gernon and Rob MacGregor), but usually under conditions of very intense and sudden storms over water. We know of no such developments during Flight 370. Which, if this "vanish-displacement" hypothesis is to be entertained, leaves an exotic technology, and someone sending messages.
Regardless of what hypothesis one adopts here, however, I suspect that the bottom line is that the mystery of flight 370 will only grow more acute, for we have, as yet, no agreed upon official narrative or explanation. And that is, in incidents of this sort, in and of itself highly unusual.
And yes, I know today is the 16th anniversary of 9/11. And no, today's blogs were not just accidental. And yes, I believe there may be connections between today's blog, and that event 16 years ago.
See you on the flip side...