As most regular readers here know, I am fascinated by the story of the disappearance of Malaysia Air Flight 370, which disappeared a little over four years ago on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with all people presumed dead. So when Mr. J.D., Mr. J.K., Mr. B. and several others brought to my attention that the Malaysian government has finally released its report about the flight, you knew I'd be blogging about it.
We're essentially left where we were before, but with a few additional small details which should be reviewed before I indulge in my high octane speculation. From the Zero Hedge article, we're informed that the Malaysian government has concluded that the aircraft's controls were "manipulated," but it does not speculate as to how:
However one key irregular finding in the 495-page report is that the Boeing 777’s controls were most likely deliberately manipulated to take the plane off course, perhaps putting to rest theories of remote hijacking, which investigators behind the report also considered, noting only that "unlawful third party interference" could have possibly come into play related to the pilots' decision to turn back.
Kok Soo Chon, head of the MH370 safety investigation team, told reporters, "We cannot exclude that there was an unlawful interference by a third party," in reference to the decision to divert the aircraft from the intended destination.
This suggests a hijacking or perhaps even a terrorist incident, except it lacks one crucial aspect of most hijackings or terrorist events: no one has stepped forward and claimed responsibility. The whole point of hijackings and terrorist incidents is to create publicity, not to ignore it altogether.
But then we learn something else, namely, that the Malaysian government has concluded that the aircraft's automatic navigational systems were turned off:
Chief investigator Chon said of the pilots' background and mental health, which the report spends considerable pages examining, "We are not of the opinion it could have been an event committed by the pilots." The report also summarized an extensive investigation into the health and potential criminal history of each of the passengers, but turned up nothing unusual.
Yet speaking at the press conference Chon still added that the findings weren't comprehensive enough to rule anything out, as the systems in the plane were manually turned off, and as the team was able to confirm the manual u-turn.
The map on the Zero Hedge article showing when civilian and military radar contacts were lost has been information that has long been known, and which, to this day, I cannot find any adequate explanation for. Perhaps I simply haven't read each and every article about the subject, but in any case, this map poses one of the central mysteries about whatever event happened to Flight 370. The civilian radar contact was lost while the flight was at roughly 20,000 feet altitude, and just beginning its turn back over the Malaysian peninsula. We know at least this aspect of the story is true, because in the aftermath of the event, some eyewitnesses did step forward to claim that they heard and/or saw a low-flying civilian airliner roaring across the peninsula at low altitude. Military radar contact was lost at the very low altitude of 1,000 feet, as the aircraft was on its west-southwest course. Note, that course does not take us to the environs of the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and the first time I said it was on the late George Ann Hughes' The Byte Show, within a week of 370's disappearance: if "they" start talking about a crash site in the Indian Ocean, worry, because that ocean is very deep, and it's the perfect way to salt a debris field, and/or disappear an aircraft through deliberate misdirection. to this date, I've not found any credible explanation as to why the search was conducted off the West Coast of Australia... Was radar contact re-restablished at some point? Were there eyewitnesses who saw it go down? Was there satellite reconnaissance photography or other information of a classified nature that could not be publicly shared? Exactly how did we get from a last known position southwest of the Malaysian peninsula, with the aircraft heading southwest, when the search areas were south and a little east of that position?
Of course, at the time I was asking those questions, I was advancing the very wild theory that the aircraft had, quite simply, gone "poof", perhaps the victim of some exotic technology. I wasn't the only one. American actor Richard Belzer and American radio talk show host George Noory co-authored a book called Someone is Hiding Something, in which they review several theories, including their own version of my "it just went poof" theory. Then of course, the "debris" was found washing up on the other side of the Indian Ocean, and the Malaysian ambassador responsible for collecting it and returning it to his home country ends up dead. Nothing to see here, move along. Private sources informed me that there were problems with some of that debris. I don't know, as I'm not a pilot nor very familiar with the design details of Boeing civilian airliners.
One this emerges from the reviews of the Malaysian government report - which I hope I'll be able to find copies of - and that is that it does not suspect external remote control or interference with the plane's controls. But at the same time, it also does not suspect that either the pilot or first officer were involved in some sort of sinister suicide plot, though they do point out the odd fact that the captain had apparently been practicing the the flight on his flight simulator at home, as the second article states:
A 440-page final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) last year showed that Zaharie had flown a route on his home flight simulator six weeks earlier that was “initially similar” to the one actually taken by MH370.
There is, however, a threadbare clue, perhaps, in these reviews, and that's the radar contact information itself. All versions of the story have pointed out that radio communications from the aircraft ceased at a certain point; prior articles have stressed that the Rolls Royce jet engines kept sending out their telemetry signals for a few hours after the flight (is this how we know the flight ditched in the Indian Ocean off of Australia? Again, no one knows, because no one, to my knowledge, has stated that). But what if the civilian and military radar contacts - and eventually even the Rolls Royce signals - were lost because the aircraft was surrounded by an ionizing plasma? Such a plasma would interfere with the flight crew's ability to communicate with the outside world, and would interfere with its onflight radar and GPS systems. It's very much the same sort of phenomenon experienced by space flight crews reentering the Earth's atmosphere, when for a few minutes radio contact is impossible due to the high heat plasma sheath surrounding the reentering vehicle. This might account for the loss of communication, and needless to say, would be condign to my "it just went poof" theory. If not, then that ionized plasma might be detectable by more sophisticated space-based technologies, in which case, as Mr. Belzer and Mr. Noory concluded in their book, Someone is Hiding Something.
See you on the flip side...