Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Reason, Skepticism > On the Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

On the Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has become one of the most closely followed news stories of the last few days. While plane disappearances are not unheard of, even in the post-WW2 era, they have become increasingly rare and almost never occur to aircraft as large as the Boeing-777.

I have been meaning to publish an article on this bizarre incident for the last 2-3 days, but was unable to do so because of the constant (and often contradictory) bits of news coming out of multiple “unnamed” sources. Well, things have changed in the last 12-odd hours and we now have a somewhat coherent (but still unclear) picture of what might have happened to that flight. So here is a list of what we know, or don’t know, with a high degree of certainty.

1] The communication gear in that aircraft was able to return a satellite ping as late as 8:11 am Malaysian time on the day it disappeared, or about 7 hours after its transponder stopped broadcasting. This implies that the aircraft was structurally intact and likely flying for about 7 hours after its transponder signal disappeared.

This bit of evidence immediately suggest two things. Firstly, the aircraft in question was being deliberately flown either by a human or computer for an extended period of time. Secondly, whoever was flying that aircraft was not interested in definitely not interested in crashing it and killing everyone on it, as they could have done that almost instantly. Nor were they interested in crashing that aircraft into some building or structure, as that would also have occurred within a few hours. Whoever pulled it off had a well thought out plan.

2] The ACARS system was disabled minutes before the transponder went off air and just before the plane was supposed to enter Vietnamese airspace. This chain of events and the timeline also suggests that the diversion of MH370 was deliberate. The last routine sounding verbal communication from MH370 occurred after the ACARS was disabled but before the transponder went dark. It is also worth noting that the pilot of another commercial plane who was trying to contact that flight half an hour after it “disappeared” claims to have heard some mumbling before the transmission cut.

This suggests that conscious humans were present in the cockpit for at least thirty minutes after the transponder went blank. If the plane was malfunctioning, either of the two pilots in the cockpit could have easily contacted nearby airports or aircraft through one of the many redundant communication systems on that airplane and requested assistance. But they did not do so. Why not?

3] The most mysterious part of the MH370 story is the motive, or to be more accurate- the lack of one to date. If the pilots or whoever was flying that plane was simply interested in killing people by either simply crashing it or crashing it into something, we would have heard about it by now. Similarly the idea that somebody stole an airplane as large and specialized as the 777 for selling its parts on the black market does not make sense, as they are far less riskier ways to steal from your employers inventory.

It is also very odd that no organisation, group or individuals has come forward and taken credit for this disappearance. We have not heard about any list of demands or proof of life for the passengers on that airplane. This is especially odd since we live in an era where the ubiquity of the internet, social media and smartphones make it incredibly easy for any moron with half a brain could have easily done so.

4] The current location of that airliner is the final part of this mystery. But before we go there, let us be clear about one thing- whoever was flying that airplane had thought this out in some detail and intended to survive the landing. With that in mind, let us look at the two (or three) possible parts of the world it could have landed in. The cropped graphic (below) from WaPo is especially good for illustrating what I am going to talk about.

MalaysiaRange_graphic-01

The southern Indian ocean is remarkably lacking in both islands and lightly guarded airstrips. The only islands, or island groups, with a functional airstrips are Christmas island, Cocos (Keeling) island, the american base at Diego Garcia, a few airstrips in the Maldives and a few more in Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion island. We can also add Madagascar to that list- but my point is that pretty much every airstrip in any of those islands is highly commercial and landing on them would attract a lot of “unwanted” attention. It is possible that to land in some remote part of the Western Australian Outback, but even that would attract lots of attention from locals.

The second, and somewhat more plausible, flight path takes the airplane over countries such as Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, India, China, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. But that route requires the plane to cross many highly surveilled national boundaries and would attract tons of unwanted attention by the military assets stationed near those borders. To put it another way, keeping that flight path secret would require the implicit or accidental cooperation of people in many different countries.

There is however a third, and so far largely ignored, flight path. What if whoever was flying that plane wanted to land it somewhere in east-Africa or the Arabian peninsula? They could have chosen a route that went south of Sri Lanka but north of Diego Garcia- perhaps through a sparsely populated part of the Maldive island chain. From there they could reach an airstrip in the horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti South Sudan, Sudan etc) or a nearby part of the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen, the interior of Oman or Saudi Arabia). Perhaps they could have even flown as far as the southern parts of Iran or Pakistan.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. March 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Were their any noteworthy passengers with unique skill sets? Any valuable cargo?

    The 777 was the most expensive ‘thing’ on that flight.

  2. Disappointed of Avon
    March 16, 2014 at 1:24 am

    A boring and disappointing choice of topic. A bad run lately. I maintain my request for a 3 week moratorium on posts, giving you time to create a quality long form article that newcomers can read that outlines all your positions on key things, economics and the state in particular is what I’m interested in finding out about you.

    I don’t give a fuck about a plane crash. If you’re going to continue to just write articles about the top news story of the week, then I’m removing you from my bookmarks.

  3. Fly free to red land
    March 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Slightly turning the west was a deception.
    The plane kept its course untill the bejing. Otherwise it could have been spotted by other country’s radar systems.
    When it was about to reach to bejing it took a turn and landed in North Korea.

  4. March 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Probably Horn of Africa – the Yemen I suspect. No claims yet of course – because this isn’t the crime. That’s the spectacular to come – a 777 loaded up to the gills with tons of explosives (maybe dirty nuclear?) and crashing into…the Kremlin hopefully. Don’t they all just get on your tits?

  5. IamMarktoo
    March 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    The pilot had a flight simulator in his house. Practicing an unusual landing?
    Miss direction by flight path. Zig zig and then head in Desired direction. How do you hide s large jet from thr authotities? Play with the coms. Pings has a nice ring to it!
    Who are the players and whats the game? Hegemony? Loser 2nd tier terrorists? Self Interest robbery?

  6. hoipolloi
    March 16, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Simplest explanation, the plane eventually crashed into the sea. It is just that the debis is not spotted yet.

    What is the chance that the passengers are still alive? The suggested possibility that the plane was flown higher at 43,000 ft and killed all the passengers by depriving them of oxygen supply seems plausible. The pilots and a limited crew members saving themselves with private oxygen masks and the plane landing at an unknown destination like North Korea was the plan.

    The chances of finding majority of the passengers still alive is remote to none. It is difficult to hide two hundred airline travelers for so many days. There would have been enough of a footprint to reveal their presence.

  7. March 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    oh, teheehee mr, diablo, we all know where that plane is…

    URANUS…

    get it—

    Your Anus…

  8. Warren Smith
    March 18, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Hi
    Great foresight, have you also considered the Mozambique Channel, West of Madagascar. Consists of several Islands, most have air strips some sealed and some without and Air strips are 1300 m long,, have weather stations and should be manned by French troops, these being ; Tromlin Island, Euope Island, Juan de Nova Island, Glorioso Islands.
    But the one I like in that area is Platte Island ! has a 900m air strip and no or only 3 inhabitants, could get there by flying the normal flight paths of commercial aircraft and swinging from either North or South as the air strip runs North /South. And a great place to fly back to Diego Garcia as has been mention that was on the pilots flight simulator found in his home.. But as the engines stop sending message out, may have had trouble turning around to take off again.
    And why did the pilot spend the last night before leaving Malaysia without his family around ? did he have visitor that where going to be on the plain ? Why did the plain fly to such a high altitude ? so the emergency masks where activated and the passengers had to use them ? with contaminated air supply as to render the passengers useless and the same happened again flying to a higher altitude so the reports are telling us. So maybe they should be looking more closely at the ground crew who last looked at the plane in the hanger at service or in the field. The plot thickens.
    Thanks for your article.
    Concerned from Western Australia.

  1. March 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm

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