The final fate of flight MH370 is still a mystery. So far, we have not been able to locate either the wreckage or landing site of that Malaysia airlines Boeing 777 airliner. Since my previous post on this topic, two interesting facts have come to light.
1. Somebody in the cockpit of that airplane altered the flight path program after the aircraft took off from Kuala Lumpur.
2. Some residents on Kuda Huvadhoo island in the Dhaalu atoll group of the Maldives reported seeing a large low flying jet at around 6:15 am on March 8.
Both new pieces of information got me thinking about an unfortunate, but likely, explanation for the final fate of flight MH370 which can also explain some of the peculiar circumstances surrounding that its disappearance. As many of you know, my previous post had postulated that MH370 flew through the outlying islands of the Maldive island chain.
A route from the last known radar contact of that airplane to the outlying islands of the Maldives would keep the aircraft out of the airspace of nations such as India and Sri Lanka. It helps that most of airspace over the Maldivian island chain is free of radars- civilian or military. The time when that large low flying airliner appeared over the Dhaalu atoll group in the Maldives also matches the expected ETA of a low and slow flying 777 airliner.
But what was the final destination of those in control of that airplane?
According to link # 2- “Eyewitnesses from the Kuda Huvadhoo concurred that the aeroplane was travelling North to South-East, towards the Southern tip of the Maldives”. Where could a pilot travelling South-East of that island land, especially given that he has less than 2 hours of fuel on board at that time? Well.. he could have always turned north and landed in Male or on any of the major airstrips in the Maldives- but it is rather clear from his flight path that he was not interested in doing that.
We are now left with only a few possibilities such as the american base on Diego Garcia, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles or some airstrip in Madagascar. But why would someone who hates attention want to land on tourist heavy compact islands like Mauritius, Reunion or Seychelles. While parts of Madagascar are remote, what would motivate somebody to land on that impoverished island?
And this brings us to the possibility that the person flying that airplane might have attempted to land on one of the long airstrips at the secretive US navy facility on Diego Garcia. Remember- “attempted” not “succeeded”. But why do I believe that MH370 did not succeed landing on that island?
Let me put it this way- we would have heard about it a week ago. Since Malaysia is a friendly (or at least non-adversarial) country, the US navy would have almost certainly let a damaged or otherwise stricken airliner land on that island. Nor was that aircraft carrying anything valuable or secretive enough to merit keeping its landing secret.
So why did that aircraft not land on Diego Garcia?
Here is my theory. The people on Diego Garcia were spooked by a large, low flying, unidentified (and likely) hijacked aircraft approaching the island. They might have tried to contact it a few times and either failed or become more fearful with each response. Perhaps they thought that they were in the midst of a mini-9/11. At some moment in time, somebody made a decision to launch SAMs at that aircraft to bring it down. You can guess what happened next..
But why would the USA try to cover up such an incident?
Well.. there are two reasons. Firstly- that base is remote enough to allow the USA to cover up an airliner shootdown over water for some time. Secondly- they probably realized within a few hours that most passengers on that airplane were Chinese nationals. It does not take much imagination to realize the very real diplomatic consequences of shooting down a plane full of Chinese nationals, especially if the circumstances surrounding that shooting are nebulous.
Here is a similar incident from over two decades ago – Iran Air Flight 655
What do you think? Comments?