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Monday, March 24, 2014

WHAT HAPPENED TO MALAYSIAN AIR 370?

Have you seen this Boeing 777-20?


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak today announced that Malaysian Air 370 crashed in the southern part of the Indian Ocean and there were no survivors.  I'm perplexed, though, as to why he was so conclusive, as huge questions remain, and the only pieces of evidence are ONLY satellite and air observations of the possible site.

To recap, the plane took off with 227 passengers and 12 crew members from 15 nations, departing  Kuala Lumpur for Beijing at 12:41AM (hate these night flights) on 8 March 2014.  At 1:19 AM the co-pilot said to air traffic control in Malaysia, "All right, good night."  Three minutes later the transponder and automatic dependent surveillance link went off, and at 6:30AM the flight failed to arrive in Beijing.  MH370 had vanished. 

Here is the operational map at this early stage:


Apparently, 40 minutes into the flight, the plane took a southwest turn and flew for 70 minutes, with dramatic altitudinal shifts (as high as 45,000 feet, down to 12,000 feet) meaning something terrible was happening.  Then radar lost contact.  A little more than 5 hours later (7.5 hours after take-off), one report indicated a final point of potential might be 1000 miles west of Perth, Australia, and another, way north at the Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan border:  the red lines.  Satellite observations sent teams of searchers to various sites, and 26 countries are now involved. The current best guess is close to this bottom red curve:


As such, authorities at this time are 99% or so sure that the above location is where MH370 crashed.  Details will soon be shared, perhaps, but here is my personal assessment:
  • Forty minutes into flight, something happened:
    • we might never find out if it was terrorism, a malafunction or what, but there was a sudden southwest turn, with dramatic altitude adjustments
    • as the pilot could not communicate, he nevertheless headed for the closest airport, which was Langkawi
    • or terrorists ordered the plane to head in that direction
    • at some point, the pilots and everyone else on board lost consciousness, and the automatic pilot took over, continuing the flight in this new, now, more southerly direction (called the Zombie or Ghost Plane, which is what happened to golfer Payne Stewart)
    • when the fuel ran out 7.5 hours after take-off, the plane crashed into the ocean around 1500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia
Further air reconnoissance seem to now be threatened by bad weather, but ships are steaming to the site, and within a day or two there should be some confirmation, or not.  As there is no hands-on evidence yet linking the seen debris to MH370, there still has to be at least a 1% chance for some of the more bizarre theories to prevail:
  • The plane was kidnapped by terrestrials and everyone is still alive at some airport on Planet Earth, probably Pyongyang or somewhere in Crimea, so Putin can be blamed, or maybe even on a beach waiting for Lost 2 to be filmed (less than 1%, way less)
  • The primary culprit was the Gulf of Thailand version of the Bermuda Triangle  (1 chance in 100,000), which caused the problem and might well be where the plane will ultimately be found 
  • Meteor (1 in a million)
  • Somehow Edward Snowden is involved (1 in a billion)
  • The Illuminati did it (1 in a trillion)
  • Kidnapped by aliens and someday everyone will be returned (1 in 9 quadrillion)
  • Sucked up by a black hole, something for which CNN is still trying to overcome (1 in a Googel)
British bookies have not yet offered odds for the above.  Something to do with maintaining good taste, and  perhaps I should have been equally circumspect and not included these crazy theories.

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Incredibly enough, Tropical Cyclone Gillian, now at 160 MPH, is north of where the above search is occurring::


While this fierce storm is heading straight for that site, reports indicate that Gillian will weaken and turn west before reaching the X-spot where all ships are headed.

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