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Sunday, March 8, 2015

WHAT HAPPENED TO MALAYSIAN AIR 370?

It was exactly a year ago that Malaysian Air 370 disappeared.  What happened?  Early on I provided a personnel 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
The absolute universe of crash sites actually extends North into Europe.  Jeff Wise wrote The Plane That Wasn't There:  Why We Haven't Found Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, with a Kindle price of $2.99.

Interestingly enough, a Category 5 ocean storm, Gillian, with gusts up to 195 MPH, was at that heading straight for where "experts" theorized as the highest probability crash site 1500 miles west and slightly south of Perth in the Indian Ocean:


The comprehensive search has ONLY been confined to the original speculation off Australia in the Indian Ocean:


In those early days, my gut feeling was the plane ran into a sudden problem, and ended up crashing into the South China Sea/Gulf of Thailand or possibly even Thailand (map below by Andrew Heeneen):


About 37.5 minutes after take-off, the last voice contact was made at 01:19 Malaysian time.  The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers' radar screens at 01:21 when the plane's transponder failed to function.  While Malaysian military radar purportedly continued to track MH370 until 02:22 just north of Banda Aceh (remember that horrific Great Sumatra 9.2 earthquake the day after Christmas in 2004?), I surmised there might have instead been a catastrophic event, and the plane just fell to Earth (see map above to find the crucial 40 minute point of the flight).  Maybe a glitch, perhaps some weather phenomenon, or whatever the Malaysians saw, but Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese radar failed to detect anything after the transponder went.

I don't believe in miracles and ghosts, but the lack of current evidence makes some of those bizarre theories (not mine) perhaps more probable:
  • 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)
A 584-page report was today issued by a 19-member independent investigation panel, and nothing of particular import was shared, except that the battery on the flight recorder had expired in December 2012.  Batteries again, but there was some quasi-concern about a 487 pound package of lithium ion batteries allowed to be shipped in the cargo compartment.  The search of the 23,166 square mile swath in the southern Indian Ocean is expected to end in May, but Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott indicated that there are 36,834 square miles yet to be investigated.

The human trauma will continue until there is some confirming resolution.  Yes, Malaysian Air, Boeing (777), Germany's Allianz and UK's Lloyds could well be liable for a couple of billion dollars, or not, but the greatest tragedy will be to the  suffering family and friends of the 239 currently missing.


...in the case of MH370, unless they find the airplane, the cockpit voice recorder, and the flight data recorder — and those devices can categorically prove terrorism or some other form of negligence — there’s a distinct possibility these families will get little or nothing above the standard $175,000. This crash, Alpert says, “might turn out to be very inexpensive.”
The couple of billion ($10 million/passenger) families are expecting could well be overridden by something called the Montreal Convention!  Cruelly, this could all take a decade and more to be resolved.  The opening act was an offer of $5,000 from Malaysian Air.  

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