March 24th, 2014

Malaysian PM announces Flight 370 went down in Indian Ocean

According to “a new analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators,” that is. Although he doesn’t specify exactly what that data or analysis might be, I’m hearing on the news that it has to do with a re-analysis of the satellite pings that points to the southern rather than northern arc as the final “ping” point of the airplane, and the fact that the entire area is extremely remote from a safe landing place.

Given the multiple errors that have been made so far, one wonders. But IMHO, signs have been pointing in this direction for quite some time.

I use the words “signs” rather than “evidence,” because we have so little substantiated evidence. But as the days have gone by and there has been no demand from hijackers and no sign of the airplane in a new terrorist act, the idea of a kidnapping of the plane (with or without the death of the passengers) has slowly seemed less plausible, although it’s not been eliminated. And with the sighting of not just one, but several pieces of debris in the general area of the south Indian Ocean more or less at the site of one of the last possible pings from the plane, the likelihood of it having crashed in that area has slowly gone up.

So I’m inclined to tentatively believe this announcement is probably the truth. Although I’m sad for the families, I’ve been sad for them for them from the start. At least this would offer the chance of that cliched and elusive and perhaps impossible concept, closure, and the possibility of the plane’s black box being found someday when it is still operative enough to piece together the all-important story of why Flight 370 went down.

[NOTE: Also see this.]

17 Responses to “Malaysian PM announces Flight 370 went down in Indian Ocean”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    That leaves us with, at least, one Fox commentator–McInerney–who said he had sources in Boeing who knew for certain the aircraft was on the ground, safely landed, in Pakistan.
    It seems reasonable to think the kind of sources Boeing has would be like an on-off switch. If they say it’s there, it is. If they don’t, it isn’t. Because there’s no reason for Boeing sources–not necessarily the public info section–to lie, and the methods of knowing this are probably pretty cut and dried. The alternative is that Boeing has some loyal employees or friends at some Paki airfield who immediately put in a call to Big B when the thing landed. Or lied.
    Point is, there is no extrapolation involved here. No analysis, no guess work.
    One would think.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    “a re-analysis of the satellite pings that points to the southern rather than northern arc as the final “ping” point of the airplane, ”

    Yeah,,,, right.

  3. Oldflyer Says:

    Would be interesting to know what characteristics of the final pings point to the southern arc. I thought there were arcs in the first place because the pings had no directional characteristics, only distance estimates based on time lapse.

    Oh well. Still lots of questions. Why or how would it go into that remote area? Are there pictures of debris that supposedly substantiate the analysis?

    A conspiracy theorist might conclude that it is convenient to write the mystery off by placing the crash site in a very remote location, with very deep water.

    Maybe we will have confirmation some day; maybe not.

  4. Steve57 Says:

    I take no pleasure in guessing the pilot took the plane south. Less chance of being spotted.

    He was a bastard, though.

    Really, how can a human being do such a thing. He must have looked at everyone as they were getting onboard.

  5. southpaw Says:

    Being a conspiracy theorist, any story the airlines can create to point to a non criminal act will help with the law suits
    Thesecurity in other countries like Malaysia is nothing like it is here.
    I have been Norway many times over the last 15 years. Its admittedly not Malaysia, but its not that good. I Just went there, and if you catch the SAS flight to Amsterdam at 6am, you will get through to your gate before the security stuff is set up. You can watch them coming in for the morning shift while you wait for your plane

  6. parker Says:

    When I learned about the Malay announcement my first thought was how convenient.

  7. blert Says:

    The debris is of a universal kind — that which is always out there.

    Japan’s Fukushima tsunami debris is still arcing towards California.

    There’s a debris field in the Pacific that’s been accumulating garbage for years. It’s a Sargasso sea of garbage.

    If the purpose was suicide jihad, the routing is all wrong.

    %%%

    One might imagine that the captain intended to crash into the Petronas Towers. That would be classic jihad, AQ style.

    It may be the case that he discovered, only upon final approach, that the B-777 refused to fly towards the towers.

    Buried deep in the flight software, significant structures are locked out by ROM code. It’s impossible to fly into the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Brandenburg Gate.

    The way the software works is that the ‘pilot’ is removed from the control loop — presumably — forever. The system would have to be re-booted while on the ground.

    The flight software is purported to divert the aircraft away from alternate targets of destruction, too.

    IIRC, there was to be provision for ground control of jumbo jets. Malaysian Airlines may have not purchased that portion of the flight software. I would presume that additional equipment would’ve been required — expensive equipment — that permitted the B-777 to be flown as a drone.

    The single most likely form of that gear would be the flight training simulator sitting at Malaysian Airlines — of which the captain, himself, was that airline’s premier expert!

    (Some expertise should be employed to see if he messed with that gear, too. It could very well be that he was aware of such a possibility — and once frustrated during Plan A — decided to stay entirely away from ground stations that could intervene.)

    If my surmise is correct, the black box (or the captain) diverted the jihad jet out over the ocean as a default mode — probably saving uncounted lives in downtown Kuala Lumpur. At which point the captain discovers that he has a totally non-responsive cockpit.

    The Malaysian authorities may have finally accepted that this is what happened — but can’t go public with jihadi revelations.

    But, however you spin it, if MH370 really did go into the southern Indian Ocean then it’s jet jihad.

    Lacking firm crash evidence, I still must favor the northern leg as the most probable route. There are no end of sad endings that could’ve occurred, flying north, that would not be admitted to:

    Shot down crossing a border,
    Landed in Iran, Pakistan,…
    Landed in western Red China, destroyed upon ransom demand,

    It’s hard to believe that a jet jihadi, furious at the sitting government for repressing the political aspirations of a fellow Islamist, would not intend to take out his wrath upon the Petronas Towers. The belated flight seizure was dictated because this was a one-man jihad. The consequent weird flight jags kept MH370 away from ground controllers who might have been able to take over the jet if ever given prompt evidence that jet jihad was under way.

  8. Cornflour Says:

    Neo,

    There’s a typo at the end of the third paragraph:

    “more or less at the cite of one of the last possible pings”

    In that line, “cite” should be “site.”

    Yes, I publicly admit that such things bother me, and that I’m embarrassed to be so bothered.

    On the other hand, if it’s not a typo …

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    cornflour:

    Thanks. I fixed it.

  10. J.J. Says:

    People keep wondering why the Malaysian government is so inept at handling the PR. With what I know about Muslim beliefs and societies what they have done is what I would expect. Muslims are great believers in the “will of Allah.” When something goes awry, they don’t question it or try to make it right – it’s the will of Allah. Without prodding from the outside, this would have been their explanation. “The airplane has disappeared. Whether it was a criminal act or a mechanical malfunction, it was the will of Allah. We are very sorry for the families, but Allah has spoken and we must get back to normal.” Many of these non-Western societies have adopted some Western procedures, but they are just window dressing. They haven’t really internalized that man can affect many of the outcomes of the use of dangerous vehicles like airplanes and autos.

    Instructor pilots at my old airline taught Muslim pilots on contracts from Muslim national airlines. The most difficult thing to get across to them was that when an engine or system failed, it was their job to take actions to save the airplane. In their minds, when something went wrong, it was the will of Allah. Fortunately for many of these Muslim national airlines like Malaysia Air, the aircraft are very, very reliable and things seldom go wrong. In 25 years of airline flying while logging over 19,000 hours I had three emergencies – 1 engine failure, 1 hydraulic problem, and 1 brake problem. That’s reliability. And those were older less well engineered airplanes than what we have today.

    I’m still reserving judgment. McInerny’s conjecture is one I won’t discard until after May 1st. If the airplane is in Pakistan, it would be a simple thing to load it with explosives, fly it low level (maybe a 45 minute trip), and crash it into Bagram Air Force Base in Kabul. That would create mass casualties for the USA and the Afghanis that support us there.

  11. Don Carlos Says:

    China doesn’t believe the malays either. China demands tonight to see the raw data. As I’ve said before, I don’t know zip about avionics and their computers so don’t go there. Geography, politics, history, and Sturm und Drang are what I know and watch. The technical artful dodging (for hours) tells a tale of intent. The plane is on land in asia, and the powers involved know much more than they’re telling. Why? This may be a good time for our jugeared chicken hawk the drone flyer to do a deal with the Chicomms. Use some Androgel!

  12. FOAF Says:

    “China doesn’t believe the malays either.”

    I’m certainly no fan of the Chinese government but they may be the best friend of the truth in this case. It’s not too hard to read between the lines that they are *very* angry with the way the Malaysian government has handled this.

    In any case I think it’s already too far gone and we are in JFK assassination territory thanks to the Malaysians. No matter what evidence comes up one way or another the conspiracy theories will go on for a long time.

  13. Lurker Says:

    All the countries involved including our own have a habit of lying to save face. Case in point: the Fetterman fight in 1866. Pretty much the same lies as the Custer Fight ten years later. Stupendously arrogant officer brought about his command’s obliteration by disobeying orders which was completely untrue. Fetterman was neither arrogant nor did he disobey orders. Like Custer a decade later, his superiors lied to shift blame from themselves.

  14. Hangtown Bob Says:

    Quite interesting that Drudge now has a headline that indicates that the plane is in water 23,000 feet deep. Gee, an oceanic trench…….. What a turn of bad luck……… The black boxes will never be able to be found now…………

  15. Hangtown Bob Says:

    Presumably, the debris which has led the Malay gov’t to this “settled” conclusion consists of a green circular object (diameter unspecified) and a 14-foot orange rectangular object. I seems that it would be a simple matter to query Boeing engineers to determine if any portions of the plane would fit these descriptions. I have seen no indication that these questions have been raised.

  16. Dan D Says:

    Anything could have happened. In order of likeliness, mechanical issue or fire, pilot inexplicable action, pilot hijacking, failed diversion resulting in a crash, or highjack in progress, with a safely landed plane. The last is least likely, because of the attention and the number of people missing and not heard from.

    Great technologies and great countries are all subject to human frailties, Murphy’s Law, misunderstandings, and incompetence. Conspiracies do exist, and sometimes take on very unexpected forms, but over time there are too many events outside the control of conspirators. Very few prevail without detection, eventually. That doesn’t mean we will ultimately know the facts around every conspiracy, but the odds of fate are not stacked in the favor of conspirators.

    Because of the time that has elapsed, I would be very, very surprised if the passengers of that sad flight are still alive anywhere on Earth. It must be a horror for those who expected to see their loved ones at the conclusion of its scheduled flight.

  17. southpaw Says:

    I found this interesting.
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/24/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-satellite-tracking/

    The Doppler effect is not exactly new technology. Radar works that way as do a hundred other things like sonograms and echocardiograms. I might have the last thing wrong – the one where they can observe blood flow in and out of a heart chamber and detect a leaky valve – it uses the Doppler effect. But anyway…
    Measuring the difference between the transmitted and reflected frequencies is how you know which direction and speed a thing moving – It’s hard to understand the level of back-patting this British guy is giving himself by calling it “ground breaking” and never been done. Hardly, and a good reason to ask suspect the results. If this is the first time he’s done it, or really believes that nonsense, I would check the numbers.
    Because I would imagine there is a lot of room for error in this calculation for equipment that wasn’t designed to do this. When the wave transmitter is also moving, they would need a very, very accurate estimate of speed and directon of the satellite itself – which makes me ask what they used to determine that, and how reliable is the data. I suppose it is possible if you have that much confidence in your equipment, but they’re not saying anything about the “ping” or which satellite or how many or satellites.
    Plus whenever I see that idiot Bill Nye “The Science Guy” talking about something, I dismiss it as rubbish – this is a guy whose career involves putting vinegar in baking soda to impress grade schoolers on Saturday morning TV, and yet MSNBC and CNN put him on for everything from nuclear energy to “climate change”. If Bill Nye is vouching for it, it’s time to ask more questions.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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