Monday, March 31, 2014

Malaysia flight 370: The most plausible theory yet on what happened.

Theories about what happened to MH flight 370 abound everywhere. Everyone from experienced investigators to editors of aviation magazines to experienced pilots have offered theories of what happened. But every one of them has had at least one major flaw or one major hole contradicted by the known facts.

This theory, for what its worth, is based on all the available ( emphasis on available) evidence, is not one I've heard or read anywhere else, and as far as I can see, has no holes and is not contradicted by any known facts.

The theory is that what happened to MH-370  and it's disappearance was the result of an attempted terrorist hijacking for the purpose of inflicting mass casualties in a 911 style attack in Beijing that was successfully thwarted by the captain who intentionally diverted the plane away from land and populated areas into the Indian Ocean.

Analysts have known almost from the beginning that the change of course was the result of a reprogramming of the plane's auto-pilot, something that could be done by punching in 4 or 5 numbers, which turned the plane back from it's original flight path to Beijing. And that it was a deliberate act from the cockpit (though it took until April 1 for Malaysian investigators to confirm it and call it " a criminal act"). 

But there is no evidence that it was a deliberate act of  desired destruction on the part of the captain.  There is no evidence that would lead anyone to conclude or even suspect that it was a result of the pilot "flipping out". To the contrary all the available evidence so far  is that the captain was a good man who cared about others and had nothing in his background to suggest a problem.

 There can also be no catastrophic mechanical failure  The fact that the plane flew for 6 hours eliminates the word "catastrophic" since the plane was air worthy for 6 hours, which means the pilot could have landed anywhere in the event of any mechanical failure short of catastrophic. and it would not explain why the transponder was intentionally turned off.  (More on that later). 

Analysts say that the new course programmed into the auto pilot took place some time after take off. So why would the pilot, someone who according to all the available evidence was a good man who loved flying and had no apparent problems,  deliberately change course to send the plane out to the remotest part of the Indian Ocean?

It leaves hijacking. And given the destination of the flight, Beijing, there are potential suspects --  the same Chinese  separatist terrorist group responsible for the mass stabbing attack at a Chinese rail station not long ago that killed 26 people.

There are only two kinds of hijackings. One involves the hijacker wanting to be taken somewhere. If that were the case they would have reached that destination a month ago.

The other reason for hijacking is terrorism. And given the flight was headed to Beijing there is a reasonable possibility the plane could have been commandeered by the same Chinese terrorists responsible for the mass stabbing at the Chinese rail station who intended a 911 style attack in Beijing by crashing it into a government building, military installation or civilian location causing mass casualties.

The attack at the Beijing rail station tells us a few things about this group.  One, China has a serious terrorist group that exists. Second, this group is capable of inflicting mass casualites. Three, they have used public transportation before as a target. And four, given that the terrorists who carried out the mass stabbing attack were all killed by Chinese security forces, they are willing to give up their own lives in an attack.

Malaysian authorities say they've  checked out all the passengers, but how thoroughly? And how could they?

There were 15o Chinese nationals on that plane. How thoroughly could Malaysia, or any other government other than China check them out? They couldn't.  The only government capable of doing that is China and its not possible to check out 150 passengers as thoroughly as neccessary in less than a month.  And if China did find a link does anyone think they would make it public at this point? There is a good chance that all of China's intelligence assets are not only checking out the passengers but also trying to hunt down the separatist group and if they capture any of them, would do what was neccessary to extract information about MH-370.

 So any claim by Malaysia that the 150 Chinese passengers are cleared is in an of itself a red flag. That can't be taken at face value. And checking the passenger manifest wouldn't be enough anyway. That still wouldn't eliminate stowaways.

If it was a hijacking which seems more likely all the time, it's possible they made their intentions known to the captain who knew that if he followed their instructions he and everyone on board would be killed anyway, and devised a plan to divert the plane without their knowledge by re-programming the auto-pilot to fly away from any populated areas and  towards the Indian Ocean. That could explain the route around Indonesia if the captain didnt want to take the plane over land. 

The captain could have had a plan to try and subdue or overcome the hijackers once it was over the ocean and if they succeeded turn the plane around. If they failed and were killed, the plane would continue on it's course over a remote part of the Indian Ocean where it would be far away from land and any populated areas where it could cause no casualties on the ground.

The Chinese terrorists, unlike the 911 terrorists would have had no idea how to fly the plane or to change its course and could do nothing. In the middle of the night with no visibility it would be hours anyway before they'd realize they were not headed to Beijing. The other possible scenario is that both pilots and terrorists were killed or incapacitated in the attempt to subdue them and the plane flew as deliberately programmed by the captain out to the remotest part of the Indian Ocean until it ran out of fuel and where it would cause no casualties on the ground.  A deliberate act by the captain but one designed to save lives on the ground.

Regarding two other issues, the transponder being intentionally turned off along with radio communications and why, if it was a terrorist act, there have been no claims of responsibility.
Taking the claim of responsibility first, there were no claims of responsibility because the intended terrorist attack failed.

Regarding the transponder, it would make sense under those circumstances that the captain would turn off  both the transponder and radio communications.  Turning the plane as programmed to fly towards the Indian Ocean would have ( or should have) alerted air traffic control. The last thing the captain would have wanted is for air traffic control to notice the change and radio the cockpit asking why the plane was being taken off course which would alert the hijackers, potentially setting them off. 

The captain also would not have wanted  to raise suspicions on the ground that would have resulted in the scrambling fighter of  jets.  After all, what good could they possibly do? Nothing.  Except to shoot the plane down. And fighter jets would also alert the hijackers that their instructions werent being followed which might also set them off against the passengers or force an immediate crash into the first available target. Its unlikely the hijackers would have ordered the transponder turned off since their destination was Beijing anyway so why arouse suspicion? 

Instead the plane went down in the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel, a plan and deliberate act devised by a quick thinking captain, who thought of the safety of others on the ground over himself and his passengers in a situation where he felt he had no other choice,  and whose actions were intended to save countless lives on the ground. And probably did.


OTE admin said...

Your theory is the most implausible of all. There was no evidence whatsoever of a hijacking. The person who wrote the piece for Wired about what most likely happened will be proven right, assuming the plane is ever found.

9/11 fantasies do not belong in this case.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
That absolutely makes sense. And is the most plausible explanation I've heard by FAR.

Which just underscores how well trained our media has become at avoiding the truth, and any semblance of actual thought. Disgusting.


Marc Rubin said...

"Your theory is the most implausible of all. There was no evidence whatsoever of a hijacking. "

Yet you can't offer a single rebuttal or find a single fact that rebuts it other than to say "there is no evidence".

There is no evidence the Wired theory holds any water, and has holes in it that can't be filled which is why its gotten virtually no play. What you assume will be true also has no credibility not to mention that experienced accident investigators don't agree with your assumptions -- at least not publicly.

Everything now is just a theory but you werent able to offer a single point to rebut it except to say there is no more evidence of a hijackng than anythng else and some other blathering about fantasies.

There is no evidence of anything. If there were, there wouldnt be any theories at all, would there?

Anonymous said...

"Your theory is the most implausible of all. There was no evidence whatsoever of a hijacking. The person who wrote the piece for Wired about what most likely happened will be proven right"

The Wired theory has been debunked and discredited so many different ways no one is even talking about it. No one takes it seriously and it has so major flaws and is so thin it virtually disregards all the important facts.

First the plane didnt just make one left turn back towards the airport which the Wired article thinks is the most signifcant thing. It crossed the Malaysian peninsual and made a second left turn which took it out to the Indian Ocean a fact which the Wired article completely ignores and by itself debunks that theory.

Secondly, the Wired article dismisses terrorism or hijacking for the flimsiest of nonsensical reasons by assuming that had it been a hijacking, the hijackers would have been in control of the plane and there was no evidence of that. And third, the Wired article which the first commentor thinks is credible and the most plausible starts off its theory by saying "the pilot was confronted with some major event on board".

Really? Gee, what a theory.Some major event on board huh.I bet a lot of people are wondering why they didnt think of that.

Anonymous said...

"Your theory is the most implausible of all. There was no evidence whatsoever of a hijacking. The person who wrote the piece for Wired about what most likely happened will be proven right, assuming the plane is ever found."

I also agree the Wired theory is preposterous and hasnt gotten much traction. It ignores the facts makes assumptions that cant be backed up and makes no sense.

The entire event is implausible, a one of a kind event that has never happened before so whatever the facts turn out to be, it will be implausible but at least this article and its hijacking scenario makes more sense of the senseless than anything else so far, and
unlike the Wired article, there is no established fact that contradicts it.