Almost exactly one week after the Malaysian authorities confirmed that MH370 operating from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had gone missing – today, in an astonishing turn of events, the government confirmed that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked. They have further confirmed that the aircraft was steered off course and flown for nearly seven hours. To where, they have not yet confirmed.
There is so much innuendo and speculation floating around, AirlineReporter’s senior staff thought we should throw our hats into the ring.
(Managing Correspondent) BERNIE’S OPINION:
Since Saturday, March 8, I was convinced this was an act of air piracy in some form. Conversations with some people I know in the national security industry and security journalists (some of them even in Connecticut) only further convinced me. It was very interesting for me to hear among the men who keep their countries safe across oceans questions of not “where is the debris?” but, more sinister and concerning, what was in the unscreened cargo?
DHS cannot even confirm what LD3 positions aboard 9M-MRO were full. The question then became, was there anything valuable enough in the cargo hold that a major state actor would want the cargo that badly? Furthermore, why would China release the aircraft for flight when they otherwise demand all cargo be prescreened, and have actually denied airspace entry to aircraft that did not meet that requirement for their freight?
So, with all that in mind – as well as the fact twenty engineers from Freescale semiconductors were onboard that were working on military-grade RF power systems – what happened? Well, if you ask me (and that’s the whole point of this exercise) the cabin or technical crew had to, at least partially, be in on it. Either that or the two “asylum seekers” with identical legs were secretly even more obvious state actors and also skilled.
Forty minutes after departure, whatever crew members and or operators were on board acted to put their piracy operation into play, they turned southwest near IGARI and managed to overfly Malaysia with no one noticing (or if they did, they sure are not saying anything). You fly for a bit and find yourself over the Indian Ocean. So, say you’re over a checkpoint called IGREX and you turn Northwest and fly over India. You fly a very select route, with all your transponders (including the XPNDR) turned off.
With the XPNDR turned off, that also turns off the data necessary for TCAS to work, so you could fly very close to or under an identified aircraft and “ghost” on secondary and primary civilian radar. You could then continue to fly over India, over the notoriously-porous country of Pakistan, and well then into a country in Central Asia that I shall not name – but has hangars large enough to handle a 747 and numerous, 14,000 foot runways. Why there? Because there is that exact airport within a 6.5 hour air time that matches the distance, within fifty miles, from what the Malaysian government stated the aircraft had flown.
But wait, you say? India is extremely paranoid and has a great Integrated Air Defense System. Here’s the thing, Electronic and information warfare have been centered around either creating fake “inserts” into military air search radar, or removing your blip entirely. It would become even easier if you were a state actor from a country that had a very similar air defense network (down to the radars and surface to air missiles) – you could practice using aircraft of a similar size on identical radars.
In all honesty – hiding a 777 would be something that could be made an art. I am aware that Indian IADS also has western equipment, so I believe the selected route was chosen based off of very detailed intelligence gathering of India’s systems such that the state actor orchestrating the operation could ensure that there were only Russian radars. So then? What happened to the people? Other than a select few who were either in on it or are being tortured in prison for secrets – I think it’s sadly obvious.
Will the plane be used for a “Second 9/11″ that will scare soccer moms forever? NO! Absolutely 100% no. If we ever see 9M-MRO again, it will be in a manufactured crash site in a country where said Central Asian state actor could easily fly debris and say “look, see, check this out!”. FDR/CVR data will never be found because whoever finds the debris will take the lead on the investigation and simply not release it. Furthermore, if they give the data recorders back to Malaysia, Malaysia is the head of the world Islamic Bank, they launder money for this country. It’s in their best interest to shut up.
(Editor-in-Chief) DAVID’S OPINION
From the beginning of this odd incident, I have said that I think it will turn out to be something simplistic. Like the plane had a failure and crashed into the vast sea.
Now, it is becoming much more difficult to say that. However, I don’t think that this will turn out to be a crazy story line from a Tom Clancy novel.
Yes, there are “facts” out there, but we have already seen governments, agencies, media, airlines, and others come out with “facts” that have turned out to be false or changed.
I still feel there is quite a bit of mis-information out there and everyone needs more time to comb through it all to come to some solid conclusions.
Patience is needed here and it is in short supply. This is a HIGH demand story with people around the world waiting for the next bread crumb. But when we have so many people following this story, there is a need to find new information, no matter how accurate it might be.
I think at the end of the day we will have answers. There are too many people around the world glued to the outcome of this incident for it to just go away. I think the plane, one way or another, was lost at sea and it might take quite a bit of time to find it.
I still think the conclusion will be more sane and make sense when the dust settles. But we all just need to take a deep breath, relax, and wait for the outcome.
(Managing Correspondent) MALCOLM’S OPINION
MH370 is obviously a tragedy; it has been over a week now, and it is guaranteed that there are no survivors. As hard as that is to fathom, I am a realist and by now, if there was even one we should have found them. The hardest thing to understand though is just where this aircraft is. So many theories have been around as to where it could be, what could of happened.
With the latest update of the aircraft traveling almost six-and-a-half hours, it could literally be anywhere. There is a very large area of ground to cover, a very, very deep ocean to look down into. My thoughts on this are not really a theory but more of a hope that someone, somewhere will find a clue, but I have a feeling that the 777-200ER is scattered somewhere, be it over ocean or land, in lots of little pieces.
Until those pieces are found, all we can do is hope that something can go in the favor of searchers. Or we can speculate and come up with some crazy theories (it was the smugglers that sneak people into Australia… they needed a new way to get around the dodgy-looking boats).
(Associate Editor) BLAINE’S OPINION
Bottom line – I think the plane ran out of fuel and splashed down in the ocean somewhere. Remnants of its wreckage will be found either in two months or two years (as happened with Air France 447), and those poor families will be tortured by the lack of information for the rest of their lives.
The plane was scheduled to fly 2,700 miles KUL-PEK. Given an allowance for emergency fuel, the plane still didn’t have a limitless range (that is unless, as Bernie suggested, ground crew was in on the whole thing). Also, the wild swings in altitude, course, and, I would assume, speed, probably didn’t do much for fuel range. It’s questionable if the hijackers got to their destination.
All that being said, I tend to give some credence to what Bernie thinks. Whoever did this went to a lot of trouble to cover their tracks. Also, Bernie has been spot-on with his “theories” far in advance of the news breaking.
Ultimately, the intent was obviously nefarious. The question is whether or not they achieved their goals.
In the comments, leave your thoughts on what has happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.