Into The Wild Blue WTF
On March 8, 2014, forty minutes after it took off from Kuala Lampur, Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappeared into aviation history. This much you probably already know. If you’ve found my obscure little blog here, you’re probably aware of major world news events like this thanks to surfing the web too much. You’d have to be an over-surfer to find me, I am thinking, but maybe I have a bigger audience than I think possible.
In any case, I, like just about everyone else, have my own speculations as to what has happened. My first reaction to the news a week and a half ago was something like, “Oh, shit, those poor people died in a plane crash!” That is, I now believe, exactly the kind of reaction whoever made the plane vanish wanted. I think this was a carefully planned and well-executed event. The way it played out, this was probably the reaction the…let’s call them “plane thieves” for now…hoped for. If air traffic control and the rest of the world thinks your plane has crashed, they’re going to look for wreckage, not an intact plane flying through their airspace.
I personally suspect the co-pilot. It’s possible it’s the pilot, or even both together, but 1) the pair did not request to be together; it was chance that put them on the flight and b) I have heard lots about the wife and three kids the pilot has and his devotion to them. I will add that it’s significant to go on the assumption only one of them did it, because then the master plan does not require the cooperation of both. Those “in the cockpit” are under strongest suspicion by various governments’ intelligence agencies, so while it could have been a knowledgeable passenger, thus far it has not been reported that one of the passengers had the flight experience to do what was done.
Let’s get into that, then. The last automated event happened forty minutes after the flight took off. This was when the plane’s transponder was turned off. Nine minutes later, civilian radar lost contact with the plane. Forty-five minutes after that, military radar lost contact, by which point it was going in a completely different direction from where it was supposed to be. There’s been a report that somewhere in here, the plane went up above its maximum permitted height and then dropped down low. It’s even been suggested the plane went as low as five-thousand feet, an extraordinarily low altitude for a Boeing 777 that is not landing or taking off. The rise in height might have caused the cabin to depressurize and, as a result, the passengers and crew may have passed out. Whoever was flying the plane at this point knew this would happen, and donned an oxygen mask. It’s possible they disabled the emergency oxygen system so nobody would know what was happening. I don’t know how difficult this is, but it’s already a certainty that whoever made this happen knew this plane and knew it well.
So they fly the plane up and knock everybody out. This presents the simplest, most risk free method for the pilot or co-pilot to knock their partner out. The non-perpetrator has to get up and go potty or something, they go into the master lavatory, the other one flies up, dons their mask and they are very quickly the only conscious person on the plane. It’s unlikely this would have happened so smoothly, of course. They were less than an hour into the flight when things began to go wrong, so it’s more likely Evil Pilot did something more damaging and more certain to take Good Pilot out of the picture. Then they turned the plane around and flew up high to knock everyone else out. Set the plane on auto-pilot at this over-height for a few minutes, stroll through the cabin and remove everyone’s cell phones or, if they are really Evil, kill ’em all. I hate to think of that option, but it would certainly explain the silence of the cell phones. Somebody in a crowd of over two-hundred would have a cell stashed somewhere the perpetrators would fail to look. Maybe they had some way to quickly restrain everyone or maybe pollute the cabin to keep everyone knocked out.
By the time that last military radar contact was made, I believe someone had complete control of the aircraft. The passengers and crew were incapacitated somehow. They know they will have been tracked this far, so they change directions at least once more and maybe twice. They possibly drop down further to try and avoid radar. This is chancy in a big plane, but again, the plane thief or thieves know what they are doing, they are experts at flying this craft.
Which leaves the big question of where the fuck did it go? There is some speculation it was taken for having a lot of Chinese on board, and therefore taken to some country bordering on China which is on less than good terms with the big country. There are definitely a few countries in range with links to terrorist organizations. Personally, though, I am looking south. The western edge of Australia is also in range and, as near as I can tell, very sparsely populated. Lots of room for a makeshift runway long enough to land a 777.
The bigger question is what happens next? This depends on the motive of the perpetrators. One obvious possibility some have suggested is to turn the plane into a flying bomb. Fill it with something explosive and fly it into the target of your choice. We already know somebody very capable of flying the plane is involved. Keeping it under the radar long enough to fly it into something is a possibility. There’s the chance this is an elaborate heist, and the plane will be parted out, in which case we’ll likely never know its fate.
As for the passengers, well, I personally don’t hold out a lot of hope for them still being alive. If they were, ransom demands would likely have been made. Even if ransom was not the ultimate goal, it would make sense to make the demand and perhaps divert attention from where the ultimate plan for the plane. Two-hundred-some-odd human lives would be worth quite a bit on a ransom demand. Collecting the ransom would be risky, of course, but so far whoever planned this did an amazing job of planning and executing, so one would think they’d come up with a plan for recovering a ransom demand. The best that can be hoped for at this point is that whoever has done this points to where they are, alive or dead, after they have done with the plane whatever they’re going to do with it.
That’s my little bit of wild speculation on the mystery of flight 370. I don’t like being so negative or pessimistic, but what we know and the amount of time that’s passed does not give much hope. I hope I am wrong. I hope we find the plane sitting on some remote spit of land, with everyone alive and reasonably well, and that the whole thing was a series of unpleasant mechanical failures, but that, I am afraid, is the least likely option. But it’s a possibility, and I will hold out hope until we learn otherwise.