March 16, 2014

What we know about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 today (updated)

Bupkis was my original answer. The most interesting speculation so far comes from this Wall Street Journal story. If the house of one of the pilots is being searched, something's up. Possibly.

That's a big if, given that the one thing we DO know for sure is that different Malaysian investigative authorities aren't communicating well with one another, let alone the outside world.

Update, March 15: First, more information on the pilot confirms that narrative linked above.

We also do know that Malaysian officials are stupider, more devious, or both than before. It did NOT get to Kazakhstan. Given Baikonur Cosmodrome and nuke testing in Kazakhstan, there's a gazillion radars there. It would have had to cross either the India-China or India-Pakistan border, with all of its radars and bristling military hardware, too, where it would have been shot down. Ted Rall should have stuck with his first speculation, that it's in the Indian Ocean; he's in the next rail yard on this one if he gives any credence to a Central Asia touchdown.

On the radar issue, he tweeted back that Indian officials say they turn off most their radar systems at night to save money. Tis true, on the radar shutdowns. Here's Reuters on that issue.

Rall's still an an odd duck at times. I agree with about 60-70 percent of what he says, even his controversial stuff, but probably still disagree with 15-20 percent, and to the final 15-20 percent, he says, I say what the fuck?

He's now followed his radar comments by something of the WTF 20 percent. As for why no cell phone calls from passengers? His post suggest that, at best, he committed an elementary memory lapse and at worst (which I suggest is entirely possible with him) that he's a 9/11 Truther. 

Actually, teh Google tells me that he's not a Truther EXCEPT for questioning the official account of the downing of Flight 93. So, we'll just call it a brain fart on cell phones mixed with overexcitedness. And, unless somebody can point me to something definite on Flight 93's cockpit, post 9/11 Commission, some skepticism, if not necessarily quite as heavy as his, is the correct stance. (Rall has explained himself on that, but not retracted/edited the "duh" on cell phones, despite multiple requests by me to do so; his explanations on that are now doubling down on disingenuousness.)

And, if it's in the southern Indian Ocean, it could take many years to find the wreckage. Whether by air or sea, the southern Indian Ocean is little crossed. Due to great circle lines, flights from South Africa to India or China largely hug the east African coast. Only transit between southern Africa and Australia crosses significant portions of the southern Indian Ocean. 

Confirming the incompetency of the Malaysian government? Somebody pulled strings to call in Uri Geller on the search. And, as of March 17, it's changing its story on when the ACARS system stopped broadcasting.

And, the idea that the man whom pilot Zaharie Ahmed Shah supports is a troublemaker or anything similar (other than being troublesome) to a corrupt semi-dictatorship is ridiculous. As Dobson notes, allegations behind this reinforce the ineptitude born of corruption that lies behind this government.

It's no wonder Malaysia rejects more outside help. That would only put on display its ineptitude and corruption.)

My speculation that Vladimir Putin did this under the "one crisis at a time" theory to divert Americans from Crimea, or Perry's tongue in cheek that Ted Cruz said Obama did this because Obamacare (which does have the administration spinning to call 70 percent [of initial enrollment] an A grade).

Malaysia has been a hotbed of fake passport transit for years, it seems. A hotbed of launching terrorism? Not so much.

Again, all of this is "ifs." Nobody in Malaysia will confirm the engine data transmissions (which I didn't know newer planes did) and nobody will confirm that the plane might have been spotted by Malaysian military radar. There's now a bit more evidence it may have flown for several more hours.

I suspect it will be the end of this week before any tenuous strands of reasoning have enough evidence behind them to coalesce more.

And, as of the afternoon of Friday, March 14, we now know a little more. The "plot" doesn't thicken as much as it gets reinforced. That erratic of flying would seem to imply a cockpit takeover, would it not? Well, not necessarily. The Air France that eventually crashed into the ocean east of Brazil a few years back was almost as erratic on altitude changes. That said, it didn't do a 180 on directional changes, nor shut off its transponder or have it die.

As for the idea of a hijack, not a terrorist takedown? At some point, you have to ask for ransom.

As for hijacking the plane just for the plane? Ghost ships do exist after being taken over and thoroughly overhauled, but I've never heard of that being done to a passenger jet.

This post is to otherwise remind you that we know, pretty much ... bupkis, other than the communications problems within the Malaysian government, and we don't know the "why" on that, even. So, let's just remember that.

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