I know that we’ve all received a more than somewhat healthy dose of all things Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, but I’ll heap on more insignificant thoughts to the already teetering pile.
If you haven’t paid much in the way of attention to the story, Flight 370 is a Boeing 777 airliner that disappeared on March 8th shortly into it’s voyage from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Simply put, the flight simply disappeared from everyone’s radar scopes and stopped transmitting to anyone and everyone. Thus far though multiple nations are involved and the search for the missing flight covers a staggering 3 million square miles, the plane is still very much missing. Typically when flights go off the radar it’s because they have encountered turbulent weather conditions, severe equipment failures, or, worse yet, terrorist attacks and have crash landed somewhere. All of which are tragic scenarios, however, it seems as though authorities have a pretty solid handle on the whereabouts of the missing plane, and eventually locate wreckage which allows them to bring closure to the event, inasmuch as possible.
This particular case, at least to me, anyways, is intriguing, puzzling, and saddening all at the same time.
I’ll be honest that I am completely and utterly intrigued by this story. For me it’s just insane that something as large as a Boeing 777 can completely disappear without a trace when it’s seemingly possible for intelligence agencies to access the camera on your iPhone. How is that even possible? There prevailing theories are beginning to all trend towards the idea that the plane didn’t crash, but was hijacked. By who? Well, that is unclear at this point as it is still a working theory. However, more and more it’s stacking up that the disappearance could very well be a hijacking. Here are the most interesting bits of evidence as neatly as I can summarize them:
- An unplanned flight path change was made by entering a code into the automated navigation system (AVS).
- The flight path changed was reported to ground computers by the Aircraft Communications and Reportying System (ACARS).
- Making a change to the AVS is actually more difficult than manually changing the flight path.
- The ACARS system was switched off or disabled by someone 12 minutes before the co-pilot signed off with signing off with “good night” from the cockpit.
- After losing contact, Flight 370 is believed to have been picked up by Malaysian military radar making a left at one waypoint, then sharply right later at another waypoint.
- A Inmarsat satellite picked up electronic pings from the plane well after it disappeared form radars
- The captain had a flight simulator at home, which is not uncommon, but information was apparently deleted from the hard drive of the flight simulator that the FBI is now helping to investigate.
- Two Iranians (no connection to terrorist organizations has been made) boarded the plane using stolen passports.
And there are just some of the more overt details. The disappearance is intriguing, see?
The disappearance is also puzzling if you believe that the plane was hijacked, which seems more anymore likely as details and bits of evidence continue to roll in. It’s puzzling because we are faced with the obvious question; why? Why would someone want to hijack a Boeing 777 traveling from Malaysia to China? It doesn’t make sense, but there are a few theories that are still in play.
1) The captain, or co-pilot, had mental issues and decided to commandeer the plane for reasons unknown. There is apparently no mental health histories in either parties’ pasts. I mentioned earlier that the captain had a flight simulator setup in his home, and it is apparently not an uncommon thing in the international flying community for pilots to have these in their homes, but it certainly makes it more interesting that data was mysteriously deleted from it. One former federal aviation administration official, stating that desktop simulator pilots will punch in odd airports and then test their skills to see if they could land there. However, one simulator manufacturer said the files are small and most users would typically never feel it necessary to delete any files from a flight simulator. Certainly makes it interesting.
2) Terrorism? While no links to any terrorist organizations have been made at this point, it isn’t a theory being ruled out. And, on the whole, it seems a highly plausible theory in light of the epic magnitude of the events of 9/11. It’s not a bad idea to consider the worse case scenario: that a terrorist organization hijacked the plane, pulled if off the grid, and attempted to safely land it somewhere where it was camouflaged for keeping until a more sinister plan to use it than ferrying passengers to-and-fro could be developed. I don’t know… such a theory is wildly speculative and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
3) I’m a huge fan of the genre of drama. While I wouldn’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist, what if there is something else afoot and the plane hijacking was merely a part of a conspiracy of some sort that doesn’t involve terrorism? What if there was something (or maybe even someone) on that plane that someone wanted to get their hands on? We’ve all watched our fair share of television shows and movies that are predicated on conspiracies, or even read enough books of the same fabric… it’s not hard to get there as weird as this whole event is. Again, this idea, like the terrorism idea, is wildly speculative. But until more answers come to light, questions will remain and asking questions helps lead to answers. If that makes any sense.
Lastly, this whole event is very saddening. As intriguing, puzzling and flat-out interesting as this mystery of a missing Boeing 777 is… consider there are still families of 239 people who do not know the fate of their loved ones. The only thing worse than losing a loved one, is not knowing how you lost them and not being able to have a proper burial. And, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of sharing going on from authorities investigating the plane’s disappearance to the family members. It seems a cruel tact to take given the circumstances. We keep getting reports from families that they are being told very little, and that’s pretty rough to think about. If their loved ones have passed away, it’s hard to move through the stages of the grieving process if you’re kept, largely, in the dark.
I have no idea what the resolution to this mystery is, and every day we get more and more details. This isn’t LOST and that plane didn’t crash land on a mysterious island somewhere with polar bears and smoke monsters. It’s somewhere out there, and my hope is they find it soon.