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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate' 436

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-dwindling dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Malaysia's Prime Minister announced at a press conference that Flight 370, which disappeared a week ago, was diverted as a result of 'deliberate action.' The investigation has now focused in two ways: first, they're looking more closely at the passengers and crew, and second, they've narrowed the search for the plane down to two corridors. One stretches from Kazakhstan to northern Thailand, and the other goes from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. 'That conclusion was based on a final signal from the plane picked up on satellite at 8:11 a.m. on March 8, nearly seven hours after ground control lost contact with the jet, he said.'

The Prime Minister said the plane's communications system and the transponder system were both disabled early on during the flight. The time of the plane's final satellite contact would have put its fuel reserves very low. 'Police on Saturday morning drove into the residential compound where the missing plane's pilot lives in Kuala Lumpur, according a guard and several local reporters who were barred from entering the complex. ... Experts have previously said that whoever disabled the plane's communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience. One possibility they have raised was that one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide."
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

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  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @09:46AM (#46491689)
    It's happened before.

    It sure must take a selfish fuck, but they're out there.

    • Suicide By Jet Plane (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Albanach (527650) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:27AM (#46491921) Homepage

      If you want to commit suicide, why not ditch the plane straight down? Why would you plot a course somewhere into the middle of the Indian Ocean?

      If you didn't want it to look like suicide, why not ditch into rural China? There has to be some way a professional pilot could make it look more accidental.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If you want to commit suicide, why not ditch the plane straight down? Why would you plot a course somewhere into the middle of the Indian Ocean?

        If you didn't want it to look like suicide, why not ditch into rural China? There has to be some way a professional pilot could make it look more accidental.

        What if you're suicidal but still want to troll the entire world?

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        Well, a person who takes hundreds of people with them in their suicide probably has things going on in their heads that we'd find difficult to understand. Suicidal people sometimes commit suicide in ways that are planned and designed to look like accidents.

        Of course we don't know that it was suicide. It could just have been an unusually unreasonable highjacker who didn't understand that the 777-200 had shorter range than for example Wikipedia lists because it wasn't fully fueled for the relatively short fli

        • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:33AM (#46492371)

          Of course we don't know that it was suicide. It could just have been an unusually unreasonable highjacker who didn't understand that the 777-200 had shorter range than for example Wikipedia lists because it wasn't fully fueled for the relatively short flight to Beijing.

          That's what I was thinking too. This happened to an Ethiopian Airlines flight [wikipedia.org] that was hijacked back in 1996. The hijackers ignored the captains warning that his aircraft's fuel load was insufficient to get them to Australia where the hijackers wanted to go and eventually he was forced to ditch the aircraft in the sea off the Comoros Islands, due to fuel starvation. He would have probably stood a good chance of pulling off a near textbook belly-landing if one of the hijackers hadn't started wrestling with him for the controls seconds before the aircraft touched down on the water which caused one of the engines to touch the water too soon so the machine broke up. Some 125 out of 175 passengers and crew were killed but more would have died if the co-pilot hadn't kept the hijackers off the captains back for most of the landing. It was a pretty impressive feat of airmanship considering the circumstances.

          • by aevan (903814)
            The pilot seems to think they were suicidal by the way they were talking; they weren't ignorant there wasn't sufficient fuel for the flight.
  • Three thoughts... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by davidmcg (796487) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @09:46AM (#46491693) Homepage
    1. Why are cockpit voices recorded only in the black box? If other data from a plane is constantly being sent for maintenance purposes, while in flight, why do planes not also not relay cockpit voices to some storage system, for just such a situation? CCTV keeps footage for a few hours or a few days, why is this kind of valuable data not also routinely stored? 2. I don't know how low you have to fly a plane to fly "under the radar" but isn't is possible that the pilot or a hijacker flew the plane below radar to somewhere where it is now on the ground? 3. One other possibility: the plane was shot down, and the country that did it, realizing the mistake, is participating in the search to cover up. Militaries have shot down civilian jets before. The Soviet Union and the USA have both done so.
    • by alen (225700)

      even the maintenance part is a separate paid service that the airline wasn't paying for. imagine how much the remote voice recording will cost

      • The maintenance data stream is also incredibly restricted by bandwidth, so a continuous audio stream at a fidelity which can cover voices in the cock pit *and* instrument activation noises (something people talking about CVR use often miss), you are talking about a data stream that often isn't viable.

        • by Albanach (527650) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:43AM (#46492027) Homepage

          Which is a fair point, but it could still broadcast it's GPS location and altitude every five minutes. If I rent a $20,000 dollar car from Hertz it lets them know where I am with their car. Why airlines let planes costing hundreds of millions fly around the globe absent similar technology is surely a little strange?

          • It does...

            The problem is the range of the transponder broadcast is roughly 100 miles (1ghz frequency). When a plane goes off the coast, they quickly go out of range off any listening posts...

            The US and Europe are both working on a new system for taking over water... Using satellite support probably... But for now, after 100 miles out to sea, radar is the primary method of tracking

          • The problem is that over large tracts of water, transmission range is a huge issue - turning back aircraft traveling toward the US over the Atlantic or Pacific oceans on 9/11 was very problematic because they were out of radio range and the long range communication system had no guarantees on ability.

            • Re:Three thoughts... (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Albanach (527650) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:42AM (#46492431) Homepage

              Surely the transmission range to a satellite is the same when you're at 35,000 feet whether or not you're above water? REI will sell you a satellite beacon that can ping your coordinates as often as every 2.5 minutes and costs less than $100 with a $99 per year subscription fee for the Immersat service.

              • Problem with sat based transmissions is that they require decent weather, otherwise you are out of luck.

              • by schnell (163007)

                REI will sell you a satellite beacon that can ping your coordinates as often as every 2.5 minutes and costs less than $100 with a $99 per year subscription fee for the Immersat service.

                You're referring to the GlobalStar SPOT satellite beacon system (not Inmarsat). It's a neat idea but using this as an example falls victim to the same fallacies as 99% of the other speculation about this topic on Slashdot: people try to transpose their experiences with bandwidth availability on land to over the ocean... which is to say that bandwidth is just so much more rare and expensive there that most people can't imagine how it is.

                It is a truism that telecom providers build their bandwidth where the us

  • does it add up? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nblender (741424) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @09:50AM (#46491703)

    Lets say you were a pilot with intent to commit suicide (and take everyone with you; ignoring the sociopathy involved in that)... Why go through the effort of 'hiding' the plane? Turning off the transponder and comms, changing altitude and direction, and flying for a few more hours? The plane was already over the ocean, easy to dive it straight down. Less than a minute and it's done.

    My intuition says that someone wanted a 777 and wanted to hide it.

    • My intuition says that someone wanted a 777 and wanted to hide it.

      Had to hide the theft to get it.

      But is stealing a plane full of people the easiest way to get a jet?

      It seems like you're asking for an order of magnitude more search and rescue operation versus an empty plane. It seems likely someone wanted the jetload of civilians if taking the plane was the mission.

      • A jetload of citizens seems to be without a great deal of utility. I would think there are significantly less conspicuous means of getting equal amounts of people. I would speculate that, if the passngers were the intended targets, that it was only a few of them that were important to whatever organization staged this operation.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        But is stealing a plane full of people the easiest way to get a jet?

        Well, assume the pilots were willing to take orders; The job is then easier than going to flight school and it involves less people than hiring a pilot. If you also want the people it's safer than conducting two separate jobs.

        If the pilots have the expectation of being ransomed instead of flown into a building they might well cooperate in the hopes of preserving their own lives as well as the lives of the passengers. Once someone has broken into the cockpit it's easy enough to crash the plane and kill every

    • Landing a 777 takes a significant airstrip. Really significant. Once there, it's not simply a taxi to some secluded spot. If your scenario is true, the plane should be visible by satellite.
      • by sshir (623215)
        Are you sure about this? I mean, if you're not planning for subsequent take-off then your runway may be much - much shorter. Remember, a few months ago, Boeing transport landed in a wrong airport.
      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        Landing a 777 takes a significant airstrip. Really significant. Once there, it's not simply a taxi to some secluded spot. If your scenario is true, the plane should be visible by satellite.

        Well, maybe the highjacker thought that the plane had longer range than it actually had. In that scenario we're looking at painstakingly scanning the ocean with sonar to find the wreckage.

      • The 777 is capable of landing on water. Theoretically you could just land it on the ocean at some pre-determined coordinates, disembark everyone on it, and sink it / tow it (an airplane floats when it's pressurized)

        Why you would want to do that is beyond me though. You certainly can't get it up in the air once you landed it, so someone REALLY wanted what was in the plane (people / cargo).

        Not like a plane has never carried $50 million in diamonds as cargo before http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

    • by kyrsjo (2420192)

      Maybe if there was some insurance trickery going on? Say someone on the plane took out a huge life insurance and then hijacked the plane - there won't be any payout if it's a suicide. However if the plane is never found, then no-one can prove it was a suicide or foul play...

    • by Dan East (318230)

      I mostly agree with you - I also feel there was some ulterior motive (hijacking / ransom / obtaining the hardware, etc). However, there are still very likely suicide scenarios that could explain the evidence.

      Why do people stand on the edge of a bridge and contemplate for hours before killing themselves? Why do people do "suicide by cop"? Because not many people have the nerve to actively cause their own death. The pilot(s) could have disabled tracking and just kind of flown around for a while (upping th

      • by Dan East (318230)

        To answer my own questions, Flight 370 was a Boeing 777-200ER. See the "ER"? That means Extended Range. It has a range of 7,700 nautical miles (compared to the non-ER version with a range of 5,235 miles). The distance from Kuala Lumpur, where the flight originated, to Jerusalem (simply chosen as a place in Israel) is 4,729 miles - well within Flight 370's range of 7,700 miles. Note that the plane first flow north for a while before changing direction, so the overall flight would have been longer than 4

        • by rasmusbr (2186518)

          But the plane would only have had enough fuel to fly to Beijing (plus some additional safety margin).

          One possibility is that a highjacker made the same mistake that you did and ran out of fuel over the ocean.

        • Several knowledgeable sources have noted that fuel is both expensive and heavy. Extra weight creates drag. Airlines tend to load an aircraft with the amount of fuel required for a flight and a reserve to cover delays that weather and air traffic cause, not filled to the brim.
    • by Tom (822)

      Why go through the effort of 'hiding' the plane?

      So they don't shoot you down. If you wanted to commit suicide in this matter, you probably don't want just the plane, you want to fly it into something (9/11 probably gave you the idea).

      So no, it doesn't add up - unless some nation shot it down and doesn't want to admit it. But that's as much speculation as anything else.

    • Look in the Taklamakan Desert, 50 miles South of the Silk Road. Or turn a blind eye to the obvious landing expanse.
    • Lets say you were a pilot with intent to commit suicide (and take everyone with you; ignoring the sociopathy involved in that)... Why go through the effort of 'hiding' the plane? Turning off the transponder and comms, changing altitude and direction, and flying for a few more hours? The plane was already over the ocean, easy to dive it straight down. Less than a minute and it's done.

      My intuition says that someone wanted a 777 and wanted to hide it.

      So first, a potential argument against the suicide scenario is that it would be more rational to simply fly the plane straight down instead of flying on for 7 hours. Of course, if we are talking about a suicidal pilot, then we're talking about someone sadistic and deranged enough to kill 238 people. This is, by definition, not someone who is thinking in terms of what is the most rational response to a given situation, but a deeply fucked up individual. If they're sadistic enough to kill over 200 people and

  • by pla (258480) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @09:51AM (#46491705) Journal
    Damnit Scully, we had it this time! We had it, had them, and those bastards took it away from us!

    They landed on any of a hundred small island airstrips with the full knowledge of the Malay government, and by now that alien's body has made it back to the Pentagon and out of our reach.
  • Tracking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @09:53AM (#46491719) Homepage Journal

    It slightly blows my mind that companies (airlines) would buy a piece of hardware that costs hundreds of millions of dollars, which is incredibly mobile and used to travel thousands of miles at a time, with a huge amount of liability (billions potentially), and not include any kind of built in, always-on, hard-wired tracking device. Especially in this day and age. We're just talking about pinging tiny little packets of positional data every few minutes.

    • Re:Tracking (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:01AM (#46491783)

      not include any kind of built in, always-on, hard-wired tracking device

      They experimented with hard-wired positional tracking, but the cables became very long.

    • by thoth (7907)

      include any kind of built in, always-on, hard-wired tracking device

      How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

      • by chalkyj (927554)
        I'm not sure you need to guarantee it resists all possible sabotage efforts. It just needs to not have an "off" button in the cockpit and be located in an inaccessible area of the aircraft. I assume the answer to this question is simply that the planes involved are probably fairly old, and that new planes do indeed have features like this. If I can buy a car with that sort of feature for anti-theft I'm sure putting it on a plane can't be terribly difficult.
        • by kyrsjo (2420192)

          Communication is much easier for a car - you can use the cellular network. Not so much for a plane, where you need to use satellite comms.

          • by chalkyj (927554)
            It's harder because putting satellites into space is harder than building cell towers but since both these things have already been done I'm not sure you're making a terribly relevant distinction. Modern aircraft have tracking systems that use satellite networks, the only real question is why is the pilot apparently able to disable it?
            • by kyrsjo (2420192)

              That both things have been done does not mean they're equally easy / expensive. Flying to the moon is harder than walking to the store across the street - both are possible, both have been done, but the effort needed is not the same. In this case cellular modems are much simpler / cheaper than satellite modems, and the data charges are orders of magnitude different. And even then, satellite coverage isn't perfect everywhere. For some examples, take a look at the wikipage for mobile satellite internet:
              http:/ [wikipedia.org]

            • by kyrsjo (2420192)

              Oh, and you may actually *want* the pilot to be able to disable such systems. As an example, what if it catches on fire?

          • by Albanach (527650)

            But the price tags are also differet my several orders of magnitude.

            A GPS tracking device that broadcasts its location via satellite costs $100 plus a small monthly subscription. Obviously that isn't going to have cleared all the regulations for avionics, but it still shows the hardware cost is minimal and there's no need to rely upon cellular networks. Indeed the plane in question was already broadcasting hourly to the irridium network. So that bit of the hardware already exists.

        • by thoth (7907)

          If somebody is willing to ripoff a hundred million dollar plane, as the OP mentions, they are also willing to invest millions in stealing it.
          Your car with an anti-theft device isn't the same reward to effort that motivated people interested in stealing a 777 would be willing to put in.

          So the cost of bypassing the anti-theft device needs to be very large, or there isn't a point in having it.

      • include any kind of built in, always-on, hard-wired tracking device

        How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

        Put it on the outside of the plane.

      • How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

        There is no "guarantee" against "all possible efforts" for anything ever, so that is a ridiculous requirement. But you could make it reasonably impervious to sabotage by placing it somewhere inaccessible from inside the plane, and difficult to reach even from outside. Such as the top of the tail fin.

        • by thoth (7907)

          The point is somebody willing to ripoff a hundred million dollars is willing to invest several million doing it.
          If your anti-theft device can't resist millions of dollars of effort, then it is pointless.

          As for putting it outside the plane and whatever, the ring of thieves merely has to bribe an extra person or two in the maintenance hangar and air traffic control, to sign off on a non-functional device and then clear the plane for takeoff. Then the reasonably impervious device is bypassed altogether.

          Again,

      • Re:Tracking (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jones_supa (887896) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:35AM (#46491965)

        How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

        That kind of mindset seems to be common in Slashdot. "If something is not completely perfect, it's completely useless." Many times comes up in security-related articles.

        • by thoth (7907)

          How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

          That kind of mindset seems to be common in Slashdot. "If something is not completely perfect, it's completely useless." Many times comes up in security-related articles.

          Like cryptography, it comes down to the value being protected versus the cost of protecting it. For a 777 worth a quarter of a billion dollars, a couple of transponders located wherever (outside, inside, in the tail fin, wing) would increment the cost of ripping the plane off just a little - mostly by including a few more people to bribe to ignore problems.

          What I'm saying is that given how expensive the asset is, what is the real added value of a few enhancements (all the suggestions boil down to more locat

      • by Tom (822)

        How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

        Not all possible, but 99% of them: Make it inaccessible from the inside of the aircraft.

    • "It slightly blows my mind that companies (airlines) would buy a piece of hardware that costs hundreds of millions of dollars, which is incredibly mobile and used to travel thousands of miles at a time, with a huge amount of liability (billions potentially), and not include any kind of built in, always-on, hard-wired tracking device. Especially in this day and age. "

      Most airlines do, just not the Malaysians.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Get to know just a little bit more about airlines and you'll see that most are converging towards Aeroflot standards (or lack thereof).
    • by Clueless Moron (548336) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:41AM (#46492423)

      Vessel Monitoring System. [wikipedia.org]

      They are required to have these tracking devices by NOAA in the USA. The boats have to pay huge fines if they stray outside their allowed zones and are not allowed to fish without out. If you've ever watched "Deadliest Catch", those boats all have one.

      These devices regularly report the vessel's position via satellite and have internal batteries and no "off" switch. If you do remove power, the device immediately reports it as a power loss event and you have some explaining to do. If you block the GPS antenna it reports that too and again you have some explaining to do. All events are queued internally in flash so they will eventually be sent. If a vessel is not heard from for awhile NOAA all hell breaks loose since the assumption is that it has sunk, so it's in the vessel operator's interest to leave the damn thing alone.

      These devices are quite small, use very little power, and the data throughput is tiny. It boggles my mind that airplanes don't have something equivalent.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      not hard to understand at all. such systems have been proposed, read about them. the satellites that will have to be launched, the gear that will be installed. billions of dollars and years of time (e.g. Next Gen)

      harsh reality and what people imagine about capabilities of technology are two very different things

  • Nuke bomb theory (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:02AM (#46491787)

    The plane was deliberately stolen and was landed somewhere in the middle east or Africa. It could be at an abandoned airfield or an improvised one in a desert area, hidden in a hangar or hidden by an improvised cover. It is being fitted with a stolen nuclear bomb as we speak. The passengers and crew have most likely all been killed.

    A Boeing 777 200EL has sufficient range to reach the east coast of the USA and deliver the nuke in a suicide strike. The terrorists involved could have maybe purchased or stolen a smaller jet like a Gulfstream. However, even the highest-end Gulfstream does not have sufficient range to reach the USA. A large commercial airliner is perfect for this job.

    Logistical issues such as refueling with Jet-A fuel and hiding the plane from satellite and aerial surveillance would have to be overcome to pull this off.

    If I'm right, God help us.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Except that it is extremely easy to buy (or steal) a used commercial or cargo aircraft without going to all the trouble of hijacking and mass murder and evading the air forces and navies of half the planet. And it would be even easier to sail a nuke-laden yacht into any number of east coast harbors. Why would a terrorist go to all this trouble when there are much easier and less risky ways of accomplishing the goal you describe?

    • by dbIII (701233) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:12PM (#46492641)
      A fishing trawler has sufficient range to reach the east coast of the USA and deliver the nuke in a suicide strike.
  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:03AM (#46491793) Homepage Journal
    When a jet lands it lays down quite a lot of rubber. A search for new skid marks on roads near water in countries with poor military radar (Bangladesh?) might indicate where the plane put down. Evidence of a recently placed fuel dump might also be worth a search.

    A 9/11 type attack might be the aim here. I'm wondering how well a carrier group could defend itself against a diving attack. Also, how may of our embassies are close enough to the ocean that the host country Air Force might not have time to react to a low altitude offshore approach?
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:12AM (#46491839) Journal
    There are very few clues. Some tantalizing pings, between 4 to 6 on the satellites, some delay in transponder being turned off etc are the bare facts on which these elaborate theories are being spun. But I keep thinking about the Helios flight [wikipedia.org] disaster. The maintenance crew had left the cabin pressurization in "manual" mode. The pilot did not notice. The plane warned about cabin pressure. But the pilot was confused and continued to climb to cruise altitude. Deprived of oxygen, all of them died when the oxygen ran out. Pilots never put on the mask and died soon. Plane without pilots, may be with a few passengers alive for half an hour longer, flew on auto pilot for several hours. One crew member, a flight attendant, a former navy diver was seen in the cockpit lugging a (probably empty oxygen) cylinder by the chase planes. Eventually ran out of fuel and crashed in the mountain.

    It is possible somehow both pilots lost control of the plane and it flew on auto pilot, following whatever route was programmed into it.

    • by robinsonne (952701) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:19AM (#46491867)
      But then the transponder would have still been on...
      • If one pilot decides to something funny, and the other pilot figures it out and a tussle breaks out, and if one of them survives, but with serious injury... As I said there are no easy theories ...
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Is it possible for a malfunction in the cockpit to disable the transponder? Of a control, for example?

    • No (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yesterday I thought so too, but afaik a plane on autopilot cannot change altitude and course the way this plane did over the last seven recorded hours. If the satellite pings aren't just another piece of desinformation, they establish that the plane was deliberately steered. Beyond that, our guesses are just as good as the findings of bomoh kelapa.

    • by qubex (206736) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:33PM (#46492833) Homepage

      That’s a valid (and fairly chilling) reference, but insofar as the two tracking systems/transponders were deactivated at different times and deliberately it seems quite obvious that nothing of a sudden or accidental nature occurred - at least not at the outset of the episode. Of course something catastrophic or at the very least final must have occurred later on because well aeroplanes don’t stay aloft indefinitely.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:15AM (#46491855) Journal
    Look, that area is contentious and has LOADS of satellites flying overhead. IOW, loads of pix were taken. It should be easy enough to subtract the KNOWN flights from those sats. and see what remains.
    BUT, nobody is coming forth with that.
  • by Idou (572394) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:36AM (#46491975) Journal
    How hard would it be to make this plane "reappear" as another plane with a flight destination of New York City? It would seem like a legit flight (might have to make another plane disappear, but you have already seemed to master that trick once).

    Of course, by then you have had time to retrofit the plane with your crude nuke you have put together (hell, you have the entire space of the 777 to fit the thing, so it could more primitive than the trinity test. . . ). You could then deviate the flight only at the very last minute to the best possible position to detonate for maximized damage (fighter jets would have no time to respond).

    Probably being paranoid here, but why else would you need a 777 that could only be used for a short time before being discovered?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here is some fictional writing I saw on reddit. It is a crazy story....... http://pastebin.com/d97LkvF7

      What is the craziest way the mystery of Flight 370 could end? by Brutussin AskReddit

      [–]z3ndog 423 points 19 hours ago

      Iran's Trojan Horse

      The pilot's wife and 2 kids were kidnapped and the pilot was contacted via his cell 15m before takeoff with pics of his family, tied up, gagged, with k

  • Of course! Magic coconuts! Why didn't we think of this sooner?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/malaysia-recruits-witch-doctors-find-missing-passenger-jet-article-1.1720770

  • There are tons of rumours spreading in mass media, most of it are not true or are outdated sooner or later. A good writeup is this article on AeroInside.com: http://www.aeroinside.com/item... [aeroinside.com]
  • First they lose the plane comepltelty, then it's found to maybe still be in one piece for 4 or 5 hours later with the engines still running, and it's over the Indian ocean, o rmaybe not, or maybe Bengal, and maybe it was was 45,000', or 25,000, and all this contradicting info is still coming out SEVEN DAYS LATER. Yet still thru all this all I ever hear any talking head say is - we know it crashed, even if they keep changing what body of water it crashed into. If they've gotten all this wrong before how does
  • by Rick Zeman (15628) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:08AM (#46492201)

    ...how this airliner is deflecting discussion from Russia, the Ukraine, and the Crimea.

    Just sayin'....

  • First I need to get the pilot(s) to cooperate. Then I would file a fake flight plan from Manila to Bangaladesh or Kabul or some place to take place at about the same time. Then smuggle a transponder in a brief case into the plane. It is basically a radio that is all. Switch off the transponder of the main aircraft. Climb/dive to confuse the radar tracks. Manually fly the plane to a different way point. Turn on the fake transponder. Identify the plane with a new call sign and contact Port Blair Andaman Isla
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:17PM (#46492695) Homepage Journal
    It seems likely that it ran out of fuel and crashed somewhere. A really surreal option I thought about was that all the passengers could have been in on it and wanted to go somewhere else for some reason. That seems very unlikely, but hey, if it turns out that's what happened, I called it!
  • Last ping position (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdsolar (1045926) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:30PM (#46492817) Homepage Journal
    A couple of arcs of position are available from the last satellite ping. To the North, the arc is mostly over land in Western China though Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are also covered. To the South, the arc is mostly over ocean West of Australia but it crosses Sumatra. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03... [nytimes.com]
  • by Chewbacon (797801) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:34PM (#46493293)

    I'm inclined to lean toward this being a rogue pilot. Since 9/11 I feel like hijacking a plane is a really bad idea with a low chance of success. Perhaps I have some culture bias; in the United States, I'm sure there would be some opposition to a plane being taken over. Personally, I would assume the worst would happen and I'd be in the opposition. Bias set aside, if the passengers had no indication there was deviation to the flightplan, then there would be no opposition. The most likely way of not arousing suspicion would be if all events transpired exclusively in the cockpit.

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