MH370, Day 12: 10 theories, courtesy of BBC

To no surprise, we’re still wondering where Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 is.

The BBC has an excellent review of 10 theories about the flight’s mysterious disappearance, which beat us to it; we had planned to take this approach now that we’re done with the ISTAT conference.

One theory that recently surfaced is the fire-in-the-cargo-hold, destroying all communications. We point out once more that there are five radios on the plane plus two transponders. The last cargo hold fire we can remember was the ValuJet DC-9 accident on May 11, 1996. But these pilots had time to radio before being overcome by smoke. Despite plunging nose first into the Miami Everglades, there was still some debris–small though it was. We discount this theory.

The more telling bizarre twist is the revelation that Thailand military had detected an unidentified blip but waited 10 days to present the information–because it hadn’t been asked.

One would have thought that someone might have taken the initiative to volunteer this information before being asked.

The Thai and Malaysian militaries need to hold joint maneuvers in incompetence.

19 Comments on “MH370, Day 12: 10 theories, courtesy of BBC

  1. MY .000003-
    1) Some reports claim that having airfields in his flight sim including diego garcia ans such are proof of …. But anyone who has Microsquish flight sim has told me and otehrs that those fields are simply part of standard database… Even so, now reporting some data was erased ….

    2) Lots of confusion re ACARS – does handshake happen every hour or every half hour ?

    3) Some system reported entry of alternate flight plan before so called ” U turn ” ( which was more like 90 to 120 degrees.

    4) More flapdoodle as to what co pilot last said – but still no releease of other side of conversation prior ??

    5) Its difficult to determine the difference between incompetence and evil intent or bcrat snafus. A new low bar has been set.

    6) the varilous news outlets dragging up retired . . . types who say 777 has fuuel tanks in vertical stab ( rudder ) or fire suppression systems that can hadle ANY fire anywhere, etc ad naseaum do not help. Add in stowaways, green men , area 51, loose oxygen bottles , front tire blowouts, and the race is on for most stupid comment of the day to sell papers, time, ads, etc.

    7) many days ago, I speculated plane is in deep part of indian ocean with a small debris field– still think so. I think the US knows more than released but politics rules.

    8 ) May all innocents RIP.. Someday, a few pieces may be found.. and the kennedy assination or the 911 truthers will be relegated to 2nd place or lower …… ARRRRGGHHHH…

  2. Check your date of the ValuJet crash, It was May 11th, 1996, not 2001.

    Editor: Fixed, thanks.

  3. The best evidence, although still circumstantial, is that the flight crew deliberately attempted to disguise their route.

    This is compatible with a terrorist act where they want to achieve their result before their intentions are discovered. The fact that no result has been declared – eg landing with hostages, flying into a building – suggests their terrorism object wasn’t achieved. It’s possible they miscalculated their route or fuel. Or there was a struggle – perhaps the flight crew weren’t acting in concert or they were forced into co-operating, but secretly averted the terrorists’ objectives, in the same way UA93 was brought down by the passengers short of its target during the 9/11 attacks.

    It seems unnecessarily complicated for a suicide attempt to disguise its route when you can just ditch the plane straight away. Unless one of the pilots had notions of being a second Amelia Earhart legend.

    • ” It seems unnecessarily complicated for a suicide attempt to disguise its route when you can just ditch the plane straight away.’

      IF- big IF a terrorist act- which is more effective in changing the ‘ cost ” of flying and security issues. ? 911 has imposed a major expenditure on all countries for over a decade,, etc. And specific steps have been taken to avoid a repeat.

      OTOH- a suicide mission which this may be- in a remote part of the world- spreads bucu FUD, and will have a major impact both political and factual on ALL air travel from now on. 911 worked cuz no one believed a jacker would commit suicide, etc. This may work for the same reason. MY point is considering all the apparently deliberate actions re course changes, etc- almost any accident seems to be ruled out. NUff said – absent any more ‘ facts ‘ all else is speculation.

    • “It seems unnecessarily complicated for a suicide attempt to disguise its route when you can just ditch the plane straight away.”

      You are absolutely right about this. That is why I have an inner struggle with my theory that the disappearance is due to a suicidal action by the captain. But the reason I retain this scenario is that it could still be a suicidal action but one of a complex nature, like it would be if it was combined with a terrorist act for example.

      Even if everything appears like a carefully planned execution, something might have happened that made the perpetrators change their original plan. I put this in plural in case there are more than one person involved. But the captain remains my primary suspect.

  4. Do not agree that joint maneuvers in incompetence are needed. Both forces seem to be masters already…

  5. “The Thai and Malaysian militaries need to hold joint maneuvers in incompetence.”

    Scott, you have to take into account the history and the political climate of the region, along with the cultural traits of the various nationalities involved.

  6. If the plane did head to the north or south as the satellite pings suggest we will soon be adding the Indian and Indonesian militaries to the Masters of Incompetence list.

  7. The longer we will be without additional information the more theories we will have and the more far fetched they will be. The same phenomenon happened when two Comet aircraft disappeared at a short interval over the Mediterranean sea in the 1950s.

    The main reason I believe the authorities are withholding the information is that they want to avoid undue speculation. In a sense we could say they are achieving the exact opposite because it is in our nature to want to know what happened. We just can’t wait. That is a healthy sign though and is much better than indifference.

    • “…The main reason I believe the authorities are withholding the information is that they want to avoid undue speculation…”

      Not sure about this comment on ‘avoiding speculation’. It seems to me, we only have to take a look at the decades-long history of how the industry and the regulators handle bad events, be they accidents, terrorism, or even economic decline. History shows a focused aviation emphasis on marketing, hence framing the presentation and doing lots of spin. A year ago, remember, after the Japanese grounded the 787’s, NTSB embraced transparency and showed photos of the charred battery. Ditto on quick transparency at KSFO with the 7/6/13 Asiana crash, and again at KLGA with the SWA345 collapsed nose-gear. But then, with the UPS crash at KBHM on 8/14/13, NTSB became more reserved. Hersman recently declared her departure next month. Think about it: this was a Boeing 777, hence NTSB should be a major investigative party (deferring to Malaysia, of course). It seems, if we were being served by the NTSB of early 2013, we really would expect them to not only press for information, but also issue that information out for worldwide consumption. NTSB can and should serve the role of compiling all that information — pressing Malaysian, Thai, Singaporean, and even Chinese authorities to share what they have, then present it to the world.

      Do you think FAA and others in aviation put pressure on Obama and Congress to rein in the NTSB last year? IMHO, hell yeah. The so-called ‘authorities’ do not give a damn about speculation; in fact, they may want it to get all the more weird and wild, so they can properly time their more reasoned explanation. And we all know that there are stock explanations which they can pull off the shelf: blame the dead pilot, or nature/act of God, some funky cargo … ANYTHING, but do not let the blame fall on the money interests (which includes the manufacturers, the airlines, the unions) and the regulatory agencies … all of whom MUST be protected.

      • Your pen name is great, but your comments better. Karl Marx always said: “In the end, capitalism will destroy itself”. I’m NO ‘commie’ yet open minded enough to get the point. I read the tit for tat fights between Boeing & Airbus, but Boeing misses the point. Their CEO is a Wall St. guy, not an engineer. “Outsourcing” the 787 has not faired well; agreed? I have my own prediction on that, but will keep them silent.

        Point being; unlike the 707, blah blah blah models+, leading to 747, Boeing controlled engineering. I don’t know what McNerney had to do with 777 model. But you’re absolutely right: Boeing must be part of this search for MH540! It’s a fine plane, with fine competition. That’s what peaceful capitalism is all about.

        So I still believe people will come to their senses.

    • Or they are a bunch of bloody incompetent idiots and could not tell you that the sun rises in the East.

      They are not withholding information, they are releasing false information and then retracting, redoing timelines repeatedly etc.

  8. I still believe that in the Cargo Hold was a Flux Capacitor stolen from the Universal Studio Museum. When the 777 travels at 777 mph dropping from FL77 the plane will travel in time exactly 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days ahead and it will land on Beijing runway 77. This could be as true as most of these theories

  9. Looking again at the loss of Egypt Air SU-GBP I would think that if it happened in the air it would look like MH370. Fire starts, el breakers opened to try to contain or stop the fire, closing down comms, pilot turns to nearest runway, hole burns through skin, pilots not able to use oxygen as oxygen tubing is in same place. Fire goes out of is blown out the hole as oxygen lost. Plane flies on with fire out but all dead. Cause of the fire on the Egypt Air plane was never found.

  10. I don’t often subscribe to conspiracy theories, however, in this case, I believe Boeing, US agencies, EU agencies, Russia, and China all know exactly what happened to MH370. The reluctance to “come clean” is driven by their wanting to avoid a public panic, which, in turn, would result in the total collapse of commercial aviation as we know it.
    One thing is for sure, more invasive airport “security” measures are on the way.

    • Good points, Timm. As an American, retired in France, I’d say the EU bosses, look to the disappearance of MH370 as a macabre, though welcomed relief from their own follies. US/EU support for neo-nazis in Ukraine does not make a happy populace. That Crimea told them to get lost Sunday, pleased the working slobs here, and today they’re finding out fascists don’t come cheap: $35Bil; alot owed to EU banks. Like US, the EU has plenty of home grown problems. So the silent culprits you mention could be smack on.
      Like US airlines, EU’s airlines’ balance sheets don’t paint a pretty picture. Likewise, sanctioning Russian oligarchs heavily invested here is a real foot shooter. So who stole MH370? Who had the motive and the money? Was it that easy?! Lastly, Boeing must take a more active roll in the hunt. I say that in defense of that fine company. Believe me, not one newscast/paper doesn’t mention it’s a “Boeing”, not one of “theirs”.

  11. I think you give them too much credit.

    Remember when the 172 flew all the way from Germany to Moscow through the heaviest air defense zone the world has ever seen?

    If you look at the map, once exiting the Straights of Malacca, there is a clear no radar path down to the Southern Indian Ocean.

    I do not begin to think I am capable of figuing out what went through their head or heads of why this was done, but there ain’t no aircraft parked anywhere. You are not going to hid a 777, you can;’t even land the thing (in the dark, give me a break) let alone a rough strip in daylight. Howe many paved strips are there of even 5,000 feet (and that would be one hell of a landing for a trained pilot).

    Oh and hey, I have a 777, lets send up a red flag to get everyone looking for us.

    If they could do that they could steal a ship, sail it into NY Harbor and blow the place up. You are gong to fuel it, fly it where and attack what? All the stuff in range they could have done when it was flying.

    All indications are all acts were deliberates and it would require an in depth technical understanding to achieve that. That smacks of pilot or pilots (and just because they did not ask to fly with each other does not mean they did not wait for a flight they could pull it off (I am not saying it was two, just possible).

    There is zero evidence that anyone was even alive at the point last picked up on Radar exiting the Malacca straights, it could have been programed to fly a route out and then turn South and once that was plotted in, phhhht.

    Nothing says they have to stuff it in and nothing says pilot or pilots could not have committed suicide after killing the passengers (lack of cell phone contact after the turn maneuvers and over Malaysia indicates something drastic occurred prior)

    At some point if it went down in the South Indian ocean they will pick up some debris. Its obviously extremely difficult if not impossible to get any locate of the wreck form that but it will confirm the rough area (something about the size of Australia).

  12. 10PM seattle time – just got home from opera – Fox news ( and others ) report that Aussie PM intertrrupted Aussie parliment to state some sort of debris – and a part about 80 feet long was spotted by satellite and possibly a debris field about 200o km west of perth. weather not helpful, but ships and planes are going towards that area. The search area was ” suggested” by NRLB and others after more analyis- and spot is near max range for 777..

    By the am – I’m sure more will be available

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