The disappearance of a 300-ton jet-liner in this day and age is quite honestly, unbelievable. Whilst the tracking technology on airliners is not exactly leading edge, it is quite difficult to fly unseen by radar for any length of time. The only place where radar control is uncommon is the open seas and certain remote areas of the world and shortly, they will also be covered by ADS-B/C technology through international legislation.
There are hundreds of theories out there, some conspiratorial, but let’s deal with the facts as we know them and then we can explore some probabilities followed by possibilities.
1) MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur on 7 March 2014 at approximately 00h40 destined for Beijing at Flight Level 350.
2) Approximately 40 minutes into the flight, roughly 90 nautical miles from origination, the aircraft was handed off to Vietnamese radar control.
3) At this point, the aircraft’s transponder and other communications ceased to operate, we will call this point LOS, Loss of Signal. No Emergency Locator Transmitter was triggered and no mayday nor any radio contact was made
4) At approximately 02h40 Malaysian military primary radar observed a return from an unidentified aircraft overhead Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca, 285 nm WSW of the position described in Point 2 above. Leading authorities to conclude that the aircraft had changed it’s course from 024 Deg to 333 Deg ie. turned West at LOC from a generally Easterly heading.
5) Primary radar does not specify exact identity, however police at Khota Bharu confirmed sighting of a low-flying aircraft, approximately 3000 feet AGL, coincident with the time and position observed by Malaysian military.
6) On 14 March the Malaysian Transport Minister confirmed that the primary radar initially picked up the aircraft at waypoint IGARI very near LOS, it then then moved toward VAMPI, then NW toward GIVAL and finally toward IGREX, but en route primary radar lost the signal again.
7) Malaysian authorities later stated that the deviation from the flight plan was a deliberate and “criminal” action by someone onboard and suspicion was cast over the crew.
8) The Captain of MH370 reportedly had a static flight simulator at his residence, but this in itself is not unusual for one so passionate about aviation. What is unusual is that there are unconfirmed reports of a flight mission recorded on the simulator that involved a simulated Boeing 777 flight culminating in a landing at Diego Garcia, a US military base.
9) On the early morning of the 8th March a fisherman in the Southern Maldives reported a large low-flying aircraft with a red-stripe, heading South. This was later discounted as being untrue by the Chief of the Air Force of Maldives.
10) Searches have been conducted in and around LOC and more latterly in the Southern Indian Ocean with absolutely zero evidence of any debris nor ELT signal. The basis of this search is around sketchy Inmarsat data which simply shows the aircraft crossed a particular arc of the satellite beam.
There are countless possibilities and theories, including that the aircraft was shot down accidentally, it crashed into jungle terrain, it has been hijacked and concealed somewhere etc.etc.
There are a couple of difficulties with all of the above scenarios, not least of which, is that the initial action of terminating communications seems to be deliberate and in all probability, by the crew. The subsequent flight path would suggest an element of subterfuge with tracks avoiding radar and decent at the relevant times.
Despite this, one has to ask how the aircraft was detected by Malaysian military but nothing was done about it? Further to this, why did it take so long to declare the aircraft as missing and then to offer very limited information to the press and public? It is inconceivable that a government will declare all onboard as lost without one single shred of evidence, all they know is that the airplane is gone, or is it all they know?
In the hijack scenario, how do you hide a massive aircraft like a Boeing 777 and what do you do with 239 passengers. More to the point, why have there been no demands, that is, after all the objective of hijacking an aircraft, normally.
Based on the facts above, I think it is reasonable to assume that the aircraft was deliberately re-routed by the assigned crew and flew the path as described in Point 6 above. I doubt the motive was suicide as otherwise push the nose forward and get it over with, anywhere. Furthermore I strongly doubt that the aircraft crashed at all as there is absolutely no evidence from the ACARS system, ELT, debris fields or eyewitnesses.
That means that the aircraft is somewhere and that the crew, for some unknown reason were complicit in getting it to its destination. That destination needs to be able to house and feed and give medical care to 239 people as well as control them.
It also needs to have a facility large enough to land and hide a 300 ton airplane. Additionally, it must be out of cell-phone range and all other means of communications otherwise, some wily techno-savvy passenger will get a message out.
Sounds like a military operation to me and if looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…guess what, it’s a duck. There have been some theories around Diego Garcia, it has a 3,5km runway, lots of hangars, no cell-phones, accommodation, food, medical and guys with guns.
My bet is that the aircraft with 7 hours endurance made the 6 hour flight routing via the Maldives and landed at Diego Garcia. The crew could have advised the passengers that due to some or other emergency they had to divert elsewhere and as long as the plane ain’t crashing, passengers are usually quite compliant.
What would possess Uncle Sam to commit such a heinous act? Just for the record, I am not anti-U.S. at all, anything of any technological value was pretty much invented there, so I am an admirer. Why then would the U.S. immerse itself in such a high-profile and risky enterprise as essentially “hijacking” an aircraft of another nation? Not a simple question but if one looks at the former Soviet Bloc crisis in play right now, we may be facing a situation where the Cuban Missile Crisis is mere “nuisance value” by comparison.
We know that the Ukraine and Russia have nukes as do the US but who wants to push the button, no one. China have been lethargic at best in taking a stand against Russia, their long-time ally. The G8 just became the G7 with Russia’s exclusion and the world (read the US) really need China to play ball and condemn Russia’s action.
154 or 64% of the people on MH370 are Chinese nationals. It would be a very brave Russian who would give the order to shoot down an airliner full of Chinese citizens and were they to do so, that would probably ruin the friendship.
I never thought of myself as a “conspiracy theorist” but there you go, MH370 is a bargaining chip, maybe the only bargaining chip that can avert Armageddon.