Previously: my crackpot theory.
When I said, “it’s sunk,” my intuition was based on the fact that military sites had detected it, then recanted their statement. That said to me that it could have been a friendly fire episode where people hadn’t gotten their stories straight. Except, we’d have detected pieces by now, I’m pretty sure.
My second thought was hijacking, assuming the military disbelieved their own systems because they weren’t detecting quite what they expected.
So here are some more relevant details that are apparently ahead of the news cycle.
This is one of those times where I wish I’d actually traveled more of the Indian Ocean. I was supposed to go to the Seychelles last year—had it booked, in fact—but my stand-up boss nixed it, though it had been booked for almost 11 months.
Several people have asked if the pilot’s home simulator was common. I knew (until his death) a former commercial pilot, and he’d told me they were common. The photos I’ve seen in the news very much like my late friend’s setup.
Here are a few tweets from a fairly well-informed person, @flyingwithfish:
Let’s assume the little islands of the Indian Ocean aren’t of interest. So no Diego Garcia, Reunion, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Lakshadweep, Christmas Island, Cocos/Keeling, Maldives, Mayotte, Rodriguez, or Zil Elwannyen Sesel. Or Socotra or Madagascar or Andaman/Nicobar islands, which are bigger.
Let’s also assume that the flight path would not have to overfly anyone else’s airspace and that, based on the latest information would mean west of Kuala Lumpur.
So that leaves:
Arabian peninsula: Yemen, Oman
Asia: Pakistan and Iran. Technically also India, but I find that highly unlikely.
If the plane had turned north from the Andamans, add Myanmar and Thailand.
But I don’t think so.
Some of what flyingwithfish has tweeted:
On the cargo (ULD = unit load device):
Iran increasingly is obtaining U.S. military equipment and technology through shipments to Malaysian middlemen that illegally circumvent trade restrictions, according to American officials and analysts.
What they wanted? Engineers and managers who knew US defense plans:
I’ve missed a lot of his tweets, but let’s summarize the above (and a couple of other things):
- The pilot was involved. It’s not known whether it was the older, more experienced one or the younger one, but the younger one was engaged with a wedding coming up.
- Cargo doors can’t be opened from inside the plane.
- There was a cargo container with unknown goods inside. This is unheard of.
- Isfahan airport is the Fish’s guess of location they’re going. If so, there’s state involvement from Iran.
- The signature of the plane could be covered by shadowing another plane, which would require state involvement also.
- There were 20 defense engineers who knew significant details of recent/future US military defense technologies on board.
- I believe the aircraft was flown, landed, off loaded of what they wanted, plane & collateral liabilities are eliminated. Gulp.
I dunno, I have at least enough plots for half a dozen spy thrillers now….
Edited to add the next three paragraphs…
Because the ocean is a damned big place, vaster than you can imagine unless you’ve sailed across it (and, because I know you people, yes, I HAVE indeed sailed this part of the world, it’s vast, and complicated and dangerous). And even when you know exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, where to look, it’s still extremely difficult to find scattered bits of airplane or, to be blunt, scattered bits of people in the water. As a navy sailor, I’ve spent days searching for lost aircraft and airmen, and even if you think you know where the bird went down, the winds and the currents can spread the debris across hundreds or even thousands of miles of ocean in fairly short order. No machine, no computer, can search this volume, you have to put human eyeballs on every inch of the search area.
Having recently spent a couple of weeks in some of the remoter ocean parts of the world, this. Three days of no satellite, something I never expected, with the realization that we were really on a very tiny ship (about 800′, which isn’t actually that small) in a very, very large place.
And now for something that made me laugh so we end on a lighter note. Senior Afghan official on whether #MH370 flew over Afghanistan: “We do not have a radar. Go and ask the Americans.”