Guest Post: Why Did MH370 Log Back on with Inmarsat?

[Editor’s note: One of the most intriguing clues in the MH370 mystery is the fact that the airplane’s satcom system logged back on to the Inmarsat network at 18:25. By understanding how such an event could take place, we can significantly narrow the range of possible narratives. In the interest of getting everyone on the same page in understanding this event, I’ve asked Mike Exner for permission to post the content of a detailed comment he recently provided.  One piece of background: a lot of us have been referring to the satellite communications system aboard the aircraft as the “SDU,” but as Mike recently pointed out in another comment, it technically should be called the “AES.” — JW.]

Until we have more evidence to support the theory that the loss of AES communications was due to the loss of primary power to the AES, we must keep an open mind. Loss of power may be the most likely cause (simplest explanation), but the fact is we do not know why the sat link was down between 17:37 and 18:25. My reluctance to jump to the conclusion that it must have been due to the loss of primary AES power is based on decades of experience in the MSS (mobile satellite service) industry. It’s not just another opinion based on convenience to support a theory. Let me elaborate on a few possible alternative explanations.

The potential for loss of the pilot carrier, due to the orientation of the aircraft in relation to the satellite, was increased as soon as the airplane turned WNW. Between the time of this turn (circa 17:50) and the time of the FMT (final major turn circa 18:25-18:40), the aircraft was flying more or less toward the satellite where the antenna pattern was near a null. Don and I have both looked at the antenna pattern in some detail and concluded that the antenna pattern and coincidental direction of flight were unlikely to be so bad that the pilot carrier would be lost due to this geometry. Moreover, according to a MAS Press Conference on March 20, 2014, there should have been an ACARS message transmitted at 17:37, but none was received. ( ) At 17:37, the aircraft was still over Malaysia SW bound, so the HGA pattern would not have been an issue at that point. Taken together, loss of the pilot carrier due to antenna orientation appears to be a possible, but unlikely explanation for the outage.

Ionospheric scintillation has also been suggested as a possible explanation for the loss of service during this period, but there have been no reports of other aircraft in the vicinity suffering a loss of service, so this explanation is also unlikely. (Note: Ionospheric scintillation in the equatorial regions can be a big problem for VHF and UHF communications, but it does not affect communications in the L band as much.)

The MCS6000 AES, located in the back of the airplane, requires a continuous feed of INS data (position, speed, etc.) via an ARINC 429 link from the computers in the front of the plane. If the AES stopped receiving INS data for any reason, then it would not have been able to steer the HGA, or compute the required Doppler corrected transmitter frequency. Thus, it is very likely that the AES would be out of service if there was any loss of this 429 data link, or the information carried over the link. Given that there was no VHF voice communications after 17:19:24 and the Transponder Mode S data was lost after 17:21:13, it is certainly possible that the INS data flowing to the AES was disrupted due to a common failure in some piece of equipment in the E-Bay. This explanation for the loss of service cannot be dismissed as easily as the two previous theories.

However, there is one additional observation that tends to favor the loss of primary power theory over the loss of INS data theory (or the other two theories above). We note that when the AES logged on at 18:25:26, the BFO values for the first few minutes thereafter appear to have been drifting in a way that is more consistent with a restoration of primary power event than a restoration of INS data event. If the AES power had been on during the outage, the oven controlled reference oscillator would have maintained a stable frequency and there should not have been any significant BFO transients following the 18:25:26 logon.

In summary, there are multiple alternative explanations for the AES outage, but loss of primary power is the most likely explanation. Like so many other necessary assumptions, like the mode of navigation after the FMT, we have no choice. We must base the search on the most likely assumptions while maintaining an awareness that few of the assumptions have probabilities of .999.

637 thoughts on “Guest Post: Why Did MH370 Log Back on with Inmarsat?”

  1. @Orion: Thank you for your documentation and analysis of the witness accounts of what could have been MH370. Two of the three do seem to be consistent.

  2. @orion. Thank you for sharing the witness reports. Makes the Gulf of Thailand crash location more likely than before.

  3. @myron

    I am not thinking Gulf of Thailand. The “fisherman” observations would support a conjecture that the aircraft was flying low to avoid primary radar. The Inmarsat data persisted for too long to be consistent with a Gulf of Thailand terminus.

  4. @myron

    Not sure what you are asking for myron. The Inmarsat data is in the public domain. You could Google it. Likewise the ATSB reports have everything relative to data interpretation. A very good paper by the Inmarsat folks published in the Journal of Navigation is also on line. I have published analytics (on this blog) for a route to Christmas Island that contains the ping ring elevation angles and radii which are derived from the Inmarsat data, but that information is also to be found on Duncan’s blog, and elsewhere, in a very useable format. I also have an SIO route, but nothing in that data that is not public domain.

  5. Dear Orion –the fact that this sighting (and the GPS position) of a severely damaged plane was first reported by the Indonesian state news agency Antares means that it should probably be included in your list. Note the dismissive scorn that the Malaysian government showed upon receiving the fishermen’s report.

    A moment later the plane more modestly and out of sight, he guessed plane crashed into the sea. They also noted the location of the GPS coordinates of the point where they saw the plane that allegedly crashed the coordinates of the point 21 degrees five degrees north 943 points and 98 points 18 points 613 EAST. Hendra said he could not go to the location of the plane that allegedly crashed because the waves are big and fuel conditions are not enough boats. “Our distance with suspected plane crashed about five nautical miles,” said Hendra.

    While the location of crashed aircraft is estimated to be in the sea disappeared Idi East Aceh, Aceh. These fishermen had returned to the mainland on Thursday (13/3) and the loss of the aircraft Malaysia learned a day after being on the mainland. They were then taken citizens whom Hendra, Fadli, Agus and Sahroni to marine security post or Kamla Navy located in the district Pangkalan Susu, to report what they see.

    These fishermen also was contacted by officials of the Malaysian embassy and Malaysian Police Chief, and carrier Malaysia Airlines, to ask for evidence in the form of photos or videos of authentic aircraft they see. In response to this would have questioned the fishermen Malaysia, where the traditional fishermen who bring a camera if you’re fishing for fish. (Malaysia Kok Gitu not appreciate Information …..)

    Apologies for the awful translations.

  6. Thanks @Shark, but I was just trying to be discrete about this raw data and methods of processing/review … but let me just say — this is mind blowing !

  7. Thanks to those who commented about cell phones. I would suppose that it would be possible for someone in the cockpit to shut off the satphone communications, though that would not affect the cellphones.
    The only way a message would have got through was if someone had some access to oxygen AND was lucky to have their cellphone connect somewhere in Malaysia. Perhaps co-pilot Hamid did the best he could.

  8. @shark

    Not bagging on myron at all. The fishermen sighting was in the Gulf of Thailand and the plane continued to fly for several more hours. Just seems unlikely that it was flying around in circles. Certainly the BTO and BFO data would not support that conclusion.

    The fishermen sighting (to me) supports the notion that Shah had the plane down low to avoid primary radar as he made his way to the West of the Malay peninsula before turning South.

  9. @DennisW – This suggested Gulf of Thailand crash site is between the 6th and 7th ping rings. along with in the online article that these eye witnesses also heard a loud noise. If you like to discuss off this forum then ask Jeff for my contact info.

  10. Thank you all for your comments regarding the analysis of the eyewitness accounts.

    A few quick follow ups, if I may:

    M Pat, Nihonmama – Puzzling why these loud noises weren’t included in the accounts from Kota Bahru nor Ketereh? They were much closer the turn-around and likely should have heard them if the source was MH370.

    Myron – Interesting observation, but I can only infer from the Ketereh account that the plane was descending in a manner enough to convincing the viewer that it had gone down before the view was obscured. Also, the Kota Bahru account would seem to indicate that the plane did continue to fly from turn-around back towards land… not to mention the radar and Inmarsat.

    Lucy – “At 11 a.m. local time on Sunday, the fishermen saw a white plane crossing and circling.” Timing might indicate it was more likely a search plane.

    Dennis W – Don’t forget that a mechanical failure is an equally likely reason for an immediate descent from turn-around. I ponder why somebody apparently so meticulous in shutting down systems would have left the landing lights on?

    Question for pilots – Other than to see the runway during takeoff and landing, as well as to be seen by other aircraft during ascent and descent- are there other reasons to leave the landing lights on during flight? At approx what altitude would you be able to see the terrain at night using these lights? Thanks!

  11. @Orion

    The Inmarsat data suggests the aircraft was flown until fuel exhaustion. A mechanical failure would have dictated an attempt to land which there is no evidence to support. Also lack of comms pretty much rules out everything but a six sigma weird aircraft issue.

    I am not considering any form of mechanical failure at this time.

  12. Thanks Dennis,

    Just for the record, I am not completely wedded to any particular theory at this time.

    After nearly a year, I became frustrated that only two theories which seemed to check all of the boxes for me were the suicide and the spoof. To me, the only difference between the two is the knowledge/use of the Ping Data.

    The suicide theory would almost have to assume that the Ping Data was an unknown consequence, and that the ‘breadcrumbs’ of radar data were left pointing in the wrong direction.

    The spoof theory, as Jeff has so extensively demonstrated, is quite literally the opposite- a highly sophisticated plot where an intimate knowledge of the Ping Data is used to leave ‘breadcrumbs’ of Pings in the wrong direction.

    It is out of this frustration that I went back to the beginning- to objectively search for new check boxes.

  13. Please note, the following excerpt is not referring to the incorrect sourcing of the Ping Data, nor is it about the Malaysian radar altitude calibration.

    From the NYT article from March 14th:

    “Investigators have also examined data transmitted from the plane’s Rolls-Royce engines that showed it descended 40,000 feet in the span of a minute, according to a senior American official briefed on the investigation. But investigators do not believe the readings are accurate because the aircraft would most likely have taken longer to fall such a distance. ‘A lot of stock cannot be put in the altitude data’ sent from the engines, one official said.”

    Can anyone provide more insight into the report? Maybe I just missed it if this portion of the article was retracted? It seems quite hard to fathom that it was a complete fabrication- instead of some misinterpretation of information? What would have gotten mixed-up?

    Apparently the readings on the report were questionably extreme, but how is there even a report of this?

    A quick look at the timeline reveals that we don’t know for sure that AES was off at the time of the turn back:

    17:07 – Last ACARS (AES on)
    17:21 – ADS-B off (AES status unknown)
    xx:xx – Turning Point (AES status unknown)
    17:37 – Missed ACARS (AES likely off)
    18:03 – G2A ACARS N/A (AES definitely off)
    18:25 – Log-on request (AES on)

  14. @sopcvcrt shark lasers,

    >There will be a criminal investigation, but not Capt Shah and the nefarious behavior was after the fact and not by Malaysia either.

    Telling it like it is, way to go.

    It seems the only way to effectively/ineffectively render idiotic statements such as this impotent is to once again lay down a puerile challenge: Put your money where your mouth is if your so sure, as your statement of FACT purports to be.

    Just another puppet for the Malaysian govt. Sigh.


  15. [ED NOTE: I’m banning Shark Lasers. I tried to cut him some slack but he was posting too much stuff that was too random. Sic transit gloria mundi.]

  16. @Spencer

    Take a run at”What Was Going On at Yubileyniy?”

    Jeff has the hooka pipe burning full tilt boogie. Although, my two post’s have some BAD literary goof’s.

  17. @Orion:

    [This is 1 of 2 posts related to the MAR/14/14 NYT article you mentioned previously, which is entitled “Radar Suggests Jet Shifted Path More Than Once”]

    THANK YOU for raising this piece, which I either completely missed – or read and forgot about.

    Re —

    “Investigators have also examined data transmitted from the plane’s Rolls-Royce engines that showed it descended 40,000 feet in the span of a minute, according to a senior American official briefed on the investigation. But investigators do not believe the readings are accurate because the aircraft would most likely have taken longer to fall such a distance. ‘A lot of stock cannot be put in the altitude data’ sent from the engines, one official said.”

    This is really important. You know why? Because we can see the beginning of a narrative being framed. To wit: the ALTITUDE DATA from MH370’s Rolls-Royce engines “doesn’t make sense.”

    Where else have we seen a similar conclusion about ALTITUDE DATA?

    ‘The primary radar data pertaining to altitude is regarded as unreliable” said Angus Houston…Martin Dolan, the chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, agreed with Mr. Houston. ‘There’s nothing reliable about height’…

    Mr. Houston and Mr. Dolan declined to discuss any details about the Malaysian radar readings…


    Did you get that?

    Without a peep (in that article) from any Malaysian officials, and from the pulpit in Australia — sans any details as to who conducted the “comprehensive international review” of Malaysia’s military radar system — or an explanation of the technical basis for determining that Malaysia’s system was not “calibrated with enough precision” — it was announced that Malaysia’s military ALTITUDE DATA WAS SO IMPRECISE THAT IT WAS BEING DISMISSED. Which then allowed the authorities to CHANGE the SEARCH focus.

  18. @Orion:

    [This is 2 of 2 posts related to the MAR/14/14 NYT article you mentioned previously, which is entitled “Radar Suggests Jet Shifted Path More Than Once”]

    On Mar 13/14, the day BEFORE the above-mentioned NYT article,
    WSJ journos Andy Pazstor and Jon Ostrower wrote this:
    “U.S. Investigators Suspect Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Flew On for Hours”

    Then, guess what happened?

    Rolls Royce (AND Boeing) denied receiving any data from MH370 after 1:07 (17:07 UTC)

    So Pazstor and Ostrower had to change their story:

    “An earlier version of this article and an accompanying graphic incorrectly said investigators based their suspicions on signals from monitoring systems embedded in the plane’s Rolls-Royce PLC engines”

    So in two days, from two different sources, we’re told:

    1. Rolls Royce’s data as it pertains MH370’s altitude “doesn’t make sense”

    2. If MH370 “flew for hours” that didn’t come from Rolls Royce – because they deny it.

  19. @Alex Siew

    Had to be positive lightning strike. It’s looking like you were correct all along. Dummies we all.

    @Chris Butler

    A run is warranted, given the gravity of the matter for the NOK. However, it will only incense the overseer of the blog (actually, this is unlikely as he seems to not care much for what I have to say) and serve no other purpose.


    Zaharie zoom climbed to FL435 and/or highest attainable ceiling to serve his purpose, then unprecedented descent to FL50-60.

    One hell of a ride.


  20. Altitude data


    Remember that ADS-B list on reddit with the last two entries 17:20/17:21 being 0 (zero) values coming from 35,000 within a minute? That would confirm exactly what the RR-data might have said, from a different source.

    But ALSM gave very profound information about the work of the IG about the nature of the ADS-B. There is an ongoing discussion whether the IG is right in its analysis because coppernickus on reddit has some more and good reasons to believe in the validity of the last two values. If he is right, it would make a difference in the deliberations about these altitude data.

  21. @Jeff

    re: “Thanks @Shark, but I was just trying to be discrete about this raw data and methods of processing/review … but let me just say — this is mind blowing !” from Myron

    Are you able to give us an update on these data?

  22. Jeff, I don’t know if the following question has been clarified before, but I was wondering for quite some time how did INMARSAT identify the satcom data as belonging to MH370? I suppose the data would be tagged with identification headers saying “this is MH370” in effect. However, are identification data tied to the flight number, i.e. MH370, or to the hardware itself, i.e. the aircraft itself (regardless of flight number) and the satcom equipment onboard (e.g. hardcoded serial number)?


  23. Jeff,

    Some thoughts on Mike’s comments below:

    “The potential for loss of the pilot carrier, due to the orientation of the aircraft in relation to the satellite, was increased as soon as the airplane turned WNW. Between the time of this turn (circa 17:50) and the time of the FMT (final major turn circa 18:25-18:40), the aircraft was flying more or less toward the satellite where the antenna pattern was near a null.”

    Had the ACARS been disabled via the cockpit CDU the aircraft would not have been able to broadcast the 17:37 ACARS downlink. Therefore the next timeframe for scheduled SATCOM contact would have been 18:07 (1 hour after the previous successful link). 18:07 puts the aircraft approx. 15 minutes into the WNW track.

    “Taken together, loss of the pilot carrier due to antenna orientation appears to be a possible, but unlikely explanation for the outage.”

    What is Mike’s take on removing the scheduled ACARS transmission from the equation as for possibility of aircraft orientation being the cause of the outage??


  24. I spent a number of years designing air defense radar systems, and some of these working for NATO.

    On site, in front of a scope…

    (Tracked an SR 71 once – really, really…)

    I would feel more comfortable speaking by phone.

    Can we set this up?


  25. Good-bye, Mr. Chips!

    (Or, why that missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 is a really, really big deal — besides the murder of 239 souls aboard.)

    Onboard flight MH370 were twenty employees of Freescale Semiconductor, a major microchip producer, owner of major fabrication facilities (referred to as foundries in the industry).

    Back in 2012, some researchers at an institute connected with Cambridge University discovered a backdoor, at the hardware level, in the Actel/Microsemi chip used for military purposes, designed and manufactured by the Microsemi Corporation. What the authors didn’t mention in their highly technical paper was that these chips are also to be found in ARINC avionics (ACARS: Aircraft Communications and Addressing Reporting System, formerly known as ARINC Communications and Addressing Report System — plus other avionics communications systems), transponders and the black boxes (flight data recorders, cockpit voice recorders, crash recorders, etc.).

    Microsemi chips are produced at Freescale foundries, as well as Freescale chips are also to be found in ARINC avionics, transponders along with a wide range of other industry applications.(Technically, they are produced at TMC, Taiwan, which outsources to Freescale’s foundry.)

    It is important to note that the owners of Freescale Semiconductors are the Blackstone Group, the major private equity/leveraged buyout (PE/LBO) firm, and the majority owner, and the Carlyle Group, another PE/LBO firm and a minority owner.

    It is also important to note that ARINC (designer and manufacturer of major avionics systems (fly-by-wire) aboard Boeing and Airbus jets was until recently owned by the Carlyle Group, and a portion of ARINC still is, as they moved ARINC’s DoD division over to Booz Allen, the major government intelligence contractor (where Edward Snowden last worked in America), and also owned by the Carlyle Group.

    Malaysian Airlines, which may have figured into it, was at that time partially owned by the hedge fund of Lord Jacob Rothschild, long an advisor to the aforementioned Blackstone Group.

    The previously mentioned Microsemi Corporation, whose chips are backdoored, or compromised, is managed by James Peterson, CEO and board member. Peterson is one of the sons of Peter G. Peterson, founding member of the Blackstone Group.

    Both the process of chipping (purposely introducing defects into chips for cryptographic penetration) and backdoors in chips, dates back to the late 1950s (chipping) and 1980s (backdoors).

    When the U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union, it contained chipped cryptographic communications gear (early chips which NSA had first adopted), developed by the NSA at the instigation of the CIA, which the CIA hoped the Soviets would copy, allowing deep penetration by the NSA.

    Unfortunately, this was around the time of the real defection of two NSA employees (Martin and Mitchell), so after being given the coordinates of the U-2’s air route by previous “defector” Lee Oswald to allow the Soviets to shoot it down, they were now possibly savvy to the covert operation’s agenda.

    The first major successful operation involving backdoored chips was supposed to have occurred in the 1980s, when an American industrial controls computer system (SCADA) was sold illegally through a Swiss firm to the Soviets, and resulted in a series of major explosions at their northern Baltic Sea naval installation (chips set to control maximum temperatures of fuels did the opposite).

    When a group is seeking to compromise, and therefore control, both the Internet and a wide spectrum of computer hardware applications (communications, transportation, industrial, financial, etc.) the process of chip access is crucial, and to do that covertly it must be done at the chip fabrication point.

    Hence the use of, and subsequent disposal (murder), of those Freescale Semiconductor engineers aboard flight MH370.

    Below is the Youtube link to a video from a SAIConference, the expert from University College London (who spent years with the GCHQ), explains in general how to hack into a Boeing 777, but then ends with his opinion that it wasn’t hacked into — unfortunately, he refrains from mentioning who the systems are designed and manufactured by, and also their ownership!

    (And by the way, just how many Microsemi FPGAs are onboard the Boeing 777’s systems? 1,000!)

    Very crucial data . . .

    Suggested reading:

  26. Allan Schuster and his team may have
    conceived the 7 hour ring relying on instant response from the plane based on the time it took from the ping hand shake request for response broadcast from the 3F1 satellite to the plane and the time it took to receive the reply. The time referred too is in microseconds and any slight delay would lead to miscalculations

    One such scenario could be an minor overload of the data processor at Inmarsats headquarters.

    This is the most palatable explanation of what happen to MH370

    From the cargo hold of the 777 there is access to the cockpit through a manhole in the cockpit floor.

    The plane was hijacked by stowaway (s) familiar with Boeing aircrafts, most of which have similar cockpit layout.

    The Objective: Land the plane in Somalia’s Islamic rebel (Al Shabaab) held territory say Bu’aaly which has a 1.5Km runway on which a 777 could safely land and hold the plane and passengers for ransom same like they did with merchant ships. As with the merchant ships, by the end the Insurance companies paid the ransom which was allot less then having to payout the fully insured sum.

    Since there was not enough fuel, the fate of flight 370 was similar to Ethiopian Airlines flight 961.


    Going from this it is likely that the plane is somewhere in the Southern Arabian Sea of the coast of Somalia.

    Malaysian authorities should be looking for any airport worker who has vanished since that time.

    Regarding the Flaperon found in Reunion.

    It was found on the northern coast of Reunion because it drifted from the north. Since marine biologist can not find traces of livening forms prevalent to colder waters then it is more than likely the plane has maintained the flight direction last reordered on the military radar heading west to Somalia. This also correlates with reports of the plane sightings overflying the Maldives.

    As they say …” The apple does not fall far from the tree”

  27. I know there are more than 600 comments regarding the question that Jeff posed :

    “Why Did MH370 Log Back on with Inmarsat?”

    Yet, there are VERY few true answers to this question.

    Let us stay clear headed and analyze the evidence.
    Satcom switched off hard (its power was cut). If it would have switched off softly (from the flight deck) it would have send a “log-off” message to Inmarsat, similar to how your cell phone would send a “log-off” message to your cell phone provider when your phone is about to switch off.

    Without pulling the circuit breakers in the E/E bay (which would make the subsequent power-on a clear deliberate act), there is only ONE way by which SATCOM came down hard :

    The left AC bus was powered down.

    That left AC bus can be powered down hard from only two locations :
    1) The cockpit, by tediously isolating the left AC bus, or
    2) The E/E bay, by flipping the right circuit breakers.

    So, when the power to Satcom came back on at 18:25, somebody powered back up the left AC bus.

    And let there be no question that whoever powered up the left AC bus, and then decided NOT to use Satcom for the 6 hours after that, MUST have been one of the perpetrators.

    So, the question “Why did MH370 log back on with Inmarsat” comes down to the following question :

    Why did the perpetrators power the left AC bus back on at 18:25 ?

    There are VERY few rational answers to that question.

    The answer must be that the perpetrator(s) needed to switch ON one of the systems that are powered from the left AC bus.
    As Jeff pointed out earlier,
    here are those systems powered from the left AC bus :
    – TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System)
    – Cockpit door lock
    – The centre tank override and jettison pumps
    – Some galley equipment
    – IFE (in-flight entertainment system)
    – One of the high-frequency radios
    – The main passenger cabin lighting system

    If the perpetrator was one of the pilots, then none of these systems seem necessary to be powered back up.

    However, if MH370 was hijacked, and the perpetrators powered down the left AC bus (from the E/E bay) so that the cockpit door lock would disengage, then they would have to engage the power on the left AC bus again. Just so that the cockpit door would be locked when they leave the cockpit and the plane…

    Otherwise, if anyone survived the asphyxiation hour (between 17:23 and 18:25) they would be able to enter the cockpit and control the plane.

    So the short answer is : So the cockpit door would be locked.

    And the long answer is : The fact that Satcom logged back on suggests that the perpetrators LEFT the cockpit shortly after 18:25.

  28. @Rob, I think this kind of reasoning process is essential. However, I should point out a couple of errors in your comment. First, pulling circuit breakers in the E/E makes it possible to turn off the Satellite Data Unit without isolating the left AC bus. Also, after I put up the original post “The Mysterious Reboot” other systems on the left AC bus came to light, most notably the Cockpit Voice Recorder.

  29. Yes, I understand the errors in reasoning I made. And I forgot about the circuits breakers and the Cockpit Voice Recorder too.

    Also, I realized there is a second ‘spoof’ scenario that actually makes a lot of sense, because it leads us AWAY from the crash site rather than towards it as we currently assume.

    Remember that the satcom transmitter does not need to be on the plane. Inmarsat does not know from which direction a signal comes (it has wide angle antenna that covers the entire Indian ocean).
    So the satcom transmitter could be anywhere on the India ocean, such as on a ship or so.

    The only thing that Inmarsat knows about where the signal came from is the TBO and FBO setting.

    So if you accurately adjust time delay and frequency offset responses to Inmarsat pings from that transmitter, you create TBO and FBO offsets let Inmarsat think you are actually somewhere completely different. Over 6 hours you can simulate any path you like to whatever destination you want everyone to start searching (such as the SIO).

    While in fact you crashed the plane in the Andaman sea,
    and the Inmarsat pings were simply generated by a transmitter on a ship somewhere on the Indian ocean.

    Maybe we are looking in the wrong place..

  30. @Rob, You are correct, and indeed @airlandseaman has said that such a spoof would be even easier technically than one which originates in the plane. The only limitation is that the actual position would have to be closer to the satellite than the ping ring at that time.
    The drawback I see with such a scenario is that it would require close coordination between hijackers in the plane and spoofers on the ground in order to effect the transition from radar (up to 18:22) to BFO/BTO tracking (from 18:25).

  31. i deeply respect all the above comments but my simple act of dowsng took me to the location of Madagascar for the m’h370 within a couple of days of it “going missing “which i passed to authorities then and ever since ,How much more evidence of the planes fusilage is needed to inspire a search of the ocean there?Permission of SA has been granted already, i have used the skill to successfully find missing people in the past so ihad confidence in using it regardng the plane ,

  32. Very thoughtful and impressive work. Thank you all.
    Looking at it from a non technical direction a spoof theory could be right but a event/crime needs a motive.
    The most unusual factors in this loss are: the plane stayed aloft for an incredibly long time after experiencing multiple maneuvers lasting over 30 minutes following a hiatus initiator event. Another unusual factor was the anger of China towards Malaysia immediately after the event, especially when China has suffered incompetence and air crashes more than most and rarely becomes vocal in foreign affairs unless prodded. Another strange data point is the reluctance of Malaysia to make public the nature of the electronics on board that had batteries. The final piece of strange data is that many Freescale employees on board were high brow scientists both Chinese and Malays who were declared after the crash to have been going on holiday together. A very rare circumstance in that part of the world for the age group and background of the group.

    Is it possible that very late in the day, the US authorities discovered that a group of scientists were defecting to China with western ICBM guidance/nav system technology.
    They had to mobilized what forces/assets they had in the area. They took control of the plane, isolated the electronics for the sole purpose of isolating comms and detection. Considering the plane would eventually be found they had to check all the plane and the target defectors for chips. data and anything else. Such a search would take hours as it would involve baggage holds and cabin and clothing and applied sifting of articles.
    The darkest plot would have the plane fly until dawn when over an island or lagoon the task force could parachute to a pick up point with the sensitive goods and allow the plane to crash. There is such a large lagoon well north of the current search area.
    A brighter thought would be to land the plane in a friendly discrete runway where it could be searched properly in detail. Like all missions, but especially this one, high risk was present and while trying to achieve a long flight path they ran out of fuel and crashed. Maldive potential eye witnesses and all the debris finds to date indicates the prime objective for this scenario would have been local to Diego Garcia.
    The Chinese being upset at the highest level and organizing demonstrations in China only days after the crash would be explained. The totally implausible claims by the Western nations of not having any satellite track of the engines exhaust would also be explained. With China at the time trying to stay close to Iran and Iran being short of ICBM missile technology what could be better than Iran acquiring western technology suggesting a leak within the US elevating Irans capability and their relations with China.
    It would be great if you really smart guys could re analyze the data and come up with a search location. Personally the weakest element of the scenarios I presented is if Diego Garcia was involved how would they keep the planes radar detected location secret for so long. Having said that, if I was working there and I was told I had helped prevent Iran getting ICBM technology I would keep it a secret too.

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