Media Reaction to “The Spoof”

BBC (UK) A wild and chilling theory about what happened to MH370, by Robert Cottrell

What if the MH370 flew north and landed safely on a Russian airstrip in Kazakhstan? Of course it’s a wild theory. It’s also a great yarn, with just enough data points to sound plausible.

Le Monde (France): Un an après, l’improbable disparition du MH370, by Florency de Changy

Mais si l’avion n’est pas au fond de l’océan Indien, où est-il ? Pour certains, il ne s’agit plus d’affiner des calculs déjà suraffinés, mais bien de remettre en cause la démarche tout entière. Se peut-il qu’une partie des données Inmarsat aient été trafiquées ? C’est la thèse du journaliste américain Jeff Wise qui vient de publier un livre numérique The Plane That Was not There (« L’avion qui n’était pas là »). Il propose un scénario dans lequel les « vraies fausses » informations d’Inmarsat ne sont là que pour faire diversion, alors que les vrais coupables sont les deux Ukrainiens et le Russe qui étaient assis à l’avant de l’avion et dont les passeports sont les seuls à ne pas avoir été vérifiés par leurs autorités nationales respectives. Le Groupe indépendant a immédiatement exclu Jeff Wise.

Das Bild (Germany): Das Sind die Theorien

Der amerikanische Wissenschaftsautor und Pilot Jeff Wise, der das Drama um MH370 seit Monaten für den US-Nachrichtensender CNN begleitet, glaubt sogar: Rebellen könnten die Maschine nach Zentralasien entführt haben – um die Boeing eines Tages für ihre Zwecke einzusetzen. Wise zu BILD: „Die Idee, MH 370 könnte nach Kasachstan verschleppt worden sein, ist nicht neu.”

Il Post (Italy): La teoria di Jeff Wise sul volo MH370, di Andrea Fiorello

Un anno dopo la scomparsa nel cielo dell’Asia del volo Malaysia Airlines MH370 – di cui non si hanno notizie dalle 2,40 del 3 marzo 2014, quando i radar persero le tracce dell’aereo circa due ore dopo il decollo da Kuala Lumpur con destinazione Pechino – il giornalista americano Jeff Wise ha pubblicato sul New York Magazine un lungo articolo che racconta la sua personale storia di “esperto” del volo MH370 e gli sviluppi delle teorie su cosa sia successo all’aereo, che lo hanno portato di recente a un’ipotesi che racconta come incredibile e convincente insieme.

RT (Russia): ‘True story!’ MSM spins theory that Putin hijacked MH370 and landed it in Kazakhstan, by Nebojsa Malic

Judging by his observations about MH17 and Russia, Wise has clearly fallen victim to what psychologists call confirmation bias – a tendency to see and interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. However, almost the entire mainstream press in the West suffers from this when it comes to Russia – prompting several commentators to dub the phenomenon ‘Putin Derangement Syndrome.’ Witness the recent announcement by a “Pentagon think-tank” that Vladimir Putin is supposedly autistic, dutifully reported as fact. Now it seems Jeff Wise’s fantasy is due for the same treatment.

Daily Mail (UK): Vladimir Putin ordered Russian special forces to steal MH370 and secretly landed it at huge space port in Kazakhstan, claims expert

Jeff Wise, a U.S. science writer who spearheaded CNN’s coverage of the Boeing 777-200E, has based his outlandish theory on pings that the plane gave off for seven hours after it went missing… However Wise admits in New York Magazine that he does not know why Vladimir Putin would want to steal a plane full of people and that his idea is somewhat ‘crazy’.

Associated Press: Alien abduction? Stolen by Russia? MH370 theories keep coming, by Jane Wardell

The Independent Group (IG), comprised of around a dozen satellite, data, maths and aviation experts, expelled Wise this week following articles linked to his book.

“It’s a bunch of garbage,” said New Zealand-based IG member Duncan Steel.

Maclean’s (Canada): Inside the search for Flight MH370, by Chris Sorenson

Of course, because nothing to do with MH370 is ever simple, one of the Independent Group’s members, science writer and CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise, recently wrote an article for New York magazine that laid out an alternative scenario, where MH370 might have flown north and landed at a remote runway in Kazakhstan. He called it his pet theory on MH370 and claims it fits the available data as well as any other.

News Corp Australia: Expert Jeff Wise links Vladimir Putin to MH370 disaster, by James Law

Now, a far-out theory from one of CNN’s chief commentators on the aviation disaster, science journalist Jeff Wise, has been circulated worldwide — and has more credibility than you might think.

WAToday (Australia): MH370 flew to Kazakhstan: Jeff Wise outlines new theory, by Michael Koziol

Others who have examined the hypothesis regard it as fanciful. Aviation expert Sylvia Wrigley, who wrote her own book on MH370, said no aircraft had previously been tracked using Inmarsat’s BFO data. “The idea that it was even possible was a major revelation, even to Inmarsat,” she wrote. Therefore, the notion that hijackers would deliberately falsify the data in order to lead investigators on a wild goose chase was “crazy” and “inconceivably sophisticated”, she said.

La Press (Canada): Et Si L’Avion S’Était Posé… Au Kazakhstan?, par Philippe Mercure

Les gens qui défendent des théories du complot cherchent habituellement à vous persuader à tout prix qu’ils détiennent la vérité. Jeff Wise est un autre type de personnage. Le pilote et journaliste scientifique américain a été l’un de ceux qui ont le plus commenté la disparition de l’avion MH370 depuis un an. Et il vient de lancer une thèse particulièrement controversée, celle voulant que l’avion ait été dérouté par des Russes, qui l’auraient fait atterrir… au Kazakhstan. La théorie, on s’en doute, a été accueillie avec beaucoup de scepticisme, incluant par son propre auteur.

« Il y a des matins où je me réveille et je me dis que c’est ce qui est arrivé. Et il y a d’autres matins où je juge que c’est complètement fou… et que je le suis aussi. »

GQ: The Vanishing, by Sean Flynn

The specifics are very technical, and there are problems matching parts of it to the available data. “The fuel model,” Wise says, for instance, “doesn’t really allow it.” The route would have traversed militarized and tightly monitored airspace, and the motive is completely unclear, except Vladimir Putin is an irrational thug. But it’s a reasoned, good-faith exercise, and Wise argues Kazakhstan is more probable than any other terrestrial landing and no more improbable than a crash into the ocean. “You either think the debris must have washed up by now or you think it evaded all those northern radars,” he says. “Which seems more impossible to you?”