MH370: Suicide or Spoof? Part 1 — Psychology

MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah: the face of a mass murderer?

It’s an exciting time for those of us who are trying to crack the riddle of MH370. By establishing that the plane did not wind up where an autopilot-only flight would have taken it, the Australian-led search effort has dramatically reduced the number of possible scenarios. In effect, only two remain: first, that one of the pilots (most likely Zaharie) took control of the plane and steered into the southern ocean on a suicide mission; and second, that sophisticated hijackers commandeered the plane from the E/E bay and tampered with the Satellite Data Unit so the plane only appeared to be flying south, when in fact it was flying in some other direction.

Given the scarcity of data in the case, how can we discriminate between the two possibilities? In the next few blog posts, I’d like to look at the case from a number of different angles. Today, I’d like to start by looking at the psychological aspects of the case. What do the actions of the perpetrators reveal about their psychology? Does Zaharie fit the profile of a mass murderer?

As has been noted here many times before, during the initial phase of the disappearance, whoever took MH370 seems to have been motivated primarily by the desire to evade and deceive. Electronics were turned off six seconds after the plane passed the last waypoint in Malaysian airspace, during the narrow window between saying goodbye to Malaysian air traffic controllers and saying hello to Vietnamese controllers. Its disappearance from secondary radar led searchers initially to look for the plane in the South China Sea. Only later did the Malaysian military find a radar track showing that the plane had turned 180 degrees and headed west, hugging the Thai/Malaysian airspace boundary before dashing across the Malay Peninsula and disappearing again over the Andaman Sea. The search was therefore moved there. Only later still did Inmarsat reveal that signals its satellite received suggested that the plane had flown south for six hours. These signals were received only because the satellite data unit had been turned back on again—a procedure that most airline pilots don’t know how to do. Thus, the plane didn’t just disappear once, but three times.

Wondering whether this kind of elaborate planning was common among people bent on suicide, I reached out to Katherine Ramsland, a professor of forensic psychology at DeSales University who has written 54 books, including Inside the Minds of Mass Murderers. Below is an edited condensation of our conversation.

JW: Are there cases where suicidal people develop very ornate and elaborate plans?

KR: There are definitely people who create elaborate plans. There was one woman who was an engineer, and she created her own chainsaw guillotine with a remote control. She measured everything out, bought the materials, and built it. It was really elaborate. And it worked.

JW: The thing about MH370, of course, isn’t just that it was so elaborate, but that it took so long. Now we understand that, if Zaharie did commit suicide, he not only spent six hours flying into the remote ocean, but then proceeded to hold the plane in a glide after fuel exhaustion to prolong the process. Are there cases where people commit suicide in such a way that it’s as protracted as possible?

KR: I don’t know about that. Why would you? Why would anybody do that? You could make the argument that he was hoping that the passengers would survive it, but if that’s the case just go commit suicide, and don’t do it with other people.

JW: Would you say that prolonging is the opposite of what most people who commit suicide want?

KR: If you wanna do it, you want to get it over with. It’s not the experience of dying that you want. Now let’s really go to the absurd. Yes, there are people who really want the experience of dying—they are ‘death collectors.’ There was one guy, a serial killer named Peter Kürten, who had a fetish for blood. When he killed his victims he’d hit them so that the blood would spurt out and he’d catch it in his mouth. When he was finally going to be executed by guillotine he said, “I hope I experience that, because imagine the blood flow!” To him, the ultimate thing would be actually experiencing his own death.

JW: Could Zaharie have been that kind of person, a death collector?

KR: Obviously these are people with serious problems. I think people would have noticed that this guy had a death fetish, if that’s what he was trying to do. There would be signals.

JW: There have been cases in the past of pilots crashing their planes into the ground and killing all their passengers, most notably Germanwings 9525 last March. But in that case there was a lot of evidence that he was under a lot of pressure and had a long history of psychological issues. That’s not the case with MH370. Malaysia investigators have said specifically there was no evidence of suicidal intention. People might not trust Malaysian officials, but none of Zaharie’s friends or family have said they saw troubling signs, either, like they did in the Germanwings case.

KR: Usually, there’s something that people notice. It’s one thing if you were single, but the Malaysia pilot had people around him, coworkers, family. They’d notice something different. He wouldn’t necessarily leak his decision or his planning, but there would be something different. To do something like this without anybody noticing anything would be really hard to do.

JW: In the case of Germanwings and every other pilot suicide that we know about, the pilot descended into the ground and got it over with quickly.

KR: If somebody’s going to commit suicide, they’ll just go do it. If the media is to be believed, the Germanwings pilot had clearly made a statement to people about being famous, and that fits the profile of a mass murder-coercive suicide. But because there’s no evidence of that here, I think it’s just too big of a leap to say, “This is suicide.” So many things are against it.

JW: Would you go so far as to say Zaharie couldn’t have been responsible?

KR: I’m not going to rule out the possibility because there will always be rare instances of things that surprise us. Human beings are strange creatures.

89 thoughts on “MH370: Suicide or Spoof? Part 1 — Psychology”

  1. @Oleksandr:

    The received signal strength data received at the Perth GES were included in Inmarsat’s JON paper, and some of us tried to use it to infer whether there was pointing error of the antenna and also whether the strength varied inversely with the distance between the aircraft and the satellite. Unfortunately, the gain of a particular channel in the satellite is a function of the number of channels in use, which varies considerably over the course of the flight. That, combined with the relatively small changes in strength, makes it very difficult to infer any useful information other than the signal level remained relative constant. The one exception is at a log-on, when there are several transmissions at about the same time, so the gain in the satellite channel is about constant. In this case, there is evidence that the SATCOM is modifying its signal strength in accordance to standard log-on protocols.

    Also, it is definitely possible to spoof the BFO without substituting the position coordinates of the plane. I have shown that a substituted speed could alter the BFO trend in the desired manner for a northern flight, although it would be most effective to change the satellite inclination parameters that are stored in the SDU as there would be no dynamic updates required over the course of the flight and a very close match to the BFO can be achieved. This would introduce little or no additional pointing error for the high gain antenna.

    I described a method for spoofing the BFO months ago.

  2. Sinux said, “Have Australian officials thoroughly searched the Chinese vessel joining the search, to make sure they are not contaminating the scene (namely planting evidence) ?”

    I am also concerned about the Chinese fishing vessels that were observed in recent months in the search area. It’s something to keep in mind if subsea evidence is now found. Of course, if a nearly intact fuselage is found, there is little chance that it was planted.

  3. @Jeff: thanks again!

    The next domino to fall, logically, is the Lido Hotel image. In any frame of reference within which the signal data has been falsified, the notion of falsified primary radar – particularly in light of its provenance – is not all that big a stretch.

    If we relax the assumption that this even dodgier “data” is sacrosanct, a catastrophic event at or soon after IGARI – which even your amended paragraph still rules out – becomes at least as plausible as, say, a sophisticated highjack east – which your amended paragraph rules in.

  4. @Brian Anderson

    How can you be so sure the ISat data is reliable? Have you seen the data?

    To my knowledge only a summary made by unknown authors has been presented to the public.

  5. @Brock McEwen: I am not (yet) prepared to ignore the satellite and radar data under the guise of falsified data as you propose, but I am prepared to interpret both in alternative ways.

    But I am very curious about your consideration of a “sophisticated hijack east”. What do you mean by this?

  6. @Victor: the task at hand was the enumeration of remaining possibilities. My argument was merely that a highjacking in ANY direction was now on Jeff’s list, yet catastrophic event at/near IGARI wasn’t. Since I think most people would consider an explosion/fire at/near IGARI to be LESS far-fetched than a hijack east (I sure do), we should add it to the list.

    If you are suggesting NEITHER should be remaining possibilities: I haven’t researched possible landing sites in the eastern “quadrant”, and thus could not begin to speak informatively on perps or motives. But the argument for at least keeping it on the list is a) if we relax the BTO constraint, then any direction/duration is possible, and b) the misinformation campaign through which we’re slogging has been palpable; any theory that has never been “pumped” online may be worth a second look.

    For clarity: such a scenario still ranks low on my list.

    For crystal clarity: I still think speculation is only useful to the extent it helps the general public understand the breadth of possible fates being hidden from us, so that we might perceive accurately the danger we are now in whenever we step onto a commercial aircraft.

  7. @VictorI

    “@DennisW: I don’t think either China or Russia would hijack the plane just to intimidate. There would have to be something of extreme strategic value. I can think of some examples, but I prefer to not disclose these at this point.”

    Why would something of “extreme strategic value” be transported with plane and not ship (for instance)? Scanning baggage is lot more rigorous with planes, while if you are entering with ship you can smuggle pretty much anything to China.

    Also China would have all legal rights to seize it when the plane lands in Beijing, why would they have to hijack the aircraft?! I can’t see the sense there at all.

  8. @StevanG: Do you know that gold and cash are often transported by civilian airliners? Why do you think that is? And I’ve already explained why it might be preferable to “lose” the aircraft than extract the valuables at Beijing Airport.

  9. @Brian Anderson,

    It struck me too as odd, way back when the elevation angles were released and it taking a long time after that to release the BTO (raw-ish) data in form of the ISAT logs.

    It seemed arse about.

    Elevation angles are derived from data derived from other data derived from recorded measurements of signal travel time. And to be meaningful for the search effort, they needed to be derived backwards again to provide the ping rings.

    I can see two possibilities here:
    1. Elevation angles are calculated as part of the antenna steering logic on the AES and included in the data transmitted to and recorded on the ground. In this case, no maths required prior to releasing them (and prior to performing the “new complicated maths”).
    2. Someone stuck pins into a map and derived the angles from simple trigonometrics. That is easy and doesn’t require an intricate understanding of the BTO and BFO physics before creating a plausibly accurate and consistent grand picture buried in a log.

    No 1 would be benign. Althoug the eventually released log did not contain that kind of data afaik.

    No 2 would raise the old Fairbairn ghost. It would indicate that the pins in map came before the elevation angles.

  10. @VictorI

    I don’t buy that. If hijacking was done so that China wouldn’t be suspected, they would be suspected anyway by those who lost the goods(although they couldn’t be sure but still what’s the gain?).

  11. @Brock McEwen: I think it is futile for you, Jeff, or anybody else to expect that somebody can propose a limited list of possible scenarios and have any hope of agreement here. Any attempt to do so will elicit howls of protest. All we can do is to present our favorite scenarios and discuss the (very subjective) strengths and weaknesses. Not that I think you are trying to limit possibilities. Quite the opposite.

  12. StevanG: I said it might have been done in a way that China would not be internationally accused, which it has not.

  13. I understand what you are trying to say but I just can’t grasp why would international accusation of seizing illegal stuff do any damage to China anyway as they are entitled to do so.

  14. If China were to impound an MAS plane – or any plane – at one of it’s airports and take people and items away, there would be major and ongoing fallout and ramifications.

    If you cast around the geopolitics atm the thing that worries me is the back scratching trifecta that has emerged between Russia-Iran-China. Iran intends to destroy Israel and Saudi Arabia first – the media units of the Iranian Republican Guard produced this video:

    That leaves China without it’s major oil supplier, which is why they are both preparing a big oil deal. Russia is backing Shia Islam with real ordinance – lots of it – and paving the way for a nuclear Iran. Russia and China still in cahoots, and Iranian operatives teeming through Malaysia and SE Asia in general. The sectarian war is not limited to the ME. It’s a worrying alliance.

  15. StevanG – Also, by acting out in the open(seizing planes) you can destroy intel networks that were decades in the making. That’s why the Snowden affair was so destructive. People champion truth and open-ness, but they also want to be safe…..

  16. @Matty
    the video looks quite funny; probably part of the game; and I believe that russians are better in such shows, the music feels like from them; (big) armies leaders arent so mad these days…

  17. @Matty – Perth: While we are discussing alliances, there is another important axis to be aware of: China-Singapore-Israel.

    Israel has had a long and special relationship with Singapore, and supplied it recently with 4 AWACS based on the Gulfstream G550 with EL/W-2085 radar. And in the 1990s, the US blocked a sale of Israeli AWACS to China partly out of fear of technology transfer to Iran (part of the axis that you mentioned above). Despite US disapproval, Israel remains the second largest supplier of foreign arms to China after Russia.

    Why this is important is I think it is likely that one or more Singaporean AWACS were monitoring the air space around Malaysia on the night of the disappearance of MH370.

  18. @MuOne, Brock, and Brian,

    I have never heard a good explanation for the elevation angles. If the raw data was BTO, why not go directly to ping ring distances? Why the intermediate elevation angles, as Will said?

    But I also still take issue with the BTO values altogether. The values represent timing, minus a constant.

    As Brock mentioned, the constant (which we believe is 495,679?) is what ISat gave us. Or we can derive t ourselves from the stationary plane.

    My issue, still, is that ISat also had to derive it, and went public with that fact.

    But the logs were written before they derived it, and the logs had already subtracted some constant when the BTO values as we know them were placed in the log.

    Why did ISat, or anyone, need to derive this constant if the logging software already had it programmed?

    Nobody has ever answered this basic question.

  19. Thanks Jeff for opening up this area for comment. I think I have come late to the comments party!
    I disagree that the only two alternatives are suicide or spoof. I think at it’s heart the disappearance of MH370 is mass murder for revenge and infamy. Suicide was a by product, but not, I think, the main motive. During his long flight south he wasn’t ‘experiencing dying’, but revelling in revenge.
    You asked does Zaharie fit the profile of a mass murderer? So what is the profile of a mass murderer?
    a) They see themselves as the good guy who has been unfairly persecuted. They are bitter about this and want revenge on those who persecute them. (Zaharie, like many others, seemed disgruntled with Malaysian Airlines and this incident has severely damaged the airline. Also many leaving a marriage want to punish their partner, and I can imagine life is and always will be very difficult for his widow.)
    b) The event is carefully planned, but they often don’t have an escape plan. Many end up dead themselves, and even expect to die.
    c) Although the planning takes weeks or months, a trigger can be a bad situation developing at work or in a relationship. (Zaharie’s marriage was in trouble.)
    d) They struggle to connect with others and feel like they don’t belong. (This does not seem true of Zaharie socially, but early reports suggest family problems.) They want to be noticed and infamy is better than being overlooked. (Zaharie has certainly been noticed!)
    e) They may have a personality disorder – ie they may be narcissistic and have an inflated view of themselves. (If he did it, he has certainly proved that he is very clever.) Or a psychopath – can be charming but without true empathy or social conscience. Also, psychopaths can become calm under pressure. This is actually one of the things that defines them. (Everything appeared entirely normal. If he was guilty, being this calm is a feat in itself.)
    f) They may be depressed, but are usually not psychotic. They are able to function normally.
    g) Most tell someone, openly or in a coded way. (We don’t know about this. But is this why MAS didn’t respond till the morning when told of the disappearance of MH370? Was this the content of the call just before departure?)
    h) They seem similar to many other people, and others are surprised that they were capable of such horror.
    i) They are almost exclusively male, and single, separated or divorced. (Zaharie’s marriage seemed troubled).
    j) They are interested in past mass killers (Zaharie was interested in the Boston Bomber) video games (Zaharie’s computer) and weapons.
    k) The location and manner of the killing is symbolic of the way they believe they were persecuted.
    l) Often the motive is not discernable and the ‘persecutions’ don’t add up to much. It can be hard to say really why they did it.

    You said that “none of Zaharie’s friends or family have said they saw troubling signs”, yet immediately following the disappearance many people testified to a disturbed mental state. With this sort of action there does not necessarily have to be a change in mental state. In fact, psychopaths under pressure can become more calm and poised than normal. It is one of the characteristics that sets them apart from ordinary people.
    I would contend that Zaharie was a mass murderer with a pilot’s license, rather than a pilot who went through a rough patch. He had motive, means and opportunity. This does not mean he did it, but the possibility is there. It saddens me to think that the smiling face that has become familiar would do such a thing. I would love for the plane to be found, and for it to be proven that he didn’t do it. It is very upsetting that a responsible pilot and family man could have done this, yet it is to mass murder that the evidence points.

  20. @JS, Brock, Brian,

    “My issue, still, is that ISat also had to derive it, and went public with that fact.

    But the logs were written before they derived it, and the logs had already subtracted some constant when the BTO values as we know them were placed in the log.”

    Nice catch! That is intriguing isn’t it. Maybe ISAT had trouble early on reconciling what they thought they were recording with what was actually recorded, during the early non-dark period.

    And, if they didn’t understand it at the time of wanting (or having been told) to release the data bread crumbs leading into the SIO, it was an easier task to release these elevation angles without risking being found out.

    The elevation angles are deriveable from the locations broad cast by other means prior to the plane going dark (at sat log time stamps).

    Whatever they released had to be consistent with the ground truths until the diversion at IGARI (the recorded sat log up to then was ofcourse as is).

    It looks a bit fishy, almost like buying time to work out, how to write the later log to be consistent with where some one wanted them to put down the crumbs.

  21. Kikeena,

    Welcome aboard but I strongly disagree with you. The evidence does not point to mass murderer. No one has any idea what went on on that aircraft. There could have been a hijacking, there could have been a catastrophic event/fire at IGARI or series of malfunction events, it could have been a heist, or it could have been a pilot suicide, we just don’t know. As far as Zaharie being “disgruntled” with MAS as his motive, really? He has a stellar 20+ year career with MAS and suddenly he decides as his swan song to abduct 128 innocent folks not affiliated with MAS over MAS is what you are saying. If he decided to be a martyr for the cause of the country against the regime for democracy is quite another thing but if so he is making us all guess at it.

    Who says his marriage was in trouble? From all accounts it was not. His brother-in-law denied a divorce, even if there was a muslim man may have 4 wives simultaneously provided he can care for each one equally. Zaharie’s wife would more than likely accept that, his brother-in-law stated as much on the Four Corners segment. So I don’t buy the marriage in trouble angle either.

    Jeff is right no one of his family or friends has said he was distraught. Who are these “amny people” you say confirmed his deteriorated mental state? There was one early account of one colleague who supposedly told the media that and his son and daughter came out and lashed out at that. The media in general has been horrible in this and you almost need to read between their lines. The one early report had his wife “leaving him the night before or of the flight.” The media ran like chickens with no heads on that. And all it turned out to be was that routinely, when Zaharie flew and would be away, his wife stayed at another residence, period.

    You say he was unfairly persecuted, by whom and how? He had a great job, lived in an upscale community, had no financial woes. Who persecuted him? Where on earth did you get he was interested in the Boston Bomber? Did he want a better country and democracy, yes, most of his fellow countrymen did.

    You mentioned that psychopaths can become calm and normal under pressure. I don’t hear the final segments of the audio recording as either calm or normal. There is an abruptness to it, a sense of urgency, and a strangeness like what happened in the 6 minutes between the repetitious line of maintaining flight level 350 and the mysterious disappearing accent.

  22. MuOne. It might be a lot more innocent than you suppose. If the “first approximation” of the ping rings used stationary satellite in nominal position and spherical earth, then you have a triangle: a) from earth centre to satellite, b) BTO-derived distance to surface of the circle (or 35,000ft above it) and c) spherical earth’s radius plus 35,000 feet. Rather than express this as a distance, express it as an angle to the local horizontal. Easier to communicate than a bunch of distances from AES to satellite 37 thousand point something kilometers…

    I did ask the same question of Inmarsat (why elevation angles not range) and they responded that it was range-derived, expressed as elevation angle to nominal satellite position from the local horizontal. Albeit before they had refined the calculations for satellite movement and non-spherical earth…

  23. Falken – The video isn’t meant to be funny. Apparently it was shown in schools and universities all over Iran. When IS were announced it was with plenty of hand wringing: dangerous group, apocalyptic end-time vision etc. All true, but that has been an apt description of the Iranian regime for at least a decade. As Netanyahu says – would you give nuclear weapons to David Koresh?? The west is sleep walking.

    Victor – Is there some payback going on? Netanyahu is spewing that the US hasn’t done more to block Iranian devt of ICBM’s. He points out correctly – Iran doesn’t need ICBM’s to attack Israel, they can attack us anytime, the ICBM’s are for you guys. More likely though, the world is becoming a powder keg and Obama wants to leave office without getting the US into another war. Ironically though, the conditions for a major conflagration are coming along eerily well without him kicking things over. He gives me the impression that MH370 is a known quantity and not an issue, or he is not prepared to make it an issue.

  24. @Kekeena
    this isnt comments party at all; but vast majority of people do the same as you – they glide over the surface of news without any deeper knowledge of the matter and make judges being lead by media owners intents, in many cases – and, this is it; there is search process…

    I searched for a while in my links related to past two years to find what to tell you, because you obviously dont believe that not using military force as we know it can stop countries like Iran doing wrong things… but war is only bad outcome of bad diplomacy and it can be prevented when diplomacy just works, and this is it, these days … look

  25. Victor,

    Thanks for reminding about your paper. I was busy last May and didn’t pay much attention to its details. Now I noticed two curious things:

    1. Heading 18:25 of your spoofed trajectory is generally consistent with the heading from NILAM to IDKUT combined with descent, if my interpretation of abnormal BFOs was correct.

    2. Zero RoC is a feasible solution around the terminus of your trajectory, again if my hypothesis about abnormal BFOs was correct.

    With regard to signal strength, I meant that it is possible to conclude that satellite dishes were more or less properly oriented. If so, this means SDU received and used correct coordinates. Respectively, the arcs were not spoofed, unless AES correction algorithm was altered.

    Also, what I tried to say, is the following:

    – If hypothetical perps did not know that BTO was recorded, they would not attempt to spoof BFO, as this does not make sense: trajectory cannot be reconstructed without BTO.

    – If hypothetical perps knew about BTO, they would understand advantage of spoofing BTO over BFO. Of course, if there is a relatively simple way of BFO spoofing as you suggested in your paper, it could be a preferable approach due to its simplicity. But if AES software can also be altered, then it would not be a big problem to spoof BTO by inserting artificial delays.

  26. @Oleksandr, you wrote, “– If hypothetical perps did not know that BTO was recorded, they would not attempt to spoof BFO, as this does not make sense: trajectory cannot be reconstructed without BTO.” It’s correct that trajectory cannot be reconstructed without BTO. In its absence, possessing only BFO values, Inmarsat would only have been able to deduce that the plane disappeared somewhere in a vaguely south/southeasterly direction, out toward the remotest Indian Ocean. This would actually have been a better result, as it would have been impossible to conduct any kind of organized search at all, and we would never have arrived at where we are today: with firm evidence that the plane didn’t go south solely on autopilot, and some strong leads as to where it went if it went north.

  27. Niels posted February 21, 2016 at 6:41 PM: “I’m currently looking at routes leading to S20 (including by waypoints), and Cocos seems to be close to some paths leading to S20 @ 00:11. Note that the curvature in calculated path in my download4 [] could be caused by the smooth interpolation of sparse (doppler/distance) data points. ”

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your download4. Can Port Blair be reached at 18:35? Also you write that “Port Blair (download4) (which) is one of the simulations contained in the 19/07/2015 search report.” What is the report you are referring to?

  28. Woman is suing Malaysia Airlines in Australian courts for the disappearance of spouse on MH370.
    According to the suit, the airline was vicariously responsible for the actions of its crew “who failed to ensure the aircraft safely reached its destination and/or [interesting choice of words] who deliberately altered the course of the aircraft resulting in its loss at sea”.

  29. @Matty – Perth: I didn’t mean to imply Israeli payback to the US. I only meant to introduce the idea of possible technical cooperation between Israel, China, and Singapore based on well-established and documented relationships. Many people are not aware of these strong relationships. And as the US alienates Israel in its softening towards Iran, those relationships may strengthen.

  30. @Oleksandr: If your BFO theory is correct, what is the predicted horizontal speed on the northern arc? You’ve already said that you would predict the vertical speed to be zero.

  31. @Matty

    “If China were to impound an MAS plane – or any plane – at one of it’s airports and take people and items away, there would be major and ongoing fallout and ramifications.”

    no there wouldn’t, if it was legal stuff it wouldn’t be hidden from anyone, and if it wasn’t – China would have all rights to seize it, just as any other country where the plane would land

  32. Victor,

    The minimum corresponding ground speed would be around 140 kph, for the heading of approximately 30 deg. Good for landing. I have not done accurate calculations for 70E, but I did calcs for 66E, which is rather close.

    The problem, however, would be in the first BFOs in the series. I assumed these are Doppler-corrected for zero declination. With your declination parameters results will change. I assumed the second BFOs without correction terms, so that the second equation remains the same regardless declination parameters.

  33. @Oleksandr: My spoofing theory assumes that at the time of the log-on the value of inclination is over-written to zero as that is the value in the System Table that is broadcast by the GES. So, we are making the same assumption for the first BFO at 00:19:29.

  34. Some things that bother me about this flight are , the two Russians with Ukrainian passports as reported, the pilot being friendly enough to give tours of the cockpit, maybe not even locking the door. Would a special forces spetsnaz know this and use it to enter a cockpit of an American built aircraft ? As the 777 has an exemplary record a disappearance would leave it looking like a bad plane.

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