The Rodrigues Debris Puzzle

Debris map

Above is a graphic made by Caleb Lambert (@CaleLambert), based on an original by Tim Sharpe. It offers a nice visual summary of the five pieces of known or suspected MH370 debris.

Meanwhile, an impressive piece of visual sleuthing has been spotlighted by Ben Sandlands, who’s written up a post about Twitter user @aussie500 and her identification of the likely spot in the cabin from whence the Rodrigues debris came. Below is an image I grabbed from a tweet by Edward Baker (@Edward_767):

CfLpV_mUYAE7mTv.jpg-small

While this discovery seems to bring us one step closer to understanding the significance of this find, Edward also raises another observation about the piece that does the opposite. Examining the images posted on Facebook by the Marouk Ebony hotel, he noticed that the images of one side of the piece don’t match those of the other:

Edward Baker 1

He superimposed them, having adjusted the images so that the size of the square holes match:

Edward Baker 2

It’s quite odd. The two sides don’t seem to match very well at all. Perhaps this is due to some trick of perspective or lens distortion? Observations and insights welcome.

UPDATE 4-8-16: This video clarifies the issue quite neatly. Thank you Michael Helms and @Gearo.

 

204 thoughts on “The Rodrigues Debris Puzzle”

  1. @GortoZ
    “re: correlation between local Maldives “sighting” of airliner with similar markings at 0615 (local- is that 0:15 UTC?)”
    Maldives time MVT is UTC+5hrs.

  2. @Gysbreght: You seem to ignore that the origin of Rodrigues panel could equally have been the lavatory on the left hand side near door #3L.

    Negative:

    @aussie500

    @Edward_767 @luigi_warren Only if it was on the opposite side could a left door fit, only one not seen is 4L, but it has no room on back.

    Burden of proof is on you my friend…

  3. @ Rob. Thanks for your comment, appreciated. And of course I will continue to read the blog, I have for a long time now and find it educational and enjoyable. I guess I’ll wait for the other 9,995 parts to be found on the ocean floor.

    So if I have the score right for “finding airplane parts”, so far it’s:

    People Walking Around the Beaches for Free: 5

    People Searching the Ocean costing millions of dollars: Zero

    I’m not sure, but I don’t think that looks too good for the folks spending millions of dollars.

  4. Has anyone checked on the twin sister plane to see if its still intact? What country is it located in again? None of this debris is burned if supposedly someone saw a plane on fire that night!

  5. @Ken Goodwin:
    I for one applaud your approach Ken and value (well considered) alternative opinions. I certainly agree with your statement that “the data is telling us something. Something different than the current conclusions.”

    @Jeff:
    I understand it must be tedious having to repeatedly explain to us mere mortals, but when Crowdsourcing a solution (as this forum is) the crowd needs to be briefed at times.
    So which of the statements/opinions Ken made are factually incorrect?

    @AM2
    Thanks for that – so Maldives time is UTC+5 – hence the sightings reported at UTC 01:15 can to be correlated to the Curtin “boom” of UTC 00:35 – is this correct? Sorry for having to ask the obvious.

    Seems to me that there is more weight of (imperfect) evidence pointing towards a location NW Indian Ocean rather than the current search site which is solely based on Inmarsat (subjective) data interpretation?
    Who has most to gain from misdirecting the search?

  6. @ DennisW

    I greatly respect your opinion about the ISAT data, and attach great credibility to your interpretation of the same.
    … so thanks for pointing out the significance of the two pings at 19:40 and 18:XX

    Q: when you say ” It is very clear (unambiguous) that the aircraft was flying close to South at this time at a speed of 400knots+. Deviations from a 180 heading would require higher speeds to produce the observed Doppler.” .. are you referring to a Latitude SOUTH? … and a heading of 180, does that mean directly opposite the satellite, or a heading directly SOUTH?

    Thanks.

  7. @GortoZ. Not quite sure of what you are asking …”hence the sightings reported at UTC 01:15 can to be correlated to the Curtin “boom” of UTC 00:35 – is this correct? Sorry for having to ask the obvious.” If MH370 crashed and caused the “Curtin boom” then it cannot have been seen later, after sunrise, at 6:15 MVT approx. But the plane(s) seen at that time were evidently unusual in that location and particularly low flying, so there is the possibility of some connection.

    Many or maybe most people would reject the idea that the ISAT data were incorrect (especially both BFO and BTO), but if so the time of the crash (or landing) could have been earlier (before fuel exhaustion) or later if refueled and therefore could be pretty-much anywhere. Unless further evidence becomes available (not just 777 debris which can’t help pinpoint the crash site in the IO) we don’t have a reason to move the search elsewhere IMO.

  8. @ DennisW

    …OK, and when you say:
    “After 19:40 the plane could have taken many different paths to arrive at the final ring. …they are all far to the North of the current search area.”

    Do you mean closer to W.Australia, and closer to the underwater acoustic ping locations?

  9. @ALSM. What I was referring to was table 1 in Ashton et al where Rx Power (dBm) is provided for each transmission.

    1642-1707 values -55.7 to -57.6
    182527 value -52.3
    182534 through 0011 values appear to decline gradually from -54.x to -53.x
    001929 value -51.0 then -53.7

    ie initial logon values lower than neighbouring Rx power. I wondered whether this could be indicative of a poorly-directed HGA or initial Tx using low gain omnidirectional – but don’t know how much difference in Rx power we should expect to see if LGA was used.

    Also, if Rx power loosely related to distance from sat, then the Rx power would suggest 2041 (rather than 1941) closest to CPA with decline on each side.

  10. @all

    Almost five weeks since the Gibson find. Where are the bio-forensics? You can autopsy a complex human death in far less time than that including running the DNA on any skin found under the finger nails. People, we are getting stiffed again. I am getting so so sick of this.

  11. I understand your frustration Dennis but perhaps they just don’t consider that it’s relevant to members of the public at this point.

    I don’t see much use in getting angry about it.

  12. @Billy

    You’re absolutely right in your summing up of the situation. The whole thing is immensely frustrating.

    This is all the outcome of a botched and misdirected search effort. Most successful companies organizations/nations have one thing in common; strong, capable, focussed leadership. Due to the unique circumstances of this event, the search effort is bereft of anyone at the top, determined to get a successful outcome.

    Instead, the ATSB are just content to go through the motions of Perfunctory search, spinning it out until wind-up time.

    That incidentally is why there is no progress with the parts analyses. They are simply not motivated beyond securing confirmation the they had been searching in roughly the right area. After all, how could they have possibly anticipated that they were up against a perpetrator bent on evasion?

  13. @Rob
    >After all, how could they have possibly anticipated that they were up against a perpetrator bent on evasion?

    Well, Rob, as many here can attest, and subscribe too (ah hem, IG and DS adherents), the plane apparently has all the hallmarks of mechanical/electrical failure gone ‘berserk’. I mean, pilots don’t go berserk, right? Oh, wait, occasionally they do, but never mind that. It just doesn’t fit the flight profile (what!) or pilot profile (what!) and is just so inconvenient and spurious. We will not, at any cost, blame our infallible aviators absent 100% proof.

    This is the bar these ‘experts’ have declared as proper. Thus, we have suffered for two years now the rubbish of ‘ghost flight’/hypoxia. What’s really DISGUSTING about this is the internal consumption and tethering of the search area to this
    ridiculous and unsupported hypothesis. It’s one thing to spin it this way publicly (though detestable nonetheless), but to believe it went down this way inside the hallowed halls of the ATSB is the pinnacle of ludicrous.

  14. @Matt

    I agree, but how will we ever know what they are thinking?

    In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what they are thinking, it’s results that matter, and we/they are not going to get results.

    They are decent, honest people in the ATSB, but they are in a total bind. Politics are in the way, and when politicians dictate the terms, everyone looses.

  15. Hello, you haven’t met me yet. I’m interested in MH370, because from the get go I detected a flaw in the way the inmarsat data was applied. I have been flailing away trying to speak to, first, the FBI, then others, and finally Jeff Wise spoke to me on twitter. I still can’t explain to Jeff what my dh does, just that there’s only nine people at his level in the world. Yesterday, he was laying on the floor, and I got down, put my elbow by his face, and my hand in the air, and explained how they thought the inmarsat data was coming THIS way…but that it had to be coming THAT way, and how could that be. He replied, “They are not compensating for the curvature of the planet.” I started jumping up and down and yelling, “I’ve been trying to tell them that for two years! No one will listen to me, please, honey, you go tell them, use your man speak.” So…he’s really busy, but I think I’ve gotten through to him that NO ONE like him is over here working on this.
    It’s all imagery analysts and pilots, and that is great, but what the whole search is based on is that hideous batch of inmarsat misunderstandings. That has to be
    looked at by fresh eyes. I’ll be back, with my dh, as soon as possible. There’s two ways they’re getting it wrong that I can see, and I’m just an apprentice.

  16. @All frustrated:
    Perhaps the reports are delayed because results do not match the current official theory?
    – what might happen should forensic analysis of the wreckage parts finds contradictory evidence to the current Malaysian/ASTB storyline?
    For example, would external shrapnel damage (say, flaperon) delay the release of the (French) report for many months?
    How about conflicting bio-fouling evidence?

  17. @Jeff@SkytoDie
    I raised that question some time ago, and chip in what my thinking was at that time.

    First a reference to Dennis W. ‘s work on his Blog
    “The BFO graphic includes a number of vectors associated with the locations and velocities of the aircraft, the satellite, and the ground station. These vectors are directly coupled to the problem physics. Some are known, such as the location of the LES, and some are unknown, such as the location and velocity of the aircraft. One vector, however, is estimated from sensors on the aircraft – V_pt, the velocity of the aircraft in the local tangent plane. The AES pre-compensates the L-band signal sent to the satellite by subtracting the Doppler associated with V_pt relative to the nominal position of the satellite over the equator. Vertical aircraft velocity is not included in V_pt. Clearly, any errors associated with the estimate of V_pt will find their way into the Doppler compensation, D1. The purpose of this post is to estimate D1 errors associated with an incorrect heading.

    Those two sentences caught my attention
    “One vector, however, is estimated from sensors on the aircraft – V_pt, the velocity of the aircraft in the local tangent plane.” and “Vertical aircraft velocity is not included in V_pt.”

    Flying along the curvature of the earth on a specific flight level or altitude above ground would induce a vertical speed component relative to the sat position, climbing when flying to the sat position, and descending when flying away from the sat position. I got an answer to my question if this vertical component is otherwise compensated for, but could not understand the detailed answer.

    But heck, I do understand nothing at all above ist t the ISAT data.

  18. Littlefoot,

    I am also wondering why he did not respond. My wild guess is because ATSB is looking for the support from Curtin, rather than confrontation with them with regard to the location. My questions reinforced the initial assessment of Dr Duncan and undermined the “Maldives location”. Consequently Dr Duncan preferred to graciously walk away.

  19. @All

    Translation of Florence de Changy’s article iro the flaperon

    The flaperon found in Reunion Island belongs to the Boeing 777 flight MH370 the world. 04.09.2015 at 3:39 pm | By Florence de Changy

    While the president of the Republic was to receive Friday, September 4 at the Elysee, the two families of the four French who were aboard flight MH370 of Malaysia Airlines, the Paris Prosecutor’s office announced Thursday 3 September the flaperon – fin – Boeing 777, discovered July 29 on a beach on the island of Reunion, “corresponded with certainty to the flight MH370. Boeing 777-200 ER of the Malaysia Airlines disappeared while he was a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, March 8, 2014. There were 239 persons on board.

    The Paris Prosecutor’s office made the announcement after the return of the letter rogatory of the examining magistrate in Spain from the company ADS – SAU, formerly CASA, a Boeing subcontractor. The company had provided several pieces of the flaperon whose numbers have been identified on the workpiece using an endoscope, until it is removed.
    The statement by the Paris Prosecutor’s office, “the hearing of a technician of the company ADS – SAU has allowed to formally associate one of the three issues identified within the flaperon to the serial number of the Boeing 777 flight MH370 flaperon”. The found flaperon had lost the license plate that would have allowed to identify initially, therefore try to identify it by its components.

    LANDING RATHER THAN A CRASH

    This piece of wing is therefore the first and at the moment the only debris from the aircraft disappeared from radar screens after forty minutes of flight, between the Malaysian sky and the Vietnamese sky. Since then, the families of the victims had no tangible proof of the official theory of the crash in the Indian ocean.
    Wednesday, the families of the four French were received by the anti-terrorism judge handling the French investigation, Alain Gaudino and the technical expert Aerospace commissioned François Grangier. The families asked if the rumor of traces of explosives on the wing was based. In fact, withdrawals to date are inadequate to answer this question, said the expert. On the other hand, it considered that the way in which the piece was “twisted” suggested on a landing rather than a crash, suggesting that the aircraft remained under control until the end.
    In the case of the crash of Germanwings, larger debris were about 30 centimeters. The flaperon, it measures approx 2 meters. The experts had also confirmed that the date of manufacture of the flaperon corresponded to the aircraft, built in 2001 and delivered to Malaysia in 2002.

    DRIFTING

    On the other hand, bio-marine analysis of the settlement of small crustaceans clinging to the flaperon, of the family of barnacles, learned two things investigators. First the piece of wing from the aircraft stayed “at least a year” in the water. Then the flaperon comes from tropical or temperate waters, because these crustaceans do not survive below 18 degrees. The buoyancy of the flaperon studies, for her part, confirmed that the debris floated slightly below the surface of the sea.
    These observations will refine model drift traveled by this object across the Indian ocean, while the area of Australian research of the MH370 comes to be challenged by two specialized agencies. GEOMAR, the German Oceanographic Institute, and Metron Scientific Solutions separately published two studies that conclude both that the underwater research led by the Australia should move much further north of the place where they occur now.

  20. @Susie

    Yes, you are right. Anger is always a misplaced emotion. My usual focus is to outsmart my government (which is like taking candy from an infant), to accumulate and preserve wealth. I should not complain when the knife cuts the other way.

  21. If authentic (I remain agnostic), the latest debris seems to indicate a high-energy impact: high-speed, with steep angle. This would have two logical consequences:

    1) acoustic detections such as Curtin U and the Chinese seismology results become more likely (easier to hear a smack than a skim), and

    2) signal data-indicated impact locations become LESS likely, for three reasons:

    a) by virtue of 1) above: if the faraway best-estimate acoustic event epicentres become more likely, the 7th Arc must become less likely.

    b) by intensifying the paradox of zero debris on Aussie shores in 2014: if 10,000 pieces were generated, why were none reported on what even David Griffin of CSIRO admitted was, before the fact, where everyone was expecting it to go?

    c) by virtue of a high-energy impact’s implications for search zone WIDTH. Both i) “controlled glide leading far from Arc 7” and ii) “controlled ditch” are less plausible, now. This pushes the probabilities further toward the searched out regions near the Arc.

  22. @DennisW,

    You said: “Heading was directly South. True South within fifteen degrees or so probably less.”

    I believe you were referring to the BFOs at 18:40 and at 19:41. I would like to point out that there is an ASSUMPTION being made to draw the conclusion of a southerly track at those times. That assumption is that no climb/descent is taking place. I believe this is probably a good assumption at 19:41, but I am not so sure about 18:40.

    Could 9M-MRO have continued generally to the NW until after 18:40 before turning South? While this at first seemed somewhat unlikely, such a late final turn could produce 7th Arc crossings far to the NE of the current search area (and at much slower average speeds).

    What if ATSB’s interpretation of the FMT timing (between 18:25 and 18:40) is wrong and it occurred after 18:40?

    There is still the issue of why no one answered the satellite phone call at 18:40, especially if the aircraft was descending at the time. Could the LNAV and the VNAV have been set before 18:40 so that waypoints were subsequently passed producing a southerly heading and the ongoing descent stopped at an altitude sufficiently high to fly until ~00:17 flame-out?

    I will note that a B777-200ER can closely match the known MH370 endurance even with one engine inoperative (the INOP fuel burn rate is very close to that with high-altitude cruise). The speed is roughly 365 kts at an altitude of about FL210, and that is sufficient to reach the 7th Arc.

    I am not saying this is what happened. I am saying we should examine all assumptions that were made leading to the current search area. If the aircraft is not found when that search is completed, perhaps alternative interpretations of the satellite data might lead to a new area on the 7th Arc.

  23. @Dr Bobby

    Yes, totally agree. I have avoided speculating on events before 19:40 for the reasons you state. Something unusual seemed to be going on in the pre-19:40 post 18:25 time frame that I frankly gave up on trying to model.

    The FMT I have been using is very late, but that is not due to any modeling of the pre-19:40 flight path. It is due to a “self-serving” need for a late FMT (coupled with a low and slow) flight path) to make the data fit a more Easterly and Northern route. Shameful, I know, but my simple goal has always been feasibility relative to the ISAT data rather than attempting prediction.

  24. @DrBobbyUlich

    Also not certain it happened, but I fully agree that a late (after 18:40) FMT is a possibility that should be seriously considered.
    I think descent rates needed to explain BFO while assuming NW track at 18:40 have been discussed way back (Victor, Oleksandr ?)

  25. @Bobby: your argument is perfectly valid – it just still seems highly unlikely: yet another instance in which the true path is on one heading, but some deviant flight dynamic (in this case, a material altitude change at the moment of the ping, despite no evidence supporting material altitude change in the hour before, or the 4.5 hours after) happens to be present, which embeds into the data the impression of a very different path. Occam’s razor says we should search for more rational explanations – such as that the plane suffered a fate some government wants to hush up. Or that it hit at the still unsearched 84°S, like you used to recommend with high confidence (and with my support – though always conditioned on ISAT data authenticity, and before Oz shores came up empty).

  26. @Brock. I agree that the fragments point towards a high energy impact – in which case there should also have been plenty of debris. If the BTO data “might” be wrong (for reasons unclear) then it seems to me that we have a much better candidate end point. Namely the ONLY place where not one, but 6 separate satellites picked detected a debris field – including multiple objects >10m in size. This locations matches with considerable precision the end point of a ghost flight arising from immediate turnback from IGARI towards KL. IMHO this is by far the best candidate for flight end point and its only major problem is mismatch with the BTO range. If we are going to question BTO, then go to 44S, 84E. For those who haven’t read the paper describing the flight path modelling, the pdf can be downloaded at http://www.findMH370.com

    And before you mention drift feasibility, I think its worth pointing out that CSIRO reverse drift from Reunion does indeed point to more N locations as most likely origin. It also indicates DSTG/IG area as a low probability origin. But you will also see that there are 6 “virtual tracks” that originated at the area that I am proposing. In other words, there is another route to Reunion “around the outside” (drifts closer to W coast of Oz before going west across the SIO gyre.

    Having said this, a crash at 44-45S would likely produce debris finds in S Australia (not West coast), which nobody appears to be looking for…

  27. edit – should have checked before hitting “post”…

    Estimated *origin* of the 100s of objects detected by satellite is 44S, 88E (not 84, as mis-typed above).

    By the time they were detected, 8 – 16 days after disappearance, these objects were spread over an area of ocean 44-46S, 89-91E.

    Further work that I have been doing on BTO error patterns indicates a very high correlation (but with altered coefficient for reasons that I cannot fathom) for a path that ends about 60NM to the SE of my estimate of debris origin, at position 45S, 89.5E.

    This end point corresponds with a diversion to KL initiated immediately at IGARI waypoint.

  28. if it was a high energy impact, even the flaperon that washed ashore being completely exposed to the forces should have broken up into much smaller pieces … and there would have many smaller pieces which should have come ashore in WA. We can’t have it both ways. so if it was a ditching it should have been detected in satellite imagery as a large floating fuselage, or if it was a high energy impact a large debris field or which much more pieces should have washed ashore … Rechecking all the ASSUMPTIONS right back to IGARI is necessary.

  29. @MH

    Flaperon detachment (and perhaps other control surfaces) before impact, ALSM theory, is still very much in play, IMO. I don’t think we have enough debris (and certainly not enough debris analytics) to draw any firm conclusions yet.

  30. @DennisW – I agree with ALSM theory. Big pieces came off before impact, little pieces are post impact. This is exactly like Silk Air 185.

    Dr. Ulich – In order to achieve comparable endurance after IGARI for ENGINE INOP versus ALL OP, the left & right tank crossfeed valves would have had to have been intentionally opened. These valves are closed during normal operation. Perhaps opening these valves is on the ENGINE INOP Checklist? If not, that would mean that after an engine failure, there was an intent to continue flying for more than 3 hours. Does that make sense?

    Paul Smithson – If not MH370, what else could have been the source of the concentrated debris seen in the satellite photo’s on page 20 of your paper? Any chance that the storm could have moved the debris from 38S to 45S against the normal currents?

  31. I don’t recall much discussion if any about typical flaperon inflight detachment failure rates and their corresponding analysis.. only remember alsm’s potential scenario.

  32. Brock,

    You wrote: “If authentic (I remain agnostic), the latest debris seems to indicate a high-energy impact: high-speed, with steep angle.”

    Absolutely wrong conclusion. Or do you have more information such as residual deformations?

    Re “acoustic detections such as Curtin U and the Chinese seismology results become more likely”

    What does this mean? Curtin U has detected a signal – 100% unless sensors failed. Then everything depends on the set of assumptions Curtin made. It is inappropriate to assign probability to what has happened. It might be appropriate to assign probabilities to the assumptions made.

    Re: “signal data-indicated impact locations become LESS likely”

    What signal? Inmarsat? As I mentioned many times, Inmarsat data are supported/consistent with Curtin data under certain assumptions.

  33. Jeff/Littlefoot, thanks for the comments on debris planting. I don’t think there is much value in me responding point by point, but I accept that the activities you describe are not impossible.

    Like Bertrand Russel’s famous orbiting teapot however, being possible is of course not necessarily enough. We all pass everything through our own personal reality filters based on our years of personal experience of the way that people and organisations and objects behave, and unsurprisingly, as seen every day on this blog, the results vary markedly from one person to another. This cross fertilisation can be very useful!

    Taking a slightly wider angle, as you may recall I struggle with the very concept of the sat data spoof (or worse still a partial spoof which has the aircraft landing to the north on fuel tank fumes only). It just does not seem necessary. If the plan was to go dark, hijack the aircraft and take it to destinations unknown then it was working brilliantly without any data spoofing and the difficulty and huge risk of discovery implied.

    In a similar vein the planting of debris also seems completely unecessary. If the sat data WAS spoofed, then again the plan worked brilliantly. Inmarsat were sucessfully fooled, and staked their reputations on a detailed analysis presented to the world in the Journal of Navigation. The investigation team of accredited representatives from 7 different countries, and the search strategy group comprising experts from AAIB, Boeing, DSTO, Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, Inmarsat, NTSB and Thales, have all bought into a sea bed search in the SIO currently due to finish quietly by mid year. The media had largely lost interest. Where is the pressure coming from to undertake a difficult and highly risky exercise in planting debris?

  34. @M Pat

    I am very much of the same opinion as you. While there are many theories, I have been totally unable to generate a reason why anyone would hijack this aircraft. As I mentioned before, a commercial airliner has never been hijacked for cargo or PAX. There are simply too many other easier ways to achieve that goal.

    Without motive there is no hijacking. Without hijacking there is no reason to plant debris.

    The ATSB has not shown the slightest inclination to change their search strategy. Like you, I fail to see any point in planting debris.

    My guess is that after midyear it will even be difficult to find anyone to examine debris finds. People will move on with their lives. You won’t find a team from Boeing, the NTSB, ATSB, or anywhere else rushing to assign resources to looking at a piece of honeycomb washed up on a beach in Madagascar. Things are winding down. The last thing the ATSB wants is a reason to look elsewhere.

  35. @Oleksandr: this is my last response to you on this blog. You seem dedicated to the principle that pedantic quibbling is productive; it (and by “it”, I refer to the “pedantic quibbling” four words earlier in the sentence) is very much the opposite. I wish you all the best.

  36. @Rob and others

    thanks! I don’t know if I agree with everything everyone says, I don’t even understand it, but I appreciate all of your tolerance of my curiosity.

    BTW I’m sure I had a point in there somewhere beyond just joking around about the score. Maybe it was something like they could focus on what is actually finding evidence (free stuff on the beach) and then using that as a way to identify a better search area (drift analysis). Just pay me to walk around the beach with a Mai Tai and look for stuff. Drift analysis couldn’t be worse so far than using satellite data to identify a search area, could it? Although I must say that satellite data has been great at identifying where the airplane isn’t. But hey, it’s not my money lol. Cost/Benefit anyone???

    joking aside:

    I’d really be interested to know if using drift analysis is more, less or not at all effective at determining a search area when compared to using the satellite data.

    Thanks

  37. @Paul: I appreciate that the satellite imagery at 44S has a strong following. I don’t dismiss it: my thesis for well over a year has been that the evidence points to a search that has not been conducted in good faith. The March 28, 2014 decision to utterly abandon (“sprint away from” might describe it better) that region would seem consistent with this thesis.

    But I’m not a satellite imagery expert – and have yet to see one weigh in on this topic – so I rely on corroborating evidence.

    Like the BTOs. And now the drift studies.

    It is not just the BTO data/interpretation with which a 44S debris zone conflicts: the drift studies suggest debris generated that far south is an extremely poor fit to the observed surface debris results – not least of which being the seemingly empty Oz (western, southern, Tasmanian) shorelines. Unless someone scrubbed the sea surface clean, Oz should have seen LOTS of the shrapnel from such a debris field by long before now.

    So the list of conflicts is enough to keep me firmly on the fence, I’m afraid.

    Instead of fighting with other theorists for your scenario, I hope you join me in my demand for accountability and transparency from search leaders who’ve thus far failed miserably to explain the many glaring gaps between search decisions they’ve taken, and what their own data can support. Through fuller disclosure, we may vindicate your faith in those images.

  38. Dennis – If you wanted the plane and you didn’t have a few hundred million spare or the proper credentials to buy one(remember the Iranians were off the list)you have to take one, and leave a believable explanation as to what happened to it or people start to join dots. There was no precedent for 9/11. People forget there is a holy war declared out there and it’s twisting in the wind with geopolitics. They want planes and technologies. MAS planes are having a bad run of it lately and KL is a pivot for Islamists and their quarry. I just don’t hit the same brick wall as you do when it comes to motive. There is so much going on in this region alone.

    Any clarification on the anomalies with the internal debris??

  39. @Matty

    You have no idea how much money is floating around out there. You are not going to engage in a complex plot to acquire a 777 (or the equivalent) which you can easily acquire for much less than $100M (without murdering 240 people), and no one is looking at paperwork at these levels. Easy peasy. You can’t buy a nuclear weapon on Ebay, yet.

  40. @Brock

    Oleksandr is a really smart guy, and so are you. Overlook semantics. Sometimes the semantics rub me the wrong way as well, and I know I do the same thing to others. It is what it is.

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