Update on MH370 Drift Modeling Enigma

Last month I wrote, in a post entitled “Nowhere Left to Look for MH370,” that recently refined drift models produced by Australia’s CSIRO contradicts both their own premise (that the plane crashed on the 7th arc between 34S and 36S) and an alternative idea presented by intependent researchers (that the plane crashed near 30S).

I’ve only just become aware that CSIRO director David Griffin weighed in on the matter a few weeks ago in a letter to Victor Iannello, which Victor published on his blog. He essentially confirmed the points I raised.

He wrote, for instance, that:

As you correctly pointed out, a 30S crash site would, according to our model, have resulted in debris washing up on Madagascan and Tanzanian shores a full year earlier than was observed. That is a discrepancy that is hard to set aside.

He also wrote that:

The other factor against 30S that we find very hard to discount is that 30S is right in the middle of the zone targeted most heavily by the surface search in 2014. This is the “other evidence” that Richard overlooked. Please see Section 4 of our Dec report, and Fig 4.2 of the April report.

Griffin also defends, rather weakly in my estimation, the idea that the early arrival of the “Roy” piece in South Africa does not contradict his preferred 34s-36S crash point. However, I don’t think this really matters, since there is so much other compelling evidence against it.

The conundrum, therefore, becomes even more impenetrable than before: the evidence indicates that the plane did not go into either of these “hot spots.” And it indicates even more strongly that it did not go anywhere else in the southern Indian Ocean.

The way to solve conundrums is to open up your thinking and to check for implicit assumptions that my be incorrect. In this case, the obvious follow-up question is: is it possible, given the data in hand, that the plane could have gone somewhere else?

Australian officials remain puzzlingly unwillingly to acknowledge the issue.