Seven Reasons Why MH370 Isn’t in the Southern Indian Ocean

In the wake of last week’s reports by the Australian Transport Safety Board, several mainstream journalists have published articles urging officials to resume searching the seabed in order to find the plane’s wreckage and thereby solve the mystery. The unanimity of the swelling chorus gives the impression that all reasonable people agree.

However, MH370 is a highly technical mystery, and a proper understanding of what may and may not have happened to it is impossible without a grasp of the science behind the evidence in hand. Simply put, the data that we have now gathere collectively weighs heavily against the idea that the plane flew into the southern Indian Ocean. The Australian authorities apparently understand this evidence better than the journalists, which is why they are declining to press forward.

Since I have covered this material in depth elsewhere in this blog, here I will just present a bullet-point list of why MH370 does not now appear to have flown into the southern Indian Ocean.

1– The absence of wreckage in the ATSB search zone. Using Inmarsat data and detailed knowledge of 777 aeronautics and avionics, Australia’s Defense Science and Technology Group were able to generate a robust statistical model of where the plane might have flown, assuming that it turned south after disappearing from Malaysian primary radar. A measure of their confidence in this model is the fact that the Malaysian, Chinese and Australian governments then spent some $150 million searching this vast, deep abyss. Yet no sign of the plane was there. Remarkably, many commentators shrug off this absence of no big deal. It is a big deal. If the plane had turned south, it should have been there. Indeed, in order to come up with a scenario in which the plane turned south but then arrived outside the search area one must presumed a series of bizarre and statistically improbable turns and descents. I liken this to opening a lock without knowing the combination: physically possible, but statistically equivalent to impossible. I wrote more about this topic in the post “Further Clarity on MH370 Flight Modeling.

2– The reboot of the SDU. During the first hour or so of flight MH370, a piece of equipment called the Satellite Data Unit, or SDU, was turned off. Then, at 18:25, it came back on and reconnected with an Inmarsat satellite. It was only because of this re-logon that investigators were able to obtain the seven “pings” that told them everything they know about the last six hours of the flight. As I wrote in my post The SDU Re-logon: A Small Detail That Tells Us So Much About the Fate of MH370, the SDU essentially cannot come back on either accidentally or as a result of some other plausible course of action by the pilot. The fact that it was turned off, then on suggests that whoever took the plane had a sophisticated knowledge of the aircraft’s electrical systems and tampered with the system that generated the signal that ultimately led investigators to assume that the plane went south. Obviously, then, this assumption needs to be interrogated.

3– Final observed turn was to the north. At 18:22, MH370 appeared for the last time as a blip on a military radar screen. Three minutes later, it transmitted a ping that allowed investigators to place it on an arc. By integrating these two pieces of information, it is possible to determine that during that interval MH370 turned to the northwest. I discuss this in more detail here: How MH370 Got Away. The fact that the plane was turning to the north fits better with a northern than a southern route.

4– Debris inconsistencies. On July 31, 2015, the first piece of MH370 debris was discovered on the French island of La Réunion. For many, this erased any doubt that the plane had ended up in the southern Indian Ocean. When French officials examined it, however, they encountered an inexplicable anomaly. The fact that every surface had been populated by barnacles indicated that the piece had drifted somehow wholly submerged. Yet when they tested it in a flotation tank, it floated quite high in the water (as seen above; this image is of an actual 777 flaperon cut to the same size). No one has suggested a natural means by which this could have happened; as I wrote in How the MH370 Flaperon Floated, the obvious explanation is that it spent months artificially tethered under the water. Later, other anomalies emerged. Chemical tests conducted on a barnacle shell from the flaperon found that it grew most of its life in water cooler than that experienced by real objects floating to Réunion. And many of the other pieces that turned up were so devoid of marine biofouling that experts said they couldn’t have been afloat for more than a few weeks.

5– Drift studies inconsistent with any single crash point. As I discussed in “Nowhere to Look for MH370″ and “Update on MH370 Drift Modeling Enigma,” an arm of the Australian government called the CSIRO has done considerable work trying to figure out how debris might have drifted from somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean to the shores of Africa and the islands of the western Indian Ocean. To make a long story short, there is no point from which debris would be expected to arrive at the spots where it was found in the correct time interval.

6– No consistent end-of-flight scenario. Frequency data from the 7th and final Inmarsat ping indicate that MH370 was in a steep an accelerating dive. Yet the only way the plane’s wreckage could have escaped detection until now is if it glided beyond the area already searched by sonar. This inconsistency has long been known, and was reiterated in the most recent CSIRO paper. It was compounded by a report issued by the Malaysian government earlier this year called the “Debris Examination Report,” as I discussed in “Reading the Secrets of MH370’s Debris.” There is also puzzlement over how the flaperon could have become physically separated from the plane.

7– Doubts about the provenance of the debris. As I’ve explained in previous posts, there are some glaring red flags in the way that most of the pieces of MH370 were collected.

These seven reasons are all predicated on evidence that has to do with MH370 itself. There is, however, an eighth reason that has to do with a separate event four and a half months later. On July 17, 2014, a missile launcher from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, one of only 14 sister ships to MH370. At first many assumed that the shootdown was an accident perpetrated by confused militiamen, but we now know that the operation was coordinated by the GRU (Russian military intelligence), and was subsequently the subject of an intense disinformation campaign by the GRU. As for the motive, we have no idea. Nor do we have any idea why the Russians would want to hijack MH370. But statistically, 100% of Malaysia Airlines 777-200ERs that come to grief in flight and whose cause is known have fallen victim to Russian military intelligence. If we are to let reason be our guide, that should be the first place to look in trying to solve the MH370 mystery, not the last.

341 thoughts on “Seven Reasons Why MH370 Isn’t in the Southern Indian Ocean”

  1. @Jeff Wise

    Still this would be a strange way to act. If all thought out carefully and then planted why keep the flaperon submerged for a long time against its initial floating behavior allowing all those barnacles to grow and then plant it?
    If a bit professional they could have expected some experts (and smart jounalists..) would notice the discrepancy soon.
    First thing I would think of in such a scenario is to let look things as natural as possible. This would be a stupid mistake from their side. Amateurish imo.

    And then planting ~30 other pieces along the islands and coasts of West Africa from Tanzania to near Capetown all in a possible timeframe according drifts and current pointing to an origin in the SIO unseen, undetected, unspoken of by anyone.
    What an endavour and mastermind complicated operation it must have been.. The stuff many entertaining but riduculous American movies are made from..
    It just defies all logic and refutes all known facts simply obvious and at hand by now.

    Just one shred of evidence or noteworthy ‘positive’ indication the plane did not end up in the SIO would be enough to reconsider state of facts.
    I’m quite sure you’ll never find them.

  2. Although NOAA buoys doesn’t correspond well to flaperon I found 89 buoys passing +/- 1° Mike McKay position (8.35 N 108.16 E) of “burning” object. Some buoys drifted close to Sunda Strait area. Two of them, NOAA 56435 & 116113, reached very close Sunda Strait area. I think that debris could easily traveled through Sunda Strait and equatorial streams to Reunion, Madagascar and East Africa Coast. I used the latest NOAA data from September 20, 2017. 5.77 GB text data file which includes 20 051 buoys in 50 million rows (49 609 736) i.e. GPS positions. Processed on my notebook with Excel 2016 (Power Query & 3D maps). See generated map here

  3. @Ge Rijn. Here is the original footage of the second (right engine) MH17 VG, starting at 1:17.

    At 1:20 you can see through the translation background that the honeycomb extends beyond the washer pairs further than the distance between them so the bolts end there. Thence it is evident that there is no fracture of the VG at that camera end.

    So it is now confirmed that these shots are irrelevant to VG construction.

  4. @David

    Yes clear, thank you. Then it also confirms it’s the aft end of this VG.
    I also still see no other details that could learn us more about its construction.

  5. @ Ge Rijn: Something Boeing cannot afford in the competition with Airbus who did/do everything to solve any accident with their planes.
    Not so sure about this, see the case of Captain Sullivan of QF72 whos still has a case against Airbus.
    It is cut throat business, as it is in every field, and am sure that Companies lie and cheat.
    So, yes Boeing could doing exactly what Dennis suggests in favor of shares value. Note that shareholder value is very much valued, short term possibly over long term.
    Am afraid that Corporate world now.

  6. Reviewing material on CSIRO’s website earlier today, I made the rather stunning realization that David Griffin had answered one of my most burning questions months ago and I hadn’t even realized it. At end of an article about the organization’s drift-modeling work ( I’d asked this question in a comment: “The report mentions that four of the replica flaperons were left to drift for a longer period of time. Do you know how long they drifted for, and whether they were examined for marine fouling?” A few days later, Griffin replied: “”Hi Jeff. No, we don’t know. Retrieval (perhaps near New Zealand) was never the plan. Studying biofouling was not an objective of those deployments.”

  7. @Rein

    Remarkable similarity in our names btw..;)

    Yes, I agree it’s cut throat business in many ways. But the core of any business is ethics of trust and liability. No company can survive in the end when they leave this standards. Sooner or later this will wear them down inside out and outside in.

    If Boeing chose this path regarding MH370 it will turn back on them massively sooner or later. But it will.

    Regarding Airbus, AF447 could also have had any cause. They did everything to find the plane no matter what cause it was.

    Germanwings 9525 was also an Airbus. Also here they did everything to find out what happened. No matter the outcome. And they were open about it in both accidents.
    This builds trust in an aircraft manufacturer.
    We all know flying can be dangerous but if an accident happens we want to know why.

    Boeing shows no interest at all and keeps silent on all fronts (in public) from the start regarding MH370. I wonder why.

    If I was an airlines CEO I would wonder even more before buying another Boeing aircraft.

  8. @Ge Rijn

    “If I was an airlines CEO I would wonder even more before buying another Boeing aircraft.”

    My guess is that you are not on recruiter’s short lists of CEO candidates.

  9. @Jeff Wise

    To me this sure is also a remarkable anwser from David Griffin. Although very clear.
    They never considered the bio-fouling it seems. But I think it would have been useless anyway when doing those test on the east coast of Australia towards New Zeeland. Circumstances there would probably be quite different than along the 7th arc.

    I think they should have conducted those test around ~35S/7th arc in the first place in march last year (or even this year) and let them drift with a GPS-transmitter. Then we would have known a lot more by now about bio-fouling and drift-attitude.
    But oke, this could be wisdom afterwards. Maybe CSIRO and Griffin think the same by now..

  10. @DennisW

    Thanks, you made me laugh again:)
    I sure won’t be in YOUR company’s short list or what’s left of it.., if this was their ethics..
    And I sure won’t have the ambition.
    I know a bit was goes around though and I see fake has set in al around us.
    American fake mostly. They try to sell their fake for so many years already and they sadly influenced many countries. Materialistic, stupid, superficial fakes rasing fat stupid spoiled people that are sitting in their ocean resorts judging about ‘losers’ and ‘winners’.

    And more then half of them chose a classic DSM narcissist like Trump as president.. what a suprise.
    This says very little about this president but all about the American culture you also referre to with your comment.

    Like the Roman empire in its last stages this ‘American Dream’ is going to end by the same degraded ethics and arrogance that brought them down.
    We not all think the overall ‘American way’ around the world.

  11. @Jeff Wise. The CSIRO website. Thanks.
    I have added belated questions which currently are being moderated.

    “Rather tardy with this but would the mass of the barnacles have had any appreciable effect on the angle at which the flaperon floated and, with air and water drag, its drift angle, speed and the dynamics of wave response? Would the mass explain the trailing edge submersion needed for barnacle growth to extend to there?

    Further, what of buoyancy loss with water ingress to honeycomb by diffusion, faults and through microscopic cracks? On the last, aside from damage to the skin near the trailing edge the flaperon looks to have had impact deformation at its outer leading edge; and apparently it collided with the adjacent outer flap.

    The French flotation tests were with it having dried and much of the biology gone, as with your trials?”

  12. @Ge Rijn
    TWA Flight 800 was a Boeing accident that was studied in great detail by NTSB. In this MH370 accident, we do not have NTSB as key player. Indeed former NTSB have observed that smaller country’s motives can be quite the opposite of trying to find the cause. Those of us from America and I guess you in Europe can have trouble understanding the viewpoint of smaller countries. This is why we ended up with Blaine Gibson finding all the debris…someone forgot to tell him the cause of this accident is not needed or desired by MY. I am guilty too of expecting effort to find cause.

  13. From the Australian….

    Sea critters crossed Pacific on debris
    By Seth Borenstein
    Associated Press
    11:26AM September 29, 2017

    Nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the US.
    It’s the largest and longest marine migration ever documented, outside experts and the researchers said.
    The scientists and colleagues combed the beaches of Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii and tracked the species to their Japanese origins. Their arrival could be a problem if the critters take root, pushing out native species, the study authors said in Thursday’s journal Science.
    “It’s a bit of what we call ecological roulette,” said lead author James Carlton, a marine sciences professor at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
    It will be years before scientists know if the 289 Japanese species thrive in their new home and crowd out natives. The researchers roughly estimated that a million creatures travelled 7,725km across the Pacific Ocean to reach the West Coast, including hundreds of thousands of mussels.
    Invasive species is a major problem worldwide with plants and animals thriving in areas where they don’t naturally live.
    Marine invasions in the past have hurt native farmed shellfish, eroded the local ecosystem, caused economic losses and spread disease-carrying species, said Bella Galil, a marine biologist with the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv, Israel, who wasn’t part of the study.
    A magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami on March 11, 2011, that swept boats, docks, buoys and other man-made materials into the Pacific. The debris drifted east with an armada of living creatures, some that gave birth to new generations while at sea.
    “The diversity was somewhat jaw-dropping,” Carlton said.
    “Mollusks, sea anemones, corals, crabs, just a wide variety of species, really a cross-section of Japanese fauna.”
    The researchers collected and analysed the debris that reached the West Coast and Hawaii over the last five years, with new pieces arriving Wednesday in Washington. The debris flowed across the North Pacific current, as other objects do from time to time, before it moved north with the Alaska current or south with the California current. Most hit Oregon and Washington.
    Last year, a small boat from Japan reached Oregon with 20 good-sized fish inside, a kind of yellowtail jack native to the western Pacific, Carlton said.
    Some of the fish are still alive in an Oregon aquarium. Earlier, an entire fishing ship – the Sai sho-Maru – arrived intact with five of the same 6-inch fish swimming around inside.
    The researchers note another huge factor in this flotilla: plastics.
    Decades ago, most of the debris would have been wood and that would have degraded over the long ocean trip, but now most of the debris – buoys, boats, crates and pallets – are made of plastic and that survives, Carlton said.

  14. @ Ge Rijn, yes possibly from the same region on the same continent 😉
    I would not be so positive, Germanwings is under scrutiny as seen on Jeff’s blog. There is still an unsolved issue with contradicting commands; go up and go down at the same time. VW lied and cheated and it did not cause them harm in the long run, possibly only in the short.
    Share holder value is what counts and they think short term, very few would go for long term. Not being negative, just observing…..
    Back on this MH370 story.
    Still find this airplane parts findings by Blaine suspicious. Almost like a funded dicoverer of very much needed (by the other side) evidence. He would need almost unlimted funds to venture around the world, privately hire boats here and there and have unrealistic high success rate. No investor would interested like in treasure hunting, as there is no gold to be found, just airplane parts with no financial reward?
    Reading this blogs on MH370, the comments from Airandseaman gives me the feeling he could be on that side too…….forcefully pointing Jeff into his way of thinking pulling away from Jeff’s own thinking. Distraction? Blurring the picture? Are people on this blog with their ideas getting too close to the truth? Who knows….. Just saying.

  15. @Rein, Thank you for your comment. The trolling wears me down so it’s enormously gratifying to hear from real people who get it.

    @Matty – Perth, Thanks for this. As you’ll recall I spent a fair bit of time talking to these folks back when trying to grabble with the lack of biofouling on a lot of the MH370 debris (including all of Blaine Gibson’s). Basically, stuff goes in the ocean for more than a few weeks and it gets liberally colonized. Floating surfaces are valuable real estate for filter feeders.

    @David, Great questions!

  16. @DennisW

    I did generalise. Ofcourse in general American people or not different to any other people around the world. I only spoke about the ‘American culture’. I also see nearly half of Americans did not vote for Trump. They probably have other ethics which is hopefull imo.

    But this blog is not about politics. The point I tried to make is if Boeing has taken on (with their CEO’s) the ethics of this extreme narcissitic ‘Trump-believes’ they’ll ruine the company in the end.
    When those CEO’s decided to silence the MH370 investigation as much as possible it will fall back on the company sooner or (much) later. But it will.

  17. @Rein

    On Blaine Gibson. Yes, his succes rate has been remarkable and questioned by many (including me) but we have to conclude most of the important items were not found by Blaine Gibson (Flaperon, Roy-piece, Rodrigues-piece, flap-section pieces, flap fairing pieces, V.St. piece, nose gear door piece). And Blaine did not start his search on the African coasts or Australia but around Myanmar and later the Maldives.

    He reacted on the evolving new information every time. This does not sound like a ‘special agent’ on a mission financed by someone (country) who knew what happened at all.
    And there is not a shred of prove (or even positive indication) something like this happened and Blaine was involved.

    Like Airlandseaman I preferre to stay with the known facts and data. We all not know exactly what happened. Jeff could be right in some ways. He still never came up with any positive evidence. But this doesn’t matter. He’s obliged to do his own endavour in the search and this is important too.

    But let’s not go down to accusing eachother of ‘trolling’. Jeff knows damn well I and ALSM are not trolling and I believe Jeff isn’t either. We go along for ~three years now on this subject. Trolls have a much shorter breath. They pup-up and vanish.

    To be honest I think you are trying to cause some distraction.

  18. @Ge Rijn

    To be honest Ge Rign you (not Rein) are the most wasteful (poorly) opinionated commentator on the whole MH370 blogspehere know to man.
    Please, please confine your drivel to one particular blog (preferably VI) – along with your (small-world views) co-consirators Rob, TBill and ALSM and not spread our miserly everywhere.
    The silent, long suffering majority do not care for your opinionated drivel.
    Get it?

  19. @Cargo Handler

    I can understand why some people get ‘upset’ by some of my comments. I’m surely guilty of this myself at times. I then know I could have been more ‘diplomatic’. But this is no ‘being nice play ground’ all the time.
    Hard words get spoken by all of us sometimes.

    But as far as I’m concerned I never loose the respect on people I know are dedicated to find anwsers to this mystery.
    To me that still counts Jeff Wise, Rob, TBill and Airlandseaman in. And myself.

    I don’t believe the ‘silent, long suffering majority’ does not care about our efforts and opinions.
    So you don’t affect me with your; ‘Get it?’

    You’re posting a long time already also so I’m suprised with your agressive comment.
    Settle down please or referre to only handling cargo.

  20. Ge Rign:

    I’m part of the silent majority and I agree with Cargo Handler. Most of what you post is drivel. It would be helpful if you only posted your opinion on matters where you have some expertise.

    But given your history of posting your opinion on pretty much everything, I suspect that your opinion in your field of expertise would be ignored.

  21. @Another Rob

    I’ll leave this for Jeff Wise to decide.
    He knows how to handle trolls and over-assertive commentors.
    If he counts me out I would be suprised but it won’t affect me that much.
    I would be disappointed in a way but it’s his blog and he is the moderater.
    I trust to leave it to him.

    The way you assert yourself as ‘Another Rob’ is telling to me. Hiding behind a well known name around this blog (and others) shows cowardness.

    I don’t take your comment seriously at all whatever name you take in the future.

  22. Ge Rijn:

    You have illustrated your tendency to jump to the wrong conclusion. I’ve posted on this blog using ‘Another Rob’ before. In fact, my name is Rob and I’ve been using ‘Another Rob’ for more than 15 years.

  23. @cargo handler, another Rob , Ge Rijn

    my concern about Ge Rijn is, that i never heard anything but boring technical stuff and never saw anything coming near anywhere to compassionate feelings. This whole complex will not be solved by number crunching. I said that 3 and a half years and Ge Rijns seems me to have ben stuck in those old times where everybody tok part in the this exercise. I missed something that is called common sense. Mr. Ge Rijn it suspect always technical contributions to lack basic human principles. You are so predictable that it maks it extraordinary boring to read your comments. Its nearly everything a repetition of former stuff. I am quite sure that you are on active duty to deviate the path of discussion in this forum

  24. @CosmicAcademy, @AnotherRob, @CargoHandler, @Rein, etc: I hear what you’re saying and I appreciate your saying it. @CosmicAcademy’s last sentence–“I am quite sure that you are on active duty to deviate the path of discussion in this forum”–feels intuitively true to me. I’ve been around the block long enough to know the difference between a legitimately differing opinion and a disingenuous attempt to derail what could be a productive conversation. @Ge Rijn, you are on notice.

  25. @Ge Rijn criticisers. If a measure of contributions here is how much in net they help in opening possibilities as to what happened and in resolving what the evidence means, and its implications, then Ge Rijn has been and remains a success.

    He has stuck to opinions which some see as insufficiently substantiated and recently strayed into generalities about US citizens’ attitudes, though that makes him neither insincere nor does it warrant general censure, IMO. If you have difficulty with his views, tackle him on those specifics or rule out such discussion but no chucking out babies with the bathwater please.

    He has more to offer than visionaries and empathisers if the immediate objective is to find the wreckage while keeping an eye, separately, on what led to the crash in absence of the wreckage evidence..

    Another subject I bring into the open. The JW and VI blogs are complementary as I see it, both run by intelligent well informed men who jointly provide an international public service. Which one to contribute to depends on the subject under discussion and the interests of the contributor. I for one will contribute to both as long as I am welcome, depending on the subject, who is contributing at the time and where a contribution is most apt.

  26. @JeffWise,

    Just came across this article in the WP…”Shutting of the transponder and turning it back on” by the North Korean ship makes it interesting in comparison with MH370….

    From the WP:

    “Using a “flag of convenience,” as the tactic is called, allows North Korean ships to avoid drawing unwanted attention in international waters. So does the practice of routinely shutting off a vessel’s transponder, behavior documented in a February U.N. report that described the Jie Shun’s voyage.

    “The vessel’s automatic identification system was off for the majority of the voyage,” the report said, “except in busy sea lanes where such behavior could be noticed and assessed as a safety threat.”

  27. @Jeff Wise

    I’ve got your point and message. And I feel sorry about it.
    It’s not at all my objective to derail what could be a productive conversation and I think you should know. But I see the way it works out here lately is not productive and I have no more to say about this topic this way. It would only trigger me to say things again I regret later.


    Thank you for your support.
    Your last paragraph is the way I see it also.

  28. @Havelock, Thanks for the link. That story seems pretty off-the-rails cray-cray.

    @Ken, Interesting, thanks. Just to note that turning a transponder off/on is a straightforward thing to do, whereas turning the SDU off and on is technically demanding.

    @David, You wrote, “The JW and VI blogs are complementary as I see it, both run by intelligent well informed men who jointly provide an international public service.” I think it’s important to understand the nature of what’s going on over at VI: a swarm of like-minded people are engaged in an endless discussion of the minutiae of the case, down to analysing the bolt patterns on a piece of possible debris that has zero probative value (being just one recent example), while completely ignoring the elephants in the room: the crucial clues upon which the whole case hangs, namely the SDU reboot and the barnacle distribution and the other things I wrote about in this post. Essentially it’s a lot of busy work that lacks any ambition of solving the case. It’s a smoke screen.

  29. @ JW

    I agree with you, it sounds pretty crazy. Nonetheless after a long time of hardly any new ideas or theories on this matter, this is a new one which so far hasn’t been proposed. So far, no other idea has been proven or seems overly plausible, so let’s give it a go?

    I don’t want to sound like a stuck recording, but the fact remains that at this point, we have zero hard evidence as to where the plane is. The only thing we know is, it was travelling north-east from the Golf of Thailand, heading for a course along the Vietnam coast and upwards to China. Considering the implausibilities of the plane crossing – depending on the hypothesis, possibly multiple – international borders and possibly within radar reach of first world countries if travelling to the west, personally I still find the idea that the plane might have simply followed something like its original course at least not less implausible than the alternatives. I outlined this thinking in a post a few months ago when I proposed North Korea, again a crazy-sounding idea, but still, which theory is not crazy in this context?

    I don’t know how much info you have on issues of Chinese organ harvesting. There is hardly any real evidence coming out of China; the PRC are very effective at limiting foreign journalists etc. However, there is evidence that this is a real thing. I hope you’re not offended by me saying this, but the theory outlined in the article seems at the least not less implausible to me than many other theories that are hotly debated here. At the end, organ harvesting isn’t even necessarily the key point; ‘organs’ of the Chinese government might have any number of reasons to want this plane or its passengers. The fact that a majority of passengers were Chinese further suggests to me that a Chinese involvement is on the whole not the least implausible idea.

    If you are willing to believe that Putin re-routed the plane to Kasachstan, what makes the idea that the Chinese government was involved so hard to swallow? Especially given the fact that flying to China involves a couple fewer international borders. (If one wanted to be especially crazy, one could even come up with an airstrip on a reclaimed island in the South China Sea where the plane could have landed. Sure, one would need to explain the Satellite stuff, but as far as I understood, all it takes is a plane with some electronics doing a lap towards the South Pacific. On a purely technical level, I would argue that a “Chinese” route is the least hard to explain.)

  30. @Havelock, Let’s imagine that I reject Newtonian mechanics, and posit instead that the moon swings around the earth not due to gravity but to an invisible silk thread tied to the roots of a magical mango tree. This would be an idea, not a theory. It predicts nothing, explains nothing, fits no data. It’s just a story, and one that if you think about it doesn’t really make any sense.

    Likewise, the idea that you propose here is just a story. It’s not a theory. It doesn’t fit any data, it explains nothing that we know, etc.

    As I’ve tried to explain time and time again, we have a great deal of evidence, and it there is a narrative that it fits into. It has perpetrators, a mechanism, and fits into a broad historical context. This theory allows us to make predictions. For instance, when officials and every other CNN commentator were saying that the acoustic pings were coming from the black boxes, I said they weren’t. I was right, and they were wrong. When officials and the IG said that the plane’s wreckage would be found in the SIO search area, I said it wouldn’t be. I was right, they were wrong.

    To you and all the people who say that we have no plausible theories, I say, open your eyes.

  31. @Jeff

    “while completely ignoring the elephants in the room: the crucial clues upon which the whole case hangs, namely the SDU reboot and the barnacle distribution and the other things I wrote about in this post.”

    There are a lot of very bright people on the VI blog. I won’t attempt to name them all. Certainly, they are addressing what is real, and avoiding speculation of any kind. I respect that. My only annoyance has to do with second guessing even more qualified people (the manufacturers) relative to the SDU reboot and fuel endurance. But hey, they could certainly be correct, and their arguments are plausible.

    I suppose I should not be critical since I have deep reservations myself about expert opinions relative to the “big bang” and evolution. I don’t even know why the moon looks bigger on the horizon.

  32. @Jeff
    Thanks for your reply. I’m not sure I completely follow your meaning but since this is all very theoretical (as you rightly point out) and you will probably agree that there won’t be a discovery of the plane any time soon to actually find out what happened, it’s best to leave it at that.

  33. TBill said:

    “TWA Flight 800 was a Boeing accident that was studied in great detail by NTSB. In this MH370 accident, we do not have NTSB as key player.”

    According to six of the NTSB investigators involved, the NTSB did not play the leading role in the TWA800 investigation, the FBI did.

    Allegedly, the NTSB was not allowed access (by the FBI) to the names and addresses of the c. 500+ witnesses who saw a bright flame travel upwards from the ground towards TWA800 (observed from 360 degree-wide viewpoints) or their statements, or to call any of those witnesses at the inquiry. The NTSB was denied access to several sections of wreckage and materials that the FBI removed to a different (locked) hangar. Tests to detect explosives the NTSB carried out (which were positive) were overruled by the FBI. The NTSB weren’t allowed to photograph some wreckage. There’s more. See the affidavit by one of the senior NTSB investigators, Henry Hughes, who (with 5 other NTSB investigators) ‘blew the whistle’ and petitioned for the TWA800 investigation to be reopened back in 2013.

    “Statement from Henry Hughes, senior NTSB investigator (retired) who, during the investigation, was in charge of reconstructing the interior of TWA 800:

    “Over the course of the past 18 years since I was assigned to investigate the explosion of TWA Flight 800, my thoughts have often turned to the crew, passengers and their families. I and others did our best during the investigation to determine the real cause of the crash. Our diligence was thwarted by senior FBI, NTSB and CIA managers who manipulated the truth and denied us access to critical evidence.”

    According to Henry Hughes, the investigation was ‘corrupted’ and the NTSB’s conclusion (‘probable cause’) on TWA800 was a ‘cover up’ and not supported by the forensic evidence.

    See any (potential) parallels?

    [Unconnected factoid/’coincidence’: MH17 was downed by a rocket on the same day/month as TWA800 – 17th July]


    Ge Rijn said (to Rein):

    “[Blaine] reacted on the evolving new information every time. This does not sound like a ‘special agent’ on a mission financed by someone (country) who knew what happened at all.”

    If that was what was happening, would you expect Blaine’s actions (or whoever was acting as the ‘discoverer’) to be any different? Wouldn’t going directly to the debris raise suspicions?

    “And there is not a shred of prove (or even positive indication) something like this happened and Blaine was involved.”

    As I asked ALSM, I will ask you too: exactly what evidence or proof would you expect to be available, and from where?

    “Like Airlandseaman I preferre to stay with the known facts and data.”

    Or put another way, you both prefer to support and expound the ‘accepted’ establishment view while decrying any other?

    “To be honest I think you [Rein] are trying to cause some distraction.”

    That could be said about you too.


    Boris Tabaksplatt said:

    “… Secondary objective to obtain a completely anonymous B777 for use in a future op.”

    There are plenty of retired B777’s in that famous big US desert graveyard that could be requisitioned, given a paint job, and used incognito by any western power without attracting worldwide attention by killing 200+ people and creating the biggest media mystery of all time.

    The taking of MH370 would need to be for another reason, not involving the aircraft as the end goal.


    DennisW said:

    “I think what Jeff is promoting is that the planted debris is from 9M-MRO – taken from the aircraft after it landed somewhere. I don’t think this can be done in a way to fool competent forensic experts.”

    As (was it Ken?) pointed out on here a good while back, the ideal/obvious way to simulate parts/sections being ripped off an airframe by an aircraft hitting a large mass of water at high speed (high pressure) is … to hit the airframe with a large mass of water at a high speed (high pressure).

    In other words, use a substantial jet of pressurised water. There’s some very big high-pressure, high-volume water pumps available out there – how about 400 LPM @ 400 Bar? There’s probably bigger somewhere.

    Enough water flow and pressure should be able to remove pretty well anything without leaving any tooling marks. Any other marks that are left should be consistent with a high (or low)-speed water impact – take your pick, (depending on what you want to see) as you decode the forensics. Torsion/tension/compression and fracture marks, and tell-tales, would be automatically provided to match the damage caused and the way it was caused.

    Not saying it happened that way, but seemingly possible as a ‘how-could-it-have-happened’.


    Billy said:

    “But I get confused on the ‘how would they have faked it’ part, while thinking what if I were they guy that had to do it…. why would that guy forcibly submerge the whole piece to as part of the fakery?”

    Perhaps if you were waiting several weeks/months for sea life to take occupancy you would want to make sure the parts (several) being treated did not float off and get lost. You could tether a big part like a flaperon (although you’d have the dessication problem due to floating too high, maybe) but the smaller parts would be problematic.

    Sensible thing to do would be to place them all together in a wire mesh cage of some sort, then lower that into the water. Keeps all the parts together and makes sure all the parts have similar growth and don’t dry out. Also keeps the turtles and crabs out – don’t want your carefully cultivated lepas colony being eaten several months later just before you need to plant them, that would be silly and not endear you to your superiors at all.

    Problem might have been that the perps (if they exist) didn’t understand that the lifestyle and growth patterns of said flora and fauna could be later studied as data and evidence in comparison to drift information. In any Sherlock Holmes story the dastardly criminal always overlooks something. Perhaps MH370 is more reminiscent of the curious case of the dog in the night.

    From the other pespective, if there’s an annual variation in the growth pattern/shell (warmer…colder…warmer or whatever) that would have to be explainable for a static tether argument to be plausible.

    Could one location in the IO vary that much, (how much?) or that little, in temperature in a yearly cycle? What latitude would that location need to be in the Indian Ocean? Something for Jeff to check with the oceanographers if he wants to.


  34. @PS9

    On your rematks/question regarding BG;

    ‘As I asked ALSM, I will ask you too: exactly what evidence or proof would you expect to be available, and from where?’

    I could name many everyone easily can think of themselfs. I won’t take the effort. In most identified pieces he was not involved finding them and not even near.
    It just holds no water.

    You turn around the issue. It’s not about the proof that possibly could be available.
    The question should be; what proof IS available. And there is none.
    So my question to you would be; what evidence would be available to proof BG was involved and debris was planted?

    I know you have no anwser on that. The tactics you use with your questioning can put people off guard and distracted.
    No change with me.

    Then; ‘Or put another way, you both prefer to support and expound the ‘accepted’ establishment view while decrying any other?’

    Not at all. I have my views but expressed many times my willingness to consider others. If Jeff or anyone else would have come up with proof about this issues I would be the first one to change my views.
    Nothing positive materialized till now. Not on planting, not on BG, not on Kazachstan, not on Russia, nothing.

    Jeff started off with a great blog but imo he lost himself too much in conspiracy thinking and then ofcourse attracting willing followers.

    The final report is out. Jeff has got a lot to think about. Most of all for him for the bio-fouling and grain analizes has been extensive (beyond expection for me also).

    PS9 lets leave it here and don’t ask me again please about negative proof.
    I like to hear positive proof.

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