Guest Post: “60 Minutes: How to create your own facts before the real ones are at hand”

by Mark D Young

[Reprinted with permission from Mr Young’s website, Flightlevel42]

This past weekend saw the Australian public shown a television programme from the well known 60 minutes team. The programme has been getting a lot of attention, as most episodes do. Similar to the Carte Blanche segment on South African pay-tv station M-Net, 60 minutes has had some stellar moments of true investigative journalism during its run. However, like Carte Blanche, the manner in which many programmes are put together is formulaic.

A script is devised and then a pre-determined set of outcomes is established prior to interviews being conducted. The selection of participants and the editing of footage is carefully undertaken to steer the selected narrative in the direction chosen by the production executives. I have seen enough of both programmes to spot where and how they are edited, how shot selection is strategic and selective staging is used to ensure the script worked out by the production team achieves its goal.

A valid retort to anyone taking issue with the broadcasts of either programme is that “Well, we’ve merely presented some facts and opinions. We have got people talking. If anything changes, we will do a follow up.”

From a purely legal point of view, they are–of course–correct. As they would need to be. One cannot keep your programme running if it upsets too many courts. However, the odd bit of legal controversy–actual or threatened–never hurts the ratings. That’s show business.

This past Sunday’s programme–from “The Situation Room”–supposedly investigating and revealing new information on the fate of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, is a great case study, in my view, of how to go about doing what the team at 60 minutes does so well.

Get folk who apparently have complete expertise in the field being discussed into an impressively titled studio set to give their opinions. If you choose the music and selectively edit well enough, you can create a wrapper of atmosphere and supposed investigation effective enough to permit a public lynching to take place in such a subtle way that a non-thinking viewer, devoid of all the salient facts involved (in what is a very complex matter), can comfortably accept that the 60 minutes team had got to the heart of the matter and presented an irrefutable hypothesis. Viewers can then go away into the world apparently ‘fully informed’ when they are nowhere near such a state.

Articles about the programme are trumpeting the fact that “aviation experts” have changed their views on what happened to MH370 and the “mystery” about what happened has now been resolved.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Great expense was involved in giving one guest the lion’s share of the programme running time to ostensibly present two options (in a Boeing 777 simulator) of the end of flight situation. Both, however, were based on the same core premise for why the airliner was where it was at that stage of its flight. This was not investigation – it was a bludgeoning of a reputation using a personal opinion presented as fact.

Two other guests involved in the show put forward a similar view. Combined, they were given the majority of the airtime.

Counterbalancing these three was only one person who was actually at the sharp end of the official investigation. The edits made have effectively sidelined his attempts at presenting his views or asking for the factual basis of some of the claims made. His approach was, in fact, the only one grounded in the science of flight safety and not wild, headline grabbing speculation.

The second person not pushing the pre-determined premise was an oceanographer who has, in the flow of things, made an entirely incorrect prediction of where the airliner lays. He was edited down to – roughly – a total of 90 seconds of speaking time during the entire exercise.



What of the lynching? Well, that was of the Captain of flight MH370. He was, of course, not present to defend himself. Nor were any of his colleagues questioned on their views of the pre-determined theory. No input was presented from the Malaysian authorities who had actually performed background checks on the pilot and his life-story.

Instead, the script used the few–extremely rare–incidents of malpractice by flight deck crews (and one of those is still highly disputed due to the possibility of misunderstanding of the culture of the pilot by foreign investigators) to try and corral the MH370 loss into the same pen.

A countervailing view can just as easily be that the very fact that they had to scrape the barrel to find – in the event – only one irrefutably proven case of pilot suicide/mass murder in the jet-liner era demonstrates just how rare that prospect is.

It hardly forms–from an aviation safety perspective – the basis of an explanation for this loss. It does not provide, in the remotest manner, a means of conclusively ruling out a sequence of events that provide an alternative explanation to the loss of the aircraft.

And looking at “coincidences” and “what the numbers tell us” is equally flawed as an investigative technique upon which to base conclusions that could affect all future journeys.

Assuming that the statistical safety of a design precludes a cause other than wilful action (or inaction) by the captain as postulated by “experts” prior to the full investigation’s findings, has already proven to be a flawed foundation for the explanation of another Boeing 777 crash.

I, therefore, do not believe that the “statistical safety” of the Boeing 777 airliner can form the foundation upon which to dismiss any possibility of a rare, as yet unknown, combination of mechanical and other factors, which could explain the loss and prevent a recurrence of it with another aircraft.

BA flight 038 is the case in point. A Boeing 777 airliner – statistically the safest aircraft ever built and without an accident prior to the event – generated a set of circumstances which had, and have never, taken place before or since in the history of jet airline transportation. This set of one in 100 million (or more?) factors caused, however, the airliner to drop out of the sky on short final approach.

In that case the wreckage was readily at hand.

No one was killed.

Yet, when the investigators could find no fault in the mechanical systems, “experts”–many within the technical division of the airline rightfully proud of their maintenance–postulated the only explanation for the crash, given the “statistics of the aircraft type” and the lack of other evidence of mechanical causes, was that the captain had “frozen at the controls”.

In that case, even without fatalities having taken place, the investigators eschewed the “experts” views and set about a two year long search for the cause.

In the end, it was found that a particular set of circumstances, unique to that flight, airframe and route used on the day, had caused some freezing, not of the captain’s responses, but of the fuel supply.

Had it not been for the instincts of the captain to survive and to save his passengers, there would have been fatalities. The Captain there proved that airline commanders are humans. They want, in my experience, to survive and do their best to ensure the safety of the passengers in their care.

I cannot but wonder how the same panel of experts on last week’s 60 minutes programme would have set about blaming that captain were they to have been asked to do the same type of programme in regard to flight BA038 prior to the official findings of the painstaking investigation having been released?

And so I place on record my disappointment with the programme and its premise. I am also less than impressed with the manner in which the only true expert on this particular tragedy, Mr Dolan of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, was so obviously hung out to dry and sidelined when he asked valid questions of those postulating their theory.

In effect the panel was 4-2 against with the presenter asking only those questions that steered the discussion further along the pre-determined lines.

Mr. Dolan tried to take the sober view I would expect of a professional investigator. The only facts on hand are that the airliner was, at various intervals, at “some point” along arcs of distance from a satellite. Some wreckage has washed up indicating the airliner is most likely–based on drift analysis of oceanic data gathering bouys–somewhere in the southern Indian ocean. Other than that, there is no undisputed data on the flight as even the radar plots used as a given, undisputed piece of evidence in the “situation room” are of a questionable veracity and are only, officially, “presumed to be” of the missing airliner.

Notwithstanding all the noise around the matter, and his current lack of official involvement, Mr Dolan would still like the wreckage found and he is not prepared, like every official investigator I have encountered in my 30 year involvement in reporting on flight safety, to make any findings in regard to the causes of the loss until it is located and examined.

And I concur with his approach–for it is only once it is found and the available data on the recorders is analysed, or the wreckage examined, that any proper investigation can be undertaken and probable causes established. He also made the point that there has already been learning from the loss–steps have been taken to ensure airliners will soon be tracked every inch of their journey and that a sole crew member cannot take control of an airliner.

While those steps–of themselves—do not support the predetermined, hurtful and highly speculative premise of the programme that “the pilot did it,” it actually highlights how the industry learns from everything and takes steps to mitigate against similar losses in future.

As things stand, and this was mysteriously left out of the programme, the various search areas that were originally determined by various experts, as well as the revised areas and the one determined by the oceanographer who appeared on the programme, have been exhausted without a trace of the aircraft. So, at present, only the places where drift analysis indicates the airliner crashed remain unsearched. Through a long, costly process of elimination, it is now–more than ever– known that the aircraft is not lying on the ocean floor below 28 degrees south on the last communication arc.

What is needed is that the search for the aircraft must be continued in the remaining, most logical areas–based on the physical evidence in the matter–until it is found. There cannot be a number placed on the safety of passengers on other flights.

As pertinent, in my view however, is that–as was said by a relative of one of the passengers in the 60 minutes programme– there cannot be a number put on the peace of mind of the relatives either. “They must look until they find it.” she said. And that, I feel, must be the focus of all efforts in regard to MH370.

I, for one, am not comfortable to fly long haul flights knowing that there is an, as yet, unexplained set of circumstances that led to the loss of an airliner full of people. And “the pilot did it deliberately” is not a comforting or reasoned answer. It is a lazy, ill-advised and insulting cop-out without–as yet–any concrete evidence to support it. Until the recorders are found, any programmes or news articles claiming to have “the real” answers will be nothing more than speculation. Speculation did not get air transport safety to where it is today. We should not let it start to play a role in the future of aviation safety now.

And, rather than spending money on speculative sessions in costly flight simulators, perhaps TV stations should rather band together and fund the final search needed to provide material for a real ratings hit and help to bring closure to the relatives?

199 thoughts on “Guest Post: “60 Minutes: How to create your own facts before the real ones are at hand””

  1. As a journalist who has been involved in this story literally from day one – I was one of the first to report MH370 missing – I support the sentiments in this thoughtful article wholeheartedly.
    I’d like to add another element that has been overlooked in, not only the 60 Minutes program but other reports that blame the captain: what was the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid doing as the captain was allegedly taking his plane away from its scheduled route?
    Did Captain Zaharie knock Fariq on the head, put a sedative in his tea, lock him out of the cockpit? Why didn’t Fariq put out a distress call in the event of Zaharie going rogue? Surely he didn’t just sit there as the Captain supposedly played out his evil plan to destroy the plane and kill everyone. Imagine two people in a car and the driver suddenly takes a wrong turning. Isn’t the passenger going to say: ‘Hey, where are you going? Hey, are you OK…?’ And react accordingly.
    There’s so much more. Don’t forget the oil worker’s sighting of an ‘explosion’ – forgotten long ago but possibly relevant.

  2. @Richard Shears:

    Yes, Fariq is a bit of an enigma. Apart from the info in the article below, I have been unable to find out anything significant about him or his family. I’ve spent many hours trying to no avail. It’s almost as if the guy didn’t exist?

    Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid.
    “Mr Fariq joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007 at the age of 20, but only recently started co-piloting the Boeing 777. The son of a senior civil servant in Selangor state, he studied aviation at a flight school on the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi. He had gained about 2,700 hours of flight experience when MH370 went missing but authorities have revealed that he was on his first flight aboard a Boeing 777 as a fully-approved pilot.

    Malaysia Airlines said Mr Hamid was on only his sixth flight in the cockpit of a 777 and flight MH370 was his first without a training pilot overseeing him. But aviation experts have dismissed the significance of this, saying his relative inexperience would not have been a risk – especially alongside as experienced a pilot as Mr Zaharie.

    Authorities believe the co-pilot spoke the last words to Malaysian ground controllers before the plane vanished. “All right, good night,” he is reported to have said 12 minutes after the aircraft’s first communication system was switched off, and two minutes before the second and final transponder was shut down.

    Friends have described Mr Hamid as religious and serious about his career. He was reportedly due to soon marry a fellow pilot from another airline. But doubt was cast on his character earlier this month after an Australian TV channel broadcast an interview with a young South African woman claiming Mr Fariq and a fellow pilot had invited her and a friend into the cockpit during a flight in 2011.

    Mr Hamid smoked and flirted, Jonti Roos said, calling the experience “a little bit sleazy”. Her allegations were backed up by photographs showing the women posing in the cockpit. Malaysia Airlines expressed shock at the report and said it would investigate Mr Hamid for breaching safety rules. However, an imam who knew the co-pilot well stressed the 27-year-old was a “good boy, a good Muslim, humble and quiet”. “I don’t think he is a playboy, but I don’t know about his personal life,” said Ahmad Sarafi Ali Asrah, the head of the mosque in Mr Hamid’s neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur.”

    Abstract from a BBC article 27th March 2014… “Who are the pilots of flight MH370?”

    Link to full article…

  3. I came across a little info that Fariq is a relation wto Anwar. So Najab govt could have tried to send a warning to Anwar by making MH370 disappear with both Fariq and ZS onboard

  4. @Susie Crowe:

    I once managed to find a picture of Fariq using his Blackberry phone and clearly showing a wedding ring. No mention of him being already married, amd tends to raise my suspicions about his published background.

    Picture here…

  5. @Boris Tabaksplatt, can we be sure that Fariq is, in fact, wearing a wedding band? Two questions:

    My understanding is that Muslims (and we’re led to believe that Fariq was a devout one) are not to wear gold rings. The ring he wears appears gold to me, in contrast to the silver/aluminum accents elsewhere in the photo. Curious what others know/see.

    Additionally, do you know the custom of which hand a wedding band is worn on in Malaysia? This image would show his right hand. In much of the West, the left hand is the tradition. Then again in some cultures the engagement ring is worn on one hand and then switched to the other at marriage. Can we be sure which is he case here?

  6. It’s interesting watching the dialogue between Martin Dolan and Larry Vance about the ‘un-piloted dive’ vs. ‘piloted ditching’.

    Larry Vance investigated the Swissair 111 disaster off Eastern Canada by examining the debris field on the ocean. In the case of MH370, right from the beginning as seen in this interview on Canadian tv from April 2014, he has leaned towards a ‘piloted ditching’ theory due to the lack of debris. He even acknowledges the possible culpability of passengers, or flight crew (in that order!) in the ‘piloted ditching’ scenario.

    Martin Dolan has some background in aviation security prior to his role at the ATSB. From his bio on the Univ. of New England website:

    From 2001–2005 he was Executive Director, Aviation and Airports at the Department of Transport and Regional Services, with responsibility for airport sales and regulation, aviation security, aviation safety policy and international aviation negotiations. He was given charge of aviation security for two years in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001.

    When Martin Dolan argues for an ‘unpiloted dive’, it’s hard to believe that his reasons for supporting this theory is based mainly on the Inmarsat data. The Aussies blew $180 million on the search effort based on this theory, and Ocean Infinity team is doing the same thing again on the basis of the ‘unpiloted dive’ theory.
    Considering his background in aviation security and his position as commissioner of ATSB, was Martin Dolan privy to additional information about what happened to MH370, information that supports the ‘unpiloted dive’ theory but which cannot be disclosed publicly due to its sensitive nature? Could it be related to Aviation Security (as opposed to Aviation Safety)?

  7. Can there ever be an unpiloted dive? It would require the flight automation to be off-line and I suppose that could be true for a minute as the APU gets powered up after the engines stop. Once the APU is stable and automation comes back on-line, I suspect a poorly executed water landing, courtesy of Otto Pilot, is what may have occurred.

  8. @Jeff Wise

    If you let me I like to explain here why I have been finally banned on Victor Ianello’s blog.
    It has not been because of a reaction from me on the ongoing relentless attacks by IG members Richard Godfrey and Don Thompson to try and silence me. In wich Victor Ianello did not intervene as a moderator but even supported this attitude.

    It’s because I finally called IG members out for their handling of the data and evidence.
    With refusing to admitt their failures and continuing to defend their assumptions against the fact that those have clearly failed to find the plane, I expressed that I seriously started doubt their integrity now.

    I accuse them of having been very helpfull in contributing to another failed search in willfully surpressing any other theory that could have led to finding the plane by all means. Intimidation included in my case.

    They are still defending the ATSB-script and should be called out and investigated on deliberatly surpressing evidence just like the ATSB is going to face in the Australian Senat.

    By not adressing their own failures at all especially after the 28S area came up empty also they have lost all credibility as ‘independent scientists’.

    They should be investigated in collaborating with the ATSB (and maybe even Malaysia) in surpressing important evidence and giving ill advice to OI with the intend to let this search fail also.

  9. @Bruce Robertson/@CliffG, The Dolan/Vance argument is a red herring, a distraction from the elephant in the room, which is that the plane was not found after an exhaustive (way beyond exhaustive!) search of the area where the Inmarsat signals indicated the plane went. If we’re arguing about which one is right, we’re missing the point.

    Though, FWIW, Vance is a charlatan, and his claims won’t stand up to any kind of serious scrutiny.

  10. @Scott O:

    Good point about the ring being gold which is another red flag. That buttons on his leather jacket and the orientation of his phone indicate he wears the band on his left hand ring finger. to me he looks more like a playboy than a devout Muslim.

  11. @Ge Rijn:
    “… I finally called IG members out for their handling of the data and evidence.
    With refusing to admitt their failures and continuing to defend their assumptions against the fact that those have clearly failed to find the plane, I expressed that I seriously started doubt their integrity now…”

    Call me sceptical, but from day one the investigation of the MH370 affair has felt like an Intel cover op. It was not very slick at the start, but quickly became the efficient oiled machine we see today. One of the techniques used to ensure the integrity of the cover story is to setup ‘controlled opposition’. The IG, and the later Project370, both feel like Intel ops designed to support the official story in general whilst differing in detail. They are also useful tools to feed supportive ‘leaked’ information to the MSM and other public opinion creators to keep things on track.

    Being banned from participation in such organisations is an honour and shows you are starting to stray too far from the ‘party-line’.

  12. What i found extremely amazing in this programme is that the panel of experts were still debating the end of flight scenario while a simple release of the flaperon report by the French authorities or a detailed debris examination could clearly and easily determine. They were also happy to stop the investigation at “someone onboard did it”. Larry Vance claims can easily be verified or counter-verified, this is not rocket science. Why letting such a theory run for so long while it can easily be veried (by those controlling the evidence)?

    None of the experts in that show had apparently access to the debris evidence and forensic report. Regardless of Vance’s experience, it takes more than photos to understand how the debris have failed.

    For me the red flag is that the forensic analysis is still the remit of the Malaysia authorities but they have announced some time back themselves they are not competent for such a task (who is doing it then? definitely not ATSB according to their final report). The French report has been burried miles undergound and it is clear that the lead investigator does not want that task to be done. At that point, this is lack of willingness under the cover of incompetence. I am hopeful the new governement will unlock the evidence.

  13. @Boris Tabaksplatt

    I’ve always tried to keep positive without falling into conspriracy-thinking but now the IG has managed to change my view on them.
    Even heavily disagreeing with Jeff Wise never caused me to doubt his integrity.
    I never considered the point of view you explain above but in this case you could well be right.

    They should be investigated.
    And then I would start with checking some bank-accounts over the past four years on suspicious donations.

    Thanks fot the support btw.

  14. @HB, @Boris, @Ge Rijn, My weather vane is pointing in the same direction as yours. It’s been very interesting to see the IG (and Blaine, who is essentially the Fifth Beatle at this point) leap into action to defend the ATSB. The “independent” in IG seems something of a historical curiosity at this point; several members have openly discussed flying across oceans to attend various occasions relating to the official investigation.

    One thing I have often wondered, but never done the effort to look into, is just who these people are and where they came from. I’ve always figured that ultimately it doesn’t matter, and the truth will come out in the end, but frankly for the last four years I’ve been operating in a significant headwind, and I’ve never really known if its entirely because my ideas are truly preposterous or because the opposition has been artificially stiffened.

    (An obvious piece of evidence for the former would be that those of you who are now sniffing conspiracy in the IG also don’t think my ideas hold water, so…)

  15. @Jeff Wise

    With your last sentence you probably understand I feel spoken to.
    And yes I still don’t support your scenario. There are still too much questions, contradictions and lack of evidence to give it a workable basis IMO.

    That said your ideas on conspiracy and collaboration by certain persons are gaining strength.
    It could be well worth looking into the real credentials of those IG members and their connections.
    And indeed, it must be said that no debris was found anymore after Blaine Gibson found the final piece and stopped searching.

  16. Like to share my final comment on VictorI’s blog here:


    It’s sickening. Now you all try to weezle your way out in explanations it might have happened the way I and others proclamed for many years. Getting chicken by my revalations? Glad to, you should be.
    But it’s easy to do isn’t it now you know the search has failed.
    You’ve reached your goal and get payed a lot for your efforts I guess.
    You’re a fluke together with your disgusting flying monkeys.
    Hope they someday check the bank-accounts of you all.”

    I’m angry, disappointed. I’ve tried to put trust in those IG-guys till the end.
    But they’ve really lost all their credibility now.

  17. @Jeff Wise:
    “…(An obvious piece of evidence for the former would be that those of you who are now sniffing conspiracy in the IG also don’t think my ideas hold water, so…).”

    Like Ge Rijn, I too am yet to be convince that the Russians done it. The reasons for this are threefold…

    1. If it could possibly be pinned on the Russians, I think Western Intel would have at least started some rumours about this possibility, but so far this idea has gained little traction – lack of evidence perhaps?

    2. The MH17 event hurt the very rich supporters of Vlad financially and I don’t think he would take the risk of a plane high-jacking going wrong, as it would probably lead to the end his political career.

    3. To my mind both events were designed to hurt the Malaysian Government by direct attacks on its state airline. Perhaps they hoped to damage relationships between Malaysia and China to prevent joint development of resource in the China Sea. Geopolitics are always difficult to read as they tend to be complicated and run over very long time periods (e.g. Cuba, S Korea).

    However should further evidence come to light I’m completely willing to change my views.

  18. @ABN397:
    “Najib’s troubles continue.”

    Thanks for the link. It is clear that Najib has been scapegoated so that those running the country can continue fleecing the Malaysian people behind the scenes. Greed is one of the deadliest sins.

  19. Time out. Most of us are “volunteer” concerned citizens of varied backgrounds, simply trying to help find or communicate MH370 issues to the less informed public or interested in shaping the search and/or debate. MH370 is a very technical problem so we have scientists, engineers, aviation experts/pilots, news media, news buffs, NOK/friends, the whole works. A lot of personal sweat equity has been donated to the cause.

    If we are working alone, we have a certain freedom to say anything we want….free agents as it were. If we are working as part of a team – IG, the “Simon Hardy” group, ATSB, etc. then there are some team dynamics as the team probably has ground rules, either informally or formally. Not too mention we all have very strong personal opinions about MH370, which are obviously in great conflict.

    The thing is, in the coming weeks we will either have an aircraft or lack of finding an aircraft. The latter case we hopefully get Malaysia’s final report. So we are on the verge of re-assessing everything we know.

    That will probably include some admitting to wrong assumptions. The less divisive we are, the more open and honest people can be about admitting a mistake in hindsight. Better chance we have to find the aircraft.

  20. @TBill

    The history of scientific endeavor seems to favor the independent thinker rather the group consensus. Even Einstein had 100 scientists lined up against him.

  21. I dont find the IG behaviour suspicious, their policy is just to stick to the data regardless of the source. This is a natural approach for technical people, you just argue 5th decimal place without questioning the big picture. It seems it is their policy not to question the data source integrity, and fair enough as discussion can be endless. Their inductive reasoning approach makes them obviously an instrument to who controls the evidence and the narrative. I suspect something wrong with the source including the concealed evidence, the one in million chance discoveries (always before a report is due and so on), the timing of the leaked information, not to mention inconsistencies and contradictions. But no smoking gun so far apart that the scenario is profiling to a highjack (by crew or others) without motive and the concealed evidence. Events “without motives” and concealed evidence had an abnormal high frequency under Najib reign.

  22. @Ge Rijn, is it a REMARKABLE coincidence that the recovery of debris ended with Blaine Gibson’s ceasing to look for it. A great insight.

    @Boris Tabaksplatt, I have to admit, the photo of Fariq confuses me, as I presumed it was a selfie shot in the mirror, which would have meant, according to this picture that his phone would be in his right hand. But then, yes, there is the issue of men’s clothing having its buttons sewn to the right hand side–a holdover, it’s said, from when one would need to quickly (with one’s mandated right hand) draw a weapon. I couldn’t reconcile it.

  23. @HB, while I understand the impulse to blame the Najib regime in all of this, the sort of misinformation and leaked information and diversionary stories come from other govenments, too, in particular, as we’ve come to see recently, the Kremlin.

    In fact, I’d go so far as to say that in the United States the Kremlin, while influencing the U.S. election, even took advantage of the public and press, who had their own (IG like) comfort and disinclination to question or look at the big picture.

    Is it so crazy to assume they could not be capable of the same manipulation here?

    Blaine Gibson’s history in Russia even lends itself to comparisons with some of the characters we see surfacing in the U.S. special prosecutor’s investigation–Americans with connections to Russian functioning somehow–witting or unwitting–as its agents.

    Just something to think about.

  24. @TBill: “working as part of a team”

    This is a good question for Jeff as he has worked both sides — part of IG and independently.

    So, Jeff, your thoughts?

  25. @ALL

    Isn’t it remarkable that a TV station in Australia has just aired a documentary, (and made it available on Youtube immediately) on the possible murder suicide of more than 200 people by a Malaysian pilot, on a Malaysian airline, owned by the Malaysian government, and yet no fuss has been raised by Malaysia or by the pilot’s relatives as far as can be determined by a Google search?

    It’s hard to miss the obvious conclusion that Malaysia was fully acquiescing to this public humiliation of it’s own pilot.

    But why?

    Could one possible explanation be the lawsuit filed by the NOK of passengers that is before US courts, and which Malaysia is fighting on the grounds that the US court doesn’t have jurisdiction?

    During arguments in lower courts, the lawyers for Malaysian airlines admitted that the disappearance of MH370 was the responsibility of a third-party tortfeasor.

    Could the 60 Minutes program go some way towards changing that story, and help dismiss the lawsuit that’s before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson?

  26. @HB:
    “…Their inductive reasoning approach makes them obviously an instrument to who controls the evidence and the narrative. I suspect something wrong with the source including the concealed evidence, the one in million chance discoveries (always before a report is due and so on), the timing of the leaked information, not to mention inconsistencies and contradictions…”

    Yes, this is exactly how propaganda works, and how the deep state controls the narrative and sways the Zeitgeist. This is evidenced by many past and present examples of how opinions are manipulated, just wiki for Cointelpro, Project Gladio and Cambridge Analytica for a few examoles.

    Regarding the IG, to me it looks like a duck, it swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, so it is probably a duck. Same goes for many other ‘semi-official’ groups, not just those related to MH370.

  27. @HB

    Just one simple indisputable fact that proves the assumptions of the ATSB and IG are basically wrong is the fact the plane is not found within the search width of the areas they proclamed and adviced to OI.

    And still they (IG) defend the ATSB and their own failed/wrong assumptions.
    And considering their attitude towards other more likely theories now, I can only conclude this smells very fishy.
    This ‘Independent Group’ should be investigated.

    BTW; who paid IG-members plane-tickets and stays to their Malaysia and Australia meetings with officials? Were they invited (Ianello, Thompson and Exner)? Did they except payment of costs in any way?
    Would be something to start investigating their ‘independence’.
    I really like to know.

  28. to add:
    It could be a good start if the Australian Senate questions the ATSB coming week if any payments in money or natura have been done by the ATSB to members of the IG.

  29. Just renewing my request for any info any reader might have on the precise location of the USS Pinckney at around 18:00 to 19:00 UTC on March 7, 2014.

    It surprises me that this info can’t be unearthed, now more than 50 months after the fact. We should be able to sort this out definitively.

  30. I took some action with a requst to the Australian Senate:

    “I have the request for senators questioning the investigation on the disappearance of MH370 by the ATSB the coming week.
    My special request is senators will question the ATSB about any involvement and/or payments made in money or natura to members of the IG (known as the Independent Group).
    Specifically the IG members named: Victor Ianello, Don Thompson and Mike Exner.
    They visited official meetings in Malaysia and Australia with members of the Malaysian officials regarding MH370 and officials regarding the ATSB in Perth.
    They had- and have a major influence on the search effort. Their role in possibly deliberatly misguiding the past search efforts by the ATSB and OI and their continuing efforts to defend their- and the ATSB assumptions against all odds, urges serious questioning by your representive senators.
    In thinking about the NoK and all who seriously seek to find a solution to this tragedy I urge you to take note of this message.

    Ge Rijn

  31. BTW: This has been an official request to the Australian Senate via their website.
    Not just a message I put here.
    Every stone needs to be turned including the possible involvement of IG-members in deliberatly misleading the Ocean Infinity search effort and maybe also the ATSB in their previous efforts.

  32. Re: 60 Minutes
    I would simply observe that there is a huge conflict re: MH370, and that is, whereas many people feel the accident was deliberate possibly with active pilot decisions, the official search and analytical support has been 99.0% on passive flights.

    There are a number of reasons for that passive-flight focus to date. Fits the data quite well, flights can be modeled and predicted assuming start point and certain autopilot aircraft modes. Other reasons perhaps including moral reasons, to not assume guilt or pre-suppose heinous acts etc.
    Also the passive flight focus did however search Broken Ridge, 38S, and soon NZPG areas favored by deliberate flight proponents, so there was significant overlap in some key end-point theories.

    If the future search does focus more on active pilot scenarios, that does not necessarily make everyone happy. Some feel that means a wider search zone of old favorite theories is needed, but some feel that means 26-S up to 10-S is brought in as valid search territory.

    I make no pre-judgement except to say I wish a team of independent experts (FBI-type methods?) could try to handicap and prioritize the various intentional/active possibilities. Or I mostly wish some new data would help, which could be old data that is non-disclosed.

  33. The misapprehension of the IG’s intentions is unwarranted and imo, an undignified dialouge.
    The IG accepting monetary bribes “in the back pocket” of the ATSB is a ludicrous accusation.

    Narrow-minded attitudes have prevented progression of worthy considerations possibly validated by further research.

    The decision for the plane to avoid indonesia has revived interest at Camp Iannello.

    @Edward_767 offers further critique of cockpit voices.

    “It would be interesting for voice stress analysts to compare Zaharie’s history of “Malaysian aaa 370” from takeoff to the
    “Goodnight” call. The spectral frequency indicates there’s something going on with his last call (could be audio quality).”

    He also has an interesting blog post of accessing and disabling equipment.

    There are so many unexplored options on the table more worthy of our time than discrediting opinion and action of others.

  34. @Ge Rijn,

    Seriously? Your reaction towards being banned on VI’s blog is unbelievably silly.

  35. @All

    Recent article in the Australian behind a paywall;

    ATSB to face Senate Estimates hearing about the failed MH370 SIO search tomorrow (Australian – Canberra – time).

    Mainly about persisting with the hypoxic death dive scenario when Larry Vance and numerous others states a conscious pilot was at the controls until the very end (which might be true in a cryptic sense).

    ATSB refused one FOI request because the release could “cause damage to the international relations of the commonwealth”

    Difficult to believe if it was just Captain ­Zaharie Ahmad Shah at the controls.

  36. @Haxi

    We’ll see. Someone has too ring a loud bell now.
    The approach and attitude by IG-members towards people with different theories and opinions has been and still is obvious.
    As is their defending of the ATSB-script against all odds using distraction-tactics (useless topics and discussions about it) and even plain intimidation of contributors.

    The Australian Senate should question the ATSB which role IG-members played in the official search/investigation and if the ATSB or related individuals ever made any payments in money or natura to IG-members, related to the search and investigation.
    Particularry about visits to official (and unofficial) meetings in Malaysia and Australia.

  37. @Ge Rijn,

    I don’t know about your theory, and I don’t see how accusing the IG of taking bribes would contribute to finding the plane.

  38. I can guess how the 5 whys root cause analysis approach would turn up for ATSB in the Senate hearing. Please correct me if I got it wrong.

    1) Why has MH370 not been found?
    The search efficiency was good we are sure about that. It is because the search took place at the wrong location multiple times

    2) Why the search took place at the wrong locations multiple times?
    Calculations were correct we are sure about that, the assumptions may not (multiple times)

    3) Why are the assumptions behind the search not correct (multiple times)?
    Because we stuck to one theoretical scenario that data suggest as best fit without corelating it to real world scenarios. Our scenario basis turned up wrong and we did not analyse the alternative scenarios properly.

    4) Why the basis turned up wrong and alternative scenarios not analysed properly?
    4a. Because we really only worked on the Inmarsat data, the only data available for us to work with. The real evidence such as debris, SDU relogon event, radar data, witness accounts, lack of mobile phone connections from passengers, lack of radar capture where it should have been, etc. were not analysed properly themselves [by others] or data concealed or not our remit. As such that scenario turned up not to be correct. The entire search was based on “data appear consistent with EOF in SIO” general guideline given.
    4b. Because we have been told so by the lead Investigator

    5) Root cause
    5a. Why the real evidence not analysed properly after 4 years of searching in wrong location multiple times?
    [Guess why- root cause implicit]

    5b. Why we have been told so
    [Guess why- root cause implicit]

  39. @Haxi

    I acusse(d) members of the IG under the supervision (support) of the blog-moderator and also IG-member Victor Ianello of willfully and deliberately surpresing other theories and opinions then their own (..ATSB) by all means (intimidation, continions threat of banning, name calling, ridiculing, bullying, banning).

    This continuing attitude and approuch of members of the IG can not only be explained by a ‘different point of view’ anymore IMO.

    I did not and do not accuse them of taking bribes. I only stated that this is a likely possibility that should be investigated besides their top-level involvement with ATSB and Malaysian officials.

    Their ongoing denial of facts, supporting the ATSB-script and manipulating information and other opinions with all means are possibly rooted in malicious, illegal intent.

    This has to be investigated. The NoK and general public deserve this.
    Thereby I also advise the organized NoK to take notice of this and if necessary take legal steps.

  40. @HB

    As you probably know fairly short after the flaperon was found july 2015 it became already increasingly clear by the first drift-studies the major part of the ATSB search-area was too far south.
    Then when the Roy-piece was found early 2016 (second time) this became already inevitable soon with other studies.

    When other pieces started to show up in fast order during april, may and june 2016 it was completely clear by july 2016 the impact area had to be north of 36S.
    Based on @MPat’s drift-study from march 2016 I already (as the first) deduced in july 2016 the impact area had to be north of 36S supported by my earlier observations about the total lack of debris found on Australian shores.
    Soon several other studies supported this model. It was all clear far before the ATSB/Fugro search ended. But the ATSB always refused to adjust their strategy accordingly.

    Till the end of 2016 and almost at the end of the previous search Griffin/CSIRO had his ‘light bulb moment’ when he ‘suddenly’ realized the lack of debris found on Australian shores end else in the eastern region could only mean the impact area had to be north of 36S.

    What a fluke. This was all concluded and expressed on Jeff’s blog almost a half year before by me and others.
    IMO this was a cheap trick in deflecting responsibility for a failed search by later proclaming a new search area at the last moment. Knowing full well a new search was not likely to happen.
    Probably unexpected OI took the challenge a year later. And still the ATSB (and IG) has been advising all involved defending their already dramatically failed assumptions.
    With dramatic result again as we know by now.
    I suspect they (ATSB) just tried and try to save their skin (status/apployment).

    The IG has followed the same assumptions and same tactics al along and still does.
    But I suspect their intentions could have- and had a different cause/source. Maybe manipulating the ATSB also in order of another party (Malaysia?).

    Investigation is necessary.
    I hope the Australian Senate will get some honest answers tomorrow.

  41. @Ge Rijn,

    As someone who actually has contact with the NOK, I do have some advice: Stop making false assumptions in the name of the NOK, because you have no idea how much gratitude they have for the work of the IG members you named.

  42. @all, I found this news item today from very interesting, and it makes one wonder when and how the technology may have been perfected:

    “To guard against drone attacks during this summer’s FIFA World Cup, the Russian military will deploy mobile electronic warfare stations in all 11 cities where games will take place between June 14 and July 15.”

    Between this story and one linked below (in Russian) as well as various Sputnik reports, the technology discussed can disrupt mobile and aircraft VHF radio communications, GPS and radar…as well as tsuppress communication, take control and navigate drone aircraft and, finally, disrupt ground based radar at a distance of nearly 200 miles.

    Now, it’s clear, and even referenced, that some of this technology has been used in Syria and the Ukraine, but surely it existed before it was used in a hot contest.

  43. @All

    From the Senate Estimates in Canberra today (not much). Reporting by SBS;

    “Australian investigators have defended their search for Malaysian Airlines flight 370, saying it was unlikely the pilot performed a controlled ditching of the missing flight.

    Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s Greg Hood and Peter Foley told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday they deeply regretted not being able to find the plane and the 239 people on board.

    Mr Foley said recent reports the ATSB had ignored a theory in which the pilot flew the plane to the end were wrong, but insisted someone being in control of the aircraft in its last moments was unlikely.”

    Also article in Guardian about death threats to the original investigators into 1MDB;

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