Seven Takeaways from the Final Malaysian MH370 Report

The report released Monday by the Malaysian government about its search for MH370 runs over a thousand pages, so it’s going to be a while before anyone has a chance to go through every detail, but after a cursory skimming a couple of points stand out.

1) Primary Radar. Right up near the top, on page 3, we read that the plane vanished from primary radar after hanging a right at Penang “only to reappear at 1815:25 UTC [0215:25 MYT] until 1822:12 UTC [0222:12 MYT].” This statement is markedly at odds with the ATSB’s assertion that the plane only appeared after 18:02 as a solitary, instantaneous blip at 18:22. It’s difficult to understand how the authorities could be in disagreement over such a seemingly simple matter-of-fact issue. And it’s an important one, because the DSTG decided not to use the post-18:02 radar information in their Bayesian analysis on the grounds that it was an isolated and hence not-fully-reliabled data point. To ignore a seven-minute long track would amount to cherry picking. I strongly suspect that if this data point were included in the BTO data set, it would strongly increase the probabilistic density of routes to the northwest, that is, to Kazakhstan. Is this why all the primary radar visualizations we’ve seen thus far end before the 18:15 section of the track?

2) Among the report’s conclusions is that “The possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded.” Yet the report offers no indication of who that third party might be, how they might have taken the plane, or why they might have done so. Another paragraph in the section emphasizes the lack of evidence linking either of the pilots to the disappearance. It’s easy to see that the Malaysian Government, which happens to own Malaysian Airlines, would have a vested interest in drawing blame away from the pilots. But it’s nonetheless significant that the official final report in this case undermines what has become the consensus view, namely that Zaharie took the plane. I hardly need point out that the only technically informed theory about MH370 than posits a third-party hijacking is my own.

3) At last we get to see the French oxygen isotope barnacle report, which Patrick De Deckker mentioned but which had never before been officially referenced. This document is in accord with De Deckker about the age of the barnacles (no more than a couple of months) and about the fact that the oldest barnacle started and finished growing in warm water, but it failed to find evidence of a cold-water dip in the middle. On the whole, this new oxygen isotope seems more extensive and better supported by calibration, so that’s where I’d put my money, not that it really tells us much. By the way, one of the enduring mysteries of this saga is why the initial report on the biology of the flaperon’s biofouling reported much larger barnacles, with the implication of an age closer to what you’d expect if the piece had floated since March of 2014. As with the primary radar, this matter is too simple to justify such a profound disagreement.

4) We also see, at last, a much more detailed report by the French about their investigation into the flaperon’s buoyancy. As Steve Barratt points out in the comments of my last post, “The clean separation of the rear honeycomb structure was mainly in traction but some compression (scanning electron microscope). Unusually the leading edge had four vertical impacts or dents that suggested interaction an adjacent part. However Boeing confirmed that there was no adjacent part that would cause these four impacts with the spacing observed.” Thus the mystery of how the retrieved parts came off the airplane deepens. Also: “The tests performed showed that in that, the buoyancy was quite high. The position with the upper surface immersed seemed more stable, which is consistent with a significant presence of crustaceans on the upper surface. However, the waterline noted did not correspond to that suggested by the zones where the crustaceans were located, that’s to say on the water, while the trailing edge was significantly out of the water.” I’ve been thumping this tub for years now, and it continues to baffle me that the Australians have resolutely ignored this issue.

5) We now have a much more detailed understanding of how ATC responded to the plane’s disappearance. (Not well, but then nobody really comes off well in this incident; it doesn’t seem fair to me than an official had to resign over it.) What we still don’t know is why MAS OPS insisted that the plane was over Cambodia, and that there was therefore no reason to go into crisis mode. This seems to me a far more impactful error.

6) One page 276 we read for the first time about a very interesting set of simulator flights recreating the turn at IGARI. The upshot is that in order to match primary radar data tracks the plane must have been banked over by hand into a steep turn. This, together with the high speed at which the plane flew up the Malacca Strait, gives the impression that the hijacker/s were feeling a sense of urgency about getting somewhere.

7) Finally, on page 130 we read about the strange frequencies generated by the Inmarsat logons at 18:25 and 0:19. I’ve long argued that since it led to the generation of the rest of the Inmarsat data, the first of these logons is far and away the most critical piece of evidence in the whole affair, and that it has been under-scrutinized by authorities. The fact that one of its component frequencies cannot be explained should raise concerns about the interpretation of all subsquent data.

61 thoughts on “Seven Takeaways from the Final Malaysian MH370 Report”

  1. 1. What does the biofouling prove / disprove?

    2. What effect does the military radar issue have on a northern path theory?

    3. If the plane went north, how does one explain the debris? Presumably it was dumped to corroborate the story; any prod or support for that?

  2. Is there any mention of all of the systems with tracking services/signals that had to be disabled and that some of them you need access below the flight deck to shut off?

  3. Totally fascinating. I look forward to further analysis. Do you mind if I ask a question, Mr. Wise? I am someone that began reading your stuff on MH370 with what I guess was the standard view (Zaharie took it; it’s somewhere way down in the southern Indian Ocean). I’ve gradually come around on it. I find your views raise, at the very least, serious flaws in the standard view. I’ve read pretty much everything you’ve posted on the subject, although I’m not trained in engineering or physics, so a lot of the more technical stuff goes over my head. Anyway, if your theory is correct, and hijackers took it, presumably north to Kazakhstan, how is it that they managed to make the turn so soon (a couple minutes) after Zaharie signed off from Malaysian airspace? And how would they have known when to act so as to wrest the plane from the pilots in the exact critical minutes between Malaysian airspace and Vietnamese airspace? Like how would they have known when that moment arrived?
    I really appreciate all your time and work on this topic.

  4. @TBill (from previous post) @ Michael

    “…I only observe the cockpit is there for the taking by whomever wants to take it.”

    Or the E/E Bay.

    This sort of answers your question @Michael. Its been discussed extensively here and elsewhere. Hijackers in the E/E bay at an early stage (even before PAX loading???) could control the aircraft as described. They could depressurize the aircraft and stop the cockpit oxygen supply as well.

    There has been a fair amount of controversy in the MSM about the ‘final report’ suggesting a third party taking control of 9M-MRO. Some experts such as Vance aren’t very happy as prevailing wisdom is that its Zaharie who is responsible. However the notion that only one person who can make a wide body jet disappear is difficult to believe. Also the ongoing mystery is difficult to sustain if you are dead. Something else is going on.

    Anyway the ATSB has signed off on the notion of a ‘third party’ by agreeing to this report.

  5. @Jeff wise Apparently at the press conference the malaysian government could not rule third party interference..hmmm very interesting..

  6. @Chris, Are you referring to the reboot of the Satellite Data Unit, which allowed the Inmarsat signals to be generated? This is mentioned in the report but nothing new was revealed, to the best of my knowledge.

  7. @Truman, Welcome to the blog! To answer your questions:
    1. The biofouling, particularly of the flaperon, is difficult to reconcile with a natural process of drifting from the presumed crash site. This raises questions as to whether it might have been planted.
    2. The search of the southern Indian Ocean was defined by a tricky kind of mathematics called Bayesian analysis, which is a way of quantifying the range of probable outcomes of an event. The output is highly dependent on the input, called the “prior probability distribution”–basically, what’s the last thing you know about the system in question. MH370’s primary radar blip at 18:22 was the last hard evidence of its location and speed, so should have been used as the prior, but instead the mathematicians decided to use the radar return at 18:02 instead. To cut to the chase, I suspect that a prior at 18:22 would show that the plane most likely ended up flying to the north, rather than the south. I actually spoke to the mathematician in charge of this project and he told me that this calculation had been performed, and said that he would send me the results, but never did. If you’d like to know more about this topic I recommend this old post:
    3. Yes, if the plane went north, then the debris must have been planted. I talk more about this topic here:

  8. @SteveBarratt
    “Anyway the ATSB has signed off on the notion of a ‘third party’ by agreeing to this report.”

    That is a potentially important point. I would first ask a “process” question:

    Reportedly this report was circulated for review by the parties (ATSB etc.) some 6 months ago or so. The question would be, has the report been changed since then? If so, do the other review parties agree with it now? If not agreed, we could hear from the other parties in due course of time.

    I believe the written report accepts pilot hijacking as a strong possibility. I do not see how we can totally rule out 3rd party hijacking, but it is similar to mechanical issues and fire, which were ruled out: no evidence for that. There are a few claims of Chinese origin (CMB and the organ donor controversy).

  9. @SteveBarratt So the hijackers were in the E/E bay the entire time? And they made the turn from there? Again, how would they know that they were in the gap in between Vietnamese and Malaysian airspace?

  10. Just to clarify what I was saying above, Mr. Wise, I think your theory is probably correct, I am just trying to understand it further. How would the hijackers have known when to take the plane (in between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace) and how would they have gotten control so quickly from the pilot(s)?

  11. @Jeff Wise I’m referring to the NUMEROUS systems that ping a signal to someone/somewhere during normal flight operation. I have family at Boeing and they honestly are all pretty quiet but definitely laugh off the idea of one man or even a team of civilians being able to make a 777 disappear from most radar and tracking systems. I figured you would know at least as much if not more about all of this…

  12. @SteveBarratt
    …another thing, you say “Some experts such as Vance aren’t very happy as prevailing wisdom is that its Zaharie who is responsible”

    I thought Vance was indeed thinking pilot did it…please explain where Vance deviates from that. Certainly in the 60-Minutes show he did not voice a descenting opionion on that consensus view on that show, which by the way Vance has gained some credibility in the French flaperon report.

  13. @TBill The problem with the pilot theory is one person couldn’t do this on their own. You have two countries air traffic controllers doing things they shouldn’t have done, you have essentially a ghost plane with close to or over 3 dozen systems that normally are sending out live data and signals shut down within a few minutes, you had the two possible “arc” locations and everyone ignored the northern one for whatever reason, you have pieces showing up not even from the plane and the ones that are don’t have the proper indications that they were submerged or floating in the sea since that March when the plane disappeared; I mean, really, I don’t know what happened in the end but some group of people took this plane and there are only a few groups that could pull this off and they all work for governments.

  14. @TBill
    Until @SteveBarratt weighs in,
    I assume he was stating, based on the final report, the guilty pilot “prevailing opinion” has competition.

    “There has been a fair amount of controversy in the MSM about the ‘final report’ suggesting a third party taking control of 9M-MRO.”

  15. Surely repeating the Bayesian analysis using the 18:15 to 18:22 radar data is a no brainer?

    Makes me suspect highly that it has been done and the results burried.

    Is it possible for someone to get this done?

    Furthermore this longer switch on of the radar raises interesting questions around WHY the plane-flyers (pilot or otherwise) would turn it back on. What could the reason for this be?

  16. @Michael,

    While I won’t speak for Jeff or Steve Barratt, I can imagine hijackers secreted in the EE bay with weapons and breathing apparatus listening in on radio traffic. As soon as the last check in they could have acted, cutting comms, tripping the lockout switch to the cockpit door and initiating depressurization.

    Likewise, they could have acted directly from their seats. Here in the United States there is great debate over releasing plans for 3D printed guns undetectable by traditional methods–surely this isn’t new technology to any state security apparatus. From their seats, near the front of the aircraft a few such weapons would hold off passengers while a small charge opens the cockpit door and the results are the same.

  17. @Chris
    MH370 did not disappear from the Malaysia primary radar systems, so there was no “cloaking”-type mystery there. Just about everyone agrees the MH370 pilots had the capability to turn off radar transponder and satellite unit, so that does seem like one well-trained pilot could do that. I agree that some partners in crime could be possible.

    Boeing is obviously keeping a tight lid on this, so no way can empoyees tell you much official info. Probably only a select few know the scoop.

  18. @TBill @Susie Crowe

    I include an article from yesterday’s (2nd August) Australian by Ean Higgins;

    ‘Fresh eyes needed’ on mystery of MH370

    One of the world’s most respected air crash investigators has called for the international aviation watchdog to commission a fresh and independent investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, saying the Malaysian government’s inquiry failed to properly assess the evidence.

    Canadian Larry Vance, who led some of the biggest international air accident investigations over three decades, also said a “comprehensive criminal investigation” was required into the loss of the aircraft, in which 239 people perished in an event a Malaysian government report this week acknowledged involved human intervention.

    “An organisation such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation should do a thorough inquiry into the circumstances of this occurrence and the investigation that followed,” Mr Vance told The Australian.

    “If there is no such inquiry, then aviation safety has taken a step backwards.”

    The Malaysian investigation found the aircraft, bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, was deliberately flown off course just as it disappeared from secondary radar with its transponder turned off on March 8, 2014.

    Primary radar and automatic satellite “handshakes” determined it flew back over the Thai-Malaysian border and up the Strait of Malacca, before another turn on a long track south to end in the southern Indian Ocean.

    The Malaysian report said investigators could not conclude why the aircraft disappeared, but effectively excluded mechanical failure and accidents such as suggestions a cargo of tropical fruit and lithium batteries combined to cause a fire. Mr Vance described these aspects as “positive” , saying the report “helps put to rest many of the speculative and far-out-there theories that have circulated about what might have happened” .

    “The report also makes it clear that this was the result of human intervention, and not some sort of mechanical event or an intervention from outside the aeroplane.”

    Mr Vance disagreed with the statement of chief Malaysian investigator Kok Soo Chon when he in effect excluded the two pilots, particularly the captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, from the widely held suspicion that one of them hijacked the plane.

    Instead, Mr Kok said, it was possible an unknown “third party” had intervened.

    Mr Vance and other aviation experts have rejected the “third party” possibility as fanciful, and claim Mr Kok emphasised it to cast doubt on the dominant view that a pilot from the Malaysian government-owned airline had taken 238 other people to their deaths.

    Mr Vance said the Malaysian report failed to properly assess the implications of parts of the aircraft found washed up and recovered on the other side of the Indian Ocean, which he said conclusively proved a pilot flew MH370 to the end and ditched it.

    Copyright © 2018 The Australian

    Normally the Australian won’t let me copy and paste but I guess its yesterdays paper.

    Also a link to an article saying its ridiculous that a wide bodied aircraft can be made to ‘vanish’.

  19. @SteveBarratt
    It is good that Vance spoke out, but I am not sure yet where we go from here. We can still try to locate the wreckage and then we would have some more evidence. That assumes the wreck is findable (near unsearched Arc7 areas).

  20. I think that aside from your theory Jeff mine about a ditch of Northern Sumatra is still also valid. With the safety report I believe my case is even stronger than before.

    VIs opinion seems to be that the biggest of the barnacles were judgwd to be around 476 days old. The conclusion that the barnacles started & ended life in warm waters add to the suggestion that they could very well have come from the NIO which is of course a more ambient temperature.

    I also point at the fact that the French analysis seems to point towards their analysis of the Flaperon concludes that separation by ditching is highly feasible although nothing can be guaranteed. I wonder if the aircraft could have flipped thus explaining those strange indentations where in a normal orientation they wouldn’t naturally occur? Also the prospect that Mh370 could have flipped on ditching could possible have forced the Flaperon back into it’s retracted state before tearing free.

    The talk about a 3rd party being responsible isn’t as complex as it sounds. All they said is all the pax & crew have had background checks & have passed the benchmark. What isn’t clear is whether there could have been any pax on board travelling inder false aliases. There has been talk here about foreign involvement. Russian assasins ETC ETC. On the surface this may sound far fetched but isn’t it possible that someone could have had a professionally doctored id? There are countless people out there who have had their identities changed by their governments for varying reaspns. Witness protection etc etc.

    I don’t as you know Jeff trust the data either. Too many presumptions. I still believe Mh370 was hijacked with a target in mind. It flew as they proposed it did but I believe that it turned back North again before circling & eventually the coast of Northern Sumatra.

  21. @Michael John
    Anyone can turn off the transponder button, but the cutting off of ACARS and SDU and left electrical bus, and the apparently fancy escape over Malaysia is just pretty darn hard to imagine a 3rd party instantly stepping in and executing that plan so well. It seems like it took expert familiarity specifically with a B777 as customized by MAS for their use.

  22. @TBill So confused by that opening sentence of yours in your latest reply to me and the whole thing. What do you mean it did not disappear from the Malaysian screens? If it never disappeared, they know where it’s at and it’s not missing and we wouldn’t be talking about it now heh. Secondly, I never mentioned any cloaking devices or whatever you inferred. Just like the engines, there are other “parts” and systems streaming data as well as actual tracking on the plane itself. They cannot all be shut off by 1 or 2 pilots and they are not even all located in the same place or within the cabin or flight deck. Trust me and google up some more and get some more sources. There are some very key details here you’re neglecting that could start pointing in a more solid direction as to what happened and by whom.

  23. @Chris- no there are no unknown streaming devices. Unfortunately the experts agree that it does indeed appear that what we saw on MH370 could have been accomplished by one rogue pilot in the cockpit. That fact is not in question. Also radar coverage is local so at some point the aircraft is out of range.

  24. @Scott O.

    “I can imagine hijackers secreted in the EE bay …………..”

    It may be the time for more discussion in this direction.

    Scenarios to access the cockpit have been rarely discussed for obvious reasons.

    Opinion of Captain Zaharie being guilty of the plane’s demise relies heavily on the premise of a pilot secured cockpit.

    If the pilot(s) chose to prevent entry nothing would override it, therefore the nefarious pilot(s) must have originated in the cockpit and locked everyone out.

    There seems a dichotomy between
    fortifying a cockpit to keep people out and breaching a cockpit to let people in. One appears to have options the other does not have.

  25. An Interesting post from VI’s this morning.

    Victor Iannello says:
    August 4, 2018 at 8:37AM

    @David asked: “Where is there mention of the vortex generator, reportedly made available for collection by Madagascar some time ago? Where is the damage report on that?”

    “Last we heard from Malaysian officials, the vortex generator is being held in Madagascar as evidence in the investigation into the death of the Malaysian honorary diplomat Zahid Raza. That indicates that the authorities in Madagascar don’t dismiss the possibility that his death was somehow related to MH370 debris.”

  26. @Susie
    I believe there is a forward cargo bay door in the MEC Bay. So you could postulate (whereas (9M-MRO had just arrived from MH371 Beijing) that some hijackers were already in that cubby hole from China. But I don’t believe that idea gains too much momentum with the data we have. You could argue the hijackers entered the cockpit and forced the pilots to do what they did, but hard to imagine the hijackers would say to depower left bus to kill ACARS and SDU, and hard to believe pilots would volunteer to do that advanced-piloting evasive act.

  27. Did the Obama administration’s Ben Rhodes play a key role in managing Western media coverage of MH370’s disappearance?
    In Florence de Changy’s book ‘Le Vol MH370 n’a pas disparu’, she claims that in the days following MH370’s disappearance, the White House (not the Pentagon or State dept.) would call the Malaysian govt. everyday inquiring about the missing plane.

    Who in the White House in 2014 would have such a keen interest on a missing, potentially hijacked civilian airliner?

    Ben Rhodes is a native New Yorker who witnessed the 9/11 attacks and worked for the 9/11 commission before joining the Obama White House as a National Security advisor. According to a New York Times piece, he is considered one of Obama’s most trusted foreign policy advisors.
    Both he and Obama distrusted the Washington establishment, and its ways of thinking which had gotten America into foreign wars in the middle-east. They adhered to the foreign policy equivalent of ‘don’t do stupid shit’ when making major foreign policy decisions, preferring diplomacy, sanctions and covert operations including drone strikes.
    Ben Rhodes was also the architect of a successful media campaign in support of the Iran nuclear deal which Obama considered his key foreign policy achievement and which Obama hoped would bring peace to the middle east and lead to the disengagement of America from the region. According to the Atlantic magazine, Ben Rhodes was crucial in persuading Obama to not retaliate when Syria’s dictator Assad crossed a ‘red line’ by using chemical weapons on civilians.

    Both Obama and Ben Rhodes liked each other’s way of thinking because they were both, according to NYT, essentially ‘story tellers’.

    For the Obama White House, when an inconvenient fact gets in the way of a good story, it is suppressed. For example, when Osama Bin Laden was killed, the story of how he was tracked down was portrayed by the media and Hollywood as an example of determined hard work by a female CIA analyst who painstakingly followed the trail of Bin Laden’s courier. But according to Seymour Hersh, the reality was more mundane. Bin Laden’s location was given up by a disgruntled Pakistani intel officer who ‘walked-in’ to the US Embassy in Islamabad.

    On another occasion, just prior to Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address, a few US Navy sailors had gotten lost in the Persian gulf and had been captured by Iran. According to NYT, Ben Rhodes made sure that story was leaked only after Obama’s final SOU address was over.

    The MH370 connection

    In Jan 2014, both USS Pinkney and USS Kidd departed their homeport of San Diego for a tour of the W. Pacific and Indian Ocean. On Mar 8, both ships were re-tasked with searching for MH370 in the area where it initially dispappeared. Then a few days later, both ships were relocated close to the Andaman Islands at the mouth of the Malacca Strait as the search area expanded. This was well covered in the media.
    After the reevaluation of the Inmarsat ‘pings’, the search was expanded even further to the Southern Indian Ocean, close to Perth, Australia. Both ships ceased search activities after Mar 18 and returned to regular deployments, as ships from other navies took over. This was not covered by the media.

    Could this sudden rush of activity by the 2 US Navy ships, and the publicity surrounding it, intended to show the world, not only the willingness of the US Navy to help in the search efforts, but also disabuse the public of any suspicion of their involvement in the disappearance of the plane, even if they were in the vicinity in the South China Sea?
    The US Aegis-class destroyers are crucial to ballistic missile defence (BMD) in SE Asia. Could their rapid return to duties have something to do with pressing BMD tasks as things were hotting up with Russia, and possibly China, following the formal annexation of Crimea by Russia on Mar 18?

    Another US Navy ship, the supply vessel USNS Cesar Chavez, was tasked Apr 10 with provisioning search vessels from other nations, as these, as well as aircraft, began scouring the Indian ocean.
    With no surface debris spotted and the 30 day lifespan of the blackboxes pingers having elapsed, the surface search began winding down.
    Yet, the timing, and the abrupt manner of the end of the surface search by USNS Cesar Chavez and US search aircraft is curious. On Apr 29, the Cesar Chavez arrived in the southern Australian port of Albany to replenish it’s stores with which it supplies the other search vessels. But the next day Apr 30, the US Navy stops all search activities, and all assets go back to regular deployment.

    Why is this significant?
    The new reevaluation of the Inmarsat data suggested a search area that covered a wide swath of the Southern Indian Ocean, and continuing the surface search without more precise information would be a waste of time and resources. It’s prudent to call it quits at that point.
    But consider the timing. On Apr 26 Obama visited Malaysia as part of a tour of SE Asia, the first visit to that country by a sitting US president since 1966. He reassured the Malaysian PM of the continuing cooperation of the US Navy in the search for MH370.
    The media was briefed about Obama’s visit to Malaysia by Ben Rhodes.

    Obama will discuss the search for the missing plane with Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters, but it will not be the only item on the agenda.

    The search for MH370 was a key topic of conversation for the two leaders. If this was a simple suicide/technical malfunction issue, it wouldn’t be even on the table. The fact they did discuss it suggests the nature of MH370’s disappearance was more serious, potentially impacting international relations.

    The day after Obama returned from his visit to SE Asia, US Navy assets stopped all search efforts.
    Could it be mere coincidence, or was the termination of the surface search intentionally delayed till Obama departed the region?

  28. @Susie, I’m sure there is someone on the blog who understands this better than I do, but while the pilot door-lock override may work to make the code input on the keypad just outside the cabin door useless, I don’t know that some savvy electronic fiddling from the EE bay couldn’t reverse that. I also believe that the pilot override automatically reverses itself after a period of time.

    I’ve found this tantalizing item far down in a story about the Germanwings crash. Albeit about an Airbus, it makes one wonder if there isn’t a similar feature in Boeing aircraft:

    “There is another scenario in which the door opens without the pilot’s involvement: if a sensor in the cabin ceiling registers a loss of pressure in the cockpit.”

    You can find the whole story here:

    It makes for interesting musing: disable the passengers and open the cockpit by depressurizing the entire envelope from the EE bay?

    But beyond that, we just don’t know that hijackers could not have entered the cockpit in some more straightforward fashion–all of which strikes me as far more likely than pilot suicide which doesn’t seem likely at all, given what we know historically and of Shah.

    @Michael, as I indicated in my original post to you, I don’t think it was =required= that the hijackers operate from the EE bay, but surely sophisticated state-sponsored and enabled actors could find a way, even in broad daylight, by masquerading, say, as part of a maintenance or ground crew crew. Or, as has been reported–thought I don’t believe confirmed–when the aircraft was tugged to a remote part of the the KL airport sometime prior to flight.

  29. @Susie Crowe. About the assessments of the vortex generator as to source and damage cause, it was reported on 2nd June that, “Malaysia has agreed to collect two pieces of critical debris from MH370…..” including that.

    Victor has advised that as of a few days ago it “had not been sent”.

    Obviously no-one was sent to collect it either.

    Shame that there are few investigative reporters though there are plenty of commentators.

    @CliffG. “But the next day Apr 30, the US Navy stops all search activities, and all assets go back to regular deployment.”

    That was the end of the surface search.

  30. @TBill You’re living in a fantasy world if you think a production domestic airliner finalized AFTER 9/11 wouldn’t have these things built in. You can dismiss my “claims” all you want but you can’t prove them wrong. Seriously, dig deeper and more directly. If you’re just an expert of what is only being reported, maybe I misunderstood your point with these writings. I thought you were actually trying to find out what truly happened. My bad.

  31. I mean, you have a book out and all, don’t you have some real inside sources and more than just what is in the public because I’m just going off what an engineer and 2 salespeople tell me when I get them drunk…

  32. @CliffG

    Good posting linking 9M-MRO, 9/11 and the interestingly timed visit to Malaysia by POTUS on the 26th April 2014.

    US Naval search activities stop on the 30th April. You propose that the potential search area was too large and not worth the effort. Instead it might be because US Intelligence had evidence that 9M-MRO wasn’t actually in the SIO.

    In an article in the Australian behind a paywall the 1MDB yacht Equanimity is handed back to Malaysia;

    Priced at US$250 million. Similar in value to a B777.

  33. @Chris
    Just to be clear, I do not personally have a book out, as evidenced by my bad spelling. You can believe whatever you want, I was just making an attempt.

  34. @Cliff G., I do like your very well researched posts a great deal and would miss them if you ceased, but of late I find them to be suggesting something sinister where simpler explanations apply, particularly with respect to the West.

    I may guilty of a version of this in my own posts, but I believe I do it in the realm of speculation, not with facts being manipulated to suit a narrative easily dismissed. As we’ve seen with all the reporting around the Trump administration’s peculiar relationship with despots and Russian oligarchs, transparency, whether liked or not, tends to be one of the things Americans do well.

    To that end, I think you’re stretching the tissue of your story quite thin here, with respect to sourcing. Is there any confirmation besides de Changy’s assertion of the White House was calling the Malaysian government every day?

    And if it did happen, itself not so unbelievable, why is it suspicious that a White House staffer and not one from the Pentagon make such calls? Particularly given that the presidential visit was originally scheduled well before 9M-MRO went missing.

    Further, I would surmise that Ben Rhoades’ interest in the incident sits with the title and experience you ascribe to him: National Security Advisor and participant in the 9/11 Commission.

    And that’s especially true if the United States had any sense (likely not acknowledged to the Malaysians) that the aircraft was, in fact, the victim of a terror attack of some kind. Or that intelligence began to suggest that it was not where Malaysia thought it was, as Steve Barratt suggests.

    I do not know where you reside or what access you have to international news, but in the United States any incident involving an aircraft—or for that matter any mass casualty incident—is these days always accompanied by a news discussion and government comment on the potential for terrorism almost immediately.

    In the case of the Obama White House covering up stories, the capture of the U.S. Navy personnel was just hours old and in ongoing negotiation the night of the State of the Union address on January 12, the personnel were released within 15 hours of the capture, and the story was reported immediately after their release on the morning of the 13th of January. Would you really expect an ongoing international negotiation for the release of military personnel to be a topic in a long-planned policy and positional speech? The wrong word or angry reaction from the opposition party could have scuttled those talks quickly. It is not even clear when the president knew of the incident. And later he praised the swift release of the sailors, chalking it up to newly improved relations with Iran due to the nuclear deal. Hardly a cover up.

    And just to back up and address Seymour Hersh: he is either proof that transparency prevails, or, as is increasingly discussed, a dubious actor himself, his claims, which have fallen under increasing criticism, including around the DNC worker Seth Rich, the claim that bin Laden was not behind 9/11 and that the Skripal poisioning in the UK was not likely committed by Russian actors. One critic has pointed out that on just one topic of his we are to believe “Hersh has anonymous ‘sources’ inside 30 foreign governments and virtually every department of the U.S. government.” Hardly believable, no?

    Finally, the timing of the U.S. Navy’s actions? They searched in areas close to their deployment when that made sense and supported other vessels with provisioning ships elsewhere. And their departure altogether: the surface search ended on April 28, according to the incident’s well-sourced Wikipedia timeline. So nothing too suspicious there, either.

    Did the West know something was amiss? Quite likely. But who knows how much when and whether it could possibly have made any difference in the recovery of the plan or passengers. And finally, even if it knew all in real time, and say what it knew was that state-actors were responsible for the hijacking. What is the calculus between admitting that information and losing the effectiveness of gathering such information?

  35. @Chris,

    9/11 was not about missing or untrackable planes but rather hijacked ones. And even so, it took six months, until March of 2002, to implement a temporary door reinforcement order–this certainly would have been long after production began on 9M-MR0. It wasn’t until April of 2003 that the reinforced doors we know today were required to be installed.

    Given that, it’s fair to wonder if other less obvious security measures would have been installed so quickly. Especially ones that could create unknown interference, need a network of ground (or satellite) receivers to be in place for them to work, etc.

  36. Allegedly the Obama visit was on the official schedule months before the plane went missing yet it stills falls in the long but distinguished category of MH370 coincidence.

    In 2013 the lucrative Malaysian tourism industry was a major contributor to Malaysian economy. Over 12% of that contribution came from China, a considerbly valuable tourist market by significant increases of disposable income from the middle class.

    That same year, Najib launched the “Visit Malaysia 2014” “VMY” campaign, with hefty goals to further increase tourism.
    After the search began for MH370
    Malaysia stopped promoting the campaign, citing doubts about the ability to achieve the tourism goals.

    Needless to say this wasn’t only the detriment of a missing plane but one with a majority of Chinese passengers.

    Why would information be suppressed by officials from other countries, what would justifify protecting truth from the world by an act of this magnitude.

    There is serious rationale for this if you go with Jeff’s Kazakhstan theory, a rogue plane sitting somewhere in the world for later use as a weapon.

    We know the significance of missing precedent, we dont know if the multitude of mishaps, misinformation and lack of disclosure are naively misleading or intentionally planned.

    Many countries sharing the common denominator of 1MDB and the timing of it’s implosion surrounding the day MH370 disappeared, make it a candidate for possible world collusion.

  37. Involvement v Interference:

    Sumisha Naidu, a Malaysian journalist on Twitter, quotes investigators who have apparently stated: “We cannot establish if there was third party involvement but we also cannot exclude unlawful third party interference.”

    I find this statement quite interesting as it goes out of its way to make a distinction between ‘involvement’ and ‘interference.’

    I’m assuming by ‘involvement’ the investigators mean a direct action such as a hands-on hijacking by perps who took over the cockpit and steered the plane to wherever.

    ‘Unlawful third party interference…’ implies, not necessarily direct involvement, but acts which may have interfered with the course of events as they transpired: tampering with the Inmarsat data is the only thing I can really think of which would really fit this ‘category.’ Fiddling with the EE bay could also be classed as ‘interference’ depending on your interpretation of the word.

    Field McConnell’s prediction:

    I’ve refrained from mentioning Field McConnell on this forum, partly because some may consider his views a bit kooky, partly because I’ve never got round to investigating his claims further.

    I still find it pretty surprising, however, that in 4 years on this forum and nearly 2 since the other started up, not one person has ever even mentioned his name? Not even once?

    Field is a retired military and airline pilot who now hosts his own conspiracy site. He focuses on Uninterruptible Autopilot and claims a worldwide cartel-of-sorts is behind the hijacking. I haven’t read what he says in great detail so I won’t delve into that: everyone is entitled to his express his opinions.

    But the one thing that stands out is the ‘prediction’ he made in April/May 2014 in private to Malaysian officials, telling them: ‘whoever hijacked this plane will down another Malaysian 777 before the end of July 2014…’ He has stated there is a signed affidavit that puts it on record that he made this claim.

    Whatever the backstory is, its quite a remarkable feat to have made such a prediction and for it to have come true. I haven’t read his theories in too much detail – he mentions Serco or something – there are just too many layers to peel and too many characters to read up about. But I don’t think he’s a liar, and he believes his theories (whether they are accurate or not is not the question ).

    My rambling point is, I don’t think he lied about the April/May 2014 claim. I think the Malaysians did invite him, and he did lay his case in front of investigators, and he did make that claim. But how he knew that I’ve no idea?!

  38. The Google translation below offers a somewhat accurate description of the article.

    All countries concerned by the disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft in 2014 with 239 people aboard have given up. In France, the air gendarmerie continues its investigation.

    To date, France remains the only country to try to understand how the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 was able to disappear on March 8, 2014. There were four Frenchmen aboard: Laurence Wattrelos, her 14-year-old daughter Amber, his 17-year-old son Hadrien, and Yan the French-Chinese girlfriend of the latter. They were coming back from spring break in Malaysia. The presence of French victims allows our country to conduct its own investigations. All other countries concerned have now renounced.

    Today, it is the research section of the Gendarmerie Air Transport (SR-GTA) that continues the investigation at the request of justice. And at an angle that will allow to put everything flat, according to our information.

    The aircraft, a Boeing 777, rallying Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Beijing (China) with 239 people on board was never found. And investigations of all kinds from the many countries involved in this tragedy, often incomplete or fragmented, have not given anything so far, fueling all kinds of conspiracy theories without any certified element.

    The 777 seems to have suffered a major power failure that generated in the jargon “a log off” preventing transmission for forty minutes. No doubt a breakdown with smoke on board.

    The gendarmerie of air transport (GTA) intends to verify the veracity and especially the authenticity of all the technical data transmitted. Notably provided by the British company Inmarsat, which has received the positions transmitted by the 777. These data are reliable? Certified? The gendarmes want the source of this data to understand the trajectory of this device. It is not excluded that an international rogatory commission authorizes them to recover the raw data transmitted at the beginning of the year.

    One certainty in the case of the MH 370: the first turn made by the aircraft is voluntary, while it is off the coast of Malaysia and Vietnam, between two air traffic controls. A left turn that deflects the aircraft towards the sensitive border between Thailand and Malaysia.

    The aircraft then passes to the right of Kota Bahru International Airport where it could have landed in case of damage. Then drive to the Indian Ocean and also pass over Penang Island International Airport. Here again the MH 370 does not arise.

    The 777 seems to have suffered a major power failure that generated in the jargon “a log off” preventing transmission for forty minutes. No doubt a breakdown with smoke on board.

    The ventilation system has been activated, but an incident may have damaged the pressurization system. “A typical symptom of a slow depressurization of the aircraft may have gone unnoticed or undetected by the pilots as it may be a secondary problem,” said Xavier Tytelman, a former Air Force veteran. air and reputed aeronautical consultant.

    The slow depressurization leads to the loss of oxygenation in the cabin and crew and passengers sink into coma as the plane continues to fly towards a fatal crash. Such an incident occurred in Greece on August 14, 2005. Following an undetected depressurization of the cockpit, the pilots had fainted and the plane ran out of fuel, killing 121 people.

  39. @Sajid UK
    INVOLVEMENT: the fact or condition of being involved with or participating in something.
    INTERFERENCE: the action of interfering or the process of being interfered with.


    Annexe 13 team handles the Accident investigation. It is saying that although the aircraft was intentionally diverted, they can’t find any problem with the plane, pilots, or crew. They also can’t blame the passengers because all of them received clean background checks from their respective police/intel agencies.
    So they cannot determine who else (‘…IF third party’) would be reponsible.


    When the ICAO Annex 13 — Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation team says they cannot rule out ‘unlawful thirdparty interference’, they are almost certainly making reference to the official definition from Annexe 17.
    ICAO Annexe 17 has specific definitions for acts of ‘UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE’, i.e. acts or attempted acts such as to jeopardize the safety of civil aviation, including but not limited to: unlawful seizure of aircraft, destruction of an aircraft in service, etc.

    Because the aircraft was intentionally diverted, there could very well have been ‘unlawful interference’ on board MH370. The interesting part is the use of the term ‘THIRD PARTY’ which usually doesn’t refer to crew or passengers peacefully going on their expected journey, but an outside actor with malicious intent. If takeover by remote control is excluded (99% certainty), it suggests that despite the clean background checks of everyone on board, someone was working with or on behalf of a ‘third party’ to hijack the aircraft.

    All ICAO annexes including 13, & 17 are basically Standards and Recommended Practices, and not all of them are handled by the same authority. Annexe 13 is usually handled by the Civil Aviation Authority of the country of Registration. Annexe 17 is handled by Law Enforcement and Judiciary authorities of the states involved in the incident.

    In this case, I think the Annexe 13 team is basically passing the buck to the criminal investigation team (Annexe 17)

  40. Included in the response of the family support group Voice 370, were these comments from Grace Nathan.

    “It is not known, Nathan says, whether the Annex 13 team investigations were based on accurate information “or on information that was inaccurate to begin with.

    She asks why, when MH370 disappeared, were only two attempted phone calls made from the ground (to the co-pilot’s phone). Those calls, Nathan says, were made four or five hours apart and the investigators were not able to give the families an adequate response as to why more phone calls were not made.”

    This is indicative of a reaction that should only be viewed as immoral.

    Most of us at a very young age begin learning one of the most elementary yet vastly important lessons in life, accepting responsibility for our mistaken actions.

    An associated loss from our mistakes is expected, a key part of the learning process. This process also includes the importance of understanding our accountability as irrelevant to the sacrifice.

    Our acountability, regardless of the financial, professional or personal ramifications, is the quitessence of life.

  41. Clarification

    My reference regards the numerous requests for valid information from “officials” of the MH370 investigation and their reprehensive manner of applicable response.

  42. @all mobile activities at the airport

    i am wondering about the mobile activities of the passengers while the plane was still on the tarmac in KL. In the early days it was said, that no activity from mobile phones was registered, especially the default SMS message of Mr. Wright to his girl friend did not happen? Is this information still true?

    @all i remember from the early days an issue about an australian wife, where the husband left a wedding ring with her “just in case”. Is that story a fact? I think he was on the way to a mission in mongolia and was a sort of an airplane engineer.

    I would say, that now, since the final report lists third party interference as one possible cause, these stories could bear the character of evidence

  43. @CosmicAcademy,

    The guy with the wedding ring was Paul Weeks.

    (Doesn’t work in EU, GDPR restrictions)

    The relevant text rom the Google Cache:

    It may be their last gift from daddy.

    Before taking off on the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner for a new job in far off Mongolia, Paul Weeks took off his wedding ring and watch and handed them to his wife Danica.

    “If something should happen to me then the wedding ring should go to the first son that gets married and the watch to the second,” Weeks said, the worried wife recalled.

    Then, about an hour after the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Weeks and the 238 other passengers aboard Flight 370 vanished somewhere over the South China Sea.

    “I can’t give up hope,” a weeping Danica Weeks told 9News in Perth, Australia, where the family lives. “I would love him to walk through that door, hold him one more time … I see him everywhere in the house.”

    Weeks, 39, is the father of 3-year-old Lincoln and an 11-month-old Jack.

    A former soldier from New Zealand, Weeks moved his family to Australia after their home in Christchurch was flattened by earthquakes.

    Danica Weeks said her husband, a mechanical engineer, had just landed a “dream job” with Transwest Mongolia and had packed “lots of photos” of his family in his luggage.

    “It’s so hard, so hard,” Danica Weeks told in Perth. “I mean we are praying for a miracle but what happens I don’t know.”

    Weeks’ sister, Sara, said she too is praying.

    “I think we’re hoping that it landed somewhere nicely and he’s sitting having a coffee,” she said. “We don’t know anything other than what we have seen on the television, but I think when you put two and two together… it’s not looking good.”

  44. This has gotten off into the weeds. As someone stepping back and looking at the thing, it seems to me there are two possible bel, each with at least one drawback.

    You can believe that this is the weirdest pilot suicide ever – that the pilot, a grandfather, flew the plane to one of the remotest patches of the earth in order to commit suicide with over 200 other people, and somehow prevented the other people on the plane from stopping him. And the biggest drawback of this belief is the reboot of the ACARS system, for which there hasn’t really been an adequate explanation.

    Or, you can believe that this was some kind of extraordinary covert operation that involved hijacking, avoiding the radar of major nations, and data spoofing (while in midair), and that the people that stole the hijacked plane have kept it a complete secret for over four years. And the most important drawback to this idea, it seems to me, is that the plane turned in the exact spot between radio contact of Malaysia and Vietnam, so quickly after the pilot had finished talking with air traffic control.

    Both still seem to be possibilities. I haven’t heard any decent speculation as to how to answer the drawbacks of each theory.

  45. @Michael, of course, there is a third possible belief, the fire/malfunction theory, which has as many if not more drawbacks than the two you identified.

    I am not at all pushing that theory, as it seems even less likely to me than the other two (also unlikely) theories, but there was one aspect of it I wanted to explore. As I see it, one major drawback to that theory is the same one you identify with respect to the covert ops theory — how did this happen at the exact moment of ATC transition?

    But as a non-pilot I wanted to ask everyone — is there anything about the process of transition airspace that might lead the pilots to detect an issue then that otherwise would have slipped their attention till then? I mean, I highly doubt there’s a tiny warning light next to the radio that they only noticed when they looked down to switch the radio frequency, thus alerting them to a problem so severe they had to immediately turn without communicating a distress call. But would a pilot handling the ATC transition do anything that might make them more alert to the existence of a problem?

    That doesn’t answer how a fire could incapacitate everyone but leave the crippled plane to fly on, make several turns, and keep going for seven hours, of course, but it’s something that made me curious.

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