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the mystery of the missing 777 airliner

Disasters Malaysian missing 777 2014

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#1 Spectacles

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 06:19 PM

I've been skeptical of the theories that it was hijacked. I figured that it was simply hard to find a downed plane in the ocean.

But it's looking more and more like the plane was hijacked. If so, the aim is apparently not ransoming hostages or demands would have been made by now.

This leaves the disturbing possibility that it was diverted to a terrorist base--they think likely in Central Asia--to  be used later. Probably sooner rather than later.

http://www.slate.com...ntral_asia.html




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Update, March 15, 9:10 a.m.: When the flight first disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar a week ago, the default assumption was that the plane had crashed. Now it seems unlikely that a plot as ingeniously planned and carefully executed as this one would not also have included plans for safe arrival at some ultimate destination. As I reported earlier, the 777 is capable of landing on small airstrips and on relatively unimproved surfaces, such as packed dirt and dry lake beds. In such a scenario, the odds are good that, unless they were murdered, the passengers remain alive. The motives and intentions of whoever took MH370 remain as murky as ever, but possibilities include a hostage scenario, the repurposing of the aircraft as an enormous flying bomb, or some combination of these and other outcomes.


If the plane landed safely and the passengers weren’t killed, why haven’t we heard any ransom demands? The perps might be covering their tracks, or they might be letting the world media whip themselves into a frenzy.


That "repurposing of the aircraft as an enormous flying bomb" is what seems most logical to me.

I feel so sad for the families and friends of the passengers. A plane crash is bad enough, but to wonder if your loved one is alive, treated well, or executed.....

I'm hoping that the wreckage will turn up and this hijacking scenario will go away. It's pretty bad when you find yourself hoping for a plane crash.
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#2 offworlder

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:01 PM

oh you would do this to me just as i closed the thing i was readin on that, then
opened up other stuff, then got hammered by the Sfgate that flips ads and bombs
my system HD cache, just as i read this then swing round to open up that thing
again, and, and, poor poor cache, hammering
:o
so, let me let it finish up, and get that thing again, swear it's like juggling
eight grapefruits with these freakin media sites that just want to maximize content
and adverts sheesh!
;)
so , let's get, erm, -
Malay gov says their evidence so far shows that one or more mostly at least
two they think, who have the pilot experience, canned the comm and signals and turned
the plane, they think not to Thailand,
and the Thais canceled their search, so India and Bangladesh are searching round Andamans
and up India and Bengal oceans, beyond the old Ache, remember we all learned where that
is with the whole Tsunami of aught Four? Bande Ache; and Sumatra.

so here is a post thread they do, live update they call it, with hour/minute stamps to
see progression, plus they show some toddlers on the plane.

http://zeenews.india...nes_918141.html

>
If it flew north, at 8.11 am, the plane could have been above Thailand, China, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.

However, some investigators believe that the plane couldn't have flow that far without being detected by India and China radars.

9:11 pm: Pictures of children on flight MH370

the flight manifest which was published by Malaysia Airlines last week.

It shows that the passengers included five children, all aged between two and four.

Among them was three-year-old Hu Siwan, from Beijing.

8:29 pm: Thailand calls off search for missing plane

Thailand has called off its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea after Malaysian Premier said hunt for the aircraft will shift to two new destinations.

6:31 pm: Plane crashed into Indian Ocean?

CNN today reported that the missing Malaysia flight MH370 may have crashed either in the Bay of Bengal or in the Indian Ocean as the search continues for the plane.

Malaysian Prime Minister had today confirmed that flight data showed the jet deviated due to "deliberate action".
<

I think it went west, and think it did not make it to Burma, or Sri lanka, or up through
India like the range area says, and agree that India radar really should have picked up
that thing; and wherever it went, it's down now,and i think it did not make it some
full 2000 clicks or however long they suggest in four hours; but the area for air
and sea search is très VAST :o

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#3 BklnScott

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:20 AM

I am riveted.  I hope those folks are still alive.

Everybody keeps saying how much this resembles Lost.  I'm worried that it will resolve more like BSG's "33."

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#4 Tricia

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:06 AM

I'm just puzzled over it but it's more likely that the plane crashed after this much time has passed but where is the question?

If it was pilot suicide or a hijacking and the plane is at the bottom of the ocean we may never know what happened which leaves only speculation, rumors and a lot of heartache for all the families involved.  Especially now that they are focusing more on the pilot and co-pilot.  

http://news.msn.com/...o-help-find-jet

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Investigators are trying answer these questions: If the pilots were involved in the disappearance, were they working together or alone, or with one or more of the passengers or crew? Did they fly the plane under duress or of their own volition? Did one or more of the passengers manage to break into the cockpit, or use the threat of violence to gain entry and then pilot the plane?
Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possibilities, and to establish what happened with any degree of certainty investigators will likely need to examine information, including cockpit voice recordings, from the plane's flight data recorders should the jet be located.
snip>>>
Malaysian officials and aviation experts said that whoever disabled the plane's communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience, putting one or both of the pilots high on the list of possible suspects.


Too many unknown factors at work here and I don't think I've heard of any group claiming responsibility yet.

Just too many unanswered questions and a ton of rumors and speculation

Edited by Tricia, 16 March 2014 - 11:08 AM.

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#5 FarscapeOne

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

These people are almost certainly dead.  Even if the pilot managed to soft land the plane on top of the water and some of them survived to drift, they have no fresh water to drink.  It's been over a week, and the human body can't survive that long without fresh water.

If it was a terrorist hijacking and they landed somewhere, it takes too many resources to keep even a quarter of the passengers alive... you need a place to keep them, guards, etc.  It is far easier to simply get rid of them than to keep them alive.

I hope I'm wrong, but everything just points to them all dead.  I just hope that they do find the black box or whatever else to solve the mystery to give those families closure.

Edited by FarscapeOne, 16 March 2014 - 12:45 PM.


#6 Spectacles

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:54 PM

Yep to all of the above.

And since the plane has been gone for over a week now, it seems to me that there are only two possible explanations to what happened after it was flown off course: 1. it crashed, probably into the Indian ocean or 2. it landed at some pre-arranged, remote landing strip under terrorist control.  I find it really hard to imagine that #2 was possible, but I suppose it is if the route takes the flight over mostly unpopulated, remote land mass.

I also find it hard to imagine that terrorists would go to this kind of trouble: steal a plane and its passengers and risk flying it for several hours to Kawhatitstan to re-purpose the plane as a bomb and fly it into a nuclear power plant or something. There is just far too much that can go wrong--not to mention the matter of having to execute or house a couple hundred passengers. It's elaborateness makes it improbably. And yet, the attacks of 9/11 were pretty damned elaborate, too.....Still.

Most likely the plane crashed. For those on board, I really hope so. It would at least be a quicker way to go.
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#7 NeuralClone

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:02 PM

It makes no logical sense that this plane would have been taken for future use. Where would it be stored? How would it be used? Everyone is looking for a Boeing 777. If it resurfaces somewhere it'll be known that something is off.

I think if the plane was hijacked, it was to kill the people on-board outright. If that wasn't the goal, then it could have been a trial run of some sort for a future act of terrorism. Or the plane was crashed to stop the hijacking. As much as I want the passengers to be alive, I don't think their survival is very likely at this point. I really hope I'm wrong about that, though.

One of my friends is Malaysian Chinese (thankfully none of her family or friends were on-board) and to say that she's less than impressed with how her government has been handling things is a serious understatement.
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#8 Nonny

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:22 PM

A neighbor told me that the plane was flown to 45,000 ft and that this would be an efficient form of execution.  No oxygen masks dropping for anyone you don't want surviving.  I have no idea of the truth of this, and am currently running on rage over a new and bizarre VA problem, so I'm not going to check it out.  I'm just tossing it out there as something that may or may not be verifiable.
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#9 FarscapeOne

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:30 PM

I suppose they could land it, disassemble the plane, and take the parts somewhere else and rebuild and do whatever.  But that is so difficult to make happen that it just seems impossible.

#10 BklnScott

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:51 PM

I agree that most likely they are all dead but the apparent precision involved suggests this was part of a more elaborate plot.

It is within the realm of possibility that the plane was landed on some remote makeshift airstrip on a dot of land in the Indian Ocean and then concealed, maybe under jungle canopy. There has been a lot of piracy in the Indian Ocean.

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#11 Omega

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:08 PM

"The plane was crashed to stop the hijacking" is an interesting theory. But the next question is, what was the goal? I mean, flying a plane into a target works best (...) when the plane is full of fuel. This one wouldn't be by the time it got anywhere. And where would it have been targeted? What's in that direction that it could possibly have gotten to before it ran out of fuel?

#12 NeuralClone

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:47 PM

View PostOmega, on 16 March 2014 - 02:08 PM, said:

"The plane was crashed to stop the hijacking" is an interesting theory. But the next question is, what was the goal? I mean, flying a plane into a target works best (...) when the plane is full of fuel. This one wouldn't be by the time it got anywhere. And where would it have been targeted? What's in that direction that it could possibly have gotten to before it ran out of fuel?
It's entirely possible that the target wasn't even in the direction that the plane ended up going in. I don't know. There are a lot of things about this incident that simply don't add up at the moment.

Even if the plane was crashed to stop the hijacking, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why it would have been hijacked in the first place. The more likely known groups in China and Southeast Asia that would do this sort of thing are the types of groups that would take credit for the act. And none of them have taken credit, which makes this even more baffling. So...yeah. I have no idea.

Let's say the plane was stolen and is being hidden somewhere. My question is why would anyone do that? Some have said that the intent would be to use the plane as a weapon at a later date. Others have taken that a step further and said that the plan is to use it against the US in a 9/11-like attack.

The former doesn't make sense to me. You can't just fly a large passenger plane towards a populated area in any developed country without it being noticed. The best way to use a plane as a weapon would be to hijack it relatively close to the intended target and then immediately fly into it. Stealing a plane to use like this for a later date doesn't make any sense. There are far too many problems with that plan.

And the latter ignores the fact that Malaysia is on the other side of the planet. It's a 20 hour flight at best. The Boeing 777 isn't capable of a flight like that without making multiple stops to refuel. You can't just bring a stolen passenger plane to a random airport and refuel. People would kind of notice. Not only that, not everything is about the US. There are plenty of other violent groups and crazy people out there that would want to harm non-Americans. I only mentioned this particular conspiracy theory because I find it so ridiculously paranoid and out there. Terrorists may not always be the smartest people out there but I think they'd be smart enough to hijack a closer plane if they were to try to attack the US, especially since it worked so well in 2001.

I think my favorite conspiracy theory is the one that says China stole the plane to "reverse engineer" it. That one is especially ridiculous because China buys passenger planes from Boeing. They have no need to steal them.

The most realistic outcome given what we know is that it probably crashed. The why and the how are obviously a big question mark still but I seriously doubt it was stolen and is being hidden somewhere. It isn't like it can be sold on the black market.

Edited by NeuralClone, 16 March 2014 - 02:49 PM.

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#13 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 03:25 PM

Am I the only one tired of news coverage of this story? Yes it is a mystery, but what annoys the hell out of me is all the news networks: ALL OF THEM, are reporting opinions as facts. First it was the plane was in the air for a couple hours after transponder was cut off, then it was in the air for 3...no, 4 or 5 hours....now it's 7 hours. It's a hijacking, it's a crash, no it's UFO's. They should just report the facts, not what "experts" say probably happened...cause even the experts don't know for certain what happened.
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#14 NeuralClone

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:03 PM

View PostLord of the Sword, on 16 March 2014 - 03:25 PM, said:

Am I the only one tired of news coverage of this story? Yes it is a mystery, but what annoys the hell out of me is all the news networks: ALL OF THEM, are reporting opinions as facts. First it was the plane was in the air for a couple hours after transponder was cut off, then it was in the air for 3...no, 4 or 5 hours....now it's 7 hours. It's a hijacking, it's a crash, no it's UFO's. They should just report the facts, not what "experts" say probably happened...cause even the experts don't know for certain what happened.
They're reporting what is known as it's known. Because the information on this is so scarce, it makes sense that the story will change and evolve as more information is discovered and data is interpreted. And you're seriously including the UFO nonsense in along with actual serious theories? Almost 240 people are likely dead due to unknown circumstances. Many people care about what happened to them and why it happened. That's why it's being covered so much.

Edited by NeuralClone, 16 March 2014 - 04:04 PM.

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#15 Spectacles

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:06 PM

The plane's use in any future act of terror would be limited to areas near it. There's zero chance it could be used against the U.S., half a world away, but there are plenty of angry people angry with all sorts of governments in that neck of the woods. The northern option places it as far north as Kazakhstan, which sounds like the bar scene in Star Wars in this:  http://en.wikipedia....sian_separatism

Edited by Spectacles, 16 March 2014 - 04:06 PM.

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#16 BklnScott

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:43 PM

View PostLord of the Sword, on 16 March 2014 - 03:25 PM, said:

Am I the only one tired of news coverage of this story? Yes it is a mystery, but what annoys the hell out of me is all the news networks: ALL OF THEM, are reporting opinions as facts. First it was the plane was in the air for a couple hours after transponder was cut off, then it was in the air for 3...no, 4 or 5 hours....now it's 7 hours. It's a hijacking, it's a crash, no it's UFO's. They should just report the facts, not what "experts" say probably happened...cause even the experts don't know for certain what happened.

That is understood. They're not purporting to have all the answers. Like it or not, news of this sort is reported in real time post-9/11, and when the authorities embrace it - releasing everything possible as widely as possible as it becomes known - the crowd-sourcing effect can produce results, as with the Boston Marathon bombings. Unfortunately, the Malaysian Authorities are not being transparent enough - but that won't change how much coverage the story gets. This is real news not some b*llsh*t tabloid trial.

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#17 Nonny

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:54 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 16 March 2014 - 01:51 PM, said:

I agree that most likely they are all dead but the apparent precision involved suggests this was part of a more elaborate plot.

It is within the realm of possibility that the plane was landed on some remote makeshift airstrip on a dot of land in the Indian Ocean and then concealed, maybe under jungle canopy. There has been a lot of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
How big is a 777?  How much runway does it need to take off?  Okay, I'm getting better at search: http://planes.findth...eed-to-take-off

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The Boeing 777-300, at MTOW (Maximum Takeoff Weight), needs a runway that is 11,200 ft long; at MLW (Maximum Landing Weight), needs a runway that is 8,100 ft long.
It's a 777-200ER, not a 300, but I doubt its takeoff requirements could be much less.
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#18 Nonny

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 06:55 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 16 March 2014 - 04:06 PM, said:

The plane's use in any future act of terror would be limited to areas near it. There's zero chance it could be used against the U.S., half a world away, but there are plenty of angry people angry with all sorts of governments in that neck of the woods. The northern option places it as far north as Kazakhstan, which sounds like the bar scene in Star Wars in this:  http://en.wikipedia....sian_separatism
This is a relatively fuel efficient large aircraft with a relatively long range.
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#19 Spectacles

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 06:11 PM

^True, but the chances are greater that it would be spotted and shot down before it hit its target the longer it's in the air, especially flying over populated areas with lots of air traffic control.

Of course, who the hell knew that a 777 could fly off-course for hours and not be tracked? That's pretty disturbing. I guess I figured that with modern electronics and security concerns, we'd know every plane in the sky and where it was headed.

Apparently not.
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"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#20 offworlder

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:51 PM

while we get the headlines the Thai military got a blip on a screen and didnt tell the Malays, and you can read about what they say why they didnt,
:o
there is this search update, CMP, Southchinamorning (the Hongkong daily I used to read religiously)

Indian ocean,

' Two flight corridors are now the focus of the search – one extending from northern Thailand to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

“There are major changes in our search strategy and plans due to the changing situation. The forces will head in two opposite directions, one northward and the other southward, starting today,” a public relations official at the China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre in Beijing told the South China Morning Post.

Four Chinese ships – the Jinggangshan, a 20,000-tonne advanced amphibious dock landing ship; the Yongxingdao, a submarine rescue ship; the Haixun 31, a coastguard patrol ship; and the South China Sea Rescue 115, of the Transport Ministry – would search a 120,000-square-kilometre area in the Bay of Bengal, Xinhua said. They would be joined by three helicopters in the search area west of the Andaman Islands.

The second flotilla – the Kunlunshan, another amphibious ship; the Haikou, a fast missile destroyer; the Haixun 01, the South China Sea Rescue 101; and a container ship operated by state-owned shipping giant Cosco – would focus on a 180,000-square-kilometre band of sea southwest of Sumatra and Java. It too would be assisted by three helicopters.

The supply ship Qiandaohu would also sail to Sumatra and Java to join that group after it resupplies other vessels in Singaporean waters, Xinhua added.
China so far has sent 10 ships to take part in the search and recue mission, including five PLA Navy warships and five civilian and commercial ships.
'
http://www.scmp.com/...-370-leads-vast

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