Plane Mystery: Malay Jet Another 9/11?
We do not know as I write when and where and even if the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 crashed, and still less in what circumstances. It is the strangest story in recent aviation history. In one episode we learn how poorly the authorities are equipped to search out and look for a possibly downed aircraft despite the fact that we live beneath a sky glowing with airplane jet streams.
My suspicion is, I am afraid, transparently political. On the one hand we have curious people in possession of stolen passports who get on planes – or try to - without as much as a say so. It transpires that post 9/11, people flying about the world on nicked documents is next door to commonplace. Queues form out of airports several blocks or so in order to detect potentially dangerous explosive fluids such as babies’ feeding bottles, yet anyone in possession of a thieved passport can get on board a plane without a cursory check, even as old ladies in wheel chairs empty their catheter bags in public.
Question: who is doing the stealing, which seems to a popular pastime in Thai holiday resorts?
Something is seriously wrong with the accounts that we are currently reading. My immediate suspicion, which remains to be grounded in fact, is that we are watching the unfolding of an affair curiously akin to 9/11. It is interesting how well known commentators who would normally be expected to weigh in are strangely silent. Do they know – understand – something that we don’t?
We are told that relatives of passengers and the crew are getting a normal ring tone on mobile phones. Assuming the worst, if MH370 is downed on land or deep in the sea, how is that possible?
Remember how cell phones played a major role in 9/11, all of it, as later transpired, fabricated.
Look, if our governments want to make air travel safe or safer, I am there, with my arms around their shoulders. My problem lies with identifying those who want to make it actually or appear unsafe, a good deal of the latter.
Air travel is tenuous because it involves so many external factors. And yet the overall safety factor is extremely high, which invites headline blasting that dominates our newsreels and headlines now. Big airplane crashes invite big publicity and beneath that lies the propaganda fest.
The Iranian Connection has seeped in on the grounds that two of the passengers with suspicious passports were booked long distance via an Iranian travel agency. But that same agency has long time connections with Malaysian Airlines and it is not yet a sin to be Iranian (although why anyone wanted to get from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam via Beijing is an oriental mystery).
The absence of the usual clamour of Me Too claims for responsibility leaves us wondering if the bearded ones muttering in their grottos are as surprised as we are. So, qui bono time.
A terrible business like this pinpoints the stolen passport issue, hitherto – bizarrely - ignored. We are going to see longer and more miserable queues. Air travel will become increasingly more conditional, freezing interaction between nations and peoples, not immediately of course, but as an element of an historical stream that began with 9/11. It occurs as the Russians are up to high jinks in Crimea, the West has just-hijacked all the Ukrainian gold reserves, the Iran ‘settlement’ is increasingly questionable and Iraq is bombing itself to fragments. Afghanistan is set to fall apart.
The world is mesmerised by the fate of the passengers and crew, and understandably so. But unfortunately I believe the tragedy will serve the ends of political stereotyping. Something very strange has happened with this airplane. It does not seem, at this stage at any rate, to be due to some malfunction of the engines or even on board perpetrators. Maybe the plane was flown – diverted - to another undisclosed destination. This removes the problem of crash wreckage. It also explains why the cell phone tones may be ringing,
We may never know. Maybe that is the point? MH370 becomes like the Marie Celeste – inexplicable, a permanent engraving of the ghosts in our imaginations. In 55 years of journalism, I cannot recall a story which is so amazing and soaked in suspicion at the same time.
Update, Mar. 12
It is important to look at the huge amount of disinformation being spread by the CIA and in particular John Brennan. First he goes counter to the Interpol assertion that terrorism is not an issue, which suggests that Interpol is in possession of information to that effect from the increasingly embattled Malaysians. Now he says ‘pilot suicide’ when there is nothing whatsoever known of the pilot’s character to suggest he was in an unsettled mental state of mind when he set off to fly his aeroplane to Beijing.
Earlier, hi-jacking was in vogue in the transmissions from Langley, Virginia. Which is it to be?
Air crews know everything about each other, down to the last personal detail. This was a cockpit shared by two professional airmen who had known and flown with each other for a very long time. Buddy-bonding is a strong suit in the airline industry. It is like that when your life is in someone else’s hands. The pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, loves his job so much he kept a mock up of a cockpit to enjoy as a hobby at home.
He did not commit suicide, and thus murder everyone else on the flight, I am quite sure of that. It is a tragic libel to come out with such an unsupported allegation, which will hang over the pilot’s family for the rest of their lives – assuming that is the plane is actually lost. As it is the stories of entertaining amusements for young female passengers on the flight deck display all the classic elements of post-event character profiling.
I suspect the CIA knows what happened to flight MH 370 The agency is thick on the ground everywhere in South East Asia. Malaysia and Thailand are virtually CIA colonies. There have been reports, quoted in the Daily Mail, that the Boeing 777 was the subject of a cloaking experiments, to render the plane invisible by the technique of bending light waves around a selected object. The Mail story (on 10th March) suggested some of those on board had links to an American outfit involved in the development of cloaking technology.
From whence did the Mail get this line? The paper has strong links with U.K. intelligence and is often used as a flyer for those sources. So who would put this morsel in the food chain, is an interesting question. Inter-intel scraps are not unknown, by any means.
Readers were left to their own conclusions as to whether those people also had onward connections to U.S. intelligence, the Pentagon, and so forth, but it would not be an unreasonable conclusion, assuming there is any substance whatsoever to the claim.
We shall likely never know, one or the other.
What we do know is this. Something –or somebody - made the cockpit crew take a joint decision to deviate from their intended flight path to Beijing. The very first indications that the plane had indeed turned back surfaced very soon after the news broke, were subsequently denied and are now being repeated again. This is a story being made up in real time, the leading players dashing from one indefensible position to another. Expect further variations.
The first denial led to the sweep and search over wide areas of what, it now seems, was the wrong ocean altogether in which to look for wreckage. So it seems that quite a bit of useful time was bought in pursuing that pastime, which has made the Vietnamese in particular very angry.
Then we are told the on-board transponder – ‘the eye in the sky’ - was switched off, allegedly by one of the crew. This renders the plane very largely blind to trackers on the ground. If the pilot was bent on mass murder, then frankly a trifling detail like first switching off the transponder would hardly leap to his mind.
The transponder is activated on and off by a unique code. But it would not be impossible to employ that code long distance – pull by wire.
The man in a very hot seat is Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s civil aviation minister, who has made some enigmatic not to say bizarre statements, such as there are things he can reveal and other matters he cannot. Best say nothing at all in the circumstances, mister minister. In general the Malaysian Government seems not to know what to do or say next, which very strongly suggests, to my mind at least, important arm twisters in the background.
The bottom line is this. The plane is obviously missing until it is found, and if it is not found, as a wreck or all in one piece, we are still no wiser as to how the entire affair came about – assuming there are no survivors. Whatever it was that was special about this otherwise ordinary flight to Beijing involves high politik. Something that was not supposed to go wrong did, and now we are being distracted by an extended action replay.
The pictures of the parliament of distressed, agonising relatives gathered in a hotel dining suite in Kuala Lumpur tell all. This is a terrible exercise in manipulation. I think those poor folk are beginning to realise that.