Friday, March 14, 2014

Flight 370

I might as well get this done.

Several people have asked what I think about the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  The subtext of those queries I believe is "Do you think it had anything to do with UFOs or the paranormal?"  My response?

It doesn't need either of those things.  This case is weird enough as it is.

There should have been something to go on right away.  Something far more tangible than what we were being told by Malaysian officials.  Here's what we know as of 8:45PM CST on March 14th:

-The Malaysian military announced that radar signals indicated that the plane was making drastic altitude changes.  A source I saw quoted on CNN said that one such change was at a rate of "40,000 feet in one minute" which he called "inconceivable."

-Flight 370 made not one but several erratic changes in course.

-There were satellite pings received from the airliner's engines that indicate the plane may have flown on for up to five hours after its initial course deviation.

-Analysis from the Pentagon calculates that the plane crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.  Warships from the U.S. Navy are currently on the scene, conducting searches.

BREAKING: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that investigation into the case has now shifted towards sabotage.  One or more individuals on board the plane may have taken control of the aircraft and then tried to mask its location.

This seems to be the pulse on social media right now.  I took an informal poll on Facebook and Twitter and "hijacking gone awry" was the top answer for what happened.  The "awry" part comes from the fact that the plane has not been seen anywhere and it takes quite a landing strip to land a Boeing 777.  You need an awful lot of contiguous and conspicuous ground to get it done.  Not impossible, but it's looking unlikely.

Speaking of unlikely, I'm guessing that since this is ESE, I should look at the "out there" theories.  Here goes:

-Abduction by UFO.  You knew this was coming.  There is a long history of UFO sightings by airline pilots as I've previously written.  So yes, there has been much speculation among the dark corners of the interwebs that aliens may have taken the plane and passengers.  Why?  Who knows.  There are even a few alleging that there were UFO sightings in the area the night Flight 370 disappeared, but this is very difficult to corroborate and really can't be counted as evidence.

-Space/time wormhole.  I've talked about these just last week but only as a means of interstellar travel.  As applied to Flight 370, this would have to be a "soft spot" in the fabric of time and space and that things can fall through to God knows where.  Such an explanation has been offered for phenomena such as the Bermuda Triangle but there really isn't any evidence.

-There is a new device for terrorists.  When it detonates, it creates a mini black hole.  Seriously.  Someone said it on Twitter.

-On Facebook, Plucky suggested time travel a la the movie, Millennium.  Awful movie, by the way.

-The Iranians did it.  Someone floated this one out, saying that tickets were bought by Iranian nationals and there were engineers from Freescale Semiconductors on board.  The Iranians stole the plane to extract secrets from the engineers.
This is a little like adding one and one and coming up with 14.

-Have you seen Lost?  This was tossed about for a bit, especially after it was announced that when called, the cell phones of passengers were ringing.  This has since been tidily explained away.

-Hell, have you seen Donnie Darko?

I think the plane's engine fell into my bedroom last week.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to burn a house down.

If you've seen Donnie Darko you'll understand the reference and know I'm not serious.

The fact is, nobody knows what happened (for a great...and quite technical...write up on this fact, check out The Atlantic.)  The mass media is filling air time while we wait for answers.  They're trotting out damn near anybody with any kind of aviation experience to offer their conjecture on the subject.  Have you ever ridden in a plane?  Hell, have you even touched a plane?  We want to talk to you.

"Rich Pesenko joins us from Pacoima.  He's seen Top Gun 321 times and has his theories on Flight 370."

And worst of all, I feed into it by watching it all nonstop.

I just can't resist.  It's a mystery.  An awful one given how many people are missing and...sadly and likely...dead.  I truly hope that something can be found to give the families of these people a sense of closure, but planes disappearing without a trace is not an unheard of phenomenon.  Our world may feel small thanks to global computer networks but it's actually rather large...and there's a hell of a lot of water out there.

I'll keep you all updated because...let's face it...I'll keep watching.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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