More than 15 months on, and the lies, and evasions persist

Dear MH370 watchers,

We have a Maldivian renunciation of sightings of the missing jet courtesy of a climb down in today’s The Australian.

If you just get the paywall, don’t worry, you can read what the author of the original exclusive published on 04 April this year is now retreating from with such alacrity by going back to the UK papers or the Sydney Morning Herald on 18/19 March 2014 which published the very same claims when they were fresh in the memory of the eyewitnesses.

The astonishingly similar reports by totally dissimilar reporters can be read in the UK Telegraph here, and the Sydney Morning Herald, here.  Incredibly independently consistent, and even though the Australian’s report came out a year later, one might be impressed that the original interviews done for it in March this year came up sounding almost like the sightings were made just yesterday.

But, but …. Do not totally dismiss the Maldivian sightings. If we invent, perhaps even stumble upon, an incredibly evil plot to deceive air crash investigators with all sorts of false electronic traces of MH370, and perhaps tinker with the accepted view of the speed of light, those sightings might be true accounts.

There is so much that is baffling about MH370 that nothing really can be totally ruled out. Including mass idiocy and ignorance in the media, including by yours truly.

The crash site of MH370 is confined by the time it flew, and the elevation in the sky of the satellite that received its final and incomplete automated communications sequence.

Let us think about the Maldivian visions in terms of these two seemingly inviolable pieces of data.

1. MH370 flew for seven hours 37 minutes (some say slightly longer) after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing at 12.42 am local time with at least 239 people on board on 08 March 2014, and

2.The emergency contact signal generated by an onboard ACARS data reporting system which ended abruptly at 8.19 am  that morning was received by an aged Inmarsat satellite over the equator of the west Indian Ocean which had to be approximately 40 degrees above the horizon in relation to MH370 no matter where it was at that moment.

How do we know that? Because the time stamped packet of data that passed through the satellite identified as being from MH370 allows a calculation of the distance it travelled between the Boeing 777-200ER and the satellite which generates an arc of possible points of origination at which it could only have been at a particular elevation above the horizon.

Putting aside the controversy over whether or not it hit the surface of planet earth in the northern or southern hemisphere sections of the arcs, the satellite as seen from the Maldives would have been much higher in the sky, ruling the Maldivian sightings invalid.

Unless. The evil plotters had the foresight and capability to manipulate the time stamping of the residual ACARS ‘pings’, or if extra-terrestrials, had the power to manipulate the speed of light for the purposes of thwarting the timely finding of a missing airliner!

We have to be serious. Within the variation in local times reported by the eyewitnesses, it should have already crashed, or not been where they reported it, and it couldn’t have sent an identifying signal in an abnormal transmission best explained by the exhaustion of fuel and the automatic deployment of a ram air turbine to deliver critical instruments enough power to function in its final moments.

The aircraft that sent the MH370 identifying signal to the Inmarsat couldn’t have done so in Maldivian air space.

That said, the official suggestion in today’s hasty retreat by The Australian that the islanders who said they saw a large jet airliner had actually seen a small turbo-prop is about as ludicrous as suggestions they saw a Malaysia Airlines 777.

What might have happened here? Let’s use that wonderful term that has crept into the reporting of other aviation mishaps and even instances of friendly fire in military accidents. Expectation fulfillment. With respect to the eyewitnesses, were they just being polite to the reporters or reporter who had suddenly entered their society seeking confirmation of seeing a great big jet low in the sky with (what did he say, a red stripe along its side?).

To be blunt, expectation fulfillment made fools out of Prime Minister Abbott, Angus Houston, and an entire Australian Naval Acoustics Centre of Brilliant Global Excellence, and again, yours truly, when early in April last year, it was declared that our search for MH370 had heard two distinct sets of pings from the flight data and cockpit voice recorders of the missing jet. I was so badly suckered by that I cry in my bed. Well, almost.

We keep hoaxing ourselves over MH370. It’s deeply embarrassing, and undoubtedly highly distressing to the next of kin.

Yours in sorrow and anger.

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