Some days ago I speculated, based on the very fragmentary data available and my limited ability to understand some of it, that the missing Malaysian Flight 370 could be in île Amsterdam.
Even if I was cautious in my wording, I was surely wrong in my tentative conclusion. I misunderstood the satellite ping data to mean a more precise location than it actually was, confused by journalist wording, i.e. "1000 miles west of Perth". That is actually just the range of where the satellite could have picked the signal from, which includes most of the Indian Ocean, large parts of Asia and theoretically even Africa, as can be seen in this map by The Washington Post.
But now more information (→ Daily Mail) has arisen that clearly points to the main alternative suspected destination: Diego García, a US military base in British colonial territory, whose inhabitants were forcibly evicted in 1971.
Notably Maldivian witnesses have reported a plane that fits the description and the timing flying south at very low altitude, something that shocked them being such a large craft.
Also the last reported radar data and Malaysian witnesses accounts point to the airplane having crossed Peninsular Malaysia back into the Malacca Strait and Bay of Bengal.
Finally the home computer of the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had deleted files of training for landing in Diego García, as well as Indian and Maldivian airports, all them with enough length for such a heavy craft to make safe landing.
So everything points to the pilot having planned in advance to kidnap that craft and bring it to Diego García, training also for alternative landing places in other airports of the region, maybe in prevision of complications if the flight could not reach its destination.
This is my best reconstruction of the route taken by the airplane:
|click to expand|
Why didn't the pilot fly in straight line to Diego García? I can only guess that without land support he could only rely on visual and radar clues from landforms, otherwise risking to get lost in the vastness Indian Ocean.
Why did he fly to Diego García? I can fathom two theories: one is that he was collaborating with the US military apparatus to do precisely that, the other that he meant to attack the military base with some sort of biological agent that was carried in the plane. However if this is the case, why didn't the US military shot the plane down? Or did they?
The main reason to think that a biological agent of some sort is involved is that it has been reported in some media that the plane landing was quickly followed by flight in of a number of top medical staff from both the USA and China.
According to that report, Flight 307 carried some sort of biological weapon delivered originally by US military via Seychelles, with the involvement of the private mercenary agency The Trident Group (made up of former Navy Seals). That biological weapon was intended for China but Beijing got notice so they decided to divert the plane to Hainan island in the south of the country.
According to this theory it was then when the Pentagon chose to divert the flight to a safe place: the military-only atoll of Diego García.
However this does not explain why the pilot had trained to land in that island. Maybe it is a false lead, potentially thrown around to prepare public opinion for the "discovery" of the missing plane in the island or maybe he actually did and the biological cargo story is the false lead.
Or whatever else. Honestly I do not know what to think at this point.
But what seems clear is that the missing flight headed to Diego García and that some convoluted spy story is behind, maybe even a would-be biological attack against a major superpower, what is as akin to open war as I can think of.
Not that this is of any help to the passengers and their relatives and friends, of course. Because they still await release and knowledge respectively.