Saturday, March 15, 2014

Where is the Malaysian lost airplane?

The airplane (CC by Laurent Herrera)
We all have already heard about the Malaysian missing airplane Flight 370, which was lost in the Gulf of Thailand never to be found again. 

You may also have read the reports of ringing but unanswered mobile phone calls that clearly indicate that the plane is not under the sea but somewhere on land, even if passengers and crew are not able to answer. 

This led to speculations that the airplane might be in some jungle area in SE Asia and that it could have been kidnapped rather than suffering an accident. 

However the latest information is that satellite data has allowed to track the plane to some 1000 miles West of Perth (Australia) in the middle of the Indian Ocean, not too far from the French colony of île Amsterdam. 

After gathering all the data, it seems that whoever kidnapped the plane deactivated the radar transponder (which identifies the flight to radars) and also another tracking device known as "Acars". Disabling this element is technically complex. However they did not deactivate the satellite antenna, what has allowed this tracking, providing a raw geographic location every hour. 

Other radar data suggests that the airplane was making abrupt altitude changes as it flew back into Malaysia and across the Malacca Strait. 

Source: Bloomberg.

Approximate route (my reconstruction) from published satellite and other tracking data

Many questions arise:

Which is the target of the attack? First claims by a previously unknown organization of alleged Islamist ideas suggested that they were targeting ethnic Chinese and China itself, however the claim may well be a false lead considering that the plane was most likely never blown up, judging on the evidence. Nevertheless China or some still ill-defined Chinese interest flying in the aircraft may still be the target but the issue remains blurry. 

Even more intriguing is where the heck are the kidnappers flying to? The flight was scheduled to land in Beijing, so it probably did not have too much extra fuel at its last reported location on the Indian Ocean. Therefore, as the aircraft must be on land, there are not so many places to search anymore: mostly the Easternmost French Antarctic Territory. 

Both Île Amsterdam and its neighbor Île Saint-Paul are uninhabited except for intermittent research activities, so it is very possible that the kidnapped plane is to be found in either of them. Of course it is difficult to judge without knowing the exact fuel amount carried but they are good candidates. Île Saint-Paul seems to be devoid of human presence most of the time (while Île Amsterdam has a more semi-permanent research base and it is still summer in that part of the World, so it is likely that some researchers are present right now).

The landscape of the islands is dominated by grasslands, however most of it is rugged, so there are probably only some few spots where such a large plane can take land.

Map of Amsterdam and Saint-Paul islands (1976, public domain).

Another question is why this satellite and radar data has not been available to the Malaysian and other Asian authorities performing the search? Or, if it was available, why was it ignored?

Finally why would the kidnappers fly to those forgotten islands under French jurisdiction (OK, unconfirmed but quite plausible)? Are French and other NATO secret services involved? Were they just chosen because of their desertic status? Did the kidnappers and (some of) the hostages take another plane or ship waiting for them there? Where to?

And then of course: are the hostages still alive?

Update (Mar 18): new informations suggest that the actual route of the plane was actually more northerly, through the Bay of Bengal in westward direction. If this is correct it is very possible that the plane actually took land in Diego García, a UK-US military base, whose native population was forcibly evicted long ago to make sure that the key strategic base was unmolested.

Quite worrying is the information that claims that soon after the plane's arrival to Diego García top medical experts from both the USA and China flew to the remote island, located south of the Maldivas. If confirmed, this would be most intriguing indeed.

In any case it seems extremely unlikely that a plane could fly undetected by at least the USA in that area. Therefore the lack of clear information about the whereabouts of the aircraft strongly imply US participation in the "diversion" of the plane, whatever means they used to do it.

Update (Mar 19): RT also seems to think that the plane headed westwards and they argue that the maneuver was deliberate and possibly controlled by hacking the autopilot computer. 

A new speculative destination is Afghanistan but Pakistan says it did not cross its airspace.

It seems more and more clear in any case that the airplane was intentionally diverted (kidnapped) and that that at least some authorities do know what is going on (the USA for sure but probably also other countries, although it's being kept secret so far).

Relatives of the passengers have threatened with a hunger strike if the Malaysian government does not release all the information.

Update (Mar 20): almost certainly the airplane is in Diego García. See: this new entry


  1. I came across your post this morning, after my earlier research, due to a lucid dream of a craft which had damaged windows and much wind last night, and was shown of a location where I saw a volcano and forest environment, so I searched all possible volcano areas in the Indian Ocean and have found Ile Amsterdam to be most relevant to what I had seen in the dream.

    1. Well, first of all, Lucy, if you're a relative or friend of some of the passengers, I wish you and them the best possible fortune in this bizarre episode.

      Personally, I was not paying too much attention to the issue, just like any other news, but today I stumbled on a link to that Bloomberg article and the datum "1000 miles west from Perth" just got me totally intrigued. Even more so when a quick look to the map showed that there was nothing over there... or almost.

      My first idea was that maybe they had been flown to Diego García, an island that was forcibly emptied of its inhabitants in order to dedicate it integrally to the military. Then I looked at other islands, notably Kerguelen, which is bigger and has some small permanent inhabitation but then I realized that there were some even better fits for the apparent trajectory of the plane and, additionally, are conveniently uninhabited.

      I do not discard any other possible outcome, of course, but the most logical place to search according to the new data seems to be those small islands.

      A big question I have is which is the target of the operation. Another one: why didn't they choose some closer island in the Malay Archipelago (there are many) or in Micronesia. It's all most strange: something I would rather expect to find in a novel or movie than in real life. But I guess it's true what they say about reality overcoming fiction.

      Best wishes in any case.

    2. Thanks Maju, my parents believe two of their friends were on the plane due to the name list. And yes, they are now searching towards the island areas in Indian Ocean. Hope they find some clues to where it is soon. And thanks for the blog post.

  2. There are a couple of new infos that may be of interest (and I will add as updates to the main text):


    They suggest a route farther north via the Bay of Bengal, more consistent with requests to India to search in the Andamans.

    More interesting and also worrying maybe is the following one:


    They suggest that the plane landed in Diego García and that immediately disease experts rushed to the militarized island from both the USA and China.

    They also say that it's impossible that the plane was not tracked by at least the USA.

  3. Another news, this one from Russian media: some source argues that the airplane was "programmed" to alter its route and head westwards. They speculate it could have landed in Afghanistan but Pakistan rejects it crossed its airspace.


    Whatever the case there must be indeed many people in high places (at the very least in the USA, but probably also in other countries) who know what happened and possibly why.

  4. My first thought was Uighur related - either genuine or an attempt to get China more interested in co-operating with the "anti-terror" war. That might fit the northern route.

    1. There is evidence of Malaysian and US radars that spotted the plane flying westward through Malaysia itself and the Malacca strait. Then there is evidence via satellite pings of the aircraft moving across the Indian Ocean. Initially it was said (from British nav-sat sources) that the last ping was 1000 miles west of Perth and I drew the map above with that information in mind.

      By now I truly believe that governments are hiding a lot of information and that the passengers may be pawns of some sort of macabre power game. But in any case the flight ended almost 100% certain in or around the Indian Ocean.

      A possibility, judging on the info of lots of medical experts flying to Diego García, is that some sort of biological attack was performed on some of the passengers (or that one of them carried a most destructive biological weapon on him) and that for that reason the plane was diverted to a remote far away island, for example Île Amsterdam or its smaller sister (if so dangerous, the'd want to keep the biological agent away from DG, although they are anyhow using it as proxy, thanks to its uninhabited secret clout).

      I don't know for sure but it seems most apparent that the plane was hijacked, maybe via remote control, and that in any case it flew to the Indian Ocean, not eastwards nor northwards. And it also seems clear that there is many people in the USA and other countries (China, Malaysia, etc.) who do know what's going on but are bound by oath of secrecy.

      However how well and for how long can you keep such a big secret in the age of Internet? That's probably why they have been throwing around false leads to act as "noise shield".

  5. Interesting thoughts.

    I've been told this forum for pilots has useful info

  6. All points to Flight 370 being in Diego García. See new entry:


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