Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Which the Malaysia Air Theft Gets Real—Maybe

[Except that some of the pieces here have come apart, and the case for theft is weaker, though it is still strong. But it could also be that the plane flew unpiloted for hours before crashing. See CNN report.]

It has now been a week since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared. A miserable thing, but most of us assumed the plane would be found, and we could mourn the passengers and crew or, better, rejoice that they had survived. The conspiracy theorists theorized and the rest of us mocked, and the media had a field day.

Reading the news of the past day has been like a bath in ice-cold water. Why? What? This was so well planned. It was not Larry Hussein, Moe Begin, and Curly O'Dare--this was the real deal, a well-planned theft demanding a high level of technical skill, perhaps executed with help from a national intelligence agency. Was the plane stolen so that it could be used as a covert transport in parts of the world where it could be concealed? As a provocation? Are the passengers going to surface as hostages or are they all dead?

To which Frederick Leatherman comments, and says it better than me:

The person who hijacked MH 370 had figured out how to exploit radar vulnerabilities. We do not know why, but there is no question that whomever pulled off this sky jacking is a brilliant, fearless and ruthless person who knew how to fly a 777-200 ER, disable communication equipment and weave his way through radar defenses. I do not believe that person went to all of this trouble just to commit suicide in the Indian Ocean.

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