if communication cannot be established with a plane from the ground, a military aircraft with radar and cameras is sent up to make a visual inspection
the photos of the scene in the cockpit of MH370 sent to commanders on the ground were troubling, as a result, the order was given to shoot the plane down.
to the military commanders the lost of several hundred lives was more acceptable, although regrettable, than the potential loss of thousands if the plane repeated a 9/11 type attack
... the military never sleeps
Eric LaMont Gregory
First and foremost we must remember that 239 individuals - 227 passengers and 12 crew members, were aboard flight MH370. And, it is with the greatest respect for the unsettling nature of a lack of an explanation for the missing that the following possible rational alternative explanation is offered.
Mounting evidence suggests that Malaysia Flight MH370, in the aftermath of 9/11, was shot down by either Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian or Indian military aircraft. Once the plane ceased to communicated with controllers on the ground, the plane could not be permitted to flyover populated areas.
The military plane sent up to make a visual inspection with the non-communicating flight was equipped with radar and cameras. Whatever they saw in that cockpit and transmitted to their commanders on the ground sealed the fate of MH370.
This explains why the Malaysian leader, rather than the director of transportation, was one of the first to respond to the plane being declared missing. He had been involved in the decision to bring the plane down.
Now, it is a conspiracy of silence.
The timeline of known events: March 8:
12:41 am Flight MH370 leaves Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
1:07 am Last transmission from the Boeing 777-200ER via an onboard text-and-data messaging system known by the acronym ACARS - Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.
1:19 am Last communication from the cockpit. A transcript released on April 1 reports that the last words from the cockpit were “Good Night Malaysian Three Seven Zero.” (Initially, Malaysian officials said investigations showed the copilot said, “alright, good night” as the last words.) Plane leaves Malaysian airspace, heading northeast across the Gulf of Thailand toward Vietnam.
1:21 am Radar transponder in MH370 is switched off.
1:28 am Thai air force radar spots MH370 heading west towards the Strait of Malacca.
1:30 am A 777 pilot, flying 30 minutes ahead of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft on a flight to Narita, Japan, established contact with MH370 minutes after he was asked to do so by Vietnamese air traffic control. Those on the same frequency, including vessels on the waters below at the time, would have heard the exchange.
Pilot reports that ‘there was a lot of interference ... static ... but he heard mumbling from the other end.
1:37 am Next ACARS transmission from MH370 is due, but never comes.
2:15 am Malaysian military reports that its radar identified an aircraft on the west side of the Malaysia Peninsula that was not using its transponder. This development was not publicly known until about a week later. The radar subject is Flight MH370, heading away from its planned route.
6:30 am Flight 370 was scheduled to arrive in Beijing.
the Military Never Sleeps
Within minutes of the transponder on MH370 being switched off, both Vietnamese air traffic control and Thai military radar took increased interest in MH370, which was obstensibly on a routine scheduled 'red eye' flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China.
A Boeing 777 pilot, flying some 30 minutes ahead of Malaysia Airlines MH370, as it proceeded northeast on its planned route to Beijing, was asked by Vietnamese air traffic control to use his plane's emergency frequency to contact MH370 for the latter to report its position, because they could not contact the aircraft directly. The 777 that responded to the Vietnamese air traffic control request was bound for Narita, Japan, and was already in Vietnamese airspace.
"I established contact with MH370 just after 1:30am and asked them if they had transferred to Vietnamese airspace," the pilot promptly reported back to Vietnamese air traffic control, "the voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie (Ahmad Shah, 53,) or Fariq (Abdul Hamid, 27), but I was sure it was the co-pilot. There was a lot of interference, but I heard mumbling from the other end. That was the last time we heard from them, as we lost the connection."
Over the same ten-minute period that Flight MH370 dropped off radar some 40 minutes after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur, Thai military radar command detected a signal, an unusual signal, from a plane flying in a direction opposite to the path MH370 should have been following. This flight path would have taken the plane back towards Kuala Lumpur.
When flight MH370 made its turn and flew back towards Malaysian territory, at least 4 nations' military were aware that something was seriously wrong - Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. And, within the next half hour, that list grew to include Indonesia and others.
When the now unidentified aircraft turned back towards Malaysia and appeared on the Malaysian military's primary radar, standard operating procedure compelled the radar operators to scramble a fighter(s) to intercept the intruder.
With fighter(s) scrambled, the next call was to the minister of defense and it was his responsibility to notify the Prime Minister that there was a plane heading towards its territory, which had ceased to communicate with air traffic control, fully fuelled and in less than forty minutes could fly into some of the tallest buildings in the world located in the capital city Kuala Lumpur.
Now awake, the prime minister and the defense minister established direct communication with the pilot(s) of the military aircraft whose instructions were to fly alongside the plane, look directly into the cockpit and report what they saw, take photographs, start the video streamimg, continue to track the plane visually and on the military jet's radar and await further instructions.
What the military pilot saw, filmed and reported was enough for the Prime Minister with the concurrence of his defense minister to instruct the pilot to do whatever was necessary to keep that plane from flying south towards the capital. The Thai military was also not going to allow Flight MH370 to fly north and approach its more populated areas. And with sufficient challanges from the two militaries, Flight MH370 was forced along a narrow airlane between northerm Malaysia and southern Thailand from the Gulf of Thailand to the Strait of Malacca.
A military jet challenging a commercial airliner at altitude is not without its problems, due in part to the differences in the speeds at which they normally travel. Crusing speed of the commercial plane is considerably slower than its military counterpart.
Speculation is that at one point, in order to force the commercial flight to remain within the narrow airlane between the border separating Malaysia from Thailand, the Malaysian military plane fired warning shots across the bow of Flight MH370 and something went horribly wrong.
The operative assumption is that Flight MH370 was hit by the Malaysian military fighter, resulting in the loss of cabin pressure and the demise of everyone on that plane that was not within the still pressurized cockpit. As the plane left Malaysian airspace, now flanked by Thai and Indonesian fighters, MH370 was forced to fly to the northwest along the narrow airlane that forms the boundary between Thai and Indonesian airspace.
It has been suggested that before Flight MH370 left Malaysian airspace, it decended to an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet so the copilot could make a call to his fiancee. This also permitted whoever now controlled Flight MH370 to retreive something from the passenger area, which because of its de-pressurized state could only be accomplished, if the plane flew at a low altitude.
the Suspension of Disbelief
Everyone grows up and passes through a stage of magical thinking and a belief in fairytales.
What we have been asked to believe is that after 9/11, and despite the possession of multibillion dollar military radar systems, an unidentified aircraft was permitted to fly over Malaysian territory and its airspace from its eastern to its western most boundary for some 40 minutes, undetected and unchallenged.
the Boeing 777 has two secondary-radar transponders on board, with one serving as back-up
Unfortunately, it is rather difficult for the public to gain an understanding of the technology used for tracking aircraft from the overly simplistic reporting of our broadcast media, i.e., CNN, Fox News and the like. An awareness of modern radar is necessary in unravelling the riddle concerning the disappearance (demise) of Malaysia Flight MH370.
There are two main radar systems and they are known as primary and secondary. Secondary radar is the system that allows air traffic control to track commercial aircraft such as MH370. The operating principle, that is, the basic science exploited in radar tracking, is the doppler effect.
For the last eight years there has been a third type of flight surveillance system in operation, known as ADS-B, or automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast. Although, MH370 was fitted with ADS-B, and was spotted by two ADS-B stations in northern Malaysia as the rouge plane crossed back over Malaysia after altering its course away from Bejing, that tracking has not been included in any official reports.
Once military radar tracking became aware that there was a problem with Malaysia Flight 370, they would have attempted to contact the plane directly.
Although the intelligence, flight number, altitude, speed etc, attached to the transponder used by civilian radar control, does not appear on the military radar screen, the most important information does appear as a signal telling military radar control that there is a plane within their radar reception area.
Once contact was made, the military radar controller would ask Flight MH370 to 'squawk' a unique frequency number back to the military air traffic control station.
The military controller would then be receiving a blip on their radar sceen with intelligence, altitude, speed, etc. as civilian radar contol does routinely from the broadcast it receives from the planes transponder.
After acknowledging the squawk request, flight MH370 would be sending and receiving intelligence, to and directly from military radar control.
But, Flight MH370 did not respond to the military attempt to communicate with it.
So, what happened next?
the conspiracy of silence
- the prisoners' dilemma game -
In a nutshell, the prisoners dilemma game plays out as follows: The police do not have enough evidence to convict A or B, so they must try to get one or the other, or both of them to confess. The possible outcomes are as follows:
If A and B betray each other, A and B both go to prison
If A betrays B, A will be set free and B goes to prison (and vice versa)
If A and B both remain silent, A and B go free.
If, everyone involved in the downing of Malaysia Flight MH370 remains silent ...
Other channels of communication would have been exhausted, and in this case that involved contacting another civilian aircraft in the vicinity of MH370 and asking them to make contact over a system that allows pilots to communicate directly, cockpit to cockpit, over what is a traditional radio connection.
In the case of Flight MH370, neither attempt at communication yielded what air traffic control, civilian and military, needed to know - why MH370 had shut off its transponder and altered its course.
Not having the ability to communicate with the pilot, military air traffic control had no choice but to scramble a jet to go up and make visual contact with the plane. That is, a military pilot would fly close enough to MH370 to look directly into the cockpit and make eye contact with the pilot. These military jets are equipped with cameras that can produce stills and video and transmit it to the ground.
And this is where, what happened to Flight MH370 was sealed. Whatever, that military pilot saw when he looked into the cockpit of MH370, and transmitted what was filmed those images did not bode well for the commanders on the ground.
The military plane would have made several passes of the civilian airliner to check for any signs of physical damage to the plane, such as was there a fire in one of the cargo areas, as was suggested when it was discovered that certain types of batteries were being air freighted on that plane.
It is rather obvious that the military pilot did not report a fire on board MH370. But, we still have an aircraft flying in a direction that will take it over Malaysia from the east to the west of its territitory that has turned off its transponder, failed to respond to another civilian aircraft and its not communicating with military air traffic control.
The path that MH370 took when it turned around and headed back towards Malaysia would have taken it directly back to the capital Kuala Lumpur. That was not going to be allowed to happen.
The military planes observing Flight 370 are doing everything in their power to redirect flight MH370, a rouge aircraft, away from the capital city. By this time the Thais are in the air and they are not going to let MH370 enter its airspace, and MH370 is challenged and sandwiched between Thai and Malaysian military planes along a path that skirted the Thai-Malasian border. But this does not solve the ultimate problem, because in a very short time, the Malaysian military will have to stop its pursuit and Indonesian and Thai military planes will escort the rouge aircraft along the midpoint of Straight of Malacca, that forms the boundaries of their shared airspace that runs between their two countries, and away from any possible land-based targets.
By this point MH370 is, by all those whose militaries have become involved, being viewed merely a threat. And, all decisions that are being made and were made were based on that assumption.
This is the center of the crucible for Malaysian officials. Do they let the plane out of their airspace and turn the control of where that plane is allowed to fly over to Thai and Indonesian officials, or do they make the ultimate challenge to Flight MH370 while it is over their territory.
The Malaysian Prime Minister, had been aware of the problem with MH370 for about half an hour at this juncture, and had spoken with his military chiefs and advisors. He had also made every attempt to consult with the leaders of Thailand and Indonesia. And it should be known by this time even the Indian government had been made aware that there was a potential problem, which might be heading its way. (It must be understood that the 9/11 high jackers practiced taking over half a dozen airplanes with knives, which included Indian aircraft in the months leading up to September 2001. All the highjacked planes were flown to Afghanistan.)