Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s flotsam, let me know when it is actual wreckage

The Indian Ocean is full of flotsam. It is well known that containers fall overboard from ships that traverse the region known as the roaring 40s. During the search for wreckage relating to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, there have been lots of objects turn up on satellite, but most of it is nothing more than flotsam.

The search area has been moved to the north of the original search area due to a recalculation of the prospective air speed of the missing aircraft. More and more sightings are being made of what could be wreckage but what is more likely to be flotsam.

In the meantime there is more speculation about what might have occurred on board the aircraft. There are now at least 2 possibilities that are in my view plausible explanations as to why the transponder stopped working at a particular point in time. Both of these scenarios are plausible because they involve “recall” or “maintenance” notices for all Boeing aircraft.

The first of these is the possibility that the bracket holding the transponder was cracked and that something gave way. This would have caused a hole and as a result there would have been de-pressurisation of the aircraft. Boeing had made a notification to all airlines maintenance staff to check the transponder bracket for cracks. This remains a plausible scenario for the time being.

The second possibility is that of a fire in the cockpit. This is also plausible as explained by other aircraft captains. An El Al flight at Heathrow had to be abandoned because of such a fire, and the aircraft had to be scrapped because of the damage caused by the fire. If there was a fire caused by faulty wiring then the cockpit crew would have been concentrating first on getting the fire under control  (read that as extinguishing the fire) and then trying to find somewhere to land the plane safely. The fact that the aircraft turned as if it was returning to Kuala Lumpur or to at least find a landing strip close by is circumstantial evidence that this particular scenario is highly probable. Within this scenario the pilot and co-pilot had a small window of opportunity and if they were knocked out because of the lack of oxygen then that would partially why the flight continued until it ran out of fuel.

Today, the searchers are looking to find objects that have been spotted by aircraft, not just by satellite. If this new discovery turns out to be aircraft wreckage then the salvage operation can begin in earnest. However, a word of caution here. Until actual wreckage is removed from the ocean, then all we have so far is nothing more than flotsam, which is something like space junk!!

UPDATE: It has been announced that my former neighbour in Townsville, the retired Chief of Defence, Air Marshall Angus Houston has been appointed to co-ordinate the search for the missing aircraft. Angus is a man who is more than capable to do the role to which he has been appointed. The co-ordination plan is a good one and it will provide a one stop shop for all involved in this whole drama, including the grieving relatives.

UPDATE: Regarding the so-called criminal investigation.

Once again the media is guilty of creating mischief and the usual suspect bloggers have been jumping to erroneous conclusions. The investigations of everything connected to the flight continues. The pilot has been cleared by the FBI or whoever it was that had a look at his simulator. He liked to play simulator computer games!! Other comments regarding the mental health condition of the pilot are to be taken with a grain of salt until after wreckage has been found. The lastest information that I have seen is that the Malaysian authorities are investigating the idea that the food served on board was poisoned. They are also investigating a consignment of mangosteens. HOWEVER, like all other investigations to date, the chances that they will come up empty-handed again remains strong. It could be that they are barking up the wrong tree.

The search area has moved slightly to the north, under the direction of Angus Houston who is now in charge of co-ordinating the whole search effort. As I have already explained, Angus has extensive experience as an Air Force pilot in search and rescue missions. As the former Chief of the Defence Forces, Angus Houston is an excellent pick for the role of co-ordinating the various countries involved in the search. He has all the necessary diplomatic skills for the job.

The hunt for the Malaysian Airlines missing jet

In the past 24 hours there have been some positive developments in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines jet. It now seems most likely that the plane crashed in the Indian ocean. Until the wreckage is found I urge caution as to what might have happened during the flight.

In particular I caution against making the assumption that there was some kind of terrorism involved in the disappearance of that flight. There are many other possibilities to consider.

First of all, the Chinese and the Australians are leading the way in pin pointing what might be wreckage, but to date all we can do is state the obvious, that they have spotted some flotsam in the ocean. We will know more when the ships in that region actually find the flotsam and it gets identified as being part of the missing aircraft but until then, we simply do not know.

Second point to consider here is the alleged telephone call on a telephone that was purchased in secret. My first thought when I heard about this was not that the captain of the aircraft was in touch with terrorists, but that he used the phone to make contact with a secret lover. His current wife is young and she has 2 young children, but he also has adult children. The man is a moderate where Islam is concerned, and his wife is not compelled to wear the usual garb, neither is his daughter. On the other hand, the phone might have been purchased in order to make contact with other members of the Social Justice Party of which he was a member. He was a support of Ibrahim the jailed former Prime Minister who had trumped up charges raised against him by the current regime. Just like the terrorists they fear someone listening into their conversations, but these are not violent or fanatical people.

Third point to consider is the likelihood that something on board the flight went wrong aka some kind of mechanical failure. This leads me back to the bracket of the transponder. Boeing had a notice regarding the transponder bracket for this particular jet. There is a requirement for airlines to do a maintenance check to look for cracks in the bracket. If the check had not been done to date, then there are implications. As far as the flight is concerned, one possible scenario, though unlikely is that the transponder bracket cracked. As a result, there might be a slow decompression that would cause both crew and passengers to lose consciousness. This would lead the plane to keep on flying until it crashed.

The explanation that I have given, although it is most likely what happened, does not explain why the plane was seen to veer off course as though it was returning to Kuala Lumpar. This could be easily explained if one takes into consideration the skill and dedication of the captain of the aircraft. The change in course is an indication that the two pilots recognized that something was wrong and that they were either attempting to return to Kuala Lumpar or at least find a location where they could safely land the jet. The direction of the new flight path does in fact suggest one particlar location. If, after changing course the cabin crew could not control the situation that had developed, and in fact had been rendered unconscious as a result of something happening on board the aircraft, then that could explain the trajectory of the new flight path.

Until the wreckage is located we simply do not know the nature of what happened on board. I believe that it is wrong to start screaming terrorism as some have done, just because the pilot and co-pilot are Muslim. These men are professional people and in the case of the pilot, he was a man dedicated to his family as well as to his job. The fact that he had his own simulator is a sign of how much he loved his job as a pilot. It is not a sign that he was involved in furthering Islam via acts of terrorism.  There are other possible explanations and until the wreckage is recovered, and the accident investigation teams get to work, we will not have any definitive answers. Until then, I believe that it is totally wrong to blame either pilot on board for the disappearance of the jet. This includes claims that it was a suicide.

Accident investigations are very thorough and the assigned investigators will get to the truth of what happened. If, after examining the wreckage in minute detail, they cannot find evidence of any mechanical failure, or of say a bomb going off, only then can anyone deduce “suicide”. Too much has been made of the fact that the pilot had certain political affiliations. This man was too professional to allow such affiliations rule his life to the point that he would risk everything to kill so many people. We have to wait and see.

The Obama legacy…. Neville Chamberlain

Anyone familiar with history should know the significance of the above statement regarding what could be the real legacy of the fraud Barry Soetoro and his usurpation of the White House.  The name Neville Chamberlain should send shivers up and down the spine. It is not because Neville Chamberlain was a bad person but due to Neville Chamberlain not having the political nous to see through a German with the name Adolph Hitler.

There is a lot to be said about the consequences that will arise out of the Barry Soetoro years. It is not my intention to cover the majority of those negatives, BUT I do want to cover what looks to be a looming crisis as Vladmir Putin seeks to annexe more and more of the Baltic states that had once been under the control of the Soviet Union.

First things first, though, I think that I am a dope because I was so easily misled by the ethnic Russians who live in the Crimea. The Australian media or should I just say the media had interviews with what were purported to be ethnic Russians living in the Ukraine. They were all very keen to return to Mother Russia. It was a very big propaganda push that was meant to pave the way for a vote that was almost 100 per cent in favour of seceding from the Ukraine and returning to Russia. It was very convincing propaganda.

Today, however, I have second thoughts regarding my own attitude, that if the people of Crimea want to identify with Russia, then let them, since they chose that path of their own free will. The reason for my own change of mind is the more chilling news that Putin is now eyeing off Estonia.

This report from an online Australian news site is worth a read. Of special interest is the short history lesson, indicating that Adolph Hitler played the same kind of annexation games as Neville Chamberlain stood by and allowed it all to happen. There are some very strong parallels to consider between the actions of Vladmir Putin and the non-action or rather the paper tiger reaction of Barry Soetoro and that of Adolph Hitler and of Neville Chamberlain. Hitler also sent in his troops prior to forced annexation.

Hunt for the missing plane… part xxx

I know I am being a bit glib or flippant here, but I do not know what to make of all the contradictory commentary regarding the missing aircraft.

That being said, a new possibility has raised its head, and this has come from what might be considered unconfirmed reports by residents in the Maldives Islands. They reported seeing a low-flying aircraft at about 6.15 a.m. their time, and what stood out was the noise that caused many of them to go outside of their houses to find out what was happening.  Some of those residents reported that they saw what might look like the logo of Malaysian airlines… it sounds good and it sounds plausible.

As we drove towards Newcastle today in time for my doctor appointment, I mentioned this information to my husband. His response was quite interesting because he immediately mentioned that yes, if that was the case, then it is possible, even probably that the aircraft was headed for Mogadishu. Does that sound far-fetched?

As far as I can see, the reasons he discussed sound the most plausible of any explanation that I have read to date and it fits in with comments about the plane being high-jacked and that it was an act of piracy. Here are some things to consider:

1. What nation is thoroughly lawless?

2. What nation is responsible for piracy on the high seas?

3. What nation stood to gain most from piracy in terms of receiving ransom from governments and ship owners not willing to admit that there had been another hijacking on the open seas?

4. How effective has the effort been to stop the pirates from Somalia?

Now they were just the teaser questions, but we need to think about more possibilities with regards to Mogadishu being the intended destination for a flight that had been hijacked.

1. Mogadishu has a runway that is long enough for the aircraft to land and take off again.

2. Mogadishu has the aircraft hangers that could hide such a large aircraft whereas a lot of other countries do not have such facilities.

3. There is a need to get more money via hijackings but with the current blocks on shipping hijacks it means that the criminals need to try something new.

4. If the aircraft reached the Maldives by about 6.15 am then there was probably about 2 hours of fuel remaining. Looking at the map using the Maldives as a location where the aircraft was sighted, then there is a direct path to… SOMALIA.

Talk of finding debris in the Straits of Malacca could be just another furphy… or a false lead. Unless such debris is confirmed as coming from the aircraft, or I should say, unless the debris is found by searchers, then it is yet more noise.

The search is beginning to focus on the southern arc of the possible route, and that includes are region stemming for West Australia. I doubt that anything will be found since I believe that there are two other possibilities that are not being explored fully – one is a route to Somalia. The other is a route to a remote part of China. The Chinese are scouring their country using satellite data and so far have found nothing.. what about Somalia.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that there is more than one government agency keeping quiet about what they really know, and that includes the way in which pirates normally attempt to secretly negotiate the release of their cargo…. this is just food for thought until something more positive turns up.

How can a large aircraft disappear?

The mystery involving the disappearance of the Malaysian airlines flight from the skies near Vietnam continues to tease us because there remains no sign of the aircraft anywhere. To cap this off there has been a number of bizarre theories about what might have happened. There are no signs of wreckage and that means that at this point in time a mid-air explosion has been discounted.

What remains? Well, that is part of the mystery involving this particular flight. First, there is focus on the pilot who apparently is a supporter of the former Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. For those who have not bothered to look up the historical context, the current Malaysian government got rid of Anwar Ibrahim by bringing up false charges of sodomy against him. When the charges were first heard Anwar Ibrahim was found guilty by the Malaysian kangaroo court, but then he had other charges overturned. It was the overturning of the overturning of the charges that was supposed to have upset the captain of the aircraft.

At this point in time I have a floating red flag when it comes to blaming the pilot for what looks like a deliberate hijacking of the aircraft. I find the current explanation to be a little bit too glib for my taste and sensibilities. Why would a man who makes good money as an aircraft captain, and I might add who has a collection of aircraft models do something like suddenly deciding he was going to hijack the aircraft which he loves to fly? The reasons given are plausible, but what is screaming at me is the fact that this explanation sounds like one that is meant to shift blame onto the opposition of the current Malaysian Prime Minister, especially Anwar Ibrahim.  The missing link for me is the amount of planning that would be required to hijack the plane. The pilot would have had to work out in advance what he was going to do, well in advance and I would suspect that he would need the co-operation of other aircrew to carry the whole thing off.

What are the alternative explanations? Still focusing on the air crew, there is the co-pilot who is a bit of a young buck with an eye for the girls. The co-pilot is described by the leader of his mosque as a good boy, a good Muslim. Should that description ring alarm bells? He is yet another Malaysian who is the son of wealthy Malaysian parents who are also trusted by the Malaysian government. What is alarming is the description “A good Muslim” and the implications of such a description. Could one who likes to be a playboy and who invites young females into the cockpit have changed into another form of fanatic? I am not sure that this is the case.

The last known location of the aircraft might shed some light about who is on board the flight. The location near the Andaman Islands should also get people thinking. Forget about a flight to either Pakistan or Afghanistan  in this instance or at least for the time being. Also, I do not believe that the aircraft flew south towards Australia, with a reach only as far as the Cocos Islands. To the east of where the plane was traced via the pings lies the Xian province of China, and that is the location of the Muslim Uighar population.

I think it is possible, even probably that the aircraft landed somewhere in Xian Province in China. However, I could be very wrong on that score. In my defence for that belief is the fact that the flight path taken by the low flying aircraft led it directly to the Xian province of China. There is a Uighar on board that aircraft and he has simulator flight training experience. I remain open to the possibility that this person could have had accomplices among the passengers and that anything might have happened when the transponders were turned off.

RIP Brian

This is just a note to let you know that my father-in-law passed away at around 8.30 pm Saturday 15 March. He was 86 years young.

We were due to go and see him this morning and take our youngest son and grandson with us. Alas we really should have made the effort yesterday to go there instead of delaying and keeping to our plan.. such is life.

Brian’s health started to deteriorate after he had to give up his driver’s licence. From that time we began to really notice his decline, especially when he refused to even go shopping with his wife (she is not my mother-in-law because Fay passed away many years ago). In November Brian was placed in a facility for respite care. During that time his younger sister, Pam passed away. By the time of her funeral on 18 December, Brian was in a wheelchair.  Within the past month another relative Betty, also passed away. Brian continued to rapidly deteriorate. He was sent to the hospital a few times but on the last occasion he failed to respond to antibiotic treatment for an infection. When we saw him last Sunday he did not respond to our presence, having slipped into unconciousness again. Brian was sent back to the aged care facility where it was that he would pass away within days.  He crossed into eternal life last night.

Russia, Crimea… and that fool in the White House

I am not ready to return to writing at this point in time. However, I feel the need to comment upon the crisis in the Ukraine.

How many have read the final book written by Tom Clancy. I admit that I have not read it… and I am trying to think of a way to read my husband’s Kindle copy. I mention this book because what is playing out in the Ukraine was the subject of the Tom Clancy model.

What I also want to address is the fool in the White House. The man is beneath contempt. There is little I can say about his foolishness and his approach to the crisis. Obviously Putin could not care less about what that fool has to say.. and the Iranians feel the same way. The fool has no power. He has taken away American legitimacy in such situations.