Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Where is the MH370 aircraft?

Pilot Amelia Earhart and her plane disappeared on July 2nd, 1937, and her disappearance has been a topic of mysterious theories for 75+ years. Now it seems likely that she ended near an island in the Republic of Kiribati.

Do you understand why the trajectory of the MH370 flight seems broken and why the unsmooth point is exactly the point where the airplane was lost? Or is the discontinuity just an artifact of an imperfect drawing of the map? I've seen the same discontinuity on other maps, too.

On Saturday, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, too. The aircraft went sharply off-course, lowered the altitude abruptly, stopped communicating just as if all the electricity suddenly disappeared from the airplane (or it was physically destroyed within a split second) or just turned off by someone. It carried more than one famous woman; there were 227 passengers plus 12 crew members. It was going from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing (towards the Northeast, and maybe in the opposite direction, such details are not too important for Asian officials so nobody really knows and no TRF reader was carefully watching the realtime air traffic maps at the moment; with news like that, The Onion will soon go out of business).

In the middle of the sea, the pilot said "Alright, good night" and the communication was lost. (Maybe the pilot wanted to turn off the lights for everyone to sleep but he mistakenly turned off the whole airplane.) No one knows where the airplane is and lots of weird things have occurred. Or at least some of them because people have invented some weird and untrue stories.

First of all, The Bermuda Triangle is very far. However, the cargo cult scientists are waiting for their granddads' airplanes in Melanesia, just some 9,000 kilometers away from the point where the MH370 flight evaporated (oops, I thought it was much closer). Did they finally learn how to use the wooden models of the aircraft and capture the Boeing 777?

The relatives were calling the cell phones of the passengers and they reported that the cell phones were apparently "ringing" long after the aircraft was lost. Experts warn that the signal doesn't mean much. The cell phones could have been destroyed at the moment but the networks may have continued to order the ringing, so it was producing the same signal. Does someone understand that?

Some radars may have detected the airplane in Pulau Perak, an island on the "wrong" side of the Malaysian (...) peninsula (in the Strait of Malacca) but this report could have been just a fantasy. Were they trying to land near the island? You don't want to land in the middle of the island because it's quite a sharp piece of rock. But maybe there are some nearby beaches?

Was the aircraft "just" kidnapped, perhaps following the same fate as the Pennsylvanian airplane on 9/11?

Most interestingly, was it hacked? IT Pro Portal elaborates on this explanation. In October 2013, someone is said to have hacked one of the world's largest GPS tracking networks with a modest $600 equipment.

The hackers were able to direct some vessel(s) along this somewhat unusual trajectory on the map. Yes, it says PWNED! Was the Boeing 777 also "pwned" by someone? Many of these things sound weird, indeed. What do you know and what do you think about these matters?

And I haven't even discussed the two Iranians with stolen passports. They are not suspects, we are told, because stealing passports is no big deal. Virtually all my Persian friends speak Chinese and Malaysian and fly all over East Asia each weekend, anyway, and when they do so, they usually use Austrian and Italian passwords obtained in Thailand (except for my ex-co-author Shahin Sheikh-Jabbari who usually flies from Fiji to Tibet on an his Ukrainian passport bought in Columbia each Saturday), so it follows that much like most of the Iranian citizens, the two Iranian chaps were perfectly holy followers of Allah who are just waiting for their 72 virgins. They can't possibly have anything to do with the disappeared aircraft. ;-)

Did it land, as the BBC just suggested? Where? And what are the answers to the remaining 365 questions above?

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reader cynholt said...

It's also worth noting that the Slavic ethnic group in Ukraine is suspicious of the EU’s intentions about their agricultural land. They regard the European Union as a mask for the Aryan ethnic group (say German banks), trying to control Ukraine’s grain exports. Their grain exports are second in the world, only to the US’s.

Farm production is an important hedge for the banks because climate models foresee reductions in crop yields in Western Europe.

This conflict is not just about oil and gas, it's also about rich farm land. It's the same thing that World War II was about. Why don't we get honest and just acknowledge this? Because of it's political incorrectness?

reader JonnyGodDamnnox said...

Hey Lubos, there is a whole list of missing aircraft: and , it's not so unusual I guess.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, it's a long list and if you don't look at the details, you may say it's unusual.

But if you look at least at some details of the aircraft, you will realize that this is certainly an unusual one. The previous lost airplane occurred in 2008 and had just 3 people. Before that, it was just in 2003 and there was one person, a thief. Only thrice in the list, more than 100 people were lost: 107 people in 1962 and 239 people now, by far the largest loss. Most of the entries have less than 10 people lost.

reader John Archer said...

I agree with you, Luboš. This stuff struck me as clutching at straws when I first heard about it a while back for the same order-of-magnitude considerations. I didn't bother reading beyond the gist then. Same now. Just to be clear: I don't know it's wrong, but unless someone comes up with a clear and convincing physical mechanism (what!) that links this to temperature then no amount statistical juggling ... oh, to hell with it... boring...

I just hope this doesn't blow up into a wholly unnecessary argument between you and Lord Monckton as I like you both and we're all on the same side.

One other thing. It would have been nice if Lord Monckton had extended the same courtesy to you as you did to him and call you Dr Mot, not Mr Motl. I can conclude only that he doesn't know who you are, or what he's dealing with here. You might be another Don Bradman. :)

Not that I give a toss about anyone's title, but that if there's an assumed form in play then the signal given by breaking it is very much open to misinterpretation. That's all.

reader cynholt said...

Self-appointed Ukrainian constitutional law expert Kerry pontificates about the "self-determination of Ukrainians," while in the same breath telling Crimea it cannot determine itself to secede from Ukraine!

If Kerry were really the expert on Ukrainian constitutional law he appointed himself to being, he would know that the divestment of Yanukovych by the Ukrainian Parliament was unconstitutional (it did not follow the protocol provided by the constitution to that effect).

reader cynholt said...

Obama's jumping so damn quickly in this Ukrainian mess is specifically reminiscent of his calling the police "stupid" when the Harvard professor was caught breaking into his own house. I've never seen a president so quick to insert himself into populist positions, evidence be damned. Trayvon is another case of inserting his presidential opinion into a criminal case (just happening to agree with racist popular opinion) before the trial.

His judgement IS that bad. Look at his appointments. Sec'y Kerry inspire confidence?

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, what is a "Slavic ethnic group", Cynthia? Is that some kind of the Americans' blonde geography?

Both Ukrainians and Russians are (Eastern) Slavs.

reader John Archer said...

Aryans! Not them again!

I suspect she keeps a well-thumbed copy of Mein Kampf under her pillow. :)

They did don lovely ceremonial dress though. :)

reader cynholt said...

OK, I got my classification of ethnic groups all mixed up, but my comment still stands as largely being right.

reader Art Slartibartfast said...

Note that the trajectory drawn on the map was a simple data injection into the Automatc Identification System (AIS), a radio transponder system for ships over a digital VHF radio channel of which the protocol is well publicized. AIS was never designed with security in mind, it was intended for ships to notify each other of their whereabouts in poor visibility conditions to avoid collisions. Safety and security are two different things.

reader Hegu said...


The discontinuity of the trajectory is most probably a change of airways at a point on the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspaces. Aircraft usually only enter or exit an airspace in special points, called coordination points. The discontinuity seems to agree with the point called BITOD on this chart:

reader anna v said...

The kink is , I think< because from the beginning they were talking of a change in direction before it disappeared from their map. They have been playing games whether it is towards the west or the east the past two days! I think that a lot of confusion comes from bad info from Malasia probably because the ones who work and know were pushed aside by the higher ups to get into the media lime light.

I think that the US with its extra classified satellites must have information that it is not disclosing. Some snippets in some internet news: "no explosion was seen at the point of disappearance" . Look at this map of lightning , of course not classified. It shows the lightning in Europe integrated every 20minutes, with a number. Today is a quiet day. If you look at the USA one, there is a storm out of Florida. I have seen hundreds of hits over Athens during a storm. It tells me that if the freely available satellite technology can count lightnings, the classified US one should have recorded an explosion that was accompanied by light.

Somehow information is garbled and not freely given.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I've heard that safety and security are two different things but you may understand why I am still puzzled by this statement, e.g. if you find the translations of the words to Czech:

So if someone has time for this simple question by a speaker who calls both "bezpečnost", what is the difference between safety and security?

reader Art Slartibartfast said...

Safety is protection against things happening by accident, security is
protection against things happening on purpose. In some languages there
are no separate words for this,

reader Luboš Motl said...

I see, makes sense. Security guards are against deliberate thugs, while safety belts are against random turbulence only.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Exactly, that was main my question but I wasn't as brave as you to actually ask.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Nice lightning maps.

So the sharp turn is known... They were probably unlucky that the pilot wanted to have sex exactly during the sharp turn

He has lended his joystick in the cockpit to women before, maybe both of them simultaneously...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Anthony, a perfectly fine empirical approach. The low signal-to-noise ratio is pretty much the same thing as a "low significance" - the "bumps" are small enough that they may emerge from noise only so they are not a confirmation of a signal.

reader Brute said...

"... as reasonable as Americans"

Are you high?

reader anna v said...

Well, wormholes are a bit too much, but I had been thinking of rogue electromagnetism, like ball lightning, a sort of soliton solution . Or maybe a highly improbable meteorite hit.

reader Gene Day said...

Mechanical failure is highly improbable. It seems likely that there was a deliberate action taken by one or both pilots. It is also possible that a passenger forced his way onto the flight deck when the door was opened in order to let one of them use the toilet. Crew and passengers are required to remain aft of the forward galley whenever the door is opened but there may have been a security lapse.

reader Shannon said...

Has anybody suggested that it could have been a missile fired by mistake from some prowling submarine...?

reader Guest said...

What do these tidal forces do to the solar wind?

reader AJ said...

I doubt if it crashed into the Malacca Strait on the "wrong" side. This is one of the busiest waterways in the world with traffic between India and East Asia. Go to and see for yourself.

reader lukelea said...

Are we sure the flight existed? What about insurance fraud?

reader Luboš Motl said...

I am not even quite sure that Malaysia exists. ;-)

reader Honza said...

How exactly would this work? You would kill the 227 passengers and some of the crew, hide the airplane and claim that it disappeared? Or would you convince all of them to work with you for a cut on profit? ;-)

reader papertiger0 said...

Luboš Kohoutek comes to mind.
In 1973 his comet visits the inner solar system on a hyperbolic tragectory. Why is it here? Where did it come from?
As it passes unspecified giant planets (only a few to choose from) the comet changes course from the hyperbolic to the parabolic, the orbit drops from infinity to 'just' 1800 AU.

Why the adjustment?

reader John Archer said...

I guess because the previous approximation of the orbit was updated using fresh data.

It's a 3-body problem. Things can change dramatically. There are no analytic solutions and calculated orbits (always therefore obtained only approximately) only hold for a relatively short while. Stuff can get flung out to infinity even, in general.

I'm puzzled. What's 1800 AU? Not perihelion if it's going anywhere near Jupiter. And, especially if the orbit is hyperbolic or parabolic and you're not talking about perihelion, then what does it measure?

Disclaimer: I'm not a physicist.

reader John Archer said...

Turn it into a massive methane fart wiping out polite social life on Earth. What else? :)

But you are joking, aren't you?

Are you?

reader Swine flu said...

A number of posts here exhibit a classic "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" attitude. It is a potentially dangerous viewpoint when assessing potential dangers.

reader papertiger0 said...

It's from the Wiki for comet Kohoutek.
1800 AU or 1800 times the distance of sun from Earth.

I'm guessing the reference to "giant planets" was due to not being able to nail the cause of deflection down to an individual source.

reader stevesailer said...

This region is a traditional site of nautical piracy, so maybe there's a stolen jet covered in tree branches somewhere?

reader Tom Trevor said...

The news sometime reports that the last thing the pilot said was "Alright Goodnight," but we have know idea what the thing he said was, this was just his last transmission. He was almost certainly saying it to the last controller who handed the flight off to the next controller. I have read that the flight was just handed of from Malaysian airspace to Vietnamese airspace. It is very common to say goodnight, or good day, to the controllers.
Aircraft don't usually fly the most direct route. They fly from waypoint to waypoint that are marked by radio beacons, although now days they use GPS more.

reader Geoff Sharp said...

Before you write off a theory it pays to keep up with the emerging
science. There are now two papers showing that a recurring barycentric
anomaly or AMP event as I call it, coincide with all solar grand minima
and other events like SC20. This event can be quantified and explains
the different levels of grand minima.

My paper was first in 2010 and is now backed up by McCracken, Beer & Steinhilber (2014).

you or Anthony could show a time in the last 6000 years when a grand
minimum occurred outside of a barycentric anomaly event (there is
one...let's see if you can find it).

refuses to review these papers on WUWT...what is he scared of? If the
papers are wrong he can rip us apart...bring it on...

Geoff Sharp