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Will we ever solve the mystery of MH370? A new Netflix documentary fails to ask the right questions

Malaysia's transport minister speaks to the media in 2014 (Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)

Malaysia's transport minister speaks to the media in 2014 (Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)


March 13, 2023   7 mins

On March 8, 2014, at around 1:20am, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished from radar screens just off the coast of Malaysia, never to be seen again. Nine years later, the Boeing 777’s disappearance remains the most astonishing, and terrifying, mystery in aviation history. In this age of constant real-time monitoring of everything that moves through the skies, in which even an unidentified balloon can cause the scrambling of fighter jets, how could a massive high-tech airliner carrying 239 people vanish into thin air?

Several experts have tried to answer this question — many of whom are featured in a new three-part Netflix documentary, MH370: The Plane That Disappeared. According to the official narrative, outlined by Malaysian and Western authorities, around 40 minutes after take-off, 90 miles off the east coast of Malaysia, someone on the plane — most likely the captain — turned off its electronic communication signals, causing it to disappear from Air Traffic Control (ATC) radars. The plane, they say, then made a U-turn, flew back across the Malay Peninsula, veered north up the Malacca Strait, rounded the Indonesian island of Sumatra, eventually turned south and then flew in a straight path for around six hours — at which point it ran out of fuel and crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. If this is really what happened, we are talking about one of the slowest, most bizarre mass murder-suicides in history.

There are, however, several problems with this narrative, as the French journalist Florence de Changy, who has been covering the Asia-Pacific for the past 30 years for Le Monde and RFI, explains in the documentary, and in much greater detail in her 2021 book The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370, the result of a seven-year investigation.

The official account hinges on two pieces of evidence: Malaysian military radar data, which tracked the plane deviating westward, and analysis of the automatic communication “pings” between the aircraft and a satellite operated by a British company called Inmarsat, which provides satellite communication services to a wide range of private and institutional clients, including the US government and military. Inmarsat concluded that the plane subsequently flew south until around the time of its last ping (though it couldn’t provide the exact location of the last communication, because the data didn’t have GPS-tracking capabilities).

Both pieces of evidence, however, have been called into question. Firstly, as the Malaysian authorities’ final investigation report acknowledged, the data behind its military radar sighting is inconsistent with the capability of a B777 in terms of speed, altitude and height variations. Moreover, the radar images supposedly showing MH370 flying back over Malaysia were never made public. Likewise, none of the countries that MH370 is claimed to have flown over or close to — Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia — have provided radar evidence of the plane in their airspace. As de Changy writes: “Not a single raw radar image has been shown to support the route taken by MH370 according to the official version” (this piece of information was missing in the documentary).

One may also ask why the Malaysian military didn’t scramble jets at the sight of a rogue plane flying over national airspace, especially considering that MH370 is said to have passed right over the Butterworth Air Force Base in Penang, the headquarters for the Integrated Air Defence system of the Five Power Defence Agreement (FPDA), which includes the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. There was also a massive presence of the US Seventh Fleet — which is based in Japan and has 50-70 ships and submarines, 150 aircraft and 20,000 sailors — in the region at the time of the plane’s disappearance. According to a senior member of the intelligence services de Changy spoke to, there were two US “AWACS” in the area that night: planes mounted with long-range radar systems capable of constantly monitoring the airspace within a radius of more than 250 miles. Yet the Americans weren’t able to provide any evidence of the plane’s alleged U-turn either.

There’s another problem with the “deliberate act” narrative. As de Changy notes, if someone had turned off the transponder, all flight data related to MH370 would have disappeared from ATC screens at the same time. But it took 37 seconds for it all to go dark. “This sequence of events in itself should have been sufficient to dismiss the ‘someone turned off the transponder’ part of the official narrative,” she writes (this was also missing in the documentary).

As for Inmarsat’s satellites, their data also appears to raise more questions than it answers. When, two weeks after the disappearance, the company concluded that the MH370 had turned south and crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, the world was expected to just take their word for it — even though Inmarsat’s findings were based on a complex analysis of ping data which had never been attempted before. In fact, right from the start, experts and family members raised doubts about the reliability of the ping-based calculations and asked the company to provide the raw data for independent analysis. For three months, Inmarsat refused, and when they finally did release some of it, several critical details necessary to understand how they did their calculations were missing. Since then, Inmarsat has refused to share its complete set of data with the families and the media.

But the biggest hole in Inmarsat’s story is also the most obvious: the fact that, despite the world’s largest search in history, covering almost two million square miles in the southern Indian Ocean, no remains of the plane have been found in the supposed crash area near Australia — despite the fact that, when a plane crashes into the sea, there is almost always debris. The only debris considered by investigators “almost certainly” or “highly likely” to be linked to MH370 has been discovered around the coast of Africa, thousands of miles away.

Finally, it remains unclear why the plane’s captain — the prime suspect in the “deliberate act” narrative — would have committed such a horrendous act. Over the years, the Western press has questioned Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s mental health, political orientation and even his sexual preferences — all in an attempt to paint him as someone potentially capable of such a crime. However, from extensive interviews with his friends and family, and analysis of the police reports about him, de Changy concludes that Zaharie was unlikely to be suffering from mental health issues. “My research convinced me that Zaharie was of sound mind and a genuinely good man,” she told me last week. “He was also one of the airline’s most experienced pilots.”

Amid such uncertainty, it’s no wonder that MH370 has become the subject of all sorts of conspiratorial conjecture, involving black holes, insurance scams, North Korea, a meteorite, remote hijacking and even aliens. Most of these theories are so outlandish that they have tended to make all non-official explanations for the disappearance of MH370 seem crazy by association. The Netflix documentary suffers from the same contamination. After covering the official theory in the first episode, the series then explores two alternatives. The first is presented by American journalist and aviation expert Jeff Wise, who suggested in 2015 that a group of Russian hijackers — there were three ethnic Russians on the flight (two held Ukrainian passports) — could have lowered themselves into the plane’s electronics bay and taken control of the aircraft in order to divert it north, possibly to Kazakhstan, while somehow altering the Inmarsat data so it looked like the plane had gone south.

It is such an absurd theory — as Wise himself acknowledges in the documentary — that one cannot help but wonder why the decision was made to dedicate an entire episode to it. It also has the effect of casting its tinfoil hat-shaped shadow over the second alternative theory proposed by Florence de Changy in the third and final episode. She suggests that MH370 didn’t disappear from the screens of ATC  because someone turned off its transponder, but because the plane’s communications system was jammed — possibly by the two US AWACS planes mentioned by the aforementioned intelligence source. De Changy suggests the aim might have been to force the plane to land in order to seize a highly sensitive cargo which the US didn’t want to fall into Chinese hands (she points to a 2.5-ton consignment that was delivered to the airport under escort and was not X-rayed). However, something went wrong and MH370 met its fate somewhere above the South China Sea, possibly as a result of a mid-air collision or a missile strike.

It’s obviously a highly controversial claim, but unlike Wise, de Changy at least has some evidence to back it up, most of which isn’t mentioned in the documentary but is presented in her book. In it, she highlights that there was large US military presence in the South China Sea that day; that progressive loss of signal on the ATC screens is consistent with jamming; that MH370 activated the emergency Tango code, which would indicate the pilots knew something abnormal was going on; that another plane that was flying nearby managed to get a radio contact with MH370 at around 1:30am (10 minutes after the plane disappeared from the radar) but it was brief and muddled (also consistent with progressive jamming); and that MH370 was seen on the primary radar (meaning a target is observed but no identification is received) of Vietnam’s ATC 37 miles after the point at which it is supposed to have made the U-turn.

Most notably, as de Changy notes, there were initial but unverified reports of a distress signal from MH370 being picked up at 2:43am by a US unit based in Thailand. Finally, we have the dozens of “nodders” (people scanning satellite images on Tomnod, a website that used crowdsourcing to identify objects and places in satellite images) who insist they saw extensive plane debris in the South China Sea; the oil slicks spotted off the coast of Vietnam; the Cathay Pacific pilots flying the next day above the Vietnam coast who reported sighting a “large amount of debris” to the Hong Kong ATC; and the employee working on a rig off the coast of Vietnam who claimed to have seen a fire the night of the disappearance.

I had initially contacted de Changy to ask what it feels like for a respected journalist to be presented as a fringe conspiracist — the conclusion many will reach after watching the film. “Actually, I started with an anti-conspiracy theory approach,” she explains. “I looked very closely at the evidence backing all the theories and scenarios out there including the official narrative. Eventually, I discovered a cluster of corroborating conclusions that point to something incredibly consistent and that did indeed point towards a massive international conspiracy scenario. It’s for the readers to decide whether it’s credible or not.”

De Changy is aware that her theory is mostly speculative, but remains confident that MH370 met its fate in the South China Sea, not in the Indian Ocean. “It’s still more credible than the idea that the plane flew halfway around the world completely undetected,” she told me. “If you think it’s impossible for a plane to disappear into thin air, that is because it is.”


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

“Likewise, none of the countries that MH370 is claimed to have flown over or close to — Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia — have provided radar evidence of the plane in their airspace”
I used to think that would have been compelling evidence of sorts. But after the recent balloon incident(s) I’m not so sure it means anything at all.
I hadn’t finished reading the article when I wrote the above. Now that I’ve finished it I find myself in an altogether too common predicament as an American of hoping like hell we didn’t have anything to do with it’s disappearance. I’m getting really tired of watching all this crap come out which I end up having been an unwilling contributor to via gun-to-my-head-taxes feeding deep-state actors or who-the-hell knows because it’s been decades since anyone I ever voted for won.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff Cunningham
Dave Mil
DM
Dave Mil
1 year ago

Finish the article before starting your reply, maybe read the book instead of basing your beliefs on Netflix documentaries, and finally try seeking the truth independently rather than waiting for evidence (one way or the other) to be presented to you on a platter. It’s precisely because people don’t take responsibility for trying to discover the truth for themselves that governments can get away with treating the masses with such contempt and claiming a 777 can disappear into thin air. Most people are credulous unless someone gives them an alternative story on TV.

Dave Mil
Dave Mil
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Mil

p.s. I can’t recommend the book highly enough.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Mil

I agree.

Dave Mil
Dave Mil
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Mil

p.s. I can’t recommend the book highly enough.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Mil

I agree.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Doesn’t help that we can’t trust basically anything in the mainstream media anymore. We have to choose between being labeled a tinfoil hat conspiracy nut or drinking the kool-aid like the rest of the sheeple.

John Westerdale
JW
John Westerdale
10 months ago

Has anyone else been able to find as much (or any??) debris as Blain has? Has anyone else been able to find things – at anywhere near the rate he was? For the serial numbers pulled off the various things, surely they point back to the airframe that it came from? Also the fracture pattern of the permiter of the flaperon should be helpful. consisent with watery crash? Would that impact been able to remove he serial number plate from that flaperon? Was there screwdriver gouging? Are there any “donor” planes that could be reviewed for absense of the parts found? What is the age and species of life found on the flaperon? Were where bivalves from any particular location, and, are the biggest ones consistent with being in “local’ waters? Lots of things to think about.

Dave Mil
DM
Dave Mil
1 year ago

Finish the article before starting your reply, maybe read the book instead of basing your beliefs on Netflix documentaries, and finally try seeking the truth independently rather than waiting for evidence (one way or the other) to be presented to you on a platter. It’s precisely because people don’t take responsibility for trying to discover the truth for themselves that governments can get away with treating the masses with such contempt and claiming a 777 can disappear into thin air. Most people are credulous unless someone gives them an alternative story on TV.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Doesn’t help that we can’t trust basically anything in the mainstream media anymore. We have to choose between being labeled a tinfoil hat conspiracy nut or drinking the kool-aid like the rest of the sheeple.

John Westerdale
John Westerdale
10 months ago

Has anyone else been able to find as much (or any??) debris as Blain has? Has anyone else been able to find things – at anywhere near the rate he was? For the serial numbers pulled off the various things, surely they point back to the airframe that it came from? Also the fracture pattern of the permiter of the flaperon should be helpful. consisent with watery crash? Would that impact been able to remove he serial number plate from that flaperon? Was there screwdriver gouging? Are there any “donor” planes that could be reviewed for absense of the parts found? What is the age and species of life found on the flaperon? Were where bivalves from any particular location, and, are the biggest ones consistent with being in “local’ waters? Lots of things to think about.

Jeff Cunningham
JC
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

“Likewise, none of the countries that MH370 is claimed to have flown over or close to — Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia — have provided radar evidence of the plane in their airspace”
I used to think that would have been compelling evidence of sorts. But after the recent balloon incident(s) I’m not so sure it means anything at all.
I hadn’t finished reading the article when I wrote the above. Now that I’ve finished it I find myself in an altogether too common predicament as an American of hoping like hell we didn’t have anything to do with it’s disappearance. I’m getting really tired of watching all this crap come out which I end up having been an unwilling contributor to via gun-to-my-head-taxes feeding deep-state actors or who-the-hell knows because it’s been decades since anyone I ever voted for won.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff Cunningham
D Glover
DG
D Glover
1 year ago

This article poses some obvious questions.
If the US were prepared to destroy this flight and all its passengers to prevent the McGuffin reaching China, why would they jam the comms signals first? Why not just shoot it down with a SAM without warning?
If there was recognisable wreckage in the South China Sea why was none brought ashore by the many vessels using that area? Why didn’t China or Vietnam say anything if they knew?
Since the South China Sea is smaller and shallower than the Indian Ocean it should be simple to locate and raise the wreck.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

Because if they simply shot it down, it would be obvious that they had done so. If a plane simply disappears from radar instantaneously, the logical conclusion is that it either suffered a catastrophic accident or was shot down, and it would have been a simple matter to establish the last known location and search the area, presumably finding the debris. There are then ways to forensically analyze the debris to conclude it was a missile strike and not an accident. Secondly, SAM missiles have to travel a considerable distance and time to reach their target and would show up on every radar system in range, and the south china sea is in range of about a dozen countries. A short range air to air missile fired from a stealth aircraft would be much more likely to go unnoticed. As to your second question, the answer is in the article, the US had and still has a considerable military presence in the area, and recovering the debris covertly is well within their capability. China and Vietnam would perhaps keep quiet if they had some evidence but nothing convincing or conclusive evidence and did not want to jeopardize relations with the US, or perhaps they had other reasons not to. If the US shot the plane down, there was probably a reason, and that reason is quite possibly, as the theory mentions, a Chinese attempt to steal something. Even if they knew the US shot the plane down and could prove it, they would still presumably have to answer for their part in the scenario. Using a civilian flight for political/military espionage/smuggling is almost as unacceptable as shooting down said plane, and depending on the exact circumstances and what exactly was being smuggled/stolen, it’s entirely possible that the act would have looked worse for the Chinese. For all we know, it could have been a significant weapons technology. Let’s not forget that the US was preparing to shoot down flight 93 on 9/11 when the passengers took matters into their own hands instead. The military is used to weighing the lives of people in their calculations. They have to be. Even if it was just the usual IP theft that China has made its calling card, drawing attention to the fact they were doing it by implicating the US would have had consequences for them as well, and maybe they didn’t care enough about hurting the US to hurt themselves in the process. As for the last question, managing the debris is indeed the most difficult thing to swallow. The South China sea is heavily trafficked and fished. Containing a large debris field in the immediate aftermath would be difficult, hence the need to misdirect the search elsewhere. After the immediate search window had passed however, because the area is so heavily trafficked, there is a lot of debris from planes/ships/garbage/etc. lying around the seafloor. Finding one particular plane could not be done by radar/sonar alone. It would involve a lot of diving and examining things that might be the plane one by one. I find the scenario of the US shooting down MH370 to be at least plausible, and given the available evidence, no more unlikely than the current pilot murder/suicide theory.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Thank you, all good points.
We would have to believe that the US is callous enough to destroy a plane with 293 innocent civilians aboard, and I hope they’re not.
Then they’d have to keep it secret forever. No leaks from any service personnel, serving or retired, ever.
Then the Chinese, Vietnamese, Phillipinos and Malayans would all have to keep quiet about what they’d seen on their radar screens or washed up on their beaches.
My feeling is that a story that big would leak out.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

The US has, in my lifetime, invaded two countries, undertaken covert military operations to capture wanted criminals at least twice that I am aware of (Noriega/Bin Laden), and bombed many others (Serbia/Syria/Libya/etc.). I hardly think 293 people, innocent or otherwise, is going to give them pause if they believe the stakes are high enough. As an American, I feel obligated to warn foreigners not to trust the American government. Most of us Americans don’t trust our government. Why should anyone else? That said, you’re probably right. On balance, it seems unlikely that in an area that is so heavily trafficked and monitored, nobody saw anything or kept their mouths shut for a decade. Just how plausible is it to believe anyone can hide a covert air to air strike using short range missiles or just gunfire (do modern aircraft even have guns any more)?. Assuming that could be accomplished in total secrecy, then how plausible is it to precisely locate the actual crash site and collect whatever identifiable debris was generated so it wouldn’t wash up on a beach somewhere. I don’t have the expertise in military technology and tactics or the finer points of interpreting radar data to say definitively whether either is or isn’t reasonable, but it does seem a bit far fetched. Still, until we have some more conclusive evidence about what happened that doesn’t conflict with other evidence, this theory can’t be completely ruled out. It seems like a lot of this could be resolved if the public had access to the raw radar data or the satellite ping data, but none of the nations/companies which have this data will do that, which of course leads one to ask why not, which leads to speculation like this. Corporate and military secrecy is an all too convenient excuse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

The US has, in my lifetime, invaded two countries, undertaken covert military operations to capture wanted criminals at least twice that I am aware of (Noriega/Bin Laden), and bombed many others (Serbia/Syria/Libya/etc.). I hardly think 293 people, innocent or otherwise, is going to give them pause if they believe the stakes are high enough. As an American, I feel obligated to warn foreigners not to trust the American government. Most of us Americans don’t trust our government. Why should anyone else? That said, you’re probably right. On balance, it seems unlikely that in an area that is so heavily trafficked and monitored, nobody saw anything or kept their mouths shut for a decade. Just how plausible is it to believe anyone can hide a covert air to air strike using short range missiles or just gunfire (do modern aircraft even have guns any more)?. Assuming that could be accomplished in total secrecy, then how plausible is it to precisely locate the actual crash site and collect whatever identifiable debris was generated so it wouldn’t wash up on a beach somewhere. I don’t have the expertise in military technology and tactics or the finer points of interpreting radar data to say definitively whether either is or isn’t reasonable, but it does seem a bit far fetched. Still, until we have some more conclusive evidence about what happened that doesn’t conflict with other evidence, this theory can’t be completely ruled out. It seems like a lot of this could be resolved if the public had access to the raw radar data or the satellite ping data, but none of the nations/companies which have this data will do that, which of course leads one to ask why not, which leads to speculation like this. Corporate and military secrecy is an all too convenient excuse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

This kind of thing is not quite impossible, but this hypothesis is not that plausible either – maybe it is too much to expect with a plausible explanation for such an implausible event. An interesting comparison is the Ustica disaster, an Italian passenger plane blown up over the Mediterranean in 1980. Hypotheses included a (non-US) bomb on board, a mishap in a dogfight between US an Libyan warplanes, and an attempt to assassinate a Libyan politician (Gheddafi?) flying nearby, warplanes hiding in the radar shadow of the civilian plane, a crashed Libyan Mig found on Italian territory shortly afterwards. Lots of suspicious circumstances, inconclusive court cases, … and no solution ever found.

The idea of the plane being shot down to prevent some secret cargo reaching China is really implausible though. Malaysia is a US-friendly country and the ‘suspicious’ cargo was being shipped by Motorola solutions. If a problem was known ahead of time, it would surely have been possible to block that cargo before loading. If the problem was *not* known ahead of time, there would be less than an hour to decide on action, get top-level clearance for an exceedingly high-risk clandestine operation and get the assets in place. If you are talking about forcing the plane down, the additional question becomes force down where? Justified how – because that could not have been hidden? This story is so weird that a lot of unlikely things have to be considered, but there is really no justification for getting carried away believing too strongly in one of them.

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

China ‘not wanting to jeopardize relations with the US’? That seems a pretty unlikely explanation.

D Glover
DG
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Thank you, all good points.
We would have to believe that the US is callous enough to destroy a plane with 293 innocent civilians aboard, and I hope they’re not.
Then they’d have to keep it secret forever. No leaks from any service personnel, serving or retired, ever.
Then the Chinese, Vietnamese, Phillipinos and Malayans would all have to keep quiet about what they’d seen on their radar screens or washed up on their beaches.
My feeling is that a story that big would leak out.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

This kind of thing is not quite impossible, but this hypothesis is not that plausible either – maybe it is too much to expect with a plausible explanation for such an implausible event. An interesting comparison is the Ustica disaster, an Italian passenger plane blown up over the Mediterranean in 1980. Hypotheses included a (non-US) bomb on board, a mishap in a dogfight between US an Libyan warplanes, and an attempt to assassinate a Libyan politician (Gheddafi?) flying nearby, warplanes hiding in the radar shadow of the civilian plane, a crashed Libyan Mig found on Italian territory shortly afterwards. Lots of suspicious circumstances, inconclusive court cases, … and no solution ever found.

The idea of the plane being shot down to prevent some secret cargo reaching China is really implausible though. Malaysia is a US-friendly country and the ‘suspicious’ cargo was being shipped by Motorola solutions. If a problem was known ahead of time, it would surely have been possible to block that cargo before loading. If the problem was *not* known ahead of time, there would be less than an hour to decide on action, get top-level clearance for an exceedingly high-risk clandestine operation and get the assets in place. If you are talking about forcing the plane down, the additional question becomes force down where? Justified how – because that could not have been hidden? This story is so weird that a lot of unlikely things have to be considered, but there is really no justification for getting carried away believing too strongly in one of them.

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

China ‘not wanting to jeopardize relations with the US’? That seems a pretty unlikely explanation.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

Because if they simply shot it down, it would be obvious that they had done so. If a plane simply disappears from radar instantaneously, the logical conclusion is that it either suffered a catastrophic accident or was shot down, and it would have been a simple matter to establish the last known location and search the area, presumably finding the debris. There are then ways to forensically analyze the debris to conclude it was a missile strike and not an accident. Secondly, SAM missiles have to travel a considerable distance and time to reach their target and would show up on every radar system in range, and the south china sea is in range of about a dozen countries. A short range air to air missile fired from a stealth aircraft would be much more likely to go unnoticed. As to your second question, the answer is in the article, the US had and still has a considerable military presence in the area, and recovering the debris covertly is well within their capability. China and Vietnam would perhaps keep quiet if they had some evidence but nothing convincing or conclusive evidence and did not want to jeopardize relations with the US, or perhaps they had other reasons not to. If the US shot the plane down, there was probably a reason, and that reason is quite possibly, as the theory mentions, a Chinese attempt to steal something. Even if they knew the US shot the plane down and could prove it, they would still presumably have to answer for their part in the scenario. Using a civilian flight for political/military espionage/smuggling is almost as unacceptable as shooting down said plane, and depending on the exact circumstances and what exactly was being smuggled/stolen, it’s entirely possible that the act would have looked worse for the Chinese. For all we know, it could have been a significant weapons technology. Let’s not forget that the US was preparing to shoot down flight 93 on 9/11 when the passengers took matters into their own hands instead. The military is used to weighing the lives of people in their calculations. They have to be. Even if it was just the usual IP theft that China has made its calling card, drawing attention to the fact they were doing it by implicating the US would have had consequences for them as well, and maybe they didn’t care enough about hurting the US to hurt themselves in the process. As for the last question, managing the debris is indeed the most difficult thing to swallow. The South China sea is heavily trafficked and fished. Containing a large debris field in the immediate aftermath would be difficult, hence the need to misdirect the search elsewhere. After the immediate search window had passed however, because the area is so heavily trafficked, there is a lot of debris from planes/ships/garbage/etc. lying around the seafloor. Finding one particular plane could not be done by radar/sonar alone. It would involve a lot of diving and examining things that might be the plane one by one. I find the scenario of the US shooting down MH370 to be at least plausible, and given the available evidence, no more unlikely than the current pilot murder/suicide theory.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago

This article poses some obvious questions.
If the US were prepared to destroy this flight and all its passengers to prevent the McGuffin reaching China, why would they jam the comms signals first? Why not just shoot it down with a SAM without warning?
If there was recognisable wreckage in the South China Sea why was none brought ashore by the many vessels using that area? Why didn’t China or Vietnam say anything if they knew?
Since the South China Sea is smaller and shallower than the Indian Ocean it should be simple to locate and raise the wreck.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago

Well, I think it involved black holes, insurance scams, North Korea, a meteorite, remote hijacking and aliens.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob C
David D'Andrea
DD
David D'Andrea
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

And the Americans

David D'Andrea
DD
David D'Andrea
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

And the Americans

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago

Well, I think it involved black holes, insurance scams, North Korea, a meteorite, remote hijacking and aliens.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob C
JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago

It was carrying a secret cargo of bats to be delivered to the Chines government

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

It was carrying a secret cargo of bats to be delivered to the Chines government

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

A Thomas Fazi article that pivots towards blaming those evil Yanks. I’m astonished.

Mike Doyle
MD
Mike Doyle
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Missed the fact that it was Fazi – given up intentionally reading his ordeur oeuvre.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Are you saying the US government is not evil?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Define evil. It’s a government. It does things in it’s own interest. It isn’t as benign as some, but it certainly isn’t as malevolent as others. I also find reflexive anti-Americans tend to be dull-as-ditchwater leftists.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

I’ve shifted my opinion on the US. It is definitely not as malign as countries like China (me being anti socialism and authoritarianism), but I find it malign now. Acts with impunity, war mongering, conniving, manipulative, secretive, corrupt, increasingly authoritarian and quite bonkers iro of the culture wars which is exported elsewhere. Corporate press is a hot mess and largely biased to the hard left as dictated by their sponsors and owners, organisations corrupt, big tech hard left… I could go on. Maybe I’m as dull as ditchwater, but I’m not stupid and I spend my time following US news (not corporate) to take my mind off my own stupid country’s woes. Try it.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

I’ve shifted my opinion on the US. It is definitely not as malign as countries like China (me being anti socialism and authoritarianism), but I find it malign now. Acts with impunity, war mongering, conniving, manipulative, secretive, corrupt, increasingly authoritarian and quite bonkers iro of the culture wars which is exported elsewhere. Corporate press is a hot mess and largely biased to the hard left as dictated by their sponsors and owners, organisations corrupt, big tech hard left… I could go on. Maybe I’m as dull as ditchwater, but I’m not stupid and I spend my time following US news (not corporate) to take my mind off my own stupid country’s woes. Try it.

Ben Jones
BJ
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Define evil. It’s a government. It does things in it’s own interest. It isn’t as benign as some, but it certainly isn’t as malevolent as others. I also find reflexive anti-Americans tend to be dull-as-ditchwater leftists.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

He did not blame anyone. Just presented the different theories because they have done a new Netflix documentary on it.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Missed the fact that it was Fazi – given up intentionally reading his ordeur oeuvre.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Are you saying the US government is not evil?

B Emery
BE
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

He did not blame anyone. Just presented the different theories because they have done a new Netflix documentary on it.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

A Thomas Fazi article that pivots towards blaming those evil Yanks. I’m astonished.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

’Conspiracy theories’ have been proven to be true enough times in the past few years that I’m willing to consider most theories (except the most outlandish) as exactly that – theories. All but the most slavish will by now have realised that governments are not benign – more the opposite – and mostly don’t give a fig about their populace.. Politicians and management of large organisations think about the narrative, themselves and the money. And I think that not securing the electronics bay of an aircraft which is then accessible to passengers might deserve a fair chunk of time in a documentary?

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

One of the conspiracy theories which I believe is more likely to be true than the official verdict, is the killing of President Kennedy.
A security officer standing on the footrest in the following car with a loaded gun, had his finger jerked on the trigger when his car braked after the first shot, hitting the the President in the middle of his head
This also explained why Lee Harvey Oswald was assassinated the next day before he was interviewed.
No doubt there are other questionable official verdicts .

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

One of the conspiracy theories which I believe is more likely to be true than the official verdict, is the killing of President Kennedy.
A security officer standing on the footrest in the following car with a loaded gun, had his finger jerked on the trigger when his car braked after the first shot, hitting the the President in the middle of his head
This also explained why Lee Harvey Oswald was assassinated the next day before he was interviewed.
No doubt there are other questionable official verdicts .

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

’Conspiracy theories’ have been proven to be true enough times in the past few years that I’m willing to consider most theories (except the most outlandish) as exactly that – theories. All but the most slavish will by now have realised that governments are not benign – more the opposite – and mostly don’t give a fig about their populace.. Politicians and management of large organisations think about the narrative, themselves and the money. And I think that not securing the electronics bay of an aircraft which is then accessible to passengers might deserve a fair chunk of time in a documentary?

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
1 year ago

On Jeff Wise: the guy comes across as a total mid-wit, half-educated, yarn-spinning, narcissist college drop-out who can’t utter a single sentence without including a useless slogan or a non-sequitur. He seemed to love sensationalism for its own sake even if it led him into multiple blind alleys. I agree with the author that the episode that concentrated on this moron’s theories was useless and it made me wonder whether the documentary was going to end somewhere serious.

Graff von Frankenheim
GV
Graff von Frankenheim
1 year ago

On Jeff Wise: the guy comes across as a total mid-wit, half-educated, yarn-spinning, narcissist college drop-out who can’t utter a single sentence without including a useless slogan or a non-sequitur. He seemed to love sensationalism for its own sake even if it led him into multiple blind alleys. I agree with the author that the episode that concentrated on this moron’s theories was useless and it made me wonder whether the documentary was going to end somewhere serious.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

De Changy clearly doesn’t understand how jamming works. While it is certainly possible to jam a transponder’s output so that its signal is uninterpretable by secondary radar receivers, the jamming signal itself is detectable by every ATC centre, airport and warship in range. It would also have interfered with transponder signals from all other aircraft in the area. Doh!

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

De Changy clearly doesn’t understand how jamming works. While it is certainly possible to jam a transponder’s output so that its signal is uninterpretable by secondary radar receivers, the jamming signal itself is detectable by every ATC centre, airport and warship in range. It would also have interfered with transponder signals from all other aircraft in the area. Doh!

Michael Sharon
Michael Sharon
1 year ago

Crazy. A deliberate act by the pilot is by far the most plausible theory. Loads of wreckage has been discovered and convincingly associated with the plane. And what of de Changy’s theory? Would require the cooperation of quite a few countries, all of whom have kept mum. And the motivation? Stop the delivery of some “mysterious” cargo (most likely mundane cell phone gear) to China aboard a commercial plane? The Qanon crazies have nothing on Fazi.

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Sharon

Indeed, and if it crashed into the South China Sea how did so many bits end up on the East Africa coast?

Jeff Dudgeon
Jeff Dudgeon
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Sharon

Indeed, and if it crashed into the South China Sea how did so many bits end up on the East Africa coast?

Michael Sharon
Michael Sharon
1 year ago

Crazy. A deliberate act by the pilot is by far the most plausible theory. Loads of wreckage has been discovered and convincingly associated with the plane. And what of de Changy’s theory? Would require the cooperation of quite a few countries, all of whom have kept mum. And the motivation? Stop the delivery of some “mysterious” cargo (most likely mundane cell phone gear) to China aboard a commercial plane? The Qanon crazies have nothing on Fazi.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
1 year ago

I am getting tired of this anti-US rhetorics. The conspiracy lies in the funding behind it.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
1 year ago

I am getting tired of this anti-US rhetorics. The conspiracy lies in the funding behind it.

Jacqueline Walker
JW
Jacqueline Walker
1 year ago

A plane that flies for six hours southwest from approx Malaysia/Thailand is not by any stretch “just off the coast of Western Australia”. Also Australian ships spent months searching for wreckage. The fact that wreckage eventually did turn up in places quite explainable by this putative trajectory plus ocean currents is also supportive.
The Inmarsat data investigation was published in IEEE Aerospace magazine I believe. Certainly I’ve read the article in question (will look for it later) and it seemed sound.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
1 year ago

Article in IEEE Aerospace vol 33, no 2 2018 with 10 or so references to other reports and findings. It’s one hell of a conspiracy if all these scientists and engineers did all this analysis on fake data.

Jacqueline Walker
JW
Jacqueline Walker
1 year ago

Article in IEEE Aerospace vol 33, no 2 2018 with 10 or so references to other reports and findings. It’s one hell of a conspiracy if all these scientists and engineers did all this analysis on fake data.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
1 year ago

A plane that flies for six hours southwest from approx Malaysia/Thailand is not by any stretch “just off the coast of Western Australia”. Also Australian ships spent months searching for wreckage. The fact that wreckage eventually did turn up in places quite explainable by this putative trajectory plus ocean currents is also supportive.
The Inmarsat data investigation was published in IEEE Aerospace magazine I believe. Certainly I’ve read the article in question (will look for it later) and it seemed sound.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Where is ELLIOTT BJORN when you need him?
Surely this is the work of the Green Lizards is it not?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Where is ELLIOTT BJORN when you need him?
Surely this is the work of the Green Lizards is it not?

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

Which will solve first – the MH370 crash or the source of Covid?

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

Which will solve first – the MH370 crash or the source of Covid?

laurence scaduto
LS
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

Might de Chancy be a good subject for Freddie to interveiw on one of his YouTube videos? I’d love to hear more of her story. My thanks to Fazi for this essay.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

Might de Chancy be a good subject for Freddie to interveiw on one of his YouTube videos? I’d love to hear more of her story. My thanks to Fazi for this essay.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

I prefer the theory there was a fire on board that damaged some electronics. The pilot set a course home at a lower altitude. The plane decompressed before getting to that altitude, killing everyone on board. The throttle setting was fixed so it used the fuel up in six hours. It followed the Inmarsat route but the lower altitude meant ground speed was lower and it did not get as far as Australia before running out of fuel. The wreakage floated to Madagascar. A yaughtsman in the indian ocean saw it still on fire at a low altitude.

Stefan Stanislawski
Stefan Stanislawski
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

This sounds like a plausible explanation to me. Why is this not discussed at length on the netflix show or elsewhere? Too simple an explanation?

Stefan Stanislawski
Stefan Stanislawski
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

This sounds like a plausible explanation to me. Why is this not discussed at length on the netflix show or elsewhere? Too simple an explanation?

Jon Hawksley
JH
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

I prefer the theory there was a fire on board that damaged some electronics. The pilot set a course home at a lower altitude. The plane decompressed before getting to that altitude, killing everyone on board. The throttle setting was fixed so it used the fuel up in six hours. It followed the Inmarsat route but the lower altitude meant ground speed was lower and it did not get as far as Australia before running out of fuel. The wreakage floated to Madagascar. A yaughtsman in the indian ocean saw it still on fire at a low altitude.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

Sorry, my bad, I thought I’d clicked on the National Enquirer click bait web feed by accident.

Robbie K
RK
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Does Fazi even write anything else other than conspiracies?

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Does Fazi even write anything else other than conspiracies?

Tom Lewis
TL
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

Sorry, my bad, I thought I’d clicked on the National Enquirer click bait web feed by accident.

Stephen Magee
SM
Stephen Magee
1 year ago

Completely bonkers…

Stephen Magee
Stephen Magee
1 year ago

Completely bonkers…

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

We will probably never know, but given some of the comments below that is of course unsatisfactory so people speculate. By far the weakest aspect of the South China Sea shooting down theory, is that it should be far easier to locate pieces of plane wreckage there than in a remote part of the Indian Ocean west of Australia. There are numerous bordering countries in the former, region, unlike the latter, with a varying degree of friendliness to the US and China. And one can hardly see China not using this to its advantage if it found large pieces of plane fuselage or wings on its own territory.

The other aspect is that so many conspiracy minded people, (of course it still might be a conspiracy) seem to think at the same time that the US is omnipotent and that it is a basket case. How on Earth would this not have leaked?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

We will probably never know, but given some of the comments below that is of course unsatisfactory so people speculate. By far the weakest aspect of the South China Sea shooting down theory, is that it should be far easier to locate pieces of plane wreckage there than in a remote part of the Indian Ocean west of Australia. There are numerous bordering countries in the former, region, unlike the latter, with a varying degree of friendliness to the US and China. And one can hardly see China not using this to its advantage if it found large pieces of plane fuselage or wings on its own territory.

The other aspect is that so many conspiracy minded people, (of course it still might be a conspiracy) seem to think at the same time that the US is omnipotent and that it is a basket case. How on Earth would this not have leaked?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Amy Horseman
AH
Amy Horseman
1 year ago

Whenever an investigation does not address the most obvious, “staring you in the face” question, you can be sure there is some level of state collusion/cover-up going on, and that you’ll never get to the bottom of it. Here it is: If there was no evidence of a plane going down in the Indian Ocean at the point where is was “calculated” it probably went down, then it went down somewhere else, so let’s start with where did it go down? Obviously that question was obfuscated so that enough time passed, rendering a proper investigation impossible. With 9/11, the obvious “staring you in the face” fact was that we witnessed the controlled demolition of THREE buildings so let’s start with asking how that was carried that out and who was involved. Again, that question was obfuscated so that enough time passed for all the debris to be cleared and destroyed while everyone is asking who hijacked the planes. Burning jet fuel cannot bring a building down into its own footprint. Planes cannot “disappear” out of the sky. Respiratory viruses cannot “jump” from bats to humans, nor do they kill healthy human beings. No drug – regardless of whether you classify it as a “vaccine” or not – can be deemed “safe and effective” without several years’ worth of data from closely monitored, robust trials. Nor can ANY drug be said to have had a curative or preventative effect on someone when you cannot go back in time and compare it against the counterfactual case of not giving that person the drug. The whole truth will always be just out of reach but staying sceptical of official narratives and being alert to the use of powerful propaganda from all quarters is a safe bet!

Amy Horseman
AH
Amy Horseman
1 year ago

Whenever an investigation does not address the most obvious, “staring you in the face” question, you can be sure there is some level of state collusion/cover-up going on, and that you’ll never get to the bottom of it. Here it is: If there was no evidence of a plane going down in the Indian Ocean at the point where is was “calculated” it probably went down, then it went down somewhere else, so let’s start with where did it go down? Obviously that question was obfuscated so that enough time passed, rendering a proper investigation impossible. With 9/11, the obvious “staring you in the face” fact was that we witnessed the controlled demolition of THREE buildings so let’s start with asking how that was carried that out and who was involved. Again, that question was obfuscated so that enough time passed for all the debris to be cleared and destroyed while everyone is asking who hijacked the planes. Burning jet fuel cannot bring a building down into its own footprint. Planes cannot “disappear” out of the sky. Respiratory viruses cannot “jump” from bats to humans, nor do they kill healthy human beings. No drug – regardless of whether you classify it as a “vaccine” or not – can be deemed “safe and effective” without several years’ worth of data from closely monitored, robust trials. Nor can ANY drug be said to have had a curative or preventative effect on someone when you cannot go back in time and compare it against the counterfactual case of not giving that person the drug. The whole truth will always be just out of reach but staying sceptical of official narratives and being alert to the use of powerful propaganda from all quarters is a safe bet!