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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The mystery of the missing Malaysian jet

Usually real life crimes, unlike the fictional kind, are fairly straightforward: there's an obvious suspect, an obvious motive, and not a lot of doubt about his guilt. But the saga of Flight MH370 has had more twists and red herrings than an Agatha Christie mystery.

At the moment it looks like a hijacking. But at first it was thought to be an accident, then terrorism. (Boeing management must have been relieved to find out it wasn't a mechanical failure, after all their recent problems with the Dreamliner.) The two men who boarded the airplane with false passports, especially the young Iranian, were the primary suspects at first; but now attention seems to be shifting to the two co-pilots. (Turning off the transponders and flying above and then below radar detection indicates a familiarity with aeronautics most hijackers would not have.)

The search has shifted, too, from right off the Vietnamese coast to a broader stretch of the South China Sea, and now to the Indian Ocean.

A couple people have casually asked my opinion on what happened. I haven't a clue, any more than I usually do while reading a Christie novel.

You wouldn't think there would be that many places a 777 could land both safely and undetected. One can only imagine the emotional roller coaster the relatives of the passengers have gone through. First they had to assume their loved ones were dead, now there seems to be a glimmer of hope.

It would certainly be a nice ending to the mystery if the 239 people aboard the jet turn up alive somewhere.


Anonymous said...

I'm crossing my fingers for a Moonraker scenario, but, yeah, this wouldn't be the first time some legitimate, professional airline pilots went into allahakbar mode.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I had to look Moonraker up to see what you were talking about; I just had a vague recollection of a lousy movie attached to a great theme song. In any case, yes, let's keep our fingers crossed.