Editor’s Note: June 23, 2014. The London Guardian reports today that “Investigators searching for flight MH370 consider a catastrophic event leading to oxygen starvation the most likely scenario in the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777.” Thereafter according to the experts the plane flew on for many hours under autopilot control. The experts and investigators have come to this conclusion based on satellite derived information and other data. You can read what I believe happened in the scenario outlined below, written on March 18, 2014. I have not changed or updated the original story in any way. When the plane is finally found, evidence of an explosion on the aircraft will be found, which to me is the most likely cause of the catastrophe. I think the Malaysian government, among others, has done an incredibly poor job in handling the search and in releasing faulty information about the flight path, about the crew, and the passengers. I suspect strongly there is a cover up of information, although I am not sure of the reason for the cover up. There is a possibility they know a terrorist was on the plane.
It is the middle of the night. The cabin lights are dimmed, most of the passengers have dozed off. A large “bang” is heard, rousing the passengers. Within a second or two, oxygen masks drop from above. Eerily, there is no message. The flight attendants say nothing. All the lights are now out, the temperature has dropped, and the oxygen is not flowing through the tubes. The plane at first ascends a few thousand feet from its established pathway, in fact well above its safe altitude. Then it begins to turn and almost doubles back on its original course. But now it is descending slowly so that by the time it crosses back over the Malaysian mainland, it is down to around 10 to 15,000 feet above sea level. It now seems to stabilize and hold its altitude, as it flies on.
Observers on oil rigs at first saw the plane, a great distance away, and there seemed to have been a fire. But after some 15 seconds, the fire was out, probably blown out by the jetstream.
The plane can fly like this for many hours. But the passengers all were made unconscious by the depressurization. Some of them might remain alive, but none of them, including the flight crew staff, can function.
The pilots are both dead. The transponder went off when the explosion in the cabin area happened. We now know that the story that the transponder was off when the pilots made their last call to ATC (Air Traffic Control) was false. The transponder went off after the call.
There were no cell phone calls. This tells us unequivocally that everyone was unconscious or dead. Otherwise calls could have been made at any time as the plane flew on. At the plane’s altitude over Malaysia, there is no doubt calls could be received. But there weren’t any.
Years ago when I was learning to be a pilot my IP (Instructor Pilot) told me to take my hands off the stick and my feet off the rudder. “Just watch what happens,” he said, as I reluctantly let go of the yoke. The plane flew on, in fact it was more level and stable than my piloting allowed it to be. “An airplane wants to fly,” said the IP, “and it will fly if there is sufficient air speed.”
A wounded airplane, where the controls are mainly destroyed by a bomb, can still fly and can even seem to be on course. Now when the plane was wounded, it could have turned sharply as the blast hit and the pilots grabbed or pulled at the controls. But once the explosion was over and the pilots unable to do anything, the plane could go on for some time. The evidence tells us the plane flew for some number of hours.
How far would it have gone? If there was a rupture in the plane’s skin, as was probably the case, over time it would get bigger and incoming wind would eventually further damage the plane’s systems.
My guess is that there was a bomb on the plane. Probably in one of the forward cabins. Remember that the 9/11 hijackers and some of the wannabe hijackers, booked first or business class seats. Whether there was any attempt to hijack the plane remains uncertain. It does not seem too likely, because some commotion in the plane’s cabin probably would have been detected. The idea that sophisticated hijackers, or the pilot and copilot together, somehow flew the plane to a secret runway seems far fetched and unproven.
Eventually the plane will be located. Probably it is deeply embedded in the ocean bottom. It could have “landed” itself on the water and slowly drifted to the bottom, without breaking up. That will make it hard to find.
Is such a self-landing possible? With empty fuel tanks (no oil slicks) and gently descending, the plane could have put down safely, much like US Airways Flight 1549 that was brilliantly piloted to a safe landing on the Hudson river. Readers will recall that the plane stayed afloat for some time as it drifted down the Hudson river. There was no debris. Eventually it was stopped and salvaged. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-370, with no one conscious on board, could have laid on top of the waves and eventually filled with water and sank.
Without finding the airplane, it is impossible to demonstrate any theory. No one so far is claiming to have blown up the plane or attempted to hijack it. Military “primary” radars have not reported “seeing” the plane where it could have entered someone’s airspace. That does not prove it did not anyway happen. A number of experts in Israel think it was an Iranian operation. And Israeli air defense systems are on alert if in fact the plan is to use the plane as in a suicide attack on Israel, a replicate of 9/11. But right now there isn’t any convincing evidence for this kind of hijack. And from the few facts we know –a plane at a very high altitude, calm pilots, and no cellular phone calls, points in a different direction.
There have been reports that some shoe bombs have been designed to blow up the cabin door of an aircraft. Such a bomb might do a lot more damage, such as blowing out the windshields of the cockpit and depressurizing the aircraft.
Perhaps we will soon find out the answer to the mystery of the missing plane and lost passengers and crew.