As lost flight MH370 remains are again “found” in the South Indian ocean by Australian search and rescue authority some ask if its target was Diego Garcia

Australian rescue authorities boosted worldwide hopes that MH370 will be eventually found announcing that some debris was identified on FOUR DAYS OLD satellite pictures  in an area off the west coast of Australia over Naturaliste Plateau, much further south to the last known position of the flight. Yet, initial follow up did not reveal much. A norwegian car carrier is presently on the spot looking for debris. The latest news from Australian Rescue Authorities can be found on their page, which is pretty detailed and well organized.

The loss of flight MH370 continues to be a huge puzzle, as many of the data we have about it is in contradiction. On the one hand, it appears that the plane was carefully and deliberately taken off course, the transponders strategically disabled in “no man’s land,” and the course masterfully disguised until the plane was lost over the ocean. The other other hand, the theory of a deliberate action begs for the question: why and to whose benefit?

atellite imagery provided to AMSA of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in a revised area 185 km to the south east of the original search area. The imagery has been analysed by specialists in Australian GeoSpacial-Intelligence Organisation and is considered to provide a possible sighting of objects that has resulted in a refinement of the search area.
Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in a revised area 185 km to the south east of the original search area. The imagery has been analysed by specialists in Australian GeoSpacial-Intelligence Organisation and is considered to provide a possible sighting of objects that has resulted in a refinement of the search area. Australian Maritime Search Authority

Two weeks later no one has claimed anything and there are no signs that the plane crashed, intentionally or not, in any known part of the world. Just for the sake of a logical exercise, at this point there are only two rational hypotheses that may reconcile the contradictory data we have about lost flight MH370, which claim that the plane was both directly controlled when it make the fateful course change one hour into its trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and that ultimately the plane has been lost at sea. One is that the plane was suddenly struck by an accident (tire fire?) that disconnected the transponders before the pilots noticed the problem and after they did, the plane lost air, knocking everybody out, while flying on automatic pilot for many hours, maybe as far as the Maldives. The other is that the plane was in fact under control all the time. The pilots or hijacker tried to hide their decisions and their mission, successfully taking that plane west.  In this case, the question is where and why.

diego garcia photoSince the terrorism scenario is the more intriguing, keeping the CNN and FOX newsrooms fully employed, let us examine this hypothesis in more detail and make some sense of it. If the hijack was motivated by personal disgruntlement, there was no reason to go through the pain of avoiding being detected. Simply pushing the steering yoke down and maxing the throttle would’ve done the trick. A steep dive, a few prayers, and the game was over. This is what the captain of the Egypt Air flight did, who crashed his plane en route to the US a few years ago.

If the likely scenario is that the cause was terrorism of one sort or another, then the aim could have not been any other than attacking a major target. Since the target was not in Malaysia, we can exclude the internal dissent scenario. The target should be found outside Malaysia and the enemy foreign. As Malaysia is caught up in the cauldron

Photo by Official U.S. Navy Imagery  of international tensions that have emerged after 9/11, it would be natural to look into the possibility that the target was some US interest, often perceived in that part of the world as an agent of oppression. What likely targets does the US have in the area that are clearly military, isolated, and would produce as few innocent victims as possible? The major US air-base on Diego Garcia, operated in collaboration with British forces since the 1970 as a global anti-insurgent outpost stands out. The base was immensely important in the air campaigns against both Iraq and Afghanistan, servicing B-2 bombers, and more recently was used as “precinct headquarters” from where missions of all kind, including drones, are run against the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. More importantly, it is the site of a detention center for Muslim insurgents captured in the Middle East. 

It would make a lot of sense to try to crash a major plane into the main installation, damaging both physically and as a propaganda coup the US interests in the middle east. However, this theory has a hole of its own. Despite the fact that the plane flew for many hours, which would’ve allowed it to crash into the base, the US military did not report any attempts or even sightings of any plane in the vicinity of Diego Garcia. Could it be that an on-board rebellion crashed the plane in the ocean before it accomplished its mission, similar to the American Airlines flight 93, which was taken over by the passengers and run into the ground by the terrorists before it completed its run on Washington?  

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Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social integration. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Ethical Reasoning in Big Data. He also co-edited Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , both the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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