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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – Inmarsat’s Satellite Data


.Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

Wild ride of MH370 (Source: heraldsun.com.au)
Wild ride of MH370 (Source: heraldsun.com.au)

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The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is now on in a section of the southern Indian Ocean known as the “Roaring Forties” where strong westerly winds generally blow between latitude 40° and 50°. The strong west-to-east air currents are induced by the combination of the Earth’s rotation and air being displaced from the Equator towards the South Pole, with just a few landmasses to act as windbreaks. The area is characterized by cold fronts that sweep east every four to five days, causing  13 to 30 feet (4 to 9 meters) pounding waves that churn the icy sea.

International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. Inmarsat started playing an import role immediately after Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared.

One of Inmarsat’s satellites continued to pick up a series of automated hourly ‘pings’ from the missing aircraft which would normally be used to synchronize timing information even after the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which would usually transmit the plane’s position, was switched off, suggesting the plane flew to the Indian Ocean.

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How Inmarsat tracked down Flight MH370 (Source: telegraph.co.uk)
How Inmarsat tracked down Flight MH370 (Source: telegraph.co.uk)

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By analyzing these pings, Inmarsat established that the aircraft continued to fly for at least five hours after the aircraft left Malaysian airspace and that it had flown along one of two ‘corridors’ – one arcing north and the other south. The plane was reportedly flying at a cruising height above 30,000 feet. See my article “Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – If Hijacked, Where Did It Go?

Using complex mathematical processes, Inmarsat’s engineers analyzed the tiny shifts in the frequency of the pings from the missing aircraft and came up with a detailed Doppler effect model for the northern and southern paths and inferred the aircraft’s likely final location though their method had never been used before to investigate an air disaster.

Chris McLaughlin, senior vice-president of external affairs at Inmarsat said:

“We looked at the Doppler effect, which is the change in frequency due to the movement of a satellite in its orbit. What that then gave us was a predicted path for the northerly route and a predicted path the southerly route…

That’s never been done before; our engineers came up with it as a unique contribution… By yesterday they were able to definitively say that the plane had undoubtedly taken the southern route…

We worked out where the last ping was, and we knew that the plane must have run out of fuel before the next automated ping, but we didn’t know what speed the aircraft was flying at – we assumed about 450 knots. We can’t know when the fuel actually ran out, we can’t know whether the plane plunged or glided, and we can’t know whether the plane at the end of the time in the air was flying more slowly because it was on fumes.”

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Pings to Inmarsat (video grab from Wall Street Journal)
Pings to Inmarsat (video grab from Wall Street Journal)

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Inmarsat relayed their findings to the Malaysian officials and the British security and air-safety officials on March 12, 2014. But the Malaysian government concerned about corroborating the data and dealing with internal disagreements about how much information to release did not publicly acknowledge Inmarsat’s information until four days later. On Saturday, March 15, 2014, during a news conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak accepted for the first time that deliberate actions were involved in the disappearance of the aircraft. He said:

“Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.”

 He added that the search effort was redirected from that day to focus on the areas the Inmarsat information described:

“From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar showed that an aircraft which was believed – but not confirmed – to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over Peninsular Malaysia before turning north-west. Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.

Today, based on raw satellite data that was obtained from the satellite data service provider, we can confirm that the aircraft shown in the primary radar data was flight MH370. After much forensic work and deliberation, the F.A.A., N.T.S.B., A.A.I.B. and the Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.

According to the new data, the last confirmed communication between the plane and the satellite was at 8:11 a.m. Malaysian time on Saturday 8th March. The investigations team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after this last point of contact. This will help us to refine the search.

Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite.

However, based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. The investigation team is working to further refine the information.

In view of this latest development, the Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board. Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear: we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path.

This new satellite information has a significant impact on the nature and scope of the search operation. We are ending our operations in the South China Sea and reassessing the redeployment of our assets. We are working with the relevant countries to request all information relevant to the search, including radar data.

As the two new corridors involve many countries, the relevant foreign embassies have been invited to a briefing on the new information today by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry and the technical experts. I have also instructed the Foreign Ministry to provide a full briefing to foreign governments which had passengers on the plane. This morning, Malaysia Airlines has been informing the families of the passengers and crew of these new developments.”

On March 18, 2014, Australia and the US National Transportation Safety Board narrowed down the search area to just three per cent of the southern corridor by taking into consideration Inmarsat’s inference from the satellite pings, along with assumptions about the plane’s speed.

On Monday, March 24, 2014, Prime Minister Najib Razak said that according to Inmarsat the aircraft flew along the southern corridor and ended its journey in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean. He said:

“Based on new analysis… MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth… It is therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that according to this new data that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

On the same day, Australian and Chinese search planes separately spotted a few objects in the southern Indian Ocean and alleged they were possible debris from the missing aircraft and reported the coordinates to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the multinational search, and also to the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon, which is en route to the area. Half a dozen other Chinese ships along with 20 fishing vessels have been ordered to move toward the search zone.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the crew of an Australian P3 Orion plane had located and two objects in the search zone, but it was unclear if they were part of an aircraft. He said the first object was grey or green and circular, the second orange and rectangular. The crew was able to photograph the objects.

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Search suspended ... this satellite image shows severe tropical cyclone Gillian off the Western Australian coast. Credit: Bureau of Meteorology
Search suspended this satellite image shows severe tropical cyclone Gillian off the Western Australian coast. Credit: Bureau of Meteorology

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An Australian Navy supply ship, the HMAS Success, was on the scene on Monday trying to locate and retrieve the objects. However, according to AMSA, due to rough seas, the vessel left the search area early Tuesday morning since conducting the search in such conditions would be hazardous and pose a risk to crews.AMSA said the vessel is now in transit south of the search area until the sea calms down and if weather conditions permit the search would be resumed tomorrow, otherwise, if weather conditions continue to deteriorate it could be several days before the search is resumed.

Meanwhile, the United States prepared to move into the region a special device that can locate black boxes.

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – Airline Ad Is a Hoax


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.Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

Copywriters persuade people to buy or use a product by writing eye-catching, meaningful advertisements.

At times people can be ingenious and for fun alter a copywriter’s creation and play havoc with other people’s beliefs and trust.

I came across the following Malaysia Airlines advertisement posted on Facebook.

Boeing - Lose yourself on a journey.  The fake ad.
Boeing – Lose yourself on a journey. The fake ad.

This advertisement shocked me. At first I thought the copywriter who created this advertisement must be a modern-day prophet who must have had a premonition of the future.

I define “prophecy” as the process of communicating to others about events that are due to take place in the future. This knowledge about the future can be the outcome of communication received from a divine or a supernatural entity or arising from one’s own frustration or wishful thinking. The person who foretells the so-called future events is given the hallowed label “prophet” by those who believe him, or slapped with a profane label “jerk” by those who feel he is a nut who ought to be institutionalized.

As usual, I dived in to find whether such an ad was ever published by Malaysia Airlines.

This image purported to be an old Malaysia Airlines ad is a sick joke in bad taste. Posted on social networks, it has gone viral at a time when people are worried about the fate of the 239 people on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

No such ad was ever created or published by Malaysia Airlines. It is a gigantic hoax.

No such ad was ever created or published by Malaysia Airlines. It is a gigantic hoax. The plane pictured in the ad is not a Boeing 777. It is an Airbus A380.

In fact, I came across the following  two  advertisements published by Malaysia Airlines in 2012 using the image of Airbus A380.

Malaysia Airlines Original ad - 1
Malaysia Airlines Original ad – 1

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Malaysia Airlines Original ad - 2
Malaysia Airlines Original ad – 2

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Why do some people deliberately fabricate falsehood made to masquerade as truth such this? Why should some attempt to misinform fellow beings?

A hoax is obviously a form of vandalism. Misinformation misleads people making them commit judgmental errors with real consequences, including hurt feelings, public embarrassment, etc. Misinformation in some articles, like medical topics, could lead to health injury or even death. So, why don’t the perpetrators of hoaxes use their resources to create useful topics that could help people instead of deceiving them?

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – If Hijacked, Where Did It Go?


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.Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

On Saturday, March 15, 2014, a week after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters:

“Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.”

This statement implies the Aircraft has been hijacked. It has raised questions about the person or people with deep experience at the controls in the cockpit of the aircraft when it disappeared.

Now, the investigators have started scrutinizing the background of the crew and passengers on board the aircraft more fervently. They are trying to find whether anyone on board other than Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (53) and First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid (27) had training in aircraft navigation and deliberately or under coercion diverted the plane from its scheduled route after communication was lost.

Security on cockpit doors has been reinforced on all passenger aircraft after the terrorist attacks of September 11 in New York. Hence, forced entry into the cockpit would not be possible and the pilots would have had enough time to send a warning signal to the ground air traffic controllers.

The aircraft’s transponder in the cockpit was switched off just before the plane passed from Malaysian to the Ho Chi Minh Area air traffic control space – the optimum moment, when the aircraft was not controlled by air traffic controllers in Malaysia or Vietnam. Later, authorities in Thailand and China informed their Malaysian counterparts that the aircraft had not entered their airspace.

Controls in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-200ER (Source: flyawaysimulation.com)
Controls in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-200ER (Source: flyawaysimulation.com)

The Boeing 777-200ER is a large aircraft and relatively new. So, someone who has flown smaller passenger planes, or even smaller Boeings, could not have shut down the aircraft’s communications. The timing of turning off the transponder could be done only by someone who knew this aircraft well, knew the route, and knew how to avoid air traffic control without attracting attention. This certainly points to the involvement of the pilot, the first mate or one or more crew members, willing or unwilling.

On Thursday, March 13, 2014, a US official said during his brief on the search that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 sent signals to a satellite orbiting 22,250 miles over the middle of the Indian Ocean for four hours after the aircraft went missing. This indicates the missing aircraft was still flying for hundreds of miles or more after it was last contacted by ground controllers.

This map released by Malaysian officials shows two red lines representing the possible locations from which Flight 370 sent its last hourly transmission to a satellite at 8:11 a.m. on March 8, more than seven hours after it took off from Kuala Lumpur's airport, and when the plane would most likely have been running low on fuel. Credit Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Satellite contact map released by Malaysian officials shows two red lines representing the possible locations from which Flight 370 sent its last hourly transmissions. (Credit Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia)

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Satellite contact map by SERGIO PEÇANHA, ARCHIE TSE and TIM WALLACE (Source: Malaysian government)
Satellite contact map by SERGIO PEÇANHA, ARCHIE TSE and TIM WALLACE (Source: Malaysian government)

The above two maps released by officials of the Malaysian government and posted in The New York Times show the signals from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 came from somewhere along one of the two arcs shows in red. The northern arc runs from the southern border of Kazakhstan in central Asia to northern Thailand and the southern arc runs from a location near Jakarta to the Indian Ocean, roughly 1,000 miles off the west coast of Australia.

The land area the northern arc passes through encompasses portentous arenas of insurgency and highly militarized zones from Kazakhstan in central Asia to northern Thailand. The beginning of the arc lies close to northern Iran. It then passes through Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northern India, the Himalayas and Myanmar.

If  Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370  had flown on that arc, it would have to pass through air defense networks in India and Pakistan, whose mutual long border is heavily militarized, as well as Afghanistan, where the United States and other NATO countries have operational air bases for more than a decade.

If hijacked, where did the airplane go? Did it land on firm terrain or crash into the deep Indian Ocean?

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – Did the Aircraft Crash into the Sea?


. Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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For the past six days the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) has not yielded any clue to its whereabouts and remains a puzzle. The pilot did not send any distress signal and his last transmitted message was a pleasantry to Malaysian air traffic controllers, “All right, good night” that did not give any indication that anything was wrong on board.

Location last seen on radar screens.
Location last seen on radar screens.

So far, there have been only wild-goose chase and fruitless leads in the search for Flight MH370. However, the search now continues across a total area of around 35,800 sq. miles (92,600 sq. km) on many fronts – South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Strait of Malacca, and even Andman Sea. India joined the multi-national search operations and has stepped up its search deploying three aircraft and three ships in the region around Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

On the night of March 12, 2014, China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) published three satellite images of what appear to be three floating objects in the sea. The three objects are 13m × 18m, 14m × 19m, and 24m × 22m respectively. The missing Boeing 777-200ER jet aircraft had a wingspan of 60.9 meters and a length of 63.7 meters. These images were captured by a Chinese satellite on the day after the disappearance of the aircraft. These satellite images have not been verified for their authenticity.

An American military official said that if the Chinese satellite had seen the objects, then U.S. satellites too would have seen them, but did not.

The website news.com.au has quoted Tom Haueter, former aviation director of the US National Transportation Safety Board:

“Any aircraft structure that size would sink. It wouldn’t float like this… I don’t believe it’s the plane. We don’t have enough data to say what happened.”

Location of aircraft last seen on radar screen  and where the Chinese Satellite found three floating objects in the sea.
Location of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last seen on radar screen and where the Chinese Satellite found three floating objects in the sea.

SASTIND gave coordinates of 6.7°N 105.63E which would place it in the sea about 143 miles (230 km) from where the aircraft was last seen on Malaysian Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar at 6.92°N 103.58°E before it disappeared. This was immediately considered the first major lead in the search for the missing aircraft. However, when Malaysian and Vietnamese aviation authorities flew over the area where the images showed the debris they did not find any trace of the missing aircraft.

Bob Woodruff, an ABC News correspondent, tweeted with a link to an image of an alleged email sent by Michael Jerome McKay, an oil rig worker working off the south coast of Vietnam to his employer stating he saw the crash:

Oil rig worker claims in employer confirmed letter-he saw the plane go down. Vietnamese say they found nothing  @ABCpic.twitter.com/k8y02se9aZ

— Bob Woodruff (@BobWoodruff) March 12, 2014

Image of email from Mike McKay, an oil rig worker, obtained by ABC’s Bob Woodruff (Source: globalsnews.ca)
Image of email from Mike McKay, an oil rig worker, obtained by ABC’s Bob Woodruff (Source: globalsnews.ca)

Mike McKay —–@—–
To: —–@—–

Gentlemen,

I believe I saw the Malaysian Airlines plane come down. The timing is right. I tried to contact the Malaysian and Vietnam officials several days ago. But I do not know if the message has been received.

I am on the oil-rig “Songa Mercur” off Vung Tau

The surface location of the observation is:
Lat 08°22’30.23″ N
Long. 108°47’22.26″ E

I observed (the plane?) burning at high altitude and on a compass bearing of 265° to 275° from our surface location.
It Is very difficult to Judge the distance but I’d say 50-70 km along the compass bearing 260° – 275°.

While I observed the burning (plane) it appeared to be in ONE piece.

The surface sea current at our location is. 2.0-2.3 knots in a direction of 225°-230°. The wind direction has been NE-ENE averaging 15-20 knots.

From when I first saw the burning (plane) until the flames went out (still at high altitude) was 10-15 seconds. There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary (falling) or going away from our location.

The general position of the observation was perpendicular / south-west of the normal flight paths (we see the Con-trails every day) and at a lower altitude than the normal flight paths. Or on the compass bearing 265°-275° intersecting the normal flight paths and at normal altitude but further away.

Good luck

Michael Jerome McKay

Location of aircraft last seen on radar screen  and alleged eye witness location of crash
Location of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last seen on radar screen and alleged eye witness location of crash.

The distance from where the aircraft was last seen on Malaysian Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar at 6.92°N 103.58°E before it disappeared on Saturday, March 8, 2014, and  the coordinate  08°22’30.23″N  108°47’22.26″E as location of the so-called crash given by the oil rig worker, works out to 370 miles (600 km).

In a separate tweet, Woodruff warned that the oil rig worker’s claims are not confirmed and in fact could be a hoax:

The letter from oil rig worker is filled w/details yet could be a hoax. Vietnamese officials are investigating @ABC pic.twitter.com/6MSuNHZedU

— Bob Woodruff (@BobWoodruff) March 12, 2014

Malaysian authorities have acknowledged that they are not sure of the direction the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was following when it disappeared from their ATC radar screens. The Associated Press reported:

Indonesian air force Col. Umar Fathur said the country had received official information from Malaysian authorities that the plane was above the South China Sea, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Kota Bharu, Malaysia, when it turned back toward the strait and then disappeared. That would place its last confirmed position closer to Malaysia than has previously been publicly disclosed.

Confusion over whether the plane had been spotted flying west has prompted speculation that different arms of the government have different opinions about where the plane is most likely to be, or even that authorities are holding back information.

Vietnam has scaled down its efforts to locate the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 because it waited for Malaysia to clarify the new direction the multi-national search group should follow from now onwards.

Vietnam’s deputy minister of transport Pham Quy Tieu said:

“We informed Malaysia on the day we lost contact with the flight that we noticed the flight turned back west but Malaysia did not respond.”

Aviation authorities in Malaysia said that so far no details on radar data revealed a possible “turn-back” of the aircraft. However, Malaysia’s air force reiterated on Wednesday that it had not ruled out the possibility of the Boeing 777 changing courses.

A statement issued by Air Force chief General Rodzali Daud said:

“For the time being, it would not be appropriate… to issue any official conclusions as to the aircraft’s flight path until a high amount of certainty and verification is achieved.”

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – The Stolen Passports


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.Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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On Saturday, March 8, 2041, the investigators of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 discovered that two people named on the passenger manifest – Christian Kozel from Austria and Luigi Maraldi from Italy – whose passports had been stolen while vacationing in Thailand were not aboard the plane.

Luigi Maraldi showing his new passport while vacationing in Thailand (Source: abcnews.go.com)
Luigi Maraldi showing his new passport while vacationing in Thailand (Source: abcnews.go.com)

We now have a photograph of Luigi Maraldi showing his new passport taken on March 9, 2014, while vacationing in Thailand.

Mario Balotelli, , Italian football player. (Source: zimbio.com)
Mario Balotelli, Italian football player. (Source: zimbio.com)

Investigators trying to establish the identity of the two people travelling with the stolen passports first concluded that they were Asians. Later, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority said one of them looked like Mario Balotelli, the Italian football player.

Is Mario Balotelli a lookalike of Luigi Maraldi?

Meanwhile, INTERPOL said its investigations showed there could have been other people with “suspect passports” on the airplane. Malaysian authorities concurring with INTERPOL said that up to four people could have boarded the plane using fake documents, and have asked help from the FBI.      

Iranian youth Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad (Source: telegraph.co.uk)
Iranian youth Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad (Source: telegraph.co.uk)

Malaysian police released the photograph of a 19-year-old Iranian named Bouria Nour Mohammad Mehread who boarded the plane with the stolen passport of Christian Kozel. They believe that he was trying to immigrate to Germany seeking asylum and join his mother who has already immigrated to Frankfurt. The teenager’s mother was aware that her son was travelling using fake documents. The officials said that he is “unlikely” to be a terrorist.

Photograph of an unidentified man who boarded the missing plane. (Source : telegraph.co.uk)
Photograph of an unidentified man who boarded the missing plane. (Source : telegraph.co.uk)

The police also released a photograph of an unidentified man who also boarded the missing plane. INTERPOL has now identified this person as Delavar Seyed Mohammadreza, an Iranian aged 29.

INTERPOL said the two men had travelled from Doha, Qatar’s capital, using their Iranian passports. In Kuala Lumpur they had obtained the stolen Austrian and Italian passports and boarded the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

These statements by the Malaysian authorities and INTERPOL supports the account given to the BBC by a young Iranian in Kuala Lumpur. This person, a school friend of one of these two men said that his friend and the other Iranian stayed with him before taking the Malaysia Airlines flight, hoping to settle in Europe.

Reports from Thailand said that an Iranian middleman had bought the tickets for the two men through a travel agency in Pattaya, Thailand.

Grand Horizon Travel Agency in Pattaya, Thailand (Source: nbcnews.com)
Grand Horizon Travel Agency in Pattaya, Thailand. (Source: nbcnews.com)

Benjaporn Krutnait, owner of Grand Horizon Travel Agency in Pattaya, Thailand, admitted to the FBI that on March 1, 2014, an Iranian whom she knew only as “Mr. Ali” asked her to book two tickets on an inexpensive flight to Europe.

She said that she initially booked them on two separate flights – one on Qatar Airways and another on Etihad airline. However, the tickets expired before she heard again from Mr. Ali on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

She then made the booking for the two men on  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) since Mr. Alid did not specify any particular flight. When a friend of the Iranian paid in cash, she arranged with Six Stars Travel, a larger travel agency, to issue the tickets.

Benjaporn said that she had known Mr. Ali for about three years. As a regular traveler between Tehran and Pattaya he had been using her agency for his travel needs, and there was nothing to suggest that he knew the two men were going to travel using stolen passports, she said.

Though there is nothing to implicate the two Iranians, who had used the stolen passports, with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), the stolen passports has added a twist to the mystery.

INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database holds information on more than 40 million travel documents reported lost or stolen by 167 countries. This database helps INTERPOL National Central Bureaus and other authorized law enforcement entities such as immigration and border control officers to double-check the validity of a suspect travel document in seconds. INTERPOL said both stolen passports had been added to its database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents in 2012 and 2013 as soon as they were reported missing.

During the boarding of passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) there had been a breach of security. The immigration authorities failed to check INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the two Iranians slipped through. The truth came to light only after the disappearance of the aircraft.

This incident of stolen passports coming to light reminds me of the 2010 Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at the ‘tabletop’ Bajpe airport in Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Only eight people survived the crash while 158 died. The aftermath of the crash revealed that around 10 stolen, counterfeit, and questionable passports were used by passengers on that flight. The incident also raised concerns about security checks at the Dubai International Airport.

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – The Search is Still on For Missing Aircraft


.Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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We have now entered the fourth day of searching for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) that disappeared from the radar screens of Malaysia Airlines’ Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar systems in the early hours of Saturday, March 8, 2014.

At 07:24 MST on Saturday, March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines issued a statement to the media confirming that their Flight 370 (MH370) that took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport the same day at 00:41 MST on a scheduled six-hour flight to Beijing, China, went missing and was last seen on their ATC radars at 02:40 MST. It had 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. (See my article: Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370)

Many questions remain unanswered about the missing passenger jet aircraft.

Flight of MH370 (Source: mirror.co.uk)
Flight of MH370 (Source: mirror.co.uk)

At the time of disappearance from the radar screens Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 would have been travelling at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,660 meters). The pilots did not send any distress signal. They did not convey any indications of bad weather or technical problems. The plane was carrying enough fuel for an extra 7.5 hours of flight.

Nine countries are now involved in the search effort, covering thousands of square miles of sea. According to Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, the current multinational search for the missing plane now includes roughly 43 ships and 39 aircraft.

Source: heralsun.com.au
Source: heraldsun.com.au

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Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj.

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Boeing 777-200ER Malaysia AL (MAS) 9M-MRO, the missing aircraft (Source: Laurent ERRERA from L'Union, France)
Boeing 777-200ER Malaysia AL (MAS) 9M-MRO, the missing aircraft (Source: Laurent ERRERA from L’Union, France)

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at 00:21 MST (March 7, 16:21 UTC) with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. It was a scheduled six-hour flight to Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing, China. This international passenger flight operated by a Boeing 777-200ER was also designated under a codeshare agreement as China Southern Airlines Flight 748 (CZ748).

Fliight path of Malaysia Airlines MH370 (Source - Sailsbystars)
Fliight path of Malaysia Airlines MH370 (Source – Sailsbystars)

At 07:24 MST, Malaysia Airlines issued a media statement confirming that the aircraft was last seen on Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar at 02:40 MST (March 7, 18:40 UTC) at 6°55′15″N 103°34′43″E, approximately 100 miles (180 km) North of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. After that the aircraft ceased all communications, and the transponder signal was lost just before it was to be passed off to the Ho Chi Minh Area Control Center in Vietnam. Authorities in Thailand and China informed their Malaysian counterparts that the aircraft had not entered their airspace.

According to the military radar of Malaysia’s air force, the aircraft might have changed course and turned back toward Kuala Lumpur before disappearing and officials don’t know why the plane would have turned around. The pilots didn’t tell ATC that they were doing so.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, pilot of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, pilot of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. (Source: beforeitsnews.com)

Fariq Abdul Hamid, First officer of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Fariq Abdul Hamid, First officer of Flight MH370. (Source: beforeitsnews.com)

Malaysia Airlines said the 12 missing crew members on the flight were Malaysian. The plane’s pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old has been with the airline for over 30 years, and the plane’s first officer Fariq Hamid, a 27-year-old  joined the airline in 2007.

Malaysia Airlines said the plane’s pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old who has been with the airline for over 30 years, and the plane’s first officer Fariq Hamid, a 27-year-old who joined the airline in 2007 are Malaysians.

Of the 227 passengers on board, there were 154 from China and Taiwan, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French, three from the U.S., and others from Indonesia, New Zealand, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands. Among the passengers were a delegation of respected painters and calligraphers, employees of an American semiconductor company, a group of Buddhists returning from a religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur, a three-generation family, nine senior travelers and five children less than five years old.

What puzzles all is the fact that before vanishing from the radar screens the aircraft did not relay any distress signal, or convey any indications of bad weather or technical problems; and it was carrying a sufficient amount of fuel for an additional 7.5 hours of flight.

The Aviation Herald website reported that Subang Air Traffic Control lost radar and radio contact with the aircraft at 01:22 MST and officially advised Malaysia Airlines at 02:40 MST that the aircraft was missing. But, a Malaysia Airlines spokesperson said that the last conversation between the flight crew and air traffic control in Malaysia had been around 01:30 MST, and stated that the plane had not disappeared from air traffic control systems in Subang until 02:40 MST, which is long enough for the plane to have been flying across Vietnam.

The ATC requested another Malaysia Airlines flight, en route to Japan that took off about half an hour ahead of MH370, to contact the unresponsive aircraft. The captain established contact with the crew of MH370 just after 01:30 MST, but reported that he could not hear them clearly as they were ‘mumbling’.

A joint search-and-rescue effort by American, Australian, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, and Vietnamese authorities, is now under way mainly over the South China Sea.

On March 8, Vietnamese Navy reported that they located oil slicks in the Gulf of Thailand, about 50 nautical miles (93 km) south of Vietnam’s Thổ Chu Island.

On March 8, Vietnamese Navy reported that they located oil slicks in the Gulf of Thailand, about 50 nautical miles (93 km) south of Vietnam’s Thổ Chu Island. One oil slick, was between 6 and 12 miles (10 – 20 km) long. A Vietnamese Civil Aviation Department aircraft spotted two large oil slicks that authorities suspect might be from the MAS jetliner. The slicks, each between 6 and 9 miles (10 – 15 km) long and 500 meters apart, were spotted 140 nautical miles (260 km) south of the Thổ Chu Island off southern Vietnam.

On March 9, Vietnamese aircraft spotted what they suspected was one of the doors belonging to the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 off southern Vietnam. Since it was too dark to ascertain whether the object was part of the missing plane, they decided to investigate the site in the morning. However, on Monday, Vietnamese officials said that they had not been able to locate the object spotted on Sunday that was thought to be part of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane.

Officials are now investigating the possibility of a midair disintegration.

How did this aircraft with with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board disappear without any trace? In the following video Aviation expert David Gleave explains how a plane can ‘vanish’ off radar and what clues investigators will be looking for in the search for the missing plane and the mystery deepens.

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This disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 without a trace reminds me of the Bermuda Triangle, The Devil’s Sea, and the vile vortices where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is an undefined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

The Dragon’s Triangle, also known as the Formosa Triangle, and the “Pacific Bermuda Triangle”, is a region of the Pacific around Miyake Island, about 100 km south of Tokyo. The Japanese call it the Ma-no Umi meaning the Devil’s Sea. The Dragon’s Triangle, is one of 12 Vile Vortices, originally plotted by Ivan T. Sanderson. The size and area varies with the reports that originated from the 1950s. Various reports locate it 68 miles (110 km) from an unspecified part of Japan’s east coast, 300 miles (480 km) from the coast, and one report places it near Iwo Jima which is 650 nautical miles (750 miles; 1,200 km) south of mainland Tokyo.

The Dragon's Triangle by Charles BerlitzCharles Berlitz, author of books on paranormal phenomena, states in his entertaining book The Dragon’s Triangle (1989) that in the peacetime years between 1952-54 Japan lost five military vessels with over 700 crew members. The Japanese government then sent a research vessel with over 100 scientists on board to study the Devil’s Sea, and that vessel too vanished. According to Berlitz, that sea region was officially declared a danger zone on Japanese maps.

However, in 1995, Larry Kusche published his book “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery Solved” in which he mentions that the Japanese research vessel that Berlitz mentioned was named Kaiyo Maru No 5. It had a crew of 31 aboard. While investigating the activity of an undersea volcano, Myōjin-shō, about 300 km south of the Devil’s Sea, it was destroyed by an eruption on September 24, 1952. He also stated that the “military vessels” mentioned by Berlitz were fishing vessels lost between April 1949 and October 1953.  Some of them were lost outside the Devil’s Sea, far away from the Japanese mainland, between Miyake Island and Iwo Jima, 1200 km to the south. He also points out that hundreds of fishing boats were lost around Japan every year.

The Vile Vortices is a term referring to twelve geographic areas or twelve vertex points of a planetary grid that are alleged by Ivan Sanderson to have been the sites of mysterious disappearances. He identified them in 1972 in an article published in Saga magazine titled “The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards Around the World.”

Ten of Ivan Sanderson’s 12 vortices set at regular intervals around the earth. The North and South Pole account for the 11th and 12th vortices.
Ten of Ivan Sanderson’s 12 vortices set at regular intervals around the earth. The North and South Pole account for the 11th and 12th vortices.

Sanderson asserts that twelve “vortices” are situated along particular lines of latitude. The best known of the so-called “vortices” is the Bermuda Triangle. Others include Algerian Megaliths to the south of Timbuktu, the Indus Valley in Pakistan, especially the city of Mohenjo Daro, Hamakulia Volcano in Hawaii, the “Devil’s Sea” near Japan and the South Atlantic Anomaly. Five of the vortices are on the same latitude to the north of the equator; five are on the same latitude to the south. The other two are the north and south poles.

Now, the location where the aircraft was last seen on Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar at 02:40 MST (March 7, 18:40 UTC) was at 6°55′15″N 103°34′43″E, approximately 100 miles (180 km) North of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. This location is 2,632 nautical miles (3029 miles; 4874 km) from Tokyo (24°47’N 141°19’E), and 2415 nautical miles (2779 miles; 4472 km) from Iwo Jima (24°47’N 141°19’E) and is a bit far away from the Dragon’s Triangle and not near any of Ivan Sanderson’s vile vortices.

So, up to now, the mystery of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines  Boeing 777 (Flight MH370) continues.

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