A Boeing 777-200 goes missing en-route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur and after more 48 hours, there are just no answers forthcoming
MH370 has literally ‘disappeared’ from the skies. The flight, with 239 people on board, was to land in Beijing at 6.30am from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (March 8). It never did. It vanished from the radar at 2.30am though reports say the last communication with the control tower in KL was at 1.30am.
A pilot of another plane 30 minutes ahead of MH370 had the last contact with the missing plane at around the same time as KL. He had radioed MH370 at the request of the Vietnamese’s air control after Subang air traffic controllers transferred control to Ho Chi Minh City.
Several critical questions come to mind.
Firstly, the request from the Vietnamese authorities to the pilot to contact MH370 was done as they must have sensed something amiss. Secondly, if the pilot of the second plane did have that brief contact, why was there no Mayday alert from MH370?
Were the Vietnamese under the impression that MH370 was in some sort of danger as it did not make contact prior to entering their airspace and notify them, as is the protocol for all flights, commercial or military. Alarm bells will ring if any flight does not conform to these international requirements.
If there was a turn around mid-air due to some sort of distress, a pilot will be instructed to land at the nearest landing strip. But if that was the case, why did the pilot not communicate that with anybody available on the radio?
It is also surprising that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) only made public the revelation of a possible turn around by MH370 after more than 24 hours while the emergency team was rushed into a further search sector nearer to Vietnam.
What’s more intriguing is that the search has been extended to the Straits of Malacca, totally opposite to the flight path of MH370? Are we being told that the plane flew back across the Peninsular of Malaysia without setting off any alarm?
Is the ministry saying our air space is that hollow that one can fly in and out on their free will and not be detected by our highly sophisticated radar system? Come on, please explain the rationality before making a comment.
Is there a possibility the flight was under threat by a third party within the plane? Was it a hijack that went horrifically wrong?
If it was indeed highjacked mid-air upon reaching the ‘hand-over’ to the Vietnamese air control authorities, the hijackers could have taken control of the flight, thus the abrupt cut in communication. They could have disengaged all systems, paralysing radio tracking and radar detection.
For a plane to nose dive from 35,000 feet at cruising speed, takes time. It does not happen in a split second and there will definitely be sufficient time to relay a distress signal.
According to Malaysian authorities, as reported earlier and adamantly maintained for some time, the plane was on radar up to 2.40am, which makes little sense.
If that was indeed the case, then why the absence of recorded oral communication between the tower and cockpit personnel from 1.30am to 2.40am, a lapse of more than one hour? Or are the authorities not revealing the truth that it was indeed hijacked and was in negotiations with possible hijackers or terrorists?
Up to four suspicious passengers boarded the plane with two confirmed using stolen passports. They even bought the tickets together. How did they go undetected during the purchase of the tickets and at the immigration exit point in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)?
Or did these two passengers come via Thailand or another third country and transit at KLIA without exiting the airport at all? There is no mention of this aspect by any party yet.
Malaysia says it has CCTV footage capturing the two with the stolen identity but have yet to reveal the footage.
Why is that being kept so secretive? Make it public like the Americans did during 9/11 as to allow others to come forward if they have information.
Are the passengers of MH370 being held against their will on a remote island or airstrip and that the authorities are keeping silence while secret and covert operations are underway?
Why are the relatives asked to bring passports when we are still directionless? And some are even being herded into hotels here and in Beijing.
Let us also be reminded of the anger among the Uighurs, a Muslim minority group from the restive western region of Xin Jiang, China. China has said before that this group are terrorists or criminals who pose a threat to the region.
The UK Telegraph daily reported that an unnamed American government official told the New York Times that the Pentagon had reviewed its surveillance systems around the world and did not detect evidence of an explosion.
With the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) swinging into action less than 36 hours after the plane went missing, there seems speculations leaning towards an act of terrorism and or hijack by extremist groups.
A Boeing 777-200 goes ‘invisible’ from radar and leaves no trail. Anxiety is mounting and there are just no answers forthcoming. Conspiracy theories cannot be ruled out under the current circumstances. Or is there an emergence of an ‘Asean Bermuda Triangle’.
Let us pray and hope for the best.