Expert: MH370 lies north of current search zone

MH370KUALA LUMPUR: High technology entrepreneur Victor Iannello, 55, has raised the possibility in a recent paper for the Independent Group, that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 entered the southern Indian Ocean but north of the current search zone, according to The Roanoke Times in Virginia, US.

The hunt for the ill-fated plane has so far covered 105,000 sq km in the seventh arc in the southern Indian Ocean. Another 15,000 sq km remain but the search has been held up by bad weather.

Iannello’s analysis covered data from radar and satellite communication, drift patterns and the fact that debris, besides Mauritius, turned up in east Africa i.e. in Reunion, South Africa, Mozambique and recently further north in Tanzania.

However, he does not suggest shifting the search further north from the current search zone. He said his analysis merely offered a possibility based on assumptions.

Duncan Steel, who founded the Independent Group, said that “one must continuously go back and re-examine each assumption one makes. Victor has been superlative in doing this.”

Victor Iannello is probably the most technically knowledgeable, resourceful, curious and open-minded independent researcher contributing to the search for MH370,” said CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise. “People from all around the world have pitched in to help tackle this mystery, but few are as indispensable as Victor.”

Steel thinks that an important thing is that although Victor was most often correct in what he says, he has always been willing to look at things another way in case he has made an error. “A willingness to look at things another way would seem crucial when pondering the mystery of MH370.”

“Basically, there are no simple, easy answers,” said Wise who previously conceded in the New York Magazine that “the thing about MH370 theory-making is that it’s hard to come up with a plausible motive for an act that has no apparent beneficiaries.”

In August 2014, it was Iannello who suggested that MH370 was hijacked because of valuable cargo, perhaps gold, flown to an airport in Indonesia for unloading, and then crashed in the Indian Ocean. He may have wandered too far with that theory, he concedes now, but points out that it’s possible that hijackers, equipped with oxygen, depressurized the cabin and cockpit to kill everyone on board. “I entertain some alternative theories, but I do have my limits,” said Iannello when asked about alien abduction.

The conspiracy theories, he added, are fed by the fact that the Malaysian Government has “credibility issues”. Also, he reminded that French officials remain tight-lipped about a flaperon – part of a wing – which was found on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean. It may be linked to MH370.

Iannello receives emails from the families of victims of MH370. “They are very worried that it’s all going to be forgotten and that the mystery will never be solved.”

Iannello, who has a PhD in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has skills in maths and modeling which have contributed to the Independent Group.

“He is very dedicated to the classic scientific method, questioning everything, using his critical thinking to the max,” said pilot Michael Exner, an expert in avionics and satellite communications, who is a member of the Independent Group. “Very open-minded personality, willing to consider even the most unlikely scenarios.”

“However, he never falls for any of the conspiracy nonsense.”

MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board the tragic flight.