Video: Mystery of Flight 370 deepens

posted at 8:41 am on March 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

On Friday, a Malaysian Air flight bound for Beijing simply disappeared off radar screens over the sea between Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam. The only clues thus far are two oil slicks seen on the South China Sea, but no debris has been found at all and other rumors of a possible emergency landing have proven false. Even the oil slicks themselves might not have any connection to Flight 370; initial tests indicate one of them isn’t. Meanwhile, a Malaysian official confirmed that two passengers used stolen passports to board the flight, and appear to have bought tickets together:


ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News

Two suspects on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 who used stolen passports had no record of entering Malaysia legally, officials say.

Malaysia’s Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, said Monday that the identity of one of the two suspects has been confirmed.

“He is not a Malaysian, but I cannot divulge which country he is from yet,” he said.

Two passengers managed to board the ill-fated aircraft using passports reported stolen in Thailand in recent years, booking their tickets at the same time. The passports belonged to Italian and Austrian residents.

How could passports stolen in Thailand in 2012 and 2013 manage to pass muster at airports? It’s because many countries aren’t checking the Interpol database — a security gap that might have been well enough known to exploit:

The stolen passports could be related to other activities, though, such as drug smuggling. There is also another point to consider: Flight 370 went missing four days ago, and yet there has been no claim of responsibility by any terrorist organization. If the point was to take down an airplane to inspire terror, usually a declaration by the terrorists involved would immediately follow the attack. These days, even if governments wanted to keep that quiet, the groups would know how to get that message out through alternative means — and yet we’ve heard nothing of the kind, not even the attempt to take credit as a PR stunt.

Unless the plane suddenly appears, this mystery will be a long time unraveling, it appears.

Update: The first reports were that the flight was bound for Japan, but it was bound for Beijing. I’ve corrected it above.


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Bmore

Schadenfreude on March 10, 2014 at 1:37 PM

FYI folks – The Gulf of Thailand has an average depth of 148feet and a max depth of 260feet

soghornetgunner on March 10, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Bored people speculate, intelligent people collate.

cozmo on March 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM

The fact is some of us don’t have anything else to do. Meaning me.

crankyoldlady on March 10, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Bojinka plot

BallisticBob on March 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

“He is not a Malaysian, but I cannot divulge which country he is from yet,” he said.

What? Never heard of Uighur Italians? I think there is a whole colony of them in DC. More than half of them speak Austrian too.

BL@KBIRD on March 10, 2014 at 2:23 PM

fred5678 on March 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM

I did not know that…thank you for the post
could change the odds…some
a pre-damaged plane is never a good thing..
if rivets let go in a zipper style failure, not good..
I would still think larger chunks are somewhere..
the fact of prior wing damage may fail and the fuel in
the wing could create an explosion…also not good
many good posts on this thread..
you all have your Monday thinking caps on..!!

its still a puzzler…

going2mars on March 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Mulder?? Scully??

TarheelBen on March 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

STENDEC

V7_Sport on March 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Mystery men

The FBI is expected to analyze thumbprints of two men who used false passports to board the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared en route to China and see if they can find a match in their massive database, NBC News has learned.

Airport security took the prints from two men who boarded Flight 370 to Beijing at the Kuala Lumpur airport on March 8 using passports stolen from an Italian and an Austrian tourist. The plane, which had 239 passengers and crew aboard, went missing after take-off and is now the subject of a multi-nation hunt.

Intelligence sources told NBC News that it appears the two men — described loosely as “Mediterranean looking” — began their journey in Qatar and at some point then made their way to Thailand. They used an Iranian middleman to purchase tickets for them in Thailand for the circuitous route from Kuala Lumpur through China to Europe.

kcewa on March 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Bojinka plot

BallisticBob on March 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Curdling read.

Just to add to the speculating theories that if terrorist related, this could also have been a “work accident”.

Shy Guy on March 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

kcewa on March 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

who uses an Iranian middleman to buy their tickets..
im flying tomorrow…no Iranian ‘businessman’ bought my ticket..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2577185/Missing-Malaysia-flight-Probe-5-passengers-checked-never-boarded.html

going2mars on March 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM

kcewa on March 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

who uses an Iranian middleman to buy their tickets..
im flying tomorrow…no Iranian ‘businessman’ bought my ticket..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2577185/Missing-Malaysia-flight-Probe-5-passengers-checked-never-boarded.html

going2mars on March 10, 2014 at 3:55 PM

There was also a mysterious middleman that helped the Underwear Bomber buy his ticket. He was described as well-dressed and possibly Indian.

slickwillie2001 on March 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

My brain cannot help jumping to a Langolier or Spindrift (Land of the Giants) scenario.

Tinker on March 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Airport security took the prints from two men who boarded Flight 370 to Beijing at the Kuala Lumpur airport on March 8 using passports stolen from an Italian and an Austrian tourist.

kcewa on March 10, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Why did they take prints? Is that standard procedure for every single traveler? Or were they singled out ahead of the flight?

dont taze me bro on March 10, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Ask Ben or Jacob, the survivors are LOST on a special island.

AH_C on March 10, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Watched CNN during the 7-8 PM hour. Erin Burnett is a total dipstick.

She was interviewing one of CNN’s aviation experts, who had ironically flown along and filmed an interview with the co-pilot of the missing flight sometime in the recent past.

When they got to the over water aspect, and how the flight being over water when it broke up would impact the size of the wreckage, she mentioned the Air France flight that broke up off the west Coast of Africa a few years ago on a flight from South America to Paris. It took a couple of years to find the flight recorders, and it turned out that severe turbie (turby? Turbulence, for you noobs) was the cause.

But Erin said the Air France plane exploded.

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2014 at 9:09 PM

But you’d think a tragedy like this might not be seen as an opp for inanne OT drivel.

verbaluce on March 10, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Thus spake the expert on inanne(sic) drivel.

Freelancer on March 10, 2014 at 9:15 PM

It took a couple of years to find the flight recorders, and it turned out that severe turbie (turby? Turbulence, for you noobs) was the cause.

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2014 at 9:09 PM

When did they change the cause to that?

cozmo on March 10, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Transponders have back-up power, and Emergency mode is automatically enabled by a variety of events, including loss of all main power, indication of excess Gs in two aspects (flat spin or axial rolls), etc.

No E-mode signal suggests either an intentionally disabled transponder, or catastrophic destruction of the airframe precluding a viable transmission.

Freelancer on March 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM

A bit OT, but has anyone seen this:

Seems rather credible.

factsonlypls on March 11, 2014 at 12:26 AM

fred5678 on March 10, 2014 at 10:04 AM

IIRC 5 of the Boeing techs were sentenced by Japan for pencil-whipping.

Aside from that, my experience in heavy aircraft repairs as QC, I vowed never to fly on anything operated by low-budget airlines or even 2nd world let alone 3rd world operators. They cut too many corners to suit me.

AH_C on March 11, 2014 at 1:38 AM

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