Friday, March 14, 2014

Was Malaysia Airlines Flight # MH 370 hijacked?



Update on March 19
1130 AM Tokyo time/ 1030 AM Hong Kong time: 

The Thai military has revealed that its radars spotted MH 320 headed for the Straits of Malacca and was receiving normal communications from it until 1:22 AM, when the plane disappeared from its radar. Another signal from an unknown aircraft was detected six minutes later, and they suspect this may have been MH 320 heading in the opposite direction.

This evidence leads many authorities involved in the investigation to further confirm their belief that the plane was deliberately flown off-course, towards the Indian Ocean.

This is now the second radar evidence discovered to confirm the theory that MH 320 changed its intended course for Beijing around the Straits of Malacca. 



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Update on March 17
630 PM Tokyo time/ 530 PM Hong Kong time: 

The police are intensifying their investigations of the pilots and of any passengers with possible experience flying an airplane. 

Meanwhile, search efforts have widened but with no conclusive results yet.

March 15, 130 PM Tokyo time: 




There we were, having lunch at the Yama-no-ue restaurant in Roppongi Midtown in Tokyo, just about an hour ago, when I happened to glance at the Twitter feed on my Blackberry.

Some people I was following on Twitter were professing shock over a press conference conducted by the Malaysian government exactly as we sat there at the restaurant having tempura.


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I was sufficiently intrigued by everyone's professions of shock to cut lunch short in order to get access to a computer and high-speed WiFi somewhere.

I'd been following this saga so closely, that a major development was something I just had to read for myself in real-time.



This wasn't the type of news to read on a Twitter feed on my Blackberry.

The nearest place with a computer and high-speed WiFi was the members-only Tokyo American Club in Kamiyamacho.

Scroll down to read more....



SURPRISE, SURPRISE

And what a surprise, when I finally got online.

According to news reports sprouting up everywhere, Malaysian authorities have reportedly unofficially revealed that they believe Malaysia Airlines MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people onboard, was hijacked.

However as of 430 PM Tokyo time today, Malaysia's Prime Minister himself has refused to confirm that a hijacking took place.


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"Despite reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear that we are still investigating all the possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its flight path,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, in a news conference in Kuala Lumpur

He also said: "Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation on crew and passengers aboard. Evidence is consistent with someone acting deliberately from inside the plane."

Map released by the Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia


While admitting he had no concrete idea about the whereabouts of the plane, he said MH 370 could be "anywhere from Kazakhstan to the Indian Ocean."


Consequently, he said they are calling off search operations in the South China Sea, the general area where MH370 was initially thought to have crashed.


WHAT HAS BEEN CONCLUDED SO FAR



Other developments and conclusions:

1) Someone deliberately turned off the communications system of the airplane before it reached the eastern coast of Malaysia and entered Vietnamese airspace.

2) Data has indicated that the plane deviated due to deliberate action.

3) Malaysian authorities are investigating the backgrounds of passengers and crew. The majority of the passengers (154) were Chinese.

4) Police have entered and searched the home of the senior pilot, who reportedly had over 18,000 hours of flying experience with MAS and was a respected member of the community.

5) It's still unclear as to who took the plane and for what purpose. However,  it's increasingly becoming clear that MH 370 flew at least six hours more after the communications system was turned off.




In an opinion piece published in CNN, Robert Goyer, editor in chief of Flying Magazine: "Either the flight was commandeered by a group with at least one professionally trained pilot among them or one of the pilots in control programmed the new off-route flight plan into the flight management system."


And this is what a Chinese aviation security expert had to say, in a telephone interview with the New York Times: "“The timing of turning off the transponder suggests that this involved someone with knowledge of how to avoid air traffic control without attracting attention. You needed to know this plane, and you also needed to know this route.”



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So many theories are sprouting up everywhere, and new developments and twists are zooming in everyday.

This entire saga has kept many people up at night, and so far it's been reading like one unimaginable mystery thriller.




THE UPSIDE TO ALL THIS

The silver lining in this saga is that the passengers may still be alive, if the plane was indeed hijacked.

We at Travelife Magazine wish for the safety of all passengers of MH370, and for a speedy and positive outcome to this most unfortunate incident.

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