Malaysia

All About the Missing Malaysian Pilot, Zaharie Shah

|

Over at Mediaite, Andrew Kirell has pulled together what Donald Rumsfeld might call the "known knowns" about Zaharie Shah, the pilot of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane.

Plenty of questions have arisen over whether the pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 54, had any terrorist sympathies, but the truth is that evidence has, thus far, proved inconclusive.

In fact, many of Shah's internet actions paint a portrait of a man who barely fits the stereotypes of a religious fundamentalist or separatist.

Among those actions? 

He's a supporter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a reformer who was once charged with sodomy laws by the current authoritarian government. Shah's YouTube statistics reveal he has watched a lot of Ibrahim videos. Shah is also believed to have attended the court hearing that overturned Ibrahim's those sodomy charges. Ibrahim was once again jailed on those charges, just several hours before MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur.

As expected, sources within the Malaysian government have called Shah a "fanatical supporter" of Ibrahim, attempting to portray his politics as radical and possibly violent. But Ibrahim's People's Justice Party is on the forefront of a coalition using elections to fight for "transparent and genuine democracy," including a constitution, separation of powers, as well as decentralized economic controls. As Slate described it: If anything, Shah is guilty of supporting "a nonviolent man who supports a pluralistic and democratic Malaysia."

Read the whole thing.

Read Reason's 24/7 latest roundup of everything related to Shah and the disappearance of Flt 370, which Malaysian officials are now investigating as deliberate.

NEXT: Brooklyn Men Claim Cops Arrested Them for Not Turning Over White Castle Sliders

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. As expected, sources within the Malaysian government have called Shah a “fanatical supporter” of Ibrahim, attempting to portray his politics as radical and possibly violent. But Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party is on the forefront of a coalition using elections to fight for “transparent and genuine democracy,” including a constitution, separation of powers, as well as decentralized economic controls.

    To a statist, anyone who endeavors to lessen the strength of the state is a radical.

    1. Well, he IS a radical when it comes to his support of a democratization of the state of Malaysia occurring peacefully, slowly and painfully through otherwise weak democratic institutions.

      The world would an amazing place, honestly, if there were more radicals like him.

  2. Unless the plane is found, this thing will live forever on UFO shows and Oliver Stone films.

    1. I’m still going with accident.

      1. Agreed.

        But it does seem strange that it would disappear with nary a trace. It just shows that the authorities are almost certainly looking in the wrong spot.

        1. Here is my guess.

          Electrical fire. They immediately turn back the way they came. Pilots quickly overcome by fumes. Equipment fails due to fire. Jet climbs and descends on it’s own (they do that). Eventually the passengers break down the door and attempt to fly the plane, explaining the last couple of random turns. Jet flies till it runs out of fuel 7.5 hrs later.

          The end.

          1. Bullshit.

                1. Damn those greys.

                  I was thinking a Millenium scenario.

              1. No gremlins in your story. Where are the gremlins?

                1. Gremlins require William Shatner. And he wasn’t on the plane. Plus planes fly way higher than 20,000 feet nowadays. Wing gremlins can’t survive that high.

                  1. Gremlins do fine with John Lithgow, darnit!

                  2. Don’t be ridiculous. Clearly this is the work of Langoliers.

              2. The EE Bay is some distance from the cockpit. The proposed electrical fire somehow killed two fully independent systems (tranponder and ACARS) nearly simultaneously, while actually leaving the SATCOM system fully operational. And somehow the crew didn’t get any hint of the fire and put on their oxygen masks.

                And the flight management system and/or autopilot system to don’t automatically change the flight plan to fly in random directions when the crew is not paying attention. The zigzag flight path after crossing the Malaysian peninsula indicates human involvement long after the “fire” killed the transponder and ACARS.

                1. 1. An electrical fire in the cockpit could have taken out one or more buses, regardless of their physical location on the aircraft.

                  2. The first step for an electrical fire in EVERY aircraft I’ve ever flown in is to turn off all electrical power. If the pilots were overcome by fumes after doing that…same result.

                  3. The SATCOM, as I understand it, was an engine maintenance function that automatically reports status to the company via satellite. I am admittedly unfamiliar with the 777, but such a function could be self contained or on a separate bus.

                  4. The first thing a pilot would do in such a situation would be to get the aircraft turning toward a recovery field. Where they were, that may have been back the other way.

                  The zigzag flight path after crossing the Malaysian peninsula indicates human involvement long after the “fire” killed the transponder and ACARS.

                  Agreed, and the fact that it’s a zigzag pattern suggests it wasn’t a pilot doing it. If it were a pilot with an operable aircraft he’d have selected the desired waypoint and flown directly to it. There would have been no reason to make multiple turns. That’s why I said it’s a passenger or a flight attendant.

                  1. 3. The SATCOM, as I understand it, was an engine maintenance function that automatically reports status to the company via satellite. I am admittedly unfamiliar with the 777, but such a function could be self contained or on a separate bus.

                    Then you should shut up.

                    I have code running in SATCOM boxes flying all over the world.

                    1. I have code running in SATCOM boxes flying all over the world.

                      Kinnath, it would have been helpful for you to have stated that earlier in the conversation rather than just throwing out a “bullshit.”

                    2. I have spent a week trying desperately not to pull my past employment into the subject. Today, I failed.

                    3. The news reports over the last week regarding SATCOM pings and engine trend monitoring may not have provided much useful information to the average guy or gal on the street, but it was obvious to me immediately that the plane did not go down for hours after the loss of communications with air traffic control.

                    4. I have code running in SATCOM boxes flying all over the world.

                      So it’s your fault. Mr. Frequenter of right-wing anti-government websites.

                    5. I stopped writing code 20 years ago (SATCOM was my last coding gig). I’m sure my code has been fucked up by 20 years of lesser engineers maintaining it.

                    6. Then you should shut up.

                      What the fuck is up your ass?

                      And that proves nothing. The ACARS could have been disabled by an electrical fire in the cockpit at the control head and the rest of the system or parts of it to include the SATCOM could have still been functioning. OR different parts of the system could be on separate buses.

                      Are you familiar with the electrical systems on a 777?

                    7. The ACARS could have been disabled by an electrical fire in the cockpit at the control head and the rest of the system or parts of it to include the SATCOM

                      Perhaps you didn’t read down thread where I explained that ACARS is only software running in a cabinent that controls most of the flight critical equipment used to fly the airplane.

                      Fire cannot kill ACARS, period. Only human intervention can stop ACARS.

                      And my last coding gig was 20 years ago. The B777 coincidentally certified about 20 years ago. While my knowledge may be somewhat stale, the B777 avionics are fundamentally the same now as then.

                      Fire did not cause this event. Give it up dude.

                    8. From your own linked article:

                      Although this is still debated, according to several pilots the ACARS transmissions can be switched off by the pilot from inside the cockpit, by disabling the use of VHF and SATCOM channels. This means that the system is not completely switched off, but it can’t transmit to the receiving stations.

                      If the pilots can switch it off in the cockpit, an electrical fire in the cockpit can do the same.

                    9. No dumb shit. You have to wade through a complicated menu system to change the ACARS settings. Think of going three or four screens deep at an ATM. The unit that you use to access the ACARS control menus is either dual or triple redundant.

                      There is no switch in the cockpit that controls ACARS, so there are no fucking wires that go to the cockpit that could fry and cause the loss of ACARS.

                    10. Kinnith, it’s not a matter of software. It’s a matter of burning electrical wires powering down systems.

                      Did you even read the article you cited. This is the last paragraph of the ACARS section of the article YOU posted:

                      Although this is still debated, according to several pilots the ACARS transmissions can be switched off by the pilot from inside the cockpit, by disabling the use of VHF and SATCOM channels. This means that the system is not completely switched off, but it can’t transmit to the receiving stations.

                      If the VHF/SATCOM can be powered down from the cockpit, a fire can cause the VHF/SATCOM to be powered down from the cockpit. It doesn’t even need to happen at the control head. It can be a fire in a wiring bundle that powers several different boxes behind the instrument panel. That would explain losing ACARS data and the IFF several minutes apart as the fire burned.

                    11. You are misreading the statements of a reporter that does not understand how the avionics work.

                      The ACARS software will only use the bearer systems that it has been configured to use to transmit messages to the ground. If the crew uses the MCDU to change the configuration settings of the ACARS software, then the ACARS can be told to stop trying to send messages over SATCOM. This is what appears to have been done.

                      The independent SATCOM system is still alive, and will continue to shake hands with the satellite once every hour. This has been shown in the records.

                      Burning up the wires between the all the MCDUs in the cockpit and the cabinet hosting the ACARS software would not reset its configuration. Burning up the cabinet or halting power to the cabinet would indirectly cause the ACARS software to stop sending messages. But all sorts of alarms would have gone off it that happened.

                      And even if the cabinet burns up, that would not mean the transponder would die.

                    12. And the key is the ACARS stopped 10 or 11 minutes before the last voice communications from the crew. If the cabinet that hosted ACARS was dead, half the cockpit would have been dead. The crew would not have nonchalantly said “goodnight”.

                    13. Did they though?

                      The latest thing I read and the PPURS site was that the ACARS was disabled between 10 minutes and 20 minutes after the “good night”.

                      In which case, the chance that this was an accident is much more likely.

                    14. … er, meant to write “10 minutes before and 20 minutes after”

                    15. There is evidence that SATCOM was functioning for 5+ hours after loss of contact with the airplane.

                      There has been no evidence that VHF com was lost other than the aircraft was silent when flying back across Malaysia.

                      So there was an event that caused them to turn back that 1) killed ACARS, 2) killed the transponder, and 3) killed VHF com {three fully independent systems}. Or a human decided to turn off ACARS and the transponder and chose to not communicate by VHF com.

                      The aircraft performed two more major course changes after the aircraft crossed over Malaysia meaning that a human was involved. Either an experience pilot making weird choices or a novice fucking around with the controls.

                      Make your own decisions I suppose.

                    16. Note also that VHF com is dual redundant fed by independent power supplies.

                      So a grand total of four independent com/surveillance systems failing simultaneously on an aircraft that flew for 5 more hours.

                    17. Either an experience pilot making weird choices or a novice fucking around with the controls.

                      I should point out that both of those things happened in the Helios crash, which was entirely caused by a ‘problem’ with cabin pressure.

                      Speaking of which, I recently read that the flight attendant who entered the cockpit and tried to fly the plane didn’t fuck up; the left engine exhausted its fuel supply seconds after he sat down. Poor guy had no chance; he was trying to fly a heavy jet for the first time with one and then no engines as the other engine also exhausted its fuel a few minutes later.

                    18. So four failed independent com/surveillance systems, plus a failed cabin pressure system, plus an 18,000 hour pilot and his 2,000 hour first officer being stupid.

                    19. Look at the initial actions for a loss of cabin pressure, they involve several of the failed systems:

                      1) The autopilot (setting it to heading and altitude hold and commanding both heading and altitude changes)
                      2) The xponder (setting it to the emergency code)

                      In the case of the Qantas oxygen bottle incident, the bottle damaged a shitload of things, depressurized the A/C and, of course, left the passenger oxygen system inoperative.

                      Some B777 guy on PPUR pointed out that a similar event with the air-crew oxygen system would likely have the bottle rocketing around in equipment bay 1.

                      Other B777 guys said that recently their airlines told them to alter the Altitude Hold in 100 foot increments instead of thousand foot ones to get around a software bug. (Which means programming a 20,000 foot change takes longer).

                      Other B777 guys are claiming that their airline has a policy of switching the xponder to standby before changing the numbers.

                      I see a bunch of plausible theories. Also expect that what happened will fit none of the theories being advanced.

                      I do expect that should the wreckage be found and produce usable information, hypoxia will be a factor. I will be very surprised if it does not play a role.

                    20. Other B777 guys said that recently their airlines told them to alter the Altitude Hold in 100 foot increments instead of thousand foot ones to get around a software bug. (Which means programming a 20,000 foot change takes longer).

                      WTF? The plane’s been certified for 20 years.

                    21. Tarran

                      In order for it to not be terrorists, you need to have a theory that incapacitates the pilots AND accounts for the shutdown of at least two systems, ACARS and the IFF. Decompression only takes care of the pilots. If it takes wading through the FMS5 pages deep to deactivate ACARS, I doubt an oxygen deprived pilot could pull that off.

                    22. GNARRGH!

                      I write up an awesome scenario and the fucking squirrels eat it!!!!!!!!!!!

                      I’m done. I am supposed to be commuting home now.

                      Short answer, I can see a scenario that would explain things; an O2 bottle for the crew exploding like happened on a Qantas flight and damaging the autopilot and the ACARS system.

                      Crew make mistakes as they take immediate actions, and accidentally put the transponder to standby. When hailed on the VHF emergency channel, they try to answer but are incoherent.

                      The damage to the autopilot (specifically the gyros) cause the plane to follow a hobbly heading and to do a slow phugoid cycle as it heads west.

                      The crashes somewhere near the southern arc posited based on the last transmission.

                      Again, I’m not saying this happened. If you had asked me about Air France after it vanished, I would have speculated that they descended to deal with the airspeed mismatch, were damaged by the storm and had the tail fall off or something, like that plane that crashed into NYC in 2001.

                      I would never in a million years have thought that a bunch of pilots didn’t recognize that they were stalling the plane.

                      What really happened will be something very surprising, and I give higher than even odds that it wasn’t terrorism…. or a really cool heist – worthy of SPECTRE – of several metric tons of gold.

                      I should also acknowledge I know nothing about the investigation other than the news reports… :/

                    23. an O2 bottle for the crew exploding like happened on a Qantas flight and damaging the autopilot and the ACARS system.

                      ACARS is software hosted in a fail-operational cabinet (integrated module architecture) which has dual power supplies and dual independent data buses. I would take a miracle shot of shrapnel to kill the ACARS function.

                      Crew make mistakes as they take immediate actions, and accidentally put the transponder to standby. When hailed on the VHF emergency channel, they try to answer but are incoherent.

                      could happen

                      The damage to the autopilot (specifically the gyros) cause the plane to follow a hobbly heading and to do a slow phugoid cycle as it heads west.

                      B777 has triple redundant flight control computers and triple redundant inertial reference systems (the gyros are in there not in the autopilot). Critical systems are physically segregated for bomb-blast protection. An O2 bottle ain’t gonna do it.

                    24. The Squirrels have been eating my shit all day too.

                      I actually guessed the Air France thing. The Air Force teaches you that iced up pitot tubes will make your airspeed indicator act like an altimeter.

                      I could see that really fucking with someone trying to recover from a stall if they didn’t know that.

                    25. For your reading pleasure.

                      http://www.davi.ws/avionics/Th…..Cap_29.pdf

                    26. The latest thing I read and the PPURS site was that the ACARS was disabled between 10 minutes and 20 minutes after the “good night”.

                      Thats what my wife saw this AM as well.

                    27. Burning up the wires between the all the MCDUs in the cockpit and the cabinet hosting the ACARS software would not reset its configuration. Burning up the cabinet or halting power to the cabinet would indirectly cause the ACARS software to stop sending messages. But all sorts of alarms would have gone off it that happened.

                      Is it impossible for a bus fire to shut down the ACARS computer as well as the IFF and not affect the VHF/SATCOM?

                      Where are those buses located? Near the cockpit? Near the ECS?

                      Aircraft have multiple buses. I’ve seen entire systems run off of one bus or multiple buses. I’ve seen components within each system run off different buses. Is it possible that ACARS and the IFF run on the same bus and the VHF/SATCOM are on another?

                    28. Is it impossible for a bus fire to shut down the ACARS computer as well as the IFF and not affect the VHF/SATCOM?

                      See above.

                    29. So you’re saying that the IFF and VHF/SATCOM are on the same bus

                      AND

                      ACARS is powered by multiple buses.

                      Are there emergency battery buses or power scaling modes to be used in the event of electrical failures where it may power down parts of systems?

                    30. Oh, and before I had the job writing code for SATCOM, I worked for the company that builds the cabinets that host ACARS software. And I built the simulators for testing those cabinets. I understand the functionality of the B777 flight deck pretty damn good for non-pilot.

                  2. http://theaviationist.com/2014…..explained/

                    This has a really nice summary of ACARS and SATCOM.

                  3. I’m too lazy to google it, but other news sites have pointed out that the zigzag pattern just happens to coincide with well known navigation waypoints. Since the aircraft as operating over water at night, some amount of intelligence was required to hit those waypoints.

                    1. According to this. It never actually overflew those waypoints, which it would have if the autopilot was engaged. It said it flew “near” them.

                      This is actual military radar that plots a series of “waypoints” along a flight’s path. In this case, the plane passed near at least 3 waypoints after it did it’s u-turn around one hour into the flight.

                      There are LOTS of waypoints out there, so it kinda depends on the definition of near.

                      And again, there is NO reason to not go directly to the destination rather than dick around with intermediate waypoints that are on different jet-routes.

                    2. It never actually overflew those waypoints, which it would have if the autopilot was engaged.

                      Autopilots know jack shit about waypoints.

                      Only flight management systems or pilots looking at navigation charts and monitoring navigation radios know about waypoints.

                      You are vastly underestimating the significance of this finding.

                    3. Kinneth, I’ve been flying for 25 years and have over 3500 hours. I’m pretty familiar with how the autopilot systems interact with the FMS.

                      IF a pilot had entered those waypoints into the FMS and the autopilot was engaged and controlling navigation to those waypoints, the aircraft wouldn’t have simply gotten “near” them…it would have flown directly over the top of them.

                      And again, there is NO reason for the two intermediate turns. A pilot would have flown directly to the last waypoint. Suggesting, whomever was flying, was NOT a pilot. and flew “near” those waypoints by luck.

                    4. Your argument has been that a fire broke out in the flight deck and the crew eventually succumbed to the smoke.

                      So the pilot took the time to enter a new flight plan into the FMS that heads to god knows where in response to this fire . . . and then what?

                    5. So the pilot took the time to enter a new flight plan into the FMS that heads to god knows where in response to this fire . . . and then what?

                      No. The pilot didn’t take the time to enter anything into the FMS. And that’s my point EXACTLY. The first thing you do in ANY life threatening aircraft emergency is to stop getting farther away from a place to land. He would have probably turned off the autopilot and hand flew a reciprocal heading (back towards the airport). He also may have just found the first waypoint back in the other direction and let the jet fly itself to it. OR he might have switched to “Heading mode” and quickly spun his heading bug to a heading roughly in the other direction (and never quite got it to 180 degrees). That accounts for the first turn.

                      The last turns at the end, make no sense at all. No pilot would have done what that jet did. Not even a terrorist pilot. Which is exactly why I think it wasn’t being flown by a pilot at all. Maybe one of the passengers or flight attendants and the last two turns just happened to be near waypoints.

                    6. If you’re a qualified pilot on the B777 then say so. I worked on the fucking avionics for this plane 20 years ago, and I know how the displays, FMS, autopilot, VHF com, HF com, SATCOM, ACARS, TCAS, and transponders work on this plane.

          2. You seem awfully eager for us to drop this investigation. I want to know why.

            1. He’s got major financial positions in gremlins.

            2. Um…um…no I’m not.

              *looks around nervously*

        2. That Air France plane was difficult to find.

          1. That was the only aircraft accident I ever accurately predicted the cause of.

        3. Oceans are big places.

        4. This is the latest, greatest conspiracy theory making the rounds.

          It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 [Singapore Airlines Flight 68] through India and Afghanistan airspace. As MH370 was flying “dark” without transponder / ADS-B output, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens.

          1. But wouldn’t the onboard radar of SIA68 have detected MH370? I imagine SIA68 would have reported the anomoly, even if only as a radar glitch?

          2. Sound like they were just trying to ‘fly casual’.

      2. I’m going with victims of Warty. They’re busy being “processed” through his sex dungeon.

        1. Victims of Warty

          I smell a Telethon opportunity!!!!

          1. Every time I read “Victims of Warty” I hear the Who’s “Pictures of Lily”….shit.

            1. Ah, crap, thanks for that earworm.

      3. My guess is slow depressurization, the pilots didn’t recognize it in time, and cognitive impairments made them do things that exarcebated the situation – just like the Helios Air crash.

        1. Dude, the Helios Air crash was the result of a botched FBI effort to get Elvis moved to a safer location after his cover as a tour guide at the Book Depository was blown.

          1. Ixnay onay ethay ealray orystay!

        2. Oxygen masks would have dropped automatically and there would have been all kinds of bells and whistles in the cockpit.

          1. Yes, and when the alarm went off on the Helios Air flight, the pilots thought it was the take off alarm and in their impaired state wasted their remaining minutes of impaired consciousness trying to “fix” it.

            O2 deprivation is nasty stuff because unless one is trained to recognize the symptoms of it, they will think they are fine when they are not.

            I am, of course, speculating. I think we will all be surprised once the wreckage is found as to what really caused the crash. I think there’s a good chance, though, that the crew will have been impaired by hypoxia before they recognized they were in trouble.

            1. You seem awfully eager for us to drop this investigation. I want to know why.

              1. tarran is really a grey!!!!!1!11ELEVENTY!!!111

        3. Extremely unlikely. The oxygen masks would have deployed automatically when the pressure dropped to some predetermined limit. It would have taken a rapid decompression that prevented the crew from putting on their oxygen masks before passing out.

          In that case, the flight management system would have taken them on the programmed route to Beijing, then overflown the airport and crashed somewhere in north east china.

          And everyone would have know for hours there was a plane with an unresponsive crew on the aircraft.

          1. And I mean, have you ever flown with an unresponsive crew?

            “Miss? Miss? Damnit, what’s it take to get a refill on my G & T… this is the last time I fly Southwest…”

        4. As in that crash, shouldn’t the plane have continued to Beijing on autopilot in that case?

          1. No. The immediate actions for a loss of cabin pressure are (not in order):

            1) Don oxygen masks
            2) Place the plane on autopilot – specifying a heading off your present course and a descent to 10,000 MSL or the lowest safe altitude for the patch of ground you happen to be over.
            3) Set speedbrakes and throttle up
            4) Change xponder code to an emergency one
            5) Call ATC

            An early speculation was what if there was a repeat of an incident in a Qantas flight – an oxygen bottle basically popped its fitting and went off like a bottle rocket, rattling around until it left the plane, punching a huge hole in the pressure hull on its way out? Apparently, the bottles for air crew air happen to share a compartment with the communications equipment bay.

            That scenario posited a sudden onset of the emergency, and an impaired pilot setting the autopilot to the wrong mode before passing out. And if you fail to set a low enough altitude (for example ordering the plane to maintain a constant pitch instead of altitude hold) before you pass out, you die.

            The description of the altitude changes sound like a really slow phugoid cycle to me.

        5. That doesn’t explain why or how the ACAMS unit was shut down, though.

        6. My guess: there was a hijacking, which explains the complete failure to communicate, the turning off of the transponder, and the course change. Some time later, there was a mechanical problem with the plane, or it ran out of fuel because the hijackers had miscalculated the range*, or the hijackers just screwed up, and the plane crashed, probably somewhere out in the Indian Ocean. Or possibly there was a fight for control of the plane and it crashed or was intentionally crashed.

          * Like the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 hijacking, in which the hijackers tried to make the pilot take them to Australia, and didn’t believe him when he told them (truthfully) they didn’t have enough fuel for that.

          This theory worth what you paid for it; anyone with flying experience is welcome to tell me I’m full of crap.

          1. I suppose, but you’d need to be one hell of an incompetent hijacker to go to all that trouble and not have a pilot who can get you to where you want to go. And if fuel was an issue, you wouldn’t fly two hours out of your way, you’d have taken over sooner.

            I guess they could have waited for one of the pilots to take a piss…

            But still, a guy who knows how to turn off aircraft systems can’t compute fuel burn?

    2. This is pretty much the premise of at least three Twilight Zone episodes.

      The plane may have found its way to prehistoric time, in which case it may reappear and land at Idlewild/JFK.

      Or it could have traveled forward in time and will reappear in France 42 years from now.

      Or it could land without anyone aboard and then finally disappear, driving an NTSB investigator mad.

      1. Uh, The Langoliers predicted all this many years ago. They should go interrogate Stephen King.

        1. Has anybody seen Bronson Pinchot lately?

          1. Does rewatching Beverly Hills Cop count?

            1. Don’t be stupid! Do you want a cappuchino?

          2. He’s back on Mypos, I think.

          3. Has anyone seen Kris Krisopherson and Cheryl Ladd lately?

        2. “And then ‘honk, honk’, the car honked its owwwwn horn.”

          1. Whoa, whoa. You better watch what you say about my car. She’s real sensitive.

      2. If Dr Who gets a hot Australian sidekick out of it, it’s worth it!

        1. You’ve been spending too much time at io9, tarran.

        2. Emphasis on the hot. The last one was a total bitch. And bossy.

          1. Come to think of it, that one was involved in a missing aircraft.

      3. The plane may have found its way to prehistoric time, in which case it may reappear and land at Idlewild/JFK.

        That was the one that I thought of as well.

        But you’re forgetting the X-Files option:

        http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Max

      4. You guys must not be familiar with Dept. S episodes “6 Days” and “One of Our Aircraft Is Empty”, each of which, along with “The Lost Special” by A.C. Doyle, was source material for Lost.

  3. He … “liked” and/or commented on videos about cutting glass bottles in half using fire

    Ah, HA!!

  4. I was talking about this plane thing with a friend last night. I think his theory is probably right. That was a couple hundred million worth of plane. These assholes flew up to max altitude while everyone was asleep, put on masks and depressurized, landed somewhere in Africa, ditched the bodies and parted it out.

    1. That’s a hell of a way to make cash.

      1. That’s a hell of a way to make very little cash.

      2. I would imagine that an airliner would be hard to sell on the black market, but I don’t have much experience with that sort of thing. If the plane is ever returned to service it would eventually be discovered during maintenance due to serial numbers on the parts or airframe. Not sure how much of a global market there is in spare, unsourced 777 parts.

    2. Boom baby! But wow, that would really be something. But could the plane even make it to Africa without detection by civilian or military authorities?

      1. No. Not enough fuel.

        If they really stretched it, they could barely have reached the northern tip of madagascar, assuming no head-winds.

        1. It was one of the new jets that had a plasma engine that ran on water. Which is why selling it back to the KGB made sense.

          1. Some things in there don’t react well to bullets.

            1. Ostav’ eto v pokoye!

          2. http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/prices/

            300 million for one of those things. Probably get at least 10s of millions in parts from some drug lord. I don’t think it’s that crazy of a theory. Just incredibly petty evil shit.

            1. Hm. Was an evil young Christina Hendricks involved?

    3. The satellite ping doesn’t put it anywhere near Africa, though. And it wouldn’t have had enough fuel to get there, regardless.

    4. Who buys black market airplane parts? That’s one tiny market.

      1. There was an article about this somewhere a few days ago. Essentially, there would be a market for the parts. There are nearly 1200 Boeing 777s in the world and not all of the owners have scruples and wouldn’t mind buying parts on the black market at a discount.

  5. I don’t understand how it could be suicide. Who goes to all that trouble to kill himself and take 330 people down with him?

    And I’m no aviation expert but isn’t an accident extremely unlikely due to the series of seemingly deliberate equipment failures?

    1. My guess is that when they find the wreckage, the actual cause is going to be some combination of pedestrian mistakes coupled with one or two equipment failures.

      Look at that Air France crash in the Atlantic. The pitot tube froze. The pilots took the wrong actions, and continued to misdiagnose the problem and put the plane into the ocean. Until the wreckage was found, nobody assumed that pilots flying for a top-line airline would keep a plane in a stall all the way from 35,000 feet into the ground.

      1. Since when is anything from France “top line”? That includes wine.

        1. Have you ever flown Air France? It’s fucking great. The service, the food (for a plane), the free wine, everything.

          1. Ssh! He’s frog bashing. Let him run with it.

          2. Every ocean crossing airline worth a damn does some variation of that. Most of the others don’t have roaches in the galley.

            1. roaches in the galley

              A good band or album name.

          3. I’ve flown Malaysia Airlines, and they treated me like a god. It was quite amazing. They must’ve had twice as many flight attendants as any other airline.

            1. I have flown them twice, round-trip in one day from Singapore to KL.

              1. My flight was from Tokyo to KL and back. Over six hours each way. And that was the short leg.

                1. Right. Singapore 5 times.

      2. If it’s an accident, then why were the comm devices turned off at two different times? The accident theory holds no water.

      3. I think a fire is the only accident scenario that accounts for losing the radios.

        1. ACARS is not a radio. ACARS is a communications protocol that rides on top of VHF comm over land and SATCOM over water.

          On the B777 aircraft, the Digitial Communications Management Function (DCMF) is an application that runs in a cabinet.

          So the ACARS “unit” cannot catch fire, because there is no “unit”.

    2. I happened to be coming into New York when that Egypt Air flight went down, in 1999, and I still don’t believe the official story, that the pilot decided to make a martyr of himself in mid-flight.

    3. According to the NTSB, pilot suicide is believed to be the cause in two previous accidents:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EgyptAir_Flight_990
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SilkAir_Flight_185

      1. Interesting. Not discounting the suicide theory, since people do really crazy shit when they’re depressed. But also wondering if maybe EgyptAir 990 could have been an early attempt by AQ to use an airliner as a weapon. An attempt that failed because someone decided to crash it into the ocean.

  6. A pilot with a flight simulator? He must be up to something!!

    1. Yeah, that is a particularly derpy line of speculation. (Not you, William).

  7. Okay, after skimming the article for words that jumped out at me, and not clicking on the links, I’m going to go with the theory that the highjacker was a Muslim gay person (or, possibly, a gay Muslim person), and that he did it to get more hits on his Youtube channel.

  8. It was definitely aliens.

  9. CNN did it. They need to distract viewers from Obamafail.

    1. CNN did it. They need to distract viewers from Obamafail.

      Of all of the conspiracy scenarios, this one seems most likely to be a possibility.

    1. Man, the Onion is still top-notch.

      1. I like the absence of fear.

    2. “Basically, without that transponder, and if they aren’t smiling, we have no way of telling where they are,” states Alonzo. “It’s an antiquated system, but unfortunately it’s all we have.”

    3. This would have been a good addition to the Ban Bossy threads.

      1. All of that writer’s stuff is fine satire on the obsessions of internet commentary.

      2. About a month ago, I attended Observation Day at my son’s former elementary school. After my son Mason was diagnosed with autism, they moved him into a special education program, but I still like to attend events for the parents of normal children.

    4. That’s not even wrong, it’s just some sort of crazy victim-mongering and whingeing.

  10. You people are all mad! Last week I dropped the real story. the story that connects all the pieces.

    You see, the two people with the fake passports were from Shangri-La. They hijacked the plane and flew it into the Himalayas where a sherpa pack is waiting to take them to the hidden valley where monks timelessly sing the story of the world. This is connected to the events in Ukraine because they are the pretense to start World War 3. The last time an airplane was hijacked and taken to Shangri-La was 1934, immediately preceding World War 2. From the temple in Shangri-la the monks can sense the foreboding vibrations and must act quickly to capture new people. You see people in Shangri-La are immortal and infertile. And and, come on man! Can’t you see!!!?

    I miss Hercule. I just can’t ramblecrazy that well.

    1. HERCULE SAIVONEN TRIATHLON is the greatest near-human to ever drop prose on the HyR’tariat. That man…person…THING could ramble….God, it was beautiful.

      *looks wistfully at the widening circles created by the Air Malyasia crash in the ocean*

  11. Professor Plum, with the rope, in the observatory hangar

    1. The Candyland character on Ventnor Ave with the lead pipe?

      1. Ventnor’s a pretty rough neighborhood any more…

    2. Professor Plum, in the billiard room, with Colonel Mustard.

  12. I think the plane and its passengers went through a dimensional gate to a planet where giant beings oddly culturally similar to the Mongol horde eat humans as cattle.

    1. And because modern human beings have absolutely no military, mining, or metalworking skills whatsoever, the passengers were all eaten within days.

  13. Some comedian was going on about not taking any airline whose name is
    “Air [name of country]”. Which reminded me of the “airline” that used to take our folks to our electronics plant in Chihuahua from Tejas and back in the early 90’s =

    “Air Leo Lopez”

    I always pictured a Ford tri-motor with Leo Lopez’ picture on the side, and passing out leather jackets and scarves to all the passengers before they boarded….

    “Air Leo Lopez – because, jess, we cares about you, cabron!”

  14. I had the unusual misfortune of listening to Glenn Beck this morning. He presented some outlandish conspiracy theory of a possible terrorist attack using the stolen aircraft. It involved painting the jet to look like a British Airways jet, flying the jet under the radar over the Pacific and somehow shooting down a British Airways jet in flight. The pirated aircraft would be mistaken by aviation officials as the downed jet, allowing terrorists to strike with their deadly cargo.

    Beck is an idiot. How is he making so much money?

    1. I think it has something to do with people who listen to talk radio or cable pundits also being idiots.

    2. who’s the bigger idiot: him or the guy who took him seriously?

      1. Well, to be fair, that does say something about Shrike.

    3. Beck is an idiot. How is he making so much money?

      I learned to stop tying competence to salary years ago.

    4. Beck was on our local radio before he went national. His current persona is entirely an act.

      He’s not an idiot; he’s just willing to tell idiots what they want to hear for millions of dollars.

  15. You know it’s funny how when something mysterious happens and they start digging into the past of people possibly involved (like the pilot in this case), it makes you wonder what they’d think of any of us if they dug into our proclivities, personal preferences, internet habits and political leanings.

    1. I had that thought too. I’d be painted a monster!

      1. but… aren’t you?

    2. If anything happens to me, someone clear my history.

    3. The suspect frequently posted to an extremist libertarian forum under the pseudonym “Hillary’s Clitdong”. The suspect frequently made politically incorrect remarks, and seemed remarkably flippant about the possibility that one of the other commentators, known as “Warty”, was maintaining a basement sex dungeon.

      1. Actually, the less specific, the more ominous:

        Paul. frequented radical right-wing anti-government (that combination of words always makes me laugh… hang on…*catches breath*) websites, subscribed to half a dozen firearm themed youtube channels and had a fraudulent Facebook account which friends said he kept so he could occasionally look at other profiles.

    4. (looks around nervously)

    5. He was the quiet type who rarely talked to his neighbors. He often posted on an anti-government board, espousing crackpot political ideas and bemoaning the increasing power of the Federal government. The subject also liked action movies with anti-heroes. His habits were odd, vacillating between midget bowling and jumping over pits filled with licorice.

    6. I live in fear that what I write will be read into evidence at a trial.

      1. I fear that having read what you wrote will be used as evidence at my trial.

        1. You won’t get a trial, Paul.

          1. This is incorrect. Paul has already been tried.

            1. And found wanting. Wanting a lot. Lots of wanting.

              1. Commenting at Hit & Run is an automatic conviction. Regardless of your politics.

      2. Your honor, what kind of man would write about so-called “Doomcocks?”

          1. And penis-heads. And Arse-faces. And soaking weed in vaginal mucus and smoking it.

      3. I live in fear that I’ll be at a trial where something you’ve written will be read to me.

        1. That happens after the sentencing. If you get my meaning about how it’s the punishment and stuff.

      4. Kathleen climbed onto his chest and thrust her chewed labia into his mouth, her pubis bruising on what was left of his teeth. He choked on the grey flesh and smell of powdered violets. Her shriveled teats swayed queasily above him. He longed to squeeze them until they were smooth and ripe again. She farted wetly and it spattered into the hollow of his neck. He writhed around, jerking against his restraints. Kathleen reached back and scooped up a fingerful of shit and wrote her initials on his forehead. His eyes were wide with panic; her gunt was splayed over his nose and he couldn’t breathe. She smacked him in the ear and laughed.

    7. My wife likes to look at my Wikipedia search history because it is so random. Anybody looking into my history would think I’m schizophrenic and possible dangerous.

      1. Well, I feel dangerous.

    8. This.

      Especially from my early 20s when I didn’t care what was known about me on the Interwebs. Considering I have a legitimately unique name, God, the crap they’d find on me… which has little to no bearing on how I am today.

  16. I’m not saying it was aliens….. but it was aliens.

  17. I signed up at Healthcare.gov and I’m going to save $2300 a year on my premium alone ? and more, because my deductible will drop from $7500 year to $3000 year. It’s still Blue Cross insurance, and I don’t have to change doctors either. I had a choice of over 30 plans and several different companies.

    LUCY from Texas

    That turncoat bitch.

    1. Wrong threadz. Sorry lolz.

      1. You seem awfully eager for us to drop this investigation. I want to know why.

  18. Read Reason’s 24/7 latest roundup of everything related to Shah and the disappearance of Flt 370,

    The link to 24/7, which I didn’t reproduce, is from Saturday. Some “latest”.

  19. So, Kinnath, what’s your take on the Becker conspiracy theory posted by Roger above? Specifically, is it possible to make the transponders (etc) of an aircraft identify that craft as another aircraft?

  20. He seems to be a very likable guy.

    http://www.Anon-Works.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.