Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Malaysian Flight 370 - Time to ask different questions

At first glance this story didn’t look like something I had anything to contribute to. Sure the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 seemed mysterious, but plane crashes over the ocean often are. However, more details keep coming out that just can’t be ignored. Often times tracking the misinformation will bring you closer to the truth than attempting to piece together the murky details.

Take for instance the two Iranians who had boarded the plane with stolen passports. Look how quickly Interpol shot down the possibility that this was a terrorist attack. Apparently, they “didn’t have criminal backgrounds” and were “most probably seeking asylum in Europe.”
Reports came out that relatives were waiting for them on the ground in Europe. iranians flight path.jpg

Now this is funny. Rather than take a more direct path (which is what you would expect for people traveling on a stolen passport) these two Iranians traveled to Qatar under their actual identities. From Qatar (still under their true identities) they went completely in the opposite direction to Malaysia. In Kuala Lumpur they would switch out passports and board flight 370 to Beijing. Wait...I thought they were on their way to Western Europe?
It looks even more ridiculous when you look at it on a map (above). The blue box shows where their supposed final destination is. The red line shows their actual movements.
Two Iranians, traveling on false travel documents, and Interpol says they were seeking asylum in Western Europe. Misinformation.

So what do we know that is fact?
1. The Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41am.
2. The flight was to travel 2,700 miles to Beijing, China.
3. At 1:30am flight traffic control lost traffic of the plane over the South China Sea.

That’s the end of fact. No one’s getting any real answers because everyone is chasing the same leads.

Aviation experts have gone on record saying that the sudden disappearance and lack of communication from the airplane suggest “something we’ve never seen before”. A sudden explosion from either technical malfunction or a terrorist attack would have left massive debris, oil, etc in the general vicinity of where the last known location was.

So what happened?

A Boeing 777 is one of the most technologically advanced passenger planes to ever be put up into the sky. That may have been it’s achilles heel. We live in an era of high technology and cyber warfare. In 2008 Wired magazine did a story on the vulnerability to passenger airlines to cyber attack. They specifically mentioned Boeing aircraft.

This is just a small example of the possibilities. It also illustrates a growing cyber warfare arms race. One that has been intensifying in the South and East China Seas more specifically. Last May,The New York Times did a story on China’s growing cyber warfare capability.
The Chinese are rapidly trying to play catch up in their periphery. It’ll take at least a decade to match the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater. They can however attempt to counter American assets unconventionally. Cyber warfare is the new battleground. China’s only chance at the moment is to neutralize U.S. drones, planes, and missiles with their cyber warfare program.

So what’s the point here? Remember Korean Airlines Flight 007?

We’re way past the days of scrambling fighter jets to shoot down civilian aircraft. That type of incident would never cut it in this day of mass and instant media.The political blowback would be nuclear.
I’m not saying this happened, but the possibility that this was a cyber attack is possible. It may seem far fetched, but the misinformation regarding the two Iranians tells us that there is something more here. I don’t think a Chinese move such as this could occur completely unilaterally. There would have to be something here to justify to other governments the need to do this.

In November of last year a report came out that showed Tehran and Pyongyang have been covertly collaborating to construct an 80 ton rocket that can be used in both countries ICBM program. For the most part, China has been looking the other way. However, on March 3rd North Korea conducted a missile launch that endangered a Chinese passenger plane. The plane passed through the trajectory of the missile.
Just 3 days later China would make the most overt statement toward North Korea than we’ve seen in awhile.

"The Korean peninsula is right on China's doorstep. We have a red line, that is, we will not allow war or instability on the Korean peninsula," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at a news conference for the National People's Congress in Beijing. Wang would go on to say that peace could only be obtained via denuclearization.

1 day after the Chinese government draws their “red line” Flight 370 disappears.

It’s possible the two Iranians on board flight 370 were traveling to Beijing to catch the train into North Korea. If you’re traveling to North Korea the road starts in Beijing. Could these two Iranians been a part of the Tehran/Pyongyang ICBM collaboration?

If the Chinese government used a cyber attack to disable Flight 370 how long would the Boeing 777 have coasted under radar levels before it eventually hit the ocean? This would explain why all electronic contact with the airplane completely stopped. An explosion would have left wreckage at the last known contact spot. There would be evidence. However, a sudden catastrophic loss of power would have rendered all the aircrafts systems unresponsive. She would have glided well beyond where she was reported to be.

Again, I’m not saying this is what happened, but all the elements are there to ask the question. It’s a dramatic statement made toward North Korea to back off. As the Soviet Union showed us in 1983, this type of response is well within play. It’s also a move that the U.S. and the rest of the west wouldn’t pursue too heavily. Strategic goals align...and geopolitics is a cold business.