UA 93 or Oceanic 815

Erin Burnett at CNN posts the following graphic in her Twitter feed with the caption “U.S. Officials: #Flight370 apparently took one of two paths; likely crashed in the Indian ocean”.

Which Did It Go?

Which way did MH370 go?

Well if “they” were going to crash it in the ocean, why bother with the route?

The National Post says: “An investigation into the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner is focusing more on a suspicion of foul play — with either a suicidal pilot or hijacker at the controls — as evidence suggests it was purposely diverted off course and investigative scenarios grew to include the possibility the plane may have landed somewhere.”

A U.S. official said in Washington that investigators are examining the possibility of “human intervention” in the plane’s disappearance, adding it may have been “an act of piracy.”

The official, who wasn’t authorized to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity, said it also was possible the plane may have landed somewhere….

Malaysia says it has asked neighbouring countries for their radar data, but has not confirmed receiving the information. Indonesian and Thai authorities said on Friday they had not received an official request for such data from Malaysia. …

They also gave new details on the direction in which the unidentified aircraft was heading – following aviation corridors identified on maps used by pilots as N571 and P628 – routes taken by commercial planes flying from Southeast Asia to the Middle East or Europe.


For an accurate depiction of these routes, check

The southwest route is the “Lost” scenario. Those in control of the aircraft have taken it to who knows where and we may or may never see its remains again. The northwest route is the hijack route. Neither of these possibilities has either been precluded nor settled upon.

One question implied by the provision of MH370 pings is “who’s in charge?” Who is the controlling legal authority for the search operation if it can still be called that? Ostensibly it is Malaysia. Formally this is still search and rescue or perhaps a recovery operation. But it is looking more and more like a pursuit. The movement of naval units and the intelligence support suggested by recent developments suggests that some agency, as yet unnamed, has been tasked with this effort, whatever you want to call it.

A WSJ journalist’s interview with Charlie Rose suggests that “investigators” in Washington are interested.

As the focus shifts away from Malaysia the briefings issued by those country’s officials become less and less germane. The action is shifting to Washington and that’s a worrying sign in itself. One might guess that acoustic records, elint logs, sigint records and all that intelligence fusion business are in operation to find the plane. Because the plane in itself is no longer as important as what it might represent.


Update: Readers will know by now that the Malaysian Prime Minister has basically strongly implied that the MH370 incident is a crime, either in progress or under investigation, rather than a mechanical failure. The Prime Minister told a press conference the airplane may have been hijacked by persons unknown.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak faced the media Saturday to say authorities are sure enough about the track of their search for Flight MH370 to pull resources away from the South China Sea.

The Malaysia Airlines flight, which disappeared a week ago, is now being looked for in two corridors: the northern corridor runs from the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border to northern Thailand, while the southern corridor passes over Indonesia and heads into the Indian Ocean.

And for those who think it still might have been slow depressurization here is … Steve Canyon.

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