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Monday, March 17, 2014

Weird theories about that missing Malaysian airliner

The maddening thing about the MH370 mystery is that yesterday's "too wacky to take seriously" story may turn into tomorrow's "Maybe that idea wasn't so wacky after all" story. So let's dive into a big, bubbling vat of conspiracy theory, and see if we can discover something of value amid the slime and the ooze.

A reader has turned me onto the wildest theory yet. In this scenario, the MH370 saga links up with the events chronicled in Captain Phillips.

(If the preceding sentence didn't make you mouth the words "What the fuck?" you must have a saintly aversion to profanity. I wouldn't be surprised if you also fart Chanel.)

Let's try to unpack this mondo-weirdo theory. Our first stop is this article from last month, in which we learn of the mysterious deaths of two Navy SEALs.
Police on the island nation of Seychelles say that two former U.S. Navy SEALs found dead aboard the ship Maersk Alabama died of respiratory failure and were suspected to have had heart attacks, possibly from drug use.

The police said Monday that a syringe and traces of heroin were found in their cabin. Police said samples are being sent to Mauritius for analysis to establish if the men had consumed "a substance" that could have caused the health failures.
The ship the men worked on, the Maersk Alabama, was the focus of a 2009 hijacking dramatized in the movie "Captain Phillips."

Officials named the two men as Mark Daniel Kennedy, 43, and Jeffrey Keith Reynolds, 44. They worked for the Virginia Beach, Virginia-based maritime security firm The Trident Group.
Trident Security was founded by former U.S. Navy SEALs in 2000 and employs former special warfare operators to provide security.
You'd think that Trident would screen its employees better. Neither heart attacks nor heroin use seem likely in two men of that age and background.

File that story away in your memory. Now turn to this Reuters article. Many of you will already know these details.
Military radar data suggests a Malaysia Airlines jetliner missing for nearly a week was deliberately flown hundreds of miles off course, heightening suspicions of foul play among investigators, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Analysis of the Malaysia data suggests the plane, with 239 people on board, diverted from its intended northeast route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and flew west instead, using airline flight corridors normally employed for routes to the Middle East and Europe, said sources familiar with investigations into the Boeing 777's disappearance.

Two sources said an unidentified aircraft that investigators believe was Flight MH370 was following a route between navigational waypoints when it was last plotted on military radar off the country's northwest coast.
The last plot on the military radar's tracking suggested the plane was flying toward India's Andaman Islands, a chain of isles between the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, they said.
And now we come to a very bizarre blog called Great Game India. The proprietor of that site has mixed together all of the above, and the result is...

...well, judge for yourself:
A new report circulating the Kremlin prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (GRU) states that Aerospace Defence Forces (VKO) experts remain “puzzled” as to why the United States Navy “captured and then diverted” a Malaysia Airlines civilian aircraft from its intended flight-path to their vast and highly-secretive Indian Ocean base located on the Diego Garcia atoll.
The writer of this piece, Shelley Kasli, includes a link to the Reuters article excerpted above. But that article says nothing about the U.S. capturing or diverting MH370. The GRU report is referenced in a couple of other sites (neither of which is considered very credible): Here and here. The ultimate source would appear to be someone called Sorcha Faal, a mystic who claims to have attained "True knowledge of the three minds." We've run into this oddball before.

Let's get back to that Great Game India analysis...
The military base in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) of Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean is of great importance to the British. Diego Garcia has a long history of hosting B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers and their supporting tanker aircraft, for operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The author then natters on for a bit about that base. He also goes on and on about the parapolitical importance of India. We may safely skip all of that.

So how does this alleged GRU report link up MH370 with those two Navy SEALs? Like so...
Now coming back to our report, it is interesting to note that it says that Flight 370 was already under GRU “surveillance” after it received a “highly suspicious” cargo load that had been traced to the Indian Ocean nation Republic of Seychelles, and where it had previously been aboard the US-flagged container ship MV Maersk Alabama.
The blog then prints a photo of one of the dead SEALs, Mark Daniel Kennedy. He looks like one really tough dude.
Both Kennedy and Reynolds, this report says, were employed by the Virginia Beach, Virginia-based maritime security firm The Trident Group which was founded by US Navy Special Operations Personnel (SEAL’s) and Senior US Naval Surface Warfare Officers and has long been known by the GRU to protect vital transfers of both atomic and biological materials throughout the world.
I hope you will forgive me for inflicting a long quotation on you, but I'm not sure how to pare down this material.
On October 12, 2013 an American vessel MV Seaman Guard Ohio, belonging to the US firm AdvanFort, was apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard for unauthorized presence in India’s territorial waters. The vessel was being replenished with 1600 liters of high speed diesel by an Indian fishing trawler. The vessel with 35 members (10 crew and 25 security guards) in contravention of law, carried 35 assault rifles and 5680 rounds of ammunition. The crew and the guards were of various nationalities, i.e. Estonians, British, Ukrainian and Indian. All the 35 members were arrested for illegally carrying arms in India’s water and lodged at Palayamkottai Central Jail in Tamil Nadu. Even though there was no US citizen on the vessel, three officials from the US Consulate General at Chennai visited them the very next day. The US authorities maintained that the vessel was engaged in anti-piracy operations for protection of American merchant vessels, and were well beyond the Indian maritime territorial limit of 12 nm.
The ship caught was run by AdvanFort that officially is a private maritime security company but actually is a front for Naval Intelligence. All caught on board were ex-Naval Intelligence Officers. AdvanFort is already complicit in it's dubious activities in Nigeria and other ports. At least one on the advisory board Charles Dragonette is a retired analyst for the Office of Naval Intelligence.

There is a major multi-billion dollar Crude Oil, Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene racket on the high seas, where entire massive vessels are involved, from which smaller vessels offload the material and deliver the material to Bombay for further distribution. This was the same protected route that was followed by the terrorists who hit Bombay on 26/11. The journalist J Dey was exposing this very smuggling racket when he was shot dead by gunmen. ]
Much of the above supposedly derives from that aforementioned GRU report, the veracity of which is beyond my ability to establish.

What follows was written, it would seem, by Shelley Kasli, not the GRU:
Upon GRU “assests” confirming that this “highly suspicious” cargo was aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on 8 March, this report notes, Moscow notified China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) of their concerns and received “assurances” that “all measures” would be taken as to ascertain what was being kept so hidden when this aircraft entered into their airspace.

However, this report says, and as yet for still unknown reasons, the MSS was preparing to divert Flight 370 from its scheduled destination of Beijing to Haikou Meilan International Airport (HAK) located in Hainan Province (aka Hainan Island).

Prior to entering the People Liberation Army (PLA) protected zones of the South China Sea known as the Spratly Islands, this report continues, Flight 370 “significantly deviated” from its flight course and was tracked by VKO satellites and radar flying into the Indian Ocean region and completing its nearly 3,447 kilometer (2,142 miles) flight to Diego Garcia.
Critical to note about Flight 370’s flight deviation, GRU experts in this report say, was that it occurred during the same time period that all of the Spratly Island mobile phone communications operated by China Mobile were being jammed.

China Mobile, it should be noted, extended phone coverage in the Spratly Islands in 2011 so that PLA soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area would be able to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues.

As to how the US Navy was able to divert Flight 370 to its Diego Garcia base, this report says, appears to have been accomplished remotely as this Boeing 777-200ER aircraft is equipped with a fly-by-wire (FBW) system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface allowing it to be controlled like any drone-type aircraft.

However, this report notes, though this aircraft can be controlled remotely, the same cannot be said of its communication systems which can only be shut down manually; and in the case of Flight 370, its data reporting system was shut down at 1:07 a.m., followed by its transponder (which transmits location and altitude) which was shut down at 1:21 a.m.
This is starting to sound like the "no-planes" theory of 9/11, isn't it? Sure enough, the author soon hits us with standard-issue conspira-crap about that most unpleasant date in 2001.

Since I despise the 9/11 conspiracy freakazoids, let's make one thing clear right now: I will not publish any comments which make any reference of any sort to the destruction of the World Trade Center or the attack on the Pentagon. Even if you're a long-time friend to this blog, you won't get a foot in the door. Sorry to be so hard-nosed on this point, but experience is the great nose-hardener.

(That previous paragraph seems clear enough, dunnit? Yet I can predict with confidence that several people out there are going to send such commentary anyways.)

Frankly, this Great Game India blog seems very, very iffy. It's sort of an Indian version of an Alex Jones website. Other stories published by these people have titles like "The Rothschild Illuminati Colonization of India" and "THE MASONIC THEORY OF THE ORIGINS OF LIFE – The hidden link between Darwin, Marx, Neitzche & Hitler."

Ew. Yuck. It smells. It burns. Get this conspira-shit away from me!

Why, then, have I quoted so unreliable a source at such great length?

First and foremost, I'm intrigued by this alleged GRU document. Obviously, I doubt its authenticity -- but even a fake can reward study. As longtime readers know, elaborate frauds have always fascinated me. If the report is bogus, then someone went to a lot of trouble to write this thing and circulate it among the international brotherhood of paranoia aficionados. People do not usually make that kind of effort unless they have an agenda.

Or maybe, just maybe, the document really reflects the thinking of Russian intelligence. I highly doubt it. But if!

Here comes Stratfor. A previous Great Game India story derives from an analysis provided by -- egads! -- Stratfor. We've dealt with these guys before.

It has become traditional for mainstream writers to dismiss Stratfor as a bunch of clowns. I do not. Although I don't always find the reports written by that group to be credible, I doubt that George Friedman and his cronies are mere fools. They definitely have an agenda.

In the current case, the following excerpt (allegedly from a Stratfor analysis) seems quite intriguing...
A U.S. intelligence assessment, described to The Daily Beast by current and former U.S. intelligence officials, concluded that any Israeli attack on hardened nuclear sites in Iran would go far beyond airstrikes from F-15 and F-16 fighter planes and likely include electronic warfare against Iran’s electric grid, Internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for firemen and police officers.

For example, Israel has developed a weapon capable of mimicking a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to “sleep,” effectively stopping transmissions, officials confirmed. The Israelis also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran’s emergency frequencies for first responders.

In a 2007 attack on a suspected nuclear site at al-Kibar, the Syrian military got a taste of this warfare when Israeli planes “spoofed” the country’s air-defense radars, at first making it appear that no jets were in the sky and then in an instant making the radar believe the sky was filled with hundreds of planes.
Compared to that alleged GRU report, this Stratfor material is easier to accept. The technology of radar spoofing is actually quite old, almost as old as radar itself. (That link goes to a pdf; for a summary, try here.)

Here's an angle I didn't know about...
On 11th March eight villagers from Marang lodged police reports claiming that they had heard a loud noise last Saturday coming from the direction of Pulau Kapas and believed it was linked to the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight on that day.

All of them, from Kampung Pantai Seberang Marang, made the reports at the Marang district police headquarters at about 10.30am. One of them, Alias Salleh, 36, said he and seven fellow villagers were seated on a bench about 400 metres from the Marang beach at 1.20am when they heard the noise, which sounded like the fan of a jet engine.

“The loud and frightening noise came from the north-east of Pulau Kapas and we ran in that direction to find out the cause. We looked around the Rhu Muda beach, but did not see anything unusual,” said the lorry driver.

Replying to a question, Alias said they lodged the police report so that it would be of help to the authorities who were trying to locate the missing MAS aircraft.

Another villager, Mohd Yusri Mohd Yusof, 34, said when he heard the strange noise, he thought a tsunami was about to strike.

“My friends and I heard the ringing noise for about two minutes. I decided to lodge the police report after seeing the media reports on the lost flight,” he said. – Bernama
Mainstream news pieces have backed up these "strange noises" reports: See here and here. I can't prove that the mystery booms are connected to MH370, but a linkage certainly seems possible.

Alas, this Great Game India post also devolves into 9/11 conspira-crap. Ew. Yuck. It smells. It burns.

In the end, what are we to make of all of these wild and largely irreconcilable claims? Obviously, I am disinclined to accept at face value most of the statements made on the Great Game India site. The alleged GRU report seems like one of those damnable disinfo documents that we have to deal with once or twice every year. Stratfor is...well, it's Stratfor.

And yet...and yet...
Joseph, thanks for the excellent insights. I couldn't find any source (and hence any credibility) for the GRU report so I put it all down to typical Indian pot-stirring. And yes, the arguments and links of Great Game India are all over the place but the account is fascinating.

Two things struck me:

(1) Why was it necessary to take this mysterious (and sensitive) cargo off a perfectly good boat and put it on a plane to Diego Garcia; and

(2) If MA370 had flown anywhere in the East Indian Ocean the one crowd who should have been able to spot it is the US air base at Diego Garcia. What are their radar/electronic records?

Just in passing...another interesting link from GGM.
I read that Great Game article. They start out with the puzzle of the reports of hearing an invisible jetliner, then touch on a number of seemingly different subjects. The article is all over the place. Eventually the focus settles upon the electronic camouflaging panels developed by Freescale Semiconductor as if these could somehow solve the "invisible noisy jetliner" mystery, which is in itself a joke. A very bizarre read.
How about "Thunderball" for a conspiracy theory?
The British Indian Ocean Territory, aka the Chagos Islands, aka Diego Garcia (the biggest of those islands), isn't really important to Britain at all. It's entirely leased to the Americans. B-1s, B-2s and B-52s aren't flown by the RAF. It's meant to be big with the wire-tapping and extraordinary rendition crowd, too.
Washington's Blog suggests a political motive by the captain:
It's a plane crash, period. The cause was a loss in cabin pressure and a major mechanical/electrical problem. Unless there is any credible evidence to the contrary, this is the only thing that makes sense. I am very disgusted with the media and "officials" who have a vested interest in a hijacking/terrorist theory despite NO evidence at all. This creates false hope with the families of the passengers and crew, and that is nothing short of cruel.
Two readers say, correctly, that the GGI stories are "all over the place." That's the problem with most articles written by conspiracy theorists. They aren't structured essays, they aren't linear narratives -- they're brain dumps. EVERYTHING gets tossed in.

Oh, and I don't think that the Captain's politics were so odd.
"A reader..."?

Joseph; The news outlets are all over passenger/flight crew backgrounds because of the expertise required.

1) Radar Interference,

2) Target Modifications

3) Changing Electrical Properties of Air.

“Hackers and security researchers have warned for years of vulnerabilities in next-generation air traffic control protocols. But Teso focused on a different protocol called Aircraft Communications Addressing and Report System, (ACARS) a simple data exchange system that has evolved over decades to now include everything from weather data to airline schedules to changes to the plane’s flight management system.”



Freescale hit a 52-week high on March 7th.

Strange. Why would it go up when 20 key engineers were on the fated flight?
Israel is preparing to be attacked by the Malaysian plane.
In today's day and age, when someone says they have a document "which says ...", there's no reason not to show it to everyone. Put it on Scribd, or share it with the world through Bittorrent (utilizing a proxy for the setting up of the fake user name as well as the uploading). No need for Wikileaks either - there never was.

The only people who don't share their documents are old-school msm journalists and fakers making shit up.
MH370 Mystery – Suspicious Cargo Destroyed in a Massive Explosion near 1945 Nuclear Bomb Test Site
MH370 Mystery – Suspicious Cargo Destroyed in a Massive Explosion near 1945 Nuclear Bomb Test Site

A mystery ‘storm cloud’ caught on weather radar after erupting off a U.S. military missile testing ground in New Mexico has left weather experts


Deepening the mystery, U.S. National Weather Service offices in Albuquerque and El Paso have confirmed the reading, but say they have no idea where

it could have come from.

A second view of the plume, on the College of DuPage’s NeXt Generation Weather Lab service, showed how it appeared to burst out of a small point,

like the aftermath of a massive explosion.

The plume was tracked north-east, over Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, home of the 27th Special Operations Group, over Amarillo in north Texas

and towards the Oklahoma border, where it appeared to dissipate.

Important to note, this report says, is that the US appears to have been planning this operation involving Flight 370 since this “highly

suspicious” cargo was first offloaded in the Republic of Seychelles on 17 February, as three days later, 20 February, the Defense Threat Reduction

Agency (DTRA) placed an order for 1,200 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) single use overgarments which are meant to protect the wearer

from radiological contamination in the form of radiological particulates.

These PPE suits, which include hoods and boots, this report says, were delivered to the DTRA at their location on Kirtland Air Force Base, located

in New Mexico, where they are tasked with protecting the United States against weapons of mass destruction.

Equally important to note, this report continues, is that the US Department of Health and Human Services, on 6 December, ordered 14 million 65 mg

doses of Potassium Iodide, the standard treatment protocol for someone exposed to high levels of radiation, to be delivered to them by the end of January 2014.

MH370 Mystery – Suspicious Cargo Destroyed in a Massive Explosion near 1945 Nuclear Bomb Test Site

No idea why Israel has an identical plane to the 777 few months before MH370 went missing...

"According to reports from plane-spotters, Israel has an identical Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 in storage in Tel Aviv since November 2013. The only visible difference between the missing plane and the one in Tel Aviv would be its serial number."

I mean, seriously, why.....
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