- by New Deal democrat
[regular nerdy economic blogging will resume shortly]
'...when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'
Sherlock Holmes Quote
-The Blanched Soldier
Several days ago I started citing the above in connection with the missing Malaysian jetliner. I pointed out that the sea underneath the area where the airplane stopped communications had been searched thoroughly, without a trace of debtis being found from any supposed mid-air explosion. That left open 3 possible scenarios:
1. The Payne Stewart scenario, where a failure of the cockpit window killed or rendered unconscious the pilot and copilot immediately, and the plane kept flying for hours on autopilot until running out of fuel.
Except that looks impossible. You need a decompression severe enough to take out the pilots, take out the transponders, and yet leave everything else intact. Oh, and the plane switches to a new course.
2. Pilot suicide. This is supposedly what happened to EgyptAir flight 990, where a "deadheading" pilot was allowed to take control of the plane and then deliberately crashed it after it took off from JFK Airport.
But if the pilot intended to commit suicide, why bother turning off the transponders? Do you continue to fly it for a long time (perhaps 4 or 5 hours) off course before deliberately crashing it?
Since scenarios 1 and 2 are eliminated, then scenario 3, however improbable, must be what happened:
3. The plane was deliberately diverted by a pilot or hijacker and landed somewhere else, with a further act having already been planned.
What we have learned in the last several days has only strengthened the likelihood of scenario number 3. Most importantly, the plane was equipped with a beacon that would send a signal if the plane was about to crash into the ocean. The beacon never went off.
In the last 24 hours, more and more officials are saying outright that the disappearance of the airplane was a deliberate act. In fact, as of this morning it appears to be emerging that a series of deliberate acts were undertaken to minimize the likelihood that the plane could be tracked on radar.
So the narrative seems to be focusing more and more in the direction of scenario 3.
But if scenario 3 is correct, then the persons who planned it are not the underpants gnomes. You know the meme: Step (1) steal underpants. Step (2). ???? Step (3) Profit!
No, these persons already have a plan for Step 2. The did not simply park the plane in a hangar somewhere, high five one another, and over a round of celebratory drinks, start discussing what they might be able to do with the plane at some later date.
IF scenario 3 is the correct scenario, then the preparations to carry out Act 2 are already in motion.
What would be a big enough Event planned for Act 2 to justify all of the planning necessary to actually commandeer a commercial airliner in the manner that took place one week ago? Whatever it is, it must be really Big.
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and I will have the appropriate egg on my face. But still, while the world media is still obsessing with Act 1, I certainly hope that there are some very smart people in some bunker somewhere analyzing the possibilities for Act 2, and how quickly it might occur.
I know, rampant speciulation. And Act 2 might involve any number of targets in that part of the globe, but under the heading of better safe than sorry, if there are any areas of the US coast that have very limited radar coverage offshore, it wouldn't hurt to make sure that they are covered by some kind of heightened alert combat patrols.
UPDATE: To make my point as succinctly as possible, I sincerely hope that anti-terrorism authorities worldwide at this point are operating under the assumption that a commercial airliner is being converted into a flying bomb for malign purposes right now.