The case of the missing plane is confounding all my attempts to construct a plausible theory, and it’s driving me crazy.
Books and TV shows and movies are perfect if you have the mystery Jones because the case is always solved in the end. In real life, we’ve gotten pretty good at investigating and when all is said and done, we usually walk away with at least a strong suspicion as to whodunnit.
But not always. We still don’t know who killed JonBenet Ramsey, for instance. Theories abound, but we don’t know the identity of Jack the Ripper. What happened to DB Cooper? What caused the “Wow signal”? What happened to Jimmy Hoffa? (Okay, we probably know the what here, just not so much the who and where.) What about Amelia Earhart? (Again, this is probably more a case of where than what.) Roswell. The Taos Hum. Frederick Valentich.
We don’t know. And we probably never will. This drives us crazy.
While it’s way too early to stuff the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight into a cold case, it’s nonetheless becoming an intensely frustrating story to follow – not because it hasn’t been solved or won’t be, necessarily, but because so far it’s actively confounding our ability to envision plausible explanations.
By “us,” I don’t mean the authorities, necessarily. They have actual access to things like satellite data and may well know more than they’re letting on. No, I’m referring to all us armchair sleuths out here, the ones who can be counted on to have a reliable theory based on a couple tweets.
Okay, okay. I keep using the word “us.” Maybe you don’t care. Perhaps the better word here would be “me.” As in, it’s driving me absolutely bonkers. I mean, none of the standard narratives work.
If it were terrorists blowing the plane out of the sky, we should have debris and somebody claiming credit, right? Terrorist organizations tend to like dramatic, immediate evidence of how ruthless they are. If it were a hijacking, shouldn’t the plane have turned up somewhere with the jacker requesting asylum? It doesn’t seem like it could have been a massive mechanical failure in light of new evidence showing the plane’s automatic systems pinging a satellite every hour, and now they’re saying that two communication systems appear to have gone off line 14 minutes apart. It couldn’t be that the pilots fell asleep and drifted off course because that wouldn’t have taken the comm systems down. Maybe somebody just wanted to steal the plane, but … why?
Folks, I got nothing. Right now I don’t have anything better than “hey, this is kinda like what happened in Lost, especially since one of the morning’s headlines suggests the flight may have landed on a remote island.
Yet another theory is taking shape about what might have happened to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Maybe it landed in a remote Indian Ocean island chain.
The suggestion — and it’s only that at this point — is based on analysis of radar data revealed Friday by Reuters suggesting that the plane wasn’t just blindly flying northwest from Malaysia.
Reuters, citing unidentified sources familiar with the investigation, reported that whoever was piloting the vanished jet was following navigational waypoints that would have taken the plane over the Andaman Islands.
Granted, the source on this story is CNN, which ranks somewhere between Weekly World News and Wikipedia on the credibility scale, but this is what happens when you have a big mystery, a 24/7 news cycle and not much evidence to go on. The article goes on to note that there’s nowhere in those islands you could land a plane without attracting a lot of attention and they quote an official saying the jet is probably at the bottom of the ocean. But those kinds of data points don’t make us click the link, and fewer page views mean lower ad revenue.
I hope the authorities find the plane. I hope that, against all odds, they find it one piece and with everyone alive and safe.
And I hope that they find it soon, because I’m starting to feel like Rick Castle in the first half-hour of a weird murder case. I know “aliens” seems far-fetched, and “what if an insane billionaire wanted to stage his own reality show version of Lost?” is even worse, but so far the experts don’t have anything that’s a lot better…