— Alex Stone (@astoneabcnews) March 13, 2014
Jeff Wise finds it very odd that we still have no idea what happened to the plane:
Past air crashes have always turned up some definitive evidence by this stage of the proceedings. This incident (frankly, we’re not even 100 percent sure it is a crash) is different. So far, no debris field has been found, the Pentagon reports that it detected no midair explosions in the area, and Malaysian authorities have issued contradictory statements about what primary-radar tracks they may or may not have observed. Based on the vast search area, it appears that authorities believe that the plane may have been deliberately flown far from its original heading. If that’s the case, then whoever redirected the plane might well have timed its abduction to coincide with the period when it would have slipped out of sight of the air traffic control system anyway—presumed to be operating normally, but actually veiled in the fog of unknowability.
Ben Branstetter discusses how better technology could prevent such fiascos:
There are forces trying to implement the full benefits of satellite technology into the consumer aircraft market. One system, dubbed Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) by Boeing itself, would create a worldwide network between Air Traffic Controllers and planes in the air, allowing any ATC to see where any ADS-B-equipped plane is at any moment thanks to second-by-second reporting to GPS satellites. Such a system, if adopted globally, could have solved the mystery of Flight 370 and the a dozen other aerial disappearances since the 1970s. Many delays stand in the way of ADS-B, otherwise known as NextGen, including a plethora of delays and an estimated $11 billion price tag.
But with 1 billion people expected to be flying annually by 2024—many of them on transcontinental flights—it is not only astonishing but pathetically negligent that such a crucial system relies on such archaic systems. The bewildering tragedy of Flight 370 highlights the anachronism of radar systems in a world where Google can identify my position within a single room. GPS technology went commercial more than 30 years ago and has only grown more widespread and accurate since then, yet the airline industry prefers the system used by Iceman and Maverick.
Update from a reader:
Many have brought up the possibility that the plane has been hijacked, but I’m surprised that no one is honing in on the potential motivations for such a hijacking. Specifically, wouldn’t it make sense to consider that separatist Muslim Uyghur’s from the northwest region of China might be responsible. The Chinese government blamed them for the deadly knife attack that occurred just two weeks ago. A hijacked plane diverted to Xinjiang province would appear to cover a distance comparable to the distance between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. It has already been reported that the plane dramatically changed its route to the northwest and reached the Andaman Islands. From there, it appears the plane could simply travel due north to reach Xinjiang.
Lastly, it is being reported that the plane flew for more than 5 hours after the transponders were turned off. It would not take 5 hours for that plane to get to the Andaman Islands, so the question is, where did it go after that? My crazy, wild, and almost certainly incorrect guess is Xinjiang, home of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. Remember, most of the passengers on the flight were Chinese, so successfully hijacking and landing the plane in Xinjiang would be, in the eyes of the Uyghurs, and incredible source of leverage.