No debris. No oil slick. No emergency beacons triggered. No nothing.
Where is MH370?
Though I am an avid reader of science fiction and believe there's a lot we don't know yet, just as our ancient forefathers weren't aware that the earth was a circular globe (and not a flat landscape) which circled the sun rather than the other way around, I don't believe or have yet to bring myself to believe in a Bermuda Triangle.
I decided to lean on Air Chief Rodzali Daud's claim that Butterworth military radar might have detected MH370 turning around from its original track towards China.
'Might have' is the operative word, meaning military radar saw a return on its screen but there was no Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) or transponder information giving its identity (callsign or flight number) and flight information (altitude, speed, etc), but which the air force believes to be MH370.
The search in the Malacca Straits has also been another puzzle. I had in an earlier post described it as a desperate' measure, though I had generously and understandingly said:
That MAS and the DCA have even scoured the Straits of Malacca have been an indication they covered every possibility including the highly unlikely probability of MH370 flying in the opposite direction, not when it's equipped with modern navigational aids and that it was already reported over the South China Sea off our peninsula east coast.
But desperate for information, they did the desperate act. I can't blame them for covering every conceivable angle including the 'backyard'.
But when there's nothing, zilch, zero, nada, meiyu in the South China Sea, then where could MH370 be? On land in Vietnam or even Cambodia?
I had even stretched my thinking into suspecting that it was brought down by accidental missile fire or had encountered an accidental air collision with one of those black ops drone of a country which is capable of intercontinental operations with its vast stable of military drones.
But I hesitate to be the culprit of a conspiracy theory based on mere suspicions. Besides, where were the consequential debris of a MH370 being shot down or involved in a fatal air collision with a military drone? A sanitizing cleanup by those responsible? Too farfetched lah!
But Straits of Malacca? Yes, it then drew me into merging that fact with Air Chief Rodzali Daud's claim of MH370 'turning around'.
Of course, a disintegrating aircraft either due to structural failure or an onboard explosion would have been spun/tossed around to give radar the impression of its change of direction, as had been the case for Air France 447 where investigators said the aircraft changed directions a number of times after it went out of control following its deep stall. But then, where were the debris?
When reporters asked the DCA director-general Azharuddin Abdul Razak about the necessity of a search of the Malacca Straits his answer was, to say the least, most cryptic, being: "There are some things that I can tell you and some things that I can't."
That was when an alarm bell rang in my head.
I began to suspect they knew more than what they were prepared to let the public know. But to be fair to them, I remind you all that what Air Chief Rodzali Daud had said was 'military radar might have ...'
In other words, they weren't even sure whether that blip on the air force defence radar was MH370?
Today, Malaysiakini has a scoop of sorts when it reported MH370 detected above Malacca Straits at 2.40am and quoted Air Force chief Rodzali Daud saying MH370 might have reversed course further than expected while on its scheduled flight.
Now, what follows is the best bit so hold on to your horse while not forgetting to remember that what Rodzali Daud had said has been qualified as ‘might have’ rather than for sure:
Based on military radar readings from its station in Butterworth, MH370 may have turned west after Kota Bahru and flew past the east coast and Kedah, and that "The last time the plane was detected was near Pulau Perak, in the Straits of Malacca, at 2.40am."
For a start, it explains the anomaly of the two different times given for losing contact with MH370, to wit, 1.30am and 2.40am.
Now at least we know the former was the time MH370 disappeared from ATC radar while the latter was the time 'what was suspected to be a radar blip of MH370' disappeared from military radar.
But then, why is Malaysia still conducting and allowing allied and neighbouring nations to conduct searches over the South China Sea?
I suspect it's because the Malaysian SAR authorities still aren't all that sure whether that radar blip was indeed that of MH370.
But the possibility it was is growing stronger every day they can't find any evidence in the South China Sea.
If indeed MH370 was that blip on the air force radar, then what had happened for the aircraft to fly in an opposite direction, why was its transponder (and radio) switched off, where had it gone to, and most important of all, where is it now as its fuel endurance had long been exhausted.
What did its Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), an automated digital datalink system for transmission of aircraft technical & performance data between an aircraft and MAS ground stations, independent of pilots activation), say?
I need to think a bit more.
To be continued ... (hopefully).