Sunday, March 16, 2014

MH370: Ocean's Eleven meets Charles Manson?

The question nobody seems to be asking about the mysterious, disappearing, Malaysian flight is: was there anything of extraordinary value riding in the baggage hold?
Search efforts for Flight MH370 from space

 What could that be?

Anybody's guess. If this were a "caper" movie, what is in the baggage hold would be its "MacGuffin", which is simply a mysterious object that moves the film's dramatic action. 

By now I would rule out terrorism, if that were the case the plane would have been flown directly into a target or landed in some well-publicized, international, airport where the terrorists would make "demands" in exchange for passenger-hostages. That hasn't happened.

At this point, anything but a heist is, in my opinion, outside of rational calculation... it could be something completely insane, but that by definition defies rational calculation. 

The heist theory:

To be worth the elaborate preparations and enormous risk involved, whatever the MacGuffin is, it must be of incalculable value and yet small enough to be packed unobtrusively in an ordinary container, one of hundreds, say a suitcase, and it would have to be something that didn't set off bells ringing when it passed through the airport scanners.

What about the passengers?

It doesn't look good, I'm afraid. Terrorists crave witnesses, that is the whole point of what they do, but thieves don't. By now the plane has long landed, probably been destroyed and the hijackers long gone with their prize, and the only people that could ever identify them or tell the story of what they did are the passengers. Without witnesses the perpetrators will be presumed dead too, ready to take now identities. It doesn't look good.

The most disturbing thing I have read so far is that after turning off the instruments that would reveal the plane's location, it climbed to 45,000 feet, which is above its maximum recommended altitude and then after a while, dived down to a very low 20,000 feet. At 45,000 feet, all they would have to do is to turn off the oxygen and depressurize the cabin and the passengers would quickly pass out and expire in a few minutes and then down at 20,000 feet, it would only take a few people a short time to toss the remains of the passengers out of the plane's back door... On land it is quite a job to dispose of over 200 human bodies, but scattering them from altitude over the shark infested Indian Ocean, no.

Another heist alternative is that of a military, special-ops mission, but in that case, the MacGuffin would be beyond anything my poor imagination can come up with and the fate of the passengers would be even more dismal... As Machiavelli would have you note, throughout history, great statesmen have been capable of greater cruelty than even the coldest criminal. 

The cruelty of this caper (if that is what happened) is why I call this post, "Ocean's Eleven meets Charles Manson"

I certainly hope and pray to be proven wrong on all this and that the coming days will show my speculations to be utterly foolish, tin-hattedness.  DS

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