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Blaine Gibson was new to social media when he started his search, and he was in for a surprise. As he recalls, the trolls emerged as soon as he found his first piece—the one labeled no step—and they multiplied afterward, particularly as the beaches of Madagascar began to bear fruit. The internet provokes emotion even in response to unremarkable events. A catastrophe taps into something toxic. Gibson was accused of exploiting the families and of being a fraud, a publicity hound, a drug addict, a Russian agent, an American agent, and at the very least a dupe. He began receiving death threats—messages on social media and phone calls to friends predicting his demise. One message said that either he would stop looking for debris or he would leave Madagascar in a coffin. Another warned that he would die of polonium poisoning. There were more. He was not prepared for this, and was incapable of shrugging it off. During the days I spent with him in Kuala Lumpur, he kept abreast of the latest attacks with the assistance of a friend in London. He said, “I once made the mistake of going on Twitter. Basically, these people are cyberterrorists. And it works. It’s effective.” He has been traumatized.
The truth, as I discovered after speaking in Kuala Lumpur with people who knew him or knew about him, is that Zaharie was often lonely and sad. His wife had moved out, and was living in the family’s second house. By his own admission to friends, he spent a lot of time pacing empty rooms waiting for the days between flights to go by. He was also a romantic. He is known to have established a wistful relationship with a married woman and her three children, one of whom was disabled, and to have obsessed over two young internet models, whom he encountered on social media, and for whom he left Facebook comments that apparently did not elicit responses. Some were shyly sexual. He mentioned in one comment, for example, that one of the girls, who was wearing a robe in a posted photo, looked like she had just emerged from a shower. Zaharie seems to have become somewhat disconnected from his earlier, well-established life. He was in touch with his children, but they were grown and gone. The detachment and solitude that can accompany the use of social media—and Zaharie used social media a lot—probably did not help. There is a strong suspicion among investigators in the aviation and intelligence communities that he was clinically depressed.
In Kuala Lumpur, I met with one of Zaharie’s lifelong friends, a fellow 777 captain whose name I have omitted because of possible repercussions for him. He too believed that Zaharie was guilty, a conclusion he had come to reluctantly. He described the mystery as a pyramid that is broad at the base and one man wide at the top, meaning that the inquiry might have begun with many possible explanations but ended up with a single one. He said, “It doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to reconcile with the man I knew. But it’s the necessary conclusion.”
They could have saved a lot of time and effort searching for wreckage in the wrong location if they had identified the airplane earlier and made some effort to track its progress.
For all its expensive equipment, the air force had failed at its job and could not bring itself to admit the fact. In an Australian television interview, the former Malaysian defense minister said, “If you’re not going to shoot it down, what’s the point in sending [an interceptor] up?” Well, for one thing, you could positively identify the airplane, which at this point was just a blip on primary radar. You could also look through the windows into the cockpit and see who was at the controls.
“They didn’t follow protocol. They didn’t follow procedure. I think it’s appalling. More could have been done. As a result of the inaction of the air force—of all of the parties involved in the first hour who didn’t follow protocol—we are stuck like this now. Every one of them breached protocol one time, multiple times. Every single person who had some form of responsibility at the time did not do what he was supposed to do. To varying degrees of severity. Maybe in isolation some might not seem so bad, but when you look at it as a whole, every one of them contributed 100 percent to the fact that the airplane has not been found.”
That aside, finding the wreckage and the two black boxes may accomplish little. The cockpit voice recorder is a self-erasing two-hour loop, and is likely to contain only the sounds of the final alarms going off, unless whoever was at the controls was still alive and in a mood to provide explanations for posterity. The other black box, the flight-data recorder, will provide information about the functioning of the airplane throughout the entire flight, but it will not reveal any relevant system failure, because no such failure can explain what occurred. At best it will answer some relatively unimportant questions, such as when exactly the airplane was depressurized and how long it remained so, or how exactly the satellite box was powered down and then powered back up.
originally posted by: Nothin
a reply to: Arbitrageur
Thanks for another MH370 thread, and angle.
Have never given too much credence to the: "The pilot did it" theory.
Will read again, and ingest, and perhaps comment later.
Am not convinced of anything, but we can still consider those affected.
RIP for the victims, and peace to all of those whom had a loss from the MH370 disappearance, and follow-up.
originally posted by: FredT
The airline is owned by yep Malaysia so for a variety of reasons I can imagine they would keep anything quiet since it effects their bottom line
The plane may have gone down to the west of Australia, but I never heard of the co-pilot's phone connecting with a tower in Australia, so unless you can provide a link about that, I'm going to presume you're mis-remembering where his phone connected, which was in Penang, near the Strait of Malacca according to the article in the opening post. The most likely locations for the plane going down placed it still somewhat far from Australia, perhaps out of range of the cell towers there.
originally posted by: PraetorianAZ
There is no doubt in my mind the plane went down in the water near Australia. I remember hearing about an Australian cell tower that picked up the co-pilots phone or something. They have confirmed pieces of wreckage that have washed up onshore. But we will never find the actual plane.
Quoting The Australian newspaper, they said a telecom tower in Bandar Baru Farlim, Penang, detected a mobile number registered to Fariq a few minutes before the plane dropped off the radar on March 8, 2014.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Blue Shift
The wreckage that has turned up shows damage consistent with a high speed impact, as well as long term exposure to salt water.
originally posted by: St Udio
the only thing left is Speculation on the Mystery …. being that the sources responsible for the disappearance of the craft - crew- passengers has been 'buttoned-up' completely
being politically incorrect come naturally for me....
the pilot and or plot revolves around the Muslim Zealot factor being the cause for the disappearance...
the hostages, some of them cyber experts, were sold as intellectual slaves to a China General with his own WarLord domain in the Rural area of China... the other passengers were held as non-Muslim slave conscripts
the Ocean debris was deliberately planted by various Parties, the Fanatics, the rogue warlord-General, the investigating Nations like the USA/UK/NATO bloc countries
people trafficking was actively done, false leads was cyber produced... the aircraft will reappear in some future timeline and bring fire-&-brimstone with It's reappearance --> probably in a redux of a 911 attack on an Oriental Target of significance and before 2029 when Apophis is scheduled to strike Earth
originally posted by: LogicalGraphitti
This will be remembered as one of the greatest mysteries for generations until technology comes along that can scan entire oceans for metal debris.
Rest in Peace, passengers and crew of flight MH370.