posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:26 PM
On the 7th of October 2008 the passengers on Qantas flight 72 from Singapore to Perth experienced something that may well haunt them for the rest of
their lives. As the Airbus A330-303 was travelling over the isolated town of Exmouth in Western Australia the pilots received a faulty message and
auto-pilot was automatically disengaged. The plane climbed 60m before pitching down and plunging 200m in a terrifying 20 seconds in an uncommanded
manoeuvre. The pilots steadied the plane however a few minutes later the craft again plunged another 120m in 16 seconds.
Passengers were pinned to the ceiling and flung throughout the craft. There were 74 injuries, some relatively serious. The plane then made an
emergency landing at the mysterious nearby Learmonth Airport.
Soon it was revealed that a similar event had taken place at almost the exact same spot three years prior. Malaysia Airlines Flight 124, operated by
a Boeing 777-2H6ER flying from Perth to Kuala Lumpur on 1 August 2005 also received faulty indications and the plane pitched upwards and stalled.
Autopilot was disengaged and proved unusable for the remainder of the flight.
Geoff Thomas of Australian Aviation referred to the similarities of these two events as an ‘extraordinary co-incidence’. But are they?
Operating in the area are two rather secretive military bases. One of these:The Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt has been already mentioned
extensively in relation to the incidents. The Naval Communication Station was built in 1963 as a joint US-Australian initiative. The station's purpose
is to provide VLF (very low frequency) radio transmissions to submarines and ships of the US Navy and Royal Australian Navy operating in the Indian
Ocean. The station consists of 13 radio towers. With a transmission power of 1000 kilowatts it is the southern hemisphere's most powerful transmission
station. The station was originally totally under US control but is now mainly under Australian control and curiously currently operated by Boeing
The Australian transport Safety Bureau, on investigating the incidents, has said that interference from the station might have caused the incident,
although concluded that this is unlikely.
Less is known about the RAAF Base Learmonth near Exmouth. This is one of three bare bases in Australia and is only maintained by a small caretaker
staff during peacetime. Access is restricted and it is difficult to ascertain what the place is currently being used for.
Of even more interest is the nearby Learmonth Solar Observatory and in particular the Learmonth Magnetic Observatory situated within the complex.
Comprising a collection of white buildings, a suite of optical telescopes, parabolic dish antennae, it is also just outside Exmouth. The faculty
exists purportedly for the prime purpose of monitoring the sun however other projects undertaken here according to Government websites include
planetary defense, ionosphere (Basically the upper atmosphere) monitoring and meteor detection and tracking.
(visit the link for the full news article)