Friday, March 21, 2014

Flight MH370 Conspiracy Theories - Insults to Human Intelligence!

Malaysian Flight MH370 has now been missing for over 2 weeks, and while sober heads and high technology - including satellite and plane capabilities we never knew existed - are finally localizing its probable whereabouts, oddballs are allowing their speculations to run riot. These wild brain eruptions are primarily invested in confecting conspiracy "theories" (I hesitate to even dignify them with the term), that amount to basic insults to human intelligence.

Some were on display last night on Chris Hayes' 'All In'   and ran the gamut from the plane encountering a black hole, to an alien abduction, to an event similar to that presented in one 1960s Twilight Zone episode where an airliner transits through a temporal barrier back to 70 million years ago.

Let's go through each of these in turn:

Black Hole:

Since a stellar black hole would consume the Earth, the other planets too, the only other alternative would be a "mini-black hole".  According to,

These are:

Black holes with masses less than their heavyweight relatives – the standard and supermassive black holes – and weighing in at less than three solar masses are dubbed mini black holes, formed in the pressure of interstellar clouds. Because they are so small, they also have a little bit of difficulty when it comes to forming on their own. Low mass also means low gravity and this directly implies that these pint-sized objects cannot completely collapse in on themselves. In comparison, black holes of more than three times the Sun’s mass are made when a star reaches the end of its life and gets crushed under its own gravity -.

Since they cannot completely collapse in on themselves, they cannot approach the steep gravitational wells of their stellar cousins.  This means the damage they can inflict is limited. However, it is inconceivable such an object could form within the Earth's atmosphere (or even outside it then enter it) - selectively take out a jetliner, and leave anything and everything else. Apart from that,  no one has found actual observational evidence they even exist, despite looking for them since Stephen Hawking proposed them - in the form of quantum-scale, 'evaporating' black holes -  several decades ago.

Alien Abduction:

This is perhaps the most absurd one of all. The proposal: a large extraterrestrial craft, perhaps hundreds of meters in diameter, selectively pinpointed this particular airliner at just the exact time after the co-pilot signed off with "All right, good night!" and the entire jet was 'abducted' ("transported" by energy beam aboard the craft) and taken.....who knows where? Tau Ceti? Zeta Reticuli? We don't know because the bozos that dreamed this one up won't say.  Why this abduction?  We aren't told but we are informed that "Hey, everything is possible!" 
Actually, no! That is the standard cop out, but merely exploits our current absence of evidence.
The 'Twilight Zone' Episode Analogy:
'The Odyssey of Flight 33'   first aired on February 24,  1961. It opens with the plane en route-  over the Atlantic - to New York,  after leaving London on what first appears to be a routine flight. Suddenly, however, the plane's speed increases to over 3,000 knots (3,450  mph). Neither the captain or crew can explain what transpired, but as they approach New York City it becomes obvious: they are staring down at living dinosaurs, basically seeing the Earth as it would have been 70 million years ago.
The captain realizes he can't land:  How would they survive in such a world? So he and the flight navigator attempt to bring the plane back  to where they caught the mysterious tailwind that brought them back in time. In their next effort, a similar acceleration occurs and they again approach NYC, this time looking down to see the 1939 World's Fair. Again, the time is out of they've no choice but to try again....
Apart from the fact that no consistent theory or even hypothesis exists that could indicate how a plane could cross a temporal barrier, we can only surmise the sheer mystery that initially surrounded MH370 may have led some people to grab at anything- even this wild conjecture.
The Diversion to Pakistan Conspiracy:
Chris Hayes displayed a segment of this one (originally presented on FOX, by Sean Hannity), which is not only ridiculous but odious since it can be exploited for the purpose of political attacks. According to the walking bobble heads interviewed by Hannity - including one retired general, if you can believe it  - MH370 was hijacked then flown to Pakistan, where it is now being "weaponized" to use in some future 9/11 -style attack, perhaps on Israel. No remote mention that any such flight path over land would have been immediately picked up by Indian radar, and certainly by U.S. radar operating from Afghanistan (e.g. at Bagram AFB).
Why the eruption of such nonsensical conspiracy conjectures? Because, as Hayes pointed out, there remains a huge chasm between the demand for news on the flight, and the supply of actual facts, evidence and verifiable information.
We now, at least, have an idea - thanks to high resolution satellite imagery - of where the 777 might have ended up, literally at the 'ends of the Earth' some 1,100 miles from Perth, Australia, and between latitude 40 S and 50S where strong ocean currents dominate and within a thousand miles of the Antarctic. Why it may have ended up here we've no idea.
Until more hard information is forthcoming it's best to rein in imaginations, or speculations, so they don't run wild. The families are distressed enough without being possibly exposed to some of this nonsense.

No comments: