This blog is a cross between a set of diary notes and a change log for this website. Articles are presented most recent first.
I intended to publish a major update in August 2016. I've been working towards it for ages, although interrupted by another period of travel. But what I am attempting is complex and I haven't finished it yet.
What I am working towards is an analysis of each 'theory'. The process is to evaluate the extent to which each scenario fits with the facts. The facts are best presented in a comprehensive Timeline. None of the published timelines is complete. And each event needs to be qualified with references and technical notes.
To develop the Timeline, as I envision it, involves extracting time-referenced data from every official document plus whatever secondary sources are available, and write a narrative in plain English. I am actually well on the way to completing this phase.
On 29th August The Star Online published an article titled MH370 kin on a fishing expedition, court told by M.Mageswari. Lawyers acting for 76 next-of-kin are requesting various documents from the Malaysian Government:-
Their lead counsel Tommy Thomas argued that the documents being sought, among others, are on the background and sequence of events in the incident and the search operation, which are relevant and critical evidence for the trial.
Counsel for the Government argued that the contention that that the family members lack information on the incident is baseless and without merit.
Despite a lack of answers to the basic questions of 'What happened?' and 'Where is MH370?' there is actually an information overload, or more correctly a 'data overload'. The problem with so much data from separate authors in several countries is that it is useless unless it is 1) collated, 2) cross-referenced, and 3) understandable. I hope that the background and sequence of events, presented as a Timeline, on this website will eventually be useful, and the structure of a wiki will help to cross-reference each data source and provide a context.
Grant. August, 2016
Satcoms and the Maldives
The Department of Civil Aviation in Malaysia worked with Inmarsat to release a public version of what they called 'data communication logs' - data showing communications between Inmarsat's ground station near Perth, Australia, and the aircraft MH370. The 'raw data' consists of pages of numbers - any content or payload has been removed. And in their wisdom segments of the log were published as Appendices so the continuity of the data is disrupted. This also obscures the period during which there was apparently no communication; followed by a resumption of 'handshakes' as the satcom system on the aircraft seemingly started working again.
One of my goals will be to convert all of this data to text so it can be added to this website, re-sequence the segments, and add notations explaining what each each data sequence means.
I was travelling through most of 2014 so did not get to thoroughly look at the data until October. I understand the log - I worked in an area of communications for the Australian Government for several years and learnt a bit about satellite communications during that period. Inmarsat was actually a 'client' even. And I also worked as a trainer covering networking and communication protocols. I feel sorry for the relatives and friends of those on board MH370 who cannot interpret this data for themselves.
How can I explain that, just by reading the columns of numbers, it is obvious that the aircraft MH370 did not fly towards the Maldives? The Inmarsat satellite for the Indian Ocean Region is above the equator at a longitude of 64 degrees East. The Maldives is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean at about 74 degrees East. If the aircraft had flown west towards the Maldives, or Diego Garcia, the numbers would be different - the raw data shows that the aircraft did not fly towards the IORIndian Oceanic Region satellite.
It will take ages to properly analyse and document this information. There are some brilliant resources available on the Internet too, but it all needs to be translated into non-technical language for inclusion in this website.
Grant. October, 2014
Pearce Airforce Base, Perth
The reality of the loss of MH370 came closer when long-range aircraft started assembling at the Royal Australian Airforce Base Pearce, near Perth in Western Australia.
Pearce is only a few kilometres from my home. Over the next few days (and weeks) it was common to hear these planes as they left early in the morning, and sometimes we could see them as they returned late in the day. The search area is over 3000km away so most of the flight time is just getting there and then the long return flight after a few hours of actual search. And it's an international effort, with aircraft from so many other countries operating from an Australian military base.
Sadly, the missing aircraft was not located; optimism slowly faded; and this mammoth international cooperative effort may gradually be forgotten. Fortunately, the Australian Maritime safety Authority (AMSAAustralian Maritime Safety Authority) has archived webpages from this period - AMSAAustralian Maritime Safety Authority is justly proud of the search effort - and the record of AMSAAustralian Maritime Safety Authority's involvement is still available at www.amsa.gov.au/media/mh370-timeline/
Grant. April, 2014
The Beginning - March 2014
When news media reported that Malaysia Airlines had "lost contact" with flight MH370 which departed Kuala Lumpur on a routine flight to Beijing I was puzzled by the choice of words. In this era how do air traffic controllers lose contact with an aircraft? The phrase implies "we don't know where it is" and "we don't know if it crashed, or not".
Earlier in 2014 I set up a virtual private server or VPS specifically to run software to collect RSS feeds on a range of topics including news from south east asian countries, possible conflict in the South China Sea, terrorist activity not reported by mainstream media, and technologies including space and aviation. A quick look at the news reader (RSSOwl) showed it was already collecting links to articles about MH370 so I added more news feeds and started deliberately collecting information as it was released.
Over the next few weeks it became obvious that many news reports were contradictory. A story would be published, then it would be officially denied, and later it may be reluctantly confirmed as basically true. But a lot of the early news articles were also speculative - even 'experts' offered possible explanations which may have seemed plausible but were not supported by facts.
I also noticed that news media in Australia only published some of the available stories and therefore I had more information available than most people.
I became fascinated by the whole issue so I decided to put it together in a website which would be like no other (that I know of) and create a wiki just for MH370. I hope it will be helpful.
Grant. March, 2014