Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery - Days 73 and May 19 -20 , 2014 -----Suspicion grows 'pings' did not come from MH370 black box after M'sia, Ausssie govts refuse to release audio tapes ........... ABC’s Four Corners program quoted Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as saying that Malaysia’s civil aviation authorities called the military asking them to keep an eye on the plane but that the military allowed the plane to glide out to sea. ( Anwar Ibrahim said the military had completely breached the standing operating procedures.) ---- Still stalling on releasing Raw Satellite data ..........Former Prime Minister Of Malaysia Accuses CIA Of Covering Up MH-370 Disappearance and wonders what Boeing might really know ........ KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) clarified that it has not "abandoned" the families of the missing flight MH370's crew members who had sought legal help ( now officially denied , so probably true at the time ) .... Malaysia announces next squirrel hunt " - MH370: Depth of Indian Ocean search areas to be surveyed, new phase of search begins ...... Family members of missing pilot defend his honor -- Capt Zaharie's brother-in-law, Asuad Khan, said the 53-year-old pilot was a "happy, generous and kind man" who fell victim to false rumours and inaccurate reporting. Asuad, who spoke on behalf of Capt Zaharie's wife, Faizah Khan, also said claims of the captain committing suicide for life insurance are untrue.
Published: Wednesday May 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM Updated: Wednesday May 21, 2014 MYT 10:15:20 AM
PETALING JAYA: All relevant parties are working towards releasing the data communications logs and technical description involving Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, said Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
He said Inmarsat had been giving its full support in the investigations into the disappearance of the aircraft including the release of raw data.
He said the DCA had been in discussions with Inmarsat, with the assistance of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of Britain, to get a better understanding of the Inmarsat satellite data.
“Such data was provided to MAS when MH370 first went missing,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He said it was imperative for the authorities to provide as much information as possible to the next-of-kin of those aboard the plane and the public.
The information would include communications logs, he added.
“It must be noted that previously where reference has been made to ‘data communications logs’ and ‘raw data’, they refer to the same set of data,” he said.
Azharuddin said the data communications logs were just one of the many elements in the investigations.
“The release of the data is in line with our policy of transparency.”
The next-of-kin, especially those from China, have consistently sought for the raw Inmarsat data.
The families have even formed Voice370 (which stands for MH370 Victims Families and Crew Association).
In an open letter signed by family members from China, Malaysia, the United States, New Zealand and India, it urged Malaysia to release the raw Inmarsat data so that “it can be subject to broader analysis by relevant experts”.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has also instructed the DCA to talk with Inmarsat about releasing the raw data for public consumption.
“A team of technical experts has convened in Canberra to discuss and refine the satellite data, calculations and analysis been made available by Inmarsat,” he said.
An extensive bathymetric survey of the sea bed of the search areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will be carried out in the southern Indian Ocean in the new phase of the search for MH370, Hishammuddin added.
In another development, Myanmar Defence Minister Lieutenant General Wai Lwin, who chaired the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting which ended yesterday, said assistance would always be given to Malaysia.
“We will always maintain support for Malaysia and we feel the search for the aircraft has been done in the most professional manner,” he added.
Malaysia Chronicle ...
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 23:36
Suspicion grows 'pings' did not come from MH370 black box after M'sia, Ausssie govts refuse to release audio tapes
Audio recordings of the 'ping' signals believed to have come from the black box of Flight MH370 will now not be released as doubt grows over whether they are connected with the missing plane.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) headed by Angus Houston told the Herald Sun that the search group's original confidence the four accoustic 'ping' signals were from the plane had waned and the recordings would not be made public.
'The recordings of the detections will not be released at this point in time,' the JACC said.
'We continue to pursue this lead to either discount or confirm the area of the detections as the final resting place of MH370.'
Search uncertainty: the black box of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 (stock picture) may not be the source of the pings recorded in the search for the plane, analysts now say
The search co-ordination agency headed by retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says there is now doubt over whether the pings recorded by search vessels are from the black box of the missing MH370 aircraft
The decision is a blow to the families of some of the MH370 passengers who issued a plea earlier this month to make the recordings public.
A group of families called Voice370 released a statement saying, 'We implore the Malaysian government to share and release the raw Inmarsat satellite engine ping data for 9MMRO (every ping from Friday, March 7 12:00 until the final signal was received globally) so that it can be subject to broader analysis by relevant experts.
This is a departure from Retired Air Chief Marshall Houston's certainty last month that the ping recordings were potentially from the missing plane.
The pings detected by the Australian Defence vessel Ocean Shield's pinger locator in the search for the missing flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder in the southern Indian Ocean may now not be released
The towed pinger locator (TPL-25) on the deck of the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield detected two signals which were thought to be from a black box transponder, but further analysis has shown the signals may have no connection with MH370
Mr Houston said a possible fifth ping detected by a surveillance plane conducting an accoustic search had the potential of being from a man-made source, although it required further detailed analysis.
The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, on the NSW coast south of Sydney, had concluded that two pings detected by the ship Ocean Shield’s towed-pinger locater on April 5 and April 8 were from a source that was not of 'natural origin' and was 'likely sourced' from specific electronic equipment.
At the time, U.S. Navy Captain Mark Matthews said the it was 'certainly a man-made device emitting that signal and I have no explanation for what other component could be there'.
'I'm an engineer so I don't talk emotions too much. But certainly when I received word that they had another detection, you feel elated.
'You're hopeful that you can locate the final resting place of the aircraft and bring closure to all the families involved.'
Iinitial confidence of Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy (pictured, right, with search chief Angus Houston last month) of the recorded pings being from missing MH370 has now waned. - Daily Mail
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:54
SHOCKING CLAIMS: MH370 WAS ALLOWED TO VANISH - M'sia defence minister
A NUMBER of authorities, including the Malaysian military, reportedly let MH370 disappear, according to shocking new claims about the missing plane.
ABC’s Four Corners program quoted Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as saying that Malaysia’s civil aviation authorities called the military asking them to keep an eye on the plane but that the military allowed the plane to glide out to sea.
The plane was deemed not to be hostile and therefore the military did not send a plane up to investigate.
“If (we didn’t) shoot it down, why send it (jet up),” Mr Hussein said.
MH370 flew almost directly over the Malaysian military air base located on the island of Penang but that it appeared nothing was done.
Anwar Ibrahim said the military had completely breached the standing operating procedures.
“The air force will be alerted and will have to then be flown to that area to either ... guide the plane to land or to leave the Malaysian airspace. They’re standard operating procedure and this was never done,” he said.
“Yeah I mean it’s a major scandal here because ... this is of course amounting to a major threat to national security.”
Happy family ... A screen capture from a You Tube tribute for Malaysian Airlines pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, posted by his family. Source: YouTube
The program also addressed rumours that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s wife had left him.
His brother-in-law, Asuad Khan, said claims that his sister Faizah had left Zaharie, taking their children with her to another house, in the hours prior to the ill-fated flight’s take off were “completely false”.
Mr Khan also denied that his 53-year-old brother-in-law was experiencing personal problems, had been upset about politics or that he was unfit to fly on March 8.
He said the veteran pilot’s marriage was not in trouble over a rumoured affair, saying that as a Muslim he was permitted to have multiple girlfriends outside his marriage.
Close family ... Ahmad Seth Zaharie, 26, with his sister Aishah Zaharie, 27, left,and mot
Close family ... Ahmad Seth Zaharie, 26, with his sister Aishah Zaharie, 27, left, and mother Faizah Khanum Mustafa Khan. Source: Supplied
“Even I don’t believe it because she, she’s at home. Well the normal procedure for their ... whenever the husband fly the wife will go to another house where the younger son’s staying. Otherwise she will be alone in that big house. That’s been practised since they bought the house.”
It was claimed Captain Zaharie had received a two-minute phone call shortly before takeoff from a mystery woman, using a mobile phone number obtained under a false name.
Family of missing Malaysian Airlines Captain Zaharie Shah from flight MH370 pay tribute to him. Courtesy: Chumguan Phoon/YouTube
Mr Khan defended his brother-in-law’s right to have a girlfriend.
“That I do not know about. Even if I know I said why not? We are allowed to, as long as you take good care of your wife. Even if you ask my sister and she said she don’t care,” he said.
“He can marry another one. Why not — we can marry four. We are Muslim.”
Technical experts in the US were also working to recover deleted information from a sophisticated flight simulator Zaharie had set up on a home computer.
But Mr Khan said the simulator had not been used this year.
“I don’t think so because the simulator is not working,” he said.
“That simulator was dismantled already, the things crash. It don’t work so he got to ah reformat the drive.”
Family ties ... Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and daughter Aishah Zaharie. Source: Facebook. Source: Facebook
Mr Khan also said Zaharie had not attended the trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim that day, which some reports suggested proved he had been radicalised and had hijacked the plane in an act of terror.
“No. I ask my sister personally, even my sister herself informed him on what happened on that day,” he said.
The program also claimed that someone inside the cockpit began interfering with the in-flight entertainment system around the time MH370’s transponder was turned off or failed.
It also revealed that a team of up to five officers could or should have been on duty at the nearby radar operations centre at Butterworth air base looking for unidentified aircraft. -News.com.au
Published: Tuesday May 20, 2014 MYT 12:01:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday May 20, 2014 MYT 1:55:00 PM
MH370: Raw data to be released soon, says DCA chief
File pic of DCA director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman - AFP
PETALING JAYA: All relevant parties are working to release the data communication logs and the technical descriptions pertaining to missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370.
Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said Inmarsat has been giving its full support in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the aircraft.
“The DCA has been discussing with Inmarsat with the assistance of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), to get a common descriptor for the Inmarsat satellite data.
“Such data was provided to MAS when MH370 first went missing,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
He added it was imperative for authorities to provide helpful information to the next of kin and general public – which will include the data communication logs as well as relevant explanations.
“It is to enable the reader to understand the data provided.
“It must be noted that previously where reference has been made to ‘data communication logs’ and ‘raw data’ – they refer to the same set of data,” he said.
Azharuddin added that the data communication logs is just one of the many elements of the investigation information.
“The release of the data is in line with our policy of transparency,” he said.
On Monday, Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced that he had instructed the DCA to discuss with Inmarsat with regard the release of the aforementioned data.
“A team of technical experts has convened in Canberra to discuss and refine the satellite data, calculations and analysis which have been made available by Inmarsat.
“This is in light of the recent demands by the next of kin for the Inmarsat ‘raw data’,” he said, adding that, it was consistent with Malaysia’s stand for greater transparency and prioritising the interests of the family members of those onboard flight MH370.
Flight MH370, with 239 people on board including 12 crew members, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea.
The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft was supposed to have landed in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.
A multinational search was launched to trace the aircraft, initially in the South China Sea, and then in the southern Indian Ocean when it was determined to have deviated from its original path.
Published: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 9:27:00 PM
Updated: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 9:33:44 PM
MH370: Capt Zaharie was not suicidal, claims brother-in-law
Capt Zaharie pictured here in front of the flight simulator that he built.
PETALING JAYA: The family of Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah, pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane, have defended his reputation in an episode of Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Four Corners program.
Capt Zaharie's brother-in-law, Asuad Khan, said the 53-year-old pilot was a "happy, generous and kind man" who fell victim to false rumours and inaccurate reporting.
Asuad, who spoke on behalf of Capt Zaharie's wife, Faizah Khan, also said claims of the captain committing suicide for life insurance are untrue.
"If you are talking about life insurance he didn't have one. Trust me, check. He didn't have one. He didn't believe in it so why would he want to (commit) suicide?" he said.
"Because if you say that he wanted to (commit) suicide in the Indian Ocean, I say prove it. He was not suicidal," he added, citing Capt Zaharie's good life, wealth and love for his daughter as deterrents against taking his own life.
Asuad also dismissed claims that the captain could have been a rogue pilot on a suicide mission, and claimed the authorities may be using Capt Zaharie as a scapegoat.
The day before the plane disappeared, Capt Zaharie did some work around the house, which was not out of character for the "DIY person".
"He likes to repair a lot of things by himself at home. On that day, my sister told me he was repairing the door for the bathroom if I'm not mistaken," said Asuad.
Asuad also shed light on questions that the police asked Capt Zaharie's wife and their maid, which included queries on whether the pilot was depressed or faced any marriage problems.
"All sorts of questions, (including about) his mental state. But he was a sane man. I don't think he was a crazy man," he added.
On March 8, Flight MH370 disappeared from Malaysian radars at 2.15am and vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
The flight is believed to have ended in the southern Indian Ocean off the West Australian coast, where search efforts for the plane is ongoing.
Published: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 10:11:00 PM
Updated: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 10:19:02 PM
MH370: Depth of Indian Ocean search areas to be surveyed, new phase of search begins
PETALING JAYA: An extensive bathymetric survey of the areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will be carried out in the Southern Indian Ocean in the new phase of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (pic) said a team of hydrographic experts from Malaysia, China and Australia, met over the weekend and agreed that the survey was needed.
"This survey will be conducted by the Chinese navy vessel Zhu Kezhen.
"The vessel is scheduled to sail for the survey area on Wednesday, weather permitting," he said in a statement Monday.
He added that a team of technical experts had convened in Canberra to discuss and refine the satellite data, calculations and analysis which have been made available by Inmarsat.
"In light of the recent demands by the next of kin for Inmarsat 'raw data', I have instructed the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to discuss with Inmarsat on the release of the aforementioned data for public consumption," he said.
Hishammuddin lamented that it has been 73 days since the aircraft went missing, and that the new phase of search operations would begin.
"As we enter the tenth week of the search operations, we have now started moving into a new phase, which involves deep-sea search requiring specialized expertise and assets.
"Trust that all resources are being used to find MH370," he said.
Published: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 11:35:00 PM
Updated: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 11:52:23 PM
MH370: We have not abandoned crewmembers' families, says MAS
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) clarified that it has not "abandoned" the families of the missing flight MH370's crewmembers who had sought legal help.
In a statement issued Monday, the carrier explained that certain crewmember's families had retained foreign lawyers to represent their interests.
"These foreign lawyers directed that MAS cease any further direct communication with their clients, and that MAS direct all further communications regarding these crew member families to them," it said.
MAS noted that it had been in contact with family members without legal representation via the family support centre, and had been providing them updates from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) and the Malaysian Government.
"MAS would like to reiterate that it will continue to offer the same assistance to all families of crew members, but communications with families represented by foreign lawyers will be through their appointed lawyers as directed," it added.
It was reported that the family members of seven Flight MH370 crew claimed that they had been "abandoned" by the carrier for seeking legal advice.
The plane with 239 people aboard including 12 crewmembers vanished on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
A search operation for the aircraft is underway in waters off western Australia, in southern Indian Ocean. - Bernama
Zero Hedge ....
Former Prime Minister Of Malaysia Accuses CIA Of Covering Up MH-370 Disappearance
It has been over two months since Malaysian flight MH-370 disappeared and still not a single credible trace of its final resting place has been found.
In the ongoing din over the confusion surrounding the recovery effort which has led nowhere, even the current Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak recently described the current rescue effort driven by satellite data of the suggested "location" of purported MH370 debris in the Indian Ocean as 'bizarre' and 'hard to believe'. Further, he told CNN when discussing the satellite data which is the basis for the current search in the Indian Ocean that 'To be honest, I found it hard to believe.... It's a bizarre scenario which none of us could have contemplated so that's why when I met the team...of foremost experts in aviation industry I asked them again and again "are you sure?"
In short: "nobody knows." Or so the conventional wisdom goes.
One person, however, who thinks someone may know more than they are letting on is none other than the man who was the Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, Mahathir Mohamad, and who in a blog post earlier today has some rather provocative questions and thoughts.
In his article, titled appropriately "What goes up must come down", the former PM argues that flight did not crash and its current whereabouts may be know to the Central Intelligence Agency and the Boeing aircraft company: "It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slick or to listen for “pings” from the black box. This is most likely not an ordinary crash after fuel was exhausted. The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS markings."
But far more provocatively, and daring to utter a three letter acronym few others do, Mahathir said the plane could have been switched onto autopilot remotely by the CIA if it had been hijacked, citing a reference which claims that "The ‘uninterruptible’ autopilot would be activated – either by pilot, by on board sensors, or even remotely by radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of the flight deck."
Mahatir goes back to day one, when the first disclosure surrounding the fateful flight were made, and when it was clear that the pilot, for whatever reason, purposefully shut down the communication system. "The system must have been disabled or else the ground station could have called the plane."
So putting two and two together, the former PM, who believes that "it is not fair that MAS and Malaysia should take the blame" concludes that "someone is hiding something."
For some reason the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA. I hope my readers will read this.
To help the former premier reach as many readers as possible (and perhaps before his blog has an unfortunate nailgun incident), we repost his letter in its entirety.
1. What goes up must come down. Airplanes can go up and stay up for long periods of time. But even they must come down eventually. They can land safely or they may crash. But airplanes don’t just disappear. Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems, radio and satellite tracking and filmless cameras which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities.
2. I wrote about the disabling of MH370’s communication system as well as the signals for GPS. The system must have been disabled or else the ground station could have called the plane. The GPS too must have been disabled or else the flight of MH370 would have been tracked by satellites which normally provide data on all commercial flights, inclusive of data on location, kind of aircraft, flight number, departure airport and destination. But the data seems unavailable. The plane just disappeared seemingly from all screens.
3. MH370 is a Boeing 777 aircraft. It was built and equipped by Boeing. All the communications and GPS equipment must have been installed by Boeing. If they failed or have been disabled Boeing must know how it can be done. Surely Boeing would ensure that they cannot be easily disabled as they are vital to the safety and operation of the plane.
4. A search on the Internet reveals that Boeing in 2006 received a US patent for a system that, once activated, removes all control from pilots to automatically return a commercial airliner to a pre-determined landing location.
5. The Flightglobal.com article by John Croft, datelined Washington DC (1st December, 2006) further mentioned “The ‘uninterruptible’ autopilot would be activated – either by pilot, by on board sensors, or even remotely by radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of the flight deck”.
6. Clearly Boeing and certain agencies have the capacity to take over “uninterruptible control” of commercial airliners of which MH370 B777 is one.
7. Can it not be that the pilot of MH370 lost control of their aircraft after someone directly or remotely activated the equipment for seizure of control of the aircraft.
8. It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slick or to listen for “pings” from the black box. This is most likely not an ordinary crash after fuel was exhausted. The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS markings.
9. Boeing should explain about this so-called anti-terrorism auto-land system. I cannot imagine the pilots made a soft-landing in rough seas and then quietly drown with the aircraft.
10. Someone is hiding something. It is not fair that MAS and Malaysia should take the blame.
11. For some reason the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA. I hope my readers will read this.