March 26 , 2014
A little over two weeks ago, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 took off on its regular route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. On board were 227 passengers and 12 crew members. Less than one hour after take off the aircraft made its last established connection with air traffic controllers and was never heard from again.
In the past couple weeks every news centre in the world has had some sort of theory pertaining to its whereabouts. Every theory from alien abduction to pilot suicide and hijacking has been looked at. However, without the wreckage, it is doubtful we will ever know. Despite the dozens of theories about what could have happened during the final flight of MH370, something much more ominous has occurred. The search, which started out in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, has rapidly grown. In the past few days the search has been expanded in all directions, encompassing about 15% of the Earth’s oceans, but why?
The question everybody keeps asking is how an airliner with a GPS unit, being tracked by all sorts of ground and sea RADARs as well as satellites could have vanished. This magic act has given rise to the greatest wave of speculatory notions seen since 9/11. How could this have happened? How could no one have seen the aircraft? It seems impossible! And it is.
In my 7 years in the Israeli army as well as my theoretical training at IDC Herzliya (in Counter Terrorism) and in my Masters Degree at Tel Aviv University in Security, I have been privy to the information regarding an endless amount of disasters and tragedies. Case after case, regardless of what people claimed to have seen, heard, or thought, one truth keeps ringing out loud. That truth is that magic doesn’t exist and aircraft do not just vanish. Somebody saw something. Why they are not revealing the truth is a different story.
With such a vast array of civilian and military communications and monitoring equipment covering every corner of the Earth, how is it that someone has yet to come forward with an updated location on the possible whereabouts of MH370? Simple. Protection of military technology ranks significantly higher than the whereabouts of 300 dead bodies and heaps of what was once an aircraft. If we take a look at the location of the incident, and the current geopolitical climate in that area, it is quite simple to discern why nobody has come forward.
The area over which MH370 flew is a hotbed of military activity. The catalyst for all this activity is the Chinese conquest of the South China Sea in the name of resources (oil). Competing for power in the area is also the USA, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and NATO. All of whom have military devices and covert troops in the region monitoring everything from boat traffic to air traffic and even satellite traffic. According to international law, most of these states (especially China and the US) are simply not allowed to have military vehicles and equipment in the area. If any of these militaries saw something (which they clearly did), and reported it, this would constitute a major breach of international law (as they will be admitting they are monitoring the area) as well as giving up the location of their forces.
More importantly, if these States report what they have seen, and the location of their forces are noted, one can also infer the direction and strength of their (top secret) military RADAR, GPS, and tracking systems. It is therefore in their interest not to divulge information pertaining to the whereabouts of MH370’s last known location, as doing so will jeopardize billions of dollars in initiatives, people, and equipment.
The information will likely come to light sooner or later. However, this will only occur in one of three ways. Firstly, and least likely, international pressure will force those who have the information to provide it. Secondly, the information could be leaked. Thirdly, and most likely, following a lengthy information laundering process, the countries with this important intelligence,will through a third party, supply the information.
Since it is very likely that the state or states who last saw MH370 understand that the fate of those aboard has long since been sealed, they are simply in no rush to provide the information. At least not until the information, and its whereabouts can be doctored enough to deliver it to the likes of a major news corporation or the FAA. This information will finally end all the speculation and bring to an end the agony of the families waiting to hear about their loved ones.
Sammy Unterman is a Torontonian, now based in Israel, a post graduate student in counter-terrorism.