The more we learn about the disappearance of Malaysian airliner Flight 370, the creepier it gets:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that a missing passenger jet was steered off course after its communications systems were intentionally disabled and could have potentially flown for seven additional hours.
In the most comprehensive account to date of the plane’s fate, Najib drew an ominous picture of what happened aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, saying investigators had determined there was “deliberate action by someone on the plane.”
Najib said the investigation had “refocused” to look at the crew and passengers. A Malaysia Airlines representative, speaking to relatives of passengers in Beijing, said the Malaysian government had opened a criminal investigation into the plane’s disappearance.
The plane’s whereabouts remain unknown one week after it disappeared from civilian radar shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. But Najib, citing newly analyzed satellite data, said the plane could have last made contact anywhere along one of two corridors: one stretching from northern Thailand toward the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, the other, more southern corridor stretching from Indonesia to the remote Indian Ocean.
U.S. officials previously said they believed the plane could have remained in the air for several extra hours, and Najib said Saturday that the flight was still communicating with satellites until 8:11 a.m. — 7 ½ hours after takeoff, and more than 90 minutes after it was due in Beijing. There was no further communication with the plane after that time, Najib said. If the plane was still in the air, it would have been nearing its fuel limit.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation on Friday said the only thing the satellite can tell is how much it would need to adjust its antenna to get the strongest signal from the plane. It cannot provide the plane’s exact position or which direction it flew, just how far the plane is, roughly, from the last good data-transmission location when the digital datalink system was actually sending data up to the satellite.
Go here to The Washington Post to read the rest. Until this occurred, it was thought that a modern airliner simply could not vanish in these days of constant electronic contact. Apparently this was in error. If this was done deliberately, we are dealing with very skilled individuals who wanted to get their hands on an airliner. Why? The latest rumor is that the airliner may have been diverted to Central Asia in the old Soviet Union. Not all nukes are accounted for that were in the Soviet arsenal. An airliner would make a grand one way delivery platform for a nuke. Since this is real life and not a novel, we can’t skip a few pages to learn more about this mystery. I imagine the Chinese and the Russians are playing very close attention to that region right now where the airliner may have been taken for reasons unknown.