MH370: On the wrong track?

Posted in General, Inmarsat at 8:19 am by timfarrar

Since the Inmarsat ping data was released almost two weeks ago, I like many others have spent a good deal of time trying to discern what the data tells us. Particular thanks are due to Duncan Steel, Victor Iannello, Mike Exner, Don Thompson, Bill Holland and Brian Anderson, who’ve spent days and weeks performing numerous complex calculations and analysis of satellite and other data, much of which I’ve relied on in my analysis.

Although the data analysis remains a work in progress, and further information is needed to validate the BFO model in particular, I’ve now written up my initial conclusions, which indicate that the search area may need to be widened significantly beyond the areas identified in the most recent search effort. As the WSJ is reporting, this appears to be the approach now being taken by the investigative team.


  1. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 9, 2014 at 9:18 am

    The current search location was calculated based on the estimated speed of the aircraft at full speed in flight. What if the speed was only going as fast as the ocean current, 2 knots or so? Plug in those numbers along the same arc, you will see the same coordinates found in satellite images on Tomnod by aerial photographer Donald Elliott or very close. There are people floating on debris in these images. http://vimeo.com/94574325. (Use an iPad with retina display to view because on low res monitors the images just look like white spots.). He is being ignored by authorities and so are several other eye witnesses, Raja Dalelah who saw the plane floating in the water in the same area and the oil rig workers and fishermen and yachter who saw the plane on fire in the air leading to the likely place where the pilot could have attempted a Sully Sullenberger like water landing. (Exactly like Raja’s description of a plane with floats on the sides (rafts extended.). This scenario is feasible because every pilot in the world knew about the maneuver thanks to Sully’s success and this pilot probably practiced it on his simulator. If this was the case, couldn’t the disabled plane have sent handshakes if it was still turned on while it was floating along the current, just like Sully’s plane floated in the Hudson? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549

    Is it really likely that the movement of the plane along that arc is just coincidentally exactly the same direction as the ocean current? The searching authorities are clinging to the InMarsat data, but the speed was always only an assumption. It is being treated like hard data. Furthermore, if the plane really was on fire, it couldn’t have flown another 4-7 hours.

    According to the ATSB website, most aircraft are found within 20 nautical miles of the last radar contact. Travel 8 days back up the current from Donald’s 3/16 images 804 miles NW of Kuala Lumpur and my guess is the landing sight is within that range. It also fits with the acoustic sound registered west of there off the coast of India. If the pilot or crew (there was a flight engineer on board) knew the plane was sinking and they were floating away from it, they had enough time to remove one of the beacons and carry it with them since it would be their only hope of being located. Look at Donald’s map on 4/4 showing pins of passengers still visible on the satellite images. Compare it to where the beacon pings were detected on 4/5. Furthermore, there is a slight chance someone reached north Keeling atoll or other uninhibited land mass in that area. Is it far fetched? Maybe? But just as likely as a hijacked zombie plane flying on autopilot until the fuel ran out. It is absolutely worth sending the coast guard to check it out. What if someone is out there praying that someone is still searching for them? You can mock this if you like, but wait until after the coordinates are searched and after a search for possible survivors is complete. As seen in the recent true story about Jose Salvador Alvarenga, a fisherman who floated for 13 months from the coast of Mexico to the Philippines, miracles can happen. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/12/homecoming-for-pacific-castaway-jos-salvador-alvarenga

  2. sk999 said,

    June 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm


    Nice writeup. Your explanation of how the BFO is sensitive to the asymmetry of routes going North or South is basically correct, and it can be made more specific. Around 18:30, when the satellite was near its most North end of its track and the aircraft was mainly to the East, the BFO had the property that a LOW BFO meant the aircraft was going South, while a HIGH BFO meant it was going North. The two C channel events at 18:39 and 23:14, which occurred when the ground was trying to place a phone call, both contain BFO measurements. The 23:14 value is consistent with the R channel values both before and after, so it suggests that these BFOs are reliable. The 18:39 BFO value is 87 hz, which is LOW. It suggests that the plane was already heading South at this time.

  3. Alex Siew said,

    June 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    To Victorl, Henrik, Yap, Bill and Richardc10,

    To recap, the BFOs for the pings were tracking the velocity of the satellite ( BFO = fixed offset of around 90 plus the satellite velocity in knots).

    I would contend that the differences in the BTOs can be accounted solely by the movement of the satellite. As an example, at 16.30 UTC, z (km) was 830 where z is the vertical distance of the satellite to the equatorial plane while at 22.40 UTC z = 835 (all figures from Duncan’s post on his blog on March 26). In between such times, the satellite had traveled northwards reaching the apex at 19.36 UTC before descending downwards. If the BTOs merely reflect the movement of the satellite, the BTOs for 16.30 UTC and 22.40 UTC would be around the same. Sure enough the BTO for 16.30 UTC was 14920 while the BTO for 22.40 UTC was 14540.

    Also, the rate of increase of the BTO was clearly tracking the rate of decrease of z. For example for the last 4 pings, BTO was 11740, 12780, 14540 and 18040 while z was 1159, 1032, 835 and 433.

    It is clear Inmarsat’s analysis for both the BFOs and the BTOs, which was done over 2 days on March 9th and 10th, assumed a stationary satellite. If i am right that the BFOs and BTOs merely reflect the velocity and movement of the satellite, it would mean the plane was stationary during all 6 pings ie it had crashed early.

    I would also contend that the 6 pings were transmitted by the backup low gain antenna on top of the rear fuselage directly from the SDU by passing the HPA and the BSUs, on some sort of battery backup. We would know if this is true once Inmarsat disclose the info on the signal strength of the 6 pings (Rx (dBm)), C/No and the BER, which have been taken out from the data released in the form of the 47 page document.

  4. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 13, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Alex, please see my earlier comment, it is the first in the thread. What you are suggesting confirms my question of whether or not the plane would have sent pings if it was disabled floating on the water. I’d like to see how the presumed 7th arc looks if you enter the speed of the current in place of the assumed full speed that has being used. I believe it will confirm the data by Donald Elliott and the sighting by Raja Dalelah or at least give cause to search the coordinates rather than brushing it off.

  5. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    If you correct the assumptions of speed and altitude and take all if the witnesses in to consideration, the plane ditched in the ocean between the strait of malacca and the Andaman Islands right after it disappeared from radar. The plane floated with the rafts extended (eye witness Raja Dalelah)along with the ocean current moving south along the west coast of Indonesia sending pings until the battery died or the antenna submerged. It floated partially submerged for 8 days until 3/16 when it made its final descent 804 miles nw from Kuala Lumpur in exactly the location discovered by Donald Elliott, aerial photographer. See my previous comment for links. There are so many clues pointing to this that it is absurd not to at least consider it and search the location. Unless there is some reason to keep it a mystery, which I can’t imagine really being the case.

  6. enjineerin said,

    June 13, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Nancy and Alex,
    The BTO provides the necessary evidence that the plane was traveling hundreds of miles an hour (or convert that to knots or KM/hour, if you prefer..) from take-off through the last handshake at 00:11UT.

    I believe that the most reasonable, and correct, conclusion is that MH370 was flying under its own power throughout the time period.
    But, the BTO time values show that there is no possibility that the plane was floating in the water exchanging handshakes with the satellite.

    Please continue to apply your energy and critical thinking to finding MH370.


  7. enjineerin said,

    June 13, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    The BFO values do not indicate the direction the plane was traveling. The BFO is an accumulation of Doppler shifts due to the relative movement of multiple independent objects, and multiple signal processing stages, each designed to remove a specific Doppler shift component to keep the received signal within specification limits.
    Doppler shifts come from satellite-Earth and satellite-plane relative motion. Each ‘relative’ motion is specific to the location of the satellite and plane at each moment in time. {I think you already understand the spherical trigonometry involved in deriving the line of sight velocity components…}
    The processing stages working to reduce the effect of those Doppler shifts are split between the plane (I call this the frequency pre-compensation), which can only remove Doppler shift created by its own movement relative to the satellite; and the ground station, which can only remove Doppler shift due to the satellite motion relative to the ground station.
    If these processing steps worked perfectly, there would be no shift remaining, and the BFO would always be 0 (zero, zed…). But, fortunately or unfortunately, the processing includes some simplification, approximation, and (apparently), at least one simple error.
    The processing on the plane is simplified by calculating the Doppler shift for the plane’s movement relative to an theoretical idealized version of the satellite, with a fixed location at approximately the nominal (mid-point) location of the real satellite’s wobbly location. (64.5 degrees East, at 0 degrees North on the equator, at nominal altitude for a geostationary satellite). This is one of two ways that the satellite’s motion (‘wobble’) causes a part of the BFO. But, it is a strangely indirect value. The compensation is removing the Doppler shift that would have occurred had the satellite been at that nominal location. Except that the satellite is not at that location. It is off by some small number of degrees, above or below, West or East, North or South, depending on the exact time of day AND the relative direction of the plane fro the satellite. It is this slight directional error that leaves a fraction of the Doppler shift in the BFO, while removing the rest.
    None of the processing (plane or ground) removes the Doppler shift due to the satellite’s motion relative to the plane. So, this shift remains in the BFO. (also through the mathematics of the spherical trigonometry of the relative position of the two objects – should mention this for each of these relative pairs…)

    The processing on the plane is also simplified by leaving out any vertical motion of the plane. Neither rate-of-climb, nor rate-of-descent is considered in the processing. This is why the BFO rises rapidly from take-off through reaching level flight. The specific amount contributed to the BFO depends on the vertical speed and the relatie position of the satellite and the plane. (that spherical trig too…)

    The processing on the ground has two reasons for being less than a perfect removal of the Doppler caused by the relative motion of the satellite relative to the ground station.
    The necessary frequency compensation is estimated by continuously tracking the Doppler frequency shift that is actually occurring as signals pass from the ground up to the satellite and back. But, this carrier monitoring is actually tracking a signal from a different ground station (Burum), as it is received at Perth. From that, some math is done to extract the proper compensation for the frequency shift occurring through the satellite. (Sorry, this is one of the oddities, and I don’t have a great source to explain how and why this works… )
    But, this compensation stage is where the analysis seems to have found a small error. The compensation applied is incorrect. Instead of being the compensation that would be appropriate for the Perth ground station, the equipment is instead calculating the compensation as though Perth were located North of the Equator. … As though the processing were using a North Latitude (31.8044N) for Perth, rather than the South latitude where it is located (31.8044S). This was the hardest part of the BFO to figure out. It was appearing as an unexplained error in the calculations that appeared to grow larger over time. It is now understood that this is a compound effect of the incorrect location for the ground station and the constantly moving real location of the satellite. (thanks to Victor, Mike, and the group for not accepting or ignoring this last error…)

    With all of this now understood, there is good reason to believe that the BFO can help us narrow in on where on each BTO derived ring MH370 might have flown. As I hope my described have made clear, the simple BFO number is the result of a very complex set of conditions. But, with full understanding of these conditions, I am optimistic that we will be able to extract clues from the BFO that combine with the results of the BTO (ring) analysis to narrow down where MH370 flew, and where to look next.

  8. Ron Black said,

    June 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    A numerically robust method to find the aircraft’s speed from the BTO values.

    Note that we would like to know the average speed of the plane in order to discern between two theories, one assuming speed near the 777 maximal speed and the other a much lower one. For this aim we need a robust procedure but accuracy is not so important.

    Let’s construct a first approximation to the route assuming spherical earth:

    * Approximate the ping radii table by a smooth function r(t) using cubic splines
    * Compute r0 the minimum value of r(t) then its time t0 using this approximation
    * Plot a circle with radius r0 around the sub-satellite position at time t0
    * Choose some known point on the route, say the end of the military radar track
    * Choose the type of line (great circle, rhumb line) that seems more suitable
    * Draw a line from the known point so that it’ll be tangent to the circle
    * Mark the point where the line touches the circle
    * Continue the line till it reaches the last ping ring

    Now we have got three points whose location and time are known:

    1) The initial known point
    2) The tangent point to the circle
    3) The intersection of the line with the last ping ring

    Let’s compute the distances between these points. Since we know the times we can now compute average speeds for the first leg (1 – 2) and the second (2 – 3). Looking at these two average speeds may give us indication which theory about the plane speed is correct.

    Here is another method that is numerically inferior:

    To simplify the explanation let’s assume that the plane flies in a straight line in a constant speed V and the satellite is static.

    * Let’s approximate the ping radii table by a smooth function r(t) using cubic splines
    * Compute and plot its derivative r’(t). This is the radial velocity as a function of time Vr(t).
    * Compute r0 the minimum of r(t) and its time t0

    From our assumptions it can easily be shown that the radial velocity (up to a sign) is:

    Vr(t) = (V^2 * (t – t0)) / sqrt(r0^2 + (V * (t – t0))^2)

    Now the shape of Vr(t) depends only on V and we can try to fit it against r’(t) by changing V.
    If we get a good fit we have found V but as said above this is a numerically inferior method.

    Remark: The method mentioned in Tim’s Initial Conclusions seems problematic as it depends on finding the time of closest approach by locating the minimum of an interpolated curve. In addition to the error introduced by the interpolation we have the problem that near the minimum the function is constant to first order so locating the minimum is difficult.

    For non-numerical analysis see:


  9. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Ok, so if the plane was definitely flying, how do we know that after it lost radar contact, it didn’t fly over the Maldives (taking the eyewitnesses there in to account) and then make a 360 turn back toward Indonesia and then ditch in the more northern portion of the search area? With no instruments theoretically, a pilot would be limited in sight in the dark and maybe he flew the plane purposely until the sun came up and he could see where he was ditching.

    Also, what if the plane or the antenna was partially submerged in water, would that have any bearing on the outcome of that 40* elevation arc or any of the pings or BTO values taking in to consideration a refractory index for water?

  10. Alex Siew said,

    June 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    To enjineerin

    Bill, thank you for the reply. I would appreciate it very much if u can explain why u think the plane was still flying during those hours. In my humble view, the evidence shows the plane had crashed early on.

    1. The Burst Frequency Offsets for the 6 pings were tracking the satellite velocity. See my previous comments in the previous thread on MH370 on this blog and on Duncan’s blog. This is not disputed by Duncan, Henrik or others. Henrik’s explanation was that the Doppler correction mechanism had corrected perfectly the plane’s movement and thus the movement of the plane does not show up in the BFOs. However, i would contend that there is an alternative explanation, the plane’s movement is not evident in the BFOs because the plane was no longer moving at all 6 ping times ie it had crashed early on.

    2. The Burst Timing Offsets for the 6 pings were tracking the movement of the satellite. See my previous comment above and in Duncan’s blog. Again, no one has come forward either on this blog or on Duncan’s blog to explain as to how this can be so if the plane was still flying.

    3. The positions and velocities of the satellite on March 7th and 8th can be found in Duncan’s post on March 26th on his blog. According to Duncan, the satellite reached its northern apex at 19.36 UTC. Also useful is Duncan’s post on March 25th which has a graphic showing the movement of the satellite during that period.

    4. Anyone who wishes to do so can take a look at those posts referred above to verify that the BFOs and BTOs were merely tracking the velocity and movement of the satellite respectively.

    5. As an illustration of how the BFOs were tracking the satellite velocity, we can take the BFO readings for the pings at 18.29 UTC and at 20.41 UTC which were 143 and 141 respectively. The satellite velocity (vz) as expected was pretty similar, at 0.025269 km/sec (49 knots) and 0.024394 km/sec (47 knots) respectively.

    6. For the BTOs, in my previous comment i have referred to the respective positions of the satellite at 16.30 UTC and at 22.41 UTC where z (km) the vertical distance of the satellite from the equatorial plane was around the same, at 830km and 835km respectively. As expected, the BTOs for those 2 points in time were nearly the same, 14920 and 14540 respectively.

    7. The graph for the BFOs and the BTOs match the graph of the movement and velocity of the satellite. Thus for both BTOs and BFOs, the graphs show a dip at 19.41 UTC which was when the satellite was closest to its northern apex ie slowest in terms of speed and nearest in terms of distance to a plane which had crashed at, say, not too far from BITOD.

    8. Inmarsat’s mathematical calculations, done on March 9th and 10th, reportedly by a small team within the company, had assumed that the satellite was stationary directly over the equator. This is clear from the diagram released by the authorities on March 15th when the northern southern arcs theory was announced . In my view, this team at Inmarsat saw that the BFOs and BTOs were changing over time and concluded from there that the plane was still moving, not realizing the differences in those values were caused by the movement of the satellite.

    9. Prior to presentation of Inmarsat’s analysis on March 15th, Malaysian authorities had repeatedly stated that the plane disappeared from ATC secondary radar at 1.21am and from ATC primary radar at 1.30am. See the statements made by the head of Malaysia DCA on March 8th and in the days that followed ( google Azaharuddin, 1.30 MH370).

    10. Also, the authorities on March 9th confirmed the emergency radio contact between MH088 and MH370 at 1.30am. See the statement issued by Malaysia Airlines on March 9th at 2.28am on the DCA website (….”It has been more than 24 hours since we last heard from MH370 at 1.30am….” ).

    11. By the time of the release of the Preliminary Report on May 1st, there was no mention in the report about the Malaysian ATC primary radar tracking of the plane until 1.30am or the emergency radio contact also at 1.30am. As to the plane’s last observed location, in the main text of the report, only the last secondary radar position was given. However, according to the schedule of the recorded calls between Malaysian ATC and Vietnamese ATC, Vietnamese ATC had stated 3 times that night that they had last seen the plane (on primary radar) at BITOD.

    12. So Malaysian ATC had tracked the plane on primary radar until 1.30am and Vietnamese ATC had tracked the plane on their primary radar up to BITOD. If the plane had disappeared from both these ATC primary radar at the same time, it means MH370 was last seen at BITOD at 1.30am.

    13. BITOD is 37nm from IGARI. MH370 had taken 9 minutes to travel the 37nm ie a speed of 250 knots. 250 knots happens to be the speed a 777 would glide at, ie its speed if the plane had lost all engine power.

    14. Thus, all the indications are that the plane had lost engine power due to a catastrophic electrical failure at 1.21am and was gliding from that point onwards. ( As to what caused this electrical failure, i have laid out the evidence showing MH370 was hit by a bolt of positive lightning at 1.21am, in my comments in the previous thread on MH370 on this blog).

    15. A 777 has a reported gliding ratio of between 18:1 to 20:1. It would mean from 35,000ft at IGARI, the plane could have stayed up in the air for another 25 minutes or so and glided for approximately 100nm.

    16. A crash at around 1.46am would be consistent with the SOS call from Mh370 at 1.43am MYT (2.43am 7th Fleet time) picked up by the US 7th Fleet as reported by several Taiwanese news portals on March 8th including China Times, citing the US Embassy as the source of the information. These reports have never been denied by the US authorities which incidentally have also rejected freedom of information requests from US citizens for information on this SOS call.

    17. A crash a hundred nm or so from BITOD would be consistent with the report by the Kiwi on the oil rig of having seen an object in flames in one piece for 10-15 seconds. ( What the Kiwi saw could have been St Elmo’s fire on MH370)

    17. The Satcom terminal on MH370 located above the overhead luggage compartments at the rear, was from Honeywell. It was a dual ACARS system meaning dual SDUs and dual antenna (side mounted HGA and top mounted LGA), on a master slave configuration with the slave SDU and the LGA as a backup in the event of failure of the master SDU/HGA antenna. In such a backup situation, low level signals would be transmitted from the slave SDU directly to the LGA without having to go through the High Power Amplifier and the Beam Steering Units. This configuration is provided under ARINC 741.

    18. The Honeywell SDU MCS series has an option for secondary power source. Only Boeing/Honeywell/Malaysia Airlines would know if the Satcom avionics package installed on MH370 had a secondary power source/battery backup.

    19. As mentioned in my previous comment above, the information on the signal strength Rx, C/No and BER of the 6 pings have been taken out from the 47 page document. This information would show whether the pings were transmitted on a backup basis through the LGA using secondary/battery power or from the HGA using primary AC power. The latter would indicate the plane was still flying while the former would indicate the plane had suffered a catastrophic failure and crashed by then, with the upper rear fuselage remaining above water for a period of time before submerging some time after 00.19 UTC.

  11. Alex Siew said,

    June 16, 2014 at 2:03 am

    There is a typo in para 17 above, it should read ” A crash 100 nm or so from IGARI, not BITOD”.

    Extracts from press reports on Malaysian ATC primary radar tracking of MH370 up to 1.30 AM:

    1. From the The Star, a leading Malaysian newspaper on March 8th:

    ” The last signal position of MH370 recorded on the Department of Civil Aviation’s radar was at 1.30am Saturday.

    Director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said this was MH370′s last position on the radar before the signal disappeared at 1:30am.

    ‘The signal suddenly disappeared,’ Azharuddin told reporters at the Operation Coordinating Centre at the Sama-Sama Hotel here”.

    2. From Wall Street Journal online March 12th and 13th:

    “Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Department of Civil Aviation, told a news briefing that air traffic control lost contact with Flight 370 on its secondary radar system at 1.21am Saturday, before losing contact on its primary radar at 1.30am…… As is standard practice, Malaysian controllers use two radar systems, a primary and a secondary, to monitor their airspace…”.

    Extracts from the schedule to the MH370 Preliminary Report:

    ” 01.38.19 : Ho Chi Minh first enquired about MH370, informed KL-ATCC that verbal contact was not established with MH370 and radar target was last seen at BITOD……

    01.46.46 : HCM queried about MH370 again, stating that radar contact was established over IGARI but there was no verbal contact. Ho Chi Minh advised that the observed radar blip disappeared at waypoint BITOD…..

    02.18.53 : …… HCM confirmed earlier information that radar contact was lost after BITOD and radio contact was never established….”.

    All communication systems requiring electrical power went off at 1.21am, secondary radar transponder, ADS-B, etc (including SATCOM which rebooted only at 18.25 UTC) showing there was an electrical failure. However primary radar tracking does not depend on signals from the plane, thus the two ATCs continued tracking the plane on primary radar until 1.30am up to BITOD.

    The fact the plane disappeared after BITOD means the plane had lost altitude from IGARI to the point where it went below primary radar coverage altitude after BITOD, another indication the plane had lost power at IGARI and was only gliding forward (and downwards) from thereon.

    The location and time a missing plane was last observed by the people tasked to follow the plane ie the ATCs, would be of critical importance but in the case of MH370 this information has been intentionally suppressed, as it would contradict the theory that the plane had turned back off IGARI at 1.21am.

    Also, if the plane had continued on to BITOD until 1.30am, it could not have been the blip at MEKAR at 2.22am as a 777 would not be able to cover such distance in such time even if it were flying at its maximum speed.

    The diagram in the Preliminary Report showing MH370 turning back after IGARI and crossing over to MEKAR, thus is false. This diagram was needed to support Inmarsat’s theory that the plane had turned west and continued flying for 6 and 1/2 hours to ultimately crash somewhere on the final arc. As has been shown above and in the preceding comment, the plane did not turn west off IGARI but had continued, gliding, towards BITOD, before ultimately crashing at around 1.46am , with the crash site around 60 to 80 nm from BITOD.

    To those people on Duncan’s blog who kept insisting the ATCs’ information on BITOD/1.30am should not be considered (because it does not fit with their models), please explain why one would choose to believe the mumbo jumbo western turn theory over the contemporaneous statements made on the night by the professionals whose job was to to track the plane.

  12. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Alex, if what you are saying is correct, which I happen to agree with, it is completely plausible that the debris and people found on Tomnod Images on 3/16 from aerial photographer Donald Elliott are from MH370 and that coupled with the eyewitness from Raja Dalelah are credible reasons to at least search the coordinates.

  13. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 17, 2014 at 5:58 am

    I read an earlier blog where it was mentioned that the ping signals were weak. If this is accurate, might that be explained if I am right about a refractory index for water? If so, what could that do to these “hard data” numbers? Would there be any effect at all, or would there be no bearing?

  14. TMF Associates MSS blog » MH370: analysis of where to look… said,

    June 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    [...] week’s Wall St Journal article and my blog post highlighted that the MH370 search area was poised to move to the southwest, and yesterday this [...]

  15. Jonny said,

    June 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    To Alex

    I agree with your theory and having been out on an actual search relying on – unfortunately – tomnod’s wrong coordinates, I think that MH370 was on fire in the Gulf of Thailand. There may have been explosion in the air as the debris field I have mapped from tomnod’s images is huge. On March 12th, the debris is scattered all over and I find it hard to imagine that this is from the impact alone. Please feel free to look at some of the images http://tinyurl.com/nqwg75f and please disregard the images with the crash and debris field area near Vung Tau. This was based on converting tomnod’s coordinates which were intentionally put online with the wrong coordinates.
    Since tomnod renumbered all the old map numbers, the coordinates all have changed and no matter what day the images have been taken, they all seem to appear in the Gulf of Thailand now.

  16. Nancy Blondin said,

    June 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    So I have a question, why does one search area have to rule another one out. I can see that there are several “likely” locations for this plane. I do agree that your calculations are compelling evidence for the search location that you have suggested, but even when the odds are 99 to 1, every once in a while the 1 wins out. No one will search the coordinates found by Donald Elliott on the grounds that another scenario is more likely. But why not search them both? I can see compelling reasons for them both. Put a Chinese crew on one and Australian crew on another. There are multiple ships being used. The only way they are going to do this is one of you experts tell them to. They just flat out will not listen to any of us who are trying so desperately to be heard. Thank you all for being so smart and dedicating your time to this. It is so great to see so many people from so many countries working together.

  17. Alex Siew said,

    June 17, 2014 at 9:56 pm


    Thank you for your post. I have no expertise in deciphering images taken from satellites, so i cannot comment on whether those images shown are debris from MH370.

    However, i will say this: the ‘search’ conducted by the investigation team at the South China Sea was shambolic. Right from the beginning, the Malaysian military had this misguided idea that the plane had actually turned back to KL; see for eg Entry No 21 on the schedule of the recorded calls between the 2 ATCs:

    ” 05.20.17 Capt [name redacted] requested for information on MH370. He opined that based on known information, ” MH370 never left Malaysian airspace”.

    Thus the Malaysians started diverting the search to the Straits of Malacca the very next day, Sunday. Vietnam did make some effort to search the South China Sea for a couple of days but gave up as early as Wednesday after seeing all the conflicting information from Malaysia regarding whether the plane had turned westwards. ( First yes, then denied, then maybe yes, then maybe no…… and so on, see for eg the flip flopping statements of the chief of Malaysian navy). It would have been funny if it did not involve 239 lives.

    The fact is Vietnamese ATC had tracked the plane to BITOD on primary radar and Malaysian ATC had tracked the plane until 1.30 am on their ATC primary radar. The plane disappeared from both ATC primary radars thereafter, meaning well into Vietnamese airspace.

    The area where the plane most likely had crashed (60 to 80 nm off BITOD at 40 degree turn) was never searched. The Kiwi on the oil rig who was later let go by his employer, confirmed neither the Malaysians nor the Australians ever contacted him. He said only Vietnamese authorities interviewed him but then came the announcement (on March15th) about Inmarsat’s theory about the northern and southern corridor/ final arc and the ‘search’ at South China Sea ceased just like that.

    MH370 is the only case in history where the area where the plane was last observed is not searched while tens of millions of dollars which may eventually become hundreds of millions of dollars are and will be spent on searching areas thousands of miles away based on a theory that the plane had flown on on autopilot at constant speed and cruising altitude for 6 and 1/2 hours to ultimately crash in the middle of nowhere in the Indian Ocean, undetected by radar, satellites, the naked eye or the seismic, accoustic or hydro stations of the global nuclear organization.

  18. Alex Siew said,

    June 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm


    I have no expertise in terms of deciphering satellite images, so i am not able to comment on what u are saying. My own view is that the plane crashed in the South China Sea soon after 1.43am not too far from waypoint BITOD where it was last seen by ATCs, after getting hit by positive lightning at IGARI at 1.21am which caused a catastrophic electrical failure with consequent total loss of engine power. Please see my previous comments in a previous thread on MH370 on this blog as well as on Duncan Steel’s blog. U can also google ” MH370 Lightning Theory”, a person posting by the name of LGHamiltonUSA was kind enough to repost the theory on her twitter account and on Duncan’s blog. Thank you.

  19. fclark said,

    June 18, 2014 at 6:36 am

    The original route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is about 16°. If the pilot commands 160° ? That simple mistake happened once. The route 27° was fixed to 270° and a plane flew for hours in a wrong direction…

    OK one more hypothesis, but there are so many!

  20. fclark said,

    June 18, 2014 at 6:40 am

    That accident is reported in the site:

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