A science writer and author is making claims that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March due to a Russian hijack that was masterminded by a spy who has ties with Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine.
Jeff Wise, who wrote “Extreme Fear: The Science Of Your Mind In Danger,” posited his theory on a possible hijacking this week. He’s also a member of The Independent Group, which is an organization of technical and aviation experts. Wise was also featured on PBS’ NOVA in October, and he spoke on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
Wise claims that the hijackers took the plane to Kazakhstan. “The idea that MH370 might have wound up in Kazakhstan is not new. In the days after MH370’s disappearance, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak personally appealed to Kazakhstan’s president, the Soviet-era strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev, to allow Malaysia to set up a search operation in the country. Kazakhstan never responded. After Inmarsat concluded that the plane had gone south, the matter was dropped,” he wrote on his website.
“If Russia has the savvy to plan an insanely complex special operation, they also have a track record of implementing such schemes. A week before MH370 vanished, Russia began infiltrating special forces into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, eventually annexing it. The operation was designed to look like an internal uprising, but the personnel and equipment belonged to elite Russian military units,” he continues.
Wise describes the theory as “The Spoof” because the alleged hijackers needed to “spoof,” or falsify satellite data, from Flight 370, which was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8.
Wise says that in the weeks before the disappearance of MH370, there was “increasingly critical language from European and American officials” over the Kremlin’s alleged moves in eastern Ukraine, with President Obama signing an executive order March 6–about a day before Flight 370 disappeared–that placed sanctions on officials involved in the Ukraine incursion.
His theories directly contrast with the opinions of a number of experts–including the Australian and Malaysian governments’ accounts of the crash. Currently, Australian and Malaysian vessels are currently searching a swath of the southern Indian Ocean hundreds of miles west of Perth, Australia.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued its last update on the search on Dec. 3, saying that more than 185,000 square kilometers have been surveyed. More than 8,000 square kilometers of the seafloor have been searched so far.
Australia is also working on new drift modeling to determine if and when wreckage from the missing plane will come on shore. Initial analysis found that the first Flight 370 debris would appear on Indonesian shores after about 123 days.
“We are currently working … to see if we can get an updated drift model for a much wider area where there might be possibilities of debris washing ashore,” search coordinator Peter Foley told Reuters more than a week ago.
A former Boeing 777 pilot, Byron Bailey, wrote in an editorial in the Daily Telegraph that the plane could have only veered off course due to sabotage. However, he said theories on electrical failure or a hijacking probably weren’t too credible.
“The B777 has five generators (two per engine plus Auxiliary Power Unit) and, as a final backup, an automatic deployment Ram Air Turbine (RAT) which can supply hydraulic and electrical power to vital systems and still have contact with ATC,” he claimed.
He added: “Then there is the hijack theory. On board were two pilots and 14 cabin crew. None of the passengers came under suspicion and the flight deck is reinforced and kept locked. Airlines have security protocols in place to prevent unauthorised access to the flight deck.”
The plane, Bailey said, is located about 3.7 miles under the ocean’s surface and is intact. Bailey is a former Boeing 777 pilot, which is what Flight 370 was.
“But is that feasible? Can a jet that big, a B777, land in the water and sink, without a trace and without any debris? Yes it can,” he noted.
Bailey also questioned the current search area for the plane in the Indian Ocean.
“It surprises me that no-one has questioned why the search area was suddenly moved further south in the Indian Ocean,” he said. “It surprises me that no-one has questioned why the search area was suddenly moved further south in the Indian Ocean. The official line is that the aircraft flew on autopilot for seven hours then ran out of fuel and crashed.”
He concludes: “Technical problems that cause crashes are very rare nowadays which is why airline travel is safer than driving a car … Criminal acts unfortunately do occur such as the Pan Am B747 bombing over Lockerbie and the alleged suicide by the Egyptair B767 copilot from New York to Cairo. It may be that I and my colleages are wrong about MH370. It may be somewhere in central Asia. It may have been taking by aliens. Who knows? Someone does.”
Meanwhile, families of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were requested to provide DNA samples last week, according to a new report.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed the reports on Dec. 5 with AsiaOne, which said the request was made by Malaysian police’s forensics team.
“With reference to reports on the ante-mortem DNA sampling that was mentioned at the recent MH370 family briefing at MAS Academy in Kelana Jaya, this briefing was provided by the Royal Malaysian Police’s Forensics team,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement.
“As such, the ante-mortem procedures will be addressed by the police or the relevant authorities,” it added.
The authorities didn’t elaborate on exactly why a DNA sample is needed at this time.