For those who enjoy conspiracy theories, there is a very good one being circulated about how two jets and a captured US drone command post in Afghanistan led to the CIA-sponsored murder of almost everyone on board MH370 in order to stop the equipment being sold to China by the Taliban. (You can read it here.)

It’s not as good as reading, say, Tom Clancy, the spy thriller writer who was obviously murdered by the CIA at some stage of his career in order for them to regulate and appropriately influence his dramatisations of the truth about its activities. But it’s good enough in its content to have been true, provided a whole heap of reasonable objections to the contents didn’t prevent it from happening.

However, there are problems with it. One of its tenets is that a stolen US drone command post was being shipped from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the 777-200ER that was operating as MH370 on March 8, 2014, the night it disappeared into a huge cloud of useless and over-analysed pings relayed by a decrepit communications satellite interspersed with sightings in the Malacca Straits, the Maldives, northern Sumatra, and mysterious ploughed fields in the vastness of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is used for burying airliners as well as farming and rocket launches.

So far, so good. The first clue that the conspiracy theorists have lost their understanding of how the world works is the requirement that the only way the CIA would have had of stopping the shipment on MH370 was to create a double plane for it, hijack the real plane, kill all the passengers and crew, fly it to Diego Garcia and unload it, and then dump it back in the mid-Indian Ocean after a scenic fly-over of a lesser part of the Maldives before a special secret auto-pilot system dropped it and its dead passengers and crew into a location where they would miraculously disappear into the marine food chain before anything inconvenient bobbed up in the sea lanes.

All while the plane’s double was set up to make its misleading journey to oblivion in the south Indian Ocean and fool everyone into thinking it was the real MH370.

Guys, whoa! Malaysia is for sale. For as little as $10 million — much less than the amount allegedly paid out by a plastic banknote company to get the contract for printing Malaysian ringgits — the stolen US drone command post could have been offloaded at KLIA right into a passing US C-17 without any need to murder 239 people or screw over an entire airline. Or orchestrate a second lookalike 777 once sold by Malaysia Airlines to a mystery company in Tel Aviv to blindside the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which means, on careful consideration, part of the double jet conspiracy theory involves the supernatural or at the very least relativistic paradoxes, which can only be understood by lay readers by following older episodes of Dr Who.

Speaking of which, does a drone command post on the front line in Afghanistan sound a bit weird anyhow, when we all know that drones are flown by bored 18-year-old junior officers in a command centre with free soda pop fountains and other games parlour machines in a bunker in Texas?

It is, of course, sadly plausible that the entire upper echelon of the US intelligence community was totally clueless as to how corrupt KL is and failed to understand that the absolutely massive effort that would have to be invested in the two-plane strategy and the calculated murder of a plane load of passengers could be avoided with a compact shipment of cash or gold bullion.

And yet …

If NATO can commit an alleged war crime by bombing a well-known hospital in Afghanistan and killing large numbers of people, and Russian-backed separatists can carelessly mistake another Malaysia Airlines 777 for a hostile aircraft and shoot it down with a missile, then such an atrocity involving MH370 is not totally impossible (in some form).

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey