What Really Happened To Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
Tony Polito, Ph.D.
September 9, 2017
A MORE COMPLETE AND NEATLY-FORMATTED PDF DOCUMENT,
INCLUDING PHOTOGRAPHS, IS AVAILABLE AT THIS LINK.
Summary of Theory
This theory posits that MH370 was a failed radical terrorist hijacking, with the intent of using the plane to destroy the twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Replicating the destruction of twin skyscrapers by hijacked passenger aircraft was intended to demonstrate to the world, in a manner that could not be subject to government/media disinformation, that the power of radical terrorism had not been diminished since 2001.
Two Iranians boarded MH370 under false identity & stolen passports. They took control of the cockpit. The pilots of MH370 surmised the hijackers' intent and intellectually outwitted them, sacrificing themselves and their passengers in the process. The pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, led the hijackers to believe the plane was returning to Kuala Lumpur, while in fact he was actually steering the plane far away from it. The pilot also dumped most of the plane's fuel so it could not return to Kuala Lumpur under any scenario. Out of fuel, the plane crashed near the northern mouth of the Strait of Malacca—exactly where it dropped from military radar—all lives lost.
An act of terrorism cannot disrupt economics or society when it is unknown by the public to be an act of terrorism, hence government/media disinformation was dispersed to suppress public realization that MH370 had been hijacked … and to suppress the actual location of the wreckage … wreckage that would evidence a terrorist hijacking, if discovered & salvaged.
Below find, first, a summary of the well-acknowledged facts supportive of, and quite relevant to, this theory, specifically regarding (1) the timeline of key flight events and (2) the two posited hijackers. That information is followed by a posited discussion of what actually occurred on, and to, MH370 during its final flight. After that, there is a brief summary of the subsequent disinformation disseminated, followed by concluding statements.
A Review of the Known & Recognized Timeline of Key Events & Locations
12:41am (March 8th, local time): MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing.
1:19am: The plane made its last voice contact, with Malaysian air traffic controllers, who advised the plane it was now being handed off to Vietnamese controllers. The co-pilot wished the Malaysian controllers good night.
1:20am: The plane passed Navigational Waystation IGARI, still on course.
1:21am: The plane's secondary radar transponder, that which is commonly used by air traffic controllers to receive the aircraft's position onto its radar, was intentionally deactivated; the plane is confirmed to have disappeared from both Malaysian and Vietnamese radar at that time.
1:22am: The aircraft's ADS system, that automatically broadcasts the plane's position based on satellite input, was intentionally deactivated.
1:25am: Malaysian military radar detected that the plane had executed a 165° turn, toward the southwest, passing over rural Malaysian landmass. A full 180° turn would have headed the plane directly back toward Kuala Lumpur. According to CNN, the plane reduced its altitude while on this heading from 35,000 feet to about 12,000 feet, below the level of all routine airline traffic.
1:37am: The plane's twice-hourly scheduled data transmission via ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) did not occur, indicating the system had been intentionally deactivated sometime after its last broadcast at 1:07am. (ACARS is an automated real‑time communication system used by commercial planes to transmit and receive data to/from on-the-ground partners, that data to include the aircraft's callsign, speed, altitude and position. It can be deactivated manually via a switch on the ceiling of the cockpit or behind the throttles between the pilot and co-pilot.)
1:38am: Ho Chi Minh Control contacted Kuala Lumpur Control to advise they had not been able to establish verbal contact with MH370.
1:52am: The plane was detected by both civilian and military radar as passing over Penang Island, 215 miles northwest of Kuala Lumpur, and then over the waters of the Strait of Malacca. The plane then turned northwest.
2:03am: Military radar detected the aircraft's position near Pulau Perak, an island near the centerline of the Strait of Malacca, at navigational Waypoint VAMPI, then proceeding onto Air Route N571.
2:22am: Military radar made its final detection of MH370, just past Navigational Waystation MEKAR, also near the centerline of the Strait of Malacca, due northwest of Pulau Perak, still on Air Route N571.
Late the same day: Vietnam stated that its Air Force spotted two slicks, 118 miles from Malaysia, off the southern tip of Vietnam. Each was 6-10 miles long and were thought to be consistent with what would be produced by the fuel tanks of an aircraft. One pilot took a photo of one of the slicks.
Known Facts Regarding the Two Posited Hijackers
On February 28, eight days before MH370, Iranians Pouria Nour Mohammad, 19, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, 29, traveled together from Dota, Qatar to arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia using their legitimate Iranian passports. On March 8, they both boarded MH370 under false identities using stolen passports. Mohammad's stolen passport was Austrian; Reza's stolen passport was Italian. Both passports were reported stolen to INTERPOL by Christian Kozel (in 2012) and Luigi Maraldi (in 2013). Kozel reported it likely that a taxi stand employee had stolen the carry-on bag containing his passport at the Phuket, Thailand airport; Maraldi reported his passport was stolen when he left it as a deposit to rent a motorcycle, also in Thailand.
Two days before they flew on MH370, while Mohammad and Reza waited in Kuala Lumpur, their MH370 tickets were purchased for them (under the identities of Kozel and Maraldi) over 1,000 miles away, in Pattaya, Thailand. The tickets were sold by Grand Horizon Travel Agency, a puny storefront in a Pattaya shopping mall. Pattaya is a high-traffic destination from the world-over, specifically for sex tourism. The owner of Grand Horizon, Ms. Benjaporn Krutnait, said the tickets were purchased by an Iranian middleman identifying himself only as Mr. Ali. Ms. Krutnait said Mr. Ali had used her agency on a regular basis over the last three years when traveling between Tehran and Pattaya, often buying tickets for others. Ms. Krutnait claimed that she herself picked Malaysia Airlines MH370 as transit to Bejing because it was the cheapest flight available. She also said that an unknown friend of Mr. Ali came by to pay for the tickets in cash. Financial Times reporters attempted to contact Mr. Ali, using the phone number provided by Ms. Krutnait; no one answered.
Airport security cameras verified that Mohammad and Reza boarded MH370. At the time, airport security did not screen passports against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database … even though INTERPOL reports that "terrorists have previously been identified as having traveled internationally using stolen passports." Though said to be friends, the two did NOT sit together. The flight manifest reveals that Mohammad seated (as Kozel) in 30C; Reza seated (as Maraldi) in 34C.
[NOTE: Regarding 9/11 … On American Airlines Flight 11, four of the five terrorists onboard sat apart from one another. On both United Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 77, the five terrorists onboard were seated in three different areas. On United Flight 93, the four terrorists onboard were also seated in three different areas. Presumably they intentionally chose to do so in order to (1) "have each other's backs," (2) avoid arousing any suspicion as a single, large group of Middle Easterns … and (3) be better‑positioned to hold control of the entire cabin.]
Mohammad's Facebook page is still active today. The last words he ever posted on this Facebook account, four days before the flight of MH370, were "Feeling excited" … words that were posted next to a picture of himself, the camera pointed upwards, so as to include the entire height of the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers on Earth, in the background.
[ http://www.facebook.com/pouria.nourmohammadi ]
The Posited Events Occurring On, and To, MH370 During Final Flight
Mohammad snapped that picture in front of the Towers as self-tribute & trophy toward his expected legacy. The same was once done by Siddig Ali toward the same purpose, his taking Emad Salem's picture in front of the Statue of Liberty, prior to its planned bombing as part of the New York Landmark Bombing terrorist plot of 1993.
A flight to Bejing was chosen (on behalf of Mohammad & Reza), as were the 9/11 aircraft, because it would be loaded with a long-haul quantity of jet fuel to effect maximum explosion on impact. They were briefed in advance regarding the air controller's typical handoff timing around Waystation IGARI as well as the deactivation techniques of the ICARS, ADS, secondary radar transponder and radio communication. However, unlike the 9/11 hijackers, they possessed only cursory training regarding the aircraft's operation: some idea how to steer the plane into its target once already generally aimed at it, but little other operational knowledge. Again, they intentionally sat apart on MH370 to avoid any suspicion … that might arise from two Islamics sitting together with ticketing under European surnames.
This theory does NOT posit how Mohammad & Reza actually took command of the cockpit or as to their weaponry. Perhaps something as simple as a poorly-executed and routinized pilot bathroom‑break. The timeline suggests the hijackers gained control around/between 1:00am and 1:15am.
While in control of the cockpit, they awaited the controller handoff and instructed the pilots to confirm it without arousing suspicion, which the pilots did at 1:19am. Within two minutes, they instructed the pilots to permanently disable ICARS, ADS, the secondary radar transponder and radio communication. The pilots did so. The hijackers, briefed on the correct disabling procedures, knew it had been done correctly. The hijacker's plan was that, just after the verbal handoff, Malaysian controllers would stop monitoring MH370 … but that Vietnamese controllers would not have yet started monitoring it. Then, with all tracking turned off, MH370's absence and its subsequent movements would go entirely unnoticed for at least some time. (Indeed, Vietnamese controllers did not begin to significantly react to the absence of MH370 for another fifteen minutes.)
Three minutes after instructing the pilots to disable all tracking & communication, and allowing the pilots to do so, the hijackers immediately instructed the pilots to turn around and return to Kuala Lumpur and to drop altitude to 12,000 feet. It was now 1:25am. The pilots were still flying the aircraft. Given the hijackers' lack of flight & cockpit skills, their plan was to command the pilots to fly according to instruction as long as feasible … before having to take the controls themselves.
At this point, the pilot surmised the final goal of the hijackers. There was no reason to just return back to Kuala Lumpur, and at low altitude, just to land. There was a terrorist target in Kuala Lumpur … and Petronas Towers was the most likely target. The pilot quickly crafted an ingenious counter‑plan. He turned the plane not a full 180° but 165° instead. At night, and with a gentle and slow turn, these hijackers would not have noticed the difference. This path would cross the plane over rural land, and for about the amount of time the hijackers would expect, before crossing water. And cross far north of Kuala Lumpur. The hijackers would not know anything had gone wrong until the plane crossed from land‑to‑water without any sighting of Kuala Lumpur.
When the pilot executed a 165° turn instead of a full 180° turn the co-pilot, in silence, recognized his pilot's counter-plan. Then the pilot discreetly initiated a partial dump of the plane's fuel. Aircraft have the ability to dump fuel, in preparation for emergency and/or crash landing. The dump only left a small trail of fuel mist running off the edge of each wing, where the hijackers did not notice, especially at night and being focused on monitoring the cockpit crew. And, being relatively untrained, they did not recognize the lack of full turn or the fuel-dumping from the cockpit instrument panels. The pilot dumped enough fuel so that, when the plane reached the point of crossing over from land-to-water without Kuala Lumpur in sight, there would be insufficient fuel for the plane to reach Kuala Lumpur under any circumstance or scenario. This is the drifted fuel dump spotted by the Vietnamese Air Force the next day.
Thirty minutes later, at 1:52am, the plane crossed from land-to-water near Penang Island. The hijackers then realized something was wrong, that they should have been able to see Kuala Lumpur. The pilot's counter-plan had an answer at-the-ready: The plane must have been a bit off-course and so passed a bit SOUTH of Kuala Lumpur. (The truth was that the plane was actually over 200 miles to the NORTH of Kuala Lumpur.) At this point the hijackers were somewhat confused as to what to do next. The pilot knew they would be. As he had planned at-the-outset, he suggested that the plane be turned northwesterly, to cruise the coastline until sighting Kuala Lumpur. The hijackers had little choice but to agree. The pilot had actually now persuaded the hijackers to allow him to take the plane far out into open water, the Strait of Malacca, away from any kind of target, even Penang Island.
The pilot steered the plane northwesterly toward Waypoint VAMPI, where his path joined Air Route N571, that continued northwesterly. (This is evidence that the pilots were still flying the aircraft, as any hijackers would almost certainly not possess the knowledge or ability to find a Waypoint or an Air Route.) As the plane continued this course, the Strait of Malacca continued to widen out toward the Andaman Sea. The pilot discreetly locked the plane on auto‑pilot, so as to remain steady on Air Route 571. He did that so that, if/when the hijackers attacked and took control of the plane, it would likely fly steady and true until out‑of‑fuel, giving search teams excellent guidance as to where to look for survivors & wreckage.
Somewhere around 2:10am, some twenty minutes had passed since the hijackers allowed the plane to turn northwest. And since then they have seen, through dark of night, a rural coastline continually recede … and have seen that they were now surrounded only by open water in all directions. The hijackers finally realized they had no idea whatsoever where they were. Just as, and just when, the pilot had planned.
They also now realized they had been duped by the pilot. They demanded (under whatever duress they possessed) that he return to Kuala Lumpur … or else. He responded by revealing the plane, by that point, was almost out-of-fuel (just as he had calculated when he dumped according to his plan) and that the only option was to attempt an immediate ditch landing.
Much as the passengers of United Flight 93 did, the pilot of MH370 had realized at‑the‑outset that the lives of his crew and passengers were almost certainly lost, no matter what scenario evolved. In fact, any scenario that offered safe landing also offered the hijackers some kind of target, toward which the hijackers would likely sacrifice the plane & passengers. The pilot's counter-planning … to arrive at this location without any target or fuel … offered the only (and slim) chance the hijackers would yield and allow the plane (to attempt) to safely land.
The hijackers would have none of it, having nothing to gain from safe landing but failure, dishonor and prison. They could not even take the pilot's word that plane was indeed running out of fuel. So they decided it had come time to take control of flight … and make the best of it. They killed the cockpit crew and attempted to fly the plane, having little idea how to fly it, how to navigate it … or even to determine, with any certainty, its true fuel status. In the end, they were unable to even determine how to unlock the plane from auto‑pilot.
(We can reasonably suspect the hijackers took command since the plane stayed on-course. Had the hijackers acquiesced to landing and/or the pilots been in true command, the pilots, after the fuel-reveal, would have likely turned the plane to be as near as possible to landmass, perhaps Pulau Perak, to benefit any possible survivors.)
Auto-pilot remained engaged and on-course until fuel ran out, within about ten-to-fifteen minutes, as scheduled by the pilot. NH370 went nose-down into water somewhere between Waystations MEKAR & NILAM on Air Route N571—exactly as military radar indicated.
The Subsequent Disinformation
The stated aforementioned facts regarding Mohammed and Reza—facts that were mostly established and/or discovered within 48 hours of the disappearance of MH370—were almost immediately dismissed by various authorities—including intelligence agencies—as irrelevant to the incident. And these facts have gone entirely unmentioned by the press or investigators ever since that dismissal, likely even forgotten by most. And, almost simultaneously, the dead-end Iranian ticket‑purchase trail was resolved by an NBC News report (from an un-named source and without any details-of-merit) that Mr. Ali had been found, contacted and was also of no concern. (As if someone buying plane tickets with cash toward false passports is ordinary behavior.)
Meanwhile, the very next day after the disappearance, a British company, Inmarsat, supposedly claimed (privately) that it had analyzed 'handshake-pings' its Indian Ocean satellite had received from MH370 … and that it had already concluded that MH370 had flown either north or south for another six hours after dropping from military radar near Waystation MEKAR, the southern route terminating somewhere over the Southern Indian Ocean, west of Australia.
Inmarsat's explanation regarding the receipt of such handshake-pings was that, though the ACARS system had been turned off, the 'Classic Aero' version of ACARS aboard MH370 also bore a second terminal that operated independently of primary ACARS and could not be switched off while the aircraft still had power. According to Inmarsat, once every hour, that second terminal sent out a handshake‑ping to Inmarsat satellites "to synchronize timing information and keep the connection to the satellite network alive." The handshake-ping was said by Inmersat to include the distance between the sending device and the satellite.
At its website, Inmarsat's Government Division plainly states that it provides communication solutions that "enable decision superiority for the U.S. Intelligence community." Such a source, essentially a government intel operation guised as a private business, would be an excellent and practiced initiator of disinformation.
Five days after disappearance, on March 13, the Wall Street Journal, citing undisclosed American investigators, initiated the public dissemination of disinformation regarding the final location of MH370. It stated that MH370 actually flew for at least six hours after its final radar detection at Waystation MEKAR. The same day, a White House spokesman announced that a new search area would be opened in the Southern Indian Ocean.
On the next day, March 14, more detail was added to the location disinformation. The New York Times reported that Inmarsat received hourly handshake-pings from MH370 for many hours after its final radar detection at Navigational Waystation MEKAR. Immarsat "declined to specify precisely when or how many messages had been received."
The next day, March 15, an Inmarsat team arrived in Malaysia, at the instigation of America and Britain. The New York Times added yet more detail to the location disinformation, reporting that Inmarsat received hourly handshake-pings from MH370 for six hours after its final radar detection at Navigational Waystation MEKAR, and that the final handshake-ping, at 8:11am, may well have come from the Southern Indian Ocean. The NYT article credits The Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia with providing that information. The same day, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak formally announced the equivalent information. Inmarsat claimed it had provided the information to Razak three days earlier.
Two days later, on March 17, the effect of the location disinformation was complete and coordinated. Australia suddenly volunteered to lead the search in the Southern Indian Ocean. Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's Minister of Defense, held a press conference to claim that Malaysia was still the "coordinating authority" of the MH370 investigation & search. Nonetheless, America, Britain & Australia all excluded Malaysia from all other search and investigative activities going forward.
Based solely upon the location disinformation released by Inmarsat—a company that supplies software, hardware & services to Western spy agencies—all searches in all other areas including Waystation MEKAR, were effectively abandoned on that date … just nine days after the disappearance.
Beginning some sixteen months later, in mid-2015, and continuing through mid-2016, eight fragments of MH370 wreckage were discovered, all washed on-shore, almost all near the central east coast of Africa, over 3,000 miles away from the supposed crash site in the Southern Indian Ocean near Australia. Several items were discovered on the shores of very small islands … Pemba, Reunion and Mauritius. The explanation for this anomaly-of-distance has been that the debris was taken into ocean drift, first by the West Australian Current northward, then into the South Equatorial Current westward, on into the eastern African region.
THIS theory posits that the true crash location of MH370, somewhere along Air Route N571 past Waystation MEKAR, had been known to intelligence all along … and that divers provided some physical disinformation, these identifiable scraps of wreckage that were scattered about the eastern African region … to support the argument that the plane had crashed somewhere in the Southern Indian Ocean, west of Australia. And to put the MH370 search effort to bed for good.
To accept the 'drift' argument, one must believe that all this metal debris did not sink on its 3,000-mile journey, that all of it eventually and coincidently washed-up on‑shore—and several times upon the shores of quite minute landmasses. Further, one must accept the coincidence that it washed ashore in locations whereas to be readily discovered. And accept that it all just happened to be, by some amazing coincidence, debris uniquely or essentially identifiable to MH370. One must also ignore the fact that, despite years of intensive search, beginning just days after the disappearance, not a single piece of MH370 debris, not even an item that would easily float, was ever confirmed as being spotted afloat and/or adrift anywhere near the supposed Indian Ocean crash site.
Summary & Conclusion
Acts of terror are only successful if they are perceived as terror by the public. Hence, whenever reasonably feasible, governments & intelligence operations will deny and obscure them. Consider some partial ramification stemming from 9/11. Fear of flying and general uncertainty after 9/11 contributed to a decline in American economy. That decline required the Federal Reserve to inject loose money as stimulus. And that loose money was a major contributor to the evolution of loose lending standards … that in turn led to the worldwide financial meltdown of 2007.
Again, a terrorist aircraft hijacking will be denied and obscured by goverments, if possible. Consider TWA Flight 800 and/or EgyptAir Flight 804.
And terrorists are certainly not going to lay claim to an act of terrorism … that didn't pan out on-plan. Rather, if not silent, they would deny it.
So all authority has written off the disappearance of MH370 as simply a mystery.
But it is not really all that much of a mystery at all.
Two Iranians arrived in Kuala Lumpur on legitimate Iranian passports, waited eight days to board a flight to Bejing under false passports, their tickets obtained out of Iran under unknown & untraceable circumstance. But governments & intelligence organizations immediately & publicly discounted the two as of no consequence, claiming they were known to be attempting to illegally immigrate to Europe under the false documents. Really, now? On a plane bound for Bejing?
Radar has plainly shown where the flight of MH370 ended. But governments immediately & publicly discounted that location, claiming the plane actually crashed thousands of miles away. Claiming that MH370 flew, for no apparent or explainable cause or purpose, thousands of miles across open ocean, just to be crashed near Australia. And that claim is solely based upon the statements of a corporation that is, essentially, a Western intelligence operation.
Such disinformation erodes mystery. Rather, it makes plain that the two Iranians were QUITE relevant indeed … and that governments & intelligence organizations did NOT want the plane's wreckage to be publicly found.
Two Iranian passengers flying on a plane under false alias and untraceable Iranian ticketing … flying on a plane that had all its tracking devices turned off then just vanished from all commercial radar … well, given the world as it is today, such facts make out a failed terrorist hijacking to be a pretty sound conclusion. A conclusion that governments did not want the public to reach.
MH370 will, by design, never be found. By this time, intelligence operations have salvaged most of the wreckage in pieces and have scurried it off to some secure & secret government location. So that MH370, by design, will never be found.
Perhaps the saddest facet of this incident is that the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has been repeatedly held up by various parties as the prime suspect in MH370's disappearance. Claims that he might have chosen to use the plane to commit suicide. (Of course, there's no rational explanation offered as to why he flew it eight hours to nowhere in the Southern Indian Ocean to do so.) Or that the flight simulator on his home computer had a flightpath stored upon it similar to the one taken by MH370. (Likely just more disinformation.)
Sad because what is far more likely is that Shah's actions were actually as heroic as the public could ever expect of a pilot, as heroic as we hold the passengers of United Flight 93. Making the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom and the lives of many others.
But the public will never know. Because MH370, by design, will never be found. And so its true story will never be told.
Some Sources Of The Known & Recognized Information
 Most of this document was authored in or around Summer, 2014, then set aside for later completion. However, I shared this theory with several individuals as early as March 14, 2014. The balance of the work on this document was completed in early September, 2017.