Now the first week of March in 2016 is almost over.
Next week is the second anniversary of MH370’s mysterious
There are still few clues as to what happened to the Boeing
777-200 Malaysian Airlines plane which was suddenly lost
on radar and disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to
Beijing on the 8th of March in 2014 with 239 people on it.
The mystery of the missing plane is still not solved.
And there is very real concern that it will remain unsolved
for a long time.
Many people are very worried and some are very angry that
the truth of what really happened may never be known.
The latest news is that the massive search for wreckage by
sonar scanning devices in an area of 120,000 sq metres in the
Indian Ocean will likely end in about 3 months at a total cost
of over 120 million dollars.
The search has been very difficult because it involved the use
of very special ships and equipment in treacherous waters and
often in very bad weather conditions.
It was reported in January this year that a deep-water sonar
probe “towfish” has been lost after colliding with a volcano
which was under the sea, as it was being towed by a special
ship on the surface of the sea.
The only piece of wreckage which has been confirmed to be
from the plane was a flaperon which was found covered in
barnacles and washed up on Reunion Island in July 2015.
The search area was identified as the most likely area that the
plane would be found in after analysing the available satellite
communications data. The decision which was made to search
in that particular area was based on the assumption and theory
that the pilots were incapacitated and the plane was flying on
autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea.
The latest news is the search experts may have to consider an
alternative theory that the plane could have flown further due
to control inputs into the plane. They also cannot rule out the
possibility of a third person taking over control of the plane!
This is really shocking news because this means that the area
which needs to be searched can be about three times the size
of the area which is now being searched!
With so many unknowns and questions with no good answers,
some people have come out with their very own speculations
on what could what could caused the plane to vanish, as their
imaginations were allowed to work overtime.
Some of these speculations are really wild and are said to be
related to political conspiracy theories, rogue pilots, hijacking
by remote control and even some bizarre stories of abduction
by aliens from outer space!
There is no proof to show that any of the speculations are true.
We should not just speculate wildly and must be careful that
we do not hurt the feelings of people.
There is no intention here to speculate further or offend any
person or jump to wrong conclusions.
Some relatives of the missing people are very unhappy at the
way the investigations are being conducted and they are now
accusing the authorities of cover up and not revealing all the
relevant and important information.
Some suits have been filed against the airline and authorities
for breach of service contract and negligence, in attempts to
find out the whole truth behind the mysterious disappearance
of the plane and all the people on it. We will have to wait to
see what will happen in the courts.
Many people now cannot wait to know what the next step in
the investigations will be if the planned present search is still
not able to find where the plane is.
Now is perhaps a good time to consider what is the ideal way
of searching and determine what needs to be done to achieve
that in the future so that it is possible to quickly find what we
are looking for at the bottom of oceans.
We already have a “space race” where many countries have
spent a lot of money and time on extensive research to send
rockets and people into space to explore other planets.
Perhaps it is a good time now to start a “sea race” for many
countries to come together, combine their resources in order
to explore how to be able to easily and quickly search in the
deep seas and see what is on the ocean floor?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if in future when we want to search
for something on the ocean floor, it will just be like a “walk in
the park” and not like “searching for a needle in a haystack”
which is what is happening now?
What is the ideal search method?
Perhaps, the ideal scenario will involve using an army of very
mobile remote controlled submersibles which are as small as
suitcases or footballs without any attached cables to restrict
their movements. They should be able to move very quickly
and also be able to illuminate the ocean depths to see what is
on the ocean floor by just hovering over it. They must also be
equipped with sonar devices, cameras, strobe lights as well as
powerful batteries to enable them to stay submerged in deep
waters for long time periods. to quickly search vast areas and
constantly transmit clear visual images and data of locations
to be analysed by experts on ships at the surface or on land.
If you are thinking this is all too far fetched and is still science
fiction, there are ROVs or remote operated vehicles which are
capable of doing most of the tasks above and which are used
mainly in the oil and gas industry.
However, the main problem is these ROVs have to be attached
to cables. They cannot move about freely which makes it very
difficult to use them to search large areas.
But now as more vast areas may need to be searched, some
questions come up…
Despite their limited mobility, is it possible or feasible to use
ROVs together with the much larger AUVs or autonomous
underwater vehicles which are now being used in order to
speed up the search process?
Can the ROVs be deployed at one end of the vast search area
while the AUVs are used at the other end so that they cannot
run into each other and also in order to avoid depending on
the AUVs alone to do the job?
Will costs and logistics problems rule out these alternatives?
These questions can be best answered by the experts who can
help to explain to the public how they decide on what search
methods they want to use.
Some people have still not given up hope that those who are
missing are alive somewhere and will come back someday.
Anything is possible…
Some people say that the only small piece of flaperon which
has been found so far could have been planted… and there is
still no strong proof to show that the plane has crashed.
These people and many other people do not believe that the
plane has fallen into the ocean and they are still hoping that
the passengers and crew will return safely soon.
Some people say that the missing passengers and crew of the
plane are being held against their will at an unknown location
for unknown reasons and they can return someday.
Let’s hope this short and simple verse can lift our spirits and
can help us not to give up hope of seeing very soon a safe
return of all on board MH370.
This was created when the plane vanished about two years
ago but can perhaps still be relevant now…
MH370 where are you?
Hope you come back safely soon with all the passengers and crew.
Not now speculating on why you disappear,
Only trying to look at all angles.
If you have landed some-where safely,
please contact us so that we can reach you quickly.
If you have been taken by some force, may the force give us a sign
and tell us why.
If you have been hidden from us all this while,
may you reappear to make us all smile.
If you are waiting for a good time to come back to us,
please give us some clue where you are first.
MH370 please come out of your cocoon
and return safely soon.
Please show us in our search plans where and how to tweak
so that we can end this expensive”game of hide and seek”.
MH370, many families and friends and many people all over the world
are waiting for your quick and safe return.
Come back soon for us all to have a happy reunion.