back to article MH370 search ends – probably – without finding missing 777

Further efforts to find MH370, the Malaysian airlines Boeing 777 missing since March 2014, have again failed to find the plane. Oliver Plunkett, the CEO of Ocean Infinity, a company conducting a no-find-no-fee search on behalf of the Malaysian government, on Tuesday said the search will shortly end without having found the …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    A sad end to a terrible event

    I feel sorry for the families who will likely never have proper closure on this horrific event.

    Anyone who thinks that someone else has to die for a plan to be successful should go back and re-evaluate the plan.

    Some things are worth dying for. Nothing is worth killing for.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: A sad end to a terrible event

      I'm not really sure why the pilot gets all the flack. He's been declared both a possible terrorist, and as a possible manic depressive mass murdering monster who wanted to take hundreds with him on an elaborate suicide attempt on the basis of owning a computer and having a flight sim installed. Oh, and randomly flying around in that flight sim, as if that's not the entire point and purpose of a flight sim.

      Hands up, who has ever flown a flight sim until you've run out of fuel without worrying about landing it because it's a sim and who the fuck cares? Yeah? Me too. It's not evidence he is a murderer. Christ knows how many thousands of simulated aircraft i've ripped the wings/landing gear/etc off of over the decades.

      Notably, there are three other very, very obvious factors.

      1) The plane may have been defective. The vendor would be delighted to blame the pilot to continue making billions from selling their aircraft.

      2) The maintance might have been substandard, in which case the operator might be quite delighted to get away with blaming the pilot to avoid fines, and all of their potential customers running away screaming.

      3) The plane was carrying 5400 pounds worth of lithium batteries, from whom the shipper is not likely to admit that they broke safety rules in the way they were shipped and who would be delighted to blame... yeah, you get the picture.

      Ok, imagine that on a routine flight that you have a fierce lithium fire from 5,400 pounds worth of lithium batteries that are onboard. The attendants realise and try and fight it with the onboard extinguishers, and fail as they are driven back by toxic choking smoke that spreads to the passangers.

      They report this to the pilot, who realises that he has a fire burning holes through his plane and choking passangers. Come up with a solution to that in a few seconds. Deploying the oxygen masks and climbing to an altitude where that might starve the fire of oxygen sounds reasonable to me, as does turning around and heading roughly towards home.

      Pilots are taught the axiom “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” teaches pilots to fly the airplane first, then navigate, and once the situation is under control, communicate.

      Pilot is focused on dealing with the situation for mere minutes, and the fire burns through something important and he loses most of the electronics. He doesn't get a chance to communicate via radio before it stops working, everybody suffocates (or passanger oxygen being depleted within a few minutes he dives back to an altitude with air and everybody chokes on the smoke from the fire) and the plane gets recovered by the autopilot avoiding a crash and then flies on autopilot and crashes who knows where.

      There is more evidence that the pilot was a comitted professional stuck in an impossible situation than that he was a murderer and personally I think it's a bit unfair to assume that he is one.

      It's a possible theory, but no more than that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A sad end to a terrible event

        "I'm not really sure why the pilot gets all the flack."

        There are two main reasons why the pilot is most likely to be blamed, if no clear cause can be established, depending upon where the 'flack' is coming from.

        Blaming the pilot is in the interests of both the aircraft manufacturers and the airline companies because it means they don't have to lose money by grounding and modifying aircraft, paying fines and ruining their reputation.

        Blaming the pilot is also in the interests of the media, simply because the idea of a pilot deliberately downing their own aircraft is far more salacious, and will sell more advertising space, than any of the other options.

        All of the scenarios so far mooted seem to have serious flaws and I don't think that any credible conclusion can really be made, even on a 'balance of probabilities' basis, without more information/evidence.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A sad end to a terrible event

        Peter2: "Notably, there are three other very, very obvious factors...1) The plane may have been defective. The vendor would be delighted to blame the pilot to continue making billions from selling their aircraft."

        Actually they wouldn't. If its a defect they really, really want to know ASAP, because others of the same type will start going down if it remains unfixed, and it becomes undeniably obvious. And then the reputational damage, the fines and damages, regulatory intervention, likelihood of imprisonment for those choosing to cover up, and the total loss of trust in the company concerned? No. Car makers sometimes think like that, plane makers don't.

        Aviation manufacturers ALWAYS want to find out if their product is at fault, so they can fix it.

      3. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: A sad end to a terrible event

        They report this to the pilot, who realises that he has a fire burning holes through his plane and choking passangers. Come up with a solution to that in a few seconds. Deploying the oxygen masks and climbing to an altitude where that might starve the fire of oxygen sounds reasonable to me, as does turning around and heading roughly towards home.

        Or perhaps diving into the ocean to douse the flames.

        Maybe not as likely as your scenarios, but if we're speculating in the absence of any evidence...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A sad end to a terrible event

        Some aviation enthusiasts are probably thinking back to EgyptAir 990, sure not quite the same as we know where that 767 is but still.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    You can't find something that someone didn't want found.

    1. Rob D. Bronze badge
      Black Helicopters

      Don't go looking where they don't want you to look

      I wish - my daughter didn't want me to find her secret stash of chocolate biscuits but I did.

      Only she hadn't hidden the biscuits at all. A secret alliance between the Americans and Chinese had designated me a threat to their plans for world domination. Highly-trained operatives must have planted the biscuits and brainwashed my daughter into thinking they were hers, but the biscuits were impregnated with nano-machines which will cause my head to explode if I don't eat enough broccoli.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Don't go looking where they don't want you to look

        "Only she hadn't hidden the biscuits at all. A secret alliance between the Americans and Chinese had designated me a threat to their plans for world domination. Highly-trained operatives must have planted the biscuits and brainwashed my daughter into thinking they were hers, but the biscuits were impregnated with nano-machines which will cause my head to explode if I don't eat enough broccoli.

        I was on about the pilot?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't go looking where they don't want you to look

          See my anon post below; from bitter experience on boards like these and social media, most of us now instantly assumed you were referencing some madcap conspiracy theory rather than the pilot's murderous/suicidal impulses. As it happens I agree with you that he probably didn't want to be found, at least until he'd crashed the plane and it was too late.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      'You can't find something that someone didn't want found.'

      Anti Submarine Warfare is literally all about doing that.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      "You can't find something that someone didn't want found."

      You've clearly never played hide and seek have you?

  3. tfb Silver badge
    Alien

    The saddest thing

    One of the most horrible things about this is that the people who may now never know exactly where in the sea their family and friends ended up will have to put up with another group of people for whom their real grief is far less important than pushing some stupid conspiracy -- 'it was flown to the MOON by elite climate scientists' or some such idiocy. And those conspiracies may now never end: the first inkling of one has already appeared in these comments.

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: The saddest thing

      As much as I agree with your sentiments; everyone knows it went off course to pick up Lord Lucan and Shergar, on their way to ET's green Planet.

      BTW, there were some very shady people on board that flight, so dont dismiss ALL of the conspiracy theories; some people may well not want the aircraft found.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The saddest thing

        It's possible, just possible, that wolfetone meant that the pilot, working on his own in some murder-suicide plot didn't want the plane found but sadly, with this being the internet, common sense takes over and most of us naturally assume he's pushing some bonkers conspiracy agenda. Happy 21st century.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The saddest thing

        "there were some very shady people on board that flight"

        There are shady people on most flights. Put 300 in a single tin sausage and one or 2 will turn out to be.

        I still subscribe to the theory that the pilots turned back due to some major problem such as a fire (it made a beeline for the longest runway in the area) but were overcome by smoke not long after that, before they could restore avionics power and make a call (or the avionics was burnt out). Cockpit and cabin oxygen only lasts a few minutes at most and if the cockpit oxygen system caught fire (it's happened on the ground) then it's game over.

        MAS was in incredibly bad shape at the time and had a series of safety incidents on aircraft in the months leading up to the disaster and some extremely serious safety shit go down in the heavy maintenance area (major fire caused by a cigarette in a bin in a no-smoking area which destroyed a hell of a lot of documentation)

        Most crash investigations find a long chain of events which culminate in the crash. I think this was just one of those perfect storm scenarios.

  4. Elledan

    Silver lining

    Despite the tragic loss of an entire airplane along with its passengers and crew, MH370 has reignited a number of discussions about how to deal with possible future crashes like these, where airplanes are lost in uninhabited, hard to reach areas, or - like in this case - in the middle of an ocean.

    What will come out of this is hard to say, but it may be that airplanes will in the future be tracked live by satellites, or we will have better recovery methods. Having much improved maps of large parts of the Pacific Ocean courtesy of a few years of detailed scans cannot hurt either.

    We saw previously with AF447 (lost over the Atlantic Ocean) how complicated recovery can be, even if the location of the airplane is roughly known. That search took two years (2009 - 2011), in a relatively well-defined search area, carried out by a number of search and recovery missions.

    As AF447 was following (more or less) its schedule flight path, it was fairly easy to deduce the rough location of the crash. As MH370 shows, with massive uncertainty about the actual flight path we are left to make educated guesses based on washed-up wreckage and ocean currents.

    We will have to see what is deemed realistic in terms of technological options and available budget in the (cut-throat) passenger airline industry to prevent another MH370 mystery. Beyond that we will have to see when MH370's remains will be found. Hopefully before its FDR and CVR black boxes have to be written off completely.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Silver lining

      'What will come out of this is hard to say, but it may be that airplanes will in the future be tracked live by satellites, or we will have better recovery methods.'

      Already started, I believe it's the new Iridium satellites that have ADS-B receivers allowing them to track airliners pretty much anywhere.

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Silver lining

      We will have to see what is deemed realistic in terms of technological options and available budget in the (cut-throat) passenger airline industry to prevent another MH370 mystery. Beyond that we will have to see when MH370's remains will be found. Hopefully before its FDR and CVR black boxes have to be written off completely.

      We won't 'have to see'. :-)

      We *already* see what is deemed realistic. New Iridium satellites being hoisted aloft are hosting Aireon payloads that will provide very good ADS-B coverage across *all* regions of the planet (not just where most maritime/aviation traffic is) with this coverage being exposed through sites like Flightradar24, Airbus has designed ejectable black boxes that are now (or soon) being fitted to their smaller jets, and airlines are fitting and subscribing to data tracking services from SITAonair, Gogo, and Inmarsat. More is happening that we don't know about until the PR hits the trade news.

      However, whether older jets (like the vast numbers of B737/47/57/67/77s, and A300/10/20/30/40s plying the skies today) will be retrofitted is another question... It will be great (and a long-awaited closure) for the families to find the MH370 wreckage. No doubt more will be washed up somewhere at some point...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Silver lining

        The question is whether this is a good spend on a "plane missing over the ocean" event that happens once in a generation. Could you spend 1% of that on say improving road safety and save a lot more lives?

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Silver lining

          The fact that the industry and ICAO have made this happen is enough proof that this considered a good spend. With longer and more direct flights (like DOH-AKL, LHR-PER, SIN-JFK, MEL-DFW) over vast previously not-particularly-well-tracked oceans, it's a necessity and peace of mind for not only the passengers but the operators as well.

          There won't be 'drop-outs' anymore like there tend to be across Africa and the southern parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans (it's "fun" when the Air New Zealand flight from Buenos Aires to Auckland 'disappears' from tracked space for 8+ hours, or the Qantas Perth to Johannesburg flight)...

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Silver lining

          "The question is whether this is a good spend on a "plane missing over the ocean" event that happens once in a generation. Could you spend 1% of that on say improving road safety and save a lot more lives?"

          I've heard it said that the cost of mapping the entire oceans/ocean floor to the sort of levels we already of the Moon and Mars is in the order of many $billions

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Silver lining

            More a question of fitting satelite beacons puts up airline tickets by X% causing Y% more people to drive cause Z% more road accidents.

            I think somebody worked out that wishing to avoid TSA "security" and a new fear of flying led to an increase in driving which would have killed more people than 9/11 if it continued for a decade.

            The reduction in rail services following Hatfield (in the UK) probably killed more people than the incident.

    3. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: Silver lining

      "Having much improved maps of large parts of the Pacific Ocean courtesy of a few years of detailed scans cannot hurt either."

      Indian Ocean, but otherwise I fully agree.

      1. Elledan
        Coat

        Re: Silver lining

        If I had been on the MH370 recovery mission, I would have looked on the map beforehand, I promise :)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silver lining

      "We saw previously with AF447 (lost over the Atlantic Ocean) how complicated recovery can be, even if the location of the airplane is roughly known. That search took two years (2009 - 2011), in a relatively well-defined search area, carried out by a number of search and recovery missions."

      Also reference Titanic. Missing from 1912 until 1985.

  5. RobertLongshaft

    The flight was tracked "live" by 2 transponders which were deliberately turned off.

    There was no mayday, no reported malfunction.

    The plane did not hit the ocean, the debris field would have been massive and identifiable chunks of the flight would have washed up on beeches around the world. Everything on a plane is designed to float.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pensions

      Ignorant, stupid, or troll? You're like a terrible version of shag, marry, avoid.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      I'm wondering how much more horse manure you can fit in one post, to be honest.

      It's tracked by air traffic control only within international boundaries.

      Its engines etc. talked home over the course of the flight, but not for people to find the plane with (that's generally not an issue).

      "Transponders"... such as? What? You think 100% live, 24/7 GPS-tracking is on every plane on the planet all feeding back to every airline? I'm sorry to say, you're wrong. Or else people may have noticed a few planes going off flight-plan very much sooner. And if they were turned off? Well, the pilot deviated course and the plane crashed, that much we know for sure. So what if they were?

      Apply same to mayday/malfunction. We already had one pilot recorded driving a similar plane into a mountain because he was having a bad time.

      And then you get into the real manure:

      "The plane did not hit the ocean"? What did it do, levitate?

      Debris field of a plane is INSIGNIFICANT. Thousands of square miles of ocean.

      Chunks DID wash up on beaches.

      Planes float? Really? Tell the Hudson River guy that, they were pretty keen to get out of it. It also contains hundreds of tons of steel. They don't float. They aren't designed to float. They're designed to not come down on water at all, certainly not at speed or force or deliberately.

      Your kind of reasoning is exactly what wastes SO MUCH time in people's lives - either dealing with explaining this kind of manure, propagating it into the public mindset, or literally just making people sigh with exasperation.

      1. Overflowing Stack

        We all know that this was caused by...

        A shark with a laser strapped to its head.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "It's tracked by air traffic control only within international boundaries."

        Not even that much, it's tracked only within range of secondary radar systems. There are plenty of areas over land inside national boundaries which don't have cover, let alone 2-300km out to sea.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Chunks DID wash up on beaches."

        I think the OP was claiming bits ended up in trees ("beeches") :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Everything on a plane is designed to float.

      This is what happens to a big plane when it hits water

      Also just how much of Air France Flight 447 did they find floating ? You may wish to read this excellent article to educate yourself just what happens when a very large aircraft at high speed hits the mid ocean and not on the beach, you find a very wide sunken debris field:

      http://avherald.com/h?article=41a81ef1/0037

    4. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      ...identifiable chunks of the flight would have washed up on beeches around the world. Everything on a plane is designed to float....

      1 - Some bits were washed up on beaches

      2 - How do you design a jet engine to float? Everything on a plane is designed to be light, but that's not the same thing as floating...

      1. Overflowing Stack

        How do you design a jet engine to float?

        Have you actually ever got a jet engine on a set of scales and compared it with a duck to see if they weigh the same and therefore float?

        1. 's water music Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: How do you design a jet engine to float?

          Have you actually ever got a jet engine on a set of scales and compared it with a duck to see if they weigh the same and therefore float?

          So is it the engine or the duck that is a witch?

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "2 - How do you design a jet engine to float? Everything on a plane is designed to be light, but that's not the same thing as floating..."

        Whcih brings up the point that you're not looking for a plane on the ocean floor so much as 2 jet engines and a debris field. The engines will have snapped off when it hit the water, and finding "bits" is a good indication the rest isn't particularly intact.

        So at best, you're looking for about 150 tons of non-ferrous metal on a vast ocean floor, not 30,000 tones of iron. That makes magnetic anomaly detection pretty hard, when the largest single lumps are a pair of 8-10 ton masses of aluminium and titanium.

    5. Overflowing Stack

      Everything on a plane is designed to float.

      Especially the engines, it's why the fan blades are hollow!

      On a different note about float...

      I did a floater on a plane once.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Everything on a plane is designed to float.

        I did a floater on a plane once.

        I call foul!

        All the aircraft shitters I've had the misfortune to be in have had a stainless steel bowl with a stainless flap and no free water surface, cleared by a combination of a partly pressurised air + minimal water flush. How can you claim it was a floater when it's just sitting on the otherwise dry steel, glaring at you?

        1. Overflowing Stack

          Re: Everything on a plane is designed to float.

          Ahhh, well, you see... it was a special toilet made by Andre Geim. When I said floating it was more 'levitating'.

    6. Overflowing Stack

      Live Transponders

      "The flight was tracked "live" by 2 transponders which were deliberately turned off."

      They weren't turned off, they are actually still broadcasting. If you tune in to the first one using a 405 line set you can see "Singer Presents...ELVIS (68 comeback special)" on a loop.

      If you tune into the other transponder using a squarial you'll see an episode of "Up Yer News" from 1990 with Armando Iannucci playing Jack Ruby outside the Dallas Municipal Building.

    7. Mark 85 Silver badge

      In what universe does sheet metal float? Or aluminum spars? Yes, metal can float if it's shaped to contain something lighter than water and the integrity of the seal isn't damaged. By your thinking, no ship (wood or metal) should ever have sunk.

    8. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "The flight was tracked "live" by 2 transponders which were deliberately turned off."

      Turning everything off is SOP in the event of a fire that you can't trace, then turn things back on one at a time until you do.

      "There was no mayday, no reported malfunction."

      Aviate, navigate, communicate.

      "The plane did not hit the ocean, the debris field would have been massive and identifiable chunks of the flight would have washed up on beeches around the world. Everything on a plane is designed to float."

      By the time anyone thought to look in the Indian ocean any debris field would have dispersed. Most things sink and when Swissair 111 went down off St Johns there wasn't much left larger than 10cm across. Would you recognise a 1cm lump of seat foam for part of an aircraft?

      No matter how much people WANT this to be a conspiracy theory the reality is that the number of people needing to be involved across the number of governments needing to be involved would make keeping it secret virtually impossible. Sooner or later someone would blab.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Meh

    Someone probably knows where it is/was

    someone probably knows where the plane (or it's beeper) is or was, but isn't telling because it might reveal classified capabilities of (let's say) Navy sonar equipment.

    And saying "search here" just wasn't enough.

    Well the Titanic was found after almost 100 years. So eventually, this too will be found. There will always be at least SOME interest in solving this mystery.

    1. Laura Kerr

      Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

      "Well the Titanic was found after almost 100 years."

      True, but that Titanic's position was known. And it's a lot bigger than a 777. If MH370 broke up on impact, the wreckage may sink into the silt and stay there until the oceans run dry.

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

      The ocean is big. Really, really big.

      Use Occams razor here. Either it's a huge military coverup which can't reveal data because it might show super secret capabilities, or no-one knows.

      Given the number of ways nation state security services could leak information from the blunt 'we were just reviewing some spy satellite/meteorological data data from that day, and we found a plane!' to the more covert such as engineering a way for someone to be in the area and scanning for a plane, it's just not tenable that this is a conspiracy.

      If they had some amazing sonar that knew within five minutes that the plane had crashed then yes, maybe keep quiet, but now? It's so long since the crash I can't imagine this revealing any intelligence capabilities of note.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

        "If they had some amazing sonar that knew within five minutes that the plane had crashed then yes, maybe keep quiet, but now? It's so long since the crash I can't imagine this revealing any intelligence capabilities of note."

        I agree with much of what you said, but must pull you on this. No intelligence advantage is ever admitted to unless it's been comprehensively leaked out or you have something better and you know the enemy already have something as good as your older stuff. And even then, you never admit to where/when/how if you can help it. And 3-4 years is nothing in terms of active, in-use military hardware, especially in the intel gathering circles. Having said that, as you and others intimated, there are ways and means of "leaking" intel without attributing sources or capabilities in many cases.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

      it might reveal classified capabilities of (let's say) Navy sonar equipment.

      There IS equipment in the remote parts of the South Atlantic, South Indian ocean, South Pacific and around the Antarctic. It was put there after the Vela Incident. Data from that equipment is regularly donated to search and rescue as was the case with the recent Argentinian submarine incident.

      While its exact locations are classified, the fact that it is there is not.

      So if there was anything loud enough for it to be picked up, it would have been used. Doubly so considering that some of it is operated by Australia.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

      Bob, a boffin colleague made just that comment in the weeks following the loss of MH370. He commented that none of the military in the area wanted to admit how good (or bad) their particular kit is/was at tracking aircraft. They also didn't want to admit that just maybe the staff who were supposedly tracking all these potentially hostile targets just maybe were actually asleep at the wheel and therefore didn't notice anything at the time anyway.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

        ' They also didn't want to admit that just maybe the staff who were supposedly tracking all these potentially hostile targets just maybe were actually asleep at the wheel and therefore didn't notice anything at the time anyway.'

        Surprisingly few people are looking for hostile targets flying across the Indian Ocean, on account of there being nothing there to be hostile to. If they find it in the middle of the GAFA, that would be embarrassing, but as it doesn't appear to have even got within radar range of Australia's west coast how are they supposed to have tracked it?

        1. rjmx

          Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

          "If they find it in the middle of the GAFA"

          :-)

    5. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

      Plus all the military equipment is designed to detect things like ships, and submarines, not to detect the transitory impact of an aircraft.

      Chances are that even if it was picked up, the sound of the impact was (automatically) discarded as being noise, and clearly not a sub/ship/etc.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Someone probably knows where it is/was

      "Well the Titanic was found after almost 100 years."

      It was never really lost it that respect. It's approximate location was well known. But it took a while for the technology to develop enough to actually go look.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    This will end up as one of life's eternal mysteries but has a really simple explanation that we'll never know but that won't deter the David Icke type crackpots coming up with the most ridiculous conspiracy theories to either further a career pandering to the stark staring mad or just to prove they are stark staring mad.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "This will end up as one of life's eternal mysteries but has a really simple explanation that we'll never know but that won't deter the David Icke type crackpots coming up with the most ridiculous conspiracy theories to either further a career pandering to the stark staring mad or just to prove they are stark staring mad."

      You mean you've never heard of the Malaysian Triangle? Don't worry, all shall be revealed in my forthcoming book :-)

  9. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Why is it always...

    ...in the last place that you look?

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Why is it always...

      ...Because people generally don't keep looking for something once they've found it.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Why is it always...

        Oh.

        I didn't think of that.....

    2. Overflowing Stack

      Re: Why is it always...

      Are you saying MH370 is down the back of someone's sofa?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Why is it always...

        "Are you saying MH370 is down the back of someone's sofa?"

        Bob Calvert beat you to that punch line.

        Catch a falling Starfighter

        put it in the pocket of your jeans

        you can use it as a cigarette lighter

        or as an opener for a can of beans.

    3. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Why is it always...

      My own observation and experience, (and advancing years?), is that the best way to find something is to stop looking. Then usually, its the very next thing you see.

      Admittedly, i don't go in the sea that often let alone an ocean.

  10. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Science everyone, science

    When you're faced with a problem to which you don't know the answer you use scientific method until you do. You don't arbitrarily and angrily rule out hypotheses calling the proposers of said hypothesis crackpots, idiots, etc.

    Anyone who disagrees might like to check out the abuse to which Edward Jenner was subjected when he published his theory of a cure for smallpox (and later proved right.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Science everyone, science

      When you're faced with a problem to which you don't know the answer you use scientific method until you do. You don't arbitrarily and angrily rule out hypotheses calling the proposers of said hypothesis crackpots, idiots, etc.

      Actually you do. Not every crazy idea is a valid scientific hypothesis, and it is a perfectly scientifically valid, and indeed essential, part of the process to sort out the valid, testable hypotheses from the untestable crackpottery, and summarily discard the latter.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Galileo defence

    They called Galileo crazy, and he was proven right; they call me crazy, therefore I must be right!

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: The Galileo defence

      Actually, they didn't call Galileo 'crazy'.

      They called him a heretic. because, according to the Medieval world theory, God and Heaven was all around us in the high heavens, shining in all His glory, and the angels were slightly below him, circling with the stars, and the Earth sat in a low pit in the middle - a dung-heap rejected from Paradise.

      Saying that the Sun was at the centre of the Solar System was equivalent to saying that God lived in a dung-heap, theologically.

      Which explains why he came to the attention of the authorities...

      /pedant

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The Galileo defence

        They didn't even laugh at him for the heliocentric theory.

        They laughed at him because he was funded by political faction X and faction Y managed to convince the pope that the book was a personal attack on the pope.

        It was like Richard Dawkins writing a book about evolution where a wise black man tries to explain it to an orange haired idiot who thinks dinosaurs live in Canada - and then being surprised when it isn't on the White House christmas present list.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: The Galileo defence

      "They laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

    3. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: The Galileo defence

      They laughed at Galileo. The laughed at Newton. They laughed at Einstein.

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      They also laughed at Koko the Klown.

  12. adam payne Silver badge

    MH370 is one of those mysteries that probably won't be solved anytime soon given the fact they don't really know where it came down and the size of the ocean.

    It's very sad for the families and friends that want closure.

  13. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    It will get found.

    Technology will advance to the point where it will be a simple job, at which point someone will probably find it in pursuit of a hobby.

    We already have people sailing autonomous model boats across the Pacific - http://www.seacharger.com/ - and people making underwater gliders - http://oceanleadership.org/deep-sea-glider/

    Give it 20 years and model hobbyists will easily be able to examine every inch of the seabed. Unless, of course, the new drone laws stop them...

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: It will get found.

      I think you overestimate the ability of technology to scan ridiculous amounts of square miles of remote ocean and the ability of hobbyists to achieve enough scale and attention span to produce meaningful results.

      Its more likely to be found in some rush for deep sea resources, like oil or to dig up something up that are running low in more accessible regions.

      Either that or during the filming of Blue Planet 3.

  14. Lee D Silver badge

    Titanic wasn't found for 73 years, and they pretty much knew where it had gone down, it places distress calls, there were survivors and those survivors were rescued quite quickly by other ships.

    And that was found in the 80's, so not a million years ago, and they had subs, cameras, trawlers, positioning systems, sonar, etc. and it still took MANY expeditions to find it.

    People vastly underestimate the size of the ocean.

    Greater London is 600 square miles.

    "An analysis of possible flight paths [for MH370] was conducted, identifying a 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) primary search-area"

    They've since done about 3-4 times that search area.

    You are looking for a single plane inside something the size of 38 Greater London's (just for the initial search), and several kilometres deep. With almost zero line of sight (on land, you can just look... in the sea, you can barely see a few meters through the water).

    You could lose several dozen such planes under your average B&Q warehouse if it got covered by sand, debris, etc.

    1. Overflowing Stack

      "You could lose several dozen such planes under your average B&Q warehouse if it got covered by sand, debris, etc."

      I lost my car in the car park once at B&Q. Have they checked there for MH370?

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        I doubt the local miscreants would have smashed the window and hotwired a Boeing, but that's probably more likely the fate of a car left in B&Q.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I lost my car in the car park once at B&Q."

        I lost a hire car in the car park at Seaworld in Florida. Unfortunately, I got the same damn metallic beige Kia Sorrento back again eventually.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Look how long it took to find Richard III.

          1. Overflowing Stack

            They didn't find him, it was a cover-up. He was actually the pilot of MH370, so good luck finding him!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vance's book has recently been published

    Methinks this settles the matter. (You should also look at the Ozzie 60 Minutes show.)

  16. oldfartuk

    They will never find it in the ocean Google the CIA's "Operation Northwood"

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