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Vanished Flight 777 News & Updates       17 Jul 2014


MH17 Over Ukraine. Today came the horrifying news that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 went down in Ukraine on a routine passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. As of today, investigators in the West are saying they have evidence it may have been shot down by a Russian-made Buk anti-aircraft missile battery, probably by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. The Buk is a sophisticated, mobile launcher system, not shoulder-fired, requiring multiple highly trained military technicians to operate. Indications at this time appear to be that this was equipment supplied to the separatists by Vladimir Putin's nationalist Russian government. The incident will be a game changer in that it exposes the raw nerves of Putin's expansionist strategy, and it will test EU's and NATO's resolve.

Any Connection with MH370? At this point, there is a haunting synchronicity among three Triple Seven disasters in the past few months. Asiana, MH370, and now MH17 were all Boeing 777 aircraft (with a strong safety record) owned by Asian airlines. In the case of Asiana, which crashed at San Francisco earlier this year, it has been strongly suggested that pilot error played a key role. In my opinion, while the jury is still out on MH370, I give it a 50/50 accident or terrorism (Drink or Brink). With MH17, it appears to be a tragic accident of war (why did civilian airlines continue to fly in air space over Ukraine that had already been subject to one shoot-down in the past few weeks?). At this point, today, there is no indication that there is a direct linkage among these three disasters.

Brainstorming. At this moment, it seems to be the consensus that the MH17 tragedy was a miscalculation by Putin's henchmen inside Ukraine, rather than a deeper conspiracy. At least one or two possibilities occurred to me before this became clear, and I mention them here only in the spirit of showing that one must think outside the box. What if MH17 was a revenge for MH370, in that (pure hypothesis) perhaps a disgruntled Chinese-ethnic technician in the Netherlands rigged something simple like a wire to create a short circuit and bring down MH17 with Malaysians on board (a scenario out of a sick mind, to be sure; which we already know now was likely not the case). If MH17 had been an accident, could that reinforce the notion that something had gone technically wrong with MH370—a theory now shot down as well. As in my thought experiment in Vanished Flight 777, one really has to think outside the box and consider all possible motives. My own conclusion at this point is that, despite the strange synchronicities, the three incidents (Asiana, MH370, MH11) are not directly related.

Conspiracy Theory (A Faint Maybe). Considering the coincidence of three 777s involved in these back to back catastrophes, one dark possibility briefly crossed my mind. Given the world-class rivalry between Airbus and Boeing (maker of the 777), is it possible that some rogue element (subcontractors?) of the multi-billion dollar Airbus industry created a series of sabotage incidents to bring the excellent safety record of the Boeing 777 into question? Recently, an Emirates government canceled a huge order for Airbus planes (perhaps replacing them with a more advanced Airbus model), which shows the volatility and high stakes of this game. I am by nature too cautious to easily believe a plot in the 777 series of disasters, but I make the same point as with the MH370 vanishing: we must open our thinking to all possibilities, even the unthinkable.

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Copyright © 2014 by John T. Cullen. All Rights Reserved.

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JOHN T. CULLEN'S LATEST THRILLER:

What really happened to the missing Malaysian airliner, Flight MH370? The author has written a delicious thriller that also works as a thought experiment. What if the plane did not fall into the sea? What if terrorists hijacked it, are now weaponizing it, and will soon unleash the most horrific attack since 9/11? Join us in thinking through the possibilities in hope of averting a catastrophe. The author is a military veteran and scholar—no crackpot ideas, just terrifying calculations you won't want to miss.

WHERE TO VIEW and/or BUY THIS BOOK:

Kindle e-Books Edition: Vanished Flight 777 by John T. Cullen (ISBN 9780743316446).

Print Edition: Order from any bookstore or major online retailer—e.g., Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Print ISBN=9780743316422.