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Lemma 3: Hijack

Lemma 1   Lemma 2   Lemma 3

Hijack: Possible Scenario Must Not Be Overlooked. My novel, as I have said, is an entertainment and a thought experiment, which is a time-honored intellectual exercise practiced by the likes of Albert Einstein and a long list of history's top thinkers. It has nothing to do with wild conspiracy theories. There are legitimate, unavoidable obligations to consider the Hijack Lemma in this case and any others. We must avoid another 9/11 (and worse), essentially by seeing the aircraft weaponized with dirty bomb material or hundreds of tons of high explosives and dropped on a cultural target of great significance in the U.S. or Europe.

I have taken the Third Lemma (Hijack) and exercise just one possible scenario of many possibilities in that category alone. Let's have the intellectual courage to pursue all three legs of this discussion to the bitter end. Better to do so now, rather than forever live with the devastation of another calamity like 9/11.

Why Avoid Lemma 3? I've noticed that many talking heads seem to avoid the discussion altogether—presumably for fear of being lumped in with conspiracy cranks. I can only suspect that talking heads fear the stigma of conspiracy theories, so they appear to throw out the baby with the bath water.

Consider: The horrific attacks of 9/11 will go down in history as some of the most brilliant and diabolically conceived attacks ever. The master minds of such plots can and will strike again, as I will argue on this website. Yes, a few opportunists rose to the occasion and dashed off quick, glib thrillers involving the usual bogies: the hated U.S. Government (a U.S. staple of conspiracy loonies), the Vatican (what else?), and let's not forget Martians, in equal precedence. Talking heads need to overcome their fears and face the realities of history and our times squarely, or we can and will be blind-sided again as we were on 9/11 and other attacks. The one I fear will be far more horrifying, and the enemy of civilization with gloat all the more. So let's get with it, talking heads. There are three lemmas here, not two.

I'd like to also mention two key sticking points here that have been glibly dismissed by regional bureaucrats who appear to have been protecting their vulnerabilities: (a) credible Maldivian observers who say they saw the plane fly by, identifying its exact markings; and (b) the two Iranians traveling on stolen European passports, whose flight was booked (strangely) out of Bangkok, off the itinerary, by an unidentified Iranian (spy master?) who paid cash; how, by the way, do you pay cash for something over the phone, unless by a throw-away debit card? Not suspicious at all, right? If you believe that, I can sell you a bridge in Brooklyn cheaply.

Maldives Not Out. The same glib, incompetent authorities in several regional nations, who failed to check passenger manifests, and who apparently fell asleep at their radars, quickly and conveniently dismissed statements by Maldives islanders (south of India) that they saw a plane with Malaysian Air-like markings flying by at just about the time of night my scenario supposes. Among these were at least one school teacher, a fishing captain, and multiple villagers. Were they dreaming? What wishful thinking (self-preservation?) by bureaucrats (government officials) caused this rapid dismissal of a very credible set of witnesses, including at least one school teacher? I am not quite so ready to write these people off, and neither should you be. As others have mentioned, the plane was said to be flying very low, and would thus have flown under the radar.

Iranian Agents? There are any number of possible scenarios for sabotage or hijack. For example, someone with a family grudge and a suicidal streak (like our various theater shooters of late in the United States) might have wanted to kill him or herself, plus the offending party on board, and all the other innocent lives with them. However, in the light of so much reported bungling by Malaysian authorities, one cannot join the Malaysians in discounting the following fact. We know that there were two young Iranian men on board, traveling on stolen passports. Their age, gender, and other characteristics place them in prime suspect profiles as potential hijackers. They made their way illegally onto the flight carrying passports stolen in Europe.

More About Iranians. Follow the Wikipedia paragraph on the page dedicated to MH370: "Two men identified on the passenger manifest, an Austrian and an Italian, had reported their passports stolen in 2012 and 2013, respectively.[28][162] Interpol stated that both passports were listed on its database of lost and stolen passports, and that no check had been made against its database.[163][164] Malaysia's Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, criticised his country's immigration officials for failing to stop the passengers travelling on the stolen European passports.[164] The two one-way tickets purchased for the holders of the stolen passports were booked through China Southern Airlines.[165] It was reported that an Iranian had ordered the cheapest tickets to Europe via telephone in Bangkok, Thailand and paid in cash.[166][167] The two passengers were later identified as Iranian men, one aged 19 and the other 29, who had entered Malaysia on 28 February using valid Iranian passports. The head of Interpol said the organization was "inclined to conclude that it was not a terrorist incident".[29] The two men were believed to be asylum seekers."

Right, and that all sounds fine, except the plane vanished mysteriously. Yes, there was some checking done after the fact, but how do we know for 100% absolutely sure this was not a well covered trail by the hijackers, aided by the authorities' efforts to cover up their own bungling and avoid the rage and pain of surviving families?

Further Possible Scenarios. There has also been discussion of a possible terrorist suspect on board in the electronics bay (under the cockpit floor, sloppily not secured in this case), given the sloppy controls of Malaysia, which evidently has limited visa requirements, treats Muslim travelers with special coziness, allows cash transactions in foreign countries, and in this instance (and likely others) failed to control the passenger manifest. Finally, it must be mentioned that there have been discussions of computer hacking from remote, covert sources, just to cover all the possibilities we can think of.

Suspicion. Especially suspicious is that an unknown, presumably third party Iranian bought the tickets with cash via telephone in Bangkok, Thailand. Really? Do you smell the same stench I do? There are too many loose ends to let Iran, one of the world's leading terror exporters along with Pakistan, off the hook. In fact, it appears that Malaysia would have been an optimal choice for a terror regime like Iran or Pakistan to pull off a 9/11 setup. If Lemma 3 holds, then the plot failed because the plane went down (I suspect because the hijackers were unable to re-pressurize the interior after refueling, along with other possible gremlins).

Pattern: Transportation. As I have stressed with the novel, a persistent pattern among modern terrorists has been to use travel as their medium of attack. That includes the van in the 1995 Trade Center bombing, planes on 9/11, a train in the Madrid massacre, and a bus or metro in the London massacre (to name just a few). Psychologically, the use of transportation underscores their self-perception as outsiders and misfits, attacking a civilization these murderous bumpkins cannot comprehend (but the planners most assuredly do, and sit back laughing afterward, as we saw bin Laden and his accomplices doing after 9/11).

Lemma 1   Lemma 2   Lemma 3


A Novel and Thought Experiment
by John T. Cullen

"Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."


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

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