Midair explosion or collision? Terrorism? Theft of the aircraft for whatever reason? Pilot suicide (like Egyptair)? Why is this investigation going nowhere?
At first, I thought it can't be terrorism or someone would be making a claim. but terrorism can have many goals and motivations, and creating a general malease could certainly be one of them.
As for suicide, it seems to be difficult to admit a Muslim might commit siuicide.
Unless he's going to fly a plane into a building or detonate a bomb vest in a crowd, of course.
We don't know enough to know. I saw a lot of interesting rumors yesterday, but I don't think any of them solidified.
But I had the uneasy realization that if someone like Reid the Shoe Bomber had actually succeeded, we'd probably never have known what happened, or even where. (And that's the situation we seem to be in right now, so such a scenario isn't completely out of the question. Yet.) We wouldn't know about Reid's hypothetical success because there is no radar coverage over most of the Atlantic. Worse: Aviation radars are not as powerful as military ones; the targets of aviation radars want to be seen and thus have transponders on board. When they detect a radar beam, they send out a signal--with identifying code (the "squawk")--that is far more powerful than the radar return is. A military radar has to be more powerful so that the return signal by itself is enough to be noticed and distinguished from "clutter" (spurious return signals). (Reducing this return signal through use of design and materials is a large part of what stealth is about.) If this plane was indeed diverted somehow with the transponder turned off (as rumored yesterday), it would very likely have looked like "clutter" to the radar as it went out of range.
This particular bit of ocean is almost ringed by islands and Asia. I haven't looked but I suspect a large part of the middle of the South China Sea has no radar coverage.
And as a last note, Yes, Unseen, that is a huge blind spot that many on the irreligious left seem to have: they have trouble believing a Muslim might want to die because he actually believes his religion. Sam Harris has been trying to get through to them on that score since 9/11--many were trying to blame poor economic conditions for people wanting to commit suicide, and he famously asked how many engineers and architects (i.e., people who could make a good living, even in the Middle East) have to hit the wall at four hundred miles an hour before they will realize it's the religion doing it.
On the other hand the religious right doesn't seem to understand that Christianity is the same in principle, albeit (today) not quite in degree. I wonder when the first Xian terrorists will try to violently suppress "evilution" when the government refuses, for the nth time, to do their bidding.
Most Islamic terrorists are NOT from desperate poverty. Many are rather well-educated.
I wonder if the Christians are offering up The Rapture as an explanation(?). Maybe God's dry run on before the real deal.
Maybe the one real Xian on earth was on that flight--and was the only person to get raptured. The other two billion "Xians" all have it wrong and get to go to hell forever.
That was my facetious theory about that whacko who predicted the end of the world almost two years ago, and I am going to stick to it. That he was right, but there are so few Xians the way Jebus wanted them to be, that no one noticed the rapture.
I just remembered a mildly humorous story about getting raptured off of aircraft.
I once boarded a plane--one of the first people on in fact--to find that the guy who had the aisle seat on my row was already on. But all there was to see of him was a folded sweater and a bible. I actually did think "raptured?" to myself, rather sarcastically.
It turned out he was a pilot, deadheading, and had gone to the back of the plane to talk to the flight attendants while us groundhogs boarded the plane. I was actually carrying some sort of atheist literature to read (I don't recall what), so when he saw me, he said something like "I guess we don't agree on much."
Alien abduction, obviously.
The latest (credible) theory is that the plane is intact somewhere, readying for use as another 9/11-style flying missile. A remote possibility, perhaps, but a possibility.
Damn, that doesn't sound too far-fetched to me. I wonder how hard it'd be to find an adequately serviceable but hidden runway.
Some sort of hangar would seem to be called for as well. Otherwise, the plane is sitting out there for anyone to see.
Sounds like a James Bond plot.
I've heard too much speculation now to know what's accurate and germane, any more. What's stuck in my mind so far are:
The stolen passports were used by two people who were not only friends, but were living with a guy who had some kind of sophisticated flight simulator. If true, I don't know why this hasn't been bigger news. Terrorism seems likely to me. Then there's the added possibility that the plane was first flown off course just to be harder to find. (Dropping altitude and flying "under the radar" is also possible, if you know where the radar centers are.)