What happened to flight MH370? Don’t Believe What the Netflix Documentary Tells You

Unless it’s on National Geographic, I’m deeply skeptical of documentaries. It seems that many films that call themselves as such present polished, highly compelling storytelling in the first place, but whether that storytelling is true is of secondary importance. Depending on the topic, a documentary that prefers to have a casual relationship with the truth can range from mostly harmless entertainment (like Animal Planet). Mermaids) to vile propaganda (as Michael Moore Fahrenheit 9/11). Unfortunately, the new Netflix documentary, MH370: missing aircraftcloser to the last one.

Brief History of Flight MH370

On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) departed Kuala Lumpur for Beijing just after 00:40 local time. He never reached his goal. About 40 minutes into the flight, the plane disappeared from airport radar and turned around unexpectedly, flying over the Malay Peninsula and then over the Andaman Sea near Thailand.

Map and timeline of flight MH370.

What happened after that is a matter of speculation, but we at least know the following: the wreckage of the plane washed up on the shores of Reunion Island and in various African countries (such as Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa), indicating that that it crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. In fact, using a model of ocean currents, scientists predicted 12 months in advance that the debris would drift westward towards Africa – and indeed, the debris was eventually found there.

So how did the plane end up in the southern Indian Ocean when it was supposed to fly north to China? Existing evidence strongly suggests that pilot Zachary Ahmad Shah carefully planned the mass murder-suicide. Three facts stand out in particular.

At first, friends described Zachary as lonely and sad. According to a 2019 article Atlantic Ocean:

“His wife moved out and lived in the family’s second home. By his own admission to friends, he spent a lot of time pacing empty rooms, waiting for the days between flights to pass… Zachary seems to be somewhat out of touch with his old, settled life. He kept in touch with his children, but they grew up and left … Investigators from the aviation and intelligence communities have a strong suspicion that he had clinical depression.

Second, and worst of all, Zachary had a home flight simulator that simulated a plane crash in the wilderness of the southern Indian Ocean. The simulated flight path was nearly identical to the flight path researchers believed MH370 actually took. Third, there is no plausible way for anyone other than the pilot to change the flight path.

As it happened, almost a year later, on March 24, 2015, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 purposefully crashed into a mountain in France, killing all 150 people on board. And, of course, September 19 On September 19, 1991, 19 hijackers crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. So “mass murder-suicide by a pilot” is a real phenomenon (although the hijackers were not exactly “pilots”).

Netflix Documentary Promotes Conspiracy Theories

Unfortunately, there are no “smoking guns” to prove that Zachary is guilty. Richard Godfrey, an avionics expert who has studied the MH370 for almost a decade and has extensive experience designing and operating electronic systems for commercial and military aircraft, said in an interview with Big Think: “Most of the evidence points to the murder-suicide of Captain Zachary Shah. , although most of the evidence is not enough to come forward in court.”

Thus we are in the frustrating position of knowing a probable truth but not being able to prove it. And precisely because there is no 100% uncertainty, conspiracy theorists intervened, confident that their bizarre explanations are no less legitimate than the “MH370 consensus”, whatever it may be. This is where the Netflix documentary comes into play.

Three part series MH370: missing aircraft offered three theories to explain what happened: (1) Pilot, (2) Hijacking and (3) Interception. To be fair, the documentary explained everything I wrote above in the first theory about the pilot. If only Netflix would stop there. Instead, he proposed two more theories.

In The Hijack, the documentary relied heavily on journalist Jeff Wise, who suggested that Russian terrorists had hijacked the aircraft by descending into the electronics bay (called the Major Equipment Center, MEC) hidden under the first class cabin, hijacking the aircraft. falsifying satellite position data and sending it to Kazakhstan. But this theory ignores some important facts and ends up creating more questions than it answers.

For example, Godfrey explained to the Airline Ratings website that it is impossible to access the MEC without being seen by someone; it is impossible to take control of the aircraft from inside the IEC; satellite position data is collected and distributed in real time and cannot be manipulated; and radar systems in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China would detect a stray Boeing 777 flying towards Kazakhstan. Besides, if the plane landed in Kazakhstan, why didn’t we hear anything from any of the passengers?

In Interception, Netflix dives into sci-fi by promoting the work of French journalist (I’m using the word very loosely here) Florence de Changy, who suggested to the US government that a special aircraft called AWACS be used to jam the MH370 communications system (thus making it disappear from radar) , after which he was shot down. Why? According to de Changy, MH370 was carrying “poorly documented Motorola electronic equipment” that the US didn’t want China to have. So the US killed 239 innocent civilians to ensure that China doesn’t get this equipment.

One problem with this theory – apart from the complete lack of evidence to support it – is that a conspiracy of this magnitude would require the cooperation of thousands of people in several countries. In fact, this is mathematically impossible, because sooner or later one of the many conspirators will accidentally or deliberately blow his cover. Nine years have passed; Surely someone, somewhere, would have said something already.

Although it was not shown in the documentary, de Changy also believes that the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine by Russian separatists in July 2014 was actually an act of retaliation by Vladimir Putin on behalf of China, which lost many citizens on MH370. It goes without saying that there is no evidence for this either – although she has published her research in a book that Big Think does not plan to review.

Just in case, several scenes were included in the documentary in which the subjects of the interview questioned each other’s motives and credibility, giving the viewer the impression that no one could be trusted.

shame on netflix

Video is a powerful tool. People believe what they see, especially if it comes with a compelling story. That’s why dictators all over the world make sure they control television news. But instead of telling the true story to 239 suffering families and the general public, Netflix took advantage of the pain caused by the horrific tragedy to promote lies and conspiracies to grow its audience. Shame on them.

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