MH370 Flight incident: Any lessons?

My heart goes out to passengers and crew of the ill-fated Malaysian aircraft that seems to so mysteriously have vanished into thin air. By the time this story comes out, I hope the plane will have been found intact, if rumours of a hijacking are to be trusted.  

My heart goes out to passengers and crew of the ill-fated Malaysian aircraft that seems to so mysteriously have vanished into thin air. By the time this story comes out, I hope the plane will have been found intact, if rumours of a hijacking are to be trusted.  

But whether the plane had a mechanical problem or it was hijacked is beside the point. What’s frightening is that literally the whole world can fail to locate it for even a week.

It is incomprehensible that it cannot be traced immediately, given the swiftness with which international action was galvanised. By the ninth day, almost 30 countries with over three million individual volunteers had joined hands to pinpoint the wreckage, if there was any. 

From powerful countries like USA and France that control the heavens to practically every country of the Asian continent that can cover the grounds, they were scouring the whole stretch from Kazakhstan to the extreme southern end of the Indian Ocean.

Let’s hope the puzzle will be – or will have been – resolved, whatever time it takes. Because, as we know, space is not a dark wilderness. It’s alive with eyes jostling for a niche to settle in. 

Therefore, if a plane can disappear for more than a week, it may mean there is a dark hand at work.

All those eyes are trained on their surroundings and on our earth, so that the most infinitesimal object can be picked out in no time, be it day or night. Moreover, the object need not necessarily be on the surface; even underground, it can be spotted. Maybe you’ve heard of minerals being discovered by satellites.

The days of the Bermuda Triangle that used to mysteriously suck in whatever passed above it are long gone. Today, we are in an age where nothing can escape our watch. 

So, is it that, for some reason, those eyes may choose to avert?

Rwandans in Kenya in the early 1990s may remember. When the then rebel Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) was battling the Rwandan army, we never missed any detail. In fact, one time we were even shown the plate number of a truck. The satellite photo, it was explained, was evidence of where the rebel group was because the number was foreign.

You may remember that around that time a francophone Rwandan was fired from his job, as an employee of Air France, the French airline. 

When we added two to two, we got four and more. More being: since the Rwandan was in exile in Kenya, and therefore was considered an ‘enemy’ of the Rwandan government, wasn’t it most likely that the French airline company had access to those satellite photos? 

And since it was known that the French government was complicit in that war, didn’t it mean that it didn’t want any prying eyes of an ‘enemy’?

Anyway, what followed when the RPA seemed set to win the war, now everybody knows. More than one million lives were snuffed out in a horrendous genocide that has forever blighted the conscience of the world.

However, apart from journalists’ snapshots that assaulted our TV screens, we never saw the detailed satellite photos of the genocide. Those heaps of corpses of genocide victims, we only saw a few that photojournalists managed to capture; which was disservice to the exact portrayal of the extent of the horror.

Then, just after the genocide, the satellite photos surfaced again. Every single column of refugees was followed in the deep jungles of Zaïre (DR Congo today). This time the refugees included suspected genocide perpetrators and innocents they took hostage.

I remember how one time the din of accusations was up that the new Rwandan government had made 400 refugees disappear. Yet, when the following day the refugees emerged from under some canopy, the report was so muted as to be hardly audible!

So, it looks like there is a powerful hand somewhere in that sky that’s capable of sending those eyes to sleep, when it chooses. There is no other way of explaining it when a wide-bodied airliner like the Boeing 777 cannot immediately be traced anywhere in the sky or on the ground. 

Haven’t we seen satellites direct motorists to any address? Or a drone recognise the face of a Hamas in the expanse of the desert and blow him, and no one else, to smithereens?

Where I am sitting in Kigali, I can clearly see the details of the Kuala Lampur airport layout on the desk top. Just as I can, any part of the surface of this earth.

Shall we know exactly what happened? As they say, whatever happened, only time will tell.greener and healthier future for all.

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