For those of you who follow my Twitter feed, you know that I have denied requests to share my full belief of what happened on March 8, 2014.
My decision was based primarily on the fact that I simply don't know what happened to MH370. I don't particularly care for the conjecture game, yet that's human nature to do just that. It's difficult to simply say one does not have a "feeling" what happened.
It's also challenging to discuss the disappearance of a large transport jet without asking the question "what do you think happened to it?" When pressed, most people will at least share something about what they think happened.
In the early days of the disappearance, I felt certain that the large jet had been hijacked, and was being hidden in a desert to be used in some nefarious way. Transport jets simply don't vanish like that. It had to be purposeful, and it was going to show up as a missile sooner rather than later.
At least that's what I thought.
Then the bombshell that the aircraft flew on for hours after it disappeared. Some satellite provider I had never heard of was postulating something about rings, and that the airplane was either north or south on a ring. North worked for me. That was where deserts and bad people were. South made no sense because there was just a big old ocean there.
Who would want to do that? It would just be suicide to fly in that direction.
A little background is in order here. I am a highly experienced Boeing pilot. I have never flown a B777, but all of my Boeing time has been in 767s and 757s. I've written manuals for the aircraft, and have designed SOPs and checklists. I've flown the world in these trusty (but aging) aircraft, and I have total faith in them.
Boeing builds damn good planes. And I can write about that in the first person singular.
One aspect of modern Boeing jets is the astonishing level of commonality between aircraft. Sit in just about any Boeing airliner built in the last 30 years, and there will be a familiarity to the design, function, and layout of the cockpit. I don't need to fly a B777 to have a sense of what it is like to fly one, and how things work—true, there are indeed differences. I'm talking about the generic, big, chunky, similarities.
In short, I could place myself in the MH370's cockpit, and think about what might have happened. What I cannot possibly know (nor can really anyone else) is the why. Why would someone purposely kill all those innocent passengers? Who would do such a thing?
I started to get interested in the Twitter activities in the middle of March. It was fascinating for me to read tweets from people who suggested somehow that the airplane was hijacked to Diego Garcia, a remote military base in the Indian Ocean.
...not only hijacked there—but remotely hijacked by some kind of new-fangled piece of hardware that would wrest control away from the hapless pilot who might as well go to the back and have a drink.
The thing is, I've been to Diego Garcia. I flew civilian missions there in 757s and 767s. It was impossible (in my view) and anyone suggesting this scenario was simply grasping at some very slender straws.
So I waded into the discussion, and spent most of my time being accused of being something called a "troll." I knew the term, of course, but what did that have to do with sending out 140 character messages?
I had a lot to learn.
NEXT: I developed a theory about what happened.