When Conspiratorial Thinking Becomes the Norm

I am one of the many people who have been riveted for the past two weeks by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.  It is a captivating news story, and it is prime fodder for the many conspiracy theories that are sure to evolve over the next few months.

As I write, neither plane nor debris of any sort has been found.  New developments in the search have been scarce, and the reliability of  information from many of the governments involved has been dubious.  What a wonderful opportunity this could be for news outlets to calm the waters.  To educate people about how geosynchronous satellites work, and how they differ from low altitude optical spy satellites.  To present the facts.  But of course, that’s not what has been happening.

CNN's Don Lemon:  "Maybe it was a black hole?  Or a meteor?  Or a robot?"

CNN’s Don Lemon: “Maybe it was a black hole? Or a meteor? Or a robot?”

Yup.  Mainstream media is in fact LEADING THE WAY in promoting all things bat-shit crazy.  And at the same time, they are carefully avoiding any suggestion that this incident is anything other than an elaborate scheme by masterminded criminals bent on creating a weapon of mass destruction in their evil villain lair.

You see that guy in the upper central pane of Don “Is this a black hole?” Lemon’s panel of talking heads?  That guy’s name is Jeff Wise.  Based on his recent articles at Slate, he appears to be convinced that a cadre of mastermind criminals has stolen MH370 and flown it to Turkey or China.  But his hypothesis, although I don’t find it compelling, is not why I’m calling him out.  Why I’m calling him out is that there is another guy – a more or less unknown guy named Chris Goodfellow  – who has published another hypothesis on Google Plus that eventually found it’s way to  Wired.  Goodfellow’s proposal is that there may have been an electrical fire or similar event that caused the loss of communications and led to the pilot diverting to a preprogrammed emergency landing site at Langkawi.  His article explains why Langkawi may have been chosen as an emergency landing site, and why this destination may have been programmed into the aircraft’s navigation system ahead of time.  Anyway, Goodfellow is basically proposing that the disappearance of MH370 isn’t some evil villainous plot.  Rather, the plane’s communcations blackout may have been caused by fire or similar event, and the “sudden” turn to the west may have been the Captain of the flight attempting to make an emergency landing.  That attempt failed though, and the plane continued to fly, on autopilot, as a “zombie plane” until it ran out of fuel and plunged into the Indian Ocean.

Note:  Although the plane diverted west, the runway at Langkawi runs more-or-less north to south.  Perhaps the auto-pilot brought the aircraft to a more southerly orientation to align with the runway, which is why it appears to have flown far south and plunged into the Indian Ocean west of Australia?  I don’t know.

To me, Goodfellow’s hypothesis is the closest attempt I’ve seen to formulate a sane, rational explanation of what may have gone wrong with MH370.  So naturally, author and CNN talking head Jeff Wise felt obliged to attack it, to spam his attack across the internet, and to insult Goodfellow in the process, saying Goodfellow “set about cutting through the clutter, using nothing more than the machete-like incisiveness of his own intellect.”

Judge for yourself.  Here are Goodfellow’s proposal Wise’s snarky retort:

A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet  (Chris Goodfellow at Wired)

A “Startlingly Simple Theory” About the Missing Airliner is Sweeping the Internet. It’s Wrong.  (Jeff Wise at Slate)

Jeff Wise:  “Hey, I’m totally down with talking about black holes and meteors and fucking Bat Boy with Don Lemon.  Personally, I think the plane landed in China, having stealthily  navigated a pig of a jumbo jet through China’s lousy 21st century military radar net.  But that Goodfellow guy who wrote the article over at Wired?  He’s bat-shit crazy!”

The truth will be revealed in time, for those who are willing to accept it.  Eventually, wreckage is likely to be found, even if it is miles down, on the floor of the Indian Ocean.  The flight recorder may not reveal much, since apparently these things only record the last two hours of a flight.  But if an electrical fire or similar event was the cause, it should have left evidence of some kind.  But for diehard conspiracy theorists, it may not matter.

"It was me!  I did it!  Ha ha!"

“It was me! I did it! Ha ha!”

In the meantime, or at least for the next few weeks, we can expect to be entertained by ever crazier bullshit at CNN.  Every day is “BREAKING NEWS” at CNN right now, and I would seriously not be surprised if Bat Boy or a chupacabra appeared Don Lemon’s next report.

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2 Responses to When Conspiratorial Thinking Becomes the Norm

  1. Pingback: CNN Breaking News: We’re OUT! | Trustus Pharmaceuticals

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