Only months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 seemingly vanished off the face of the Earth, tragedy struck again last week as reports that another Malaysia Airlines flight had gone down, this time crashing near the Russian-Ukrainian border. The blame has largely been leveled against pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists, and Russian media was widely criticized immediately following the incident for taking obvious liberties with the facts they were reporting.
A tragedy so grave has done little to ease international tensions. With hope, the families of those affected will manage to recover with time, as details continue to unfold regarding this second significant–and tragic–incident involving a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane.
In many instances over the last few days, the number of strange twists that have been revealed in relation to the fate of MH17 have gone largely unmentioned, save perhaps the proliferation of what the media calls “conspiracy theories” pertaining to the crash. These range from a supposed HIV/AIDS “coverup”, to purported ties to the Iluminati; the Guardian actually reviewed several of these, and while highlighting the absurdity in each, it is also clear that such articles employ the term “conspiracy theory” to their advantage, drawing clicks with articles that are aimed at public intrigue with the subject of conspiracies.
In fairness, some of the “conspiracy theories” might be relevant (barring the weaponized “crackpot” usage of the term for a moment), in that theories about Russia’s possible involvement may hold up in the long run, while at this time there may not be enough solid facts to support all the possibilities.
But aside from the tragic details that have so often pandered to the attention of crackpot theorists or, conversely, the opposing factions of conspiracy theory skeptics, there are a number of details which may represent what Carl Jung might have called “meaningful coincidences,” a term used by the late psychologist in relation to what he called synchronicity.
Early on Thursday, following yet another plane crash involving an Air Alegerie jet, officials were prompted to comment on the apparent coincidences, stating that the apparent rash of crashes does not point to any valid connection.
Perhaps one of the most stark examples of incredible coincidence in relation to the MH17 tragedy is the fact that it occurred on the anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800, widely recognized as the third most deadly aviation accident in American history. Conspiracy theorists have long held that this incident may have involved a missile that brought down the plane, although NTSB investigators, aided by the FBI, determined the official cause to be an explosion that emanated from the center wing fuel tank on board the plane. In the early stages of the investigation, witness testimony pertaining to an object purportedly seen streaking through the air toward the plane even led to the FBI publishing statements regarding the investigation of a possible terrorist act involving a missile.
A recent Stars documentary featured new evidence which some say supports the missile theory, along with allegations that FBI personnel had possibly withheld some evidence of an explosion emanating from outside the plane, rather than from within. However, there were numerous reports of missiles or flares seen by pilots in the months and weeks before the crash, as well as the weeks afterward (for more on this, see The Ghost Rockets, which features a chapter dealing with the reports of projectiles that were reported around the time of the TWA Flight 800 crash).
Obviously, whether or not a missile was in any way connected with the actual cause of the TWA Flight 800 crash, it is indeed coincidental–and perhaps poignant–that an act of terror against a passenger plane, and one undeniably involving a projectile weapon, occurred on the 18th anniversary of the crash. There appears to be no way to connect the two in any causal way, but anniversary tragedies such as these do tend to provide us cause for pause. Other examples might include the raid on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, or even the tragic gun-related death of American Guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot on December 8, 2004, the anniversary of John Lennon’s similar shooting death at the hands of mark David Chapman outside the Dakota Building in New York.
Two other stories that have aroused attention with regard to MH17 have included the story of Kaylene Mann, an Australian woman whose brother and her sister-in-law were aboard flight MH370 when it disappeared; it is now being reported that Mann’s stepdaughter had been aboard MH17 as well, prompting one family member to define the difficulty the family has experienced. “It’s just… ripped our guts again,” Greg Burrows, Mann’s brother, reportedly told the press.
For one man, Dutch cyclist Maarten De Jonge, fate itself, along with the synchronicities apparent between the two flights, seemed to work in his favor, and may have saved his life not once, but twice. De Jonge was apparently booked as a passenger on both MH370 and MH17, and changed his plans both times.
The Telegraph reports:
Maarten De Jonge, 29, a cyclist who rides with Malaysia’s Terengganu Cycling Team, switched from MH370 in March to avoid a lengthy stopover and switched from MH17 last week to take a later flight and save money.
“It’s inconceivable,” he told Dutch public broadcaster RTV Oost. “I am very sorry for the passengers and their families, yet I am very pleased I’m unharmed.”
Incredible indeed… and one can’t help but note the extraordinary coincidences here, which seemingly allowed a man to cheat death not once, but twice.
Perhaps there is really nothing to the way the odds against such coincidences can’t seem to thwart events from piling onto one another, creating stark comparisons between events that are otherwise unrelated. For some, the coincidences are novel, and for others, they are perhaps too startling to ignore. Whatever the case, at times the similarities, amidst the separation, do appear to be quite “meaningful” indeed.