One of the great unsolved mysteries of the 2010s continues to be the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 -- a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board that took off on March 8, 2014, from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on a flight to Beijing … a flight that mysteriously ended when it disappeared off tracking radar. Pieces have been found, but the body of the plane with the remains of the passengers and the flight recorder have never been recovered. Many theories to its demise have been put forth and, while some have been investigated, none have solved it. An aerospace engineer who has been studying MH370 for years has a new one involving a radar system described as “a bunch of trip wires) that he claims reveal the true intention of the pilot. Is this the smoking engine?
“WSPR is like a bunch of tripwires or laser beams, but they work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe.”
WSPR is a new technology called Weak Signal Propagation and aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey explains it and how he used it to track the last flight of MH370 in his new paper, “Global Detection and Tracking of Aircraft as used in the Search for MH370.” Godrey has a long resume in avionics systems and was the lead engineer for the integration and test of the European Space Agency Spacelab with the NASA Space Shuttle. In 2014, Godfrey was a founding member of the MH370 Independent Group and has been seeking the reason for its disappearance ever since. AirlineRatings, which interviewed Godfrey, explains that WSPR was developed and released in 2008 by Prof. Joe Taylor, a Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics. Godfrey’s paper (read it here) contains a number of graphic representations of WSPR showing the path of MH370.
“In this paper I describe a system for the Global Detection and Tracking of any Aircraft, Anywhere and at Anytime (GDTAAA). The system takes data from the WSPRnet and feeds it automatically into a flight tracking system.”
Godfrey tells AirlineRatings that all planes -- commercial, private or military -- will set off the WSPR tripwires as they pass through them. Using them, he shows that the pilot in command of MH370 deliberately made a series of turns and speed changes to avoid detection by other tracking systems and satellites as well as leaving "false trails" on unofficial routes around the western end of Indonesia and the Indian Ocean.
"The pilot appears to have had knowledge of the operating hours of Sabang and Lhokseumawe radar and that on a weekend night, in times of little international tension the radar systems would not be up and running."
His analysis points to a crash site at 34.5 degrees south, south-west of Western Australia, near the imaginary line known as the "seventh arc." That puts the plane’s crash in the southern Indian Ocean.
“The exact position, ground speed and track of MH370 as it crosses the 6th and 7th Arcs and any anomalous WSPR position or progress indicators that reveal the flight path after fuel exhaustion and after the last Inmarsat satellite data will be a helpful indicator for any future underwater search for the MH370 wreckage.”
While the location is important, the key to Godfrey’s analysis is that it shows the pilot made deliberate alterations to the flight path and altitude – alterations that showed he knew more than enough about the locations of tracking systems and international routes t0 make intentional predetermined moves to avoid them ... and eventually crash the plane.
Is this enough to convince the Malaysian government to mount another search – after already spending if compelling new evidence was found, after a massive international hunt estimated to have cost around $255 million USD with nothing to show for it?
“The GDTAAA system is a low cost alternative aircraft detection and tracking system, that could help pinpoint the location of MH370 within 18 nautical miles.”
Godfrey hopes they do and find MH370 because it will help gain acceptance of GDTAAA by the airline industry.
Families of the passengers hope so too so they can finally have closure.