March 11, 2014
As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues to absolutely baffle investigators, explanations for what might have happened to the flight have entered the realm of the supernatural. Astonishingly, the Washington Post is now reporting that smartphones of some passengers who boarded the flight are still active and connected to the ‘net even though the plane they were on has vanished.
As WashPost reports:
One of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.
A migrant worker in the room said that several other workers from his company were on the plane, including his brother-in-law. Among them, the QQ accounts of three still showed that they were online, he said Sunday afternoon.
Adding to the mystery, other relatives in the room said that when they dialed some passengers’ numbers, they seemed to get ringing tones on the other side even though the calls were not picked up.
Four mind-bending possibilities, none of which seem possible
This brings up the immediate bind-bending question of how electronic devices on a commercial flight that vanished still appear to be connected to the internet. The explanations for this defy everything we think we know about reality:
• Mind-bending possibility #1, the “kidnapped” explanation: The plane somehow landed somewhere without leaving a radar signature of any kind, all the passengers are being held hostage there (and are thus still alive), their mobile devices are somehow within cell tower range and yet for some reason have not been confiscated. (This explanation seems extremely unlikely.)
• Mind-bending possibility #2, the “Stargate” explanation: A teleportation portal of some kind exists in the skies, through which the plane inadvertently flew and was teleported somewhere else. Yet, astonishingly, electromagnetic signals can still make it through the portal, and the two sides of the portal remain in contact across the radio spectrum. (This explanation sounds like pure science fiction and also seems extremely unlikely, yet we must at least acknowledge that modern physics has already demonstrated the instantaneous teleportation of information across apparently infinite space due to the “non-locality” of entangled electrons as described in quantum theory.)
• Mind-bending possibility #3, the “failed search” explanation: This far more mundane explanation supposes that the massive, multi-day search for plane wreckage and debris simply hasn’t stumbled upon the correct location yet. The fact that airplane black boxes broadcast homing signals adds to the skepticism that this explanation holds any water, as it is extremely unlikely that the airplane’s black boxes could have been obliterated. Nevertheless, this explanation still seems far more believable than supernatural explanations.
• Mind-bending possibility #4, the “advanced military weapons” explanation: Some military entity, either human or non-human, was testing an advanced weapon capable of either instantly obliterating large airborne objects or teleporting them to another place (or dimension). This explanation seems incredibly far-fetched, but then again, barely a hundred years ago, so did the idea that machines could ever fly at all. Related to this is the legend of the Philadelphia Experiment which some believe caused a U.S. Navy ship to vanish and reappear.
We must first stick to mundane explanations until more searches can be conducted
As someone who is trained in the sciences, I remain very skeptical that Flight 370 vanished for supernatural reasons, yet its disappearance unquestionably defies all known conventional explanations so far.
The vanishing of aircraft over the ocean is not without precedent, either. According to historical records, the so-called “Bermuda Triangle” causes both ships and aircraft to vanish for reasons that defy apparent scientific explanation. While the disappearance of ships can theoretically be explained by underwater volcanoes emitting large quantities of gas that mix with ocean waters and cause ships to immediately lose bouyancy, there has never been any convincing scientific explanation behind the disappearance of the many aircraft there. Click here for a list of the top 10 mysteries of vanishing aircraft, including some lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
With each passing day that this search goes on without finding any debris from the fight, it is incredibly reasonable to at least entertain supernatural possibilities in the quest for answers. At some point, if no debris ever appears, we must expand our window of possibilities to include what military strategists refer to as “unknown unknowns.”