1. MH370 speculation has become excessive recently. Metabunk is not a forum for creating theories by speculation. It's a forum for examining claims, and seeing if they hold up. Please respect this and keep threads on-topic. There are many other forums where speculation is welcome.
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  1. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    [Update: The plane only exists in the MapBox base layer, which dates from at least 2012 or earlier. It is not a current image, and hence does not show MH370 - See following posts for details]



    Anyway to eliminate possible other flights, or confirm its height?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2014
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  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The mapbox satellite image is not of March 8th 2014, in fact it dates back to at least early 2012. These fields in the west:
    Look like this on Mapbox:
    Yet on the latest Google Earth it's quite different, in the circled area there's what looks like an irrigation pond replacing some fields, and some new fields in the trees just to the south of the pond.

    2012 is similar, but the closest match is in 2009.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
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  3. Mark Barrington

    Mark Barrington Active Member

    Mick, if you zoom out on the mapbox map, it has overlays that show areas indicating which satellite supposedly took the imagery in each patch. That patch is labeled as March 8, 2014. Anyone can create a mapbox map, so I was wondering is this was just Tomnod using their resources to increase bandwidth, or just a lone wolf who had access to the data. It's of questionable provenance, to be sure.

    One more observation about the imagery. I'm not sure that the plane is at low altitude. Because of the kind of lens used, everything looks flattened, and there's no way to directly observe the altitude. If we could see the shadow of the plane, it would be easy to estimate the altitude, since we can estimate the altitude of the clouds. If we could find the aircraft's shadow, it would be a very simple calculation to determine it's height above the ground. I suspect the plane is at normal cruising altitude and won't cast a clear shadow at that height because the sun is not a point light source.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2014
  4. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Nice sleuthing, bit of an oversight then if he's scanning pictures from the wrong year.
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Link to Mapbox map:

    The Google Earth images prove that it's not a current image though. It's not in any of the flagged satellite overlays, it's not in the QB02 image, but it is in the Mapbox base layer.

    The mapbox map that is linked to does not actually display any of the satellite images that it references - it simply shows where there are satellite images.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
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  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Mapbox chief scientist Bruno Sánchez-A Nuño confirms those maps show only footprints (areas where the satellites have taken images) and not data (the actual images).

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  7. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

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  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, made a nice little spike in traffic too :)
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  9. gopi chand

    gopi chand New Member

    Looks like the MH370 plane's image has been impostered .... because (1) the shadow image of the plane is dithered too much (when Zoomed) and (2) the shadow is behind the plane but looking at the clouds around the shadow seems to be towards north...... it is up to the experts...
  10. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    What MH370 image? It's not the image of MH370. And I'm pretty sure there is no shadow, it's just a ghost image of the plane, which is common. It hasn't been doctored, it just has nothing to do with the current situation, it's a couple years old.
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The ghost images come from some satellites taking multiple exposures with different filters, so things that move, and things that are not at ground level, leave multiple images. You can see this to a lesser extent with cars if you find a freeway.


    Because planes move so fast, this effect is magnified. It varies depending on which satellite took the photo, as some are just single exposure.
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  12. Maserati

    Maserati New Member

    Those from US Defensive mapping would have the actual images, but they won't be released. As India and the US have agreed that "India doesn't always turn on their radar to save money"..LMAO... you can be assured that the plane landed on Andaman Island, most likely at Veer Savarkar in Port Blair with the large runway and full ILS landing capabilities.
  13. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Source? Proof? Please.
  14. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    I can't be assured that easy and neither should you be. Why should we be assured?
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  15. Maserati

    Maserati New Member

    1) There is no question the aircraft was hijacked (it flew for at least over an hour after course deviation)
    2) It was flying computerized waypoints, meaning flown by flight management system or pilots (rules out passenger hijacking)
    3) The waypoints route was laid out in such a way (Igari - Vampi - Gival - Igrex) that it was obviously being flown by computer
    4) Last known position was approaching waypoint Igrex (belonging to India). At the position Malaysian military lost primary radar contact, it was in primary radar range of Thailand, Burma and India. It was headed "directly" for VS airport in Port Blair.
    5) Thailand has confired the Malaysian military radar route, but the US press has never stated where Thailand lost primary radar contact.
    6) Our US government or media, to my knowledge, has never asked Burma what they have. It was easily within their range as well.
    7) Our US media initially stated that India stated it doesn't always turn their radar on to save money. That was obvious BS by one party or both, so the story changed to this:

    "The Times of India said security sources had "rubbished" the idea that the plane could have got anywhere close to an urban centre and insisted it would have been detected by a naval base on the Andaman islands, more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) off the Indian mainland. There is no way our military radars would have missed the airliner as it flew over Andaman Sea, as there is high traffic around that time," one military intelligence source told the paper."

    While India has claimed several times the aircraft couldn't approach without being detected (if their radar is on...LMAO), they have never been specifically asked what is on their radar from that night, as the aircraft was well within range of their radar. They have never been asked if the aircraft landed there. India went from straight out lying to semantics and games to decieve.

    8) The media is quick to tell you it may have been hijacked by the pilots or a passenger, but never once have I ever heard them mention the anti-hijack system on a 777, which they all have. Some call it uniterruptible autopilot, the name Boeing patented it under. In the event of a known hijacking. ground codes are transmitted to take control via the Flight Management System and reprogram it to wherever those on the ground want it to go and land. The premise is the pilots have no communication or control over the aircraft, so the terrorist(s)have no reason to coecdre their cooperation. VS airport has the ILS system to remotely land this aircraft, in the dark, and the pilots don't even have to be conscious.

    (9) With three active primary radars on this aircraft, it didn't turn north or south without someone knowing to this day. They know exactly where this aircraft went....... to VS airport. Once landed, the ACARS box is easily removed and flown over the IO by a business jet, shut off and returned to the aircraft... or just pitched in the ocean. The plane can be salvaged or scuttled later, with or without all the bodies.
  16. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Can you explain why you think this?
    I don't understand, what outright lie and what semantics game?

    Any evidence they are installed and active?

    For what possible purpose? Why does this seem like something they want to do?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  17. Maserati

    Maserati New Member

    1) The waypoints zigzag. If the aircraft was under manual control, it would have turned torward Gival long before ever reaching Vampi.
    2) India first lied about not having their radar on. They changed that story (or the US did) but haven't addressed where the plane went on their radar, as it was actually only a couple hundred miles out from them while still on others radar. Yes they are definately lying.
    3) I forget people in most other towns don't have the general aviation knowledge here because a large contingency of Boeing is here. Look up uninterruptible autopilot. The system were actually being installed since the mid/late 90s, but classified until the mid 2000s. The US government can take control of any major commercial Boeing aircraft and lock the pilots out.
    4) If I knew the motive, I'd be guilty as the US government that hijacked it. It was obviously to abduct person or people on board. Other than the 20 chip engineers and experts, I have no idea who was on that plane.
  18. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Sorry, but all of that is nonsense. The "uninterruptible autopilot" concept is only that...a concept.

    More unfounded and inaccurate claims.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  19. Maserati

    Maserati New Member

    I'm at a loss here. Are you stating the system doesn't exist? Do you have an internet search field to look it up? Here: "Remote controlled autopilot to prevent hijacking". As for the scenario...or you stating it doesn't fit the facts, or that our Defense Department is too stupid and/or too moral to do it? I've personally seen them do a lot, lot worse than kidnap or kill an aircraft full of people. They are all terrorist sociopaths in Washington, DC in charge, and use the services of cults full of psychopaths in our federal agencies.
  20. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    The "uninterruptible autopilot" (**), do you mean? I see that the concept has been discussed, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's been installed, nor implemented. (Especially by Malaysian Airlines. We saw already that they had not purchased the full SatLink options, for data downloads).

    There also are many things that an A/P cannot do (extend flaps and slats. lower the landing gear, for example).

    (**)I would also say that I can think of ways to disable an "uninterruptible" A/P. Removing electrical power from it would do the trick quite easily.
  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There's no evidence such a remote autopilot system has ever been installed on a commercial plane.

    Patents are simply people thinking that their invention might work, and might be desirable in the future. It is not a guarantee of either.
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  22. Maserati

    Maserati New Member

    Actually it was being installed as early as 1995, and declassified in mid 2000s. If you read the article, it was supposed to begin intallations four years ago. As I said, installations began before it was made public..for obvious reasons. These aircraft are all fly by wire, you an even manually fly an airliner like a drone. I guess you're not familiar with ILS capabilities coupled to modern Flaight Management Sytem autopilots. If you choose not to believe decade old technology that's not classifed, that's your choice. I informed you, and the information is right in front of you at your fingertips. Nice chatting with you both.
  23. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    No, sorry. Untrue. I would have known about such a thing. You see, I retired from a major U.S. airline.

    No, not "all". Not the B737 for instance (one of the most ubiquitous and successful products out there). And, certainly not the B757/767. All airplanes I am very familiar with.

    On the contrary, as I've indicated, I am VERY familiar.

    ETA: And, I am not the only person on this Forum with experience on these airplanes.
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  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    If you are going to make specific claims like that, then please back them up with links and quoted extracts (use the [EX] tags)
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  25. TWCobra

    TWCobra Senior Member

    The 767s I flew are not FBW. Why is that a requirement for an " uninterruptible autopilot" anyway?

    Such a system was not fitted to the aircraft I flew, which did not even have Satcom. They continue to fly in US airspace to this day.
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  26. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    There are articles from 2007 that talk of Boeing testing the concept, but nothing since then. The only articles that claim it are all conspiracy sites that only use the existence of the concept in patent form as evidence that it is definitely happening, a completely unfounded assertion.
    There is a Captain Field McConnel who alleges Boeing installed the system illegally and has attempted to sue Boeing over it, but I can find no follow-up details on the case.
    Perhaps you could share your source that confirms they are installed and active, because I've looked and can't find anything?
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  27. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Field McConnell and his "Abel Danger" website is certainly an example of some hilariously wrong CT. Each of those 8 examples he has listed have been completely explained, and have nothing to do with what he claims.

    So, McConnell's credibility on any topic concerning an aviation-related 'conspiracy' = Zero.
  28. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah that was my impression too, but he sure is popular as a guest on talk shows.
    I think he's just found a product to sell and a willing market.
  29. TWCobra

    TWCobra Senior Member

    You would have to have all airliners in the world equipped with it, otherwise the hijackers would find out which ones were not equipped, and hijack those.


    ......every airline in the world, voluntarily installs or retrofits a system that cedes ultimate control of their major company assets to external US agencies? The Chinese... The Russians, Libya.. All willingly do this? They happily surrender control of a trusted national/company asset to a country that may use it against them?... As apparently has already happened?

    Does National Sovereignty not operate in this situation?

    There is no air legislation for it... No mandated training. No ATC rules in place.

    The airlines maintain and operate this system in the same way they spread chemtrails apparently, by not informing the maintainers or pilots of its existence. ATC knows nothing about it.

    So there are no contingency procedures for the crew in case the system fails because they are obviously not needed. It is FOOLPROOF and 100% TRUSTWORTHY.

    It can never fail. The modules that extends the gear and flaps remotely, or controls the thrust remotely, never fail... So no need to tell the pilots about them. They never require servicing so no need for mechanics to know what they are or replace them.

    They can never be hacked by foreign governments or private individuals either.

    The panic button described in the patent is hidden from the pilots as well. Maybe it simply operates when 7500 is selected on the transponder so get that right boys and girls..

    The insurance companies, on whose say so an aircraft actually flies, also are either completely in the dark as they have applied no restrictions on the use of the liability they cover, or completely happy to cede control of their financial liability to an unknown agency.

    Sorry Maserati, it is like the question of pilotless airliners. The technical problems will be solved first... The legislative, security, financial, sovereignty and accountability questions will take much much longer.
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  30. TWCobra

    TWCobra Senior Member

    From Field McConnell's website.

  31. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Methinks Field McConnell enjoys telling tall tales......
  32. Not2sure

    Not2sure New Member

    Just some general knowledge regarding "fly-by-wire" capabilities and whether they were installed or not.

    Emergency landing round-up
    Boeing wins patent on uninterruptible autopilot system
    Published 4 December 2006More Sharing ServicesShare| Share on emailShare on facebookShare on twitterShare on linkedin

    New technology can be activated by the pilots, government agencies, even on-board sensors; not even a tortured pilot can give up control; dedicated electrical circuits ensure the system’s total independence
    Although airplane cockpit door locks are now standard, worries remain about terrorists taking control of a plane a la 9/11, perhaps by extorting the pilots into opening the door against their better judgement.

    Elsewhere in today’s issue we report on a new Raytheon contract to develop software that uses type of craft, location, and fuel capacity to determine the safest route for a hijacked or otherwise compromised aircraft.
    This is a great idea, one that must have Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing excited — not out of envy but because it improves the value of its recently awarded patent for a system that, once activated, takes control of the airplane away from the pilots and flies it to a predtermined landing position. Put the Raytheon and the Boeing systems together — now that’s a good idea.

    Boeing’s is, of course, not the first autopilot technology in existence, but this one has been designed with counterterrorism first and foremost in mind. Not only is it “uninterruptible” — so that even a tortured pilot cannot turn it off — but it can be activated remotely via radio or satellite by government agencies. The system might even include senors on the cockpit door that activate the autopilot of a certain amount of force is used against it.

    “There is a need for a technique that ensures the continuation of the desired path of travel of a vehicle by removing any type of human decision process that may be influenced by the circumstances of the situation, including threats or further violence onboard the vehicle,” the patent application explains. To make it fully independent, the system also has its own power supply, independent of the aircraft’s circuit breakers.

    Boeing Company

    Arms Export Control Act Violation (QRS-11 Gyrochip)

    Date: 03/28/2006 (Date of Consent Agreement)
    Misconduct Type: Import/Export
    Enforcement Agency: State Dept.
    Contracting Party: None
    Court Type: Administrative
    Amount: $15,000,000
    Disposition: Settlement
    Synopsis: Boeing paid a $15 million fine for a violation of the Arms Export Control Act involving unlicensed foreign sales of commercial airplanes containing the QRS-11 gyrochip (gyroscopic microchip), a component that has military applications.

    The State Department also imposed additional oversight and compliance requirements on Boeing because of three previous export violations (see Boeing instances “Arms Export Control Act Violation (Transfer of Rocket Data to China),” “Defense Services to Russia and Elsewhere (Arms Export Control Act Violation),” and “Wedgetail Project (Arms Export Control Act Violation)”). According to the State Department, between 2000 and 2003 Boeing sold to China and other countries 94 commercial jets with the gyrochip embedded in the flight boxes without obtaining an export license and in “blatant disregard” of State Department directives.


    1. Draft Charging Letter
    2. Consent Agreement


    The QRS-11 (gyroscopic microchip) is the main component for "fly-by-wire" applications as well as the guidance system on the "smart bomb missiles" used in Iraq I believe. China and the other countries did NOT know the QRS-11 was installed in the planes they bought, and obviously the US Attorney General didn't either until Boeing got busted. There are news clips and military videos showing fly-by-wire as far back as the 1990's I believe.

    I can't find the link now but there were filmed military videos of the technology used on overseas flights as well. And just an added curiosity, but the Patent Attorney for QRS-11 was none other than Hilary Clinton.

    [mod edit for spacing]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2014
  33. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    Allow me to stop you, right here.

    Nope. Been discussed here on MB. If I can, I will find the thread with the discussion.

    Just to let you know, myself? 40+ years as a pilot, last 23 years at a major U.S. airline. (Now retired)

    We also have a current Captain on the Airbus A-330 who posts regularly as well.

    The notion of an "uninterruptable AutoPilot" is bunk.

    ETA: The reason that an "uninterruptable AutoPilot" is bunk can be explained very easily, for those not familiar with how airliners' electrical systems work:

    We can turn off ALL electrical sources, very easily. Every AutoPilot (or 'A/P') needs electrical input, it's the way they work (for control). Also, NO airliner is built without Circuit Breakers, for every major component. (Think of the fuses in your automobile...those just "burn out"...C/Bs "trip").

    But, pilots have total control over the electrical system, and can turn it all off, easily....thus, disabling any such "uninterruptable A/P" concept.

    In any event, although I did retire a few years ago....NEVER, ever in ANY of my training did this come up. And, know that there is NOTHING on an airliner that the pilots flying it do not get trained on!!

    ETA (2)
    [Broken External Image]:http://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5d71030007833cf7dfa7cd50039a2ae7?convert_to_webp=true

    The above ( ^^^ ) is one version of a schematic of the B-777 electrical system.

    Here is the cockpit overhead, which has the controls:
    777 Elec.

    Those 'square' buttons are push-buttons....they have actions, depending on whether selected "IN" (for "ON") or "OUT" (for "OFF"). Pretty simple.

    Note the ones labeled "DRIVE"....and the lettering on the panel that says "DRIVE DISC"...those buttons can disconnect the generators from the engines, and then the generators cannot be re-connected in-flight. One-time deal, there.

    PS: If you wish to find the source to understand those "callouts" in yellow, with explanations, then Google "SmartCockpit B-777 electrical", and download the PDF.

    It is a site dedicated to helping pilots already trained (by their respective airlines or companies) with re-current and continual education, for references purposes.
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
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  34. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    Would it be helpful if you or TWCobra described all the steps necessary for any piece of hardware to be declared flight-safe?

    For example, in my little, isolated, focussed world of being the Army guy that co-ordinates the Close Air Support for an RAF bomber Sqn, the crews are not allowed to take or use anything in the aircraft that has not been approved for flight testing, and right now we are transitioning from one pistol (Sig 226) to another (Glock 17) and the testing has been going on for over a year. Every test you can imagine is being done to check it will not discharge itself, cock itself, eject the magazine etc in all conditions, high G, ejection etc, then the holster is being tested to destruction and finally, the ergonomics of wearing it and flying without there being a comfort-conflict is being exhausted. There is a whole team dedicated to to testing all flight an survival equipment and this is just one aspect, and this has nothing to do whatsoever with the actual flying capabilities of the aircraft.

    How would something like a device that overrides aircrew control be developed, tested, retro-fitted and finally approved with exact and acceptable levels of reliability that every aviation organisation in the civil aviation world will sign off?

    Not to mention the costs involved, of course....
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  35. TWCobra

    TWCobra Senior Member

    Any new aircraft needs to be certified as airworthy by regulatory authorities. The two main authorities are the FAA (USA) and the JAA (euro zone). The aircraft must complete a full test flight program which usually takes a couple of years, sometimes more as in the case of the A380 and the 787, which both encountered problems in the test flight phase.

    Once the regulator signs off on the aircraft type, changes the systems in any major way requires a flight test program. This is very expensive and someone needs to pay for it. The manufacturer will do it if it is safety issue and mandated by the regulator, otherwise someone else usually has to pay. The change to the system is usually done via a supplemental type certificate; STC.

    Here is the FAA STC page with the database at the bottom.

    Feel free to search the database for any evidence of an STC issued to the 777 for an uninterruptible auto pilot. I haven't bothered because I am 100% sure it doesn't exist.
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
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  36. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist either, though haven't checked... If Alaskan made a cost decision that's "hey, no life jackets, so grab a cushion..." It tells me no one will be thinking this is a good investment either...
  37. TWCobra

    TWCobra Senior Member

    The QRS-11 (gyroscopic microchip) is the main component for "fly-by-wire" applications as well as the guidance system on the "smart bomb missiles" used in Iraq I believe.

    Not so. Gyroscopes are used for inertial navigation and flight instruments. When the original Inertial nav systems were invented they used bulky, weighty gyroscopes that were prone to breaking down. They were replaced on aircraft by laser ring gyros which were a quantum leap in reduction in size and complexity and hence reliability. They form the bulk of inertial navigations systems fitted on aircraft today.

    A gyroscope on a chip is obviously another quantum leap, however fly by wire can be considered an integrated technology of various systems and software. Gyroscopes on a chip is not the main component of a fly by wire system. (See above for STC information.)

    The one used by Boeing which got them into trouble is for the standby flight instruments, which are small, not as accurate as the main flight instruments ( whether or not this is due to the chip I cannot say), and would not form a part of the 777 FBW system.

    It may be used as a cheap way to keep a cruise missile orientated and navigating, but I suspect that GPS receivers are more accurate and useful for terminal targeting guidance.
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