The sad world of conspiracy theories

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This week, there have been several articles in the media, including the Guardian and the New Scientist magazine, discussing the worrying problem among members of the public to believe in conspiracy theories.

It is a worrying problem that so many ordinary people develop the belief that the official story of many major events is untrue. In a bid to try and end this unfortunate trend amongst so many members of the public, I will explain, using deductive logic, what really occurred two major, conspiracy-theory-ridden events.

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Two events have particularly become embroiled in conspiracy theories in recent years. The first event took place during the tragedy of 9/11; the crashing of a Boeing 757 into the Pentagon.

A Boeing 757 is a large, passenger aircraft. It’s about fifty metres long and forty metres wide. An example is shown in the above photo. On that fateful day, a 757 crashed into the side of the Pentagon building in the United States. Emergency services were called and fire crews worked to put out the flames from the impact, as shown in the accompanying photo.

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Viewers may note a strange problem with the above scene, in that the Boeing 757 passenger plane seems to have disappeared. Not only is there no Boeing, but there isn't even any signs that a Boeing landed. A Boeing 757 is a very large aircraft and when one crashes, it leaves a very big mess. Its wings do usually disintegrate, due to them being hollow and often full of fuel, but its engines and particularly its tail section usually remain intact, especially when a plane hits the ground at a shallow angle, as in the Pentagon event. The accompanying photo below shows such a crash (it's a different model of plane, but you get the idea).

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In the case of the Pentagon event, there is no sign at the scene of two big wings, a fifty metre long fuselage, two large jet engines or a fifteen metre tall tail section. It would seem that a very large plane had somehow evaporated into thin air. Let's look at the scene from another angle:

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Um, no, still no huge plane, smashed into pieces. As the next image shows, there is a small amount of debris at the site but not only is it at the wrong location, it seems to correspond to a very small plane, rather than a very large, commercial passenger plane and it has the wrong livery.

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It is this sort of anomaly that foolish and uneducated members of the public seize upon to justify their outlandish claims. Before leaping impulsively into a half-baked theory, let’s study further evidence of this 'disappearing plane' phenomenon in another event that many crazy, foolish conspiracy theorists have obsessed about. Let's study the disappearance of flight MH730 in Malaysia.

On the 8th March, 2014, a Boeing 777 left Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and headed off to China. Over the South China sea, shortly after leaving Malaysian air space, it stopped communicating and someone on board turned off all its communication equipment, so that it location could not be easily tracked. According to the Malaysian military radar, the plane then headed west, crossed the Malay Peninsular and headed out into the Andaman Sea.

The plane’s journey after that military sighting might have become a complete mystery if it wasn’t for two useful pieces of information. Firstly, hours later, several eye-witnesses reported seeing a passenger airliner flying very low over the Maldives Islands in the Indian Sea. Secondly, the plane was still sending out signals from its systems for at least four hours after the plane shut off its comms equipment, from systems on board that the terrorists did not turn off or did not know about.

MH370

With these pieces of information, we can develop a good idea where MH370 went. The terrorists who took over that flight clearly were trying to fly it to a secret location. Since they had turned off their communications equipment, their ability to navigate their plane was restricted; they would have had to resort to compass bearings and visual waypoints. This explains why the plane passed over the Maldive Islands. The pilots at the controls would also have avoided major landmasses, as such places are full of civilian radar stations and eye witnesses.

Taking into account the time the engines were running, MH370 must have therefore travelled west from Malaysia, used the Maldives as a visual waypoint, then flown south or south-west, away from the Indian continent. It is clear, since the whole event seems to have been very carefully planned, that the hijackers on board had been given strict instructions to head out into the middle of the Indian Ocean for a secret rendezvous. Based on a passenger jet plane's cruising speed and the hours of active signals from the plane, it probably had about another hour-or-so's journey time left before reaching their chosen destination.

This is the moment, in the whole awful story, when the US Military had a golden opportunity to capture the plane and safely land it. A plane heading south from the Maldives, at normal jet flying speeds, would have travelled very close to the US Military base of Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos Islands in 'British Indian Ocean Territory'. Not only could the US Military have detected the plane at that point, far outside the normal civilian air routes, with its sophisticated radar and satellite coverage, but they could potentially have remotely commandeered the plane’s Boeing computer and landed it on their full-length airstrip, the only military, full-length airstrip for thousands of miles in any direction. This golden opportunity, as we now know, never happened. We can’t base this fact on civilian eye-witness accounts, as nearly all the Chagosians were removed from the island chain in the 1960‘s and mostly now live in Crawley in the UK, with its easy access to the M25, attractive Woolworth’s building and haunted hotel, which may help them feel less displaced, but we can rely on the simple fact that the US Military have not announced a successful rescue. Therefore, the plane slipped out of their grasp.

Some readers may therefore conclude that the plane crashed into the sea before encountering the US Military but a plane hitting the sea at several hundred miles an hour would disintegrate on impact, leaving a large amount of floating debris for the eagle-eyed US Military to spot. There seems no alternative but to conclude that that plane, just like the Pentagon plane, evaporated into thin air.

This demonstration of a repeatable and consistent phenomena, I hope, shows the great and terrible danger that we face; that terrorists are able to defy the laws of physics and make entire planes disappear into thin air. This awful fact explains why our fine governments in the UK and the US sometimes have to be less than candid about their work, because they know that the enemies of the free world now possess supernatural abilities on a chilling scale.

Obviously, some crazies out there will stick to their wild ideas and we do live in a democracy, so I am willing to outline an alternative conclusion, that there is some substance to at least one or possibly more conspiracy theories.

I'll leave the reader to choose which they prefer.