by Ed Lake
& Changes: Sunday, April 13, 2014, thru Saturday, April 19,
April 18, 2014 - I don't know how he
did it, but "Anonymous/DXer" seems to have put 2 and 2 together once
again, and, according to his 3 posts this morning to my
interactive blog, he came up with 735,967. It seems he somehow
decided that the three non-US labs which received samples of the Ames
strain from USAMRIID were DRES in Canada, Porton Down in England, and Centre d'Etudes du Bouchet in France.
It may be totally illogical, but it appears to fit with his beliefs in
There are probably dozens of news articles which
explain that the third lab was in Sweden.
I listed 3 such articles in my
response. And in the 3 posts by "Anonymous," he even provides
a good clue as to which lab
in Sweden got the Ames from USAMRIID: it was most likely the Swedish
Defense Research Agency in Umea, Sweden. (In a
later post "Anonymous" says someone else confirmed that it was the
lab in Umea. So, now he's trying to figure out some way to argue
that Muslim terrorists got their sample of Ames from the lab in Umea,
Meanwhile, in case anyone is interested, I've finished reading Mark
Twain's book "The
Innocents Abroad," which I've been reading on my Kindle during
breakfast and lunch since Jan. 29. It was a fascinating look at a
6-month trip Twain and a group of tourists took in 1867 to the Paris
Exposition of that year. They traveled aboard a sidewheeler which
was basically hired by the group to take them from place to place for
the six months. After dropping them off in Marseille, Twain went
to Paris and then by train to Venice, Italy, and to Rome and Naples,
where he got aboard the sidewheeler again. Then they went to
Crete, to Greece, to Turkey, to Russia, and then to the Near East where
they traveled by donkey all across the Holy Land. Then by
sidewheeler again to Egypt to climb the pyramids, and then home
again. Six months.
Along the way, the tourists would chip pieces off of monuments as
souvenirs, and endlessly compare things to the U.S. Most poor
people encountered along the way were referred to as "vermin," and the
tourists woud give their tour guides
silly American names instead of trying to pronounce their real
But, it was a fascinating trip and a fascinating read.
I've decided to do a high-speed read next, reading for hours at a
time. I'm already 36% through "Tripwire,"
the third Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. I started it yesterday.
April 17, 2014 - Someone brought to
my attention a new French novel by John N. Turner titled "Amerithrax,"
published on Jan. 7, 2014. It's the first published novel by
Turner, a bacteriologist who evidently specializes in anthrax.
His Facebook page is HERE.
book review HERE,
when translated by Google, begins this way:
2001. A date engraved in the collective memory.
The world fell within the twenty-first century in the most sensational
way that is. On arrival over
3,000 people and sprayed it with the hope of a peaceful century.
But while the dust
death were still suspended in the air of New York, the mechanics of
another drama already put on.
Robin Johnson, an obscure photographic retoucher for a Florida tabloid,
had nothing that predisposed him to one day in the news, or to become
famous. Moreover, it never
will. Him, we will retain
only his death. Because the man has
not left the living world of the mundane that are dead and that it will
cause the commotion combat the FBI. An FBI yet still
stunned by the attack on the twin towers in New York that he failed to
see coming, and that starts without knowing where to look in the hunt
When the phone rings
in his narrow office, located at the bottom of a little busy corridor
of the large government building FBI Darrin Speman no doubt yet
it will call the
project in an investigation that lasted nearly seven years and mobilize
forces and considerable resources.
Scratching her paper, which has virtually
no social life, no one with whom to share his life, and is dedicated body
and soul to his work to
the point of view as "slave FBI" that employs them. Speman but has a specialty that suddenly
interested her agency.
Speman is a
specialist Anthrax, anthrax.
overall opinion of the novel in the review is:
is a first novel, and this time it is rather successful! John N. Turner manages to sign a captivating
novel, where many scientific explanations are by no means
insurmountable, do not adversely affect the pace nor the suspense of
the book, and for which the quality and accuracy of its documentation
in addition to any credibility.
another review HERE,
it says in French,
fait connaissance d’une unité qui lui était jusqu’ici
inconnu : l’USPIS, United States Postal Inspection Service. Elle sera
associée a une force de frappe multi-agences créée
spécialement pour l’occasion: la Task Force Anthrax. Darrin se
voit déjà en haut de l’affiche, lui le héros qui
aura débusqué le criminel. Ce n’est pas vraiment ce qui
va se passer. Sept années de longues enquêtes pour rien,
ou quasiment. Le livre raconte dans le détail le
harcèlement (véridique) auquel se livra le FBI envers un
homme qu’il soupçonne d’être le coupable. Cela
coûtera aux hommes de feu Edgard Hoover, la bagatelle de et
une image ternie auprès du public qui déjà se
gaussait d’une autre agence gouvernementale, celle de la CIA. Le FBI
s’attaque ensuite a un autre suspecte potentiel qui se suicidera avant
de passer en procès. Sept années pour rien. Aujourd’hui,
on ne sait toujours pas qui a envoyé les lettres pleines
d’anthrax et provoqué ainsi la mort d’innocents.
When I ran that through Google
Translator, I got:
made the acquaintance of a unit that was previously unknown to him :
USPIS , United States Postal Inspection Service . It
will be linked to a multi -agency force strikes created especially for
the occasion: the Task Force Anthrax . Darrin
sees himself at the top of the poster, it will be the hero who flushed
the criminal. This is not really
what happens. Seven
years of lengthy investigations for nothing, or almost . The book
tells in detail the harassment ( true ) to which the FBI gave to a man
he suspects of being the culprit. It will cost the men fire Edgard
Hoover, whopping and a tarnished public image with the already mocked
another government agency , the CIA . The FBI then attack another
potential suspect committed suicide before going to trial. Seven years
for nothing. Today, we still do not know who sent
letters filled with anthrax and thus caused the death of innocent
That review seems to indicate that hero
of the book doesn't find the anthrax killer. But, it could
just be the opinion of the reviewer. It seems more likely that
the book ends with the killer committing suicide before the FBI and the
can bring him to trial. I doubt that the book suggests that
someone else committed the crime. But, I could be wrong.
April 16, 2104 - Groan!! I awoke this morning
realizing I needed to add a new first sentence to my sci-fi
current first sentence (and first paragraph) is:
Molly Mitchell wasn't my patent attorney, but she worked for the same
law firm: Weisman, Fairchild and Miller.
The new first sentence will be:
They arrived while I was having dinner with Molly Mitchell, a patent
the new first paragraph will now be:
They arrived while I was having dinner with Molly Mitchell, a patent
attorney. Molly wasn't my patent attorney, but she
worked for the same law firm: Weisman, Fairchild and Miller.
What's the difference? The difference is that the new first
sentence causes the reader to wonder: "Who are 'they'?"
The old first sentence presumably caused the reader to wonder: "Who am 'I' that I need a patent
Molly Mitchell the main character in the story?" Who "I" am is answered almost
immediately. So, there's no reason to read any further.
And, Molly Mitchell isn't important to the story at all. She
isn't mentioned in the book after Chapter 4.
The "Who are 'they?'" question posed by the new first sentence isn't
answered until the second chapter, and by that time the reader will be
(hopefully) fully hooked, since they'll have encountered many more
interesting questions that need answering.
Look at the first sentence of Lee Child's first Jack Reacher novel,
"The Killing Floor":
was arrested at Eno's Diner.
How far will you need to read to find out why "I" (Jack Reacher) is being
The first sentence of "Die Trying," Lee Child's second Jack Reacher
Rubin died because he got brave.
The first sentence of "Tripwire," Lee Child's third Jack Reacher novel
Hobie owed the whole of his life to a secret nearly thirty years old.
First sentences are VERY important. I didn't build a good enough
"hook" into the first sentence in my book. So, I'll fix that
I don't know what made me suddenly realize that I needed a new first
sentence. It was probably the fact that the last query letter I
sent out was to a literary agent who only wanted me to send the first 5
pages of my book with the query letter. Presumably, if the
agent isn't hooked by the first five pages, then he/she will never be
hooked. So, why read any further?
I probably knew all this. It's probably mentioned in every book
on fiction writing. Doing a Google lookup for "first sentence," I
found a random
First Line Generator to start short stories. Here are
some of the lines that pop up:
He hadn't seen anything
like it in twenty years of teaching
He stared hard at the table as he tried to recall his attacker, and
He was terrified of small spaces and she knew
When she opened the door, she wished
You're supposed to finish the thought. A web site
about short story writing says,
The first line of a short
story is very important, a good one can hook the reader and make them
want to read on. A weak first line and they might pass your story by.
If you're entering short story writing competitions
then make sure you have a strong opening to keep the judges reading.
Sometimes it's easier to
write the whole short story, then go back and rewrite the first line
knowing how it will fit in with the rest of the story.
It may be very important for short stories,
but it can also be important for novels. A web site HERE that
contains the best first lines from a hundred different famous
novels. A few of them:
1. Call me Ishmael. —Herman
Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
2. It is a truth universally
acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must
be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
3. A screaming comes across
the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
6. Happy families are all
alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. —Leo Tolstoy, Anna
Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)
8. It was a bright cold day
in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984
9. It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of
foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of
incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles
Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
10. I am an invisible man.
—Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of
the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in
sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. —Nathanael
West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)
It's not that the old
first sentence in my sci-fi novel was terrible. But, the new
first line is much
better. Live and learn. (Hey! "Live and Learn" is a good
first sentence. I wonder if anyone has used it. Maybe I'll
use it in the sequel to my sci-fi novel.)
April 15, 2014 - Someone sent me an
article from Gawker.com titled "The
Astounding Conspiracy Theories of Wall Street Genius Mark Gorton."
The article begins with this:
Mark Gorton does not have a
reputation as a crackpot. Quite the opposite
. He's been favorably profiled
in the New York Times
for his business acumen and charitable deeds. His experience as the
head of Limewire—which disrupted
the music industry and then lost a $100 million lawsuit
as a result—was closely
followed by the press. And when Michael Lewis's blockbuster new book
about high frequency trading was published recently, prominent media outlets turned to Gorton
to learn what HFT firms are
really like. The Huffington Post even dubbed him
"the new face of Wall Street." He is a
very respected and very wealthy man.
The Gawker.com article contains two lengthy documents by Mark Gorton
which describe his various conspiracy theories in great detail.
They seem to have started with his conspiracy theory related to the
John F. Kennedy assassination. Gorton,
who runs Tower
Research, doesn't seem to have a conspiracy theory about the
anthrax attacks, however. Neither of the two documents contain
the word "anthrax." But, that may just be because he considers
the anthrax attacks to be a minor part of his 9/11 conspiracy
theory. Here's some of what Gorton wrote about 9/11:
was a massive operation, and only the most visible elements of the plot
have been investigated. But despite the mass of information yet to be
discovered, enough information exists to clearly demonstrate that 9/11
was a massive, domestic run, black op.
The key players behind 9/11 were The Bush
Family (George H.W., George W., and Marvin, and perhaps others), Dick
Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, the neocons surrounding PNAC (Paul Wolfowitz,
Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage,), Saudi Prince Bandar, Saudi
Intelligence and senior Saudi leadership (get more names), elements of
the US military, elements with the CIA and the FBI, the ISI (Pakistani
The comment section of the Gawker.com article contains some interesting
opinions. Here's one:
once worked for a few months as a temp receptionist at a mental health
hospital. Many of the patients (all low risk and generally speaking
very friendly) sounded exactly like this guy. Since my time there,
which was years ago, I came to
the conclusion that there are two types of people into conspiracy
theories: the lazy ones who forward the emails that someone else wrote
(or who repeat said ideas in conversations) and the ones who actually
write/ create them.
comment reminds me of what I wrote in a comment on November 22, 2009:
As with the anthrax case conspiracy
theorists, some of the 9/11
theorists have modified their claims after being repeatedly confronted
with irrefutable proof that their claims were total nonsense.
still believe it was all a government conspiracy, they just accept that
Flight 93 probably existed
and the Pentagon was probably
hit by an aircraft, not by a guided missile.
However, it apparently wasn't the endless
flood of undeniable facts
which changed their
minds. It seems to be the loss of followers and supporters which
convinced them they
needed to adjust their preachings. If potential and existing
followers could easily see that the conspiracy theorists claims were
total nonsense and no one wanted to support or be associated with such
nonsense, clearly it was time for the conspiracy theorists to start
making revisions. There's
no point in being a conspiracy theorist
if no one believes your conspiracy theory. If you cannot
followers, you're either wrong or you're wasting your time trying to
get people to listen to your theory.
Another comment after the Gawker.com
recall at UCLA reading an
elegantly systematized paranoid document
that was really impressive in its detail. However, the writer became
more disorganized as his disease progressed, and the writing
deteriorated into graphomania.
It's unfortunate that Mr. Gorton is
afflicted this way, but from what I hear, recovery is extremely
difficult once people acquire these fixed delusions. One caution would be if Mr. Gorton's
fears become so overwhelming, persistent and immediate that he decides
to "strike" first.
elegantly systematized paranoid document" might be one way to describe
certain blog dedicated to the anthrax attacks that I check out every
day. Paranoia seems to be the primary force behind it.
The word "graphomania"
was a new one for me. Looking it up, I find this definition:
(from Greek γραφειν — writing, and μανία — insanity), also known as
scribomania, refers to an
obsessive impulse to write. When used in a specifically psychiatric
context, it labels a morbid mental condition which results in writing
rambling and confused statements, often degenerating into a
meaningless succession of words or even nonsense and called then
Hmm. I know someone who seems to write all day and
then seems to get up in the middle of the night with a compulsion
to write more and endlessly about the anthrax attacks of
He also copies and pastes things in with no coherent idea behind them.
I believe that any day is a good day if you learn something new.
Today I learned a new word: graphomania.
April 14, 2014 -
Courant has an article about the anthrax attacks of 2001 which
seems to be deliberately trying to create or revive controversy about
the case. The article also has what might be a new piece of information:
[Ottilie Lundgren's niece,
Shirley] Davis, who was briefed on the Ivins investigation by FBI
officials, said she was disappointed that Ivins never went to trial.
"They told me they were two days away
from making the arrest when he killed himself, and that ended
any chance of knowing why he did it," Davis said.
But, mostly the article
resurrects a lot of previously voiced OPINIONS and BELIEFS without any
attempt to determine what is actually true. The article
Since Ivins' death, several
anthrax experts and some of his USAMRIID colleagues have criticized the
FBI investigation and said they believe that
the FBI got the wrong man again.
In 2011, Ivins' supporters
got a major boost when a group of prominent national scientists raised
questions about the science behind the federal probe in a 190-page
review that concluded that there was not enough evidence to say for certain where the anthrax
"I cannot agree more with the
statement that it is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion on
where the anthrax came from based
on the scientific evidence
the FBI presented," Louisiana
State University professor Martin Hugh-Jones said after the
was released [ignoring all the other
evidence in the case].
Hugh-Jones and two other
scientists have criticized the FBI for ignoring the high levels of
silicon found in the attack anthrax. Although federal authorities have
said the silicon most likely got into the powder naturally, Jones and
it was intentionally added to it.
Hugh-Jones also argues [his belief] that
Ivins did not have the expertise or the equipment to make the attack
"Making a powder of that
level could never be done in 20 days, even by someone who knew what
they were doing," Hugh-Jones said [of his beliefs]
In reality, of course,
Ivins routinely made spores
of the same quality as those in the anthrax letters. And, he
didn't have to make any new
spores for the letters. All he had to do was retrieve spores he'd
already made out of his garbage. He'd recently made
enough spores for the letters when he checked dosage levels for some
mouse tests. The spores on those discarded serial dilution plates
were simply not counted as being part the production of spores at
USAMRIID. They were assumed
to be destroyed. But Ivins didn't destroy those
spores. He used them in the letters.
The problem today is that no "authority" with real facts and
can be bothered to argue with the relentless Anthrax Truthers and media
people who want to rehash all those old beliefs and opinions.
There's just me. And I'm no "authority."
April 13, 2014 (B) - DAMN!!! I just noticed that
the DOJ recently
changed the address for their copy of the Amerithrax Investigative
That means that none of
the seventy kajillion places where I used that link on this site, on my
interactive blog and elsewhere work any more. And, I don't
have the energy, ambition or desire to go back and fix all the links.
April 13, 2014 (A) - Arguing with Anthrax Truthers can be
very frustrating, particularly the ones who seem totally incapable of
explaining what they mean when they argue their bizarre beliefs.
they put 2 and 2 together to get 739 is sometimes amazing. I just
created a new cartoon for my
interactive blog which illustrates this subject:
I provided "Anonymous/DXer" with that
list of people who agree
Ivins was guilty ( FBI agent Edward
Montooth, AUSA Rachel Lieber, FBI agent Darin Steele, FBI agent Scott
Stanley, Counselor Jean Duley, journalist David
Willman, microbiologist Patricia Fellows), Anonymous's reponse on my
interactive blog was:
Ed, none of them are
experts under the Federal Rules. Indeed, none of them have
personal knowledge so as to qualify them to testify other than people
making investigative assertions and conclusions.
No one said anything about
any of them testifying in court as "expert witnesses." How he put
2 and 2 together to think they would be expert witnesses is a
mystery. They are just people who agree with me (or with whom I
agree) to counter Anonymous's list of Ivins' co-workers and friends who
believe Ivins was innocent. None of the people in his list (Adamovicz,
Andrews, Little, Worsham, Byrne, Friedlander, Welkos, Friend, Salerno)
would have been testifying in the case as "expert witnesses,"
either. If they testified at all, it would have been as character
witnesses after Ivins had been found guilty.
This morning, I found that "Anonymous" posted another
message which says,
Ed, I never said the listed USAMRIID
scientists would be testifying as
experts. You are the one who began misusing the term. They would
testifying as people who knew the facts relating to the lab and its
workings, etc. -- for example, the FBI didn't even understand the facts
relating to practices. As an example, the FBI relied on the lack of
after hours work beginning January 2002 without realizing that is when
a two person rule was first implemented. Thus, their entire chart on
hours was a crock.
No, he never said that his
"experts" would be testifying as experts. But he clearly said
that MY experts could NOT
testify as "experts under Federal Rules." I just wondered why he
made such a bizarre statement if HIS experts could not testify as
"experts under Federal Rules" either.
The people on his list would
be "testifying as people who knew the facts relating to the lab and its
workings, etc." None of them had the vaguest clue as to what Ivins
was doing in his lab at night and on weekends. And many of them
have screwball ideas about how the spores were made.
And what does the "two person rule" have to do with anything? It
certainly doesn't affect the unexplained hours Ivins worked at night
and on weekends.
I'll respond in
greater detail on my blog after I finish writing this
comment, but his new post is another good example of his putting 2 and
2 together to get 739. He seems to be putting the two person rule
that was NOT
in effect in September 2001 together with Ivins unexplained evening and
weekend hours during that time and producing a belief that the combination somehow
says Ivins was innocent. HOW? He can't explain how, of
course. You have to understand something before you can explain
it. And, it definitely appears that "Anonymous" doesn't
understand what he is saying.
"Anonymous" seems to believe that anyone who
ever listened to Bruce Ivins' counselor Judith McLean would be viewed
by the courts as being mentally incompetent and not eligible for
testifying or even commenting on the case. Anonymous seems
absolutely obsessed with the
fact that McLean once wrote a book about her past mental
to Anonymous, that seems to make her ineligible to
testify in court, or to speak on any subject. And, anyone
who ever even listened to her
is contaminated beyond all hope and must be ignored and banished
from all courtrooms. "Anonymous" inexplicably
believes McLean would have been a "key witness" against Ivins, even
though McLean might never have
been a witness of any kind, since
she knew nothing of Ivins' role in the anthrax attacks of 2001.
There's no hint of any potential testimony from her in the Amerithrax
Investigative Summary. On page 9 and elsewhere,
however, there are mentions of opinions from Ivins' psychiatrists:
Ivins had “a history dating to his graduate days of homicidal threats,
actions, [and] plans,” and that a
prior psychiatrist “called him homicidal [and] sociopathic with clear
interactive blog, "Anonymous" also indicated once again that
deposition in the Maureen Stevens vs USA lawsuit is now available if I
send in an FOIA request. Why he won't just email it to me is
anyone's guess. I assumed he just wants to be an annoying
This morning, however, on
Lew Weinstein's blog where "Anonymous" posts as "DXer," he wrote:
Failing production under FOIA of
the civil depositions of Colonel Elliott, Patricia Fellows and Mara
Linscott under FOIA, suit should be brought in federal court given the
public interest in disclosure.
Failure to solve Amerithrax
is not an option
Isn't he saying that the Patricia Fellows deposition has NOT yet been produced and that
a lawsuit should be filed to force the DOJ to produce it? That's
how I read it. And, if it hasn't been produced, why does he
complain that I haven't read it while indicating that he has read
it? It appears to be some kind of "game" he's playing. He
seems to want me to send in an FOIA request merely as a way of putting
"pressure" on the DOJ to release the Fellows deposition. It's a trick
he's trying to pull on me. Or, maybe it's another example of him
not understanding what he's doing. Either way, I'm not going to
send in any FOIA request until I know
that the Patricia Fellows deposition is
And in his most recent post he also says,
I'm not interested in
posting here given that you are such an unpleasant person.
It appears he's saying I'm an "unpleasant person" because I disagree
with him and show him that his logic is illogical and that he's putting
2 and 2 together to get 739. He doesn't like that.
"Pleasant" people are evidently those who believe as he believes.
& Changes: Sunday, April 6, 2014, thru Saturday, April 12,
April 12, 2014 (B) - Hmm. That
was quick. (See my A comment.) "The Australian" has a new
article which says that the "Malaysian
govt doubts report of MH370 call on night of disappearance."
Why do they doubt it?
“I cannot comment because, if it is true, we would have known
about it much earlier,” Mr Hishamuddin yesterday told Malaysian
news agency Bernama.
It appears "doubt" is
deduced from the comment above. It's making a headline out of a
statement of uncertainty by one official. What the "doubt"
probably shows is that the government officials involved aren't really
communicating with one another, nor are they studying all the
details. The story seems too detailed to be false, but
(also see my A comment) it is certainly possible that some enterprising
reporter just made it all up.
Later, the British newspaper "The Independent" had a headline which
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Co-pilot call claims denied."
It's based upon the same comment from Mr. Hishamuddin. So, one
reporter's "doubt" is another reporter's "denial." It all depends
upon interpretations and how you want to write the story.
April 12, 2014 (A) - This morning,
there's a report in the New
Straits Times that says the pilot or co-pilot of Malaysia Airlines
took the aircraft down to about 5,000 feet while passing over Penang,
and someone tried to use the co-pilot's cell phone to make a
call. The article says,
A CREW member of Malaysia
Airlines flight MH370 made a desperate
call from his mobile phone as the plane was flying low near Penang, the
morning it went missing.
April 11, 2014 (C) - I keep thinking
that cell phones carried by the passengers and crew of flight MH370
could provide a wealth of information about why the plane
disappeared. On PPRuNe.org,
"Airbubba" provided a
link to an accident report where cell phone data was used. Unfortunately, it's
not a flight that crashed in an ocean. It's a UPS flight that
crashed short of the runway in Birmingham, AL, in August 2013.
But, it indicates that recovering cell phones is already something investigators are
probably thinking about.
April 11, 2014 (B) - SPOILER
ALERT! If you have last night episode of "Elementary"
(which was about anthrax) on your DVR and haven't yet watched it, this
comment is going to be a "spoiler" and tell you some of what happened.
The episode involved some guy who made 40 pounds
of anthrax in a makeshift lab. The powder was stored in a dozen
half-gallon-size jars. He made it on glass plates which were the
size and shape of rectangular cake baking pans. There were
"hundreds" of those plates in the lab when the police arrived, and the
plates all still had the "sheep's blood agar" in them, even though the
manufacturing process had been completed. And, it turned out that
the crime for which the anthrax was made, would have, in real
life, required only about a couple tablespoonfuls.
Otherwise, it was a good show - as usual.
April 11, 2014 (A)
- This morning, on my interactive blog, someone brought to my attention
an interesting article titled "How
politics makes us stupid." The idea is that anyone who
believes that providing more and better information to your opponent
will change his mind --- is wrong. Politics isn't about who
is right and who is wrong, it's about "us against them." And the
more information you try to give to your opponents, the more angry and
disagreeable they will get. The article says:
subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining
Is it the same with the debates over the anthrax attacks of 2001?
It certainly appears to be when the Truthers band together to fight "us
against them." However, in reality, there is no "us." Each
Truther has his own personal
theory about what happened, who committed the anthrax attacks of 2001
and why. It seems like each Truther has a case of paranoia, and
there is no connection between the cases. With enough
information, can you change the mind of a paranoiac? I
dunno. But, I'll keep trying -- for now.
April 10, 2014 (B) - I just
received another query letter turndown. It was a form letter
response to the query letter I sent out yesterday, and it says:
you for the opportunity to read your submission. Unfortunately, you
have come to me at a time when I am inundated with requests for
assistance and representation. The need to allocate my time
effectively forces me to decline participation in many worthy projects,
and, regretully, that must be the decision in this case as well.
am very sorry not to be able to help you with this project but please
accept my best wishes for you in your search for representation.
At least I didn't have
to wait weeks to get that response. So, I'll now get to work on
sending out a query to another agent.
April 10, 2014 (A) - Yesterday
afternoon, I added the other five presumably acceptable article links
Wikipedia article about the 2001 anthrax attacks. I don't see
any attempt to undo any of them. So, the debate with Wikipedia
editor "JzG" is over and done with, from my point of view.
However, I notice on JzG's
talk page that two people ("EarWigBot" and "Cjwilky") posted
messages telling JzG the proper way to resolve issues. You
are supposed to take the argument to the Wikipedia
Dispute Resolution Board. I recall someone did that back in
June 2010, when some other person kept deleting something I'd put in
the article about the hidden message in the media anthrax letter.
A third party "Elen of the Roads" created a dispute resolution
discussion about the issue.
This morning, I received an email from a regular visitor to this
site who wrote:
guess you forgot that
"Wiki-ny-2007" is me.
Yes, I had forgotten who
editor "Wiki-ny-2007" was. I vaguely remembered that we'd
communicated in the past, but I couldn't remember the context or who it
was. When I've got 23,107 things going on at once, it becomes
difficult to sort out specific memories.
Meanwhile, on my
interactive blog, one Anthrax Truther came to my defense after a
different Anthrax Truther attacked
me by arguing:
Now, I've pointed out to
you that your view that a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters is in
I think that's too strong. There are
reasons for thinking a child printer is extremely unlikely, but
'delusional' is too much like, indeed stronger than, "preposterous",
used upthread by the host. It's a hypothesis, not one I think bears
great scrutiny, but certainly not on the same level as Elvis being
kidnapped by Martians or anything I would label 'delusional'.
It's nice to see that there are attacks that even Truthers consider to
Of course, I still spend some time every day on PPRuNe.org
trying to find the latest information about Malaysian Airlines flight
MH370. And, yesterday's
news about picking up more signals from the flight's black box was
very interesting indeed. I keep wanting to write a comment about
all the conspiracy theories
there are about the disappearance of flight MH370. Some of the
theories are really interesting. Some are just mindless rants,
like this one following the WSJ article:
can't find the haystack...but they find the needle? Interesting!
Somebody really wants us to believe the flight 370 landed in the Indian
Ocean...even if they never actually find anything. I wonder... who?
My guess is the Chinese...and that
negotiations with the Uighurs went badly... or Chinese radar did detect
the plane and shot it down.
One thing I know for sure ...our leaders
lie to us.
Anthrax Truther seems certain that Muslim terrorists hijacked MH370
and flew it into the Indian Ocean to do a suicide attack upon an
American warship there. The problem is, he can't find any
American warship that was in the area at that time. But, if he
finds one, it will undoubtedly everlastingly confirm his beliefs.
(There almost certainly were
American warships in the Indian Ocean at that time. The American
Navy constantly patrols to watch for pirates off the coast of
Somalia. Does he think Somali Muslim pirates hijacked MH370
and planned to crash it into an American warship off Somalia as payback
for the incident in the hit movie "Captain
Phillips," but got lost?)
He also seems to have a second theory, that Muslim terrorists blew up
the plane for some unexplained reason. Here's how he put two and
two together yesterday:
In today’s news:
Bomb Hidden in Fruit Crate
Kills 20 in Pakistan’s Capital
By Fakhar ur Rehman
The fruit in today’s bomb was
guavas. On MH 370, they had two or three tons of mangosteens.
maybe the bomb was there as an added bonus for when the plane was flown
into the American warship. As usual, he doesn't explain how his
theories fit together. He just believes Muslim terrorists were
involved in the disappearance of MH370 somehow - and they are the same Muslim terrorists who were
also behind the anthrax attacks of 2001.
I was also involved in a very interesting argument on WorldScienceU.com about the properties of gravity and how
many "hypotheticals" you can have in one argument before the hypothesis
becomes just plain silly.
A first-responder paramedic I know also sent me three newspaper
articles about how some doctors are ripping off Medicare, and how the
American Medical Association (AMA) has been fighting for 35 years to
keep the information confidential. The AMA just lost that
battle. Click HERE,
And I'm getting phone calls from people in India with indecipherable
accents who want to help me with my computer. I hang up on them,
but they are presumably related to the fact that I still use Windows XP
as an operating system, which the
news says is about to cease being updated. My copy of Windows
XP hasn't been updated in many years. I just don't have the time
to install a new operating system AND all of my other software.
And somehow, in the middle of all the things I had to do yesterday, I
managed to send out another query letter for my sci-fi novel.
April 9, 2014 (B) - This morning,
article about the 2001 anthrax attacks, I found that the deleted
links to articles on my web site had been restored by a second
Wikipedia editor "Wiki-ny-2007." (See the comments I wrote
yesterday for details.) Not only that, but the editor also added a link to my 2012 book "A
Crime Unlike Any Other."
Then, I did some more of my daily chores. When I went back to
Wikipedia to look at the changes again and to see if there were any new
comments on any talk pages, I found that the first editor had put
things back to his way again, with the comment "
So the first editor
changed the argument. First he argued that I was a conspiracy
theorist and that's why he deleted the links. Now he's arguing
that the links are in violation of copyrights (even though I offered to
replace them with new links that go directly to the sources of the
And on that first editor's talk page, he explained his actions this way:
Ed, I noticed you are a crank
abusing Wikipedia to promote your website and delusional beliefs.
Now would be a great time to leave because you have been rumbled.
So, in that editor's
opinion, agreeing with the government is a "delusional belief,"
and it makes me a "crank." (Evidently, arguing with him also makes me a
The editor called "JzG" also deleted the link to my book, then editor "Wiki-ny-2007" put it back again with the comment:
And, of course, "JzG" just deleted it again because it's a
self-published book. (I can see the point of not allowing the use
of self-published books as references.)
There's only so much arguing I can do with a Wikipedia editor on his
talk page. He has the ability to delete everything I write
there. But, if editor "Wiki-ny-2007" sticks to his guns, maybe
matter will be taken to a Wikipedia forum where arguments are
resolved. That has happened with debates in the past.
I may also go to those deleted links and replace them one by one with
links to the same articles on other sites - mostly the sites where they
first appeared. Then we'll see if he can find some new reason to
delete the links. (Added Note: I tried three times to add back
one of the links via a patch.
None worked perfectly. But the third try was "good enough."
I'll study the coding process further before adding another link.)
April 9, 2014 (A)
- On my
interactive blog, "Anonymous" has hinted that the deposition done
by Patricia Fellows in the Maureen Stevens v USA lawsuit is now
available for Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests. He
hasn't supplied any link anywhere that I've seen. And, I hate to
go through the time and trouble of sending in another FOIA request if
the pdf file is available somewhere. But, if it's available, I'd
certainly like to get a copy. So, if anyone has it, please let me
April 8, 2014 (B) - While at the
health club working out, it occurred to me that I might be able to find
out who removed those links on Wikipedia I mentioned this morning, and
why he did it. All it says on the changes is that the guy
named "JzG." But, I tracked him down and found that he's a
Wikipedia editor who thinks I'm
conspiracy theorist, and that this web site is a conspiracy
theorist web site.
So, I got on his TALK page and set him straight. Now, I'm going
to wait for his response before I try to fix those links.
April 8, 2014 (A) - Hmm. Each
morning, I check Wikipedia's
article on the 2001 anthrax attacks to see if there have been
any changes. Yesterday, someone evidently suddenly decided to do
some housecleaning on that article. They deleted 1,846
bytes. Looking over what they deleted, I see that ALL the
deleted items are links to articles on this web site. The links to
very important articles were evidently deleted as "Citation
The first link they deleted was to my copy of a New York Times article
from Dec. 5, 2001, titled "Anthrax
Pervades Florida Site, and Experts See Likeness to That Sent to Senators."
They deleted the link to my
copy of the article, but didn't replace it with the above link to the
New York Time's copy. Most interestingly, the subject of
the article is something I was discussing
yesterday on my interactive blog - how the AMI building became so
thoroughly contaminated. The NYT article says,
Spores ended up not just in
the mailroom and on Mr. Stevens's keyboard, but also in such
out-of-the-way places as atop a room divider and computer monitors and
in a nook between banks of shelves.
Investigators said that some sites found to be contaminated
closely traced the routes taken by people making regular rounds from
the first-floor mailroom up stairs and elevators to dozens of desks and
presumably were stirred up and transported as mail was sorted and
delivered. These findings point to a less-dangerous preparation
with spores that do not linger in the air but fall where they are
Yesterday, on my interactive blog, a Truther argued the notion that the J-Lo letter was transported through the
AMI building, spreading spores along the way, which makes no sense
whatsoever. But, this NY Times article explains it
differently. The mail
was contaminated and the
cross-contaminated mail was carried through the building and
delivered to many different places in the building. That makes a
great deal of sense. The fact that there were spores atop a room
divider also means spores were floating around in the air, so Bob
Stevens didn't need to sniff the powder to become infected.
The second deleted link was to my copy of an Oct. 25, 2001 New York
Times article: "Contradicting
Some U.S. Officials, 3 Scientists Call Anthrax Powder High-Grade."
It is also about subjects that were being discussed on my interactive
"It's high-grade," said Mr.
[William] Patrick, who consults widely on making germ defenses. "It's
free flowing. It's electrostatic free. And it's in high concentration."
Experts on germ weaponry agree
that the removal of electrostatic charges is a major step toward making
an effective munition. The Soviet Union and United States developed
sophisticated ways of diminishing this attraction and helping the
particles float more freely, increasing their ease of dissemination and
likelihood of inhalation.
Mr. Patrick said that whoever sent the Daschle letter had clearly
achieved this step. "It's fluffy," he said, quoting experts who
examined the powder. "It appears
to have an additive that keeps the spores from clumping
Removing the charge, he added, is a black art, few details of which are
This also was being
discussed on my interactive blog. "Anonymous/DXer" was
digging up old articles where people once believed the attack spores
were weaponized with silica.
The third deleted link
was to my copy of Douglas Beecher's 2006 article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Application of Microbiological Culture Analysis To Identify Mail
Intentionally Contaminated withBacillus anthracis Spores."
It's probably no coincidence that "Anonymous" on my interactive blog
had recently cited an article that challenged the conclusions in
Douglas Beecher's article.
The fourth deleted link was to my copy of an ABC News article from Oct.
26, 2001 titled "Troubling
Anthrax Additive Found."
has been told by three well-placed and separate sources that initial
tests on an anthrax-laced letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom
Daschle have detected a troubling chemical additive that authorities
consider their first significant clue yet.
An urgent series of
tests conducted on the letter at Ft. Detrick, Md., and elsewhere
discovered the anthrax spores were
treated with bentonite, a substance that keeps the tiny
particles floating in the air by preventing them from sticking
together. The easier the particles are to inhale, the more deadly they
As far as is
known, only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological
Just minutes before ABCNEWS' World News
Tonight aired this report, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer flatly
denied bentonite was found on the letters. Moments later, another
senior White House official backed off Fleischer's comments, saying it
does not appear to be bentonite "at this point."
The official said the Ft. Detrick
findings represented an "opinionated analysis," that three other labs
are conducting tests, and that one of those labs had contradicted the
bentonite finding. But, the official added, "tests continue."
appears there were different versions of that article produced on Oct.
26, 27 and 29. The quotes above are from ABC News's Oct. 27
version. Is it just a coincidence that "Anonymous/DXer" on my
interactive blog seems to be pushing
Gary Matsumoto as an authority on how the spores used in the
anthrax attacks were "weaponized"?
The fifth deleted link was to my copy of Barbara Hatch
Rosenberg's June 13, 2002 rant from the FAS web site. The
rant is titled "The
Anthrax Case: What the FBI Knows" (which can also be found HERE).
A couple paragraphs from that article:
Properties and Composition of the Anthrax Samples-A biodefense insider who has hands-on
experience in weaponizing anthrax says the Daschle sample corresponds
to state-of-the-art US anthrax preparations. A number of
other inside experts concur. The perpetrator may well be one of
those who helped perfect the US technique. No other country is
known to have comparable capability.
5. The Likely Suspect--Early
in the investigation, a number of inside experts (at least five that I
know about) gave the FBI the name of one specific person as the most
suspect. That person fits the FBI profile in most
He has the right skills, experience with anthrax, up-to-date anthrax
forensic training, and access to USAMRIID and its biological agents
The sixth and last deleted link was to my copy of the September 2001
Canadian Study titled "Risk
assessment of anthrax threat letters." This is the study that
was published BEFORE the anthrax attacks, and some Truthers argue that
it was the blueprint for the attacks or generated the idea for the
attacks. Here's the abstract:
recent years an increasing number of letters alleging to contain
anthrax have been sent to health clinics, government offices and other
locations. While such “anthrax letter” incidents to date have proven to
be hoaxes, all incidents must be treated as real until proven
otherwise. Since no experimental studies on which to base a realistic
assessment of the threat posed by these “anthrax letters” could be
found, Defence Research Establishment Suffield (DRES) undertook a
series of experiments to determine the extent of the hazard. In the experiments, envelopes
containing Bacillus globigii spores (a simulant for anthrax) were
opened in a mock mail room/office environment. The data measured on the
dispersion of the spores were used to estimate if
letters containing anthrax spores posed a significant health
I don't recall if I'm the one who created those links in the Wikipedia
article, but, if I did, it wasn't for "citation spam" purposes.
It was because newspapers would constantly change the addresses of
their articles, so the links would constantly stop working.
They'd move a article from their "today" file to their "past week" file
and then to their "past month" file and then to the "archive"
file. Because they were constantly changing the links, Google
couldn't find the article, either. That's why I created this web
site, as a place where I could store copies of articles without fear
that they'd disappear. Such links just clutter up my log files
and use extra bandwidth.
Now I have to decide if I want to go to the trouble of putting back all
those links using the versions that do not
come from my web site. As you can see from the links provided
above, all the articles are available elsewhere, and only the Beecher
article requires a subscription to access a fully copy. If links
to very relevant articles about the anthrax case are just "spam" if
they come from my web site, maybe adding links to different versions of
the articles from elsewhere will somehow convert those important
articles into "non-spam." I just need to find the time and
ambition to make the changes. I think it could be several hours
April 7, 2014 (B) - Wow!
Someone on PPRuNe.org
just provided a link to a web site at http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/
where you can track almost any ship on any ocean. They've got
481,812 ships in their data base. I checked, and it was easy to
locate the Australian ship Ocean Shield that is searching for the black
box from MH370. Plus, you can locate and track the other ships involved
in the search. And you can also see that there are a few tankers
passing through the area. It's really cool!
The image below is a composite someone made, with
the names added. On the site, you have to put the cursor over the
arrow to see what ship it is. The red arrow is a tanker.
April 7, 2014 (A) - This morning,
someone called "Dai Farr" on PPRuNe.org posted a long dissertation on
radio energy versus sound energy. Right now, it is HERE,
but I don't know if the link will work for very long. Links
on that site seem to change when the moderator deletes a post that was
made before the linked post.
Anyway, "Dai Farr" explained that the signals from the "black box" that
the ships are now using to try to locate in the Indian Ocean are SOUND
radio signals. Radio signals do not travel well through
water. So, instead of listening for radio signals, which travel
at the speed of light, the searchers are listening to sound signals
which, according to Wikipedia,
in sea water
travel at about 4,500 feet per second, depending upon a several
factors, primarily temperature, salinity and density.
When looking for the black box from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,
they have to worry about sound waves emitted by the black box bouncing
off of underwater canyon walls, off of different temperature or
salinity layers, etc. The deeper the box, the more potential
bouncing of the signal. That makes it far more difficult to
locate the box. (If you really want to dig into the subject,
click on the link HERE,
which also comes from a post to PPRuNe.org. It explains how you
can pick up the same underwater sound signal coming from a hundred
The information above may help people understand an article in The
Washington Post which says:
Searchers looking for the
missing Malaysia Airlines plane have discovered signals consistent with
those emitted by black boxes in the Indian Ocean, but they may still be a long way from
finding the first piece of wreckage.
The pinger locator is
designed to detect signals at a range of 1.8 kilometers (1.2 miles),
meaning it would need to be almost on top of the black boxes to detect
them if they were on the ocean
floor, which is 4,500 meters (14,800 feet).
The first signal was picked
up Saturday evening and lasted two hours and 20 minutes before it was
lost as the ship moved forward. The ship then turned around and a few
hours later picked up a second signal that lasted for 13 minutes.
On Monday, the Ocean Shield
was trying to pick up the signal again, so far without success. [U.S. Navy Capt. Mark] Matthews
said it would continue trying for at least another day. He said the
boat tries to go over the area from different angles in an attempt to
triangulate an exact position.
When crews determine the best
possible location, the next step will be to send down the U.S. Navy’s
autonomous underwater vessel Bluefin 21, a robot that can create a
sonar map of the seafloor and any wreckage, as well as take photos.
said the Bluefin’s sonar can scan only about 100 meters (328 feet) and
it can “see” with lights and cameras only a few meters. Since its range
is limited, searchers are waiting to use it until they determine more
precisely where the pings are coming from.
So, the signals from the
black box appear to be
real. But, they could still be a week or more away from actually
finding the black box. It's also interesting to note that the
signals are right on the line where the satellite last detected a
"ping" from the plane. The image below is from HERE,
where a larger version can be found.
I keep thinking that, even
when the find the black box, they might find better recordings telling
what happened on Flight MH370 by looking for cell phones belonging to
the passengers. Those cell phones might have recorded dozens of eye witness accounts.
April 6, 2014 - The most interesting things related to
the anthrax attacks of 2001 that occurred last week - that I know about
- are (1) I sold three copies
of my 2012 book "A Crime
Unlike Any Other;"
(2) there was some kind of sudden surge in people viewing my YouTube video
explaining the facts which say a child wrote the anthrax letters; (3)
my interactive blog tried to make some kind of unexplained point
about a new article in the Journal
of Applied Microbiology that mentions
the anthrax attacks of 2001; (4) a different Anthrax Truther on my
interactive blog pointed out an error I made in my March 16 (B) comment; and (5)
this week's episode of one of my favorite TV series, "Elementary,"
to be aired on CBS on
Thursday, is advertised as being about thwarting some kind of
anthrax attack involving a pound of anthrax.
I don't have anything more to add about item #5, but taking the other
items one by one,
actually know who bought one
of the three copies of my book that I sold last week. He sent me
email saying he'd done so. Based upon the sales reports I get,
the first copy was sold on April 1 and seems to have been paid for in English pounds. The second
was purchased on April 4 and was paid for in American dollars.
Both were purchased via the
printer's web site.
The third sale appeared on this morning's reports and was via Amazon.com.
But, the three buyers could all be connected.
The person who emailed me
said he and someone else were working on a project that involved the
anthrax attacks of 2001, and they needed my book for research.
Those three copies were the only copies of my book that have been sold
in the past two or three weeks.
2. The numbers are less tangible for the "surge" in viewers of my
YouTube video about how the facts say a child wrote the anthrax
letters. I don't get or keep any records of the number of
viewers, but I do check the total number every day. And it seems like there was a brief surge
last week. I crossed the 800 viewer mark just a few days
ago. 800 viewers in about a year equals less than 3 viewers a
day, and that seemed to be what I was getting. But, as of this
morning, there have been 825 viewers. It's not a huge "surge,"
but I have to wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the books
I sold and the anthrax case "project" that is going on.
Journal of Applied Microbiology article that mentions the anthrax
attacks of 2001 is also featured in a new thread on Lew Weinstein's
As far as I can tell, the only point being made by the Anthrax Truther
is that the article seems to cite as a source Gary Matsumoto's
thoroughly debunked 2003 Science Magazine article titled "Anthrax
Powder: State of the Art?" The Applied Microbiology article
doesn't seem have anything new to say about the anthrax attacks.
It's about a method to make aerosolizable spores for various kinds of
tests. But, the Anthrax Truthers seem to be mentioning it
as proof of something. They're just incapable of explaining what it
In my March 16 (B) comment, I
mistake of writing that two
Anthrax Truthers on my interactive blog "suddenly and inexplicably seemed to cite
as being a
supreme authority" on the J-Lo letter. Yesterday, one of those
Truthers pointed out to me that he was actually citing Robert Graysmith
and had even provided a link to key pages in Graysmith's book "Amerithrax:
The Hunt for the Anthrax Killer." I had evidently read no
in his post than to where he rationalized, "there's no
reason the sender couldn't have mixed anthrax spores in with laundry
Looking over those pages in Graysmith's book (pages 5 & 6 in the
hardcover edition), I find them to be, in some ways, even more
interesting than what Leonard Cole wrote.
Graysmith seems to say that
the J-Lo letter was delivered on Sept. 21, 2001. The National Enquirer says it was
opened on Sept. 19.
Graysmith says that as Ernesto Blanco carried the J-Lo letter through
the building in his mail delivery cart, he left a trail of spores
behind him. That is total
nonsense. The facts say
otherwise. The CDC's data showed the mailroom to be the most
contaminated place in the AMI building. The FBI said the spores
were most likely tracked through the building by people coming to the
thoroughly contaminated mail room to get copy paper.
Graysmith says (without any
apparent foundation) that Blanco had
"rested a handful of mail atop stacks of copy paper" for some
Graysmith says that when the J-Lo letter was opened, "a small, cheap
Star of David dropped out."
Graysmith also wrote, "Inside the envelope was a 'childish' one page,
handwritten love letter to Jennifer Lopez. Also enclosed was a
tablespoon of 'soapy, powdery substance,' a bluish dust that resembled
dishwashing powder. It might have come from a ruptured detergent
packet, a sample, but an inspection revealed no packet inside."
The Enquirer says the Star of David pendant was buried in the soap powder inside
the folded J-Lo love letter, the powder was "pink-tinged," and the
envelope also contained a cigar tube with a cheap cigar inside, and "There was also an empty can of chewing
tobacco and a small
Graysmith didn't even mention the powder-filled letter that Stephanie
Dailey opened. He just mentions that Dailey was one of the mail
sorters who put mail into sorting slots in the mailroom.
While I'd normally be the last person in the world to cite the National
Enquirer as a key authority on anything, the J-Lo letter was opened
in their building by their people, and they had much
better access than Cole or Graysmith to
interview all the AMI employees involved. And the Enquirer
reporters did their
interviews when memories were still relatively fresh. While Cole
can be faulted for having interviewed only some of the key employees - and not
the person who actually received the J-Lo letter - Graysmith's book
seems to have far more errors - at least as far as the J-Lo letter is
concerned. Yet, the Anthrax Truther stated
on March 11 "Graysmith's book is very good on this,"
meaning the subject of the J-Lo letter.
Of course, all three of them are WRONG
about anthrax being in the J-Lo letter.
Meanwhile, this morning I see a lot of
news reports about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the acoustic
signals detected by a Chinese ship which may to have come from the
black box aboard MH370. But nothing has been
News also reports:
[Retired Air Chief Marshal
Angus Houston told reporters in Perth] that the Australian vessel Ocean
Shield also was investigating a
separate acoustic detection.
The CBS report also says,
false alerts can come from
animals such as whales, or interference from shipping noise.
reports that the Australian vessel was 300 nautical miles away from
where the Chinese ship detected what seemed like black box
signals. But, most news reports are now saying
that the Chinese ship appears to have picked up black box signals
TWICE, first on Saturday, then on Sunday (Friday and Saturday,
On the negative side, it appears
from a BBC report
that the Chinese ship didn't detect the signals, the signals were
detected by putting a hydrophone in the water from a zodiac patrol boat launched from
the Chinese ship. That's why there were no recordings of
Also interesting is the fact that CNN
seems to be comparing the search for flight MH370 to the search
for the Holy Grail. And "The
Voice of Russia" has an article which lists 10 "conspiracy
theories" regarding Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. They're not
all true "conspiracy theories," many are just "theories," but the one
some safety instruction sheets from a Malaysian
Boeing 777 in a trash heap in Australia should be interesting to the
Truther on my interactive blog who seems to truly believe the plane
crash-landed somewhere in Western Australia.
& Changes: Sunday, March 30, 2014, thru Saturday, April 5,
April 5, 2014 - Hmm. Chinese
media is reporting that a Chinese ship picked up "black box"
signals in the Indian Ocean in the general area where everyone has been
searching for debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370:
China's Haixun 01 ship has
detected pulse signal in the South Indian Ocean, Xinhua news agency
The signal, at 37.5 kHz per
second, was picked up by a black box locator at 25 degrees south
latitude and 101 degrees east longitude.
It is yet to be determined
whether the signal is related to the missing flight MH370 of the
Malaysian Airlines, the report says.
The signal was picked
up at 4:30pm, which lasted about one minute and a half, the
jfdaily.com reports. [jfdaily.com is the same report in Chinese].
According to the British
A reporter with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, who is
onboard the Haixun, said the
patrol ship first picked up the signal on Friday when it was detected intermittently for
about 15 minutes. But other vessels were in the vicinity at the
time, raising the possibility that they might have been the source.
But Haixun, China's largest
patrol vessel, picked up the
signal again on Saturday,
when it was detected every second for 90 seconds
According to two comments on PPRuNe.org HERE
Three crew members heard
this signal but could not make a
recording as they were surprised by the signal!! Hope its not
another false hope.
Neither of two bloggers
stated where they read that information. So, I did a Google news
search for "three crew members" and "Malaysia," and I found a report from Malaysian
media which said:
Meanwhile, Chinese state
media agency China News Service reports that the signal that Haixun
01 detected lasted only about 90 seconds, and was heard at about 4.30pm.
“Three crew members have confirmed
hearing the suspicious signal, but it came so suddenly that they did
not manage to record it in time,” the report said.
That Malaysian source also
provided a map of where the signals were received:
It's not in any aircraft search area, but that doesn't mean
anything. The aircraft search areas are either where unidentified
debris was spotted (and could have floated there from elsewhere) or
where various calculations estimate
the plane went down.
according to another
source, more "floating objects" have been spotted and photographed:
A Chinese air force plane
has spotted floating objects in the search area for the missing
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, news agency Xinhua
reported on Saturday.
LA Times says that the new floating objects were spotted "about 90
kilometers" from the area where the supposed black box signals were
photographed the objects over a period of 20 minutes after
spotting them at 11:05 local time.
An Australian pilot on board the plane reported the information to the
Joint Agency Coordination Center, which is coordinating the
multinational search in the southern Indian Ocean.
I hope, too, that it's not all just another
April 4, 2014 - Someone calling
him/herself "lynw" on PPRuNe.org
just posted this comment about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at 15:47
I am not saying
eyewitnesses should be ignored I am simply pointing out that eyewitness
testimony is proven to be unreliable and much more unreliable than
If all you have is eyewitnesses, then of course you need to investigate
the validity of that evidence bearing in mind recall is not always
complete, or accurate. If you have technical evidence that also needs
to be assessed and investigated. Unlike eyewitness testimony though,
that technical evidence is unlikely to change and the validation comes
from another examiner using the same set of data and independently
reaching the same conclusion.
In this case, Inmarsat have confirmed the aircraft pings long after
these eyewitness reports saying they saw the plane. A company like
Inmarsat is not going to put their reputation on the line over data
they are not sure of. I suspect that these calculations would have been
thoroughly validated and verified before release. The consequences for
Inmarsat are very considerable if they have got it wrong.
The consequences for these eyewitnesses? they get the Daily Whinge
probably paying them for their account and their pic in the paper. It's
not rocket science to figure which one I would consider more credible
I am not saying all eyewitness accounts should be automatically ignored
but their credibility and motives have to be considered, and considered
in light of the technical evidence. The question becomes whether they
genuinely reported something they think may be relevant even if they
are mistaken or hoping the worlds press and its cheque book will come
Interestingly, someone else on PPRuNe.org
just posted a link to an article from March 8 which was headlined "Vietnam
confirms MAS flight crashed into sea off Tho Chu island." The
The Vietnamese navy had
earlier confirmed that
Kuala Lumpur-Beijing bound Flight MH370 had crashed into the sea off Tho Chu island.
Tuoi Tre quoted Navy Admiral
Ngo Van Phat, Commander of Region 5, as saying that military radar
reported that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 246km south of Phu Quoc island.
On the map below, Tho Chu island is "A" and
Phu Quoc Island is "B."
Evidently, none of this
actually related to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. But, it would
be interesting to know what those "experts" actually saw. And,
this example makes it easy to see how conspiracy theories can be formed.
April 3, 2104 - There's an
interesting video at the link HERE
which has one CNN reporter, aviation expert Jeff Wise, discussing the known facts about Malaysia Airlines
flight MH370 and another CNN reporter trying to find a way to ignore
all the facts so he can believe what he wants to believe.
Meanwhile, on PPRuNe.com,
someone mentioned the idea that they try to recreate the flight with
another Boeing 777 (without running out of gas and crashing, of course)
to see if the satellite and radar data match. If the data does match, it should shut up some
of the disbelievers. If the data doesn't match, they can again
adjust the search area.
on PPruNe.com leads to an article HERE
which contains some very illuminating information:
[A former lead crash
investigator for the US National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Greg] Feith believes there will be
several plausible theories that all will point to a deliberate act by
someone with intimate knowledge of flying the Boeing 777, most likely one of the pilots.
Too many deliberate actions maneuvering the airplane and turning off
communications systems occurred to have any plausible mechanical
failure explanation. He
completely discounts theories that a fire, either in the electronics
bay or involving lithium-ion batteries being transported in a cargo
bay, disabled the airplane. He also discounts a theory that there was a
depressurization that incapacitated the pilots and allowed the 777 to
meander over the skies of the Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia and the Strait
of Malacca before turning south 3,000 miles over the Indian Ocean
before running out of fuel. ......
“The transponder is turned
off with a switch of a switch. ACARS goes off line with a few key
strokes,” Feith told us. “If
there was a fire, the auto pilot
would have gone off line.”
Fire could not have disabled the
transponder, he said. There are different wire bundles for the
five radios, the two transponders and the ACARS precisely to avoid a
single-source fire capable of disrupting these eight communications
“There is no centralized area where a
fire could take all these out at the same time,” he said.
As for the related theory that the auto
pilot took over after the crew was disabled by hypoxia, the series of
left and right hand turns belies this, he said. If the crew were
overcome, the airplane would have continued on its original course to
Beijing. Instead, it made a “shallow” left turn after its last radio
communication with Malaysian Air Traffic Control to a new course almost
behind its original course. Then, over the Strait of Malacca, it made a
right turn, a left turn and another left turn going south over the
Citing his sources familiar
with the investigation, Feith
said these were shallow banks of perhaps 20 degrees, normal turns that
would not have alerted passengers that anything was out of the ordinary.
auto pilot isn’t smart enough [on its own] to make the maneuvers the
airplane did,” Feith said.
the altitude changes that have been reported in the media are
incorrect, he said, citing his sources. The airplane never left its
cruising altitude of 35,000 ft.
It seems to squelch all theories except a deliberate act by a crew
member or, less likely, some kind of hijacking.
April 2, 2014 - This morning,
someone sent me an email with a link to a
Bradenton Herald article about some lawsuits filed by two Florida
newspapers trying to get the government to release more information
related to the 9/11 hijackers who stayed for awhile in
Florida. I was challenged to find some way that Anthrax
Truthers could connect these lawsuits to the anthrax attacks. I
couldn't find a way. But, that doesn't mean the Truthers can't dream up a connection if they
really want to.
April 1, 2014 (B) - Ah! I just
received my first response to the query letters I've sent to literary
agents regarding my new sci-fi novel. It was a response to the
query email I sent out on March 12. The response is a form letter
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to consider your query - thanks
for sending it.
Alas, the query didn't
appeal quite enough to my own tastes to inspire me to
offer representation or further consideration of your project. I wish I
had the time to respond to everyone with constructive criticism, but it
would be overwhelming, hence this form response.
This business is highly subjective; many people whose work I
haven't connected with have gone on to critical and commercial success.
So, keep trying!
I am grateful that you have afforded me this
opportunity to find out about you and your project, and wish you the
best of success with your current and future creative work.
All best wishes,
It may be a turn-down, but it's not because there's anything wrong with
the book. It's just that the book doesn't match his own personal
tastes or what he wants to work on. Such a response is better
than no response at all. But not much better. It's
only "better" because now I'm free to contact one of the five
other agents at that agency.
[Stephen] King received
dozens of rejections for his first novel, Carrie; he
kept them tidily nailed to a spike under a timber in his bedroom.
[William] Golding's Lord
of the Flies was rejected by 20 publishers.
[J.K. Rowling's] Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s
(later Sorceror’s) Stone
was rejected by a dozen publishers, including
biggies like Penguin and HarperCollins. Bloomsbury, a small London
publisher, only took it on at the behest of the CEO’s eight-year old
daughter, who begged her father to print the book.
One publisher rejected Mr. [George] Orwell's submission, Animal Farm, with these words:
It is impossible
to sell animal stories in the USA.
Mr. Tony Hillerman, now famous for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery
novels, was initially told by publishers to
Get rid of all
that Indian stuff.
1, 2014 (A) - I find it
incredible how many people in the media are trying to make something significant out of the fact that
what some Malaysian official originally said were the last words from
the co-pilot of flight MH370 is different from what the official
transcript says. Click HERE,
for a few such articles. All I see is that (1) the official
didn't have the words memorized, (2) the official didn't think the exact wording was important, and
(3) the official didn't realize that every word he was speaking would
be scrutinized and analyzed a million times over.
The official originally said the final words were "All right, good
The transcript says the final words were "Good Night Malaysian Three
This morning I found a full copy of the actual transcript. Click HERE
to view it. Since a "transcript" is what someone writes down as
they listen to a recording, I suspect that a lot of people are now
going to be demanding that the recording
be released so they can create their own transcript. There are a
lot of "Truthers" out there who believe they are the only reliable
investigator for anything unusual that happens anywhere.
On the other hand, you can never tell where a good idea might
appear. Some pilots on PPRUNE.ORG
have wondered if the plane might have created contrails which might be
observable on satellite photos. I see news stories about that HERE
on PPRUNE.ORG points out that the flight was at night, which would
make contrails very difficult to see. But he analyzes the data HERE
March 30, 2014 - Uh oh. I
don't have anything already written and set to post here as my Sunday
comment. So, once again, I'm going to have to "wing it" and just
write something from scratch.
Umm. Last week a state prosecutor who doesn't have anything to do
with the anthrax case sent me an email asking permission to use one of
the cartoons on my
interactive blog in a presentation she needs to make to a grand
jury. For some reason, she wanted to use this cartoon:
I gave her permission and pointed out that the drawings in the cartoon
are copyright-free artwork I obtained by buying a Corel
MegaGallery CD Pack many years ago. All I did was combine two
different drawings and add the text.
And that was that.
Okay. What next? Umm. In yesterday's comment I said I
wasn't going to write anything more about the subject I wasn't going to
write anything more about. So, I can't write about that, except
to say that I got into another argument with another Truther or "True
Believer" in the comments that follow a
Bloomberg article on the subject.
Umm. I'm not making any progress on starting a new sci-fi novel,
a sequel to the one I finished a couple months ago. I even
reached the point where I had so little to do that I "borrowed" a novel
from my local library. I "borrowed" Lee Child's 6th Jack Reacher
Fail." But, as soon as I "borrowed" it, I lost the urge to
read it. It's in my Kindle for when the urge returns. (With
my Kindle there's no need to return any "borrowed" books. They're
automatically considered to be "returned" after 7 days.)
Meanwhile, I'm 75% done with Mark Twain's "The Innocents Abroad."
I'm only reading it during breakfast and lunch. Here's an
interesting passage I highlighted:
"What is it that confers the noblest
delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that
which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that
you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding
what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin
atmosphere. To give birth to an idea--to discover a great thought--an
intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a
brain--plow had gone over before. To find a new planet, to invent a new
hinge, to find the way to make the lightnings carry your messages. To
be the first--that is the idea. To do something, say something, see
something, before any body else--these are the things that confer a
pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace,
other ecstasies cheap and trivial."
I think writing a book might fit into the section about "to give birth
to an idea." I also think I can do a better job of marketing my
book to literary agents. I'm just not very good at selling.
I'd have a hard time selling ice cream sundaes for a penny a dish in
the Sahara Desert. I've been trying agents who say they like science fiction, but they all seem
to be looking for "young
adult science-fiction and fantasy" right now. The "Harry
Potter" books fall into that category. So does "The Hunger Games"
series, the "Perry Jackson" books, "The Hobbit," the new "Divergent"
series and many others. I watched the movie "Ender's Game" a few
weeks ago thinking it was going to be my kind of science fiction, and
it turned out to be "Harry Potter in Outer Space." They're fantasy books and movies, not
science-fiction. While I managed to sit through both "Hunger Games"
movies, I didn't buy the premise (people hunting and killing people as
a public amusement). While there are lots of exceptions, I don't
particularly care for fantasy.
I prefer "straight" science fiction -- real science used in fictional
The sci-fi novel I'm trying to get published is "straight"
science-fiction. But how do I get a literary agent interested
enough to help me? How
do I summarize the book into a paragraph or a page? Some agents
to know "the theme" of the book. What is "the theme" of my book?
"New discoveries can be both beneficial and dangerous?" That's not
going to sell anything. "None of us is really fully
understandable?" Too schmaltzy. "Geniuses are not like
other people?" Maybe. But would a literary agent find that
"theme" to be interesting?
And what about the synopsis? I know it should emphasize the
in the book not the science. Maybe something like this:
Professor Frank Wycott has built a device
that uses anti-time to help
debunk conspiracy theories, which are his favorite peeve. His
daughter, Professor Lillian Wycott believes she has uncovered a
real conspiracy among anti-government radicals that could be an
threat. The two Wycotts explain the situation to one of Frank
Wycott's former students, Nathan Rawlins, the President of the United
States. The story opens when President Rawlins asks his brother,
Kyle, a wealthy inventor, to try to figure out what the Wycotts are
talking about, if Frank's invention has any practical use, and if
Lillian's theory about a pending attack by anti-government radicals
upon Washington has any foundation in reality.
Hmm. That's not bad. It needs work, but maybe I'll
use it in my next
And that's the end of today's comment.
& Changes: Sunday, March 23, 2014, thru Saturday, March 29,
March 29, 2014 - I think this may be
my last comment about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 until some actual
debris from the aircraft is located and is positively identified.
The only news I see this morning is a BBC headline that says "Flight MH370:
Chinese and Australian Ships Draw Blank." The article says:
Chinese patrol ship Haixun
01 and Australia's HMAS Success "reported they have retrieved a number
of objects from the ocean but so far no objects confirmed to be related
to MH370 have been recovered", the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
(Amsa) said late on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the pilots on PPRUNE.ORG
are discussing and arguing over what yesterday's news reports actually
said. It makes no sense that, if the plane was going faster than previously thought, it
would have gone a shorter distance in the specified amount of time.
Yes, if a plane flies at a steady and faster
air-speed, it will go a shorter distance before it runs out of
fuel. But, between any two points in time,
if it is going faster, it will go further. It would certainly go
further between satellite "pings." It would have traveled further at
the point of the last known "ping" at 8:11 a.m. So, the chart
below (found HERE)
makes no sense if the purple track is the faster track.
The only way the new final location might make sense to the pilots on
PPRUNE.ORG is if the plane was only flying significantly faster
at the start of the flight
when it was flying westward, and then it slowed down when it headed
south. So, I looked around to find out what the experts actually
said. The quote below is from The
Detroit Free Press:
Martin Dolan, chief
commissioner of the Australian Air Transport Safety Bureau, said a
revised analysis of radar data prompted the agency to refocus the
search in the Indian Ocean off Perth. The analysis
indicates that the plane was flying faster than previously estimated between the South China Sea and
the Strait of Malacca before radar contact was lost, Dolan said.
But, if you view the video at that link, it just says what other news
indicates that the plane was
travelling faster than was previously
estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage, reducing the possible
distance it travelled south into the Indian Ocean,' Australian
Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner Martin Dolan said on Friday.
There's nothing in either report about the plane slowing down
when it headed south. You have to deduce that
from the area that they're now searching.
I've often written in this blog that a person doesn't really understand
something until they can explain it to someone else and get them to
understand it, too. It seems like none of the experts explaining
things to the media understood that the plane must have slowed down
when it headed south, since no one mentions it, and that is the key
to understanding what's going on. And, as far as I can tell, no
one in the media mentions it either. There are dozens of news
stories which merely say the plane didn't go as far as previously
thought because it was flying faster.
It seems that only the people actually doing the data analysis
A Google search for the words "slow down" found an interesting article HERE
about a "blow torch fire" aboard a different Boeing 777 three years ago
that might explain something, if it
could somehow also account for all the course and speed changes.
But, I'm tired of trying to put the pieces together when the media and
the "experts" are leaving out key
also mentions that the plane was going faster when heading west, but
makes no mention of slowing down when it turned south.)
March 28, 2014 - I find this
morning's news on CNN about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 to be very interesting and very relatable to the Amerithrax
investigation. They've got NEW data and that changes their analysis. So,
Forget all those satellite
photos showing promising patches of debris. The search for missing
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has moved again.
In a stunning turn,
Australian authorities announced Friday that they were abandoning the
remote region of Indian Ocean where search crews had spent more than a
week looking for the plane. A new analysis of satellite data showed the
plane could not have flown that far south, they said.
So, those 300 white objects in the
Thai satellite photos that made headlines yesterday were just whitecaps?
No one is actually saying that, but it appears to be the case.
Search aircraft weren't able to find anything in the area where 300 large objects were supposed to
be. Findings in
the new search area, however, are very different:
In what could be a sign the
search is on the right track, or possibly yet another letdown, the
agency said five
of the 10 planes dispatched to the new search zone spotted objects in
the waters below. Crews took photographs of the objects, and
those images will be analyzed overnight, the authority said.
There's understandable frustration among reporters and among the
public. They want investigators to be right the first time.
They cannot understand how any facts can point investigators in a wrong
direction. But, the investigators can understand it. It
happens all the time. When the investigators are questioned about
whether the previous searches and findings were all a waste of time,
here's the response:
"I don't think we
would've done anything different from what we have done," [acting
Malaysian Transport Minister] Hishammuddin [Hussein] said.
[John] Young [general
manager of emergency response for the Australian maritime authority]
said previous searches were based on the information authorities "had
at the time."
"That's nothing unusual
for search and rescue operations," he said.
CNN safety analyst David
Soucie said it was "a good sign" that experts had adjusted their
"Assumptions are the key
to all of this," he said. "If you
assume something and you end up with a final conclusion, you have to
constantly review that."
I wouldn't call anything
based upon assumptions to be a "final conclusion." But, this
seems very relatable to early "findings" in the Amerithrax
investigation which later turned out to be wrong or misleading (i.e.,
anthrax lab in Afghanistan, the so-called "J-Lo letter, the reports of
silica in the powders, "experts" pointing at Steven Hatfill,
etc). The Anthrax Truthers were generally incapable of
changing their minds when NEW data showed their original "final
conclusions" were totally wrong.
It appears that the main assumption they had to review in the MH370
case was the speed at which
flight MH370 was traveling as it headed south. The old
assumptions were 400 knots and 450 knots. The new findings seem to be based on the plane
traveling at a higher speed, about 480 knots (552 mph), which would
also mean that it would run out of fuel more quickly. There's
evidently another assumption involved, too. They were making
assumptions about where the aircraft was and how fast it was traveling
when it turned south. If the aircraft traveled further west than
previously assumed, then the "ping" data would mean it was flying more
south-south east than just straight south. Here's what a pilot in
Ireland who calls himself "glenbrook" wrote on PPRUNE.ORG:
my understanding is that
the analysis of the satellite
pings requires an assumption of constant speed and heading. This
does not give unique solution, because you need to know where the start point
is (i.e. the point at which the a/c started flying south). If
speed west over the Malay peninsula was higher than assumed up until
now then the start point of the southerly track was farther westwards
and the mathematical solutions to the satellite ping data have the a/c
flying more easterly, ending up closer to Western Australia.
If you've got the time and talent for it, you might try to figure out
on PPRUNE.ORG was trying to do when he compiled the data found HERE.
release from the Australian Martime Safety Authority (AMSA) seems
to be making it clear the new sightings cannot be whitecaps. The
media release says:
The objects cannot be verified or
discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered
A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion reported sighting a number of objects white or light in
colour and a fishing buoy.
A Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion relocated the objects detected by
the RNZAF Orion and reported it had seen two blue/grey
floating in the ocean.
A second RAAF P3 Orion spotted various objects of various colours in a
separate part of the search area about 546 kilometres away.
A report from Sky
News in Australia says,
indicates that the plane was travelling faster than was previously
estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage, reducing the possible
distance it travelled south into the Indian Ocean,' Australian
Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner Martin Dolan said on Friday.
'This is our best
estimate of the area in which the aircraft is likely to have crashed
into the ocean.'
He said the search
area could change again as new information emerged.
Anthrax Truthers would
almost certainly argue that if these "experts" were wrong once, they
can never be
trusted ever again. But, the CNN report cited above says:
U.S. flight crews
involved in the search aren't frustrated or disillusioned by the sudden
change in the search, said Cmdr. William Marks of the Navy's U.S. 7th
"For the pilots and the
air crews, this is what they train for," he said. "They understand it."
I can certainly understand
it. But, personally, I'm looking for a plot of the adjusted ping
data which visually illustrates the change from the old assumed flight
to the new assumed flight path. And I'd like to see those
new photographs taken by the various P3 search aircraft. I don't
look at any more pictures of whitecaps
that some "expert" analyst of satellite images believes could be debris from
March 27, 2014 - An
article on CNN's web site this morning points out another problem
with those debris sightings in the southern Indian Ocean:
Search crews have yet to
put eyes on, much less recover, any of the objects, and experts warned
Thursday against putting too much stock in what the images show.
Stephen Wood, a former CIA
analyst and satellite imagery expert, said the satellites could be
seeing something as simple as whitecaps, which he said can look
deceptively like solid objects.
And CNN aviation analyst
Jeff Wise said that while the latest find is "very enticing," the number and size of the objects
make him question whether they could be from the plane.
"If you see something
floating that's 60 feet across, that could be a big chunk of fuselage,"
he said. "But if you have 10 pieces that are 60 feet
across, that would indicate that they're not from the plane because the
plane has only so much stuff in it."
That kind of comment makes me want to
figure out how large the
white spots are in the satellite image below. The image is from the
Bangkok Post and is one of several that were taken by a Thai
satellite. Unfortunately, I can't find a larger version:
There's a scale below
the main picture which seems to show an inch to be about 250
meters. Based upon that scale, many of the long spots seem to be
about 10 to 20 meters in length. That's about 30 to 60
so, there are simply too many
large spots for them to be debris from flight MH370.
I doubt that they are whitecaps, since you'd expect to see more of a
pattern to whitecaps. Whitecaps would generally be aligned
perpendicular to the prevailing winds.
They're not ice. The sea temperature there is supposedly about 50
luck, planes might get a better look at the items tomorrow. But,
we may just have to wait until someone on a surface ship can physically
examine some of those items.
March 26, 2014 - Another week has
passed without any response at all to my query letters regarding my new
sci-fi novel. There's no way of knowing if the agents are just
too busy and haven't yet read my queries, or if my query letter is
badly phrased, or if the agents don't like the subject of the novel, or
if the agents don't like the writing sample I provided. So, I've
revised the query letter once again and sent it out to another agent.
Meanwhile, on my
interactive blog, "Anonymous/DXer" seems to be arguing that, if the
pilot of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 committed suicide by flying it
into the southern Indian Ocean until it ran out of fuel, it could still have been done as part of
some kind of al Qaeda terrorist plot. "Anonymous/DXer" seems
totally incapable of explaining himself or his theories, so that's just
my best guess as to what he is driving at.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, on PPRUNE.org,
the idea is being discussed that there might be explanations for the
loss of flight MH370 on passenger cell phones, if they are found.
Here's a brief discussion I pieced
OF SOUND: One thing which nobody seems to have mentioned
so far is the possible use of onboard images and audio recorded on
passenger and crew mobile phones in any investigation. ...
Let's hope they find some
of those phones. They could tell us a lot more than the "black
box" and other official recording equipment aboard. The new
report of a satellite photographing 122 objects floating in the
search area is in French, so I don't know if it mentions that those 122
objects were spotted in open areas between clouds:
If, and it's a big if,
passengers and crew were still conscious during some or all of the
flight south, it is very likely that audio and video recordings exist
on the 200+ mobile phones on board at the time.
In the old days Nokia phones were famous for their ability to survive
immersion in water and work perfectly again after removing the battery
and leaving them in a warm place for a few hours. I have seen a few
telecoms engineers posting here in the last two weeks. Does anyone know
the likely survivability of a modern 'smartphone' (or more relevantly,
the data contained) inside a crashed aircraft in deep salt water?
This has been mentioned. A lot!
NAVIGATOR: There was a case about 3 years ago, a Spanish
fisherman recovered a camera that had been lost in the Atlantic some
months before. The camera was ruined but the images on the SD Card
enabled the owner to be traced. SD
Cards are solid so water pressure us unlikely to be a factor and that
one had survived immersion in salt water.
So, there could be thousands of pieces of floating
debris under the clouds. One degree of longitude at that location
would be about 53 miles. The left and right photos are separated
by about 11 minutes of longitude, so they're roughly 10 miles apart.
March 25, 2014 (B) - Ah! My
(A) post this morning got a reaction on my
interactive blog from Anthrax Truher "Anonymous/DXer." In
four posts, he continued to argue that flight MH370 was hijacked to
attack an American destroyer (either the USS Kidd or the USS Pinckney)
in the southern Indian Ocean. I thoroughly debunked that theory
by doing a few minutes of basic research. I did a Google News
lookup for "Pinckney" and found an article in Stars
and Stripes which said:
The USS Kidd, an Arleigh
Burke-class guided missile destroyer, joined the USS Pinckney in the
search effort, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. Both destroyers were
conducting training in the South China Sea when they were dispatched to
aid the search.
according to "Anonymous/DXer's" logic, Al Qaeda operatives hijacked
flight MH370 and turned it around in the South China sea where the Pinckney and Kidd were located
in order to fly to the southern Indian Ocean where they planned to
attack one of the two ships, even though neither of two ships would be
there until after flight MH370 ran out of fuel and crashed and the two
ships were assigned to help locate the wreckage.
And in one of his posts, "Anonymous/DXer" also
Certainly, it is a lot more
likely that Al Qaeda is targeting US naval targets than it is that a
First Grader wrote the anthrax letters -- as you think. Isn't it?
Is it? The hypothesis that a child wrote the anthrax
letters is supported by 12 solid and
unchallenged facts. The belief that Al Qaeda hijacked
flight MH370 to target either the Pinckney or the Kidd in the Indian
Ocean is unsupported by any
logic or reasoning, and has been easily and thoroughly debunked.
March 25, 2014 (A) - Last night, The
Daily Show with Jon Stewart contained a very funny bit about how
CNN was filling their 24-hour news cycle with reports on
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 even
when there was nothing new to report. They actually had a
reporter discussing (or trying to discuss) the "possibility" that the missing aircraft fell into a black hole.
The black hole theory apparently came from some blogger.
Almost as funny, this morning I see "Anonymous/DXer" has conjured up a
theory where Flight MH370 may have been hijacked by Muslim extremists
and flown on a suicide mission to crash into an American warship
crossing the south Indian Ocean.
Where was the U.S.S. Harry
Truman? Did the 777 try to locate into an US warship that had been
supporting the war in Afghanistan? (LINK
The U.S.S. Harry Truman, which came to mind, is in the 5th Fleet Area
of Responsibility but the Indian Ocean is in the 7th Fleet Area of
Responsibility. Was there a US aircraft carrier transiting the Indian
Ocean that someone might have been targeting? … then running out of
Was a terrorist targeting the USS Kidd? (LINK
A couple more interesting questions might be: (1) How on earth could a
commercial airliner locate a
specific American warship moving across the middle of the Indian
Ocean? (2) Why would Muslim extremists hijack a aircraft from a
Muslim country that is carrying numerous Muslims, including a Muslim
pilot and co-pilot in order to try to kill some American sailors (but
actually just kill a lot of Muslims)?
Meanwhile, this morning I received an email pointing me to an
explanation of how the path flown by Flight MH370 was refined using
doppler shift calculations. And, when I checked the latest
posts to the PPRUNE
blog, I found a link to an
announcement from Malaysian Ministry of Transport (MOT) which
explains in much greater detail the doppler effect technique British
experts used to determine that the MH370 had gone down in the south
Indian Ocean. The copy of the announcement appears to come from
Facebook. Here is some of what it says:
As you have heard, an
aircraft is able to communicate with ground stations via satellite.
the ground station has not heard from an aircraft for an hour it will
transmit a 'log on / log off' message, sometimes referred to as a
‘ping’, using the aircraft’s unique identifier. If the aircraft
receives its unique identifier it returns a short message indicating
that it is still logged on. This process has been described as a
“handshake” and takes place automatically.
From the ground station log it was
established that after ACARS stopped sending messages, 6 complete
handshakes took place.
The position of the
satellite is known, and the time that it takes the signal to be sent
and received, via the satellite, to the ground station can be used to
establish the range of the aircraft from the satellite. This
information was used to generate arcs of possible positions from which
the Northern and Southern corridors were established.
The "ground station" was
evidently an Australian Earth Station. The announcement has three
nice illustrations which help explain things. Below is a
reduced-in-size copy of one of them. Click HERE
for the full size version.
It's a lot of information to
digest. Of course, matters aren't helped when you need to learn
new terms in order to understand exactly what is being stated.
I had to look up what "UTC" means, since this and many reports state
the "ping" times in UTC time. According
to Wikipedia, UTC means "Temps Universel Coordonné"
(TUC?) or Coordinated Universal Time (CUT?). It appears to be just
another way of giving Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In order
to understand the section of the MOT announcement reproduced below, you
may need to convert UTC times to the local time in Kuala Lumpur by
adding 8 hours to the UTC time (which I did in red for you).
There is evidence of a
partial handshake between the aircraft and ground station at 0019 UTC [8:19 Kuala Lumpur time]. At this
time this transmission is not understood and is subject to further
No response was received
from the aircraft at 0115 UTC [9:15
Kuala Lumpur time], when the ground earth station sent the next
log on / log off message. This indicates that the aircraft was no
longer logged on to the network.
Therefore, some time between
0011 UTC and 0115 UTC [8:11 and
9:15 Kuala Lumpur time] the aircraft was no longer able to
communicate with the ground station. This is consistent with the
maximum endurance of the aircraft.
So, Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m., local time on
March 8, and went down sometime between 8:11 and 9:15 a.m. on March 8
when it would have run out of fuel. They don't know how fast it
was flying during its long cruise southward, and that complicates the
calculations. If it was flying at 400 knots (460 mph), it would
compute to be many hundreds of miles away from where it would compute
to be if it was traveling at 450 knots (518 mph). The
illustration below [deleted 4/12/14 because it links to Facebook]
for a larger version) indicates how the satellite "ping" data can
determine how far the plane was from the satellite at 8:11 a.m. Kuala
Lumpur time (the green line). But, if it was going 518 mph it
would be where the yellow line connects with the green line, and at 460
mph it would be where the red line connects with the green line.
Or, if it was going at a different speed, it could be anywhere in
between or slightly to either side.
this may illustrate is that people really only want to know the final answer, but they also
don't want to be kept in the dark, so they want to know what's going on
they really want is the final answer
And, it's not available.
Right now, everyone is waiting for some surface ships seaching in the
Indian Ocean to actually recover some debris that can be directly tied
to Malaysia Airlines Flight HM370. Then they'll try to backtrack
by calculating ocean currents to locate where
the plane actually went down. Then they'll try to figure out HOW it
ended up there. That will be the "final answer." It's still
a long ways away.
March 24, 2014 - The news this
morning indicates that they are finding debris in the search area where
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is calculated to have gone
down. Unfortunately, the news reports are as murky as the
weather in the area appears to be.
Here's what ABC
(Australian Broadcasting Corporation) News reported 90 minutes ago:
Minister Tony Abbott says Australian authorities have located new
"objects" during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
He has told Parliament the objects were
located 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth by a Royal Australian Air
Force P-3 Orion about 2:45pm (AEDT).
Mr Abbott says the first object was grey or green and
circular and the second was orange and rectangular.
He says HMAS Success is on the scene and
is attempting to locate and recover the objects.
Further down in the article it says:
Lieutenant Josh Williams, who was on board the P-3 Orion, said the
flight was successful.
"We were looking for debris in the water
and we sighted a number of objects on the surface and beneath the
surface visually as we flew over the top if it," he said.
"The first object was rectangular in
shape and slightly below the ocean.
The second object was circular, also slightly below the ocean. We
came across a long cylindrical object that was possibly two metres
long, 20 centimetres across.
"Everyone is quite hyped."
below the ocean" means "slightly under the surface." That would
be objects that have enough air inside to keep them from sinking
totally, but not enough air to keep them fully above the surface - like
the wing of a plane or a deflated life raft. I found the article
by going through the posts on the Professional
Pilots Rumour Network. Here's a recent exchange that I pieced
together from that blog:
Reports suggest that one of the items found is a square orange coloured
object. Is there any possibility this could be a life raft?
Re P3 debris siting, hopefully the rectangular orange object a slide
and the circular green/grey object underside of a raft, as both objects
relatively near to each other and two more objects with no details that
would indicate a common source and not a very old one .
Do the life rafts have to be manually deployed?
Not really. Slide rafts would be deployed after the aircraft ditches,
what we call ditching in aviation. It is done by the pilots with the
clear intention to do so.
In ideal conditions aircraft floats for a while and cabin crew would
open doors in armed mode. Slide rafts are deployed automatically when
doors are opened in armed mode. Cabin crew would evacuate the pax on
rafts, disconnect the rafts and apply sop's to survive for as long as
possible and signal when activity is observed in the nearby area.
A B777 raft is large, it can fit up to 80 pax. It does have an orange
canopy.....if the sea was rough it would be very hard for a raft to be
afloat after 14 days, but you never know.
"We came across a long cylindrical object that was possibly two metres
long, 20 centimetres across." That sounds like a portable ELT.
don't have elts. The plane has 2, one in the front at L1 and one at the
aft. They are to be removed by the crew in emergency. They do start
transmitting when [they] hit the water but for only 50hrs.
So, the "evidence" at
the moment seems to indicate that they've located two empty and
partially deflated life rafts, a rectangular life raft that would also
serve as a slide during emergency evacuations on land, and a circular
life raft that is stored aboard. But, there could be some totally
different explanation -- if there were just more facts to work with.
On the other hand, USA
Today reported 3 minutes ago that
Malaysian Prime Minister
Najib Razar said Monday that a new analysis of electronic data shows
that the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard "ended" in
a remote area of the Indian ocean and indicated there were no survivors.
Just before the prime
minister spoke in Kuala Lumpur, the airlines sent a brief text message
to family members of the passengers saying, "(w)e have to assume beyond
any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on
BBC article HERE
explains how the assumption/conclusion was reached. And, if you
are interested, the passenger and crew manifest can be viewed by
March 23, 2014 - So, another day has
gone by without
any aircraft or ships spotting any debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight
MH370 in the middle of the south Indian Ocean. But, this
morning we have news that a
French satellite reportedly recorded debris in the same general
area where the Chinese and Australian satellites previously recorded
objects in the water. Unfortunately, the French satellite images
have not yet been made public. Nor do we know when the images were recorded.
While the subject of the missing airliner might seem to be "off topic" here, in
many ways it is very much "on topic," if the "topic" is considered to
be psychology and how people
react to mysteries that aren't immediately solved. The
media, conspiracy theorists, amateur detectives, nut cases, and the
terminally paranoid are endlessly producing theories about the missing
plane, just they way they produced theories about the anthrax
attacks. Many seem to be blaming their favorite boogie man.
Plus the matter isn't helped by the fact that the authorities are not
releasing all the information they have, and occasionally someone in
authority makes a mistake in what they tell the public.
"Anonymous/DXer" seems to be desperately trying to pin the blame on his
boogie man, Yazid
Sufaat, who "DXer" is still arguing had something to do with the
anthrax attacks of 2001. And, if some screwball tabloid prints a
story that seems to support his beliefs, that is BIG NEWS for
him. For example, Britain's
Daily Sunday Star printed a story that the plane had been headed
toward the island of Diego Garcia to execute a suicide crash into
American facilities there, 9/11 style:
Diego Garcia’s US airbase
houses 1,400 workers and was used as a CIA “black site” to hold
captured Islamic terror suspects.
The remote island is also
said to have been used for “extraordinary rendition” flights, in which
terrorist figures were transported around the world.
conspiracy theorists backed claims that a hijacker may have been trying
to fly there.
Ah! It's a theory
that is backed and supported by Internet conspiracy
theorists. That is definitely worth making it a headline
story. If you've got nothing better to do.
If you read the arguments on the Professional
Pilots Rumour Network (PPRUNE), they have all kinds of theories.
Personally, I'm not really trying to promote any theory. Nor am I
really interested in any specific theory. I'm just trying to
understand what's going on. Mostly, I've been trying to find some solid information which would
they are searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the middle of
the Indian Ocean. On Friday, I didn't find out why they were
searching there, but I think I found out why they aren't providing details
about why they are searching there.
On the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, "AndyJS" from Birminham,
England, asked this at
18:07 GMT on the 22nd:
I don't understand why they
released information about the final "handshake" [at 8:11 a.m.] but not
It would have made sense not to have revealed information about any of
them for security reasons maybe, but once they released information
about the 8:11 handshake it seems odd that they didn't do the same for
And at 18:34 "RichardC10"
The final handshake/ping
to be released to convince everyone that the aeroplane was far South
(or North) and definitely not in the South China Sea. After that there
was no benefit to the investigators in releasing extra information, it
would just lead to more spam in the e-mail accounts of NTSB, Boeing,
Inmarsat, the Malaysian Authorities etc. etc.
Ah! Okay! If true, that explains why I couldn't find any official information about the
"pings" at 2:11, 3:11, 4:11, 5:11, 6:11 and 7:11 a.m. All I could
was someone asking about those "pings," and I found articles and posts
which seemed to use the
question as if it was an official answer, instead of someone looking
for an actual
answer. I also found information which vaguely explained that a
Malaysian military radar contact with an unidentified aircraft (because
its responder was turned off) at 2:14 a.m. was confirmed by a satellite "ping" to
be Flight MH370, since the distances match.
The way I'd initially understood those "pings" was based upon a
story in the Montreal Gazette, which said the last "ping" recorded
from flight MH370 was at 1:07 a.m. on the 8th. There was supposed
to be a "ping" every half hour. But, the "ping" scheduled for
1:37 a.m. did not
occur. And there were no more "pings" until the satellite
received a "faint ping" at 8:11 a.m.
Now it appears there was never any "faint ping," there were loud and clear automatic "pings" at
roughly hourly intervals from 2:11 a.m. until 8:11 a.m., when the last
automatic "ping" was recorded. And it was the 2:11 a.m. "ping"
that verified the Malaysia
military radar contact of an unidentified aircraft heading west over
the Strait of Malacca. Those pings, while not "faint," were the
equivalent of unacknowledged handshakes. Here's how the
Hindustan Times describes those "pings":
data consists of attempts by an Inmarsat satellite to identify a broad
area where the plane might be in case a messaging system aboard the
plane should need to connect with the satellite, said the official. The
official compared the location attempts, called a "handshake," to
someone driving around with their cellphone not in use. As the
phone passes from the range of one cellphone tower to another, the towers note that the phone is in
range in case messages need to be sent.
So the "pings" were the satellite detecting that the plane's ACARS
system was in range and available to be used. Here's how a
TV station in the United Arab Emirates explains the "pings":
Based on the hourly connections with
the plane, described by a US official as a "handshake," the satellite
knows at what angle to tilt its
antenna to be ready to receive a message from the plane should
one be sent.
data recorded on the satellite gives the angle from the satellite to
the plane. The satellite is in a "stationary orbit" 22,223 miles
over the equator. The up-down angle can be determined, but not
the side to side angle. So, the distance
to the plane's ACARS system can be computed via triangulation, but not
The satellite does its "pinging" hourly at 11 minutes past the
hour. Like a cell phone tower, it notes which systems are in
range. When turned on, the plane's ACARS system does its
transmissions every half hour, at 7 and 37 minutes past the hour.
The last transmission from the plane was at 1:07 a.m. It failed
to do its scheduled transmission at 1:37 a.m. But the ACARS
system was still detectable by the satellite every hour at 11
minutes after the hour until the last signal was detected at 8:11 a.m.
Wow! I finally understand what was going on! I understand why they're looking in the middle
of the south Indian Ocean. That's where the calculation based
upon the hourly "pings" between the satellite and the turned off ACARS
system indicate the plane is most
likely to have been. The only alternative is for it to
have been over land far to the north, and that doesn't seem possible
without someone spotting it on radar or visually.
So, I'm changing the confidence level for my hypothesis that the plane
went down in the Gulf of Thailand or South China Sea from 5% to 1%.
I don't have any vested interest in where the plane went down or why it
disappeared in the first place. I just want to understand the
data. Now I think I do.
Another area of very heavy thinking last week involved me trying to
exactly what Professor Greene was talking about in the on-line course about Space,
Einstein on the WorldScienceU.com
web site. I
understand time dilation, okay, I think. To confirm it, I
created a new web page about it HERE.
The idea is that if I can explain it to others and get them to
understand, that means I also understand it. I think just about
anyone should be able to understand my explanation. I may add
some drawings, if I can find the time.
Meanwhile, the part of the course that seems to have nearly everyone
else confused is also still confusing to me. It has to do with an
alien moving between "slices of time." I think it requires a
thorough understanding of theoretical higher mathematics, which I do not
have. But, maybe I can learn to understand it enough to explain
to others why I find this explanation from the professor to be not
The point I made in lecture
does not have to do with what the alien will see. Instead, it has to do
with what events belong on the alien's NOW slice. These two concepts
are different. At a given moment, you don't see what is on your NOW
slice. Why? It takes some amount of time for light to travel from one
location in space to your eye, so you only ever see objects that belong
on now-slices for earlier moments in time.
So, the stunning conclusion we reached in the lecture is not that the
alien will see, say, your future. Rather, the conclusion is that events
that we consider to be in our future would belong on the alien's NOW
slice, even though before the alien got on his bike, our NOW slice and
his NOW slice agreed completely, they were the same.
THAT'S the marvel of this thought experiment.
If that's not perfectly clear, try reading Minkowski's
explanation of spacetime.
I think I need to get back to working on the sequel to my sci-fi novel.