Saturday, 28 February 2015

MH 370 and observations on a Guardian Article

The article by Jon Ronson here:

1. A lot of words to tell us what? That these people, despite their efforts and personal loss, they have discovered virtually nothing of substance, and know no more now than when the plane initially disappeared? From the article it is difficult to gain anything of substance and it merely concentrates on human attitudes and feelings, which advances the inquiry not at all. The video, despite being well intentioned, is emotive and uninformative. The crowd funding target of five million dollars appeared fanciful and proved so to be. Even so, there is no indication whether the $100,000 actually raised was used effectively. Employing private investigators with the money actually raised? Where is the report of their discoveries or was the money completely wasted? And the Chinese relatives not interested? That would appear an insensitive and inaccurate assessment particularly in the light of reports that the Chinese Government took active steps to stop demonstrations and protests demanding more information.

2. I find the persona and actions of at least one of the subjects very troubling and not only because he shares the name of the "Mission Impossible" character played by Tom Cruise in the Hollywood film of that name. "Ethan Matthew Hunt (born August 18, 1964) is a senior field operations agent for the IMF, an elite, top-secret espionage and covert operations agency that handles dangerous and highly sensitive international missions that have been deemed "impossible"." (Wikia) Should we regard this as a curious co-incidence, or a rather sick joke on those who have lost family and friends. Jon Ronson might at least have got to the bottom of that mystery within the far greater one, but no, we are left wondering about that as well.

3. As if this was not reason enough to be wary of "Mr Ethan Hunt", there are other troubling questions revealed, but not questioned, in the article. What sort of successful businessman would expect to raise $5 million by "crowd funding", and this without any clear strategy or safeguards to prevent its misuse? We learn Mr Hunt describes himself as an 'experienced private investigator' but to this we must also add 'time in the military, manager of fitness centres and someone who had run software companies." He currently owns a 3D printer business in China itself, which 'sometimes employs a hundred workers'.

4. Apart from the incongruent nature of these skills and activities, there is no attempt to explain how he came to be in China or the Chinese Government's attitude to him, which appears to include acting as debt collector using very questionable and invasive tactics. Does he really have the Chinese police in his pocket as the article suggests? At least Mr Ronson could have done us the favour of looking into these claims and throwing some light on them, particularly his precise role in the military and whether the other claims hold up under scrutiny. This is not merely academic given his central role in a rather dubious organisation that apparently has revealed nothing more than what was printed in the press.

5. Then there are other rather strange co-incidences and indicators surrounding this gentleman: he just happened to be on a flight from Dubai to Paris at the time. Given the well-know reputation of these places, it would have been helpful to know precisely why he was in both at the time. Was it in connection with managing fitness centres, software companies or his 3 D printing business? Or was he in his 'private investigator' mode? Or was he just having a two-centre city break?

6. Then there is the fact that he is an Australian from Perth and that this country and this city were both to become high profile actors in the subsequent events. It would have been helpful to have been told if the connection was an historic and disconnected one, or if indeed it was still very active and close, or if he was still employed in any capacity by the Australian Government, which we have all noted has taken a much higher profile in terrorist matters generally of late.

7. Then there is the fact that he operates in China to which the doomed plane was heading, and in an area of computer technology for which at least twenty of the passengers worked. Does this not raise a few questions in the mind of the journalist that he could have posed to Mr Hunt?

8. Despite Sarah Bajc being all over the news, and his own determination to help her, it takes him eight weeks to do so - hardly the sign of a 'highly skilled investigator'. When he does eventually speak to her he says 'I strongly believe that the truth is not out there.” Note, NOT out there. What he really meant by this is never explained.

9. Then there are other comments that ring alarm bells (in my mind at least) beginning with the fact that he watched CNN all day in his Paris hotel. What only CNN? This might appear unusual in an investigator seeking the truth from all angles or was he only interested in just one? Then there is this little passage '“She couldn’t run away. She knew I could go there at any time. With people. That’s what they do in China. They take 10 people and go and beat you or steal things. I used that mentality. I’ve done it a few times and it works perfectly.” “It sounds like this is fun for you,” I say. “Yeah, absolutely,” he says. “China is a bit like the wild west. Seriously.”'

10. Apart from the fact that the Chinese Government was apparently allowing him free reign to harass its citizens, it rather indicates his heavy arm tactics. Indeed later in the article he's quoted as saying: “I won’t back away from a fight. I don’t mean a fisty-punchy fight. I’m very skilled at hitting people and I know when I hit them, they’re going to get hurt. I don’t like that.” It certainly indicates a certain attitude and skill-set not normally associated with 4D printing. This is reinforced by a reported second incident in which the suggestion is made he threatened women and children to get a public retraction and apology.

11. Lastly, it would appear he has two targets for his tensioned bow: one, an unreliable and secretive Malaysian Government; and two, the suggestion some would regard as quite irrational and extreme, that President Putin of Russia was somehow implicated by virtue of the fact that MH17 was also shot down, significantly failing to mention this was almost certainly by the Ukraine/West NOT Russia or the separatists. He says, “Putin is seriously trying to provoke the west into going to war with him. For him a war would be fantastic.”

12. We cannot but fail to notice that both these lines are straight out of the current American/Israeli/European propaganda text book. That he should channel both is more than a little worrying given that his profile, attitude and business all suspiciously fit the traditional model of an agent, even if in fact he isn't.

13. Before leaving the subject and article, perhaps we might note that if the loss of the plane was a clandestine government or terrorist operation, it might be very useful to have an internet campaign purporting to be privately investigating the circumstances, seeking cash and information from any quarter. What better way would there be to ascertain leaks in security or individuals that might pose a risk to a sophisticated hi-jack and cover-up? If Mr Hunt's efforts are all there is to justify the campaign, and the contents of the article its only results, more searching questions should be posed as to the lines of enquiry followed and the true purpose of it. As an uninformed and useless investigator, even I might have begun by accurately documenting the detailed reports of a plane flying low over the Maldives, which to date no one appears to have done!END.


  1. Not there after all! As of 21.7.2016.

  2. Michael Shrimpton on plane crashes and disappearances.



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