Most serious intel agencies are now aware of them, albeit that knowledge of the DVD tends to be limited to senior intelligence bureaucrats. The SOR (Standard Official Response) can be compared to that of little children who hide behind the sofa when the Cybermen appear on Dr Who on TV.
Hiding behind the sofa does not mean that the Cybermen, or at any rate the actors playing them, are not still there on the screen. For those who are not fans of Dr Who (I first started watching it aged 6, in 1963, when the Doctor was played by the late, great William Hartnell), Cybermen are metallic cyborgs, who look like Democrats. They have fixed expressions and no emotions.
Having followed the assassinated Christopher Story in outing the DVD it is bitterly frustrating to read about yet another preventable air disaster, and yet another avoidable terrorist attack.
Sadly human life has little official value, and there will be plenty more deaths before we get a grip. If we wait for an intelligent response from the media the loss of life will run into the hundreds of thousands.
As you might tell from my last column — sorry about the longer than usual gap by the way — I do not rush into conclusions of sabotage. I stand by my criticisms of the no-frills business model. We are going to see no-frills crashes due to pilots taking unnecessary risks with weather, and pressing on when they shouldn’t. There are just too many pressures on pilots and too many accountants in charge.
The weather was clearly a factor in AirAsia, BUT five new factors have emerged:
- The Indonesians lied
- Sir Richard Branson’s airline Virgin Atlantic holds a 16% stake in AirAsia
- It’s confirmed that the plane went in inverted, i.e. upside down
- AirAsia stock was short sold in the days leading up to the disaster, and
- No Chinese nationals were on the flight, and a warning was put out on a Chinese website
The ATC picture
The official version of events is that Captain Iriyanto’s request to climb to Flight Level 380 (38,000) from his cruising altitude of FL 320 (32,000) was turned down because of conflicting traffic. This always sounded odd, since it was a request to climb over the storm cell, not alter course.
Since FL380 is close to the service ceiling of the A320-200 it is clear that Captain Iriyanto was concerned, although many pilots would say that trying to climbing over a thunderhead in the tropics was not the best move. They can rise to 40,000 feet or more, and the air above them can get pretty disturbed.
Surabaya – Singapore is not exactly a busy route, and QZ8501 went down in a piece of sky that is not usually crowded. Jakarta may have overlooked the fact that ATC radar plots are now available online. I’ve reviewed the plot and there is no conflicting traffic. Captain Iriyanto could have been given permission to climb, descend and fly to either port or starboard of his existing track.
Only [one] flight crosses the track of 8501, but it looks to be a regional flight at a lower altitude. I don’t see anything at FL320 which would justify rejection of a safety-related request to avoid weather. Why tell such an obvious lie? And why refuse such a justifiable request from the pilot in command?
The Branson Connection
Sir Richard and I have never met, but we have had dealings. Until the bogus bomb hoax prosecution of me even our limited dealings probably protected his airline, more than he could ever have realised.
Regular readers will know how modest and self-effacing I am, and how I hate blowing my own trumpet, but with Commodore Brian English now sadly off the scene I am probably now the leading Western, i.e. non-German, expert on the DVD, and the only one still living willing to go public. There are very few folk out there who understand that the DVD has a specialist aviation sabotage section.
Up till last year had the DVD had a crack at any of the Virgin airlines, or Virgin Galactic, the Sabotage Section would have feared the possibility of Sir Richard consulting me. That in turn would risk a serious and informed investigation, which the DVD has never had to face. Accident investigation bodies like the NTSB and the French BEA only trot out Janet and John explanations, designed to reassure the public and fool the media.
Since the media largely do not know one end of an airplane from another the latter task is not too difficult. I doubt that any journalist anywhere in the world bothered even to review the radar plot. They just reprinted what they had been spoon-fed. If they’d been told Flight Q8501 was an A380 instead of an A320 they’d probably have printed it!
With the bomb hoax allegation floating around there is no way any airline was going to consult me. The Cabinet Office and Thames Valley Police effectively cleared the way for the Sabotage Section to attack Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Galactic. They didn’t waste any time.
Thanks to very skilful flying Virgin Atlantic didn’t lose that 747 at Gatwick, but Virgin Galactic lost their spacecraft. The news that Atlantic had a 16% stake in AirAsia and that Sir Richard was close friends with AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes casts a flood of light on the loss of 8501.
The significance of the 320 going in upside down is that she was probably asymmetric.
Since Neil Jones and I worked out BA038 in 2007 I have been warning of the dangers of the ability of the DVD to pull FADEC (i.e. digitally) controlled engines in flight, using self-deleting codes of software.
My concern was always that there would be a big one, with heavy loss of life. Looks like that’s now happened. We have a stall, followed by a spin. Everything points to an engine being pulled. My first thoughts were that water ingestion, but tampering with the FADEC software now seems more likely.
Sadly, the 162 lives thrown away on AirAsia, including 16 children, will not be enough to stop the slaughter in the skies. Nobody, anywhere, in any position of authority, is going to insist on a serious investigation.
It is not clear how many dead airline passengers are needed to prompt effective official action, but 155, not least 155 no-frills economy class passengers, is nowhere near enough. If you fly economy on a no-frills airline, you’re dead meat as far as NTSB, BEA and AAIB are concerned, let alone the Indonesian ‘safety’ authorities.
If my writing appears slightly edgier, by the way, that’s because it is! After the malicious Vulcan prosecution, my contempt for officialdom has deepened!
Officials and politicians have been turning a blind eye to the DVD’s sabotage of commercial aircraft since Skorzeny and Herzog destroyed those two De Havilland Comet 1s in 1954. The DVD understand this, and will keep murdering airline passengers at will. Governments, including the British, have lost their moral compass.
We now know there was short selling of AirAsia stock before the disaster. Not good. Since 9-11 we know to look for unusual stock market activity. It was there prior to the London Olympics, by the way – the so-called ‘Whale’, not that the prosecution took any notice.
Somebody clearly knew something was about to happen. For the avoidance of doubt Virgin did not sell any of its stake, so far as I know, i.e. Sir Richard was clearly not in the loop.
The Chinese Warning
It is an urban myth, linked to wild conspiracy theories about those nice people the Mossad, that no Jews died on 9/11. It is not however an urban myth that there were no Chinese nationals on 8501. So far as I know there were indeed none. It is perfectly clear that warnings were circulated in China beforehand.
One referred to the ‘Black Hand’, a secret, criminal organisation. That appears to me to be a reference to the DVD, or a DVD client agency in the Far East, similar to GO2 in the UK, or the Correa Group (GO1?) inside CIA.
Informed intelligence specialists tend to refer to the DVD by its correct name, or at any rate its initials. Thinking commentators outside INTELCOM refer to it by a range of names, very often not grasping that it is an intelligence agency, or German.
Beyond them there is a penumbra of people who understand that there are heavy duty Bad Guys out there, operating in the shadows, but have no idea who they are, how they are organised, or where they are from.
The State of the Evidence
The current state of the evidence suggests that Flight QZ8501 was brought down by the DVD, or by a Far Eastern sister agency using DVD-developed technology, by means of self-deleting lines of software code on the FADEC software, resulting in one engine being set to Flight Idle thrust, at a critical time, as the aircraft entered a large storm cell, known to be on its flightpath.
Indonesian complicity is indicated, as the cover-up has required the Indonesian government to lie about the reasons why the flight was ordered by Indonesian ATC to continue into the storm cell. Since the black boxes are being examined by the French we can pretty much write them off. The French are past masters at faking black box data, as they demonstrated over AF447.
I pay little attention to reports that Captain Iriyanto’s last words were ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is greater). He may well have uttered those words, but only after he realised, as an experienced airman, that his aircraft and passengers were doomed. As a Moslem one would expect him to utter a prayer shortly before his death, i.e. it is a phrase of no forensic significance at all.
He comes across as a good man, and a good pilot, even if one can argue with his strategy for avoiding the storm cell. Had he diverted around the storm, or returned to Surabaya, the DVD would probably have yanked his second engine anyway, as they did on BA038, leaving him with a very tricky ditching in the Java Sea.
Captain Iriyanto was also a good Moslem. A British pilot’s final words would probably have been “oh, s**t”, i.e. Captain Iriyanto’s last words were perhaps a bit more stylish than we would have had from a British pilot.
I have the greatest sympathy for him, as I would for any commercial airline pilot in a doomed airliner, in the dramatic last few moments of life, concerned not just for his own life but for those of the passengers entrusted to his or her care.
The gap in moral standards between airline pilots and air crash investigators and aviation bureaucrats generally is vast. Pilots care about their passengers. Bureaucrats care about their pensions.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to suppose that Captain Iriyento deliberately crashed his aircraft and murdered the crew and passengers in his care, or that this was a hijacking, or conventional act of terrorism.
I’ll be commenting on Charlie Hebdo next week, assuming there isn’t a bigger atrocity before then! With the DVD, you never know.
Movie of the Week: Taken 3, dir. Olivier Megaton
A break from the Bond series this week! The timing is good, as the movie has only just been released in the UK. It’s rather good. I am aware that most critics are not of the same view. I know that many are critical of Hollywood’s so-called obsession with sequels. This is unfair.
Apart from anything else, Taken 3 is French, or at least has been produced with heavy French involvement. Secondly, critics of sequels tend to ignore the realities of movie financing. A movie like Taken 3, with lots of action sequences, requires major investment. That requires risk analysis. A proven formula reduces financial risk.
Thirdly, it is pointless arguing that sequels are rarely as good as the original. No one expects them to be. Audiences don’t go to a sequel expecting it be better than the original, or even as good. They go because they want to see the story develop, or because they like the characters, or because they want to see more of the same, i.e. they tend to trade off quality against quantity.
Bryan Mills is an engaging character, superbly played by Liam Neeson. It’s not just Liam. Sam, well played by Leland Orser, is also an attractive character, indeed the supporting casts in all three movies in the series have been pretty good. Folk watch these movies because they’re fun, and well-made. They are also fairly well-informed.
Not sure who their intel advisers are, but they’re pretty good. Those of us who work in the intelligence community (INTELCOM), in whatever capacity, will usually find something to relate to in a Taken movie. You’ll certainly learn more than you would from a Senate Intelligence Community report.
No, Taken 3 is not as good as Taken, but since that was a superb movie, who cares? The plot moves along quickly, the intel guy makes the cops look stupid, the LA scenes are familiar (even to me!) and there’s Forest Whitaker as Inspector Dotzler. He is that rare breed – a cop with a brain. He’s never make it in Thames Valley Police!
I won’t spoil things for you by revealing the plot, but trust me, there’s a twist. Intelligently written and well-acted, Taken 3 is worth the price of admission. There are no dead Iraqis, but you can always watch American Sniper for that! Indeed, I must just do that and review American Sniper next week.
Departures from the scene
Sadly, too many departures — and we’re only three weeks into 2015! Rod Taylor died on January 8th — an Australian who did his best work in Hollywood.
A fine actor, my favorite Rod Taylor movie is The V.I.P.s (1963), where he co-starred with Richard Burton, Liz Taylor and Margaret Rutherford. Centred on a fog-bound London Airport the aviation theme is of course an attraction for me.
This is the movie where the ‘hostie’ asks dear old Margaret Rutherford to fasten her seat-belt and she replies “I haven’t brought one”.
Comic actor Lance Percival died two days earlier. Not so well-known in the States, he also starred in The V.I.P.s. He was a stalwart of the Carry On movies, which were great farces, albeit outdone by the United Nations.
He also appeared in Up Pompeii, that must-see movie for students of the Roman Empire. Perhaps his best-known role in the States was as the car salesman in The Yellow Rolls-Royce, the follow-on from The V.I.P.s. Lance Percival was that sort of actor – never a lead, but always providing strong support.
We’ve also lost Anita Ekberg, star of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. She looked great, but as with many really good-looking actresses, there was more to her than met the eye. Her passing is a real loss. It’s sad that she lived in near penury in the last years of her life. She deserved better than that.
She went to the Fellini Foundation for support, and they turned her down. If anyone from the Foundation is reading this, you guys are heels! You think everybody remembers La Dolce Vita for fat old Fellini? Hardly!
— January 22nd 2015