MH370 apology: Technology is so overrated!

MH370 Malaysia Airlines wing

Update on 6 August 2015: Part of the aircraft wing found on Reunion Island is from the missing MH370 plane, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has confirmed. Mr Najib said international experts examining the debris in France had “conclusively confirmed” it was from the aircraft. The Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people veered off course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. The debris was found on the remote French Indian Ocean island a week ago. The plane is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean – though no evidence had been found despite a massive search operation.

Update on 30 July 2015: Debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is to be transported to France to find out whether it is from the missing airliner MH370, Malaysia’s prime minister said. Initial reports suggest the two-metre long wreckage is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, Najib Razak said.

Update on 29 January 2015: Malaysia officially declares disappearance of plane in Indian Ocean in March 2014 an accident.

Update on 27 December 2014: A French former airline director has claimed that the US military may have shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and covered it up. Marc Dugain, who headed Proteus Airlines and is an established author, speculated that the Americans may have targeted the aircraft because they feared a September 11-style attack on a military base in the Indian Ocean. The Independent, UK

Update on 23 August 2014: MH370 search faces tough next phase

The next phase of the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 will be very challenging in places. The seabed in some locations in ocean floor west of Australia to be extremely rugged. Two vessels – the Fugro Equator and the Zhu Kezhen – are currently mapping an area covering 60,000 sq km. This is likely to get under way towards the end of September. The Australian authorities have warned that this could take a year to complete. BBC

Update on 26 June 2014: The MH370 search will now shift south to focus on an area 1,800km off the west coast of Australia, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss confirmed. Martin Dolan from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the plane had been on autopilot when it crashed.

Update on 19 May 2014: Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said: “Someone is hiding something.” He suggested the CIA had knowledge of the disappearance of the plane but was not sharing it with Malaysia. He claimed that Boeing, the plane’s maker, and “certain” government agencies, have the ability to remotely take over control of commercial airliners such as the missing Boeing 777. “For some reason, the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA,” he said.

Read my lament, below, published seven days after the MH370 flight disappeared in March.

In my Aviation Leadership (primarily leadership, not aviation) and Train The Trainer workshops, I teach executives how technology and surveillance is all over our heads and how it can track each individual and machine movement.

I teach them how their smartphone is a tracking device which also lets them make calls! I teach them how drones will be used for book and pizza deliveries. I teach them how wearable computing will record every breath they take and every move they make. I teach them how each Facebook inbox message and every keyboard key they press or website they visit is not deletable. Thanks to massive Google and Facebook servers!

I teach trainers how, using Augmented Reality, they can be at several places at the same time (their holograms, of course!). They wouldn’t need their laptops or tablets or a slide projector. By using motion-sensors with a wearable on their brains, they would just wave to a wall and their visualised PowerPoint texts or images will display on the room wall, which they can then zoom in or out with merely their hand movement.

I teach that city commuters, like everybody else, will own a one- or two-seater plane, with vertical take-off and solar-powered battery or using electrical energy. Using GPS, they will fly from their homes in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Lahore’s DHA or Islamabad’s F-11 and land at their offices in Clifton (KHI), The Mall (LHR) or Constitution Avenue (ISB). They will work at their desks as their plane batteries get ‘refueled’, ready to take them back home. I also teach them that they may not need to travel for work, as there won’t be any office buildings in 2050.

I teach them how space stations, satellites and Google Earth know each stationed and moving object that is between earth and the skies. I teach them how to use 24/7 live flight tracker and weather trackers.

And then Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappears from the radar!

malaysian airliner search map

Seven days into the search, we still don’t know where it is. All we know is: speculation. Theory after theory. The latter theory nullifying the earlier theory!

Do you want to know who’s searching?

According to CNN: Nearly 3 million square miles area. 

According to BBC: An extensive search of the seas around Malaysia – involving 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft – since the plane disappeared has proved fruitless.

search area

Update 8 April: Over a period of a month: According to CBC, a total of 26 countries have participated in the search for the plane.

The graphic below illustrates the amount of equipment provided by various countries that have helped in the search by sea, air and from space.


Here’s my realisation: How wrong I have been all these years! Technology is so overrated!

With its heat-seeking equipment and capability, the technology can’t trace a Boeing 777-200ER plane with 239 people on board! And with that un-destroyable black box!

Sorry guys, I taught you wrong things.

Barring requests for money-back for the training courses you took with me, I stand corrected.

I apologise!

Technology is just like us human beings: selective!

See also: MH370: Is plane deeper than inverted Burj Khalifa?

wali zahid on MH370

By Wali Zahid. Introduction somewhere on this blog.

Also by Wali:

Wali on Pakistan of future

A miracle: Pakistan score in Long Term Orientation goes from Zero to 50

Pakistani culture through 6-D Model

Native languages in Pakistan

How future oriented are we?

How we messed up Pakistan: A series by Wali

Pakistan’s two value crimes no one talks about


  1. I think now the question should be why would someone go to such deliberate lengths to carry out a perfectly untraceable crime/accident/incident/fortuity.

    1. The question can be answered once the search is evident of a possible terrorist attack and not suspicious on it. I won’t be surprised if it is proven to be an act of terrorism, what I’d be surprised of is “how did they manage to surpass all the security barricades?” I pray the search in question does not linger and dangle forever

  2. Technology is awesome. After reading this, you might as well wonder: is it awesome or just some awe (and shock besides!).
    I also find it amazing how much “stress” comes with techological advancement like an univited guest — although very little is spoken about it because we readily assume that everything new makes life a little easier than before. It might, and it does, but we’re getting more and more stressed out, unable at most times to even absorb the new.

  3. Things will be on the table soon. Appears to be a trap for invading some country & it could be Pakistan (Allah forbid). In this particular case, a very prosperous Muslim country i.e. Malaysia has got the hit & conspiracy can take us to anywhere!!!
    If this 777 stays missing as PIA’s Foker in Gilgit some 12+ years ago, then this is most probably going to live as a Missing plane.
    Very painful for the families & equally shocking for the Techies.

  4. Very interesting piece Zahid. I dont think you were wrong! In this case technology has not failed, but some ‘smart’ humans have played with technology, apparently through a counter-technology and managed to hoodwinked the official systems…!
    And I hope its just the failure of technology, and all those on board are (still) safe.

  5. Nature has still too many secrets to be revealed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The most safe, secure and reliable transport in the is world is an aircraft. But the same transport is also the most dangerous transport; to which if some accident happen there is almost 0% chance of survival of even single individual on board. But in todays world it is also near to impossible that a giantic boieng 777 lost without leaving any traces and technology cant help to find it out. IN SHAH ALLAH TALA soon we will get the positive answers………………

  6. It makes me baffled and I utterly and truly wonder, that in today’s age and time when all these countries with all these visible technological advances, equipped with all these mighty satellites, surveillance systems and what not!… Where they can track each and every movement of ours by curbing our Privacy, Where they just detected (a couple of days back!) Gravitational Waves from 14 billion years ago when Big Bang happened! but they cannot find a plane that went missing 10 days ago! This is what boggles my mind!

    Irony is Ladies and Gentlemen…We can track a Cell Phone but we can not track a Giant Plane!! 🙁

    My heart goes out to the families of passengers of the missing plane!

  7. The search is actually not over. The data analysis by inmarsat was based on the combination pings from the engine and the doppler effect. The conclusion is based on the analysis so the search will continue untill the plane is found. So far there has been no sight of definitive debris from the plane.

  8. Very aptly describing the almost predatory nature of technology in today’s world. Complex situations ultimately reveal answers that are simple and straight forward. One day, truth will be revealed. The families of the passengers deserve answers,

  9. Wali, just gone through an intersting post! sharing as it might be an answer!

    MH 370 – Is this the ultimate conspiracy theory of all conspiracies:

    The Americans are withdrawing from Afghanistan, one of their command and control system (used for controlling the pilotless drones) was hijacked by the Talebans when the American transport convoy was moving down from one of the hill top bases. The Talebans ambushed the convoy and killed 2 American Seal personnel, seized the equipment/weapons, including the command and control system which weighed about 20 tons and packed into 6 crates. This happened about a month ago in Feb 2014.

    What the Talebans want is money. They want to sell the system to the Russians or the Chinese. The Russians are too busy destroying the Ukraine. The Chinese are hungry for the system’s technology. Just imagine if the Chinese master the technology behind the command and control system, all the American drones will become useless. So the Chinese sent 8 top defence scientists to check the system and agreed to pay millions for it.

    Sometime in early Mar 2014, the 8 scientists and the 6 crates made their way to Malaysia, thinking that it was the best covert way to avoid detection. The cargo was then kept in the Embassy under diplomatic protection. Meanwhile the Americans have engaged the assistance of Israeli intelligence, and together they are determined to intercept and recapture the cargo.

    The Chinese calculated that it will be safe to transport it via civilian aircraft so as to avoid suspicion. After all the direct flight from KL to Beijing takes only 4 and half hours, and the Americans will not hijack or harm a civilian plane. So MH370 is the perfect carrier.

    There are 5 Americans and Israeli agents onboard who are familiar with the Boeing operation. The 2 “Iranians” with stolen passports could be among them.

    When MH370 is about to leave the Malaysian air space and reporting to Vietnamese air control, one American AWAC jammed their signal, disabled the pilot control system and switched over to remote control mode. That was when the plane suddenly lost altitude momentarily.

    How can the AWAC do this? Remember the 911 incident ? After the 911 incident, all Boeing aircraft (and possibly all Airbus) are installed with remote control systems to counter terrorist hijacking. Since then all the Boeing planes could be remote controlled by a ground control tower. The same remote control system used to control the pilotless spy aircraft and drones.

    The 5 American/Israeli agents soon took over the plane, switched off the transponder and other communication system, changed course and flew westwards. They dare not fly east to Philippines or Guam because the whole South China Sea air space was covered by Chinese surveillance radar and satellite.

    The Malaysian, Thai and Indian military radars actually detected the unidentified aircraft but did not react professionally.

    The plane flew over North Sumatra, Anambas, South India and then landed at Maldives (some villagers saw the aircraft landing), refuelled and continued its flight to Garcia Deigo, the American Air Base in the middle of Indian Ocean. The cargo and the black box were removed. The passengers were silenced via natural means, lack of oxygen. They believe a dead person will not talk. The MH370 with dead passengers were air borne again via remote control and crashed into South Indian Ocean, making us believe that the plane eventually ran out of fuel and crashed, and blame the defiant captain and co pilot.

    The Americans have put up a good show. First diverting all the attention and search effort in the South China Sea while the plane made their way to the Indian Ocean. Then they came out with some conflicting statement and evidence to confuse the world. The Australian is the co-actor.

    The amount of effort put up by China, in terms of the number of search aircraft, ships and satellites, searching first the South China Sea, then the Malacca Straits and the Indian Ocean is unprecedented. This showed that China is very concerned, not so much because of the many Chinese civilian passengers, but mainly the high value cargo and its 8 top defense scientists.

    Don’t believe the story? Its sounds unbelievable but let’s wait and see how the episode unveils itself. Or perhaps it will never be known until the next Snowden emerges….

    1. Although there are no sound bases to believe in what you said, but I have this strong belief that we are living in the world of deception, lies, malice, vice, slyness by a handful of elite corrupt plutocrats. There is definitely an underlying mystery behind the missing plane. and what you mentioned can not simply be rejected.

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