The definitive investigation into the greatest aviation mystery in history, with a startling hypothesis about who took the plane, where they took it, and how. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. A year later, still no trace of the plane - or the 239 people onboard - has been found. But why? In The Plane That Wasn't There, science journalist and CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise sweeps aside the conspiracy theories and misconceptions and lays out, with clear concision, just what we know about the plane's fate - and what we don't. The deeper into the technical details one delves, Wise reports, the stranger the case seems. He proposes that in order to make sense of the data we have, a radical new hypothesis ought to be considered - one that he lays out in gripping detail, complete with modus operandi, flight path, possible perpetrators, and a startling destination. Jeff Wise is a science journalist specializing in aviation and psychology. A licensed pilot of gliders and light airplanes, he has also written for New York, The New York Times, Time, Businessweek, Esquire, Details, and many others. His 2011 Popular Mechanics story on the fate of Air France 447 was named one of the Top 10 Longreads of 2011. His last book was Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger. A native of Massachusetts, he lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.
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- Mike Cardozo
Russia hijacked MH370?
Wise offers an interesting but ultimately unconvincing argument to explain the disappearance of MH-370 in March 2014. He speculates that the flight was hijacked by Russian special forces in response to international sanctions that had been imposed on Russia as a means to pressure the Putin administration into ending its war against Ukraine. He cites as proof of a hijacking the complete lack of aircraft wreckage in the ocean despite months of sea searches mounted by various governments. Of course a hijacking may well turn out to be the most likely answer to the mystery of Flight 370 one day, but Wise's Russian hypothesis, although superficially appealing to conspiracy types, is implausible at best, supported by little more than a James Bond-like scenario involving highly trained special forces operators’ taking over the plane only a day after the U.S. government announced its support for international sanctions. That hardly seems enough time to mount the complex operation Wise describes. Certainly, the author offers no solid proof that would stand up to careful legal analysis. The book’s major strength provides a fascinating, albeit frequently deeply technical, analysis of the plane's extremely complex operating systems; it makes for tough going for readers who are not experts in avionics and aircraft engineering, but the details are enthralling.