NEW: A not-yet-known ATC witness report suggests there were TWO AIRPLANES #MH370
What follows below are the verbatim posts by Keith Wheeler, a contributor to the Facebook group 'MH370 In Search Of The Truth'. These are being re-published on Twitter with Keith's permission.
07.24.15 at 7:24 pm
"I'm going to tell a story from the Malyasian Government's report of several witnesses who's story has not yet been told. The story will be a hybrid of fact and fiction. Fiction because all the truth is not known and so I'll take license to try to fill in the gaps. These will be assumptions based on logic, but I think will be close to the truth."
07.25.15 at 12:50 am
Hi my name is John (not really – but you’ll get to know my real name sometime in the future).
I work in a very large Air Traffic Control Centre at the capital of an Asian nation as an Air Traffic Controller Supervisor. I’ve been an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) for many years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience managing aircraft through our airspace.
This is a story of the night that changed my life forever; I will never be the same guy again. On this particular night I supervised a small crew of ATC operators on the midnight to dawn shift (2359 – 0730). During this part of the night there is a significantly reduced flow of aircraft taking – off and landing at various airports around the country, as well as those long distance flights which fly high overhead between Europe and southern destinations such as Australia and new Zealand. I had expected this Friday night to be as routine as all the others, but by the time I got home the next morning I had been through a nightmare.
It all so innocently starts about 20 minutes (1719 UTC) after we commenced our shift when one of the Sector controllers routinely hands off a B777 on a regular flight as it approaches the international air space boundary with Vietnam. A short time later the same controller notices that the transponder signal disappears off his screen earlier than normal. As the aircraft is now under control of our neighbouring ATC centre he thinks nothing more of it and continues to monitor other aircraft under his responsibility. It is ten minutes later when all hell breaks loose.
At 1730 the same Controller alerts me that he now has an unidentified aircraft in his airspace being tracked by primary radar only and is approximately 70 Nautical Miles (nm) off the east coast. It appears to be heading towards one of our major airports at a groundspeed of 496 knots. I’m now standing behind the Controller monitoring the situation. We begin to share the workload for this part of our airspace but keeping an eye on our invader. In accordance with procedures we give this aircraft a temporary transponder code and continue to monitor its progress. I begin to ask myself, what are his intentions? Why hasn’t he contacted us for a clearance? Is this an aircraft in distress? The worst thing of all is that we are only tracking him on primary radar so we do not have any altitude information.
At 1737 when this aircraft is only 20nm from our coast (and airport) the situation gets instantly must more serious when the primary radar signal for this intruder vanishes off the screen. That normally means one thing – the aircraft has crashed. We split are priorities, and even though it’s just after midnight I return to my desk to sound the alarm and make to appropriate responses, phone calls to various officials and emergency response teams in that area. Meanwhile the Sector Controller continues to manage all the other aircraft in that area.
At 1738 (a minute later) just as I’m about to begin making phone calls the primary radar return signal from the intruder unexpectantly re appears on the screen. The aircraft is now overhead Kota Bharu at a constant speed on a south westerly heading. I rush back to the Sector Controller and we give him a new temporary transponder code and continue to watch.
But in the middle of this mayhem I receive a phone call from my Vietnamese counterpart asking about the location of the aircraft that was handed over to them 20 minutes earlier. They say that they have had no radio contact with this aircraft since entering their airspace. I advise my counterpart that we have assumed that this aircraft was operating normally, as per the flight plan. I instruct Controllers at Sectors 3 and 5 to make a “transmitting blind” call to MS 370 – there’s no response.
Holy hell!! In the space of a few minutes in the middle of a Friday night I’m suddenly dealing with two major air incidents simultaneously – I have an invader which literally vanishes off and on the screen under primary radar (I haven’t seen that before in all my years as a ATC), and another missing aircraft in the neighbouring nation’s airspace. The stress and pressure bought upon me and my controller at this time was enormous, and it was about to get much worse before this shift ends.
At 1744, just when things were beginning to resemble normality again, the intruder disappears off the screen once more. By now the aircraft is about half way across the Malaysian Peninsular and appears to be tracking towards Penang. We can’t believe what we are seeing, has it crashed this time? This is getting beyond control I need some assistance – and fast. We watched the screen again for about a minute and then went back to my desk to make those phone calls.
I just sat down and the phone rings. It my Vietnamese counterpart again, he’s telling me that MS 370 was initially under their secondary radar but as the aircraft reached BITOD it vanished off the radar screen and has not been seen since. Although MS 370 has never made radio contact with HCMATC they have been trying to contact it on the area frequency for the last 20 minutes without a reply.
At 1744, just as I get off the phone with my mate in Saigon my Sector Controller yells out to me that the intruder has reappeared again still heading towards Penang – this is unbelievable!!
I go back to the Sector Controller and sure enough the intruder vanishes again at 1748 this time the aircraft is just 50 nm from Penang. My heart sinks as I begin to think that this maybe a September 11 type attack and their target is Penang. I now direct my controllers at Sectors 3 and 5 to deal directly with Saigon and the whereabouts of MS 370 while the other Controller and I focus again on the intruder.
At 1751 the intruder reappears once more on the radar screen only 20nm south east of Penang. Then as the intruder reaches the limit of our radar coverage the intruder’s radar return disappears off our screen for the last time.
1. Unbeknown to John at the time the intruder aircraft was also being tracked by numerous military radar stations in the region and what happens over the Straits of Malacca is another story.
2. John’s story does not end here, please continue reading."
07.25.15 at 1:02 am
At 1752, I can now breathe a shy of relief as I can no longer direct and control the situation with the intruder. By now I’m totally exhausted and fatigued, I can barely stand up on my feet I’m shaking that much. I’ve been highly stressed for the past 30 minutes running on pure anxiety.
I slowly go to the coffee machine and grab a cuppa, then make my way back to my desk and begin to fill out the official Air Incident forms that must by law be raised immediately after event such as we’ve just witnessed. I also advise my Controller to start writing down his version of what he has also just witnessed.
At 1757 (the intruder now turning onto a north west heading – again at this time unbeknown to John) my overpowering tiredness is again jolted awake by another phone call in Saigon who says that HCMATC has officially declared that they have made no contact with MS 370 despite numerous attempts to contact the aircraft. Now it’s time to focus on the missing MS 370.
At 1803 to 1805, (intruder now approx 50-60 nm north west of Penang) I contact HCMATC for an update on the missing Malaysian jet, only to be advised that they have no idea where the aircraft is at this time. I ask one of my staff to call the MAS Operations Room to see if they have any information. MAS consequently advise that the aircraft is currently flying in Cambodian airspace. This new information I relay to Saigon.
At 1808 to 1812, (intruder now approx 100 nm north west of Penang) Saigon call back and ask for confirmation that MS370 is actually over Cambodia as they have just spoken to Cambodian ATC and they no such information. This is confirmed by MAS Operations Room and again relayed to Saigon.
At 1815 to 1819,, (quotation from the Watch Keeper’s Log Book). I was informed by MAS Operation’s Room that there has been a exchange of signals between MS 370 and MAS’s Flight Tracking Computer System. I ask Saigon if they have a flight plan for MS 370 which takes them over Cambodia.
At this time MS 370 has reached waypoint MEKAR and is about to drop off all radar screens for the last time.
At 1834 to 1837, by this time my staff have resumed normal operations. I again call the MAS Operations Room looking for more information about MS 370. I’m advised that MS 370 is still sending out movement messages indicating that the aircraft is in Vietnamese airspace. I’ve asked the Operations Room to try to make direct contact with MS 370. MAS Operations Room have advised that the aircraft was at N14.9.000/E109.155.00. Based on this information I consequently advised HCMATC that MS 370 was still flying and sending out position reports on a regular basis.
I went home at the end of that shift a different man, my life has changed forever and I feel as though I was an innocent victim along with those on that aircraft.
To make matters worse after the release of the Malaysian report back in March my name was slandered and my reputation was ruined worldwide by a group of blood thirsty reporters who were looking for a scape goat who have no idea as to the huge pressure I and my staff where under that night. Yes, I momentarily fell asleep on duty but by body was in automatic shutdown mode particularly working through that time of night when your body naturally wants to sleep.
Now I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – but who cares?"