“If I were an Australian journalist, I would jump at this.”

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by Neil Godfrey

Recall my post from a week ago, MH370 – still waiting. There I quoted the President of Emirates Airline (the company with the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777s), Sir Tim Clark, expressing his frustration over the lack of transparency in the supposed references to the data related to the missing aircraft and unanswered questions put to the official “explanation”. Florence de Changy, author of The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370, attempted to interview Tim Clark for that book. Here is her account of those attempts:

Another important voice that had gone oddly quiet was that of the highly respected Sir Tim Clark, the President of Emirates Airline. Emirates runs the largest fleet of Boeing 777s in the world, and its chief was clearly not impressed with the ‘disappearance’ narrative. He had initially declared that ‘he would not be silenced’ on the matter. ‘We seem to have allowed MH370 to go into this black hole of “it could be one of aviation’s great mysteries”. It can’t be left like that, never. I’m totally dissatisfied with what has been coming out of all of this. I will continue to ask the questions and will make a nuisance of myself, when others would like to bury it. We have an obligation not to brush this under the carpet,’ he added.

I submitted three requests to meet Clark to follow up on his vigorous initial statements. I even offered to travel to Dubai, or to meet him wherever he might be in order to overcome any logistical issues. But in December 2015, a major codeshare deal was agreed between Emirates and MAS, and his communications adviser let it be known that Clark ‘had nothing to add to what he previously said on that matter’. Yet, Clark has never said that he was now satisfied with this or that explanation, and he seemed so sincere right at the start of the whole affair. For a long time I pondered whether he had been somehow convinced that it was in the best general interest that the truth not be revealed, or whether he had even been forcefully silenced. According to an Australian diplomatic source in the Middle East, it was actually the ATSB, using – or rather, abusing – its leverage as regulator for one of Emirates’ major destinations, who asked him to stop commenting about MH370. Apparently, Clark had no choice other than to comply, but he was so put out that he insisted on registering his annoyance with the Australian ambassador in Abu Dhabi.

(Disappearing Act, pp 337 f)

And a review of Changy’s book, one that I concur with at every point, by Shalini Ganendra at MalayMail.com.

Changy, Florence de. The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370. UK: HarperCollins, 2021.


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Neil Godfrey

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2 thoughts on ““If I were an Australian journalist, I would jump at this.””

  1. My understanding of the MH370 disappearance is that the plane carried scientists en route to China and that they had intellectual property rights, that died with them, about a new technology that would have undermined established multi-billion dollar businesses.
    If you are reading this and have knowledge to support or refute that, could you please share it ?
    If true, it leads one to despise the US government and the military industrial complex that suckles it.
    But what if the US and Chinese governments are in some sort of conspiracy together, which I also suspect about the COVID virus, to mitigate against world panic and anarchy ?

    1. Florence de Changy discusses in detail several of the scenarios that have been proposed, including the one to which I think you refer. Changy discusses the business of Freescale Semiconductor and its buyout by Blackstone and Carlyle in 2006 and their relationships with “the Bush clan” and a prominent Saudi Arabian family….

      Thus, Freescale Semiconductor placed us at the nexus of Wall Street (New York), the Pentagon (Washington, DC) and Austin (Texas), the birthplace of the company. This was money, political power and strategic technology all rolled into one, at the very highest level.

      As it happened, Freescale Semiconductor filed a patent for a new manufacturing technology on 11 March 2014, three days after the plane went missing. The invention can be found online under the patent reference U.S. 8671381.

      Shortly after the plane’s disappearance, Mitch Haws, Vice President, Global Communications and Investor Relations at Freescale Semiconductor, told the press that the 20 Freescale employees on Flight MH370, ‘were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people. […] It’s definitely a loss for the company.’ He further noted that they were ‘mostly engineers and other experts working to make the company’s chip facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur more efficient’.[Reuters, 9 March 2014] All were travelling in economy class. In January 2015, I met with Yuen Ying, the wife of one of the Malaysian engineers employed by Freescale. He had decided to leave on the evening of 7 March ‘to have time to visit Beijing’. The Chinese co-workers had come to Freescale’s facility in Malaysia the week before, and now it was the Malaysians’ turn to spend a few days at the Freescale plant in Tianjin, China.

      These were the facts. They were easily verifiable and within the realm of reality. (pp. 88-89)

      However, Changy finds problems with the scenario that has arisen from these facts. She explains (with my own highlighting):

      From the internet, I discovered that the group of 20 Freescale employees on board supposedly included four co-owners of a patent of great strategic and technological importance that was due to be filed any day. If anything were to have happened to the four co-owners (each of whom held a 20 per cent share), the full ownership of the patent would fall to the remaining co-owner, namely Freescale Semiconductor. The internet and its discussion forums were rife with claims that the plane had been spirited away and annihilated to secure American control of a patent of utmost strategic importance. The theory was even picked up by Russia’s government-funded broadcasting network, Russia Today. Of course, there were undoubtedly better yardsticks of credibility, but what did it matter? It was a terrific story.

      It did, nevertheless, suffer three major weaknesses. First, employees who introduce a patentable invention never obtain co-ownership of the patent. And so at Freescale Semiconductor, as at every other major corporation, all patented inventions systematically become the full property of the company that developed them. As such, before even examining any of the other details, the very basis for this scenario lacked plausibility. Second, none of the inventors’ names shown on the patent matched the names of any of the Chinese passengers listed on the manifest of Flight MH370. Finally, there was really nothing revolutionary about patent U.S. 8671381; it concerned the optimisation of the number of dies that could be fabricated on a wafer.* This invention might cut overall manufacturing costs by 3 to 4 per cent, at most. That was certainly not enough to justify getting rid of 239 people.

      So it was back to square one. Whatever happened had never been intended to give Freescale Semiconductor full control of a revolutionary patent. The whole story was a scam. Yet to dismiss the ludicrous patent theory should not also entail the dismissal of the 20 people on board from Freescale. (pp. 89-90)

      . . .

      * Wafers are round slices of silicon that serve as the substrate for the fabrication of dies, which are square, explaining why optimisation would be useful.

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