Sunday, 9 November 2014

MH370 - By Accident or Design? by Peter Lee

What an amazing book. I enjoyed every moment that I read this very short and fascinating dissection of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight in March 2014.

 A little about Peter Lee:

Peter Lee is an alias.
The book begins with a short author bio, which is a must not be skipped. The reader begins the book with an understanding that this book is not written by a plane watcher, bereaved relative, or conspiracy fanatic. It’s written by an aviation expert with a professional background in aviation. Or rather, this is what the book states. And I do believe that if the reader is to enjoy the book as intended, the writer’s professional expertise needs to be taken as a given.

The first paragraph of the bio follows:

Peter Lee has a military and intelligence background. He trained first as a pilot and then became a military air traffic controller, holding licenses for both terminal (airfield) and area (transit) duties. He was a fully qualified controller holding every possible military ATC licence. He worked at the three principal Royal Navy air stations in England, at Shetland Radar at RAF Saxa Vord on the island of Unst, the northern-most of the Shetland Islands, and at the London Military Air Traffic Control Centre (LATCC (Mil)) then based at RAF West Drayton, as both a radar controller and as an allocator, as well as on various warships.

About MH370 - By accident or design?
I opened this book just before bed, intending to read for five minutes and get a bit of a handle on the style of the book then go off to sleep. I couldn’t put it down.

I approached it with suspicion and distrust, almost sure I’d dislike it. I don’t read non-fiction for fun, and I’m not much into conspiracy theories.

But let’s be clear from the start: this book isn’t a conspiracy theory (although some of the more entertaining conspiracy theories were mentioned in the book, and provided some levity on an otherwise fairly sombre subject). The book is one man’s theories about the disappearance of an entire Boeing 777 aircraft - something which most of the world cannot believe is possible in this modern era of internet, satellites, and mobile phones.

And I found it absolutely mesmerising.

Lee starts with the basics - the facts. What we know happened. He also adds in the conflicting reports from different countries, adding a political element to the story and giving his opinions about why they, at times, are completely at loggerheads to each other. And then he adds his own embellishments to flesh out the story, based on his experience in air traffic control and his knowledge of satellites and aircraft equipment.

Lee makes clear distinction between what is accepted as fact, and where he has added detail, completing the picture for interested readers in a way that is entirely plausible. He does not present his theory as the only one, instead giving many alternate scenarios and inspecting each in turn.

I think that this very short book is a must-read for all those who are interested in knowing - or at least surmising - what might have happened to the Malaysian flight. 
You can find the book here on Goodreads, and here on Amazon.



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