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The Malaysian government’s Transport Ministry says a second piece of debris reported from the Besut district (see map below) and described only as 2 meters in size and white, possibly from an airplane) is NOT from MH370 in particular or a Boeing in general. This is based on part numbers. Okay, fair enough. Still no statement from Indonesia that either part could not be from the Air Asia crash, even though it seems very unlikely.

BesutDistrictMalaysia

So, do the part numbers (and metallurgy) suggest the pieces are from the same object? Gee, how many minutes can this take? Don’t TV shows like NCIS run stuff through a mass spec in like minutes? Has anyone checked the coast between the two points?

DebrisBesutMap

To be determined if the pieces are from an airplane or a rocket or something else really exotic? If one or both pieces are from an Indian rocket (there’s an issue with what is it doing there instead of being shot deep into the Southern Ocean, for example), will India ever ‘fess up?

At issue is how to account for large fragments AND winding up pretty far apart in space (but arriving at the coasts close in time). That would leave two questions: at what altitude did the vehicle break up and can a central location for heavier stuff (like engines) be inferred? There’s an issue whether smaller parts washing up may have been missed (or are still lying on a beach).

Did the radar from both nations miss it? Any comment from Vietnam? It is also odd that China has not denied that it could have been something of theirs. 

The Gulf of Thailand has an artificial southern limit (just a line drawn on a map) and as bodies of water go it is not small – 120,000 square miles. But it is comparatively shallow – deep there is 200 feet and the maximum depth is less than 300 feet.  No word of any sort of coordinated aerial or marine search. 

Some acquaintances are furiously trying to model wreckage movement in the Gulf based on some work done in the 1940s and “more modern” work done in the 1960s but not reported until the 1970s. Right now, the idea is outflow from all the rivers, especially the Mekong, along northern edge of the Gulf pushes stuff southward. There’s generally a very mild westward flow BUT then we have two monsoon seasons – in one (relatively dry) the prevailing winds are from the north. In the other (wet) the winds are from the southwest.  

Finding out what is or was true in that part of the world is a very strange experience. 

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