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Updated May 5, 2014 with Rebuttal Comments -  Is This Why NSA Has Classified All Information About MH370?

© 2014 by Linda Moulton Howe


Boeing 777-2H6ER 9M-MRO, the aircraft used for flight MH370 that disappeared
at 1:19 AM on Saturday, March 8, 2014, when its transponder was mysteriously
shut off enroute to Beijing. Credit: Rodger McCutcheon, Auckland Photo News.


Update May 5, 2014  / Orig. April 30, 2014 Albuquerque, New Mexico - On April 27, 2014, Earthfiles reported that an NSA reply to an attorney's FOIA request for all information concerning the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370 was a “currently and properly classified matter.”

“We have determined that the fact of the existence or non-existence
of the (MH370) materials you request is a currently and properly classified
in accordance with Executive Order 13526 ...” 

- National Security Agency, April 16, 2014


April 16, 2014, reply to attorney Orly Taitz's FOIA request (FOIA Case: 77287)
from the National Security Agency/ Central Security Service, Fort Meade, Maryland.


Are Pilotless Drone Command and Control Systems
and 8 Defense Scientists the “Treasure”
in the Strange Disappearance of MH370?

U. K. Mail Online, May 3, 2014. See more here.

Today, on May 4, 2014, I have confirmation that the “anonymous” posting sent to me on April 30, 2014, with the following hypothesis scenario about what could be behind the MH370 bizarre disappearance since March 8, 2014, is Lon Strickler, the producer of the internet website:

Here is the URL for Lon Strickler's original posting of his work that was incorrectly distributed in emails as by an anonymous source.

Earthfiles shares this for consideration and welcomes feedback from viewers. All requests for anonymity are honored.

Lon Strickler, Producer,, April 30, 2014:  “The Americans are withdrawing from Afghanistan; one of their command and control systems (used for controlling pilotless drones) was hijacked by the Taliban when an American transport convoy was moving down from one of the hill-top bases. The Taliban ambushed the convoy and killed 2 American Seal personnel, seized the equipment/weapons, including the command and control system which weighed about 20 tons and packed into 6 crates. This happened about a month ago in Feb 2014.

What the Taliban wants is money. They want to sell the system to the Russians or the Chinese. The Russians are too busy in Ukraine. The Chinese are hungry for the system's technology. Just imagine if the Chinese master the technology behind the command and control system, all the American drones will become useless. So the Chinese sent 8 top defense scientists to check the system and agreed to pay millions for it.

Sometime in early Mar 2014 the 8 scientists and the 6 crates made their way to Malaysia thinking that it was the best covert way to avoid detection. The cargo was then kept in the Embassy under diplomatic protection. Meanwhile the Americans have engaged the assistance of Israeli intelligence and together they are determined to intercept and recapture the cargo.

The Chinese calculated that it would be safer to transport it via civilian aircraft so as to avoid suspicion. After all the direct flight from KL to Beijing takes only 4 and half hours and the Americans will not hijack or harm a civilian airliner. So MH370 is the perfect carrier.

There were 5 American and Israeli agents onboard who were familiar with Boeing aircraft operation. The 2 "Iranians" with stolen passports could be among them.
When MH370 was about to leave Malaysian air space and report in to Vietnamese air control an American AWAC jammed their signal, disabled the pilot control system and switched over to remote control mode. That was when the plane lost altitude momentarily.

How the AWAC can do it ? Remember 911 incident ? After the 911 incident all Boeing aircraft (and possibly all Airbus) are installed with a remote control system to counter terrorist hijacking. Since then all Boeing aircraft can be remote controlled by a ground control tower. The same remote control system used to control the pilotless spy aircraft and drones.

The 5 American/Israeli agents soon took over the plane, switched off the transponder and other communication systems, changed course and flew westwards. They dared not fly east to Philippines or Guam because the whole South China Sea air space was covered by Chinese surveillance radar and satellites.

The Malaysian, Thai and Indian military radar actually detected the unidentified aircraft but none reacted professionally.

The plane flew over North Sumatra, Anambas, South India and landed at the Maldives (some villagers saw the aircraft landing), refuelled and continued its flight to Diego Garcia, the American Air Base in the middle of Indian Ocean. The cargo and the black box were removed. The passengers were silenced by natural means, lack of oxygen. MH370 with dead passengers took off again using remote control and crashed into South Indian Ocean to make it look that the plane eventually ran out of fuel and crashed.

The Americans have put up a good show. First diverting all the attention and search effort to the South China Sea while the plane made its way to the Indian Ocean. Then they came out with some conflicting statements and evidence to confuse everyone.
The amount of effort put up by China, in terms of the number of search aircraft, ships and satellites, searching first the South China Sea, then the Malacca Straits and the Indian Ocean is unprecedented. This shows that China is very concerned, not so much because of the many Chinese civilian passengers, but mainly for the high value cargo and the 8 defense scientists.


May 5, 2014 Updated Comments by Retired
U. S. Navy Captain Mark Wood

“I am sure all Earthfiles readers have flown on a commercial airliner,
so they know the sizes of the cabin doors and that a passenger airliner
does not have cargo doors to load large crates. So how could 20 tons
of Command and Control equipment packaged in crates get loaded on
MH370? The fact is it can’t and it wasn’t because the story isn’t true.”

- Mark Wood, Retired U. S. Navy Captain

“Why the Theory of A Captured RPV Command & Control System Being on MH370 Cannot Be Factual   Since confirmation now from Lon Strickler, Producer,, that he is the author of the April 30, 2014, story about the Taliban capturing a U.S. RPV Command and Control System in Afghanistan and arranging for it to be transported to China on MH370, I thought I would provide a more detailed and extensive explanation about why this scenario cannot be true, in my experienced military opinion.

Although the drones themselves are launched and landed at overseas bases, the drones are not flown and controlled from these bases except possibly the U.K. or Diego Garcia (maybe even Saudi Arabia but not sure about that one).

[ Editor's Note:  Wikipedia - Diego Garcia is a coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean. The United States Navy operates Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia, a large naval ship and submarine support base, military air base, communications and space-tracking facility, and an anchorage for pre-positioned military supplies for regional operations aboard Military Sealift Command ships in the lagoon. The Naval Air Facility runway is 12,003 feet long (3,659 meters). ]

The pilots and the Command and Control systems of the U. S. drones are certainly not located in a combat zone like Afghanistan or before that Iraq. We don’t even locate them in dangerous non-combat places like Pakistan. Since the drones are controlled via satellite links, there is no need for the pilots and hence the command and control equipment to be close to where the drones themselves are based. To the best of my knowledge they are flown from Air Force Bases in the United States, mostly from Beale AFB in California, Cannon AFB in New Mexico and Creech AFB in Nevada. The pilots are considered “Non-Combatants” because they are never assigned to a combat zone. That is why there was such a ruckus caused by the DoD plan to issue a special medal to RPV pilots for their service which was higher in precedence than the Bronze Star and Purple Heart that are combat awards.

Here are some other common sense reasons that refute claims made in the Lon Strickler scenario:

Taliban Needs the Money – the last thing the Taliban has to worry about is money. They were established and are now supported and funded by a faction within the Pakistani Intelligence Service, and if that didn’t provide them with enough operating capital, then they could use the donations that come from various sources in the middle east from wealthy right wing jihadists.

Weight of the “Command and Control System” the story reports that the stolen Command and Control system weighed 20 Tons, which equates to 40,000lbs or 9,072kg. It says that this was divided into 6 crates, which means each crate averaged 6,667lbs, or 1,512 kilos. Since a 2007 Hyundai Sonata weighs @ 3,300lbs (@1,500kg) then each crate would have to be the size of 2 small cars. So let’s assume there were actually 12, one for each Sonata sized piece of equipment. This would mean that each crate would have to be 6ft x 5ft x 15ft with a volume of 450 cu ft (or @ 12.7 cu meters). In this day and age we use solid state circuits and not vacuum tubes for our electronics, and even using vacuum tubes a Command and Control system for an RPV would not be 20 tons or require 5400 cubic feet of space to ship it.

Transportation of the Stolen Command and Control System - Once the system was captured, it now has to be transported to some desired location. We are led to believe it is going to China on MH370. Remember, we have somewhere between 6 and probably 12 crates at least the size of a small car to surreptitiously transport to safety. Since I am sure the USAF had more than one RPV Command and Control System somewhere in the world, that means that this convoy transporting all of these cases would have to be very careful to keep from getting blown up by a Predator drone like every small pick-up with a 50 caliber machine gun operating between Yemen and Islamabad.

So assume that they were lucky and evaded detection. Where do they go? They could go into Pakistan where they would be relatively safe, drive 300miles (482km) to Islamabad and then head to the airport where a plane waiting for them could fly the cargo and the 8 Chinese engineers right to Beijing. Sounds like the simplest and safest thing to do.

Instead, they decide they want to go to Malaysia first and then fly it to China. So they drive 700 miles (1,127km) to get to the coast and ship the crates to Kuala Lumpur departing from Karachi, Pakistan. This would obviously be what you would have to do if the cargo was too large and heavy to put on a commercial airliner.  But once you had it on a cargo ship, why go to Malaysia? Why not go directly to Shanghai and again be safer.

But rather than just stay on the freighter and go directly to Shanghai with cargo they have gotten out of Afghanistan, the cargo ends up in Malaysia. But to top that off, rather than keep it stored in a warehouse where it is out of sight until time to ship it to China, the story would make you believe that it is trucked to and hidden in the Chinese embassy for safety. I would think that there is more than one country that has the Chinese embassy under surveillance,so this really doesn’t seem like the smart thing to do.

Loading the Command and Control System on a Boeing 777 – If you look up the specifications for a Boeing 777 ER200, you will find that the empty weight is 304,500lbs (137,892kg). A full load of fuel (since we are told that they took off fully loaded) is 45,220 gallons at 6.84 lbs/gal for a total of 309,305lbs (140,299kg). Thus we have a total weight of airplane and fuel of 613,805lbs (278,417kg). The max take-off weight of a Boeing 777-ER200 is 656,000 lbs (297,557kg), which leaves us some 42,000 lbs (19,051kg) for passengers and bags. So because MH370 is in Asia, where most people are not as large as we are here in the States, if we figure an average of 160lbs (72.6kg) for each passenger and bag, (which is typically less than the airlines use for their weight and balance calculations) we have about 38,240 lbs (17,345kg) worth of passengers, crew and bags when we are ready to taxi, which only leaves @4,000 lbs (1,814kg) for those 40,000 lbs of Command and Control system crates.

So that seems to mean that from a weight standpoint alone if this story is to be taken as factual, it would take 10 Boeing 777-ER200 flights to get everything to China. However, let’s give author of this story the benefit of the doubt and say that this was a special Boeing 777ER200 that had a max weight capacity that was some 36,000 lbs greater than normal and that it could actually stay in the air at that weight. What the author seems to forget is that this is not a cargo version of the Boeing 777, it is the passenger version! And since I am sure all Earthfiles readers have flown on a commercial airliner, they know the sizes of the cabin doors and that a passenger airliner doesn’t have cargo doors to load large crates. So how could 20 tons of Command and Control equipment packaged in crates get loaded on MH370? The fact is it can’t and it wasn’t because the story isn’t true.

Taking Over Control of MH370 and Flying to Diego Garcia – although we are now to the point of this whole theory falling apart, let’s carry it to it’s even more improbable conclusion based on what is postulated by Mr. Strickler that happened — assuming the cargo was loaded and MH370 got airborne. First and foremost no one, not even the CIA or NSA, has installed a computer managed flight control system on board every commercial airliner after 9/11 to thwart hijackings. Even if they could and did, only Airbus aircraft are computer-controlled. Boeing aircraft are not, and it would take ripping apart the entire plane to install the wiring, control cables or control fiber optics, computer, power supplies, radio receivers and antennas for such a fantasy to happen. This in itself may be the most ridiculous part of this story.

First and foremost no commercial carrier is going to take a single aircraft off the flight line and out of operation to make those kinds of modifications, let alone modify their entire fleet. And the question that must be asked is:  Who would have paid for those types of modifications?

Assuming that it was mandated by the U.S. Government for all U.S. flag carriers to comply with such a ludicrous idea, Malaysian Air was not subject to the whims of the U.S. government. So much for this idea. But instead, let’s assume that an “onboard” agency operative or group of operatives took over the plane and flew it west to recover the stolen cargo. So they were the ones that asphyxiated everyone on the plane?

Why not just hijack the plane, take it to Diego Garcia, put the passengers up in a nice barracks, give them a hot meal and then send them back after everyone had been interrogated and cleared from being involved? What is even more interesting is since Diego Garcia is due south of the northern Maldives, when you plot the distance to both the Maldives and Diego Garcia from the estimated position where the last radar contact on MH370 was made, the distance is only 200 miles further to Diego Garcia.

And since the distance to Beijing is fully 600 miles further than the distance to Diego Garcia and they had enough fuel to fly to Beijing, they had enough fuel to fly directly to Diego Garcia without making a fuel stop in the Maldives.

China Wanted The Technology – the technology used to fly an RPV— whether it is a Predator drone or a model P-51 RC plane that you can buy at Hobby Lobby — is basically the same. This isn’t smoke and mirrors and it isn’t even rocket science. Yes, the P-51 RC plane requires a hand set to fly it, and you have to be able to see it, and the Predator requires more sophisticated displays, joy sticks, satellite communications, TV viewing and weapons controls, but it is a remotely controlled airplane — nothing more.

Don’t forget that China has sent men into space, only the third country to do so, and just successfully landed a remotely operated vehicle (Rover) on the moon. My assumption is that there is nothing from a hardware technology standpoint that they would need from our RPV Command and Control system. They have satellites, they communicate with them. They have GPS satellites and know how to receive those signals. They I am sure already have their own RPVs. They may not have the encryption codes that we use to encrypt the control signals, stealing the hardware is not the way to obtain the encryption codes and software. So I think it is an insult to the Chinese that someone would imply that they needed our hardware technology to implement an aerial drone system.

You Can't Believe Everything You Read On the Web! – I think that the scenario from Mr. Strickler at the beginning of this Earthfiles report is a perfect example of why you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Many websites and many groups who report things as facts are not vetting the facts. Or the stories are investigated to verify what is being published. It may be interesting and fun to read some of these far out theories, but the disappearance of MH370 is a real human tragedy with the loss of 239 souls whose families and friends will never see them again. Until we locate the aircraft and recover the black boxes, we won’t know the truth and may in fact never know.

May 3, 2014 News About Conspiracy to Hijack MH370 – We now know from the Snowden revelations that the NSA’s reach and ability to eavesdrop on virtually anyone anywhere in the world is unlimited. In that regard, their monitoring systems and software applications have been tuned since 9/11 to key into specific words, phrases, phone numbers, organizations and individuals that have been determined to be related to the terrorist underground. As a result, it is not too farfetched to think that upon the disappearance of MH370 that the NSA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies began to go back over recorded communications in the weeks and maybe months leading up to the disappearance of MH370 to see if there is anything that could be used to identify any individuals or groups that could have been involved.

As such, anything that the NSA found, or anything they searched for and didn’t find, would be kept highly classified since its release could either alert terrorists involved in the disappearance that they were being tracked, or if they hadn’t been identified then they would know that their latest communication methods were successfully clandestine.

But it is not surprising that in light of the disappearance and the inability for searchers to find any trace of the aircraft that no individual or organization has claimed responsibility. If there was a conspiracy to hijack MH370 to use it for some unknown reason, then the fact that the plane was hijacked would mean that the methods and plan that they used were successful and could be used again if no one admitted to what was done. Since the plane hasn’t been found, then we don’t know what was done or how it was done or who was involved, so everything is speculation.

However, if NSA did have intelligence as to what happened, why it was taken over and by whom, then the primary focus would be to round up everyone involved. The news report that arrests have been made may in fact be proof that NSA did have intelligence that broke open the case, and what NSA found out will remain classified if and only if to be able to use the same methods and sources again to hopefully foil other terrorist plots before they can achieve their goals.”


If any Earthfiles viewer has more firsthand information about the MH370 disappearance, please email: All requests for confidentiality are honored.

More Information:

Also see Earthfiles: 

042514 Strange Disappearance of Flight MH370.

042714  NSA Reply to FOIA Request On MH370


Lon Strickler's

Boeing Patent URL:

Veterans Today URL:

National Security Agency (NSA):

"Wife says MH370 pilot 'retreated into a shell,'" March 31, 2014, The Strait Times:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Wikipedia:

U. K. Mail Online, April 23, 2014: "Fanatical" Missing Airliner Pilot Pictured Wearing Political Slogan T-shirt":

1937 Amelia Earhart Disappearance:

1953 Kinross AFB, Michigan, Jet Disappeared Into UFO:

1978 Frederick Valentich Disappearance:



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