MH370: Find it Method 2

The previous post used basic Euclidean geometry to pinpoint MH370’s crash site. This post uses the same approach, but extends it to include geometric “mirroring” and concludes with a Perpendicular Bisector to locate the endpoint.

Figure 1
Figure 1: In these illustrations, the red vertical line is the “line of reflection”; objects on the left side are “real”; objects on the right side are “mirrored” images of objects on the left. In essence, a copy of the left side is folded over onto the right side, preserving lateral positioning.

The “line of reflection” in these illustrations is the red vertical line that passes through Kuala Lumpur Airport, and through the intersections of the final ping rings, north and south.

(A reminder that what we think we see sometimes is not always what’s there. While Kuala Lumpur is close to the equator, it is not ON the equator. Similarly, the 3-F1 satellite moves several thousand kilometers north and south across the equator each day. The two satellite locations we tend to be most interested in are the satellite’s location at takeoff, and its location 8 hours later when the plane crashed. The horizontal line in these images is usually drawn from the satellite’s GPS location at the time of the final ping / crash. And since the airport is about 2.2 degrees farther north than the satellite at the time of the crash, the horizontal line always slopes up a small amount from west to east. The upward slope to the east is even more subtle after adjusting for satellite drift (1.3 degrees). So, it may look like the horizontal line is perfectly horizontal, but it is not.)

The “reflection” we are going to make use of applies to everything on the right side of the vertical line of reflection. Objects on the left side (west) are real objects, like the satellite; and objects on the right side (east) are “mirror images” of objects on the left side. We use mirroring because we want two “satellite ping rings of equal radius” to help create a perpendicular intersection between the satellite, the airport, and the crash site. Geometry allows us to add a satellite to the “reflection side” so long as it conforms to mirroring principles: 1) same distances from the line of reflection to objects on each side, 2) movement north or south is always displayed in the same direction on each side of the vertical.

To illustrate, it turns out that the REAL satellite on the left is not exactly stationary. In fact it moves several thousand kilometers high above the equator each day. That eccentricity is caused by invisible forces like solar and lunar gravity and torque from the satellite itself. It isn’t a big deal, but we need to know how much and where the real satellite moved so we can position the mirrored satellite correctly.

Figure 2
Figure 2: The horizontal line shown here passes through what would be the Kuala Lumpur airport if the satellite stayed in one location all the time. While the horizontal appears to be perfectly level, it isn’t. It slopes up to the east 1.2 degrees.

Between takeoff and crash, the 3-F1 satellite moved a net of 84.454 kilometers to the southwest on a heading of 185.959 degrees. That heading includes about 6 degrees of westward drift (185.959 – 180 =) 5.959 degrees. It is important to the accuracy of the geometry to correct for that drift on the mirror side of the line of reflection. That means 3-F1’s mirror image needs to move southeast an equal amount.

In a sense, the 85-km southwest drift by the satellite, plus the corresponding southeast drift by the mirror satellite effectively move the departure airport, Kuala Lumpur Airport, across Malacca Strait and onto Indonesia’s Rupat Island. Of course it’s a cosmetic transformation. No need for militia call-ups.

Figure 3
Figure 3: The southwest drift of the 3-F1 satellite during MH370’s nearly 8-hour flight effectively moves the departure airport south to Rupat Island. The technique is cosmetic; allowing us to preserve the orthogonal relationship between the departure point and the terminal point.

Now add the “mirrored final ping ring” to the schematic. The Line of Reflection remains centered on Kuala Lumpur Airport; the mirror satellite is positioned at 2.3288N,139.0138E. The mirror ping ring from the right side intersects the “real” ping ring on the left in two locations, one north and one south. The southern-most intersection corresponds precisely to the Zenith Abyss location identified it the previous post.

Figure 4
Figure 4: Alternative method for locating MH370’s endpoint using two intersecting ping rings and a perpendicular bisector.