Although it scrolled off the headlines quite some time ago—at least five years—the vanished Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 is still out there somewhere. Maybe in the Indian Ocean. A retired British Aerospace engineer named Richard Godfrey says he knows where it is with a high degree of certainty and in this video from the Australian edition of 60 Minutes, he explains why he’s so sure.

Next week will mark eight years since MH 370, a Boeing 777, vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing while nearing the coast of Vietnam. Despite an exhaustive search, the aircraft has yet to be found although minor wreckage—a flaperon—washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion in 2015. The Australian TSB conducted extensive searches in the Indian Ocean west of Australia but found nothing.

Godfrey told 60 minutes he used an amateur radio technology called Weak Signal Propagation Reporter to track the airliner’s path via signal disturbances. Well, actually, he didn’t explain that, but just said he analyzed signal disturbances. WSPR—called Whisper—was developed in 2008 partly as a means of allowing radio amateurs to track and locate extremely weak signals. Although the TSB says Godfrey’s work is credible, the 60 Minutes report is long on the emotional distress of surviving family members but utterly barren of an explanation of how WSPR works or even if it’s a realistic use of the technology. You’d think in a nearly 20-minute report, there would be at least a minute or two devoted to that. But you’ll have to judge the validity of the report for yourself.  

18 COMMENTS

  1. Godfrey apparently engaged in selective winnowing of data for material that, married with hypothetical propagation pathways, confirmed (wonder of wonders!) his position guesses. At best, likely just a triumph of confirmation bias.

  2. 60 Minutes is not regarded as good journalism by many in Australia, so it’s not a surprise you were disappointed by what they produced. Largely sensationalised content to get an emotional rise out of people, rather than any actual investigative quality.

  3. I hope they find the plane and prove my theory was correct.
    This was an explosive decompression at the entertainment center antenna causing a large chunk of the roof to be removed (seen by China in the South China Sea but ignored because it wasn’t 777 size and sunk before boats got to it)… this cut all communication and transponders because of standing wave energy reflecting back to the equipment when the roof top antenna lines were severed…. and the pilots went for the auto pilot before putting on oxygen… zombie plane to the wide open Indian Ocean.
    RR Engine monitoring used a different cable harness when they were introduced to the 777 line. That is why they continued to work.

  4. Considering it has taken 85 years to find Amelia Earhart ( oh, wait… she hasn’t been found).. But if you give me several million dollars, I can spend the rest of my life comfortably developing theories about missing aircraft….

  5. Richard G, a friend of mine who was a very experienced RAAF P-3 pilot and I discussed this. The theory goes like this: A flash fire in the cockpit overcomes the crew before they get their oxygen masks on (his theory) or the crew emergency oxygen bottle explodes (my theory) resulting in decompression, fog fills cockpit, crew don masks but nothing happens because oxy bottle gone, along with hole inside of aircraft (where do the coaxial cables to the antennas run in a 777?). In both cases they disengage the autopilot as their last conscious act by pushing on the control column and start turn to known emergency airfield. The aircraft is now no longer in primary autopilot mode but in a fallback mode with a wing leveler and sufficient longitudinal stability to recover to level flight after some phugoids. Weather is such they are in the ITCZ. As they fly through cloud tops the course changes (it’s a wing leveler not a track hold) due to turbulence. Eventually encounter a large cu-nim and get spat out heading south, airplane eventually runs out of fuel, pilots, passengers and cabin crew all dead from hypoxia and airplane glides wings level into the ocean. Note the wing leveler mode IS NOT present in airline simulators but IS in the Boeing “iron bird” and the real airplane.
    Any reason why the decompression at the entertainment system antenna in particular in your theory?

  6. You have one of the most convincing theories I’ve heard in a long time, however, what about the evidence that was found on the captain’s (Zaharie Ahmed Shah) home flight sim?
    He simulated an actual flight a couple of days before MH370 departure that was from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and when investigators replayed the simulation under suspicion of him being a terrorist to look for clues, they saw he crashed the Malaysian Airlines 777, (same as MH370), in the middle of the Indian ocean. Plus, the guy had a known Islamist background. I myself, tend to lean very strongly towards the view that Zaharie Ahmed Shah was a terrorist. I do agree with you about 60 Minutes not being a very reliable source. If you have watched their original MH370 investigation, they are practically building wild theories on air, absolutely no concrete evidence whatsoever.

  7. Yeah, well, unless we ever find the plane and its black boxes, all the theories about the cause of its demise are just that – theories. Unfortunately, it appears no one is interested in spending the money to see if this guy actually knows what he is talking about, so I guess we will never know. I actually saw the video report a week or so back, and it is short on technical information, but does convey the general idea of how it works. Going into more detail of the system would probably just go over the heads of the average 60 Minutes viewer anyway.

    • John, an extremely unfortunate cascade of events seemed mostly likely to me until I saw the reports on the investigation into the pilot. But it’s all supposition regardless. Maybe tabloid, mainstream media will bring out the truth here but … doubt.

  8. What’s missing from the report (and this conversation) is that the radio signals are not random conversations among ham radio operators. These are test signals that are running continuously, transmitting data at a very low bit rate, between established transmitters and receivers. They’re there to measure the ongoing effect of atmospheric disturbances on signal propagation. Godfrey deduced the aircraft’s flight path by detecting and correlating brief anomalous disturbances in many individual signal paths. The disturbances contain both amplitude changes caused by the airplane momentarily masking the signal, and frequency shifts from doppler effect on reflections from the moving airplane. I’m impressed as hell that the equipment is sensitive enough to detect an airplane flying through a signal path thousands of miles long, but I find the evidence sufficiently convincing to investigate.

  9. “what about the evidence that was found on the captain’s (Zaharie Ahmed Shah) home flight sim?”
    How convenient and it wasn’t found until that paragon of virtue and honesty, the FBI had access to the computer. Makes a nice convenient excuse to wrap it all up.

  10. Agree with you about the FBI “paragon of virtue and honesty,” however, this guy was Malaysian, the FBI have no jurisdiction there. I’m not sure, but I think they were local Malaysian authorities who found it. Though, again, “local Malaysian authorities” may not be trustworthy.

  11. from Wikipedia

    MH370

    In May 2021, aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey suggested an examination of historical WSPR data to further define the flight path of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on 8 March 2014, suggesting that there were “518 unique transmission paths that cross the area of interest around Malaysia, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean. With the WSPR data provided every two minutes and the ability to check against the satellite data every hour it is possible to detect and track MH370 from two independent sources.” In November 2021, Godfrey reported that analysis using WSPR technology indicated the aircraft flew in circles for around 22 minutes in an area 150 nautical miles from the coast of Sumatra before vanishing. Later that month, Godfrey announced a proposed search area with a radius of 40.0 nautical miles (74.1 km) centered around

    33.177°S 95.3°E in the southern Indian Ocean

    This new location was identified through extensive analysis of separate data sets, including Inmarsat satellite data, Boeing performance data, oceanographic floating debris drift data, and WSPR net data.

    In February 2022, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Geoscience Australia confirmed they have renewed the search for MH370 by reviewing old data, following the release of a detailed report by Godfrey. Marine robotics company Ocean Infinity aims to resume the search for MH370 in the first half of 2023.

  12. This seems to be the absolute best lead on a cold case – it’s undoubtedly expensive to do so, but I think the Malaysian government should foot the bill of this smaller zone – it’s not 2000 sq km, but 300 – and you’ll have your answer either way.

    Does anyone know what ‘other’ information they are waiting for? The will is not there so the $ isn’t there to make this happen – too bad.