At this point it is clear that Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 which has been missing for two months will almost certainly never be found: whether due to the nature of the disappearance, or because it is a cover up stretching all the way to the very top (recall that it was disclosed by none other than NBC that the released air traffic control recording with the plane was edited, suggesting that the government itself is complicit in whatever happened), the plane will forever be entombed in the annals of history, alongside CNN's Nielsen ratings, and its final resting place will remain a mystery.
However, over the past 24 hours, another mystery surrounding the final voyage of flight MH-370 has emerged.
Recall that as part of our last article on MH370, we also provided a copy of the just released cargo manifest - something which should have been made public the day the airplane went missing and instead was withheld for two months. We repost the manifest below:
Note that on page 5 of the manifest, in a waybill from NNR Global Logistics in Penang to JHJ International Transporation in Beijing, are disclosed two shipments of some 200 units of Lithium Ion batteries, weighing a gross weight of 2453 kilos.
So far so good. However, as the Malaysia Chronicle reported last night, there is a major discrepnacy between the declared shipment weight on the manifest, and what Malaysa Airlines stated yesterday. From the Chronicle:
A new mystery has emerged in Flight MH370's disappearance with the Malaysia Airlines saying the lithium ion batteries carried in the plane weighed over 200 kg, even as the cargo manifest released recently listed the "consolidated" consignment at 2.453 tonnes.
"About two tonnes, equivalent to 2,453 kg of cargo was declared as consolidated under one master airway bill. This master AWB actually comprised five house AWB. Of these five AWB, two contained lithium ion batteries amounting to a total tonnage volume of 221 kg. The balance three house AWB, amounting to 2,232 kg, were declared as radio accessories and chargers," the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said in a statement last night.
But this has not been disclosed before and is not stated in the cargo manifest, the Star reported.
According to Malaysian company NNR Global Logistics the batteries formed only a small part of a "consolidated" shipment weighing 2.453 tonnes.
Even though the MAS said the batteries weighed 221 kg, a company spokesman said they weighed less than 200kg. He, however, did not say what the remaining 2.253 tonnes of cargo was.
"I cannot reveal more because of the ongoing investigations. We have been told by our legal advisers not to talk about it," he was quoted as saying by the daily.
Would it be the same law firm that "advised" the Malaysian government to edit the voice recordings before public release?
He said he could not name the company which manufactured the batteries.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya had also announced on March 24 that 200 kg of lithium batteries were on board the plane. He said they were packed safely.
Malaysian authorities released the plane's full cargo manifest along with the preliminary report on the missing Boeing 777-200 on Thursday which showed that NNR Global shipped 133 pieces of one item weighing 1.99 tonnes and 67 pieces of another item weighing 463kg for a total weight of 2.453 tonnes. Neither the number of batteries nor its weight were specified.
The manifest came with an instruction that it should be handled with care and that flammability hazards exist. Its flammability had been the source of many earlier theories over how the plane was lost. However, most of the theories have been debunked.
So because one mystery was not enough, here is the second one: what is the undisclosed 2 tonnes of cargo? And since absolutely everything about this disappearance stinks to high heaven, including a potentially non-benign cover up, one wonders: what else on the cargo manifest was left undisclosed? We are confident the more conspiratorially-minded, or anyone else for that matter, will have a field day with the opportunities this latest revelations presents.