In the past few days we have been beset with much grief – again.
Because another aircraft is missing with people on board.
There are many people aboard this aeroplane but, in real terms it matters little if there are five hundred or there is only one person. It is a matter of scale and the quantity of grief with which the World becomes awash.
Let us stop, just for a moment, and consider a couple of things here.
Firstly we should look at that third sentence. It says that an aircraft is missing.
Say that again slowly, ‘an aircraft is missing.’
Notice that, at the end of the sentence, there is a full stop. It is at precisely this point that the conversation should stop. Anything said after that is conjecture, it is speculation; there is no place in aviation for that. None.
When we get to that full stop we say, in our heads, that ‘we don’t know’ what happened. And that part is the truth. We do not know.
Shall we move on to a headline. It is dramatic, it is sensational. It shouts at us that ‘Terrorism Suspected in Missing Flight’.
This is guessing. It is speculation. There is absolutely no evidence to support this idea. That there are people flying on the aircraft with stolen passports is no indication of terrorism at all. There are a thousand reasons – well, several, anyway, why someone should be flying with a stolen passport and terrorism is not one of them.
We have ‘International Terrorism’ stuck in our heads by the media who are so anxious that there should be ghouls and ghosties behind every headline.
Consider this: there are only three questions ever asked by the news media. They are:
1. How bad is it?
2. How bad can it get?
3. What can be done about it.
They never, ever, ask about the good news.
These guessing games played by the news are no comfort to the friends and families of those who are missing. It is much better to say nothing, or pray for them if you will, than go on these wild crusades.
We hope that, ultimately, they will find the FDR (Flight Data Recorder – the ‘Black Box’) and the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder so that the truth may finally reveal itself to us.
Until then all else is conjecture. It is rumour, hearsay and, mostly, nonsense.
Let us not spread it around. Even if only for respect.