Missing MH370: 2 Chinese netizens' predictions prove to be accurate

Missing MH370: 2 Chinese netizens' predictions prove to be accurate

Among the Chinese netizens who are posting online their guesses about what happened to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, two Chinese men have stood out, as some of their early predictions have been consistent with Malaysian government and media reports that came out later.

Ye Jianfei, CEO of PickRide Inc, and Zhang Jian, general manager of Hawaii at Pleasure Tour Co, are the two popular netizens who have been dubbed "master detectives" and caught the public's attention.

The latest micro blog post Ye made on Sina Weibo on Sunday was reposted almost 38,000 times and has received more than 8,700 comments.

Ye said some reporters who are now in Kuala Lumpur have also turned to him for suggestions about what questions to ask of the Malaysian prime minister at news conferences.

The two men predicted on March 12 that the aircraft may have been hijacked, based on the fragmentary information from the media. The next day, they further said that the Boeing 777 may have been flown to the Andaman Islands, south of Myanmar.

Their predictions came out before similar reports from the Malaysian government and the media.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said at a news conference on Saturday - three days after the two men posted their prediction - that the plane may have been hijacked.

Their prediction that the flight may have gone to the Andaman Islands was posted one day earlier than a Reuters report that the plane may have flown to the Andaman Sea.

"I used logical thinking instead of intuition to make those predictions," Ye told China Daily in a phone interview on Tuesday.

"There is a lot of misleading information in media reports, and you have to remove the information that contradicts other reports," he said.

Ye said that he hopes his predictions can help clear up the mystery.

Li Junfu, associate professor of Beijing University of Technology, said that netizens often make correct predictions based on their expertise and the information released by the Malaysian government and the media. But that is not enough, he said.

"Their predictions may not influence the process of solving the mystery. In comparison, journalists can push forward the investigation as they can put the related government bodies under pressure with their reports," Li said.

"Yet there's no doubt that the discussion on the incident helps spread knowledge on the aircraft and on search and rescue efforts as it is drawing much public attention."

While Ye focused on technological aspects, Zhang analysed the possible landing site of the missing plane mainly from the perspective of geopolitics.

"No government or even tribal group on a mainland area dare cooperate with the hijackers, as special forces can swoop down on them easily, and none would like to offend the major powers such as China and the US," Zhang said.

"The hijackers have to choose a place that can allow them to finish their negotiations with the government instead of being found and captured by special forces soon after they land."

He said the Andaman Islands is a good choice for the possible hijackers as the Indian territory is far from the country's mainland, making it difficult for India to send special forces there.

In his latest post, Ye predicted that the hijackers may have landed the aircraft on an island in the Bay of Bengal or the Andaman Sea.

"They may have built a temporary airstrip on the island and used a large amount of electronic dance pads or LED lights as indicator lights," Ye wrote in the post.

He also suggested that police investigate whether large quantity of such dance pads or LED lights were ordered from Southeast Asia.

He told China Daily that it might be possible that the plane was flown to Afghanistan.

Zhang said the hijackers might have dumped the plane's fuel and crash-landed in the sea near an island.

The two men predicted that the passengers on the missing plane are still alive.

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