Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Just to Pass the Time - a lamentation

      There were two things that rattled around in El Gringo Viejo's brain...a lot of hollow area there...and both had to do with water, tragedy, and a couple of names that were the same but different.  Ed FitzGerald.    One is Edmund FitzGerald, the ill-fated iron-ore carrier that went down in heavy seas one November not long ago on Lake Superior (Gitchigumee) with the loss of all hands (29 souls aboard).   The other is Edward FitzGerald who translated and studied the works of Omar Khayyam to the benefit of European and New World readers of fine things.  Below is a study of an old Persian wise man with his light of truth, his ''magic carpet'' of inspiration, and the epithet below, that seems strangely appropriate for this issue about the Malaysian Boeing 777.  Truly, as of yet, the Earth knows naught, and the Ocean mourns what is a massive loss of souls, we hope now in a better place.
Perhaps, who knows?  They might be on an island somewhere.   Below is the Anthem by Gordon Lightfoot about the ore carrier.  His song is almost a journalistic account of the disaster.  The people in that part of the Lake and along that transport route will never forget...not the event...nor the song, so long as there are those who heard that incredible announcement on Detroit radio stations that night, 10 November 1975.  "We regret to announce that authorities are confirming that the Iron-ore carrier, the Edmund Fitzgerald has sunk to-night, with the loss of all hands.  There are no survivors." 

The Earth could not answer nor the Seas that Mourn

(From the Rubaiyat through Omar Khayyam to Edward FitzGerald)


     When the Malay airliner went missing El Gringo Viejo told his better three-quarters that there was something fishy about the whole thing.   He should have written it down at that time and followed up on the event, hour-by-hour.  But, she and I know that my pontificating and posturing had been done and probabilities expressed, etc.
File:Scapa Flow from Gaitnip cliffs small.jpg
An almost perpetual oil leak from
HMS Royal Oak, sunk in the English
Channel by a German kliegmariner
U-boat on the English coast in 1939.
HMS Royal Oak is still leaking, as
are scores of other craft from the
various wars and storms.
     My notion was that if  it had continued along the general proximity of the coast of Viet Nam, then it would have been seen by literally hundreds of thousands of villagers.  When the oil slicks were shown on television, I knew that those slicks had nothing to do with any plane crash.   They were, in all probability, small-medium fishing boats or little paquet craft that sank in a storm or other difficulty during their delivery of goods and groceries to the village stores.  Those vehicles will leak oil for years, and they are great places for fishing.  Their leaking bones  are quickly identifiable even to a novice such as El Gringo Viejo.
     At this point every piece of flotsam and jetsam will be associated with the plane crash and the possibility of finding "survivors" on some isolated island like the Bounty's crew grass-shacking up on Pitcairn in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after their mutiny against Captain Bligh.  Our calculations quickly determined that the plane could have been conducted to a place, not quite as far as the Gobi, but certainly into the Mu La Desert which is familiar territory to the Weegers, a pan Arab - Mongolian - Ind0-European race of people who inhabit some of the starker areas of Sinkaing Province of Red China.   A one-shot chance at landing a 777 Boeing could be attempted at Sri Lanka, although headwinds would have had to been nil, due to the increased kerosene consumption required in flying at 4,000 feet in such an aircraft.  A reasonably skilled pilot could do it, with a bit of luck.

Captain Christian and Captain Bligh wish
 each other a Bon Voyage as HMS Bounty
 heads for Pitcairn Island and the recently
 retired Captain and his crew begin their
 Indian Ocean odyssey.


     Although it does not fit well into a movie script, people like El Zorro, for instance, flew into the Laos - Cambodia extra-theatrical zone of American combat and surveillance back in the heaviest time of action of the Viet Nam War.  There are areas where one can imagine that the never ending green never ends, forever.  In those areas there are large clearings that have been done by various economic and military interests.   Even the Thais and the French had widely-known "secret facilities" in those precincts.  The Brits, Aussies, and Americans had essentially rough and ready air bases.

       The Weegers (yes, we know, Uighuers - for their dialect of Turkish language used in Western China)  would have all of those places that could handle a 777 in any semblance of a "controlled crash" (all landings are controlled crash landings, it is just that some are done better than others)....from which most if not all parties could ostensibly survive.   It would not be a miracle...remarkable maybe, but the authorities in the Vatican would not have to burn any midnight oil trying to figure out if there had been anything beyond natural human skill and a bit of good luck to take a plane down in some well chosen site and have all survive.  No miracles to test or gather evidence to prove and /or disprove.

    I keep going back to Sri Lanka, in any regard, because it has a real live place to put 14 wheels and 370,000 pounds of airplane down with less luck and more skill and experience.   And the fact is that the 777 in its various configurations is known to be the long distance champion in all commercial air service.

File:Boeing-777-300 chassis.jpg

 Our shoe/boot size is 14AAA, or as my mother would tell the other ladies, "My last son has very aristocratic feet".  Perhaps it is because of that that I feel an affinity to my fellow Sasquatch,  the 777.

More later.

El Gringo Viejo