Hi. I'm Rick. I write, advise, and invest.
The crashes of Flight 370 and Flight 17 are not Malaysia Airlines’ first unusual insurance claims, however. The airline had an unusual claim in 2000 for the total loss of an Airbus A330 traveling in the opposite direction on the same route as Flight 370.
In that case, a canister of a mysterious Chinese shipment destined for Iran broke open near the end of a trip from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur and began leaking, producing a smell that prompted the captain to conduct an emergency evacuation upon landing of all 266 people aboard. A subsequent investigation found that the hold was contaminated beyond cleaning with mercury and other chemicals that may have been precursors for the manufacture of nerve gas.
The Malaysian government ended up digging a large hole in the ground near the airport tarmac and burying the entire plane. Insurers paid a full settlement of $90 million.
This weekend also brought allegations that Warner Bros. had hired Kevin Smith to write a fake screenplay for the 2016 tentpole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, with the express intent of leaking it online as a decoy to draw spoiler-hunters away from any legitimate news. If that’s true, it’s a genius move: at the very least, an official-looking red-herring screenplay would cause enough confusion to prevent any genuine leaks from spreading too far.
God how I would love to start an agency focused entirely on False Flag operations. You can do whatever you want, and it is likely to be seen by more people than the signal it is masking.
Kevin, if you start this business, sign me up.
Thanks! I have not read Banks’ Culture series yet. I only learned about them when I first published this essay last year. They are in the reading queue now!
My father read me the first chapter of ‘Lolita’ when I turned 12,” Cave told me. “Something happened to him when he read it aloud. He became a different man. He became elevated. I felt like I was being initiated into this secret world: the world of sex and adulthood and art. At the same time, though, I was only a kid, and I couldn’t always meet his expectations. He’d catch me reading some nasty little thriller, and he’d rip it out of my hands and tell me: ‘You want a bleeding body count? Read “Titus Andronicus”!’