Category Archives: Travel

Would you fly if airlines weigh you?

Passenger airlines already are charging fees for checked-in luggage and have become more restrictive about carry-on luggage.

Now, a Central Asia airline, Uzbekistan Airways, will begin weighing passengers.

Uzbekistan Airways

Soo Kim reports for the UK Telegraph, Aug. 12, 2015, that Uzbekistan Airways passengers will be directed to a “special weighing machine” at the departure gate, to determine each person’s average weight with their hand baggage.

The airline said that individual passengers’ weights would not be disclosed, and “full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.” The company said in a statement, “According to the rules of International Air Transport Association, airlines are obliged to carry out the regular procedures of preflight control passengers weighing with hand baggage to observe requirements for ensuring flight safety.”

The airline has not made it clear whether heavier passengers will be charged a fee, or excluded from flights on smaller planes. It is also not known what measures would be taken should the total weight of the passengers and their hand luggage exceeds an aircraft’s weight limit and guidelines.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2008 more than 44% of Uzbekistanis 20 years and older were overweight; nearly 15% were obese. The percentage of obese is expected to increase to 13% of men and 20% of women by 2020.

Note: If current trends continue, by the year 2030, in 15 years, more than 4 of every 10 (42%) Americans may become obese and 11% severely obese.

Uzbekistan Airways is not the first airline to keep an eye on passengers’ weights. In 2013, Samoa Air became the world’s first airline to charge passengers by their weight rather than per seat, in a bid to raise obesity awareness and improve public health. The Pacific island nations served by Samoa Air have some of the world’s highest rates of obesity.

Samoa Air weighs passengers on scales at the airport. Passengers do not pay for a seat but pay a fixed price per kilogram, which varies according to the length of the route. Head of Samoa Air Chris Langton said the system was fairer and that some families with small children would pay substantially cheaper fares. In the same year, the airline also introduced a special “XL class” — a wider row in its aircraft for passengers weighing more than 286 pounds.

airline-seats-obesity

In 2012, an Australian man, James Bassos, 38, sued Etihad Airways in the District Court in Queensland, claiming that he suffered a permanent back injury from being seated next to an obese man on a 14-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney.

Bassos claims that the person “of large body mass” seated next to him spilled into his chair and frequently coughed and expelled fluid from his mouth, forcing Bassos to spend hours twisting and contorting his body to avoid touching him. After five hours, he felt marked pain and discomfort in his back and asked flight crew to move, but was told the plane was full. When the pain got worse he asked again and was allowed to move to a crew seat at the back of the plane. However, Bassos twice had to return to his original seat, including for the final 90 minutes before landing, after a staff member invoked a security procedure.

The Emirates-based interior designer says he now suffers back pain on exertion and after prolonged sitting and standing. His sleep and concentration has allegedly been affected and he has been forced to take time off work. Bassos’ lawsuit claims more than $227,000 for medical expenses, lost earnings and superannuation.

If U.S. airlines begin weighing and charging passengers by the pound, I can just hear the protests about unfairness and discrimination. Already people who think of themselves as “big-boned” complain that BMI charts are unfair, although experts say a larger frame accounts at most for an extra 2 pounds. Wouldn’t there be a gender difference since the average man weighs more than the average woman?

Then there are the racial/ethnic differences. In 2013, 63.8% of U.S. adults were overweight or obese, but there are decided racial/ethnic differences: (Source)

  • 72.7% of Blacks were overweight/obese.
  • 68.4% of Hispanics were overweight/obese.
  • 68.1% of American Indians were overweight/obese.
  • 62.8% of Whites were overweight/obese.
  • 41.3% of Asians-Pacifics were overweight/obese.

Telegraph has a poll, “Would you get on a flight if you had to be weighed first.” I am incredulous that most people approve of Uzbekistan Airways’ intrusion into the privacy of passengers. So far, with 4,982 votes, the polling results are:

  • Yes it’s a great idea – 57%
  • No way – 33%
  • Only if I was confident of confidentiality – 10%

Sound off in our poll!

~Éowyn

FBI warns of July 4th terror threats

The FBI has issued a warning about a heightened level of threats from terrorists, including the Islamic State, for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and weekend. The federal agency has even sent out a request to militia groups to be on the lookout.

Admittedly, 9/11 and subsequent “terrorist attacks,” especially the new ISIS bogeymen, are tailor-made for a power-hungry government bent on taking more and more freedoms away from the people in the name of protecting and ensuring our security. So you should consume the following news at your discretion.

That being said, we should err on the side of caution. Crowds and mobs have a peculiar psychology that is prone to irrationality. If I were you, I would stay away from crowds this July 4 . . . and other days.

FBI command centers except Alaska, Hawaii & PR

FBI field offices will be July 4 command centers for terrorist watch

The Daily Mail reports, June 30, 2015:

The FBI is setting up command centers at all of its 56 field offices across the country ahead of the July 4 weekend, to monitor any potential terrorist threats, law enforcement sources have revealed.

Sources told Fox News that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. will be reporting any information about possible attacks to these command centers – where officials will decide how to respond.

The move comes amid growing fears that the terror group ISIS is working to awaken sleeper cells in Western nations, after sympathizers were linked to three back-to-back attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia last Friday.

While the FBI says there has been no specific credible threat so far, it seems to be more active in its warnings and actions ahead of Independence Day this year than previously.

From American National Militia, June 29, 2015:

ALERT!!!!! ATTENTION ALL MILITIA, OATHKEEPERS and PATRIOT GROUPS.

As of 9:00 A.M. Central time I was contacted by the FBI to activate every Militia and Patriot groups in the U.S. for a eyes and ears OP over the 4th of July holiday for possible terrorist attacks( ISIS in nature). The threat level is very high. We need people to monitor the internet and groups to monitor all activities nation wide. This is the procedure in which we participate. I have already contacted many prominent Patriot and Militia leaders
1. Wear plain cloths.
2. Carry local Sheriffs Departments and local FBI contact numbers. If we see anything suspicious call the Sheriff first and then the FBI. Do not engage. Just monitor the situation until the Sheriff and FBI get to the scene.
3. If you are faced with an eminent attack and you are legally armed please protect life.. Be in groups so at least someone can get the Sheriff and FBI to the scene.

I want to note that this is the first time in our lifetimes the FBI has reached out for the help of every Militia unit and Patriotic groups to help guard our Nation. Please conduct yourselves as the Patriots we all are and do this with honor and integrity.. Another stepping stone for us all.

This will take a lot of team work so do not let personal feelings get in our way.

We got work to do Patriots so lets get to work protecting this nation in a coordinated effort with Law enforcement local, State and Federal.. We got a job to do Patriots.. Salute..

PLEASE SHARE this must go viral..

Note: Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oathkeepers, denies his organization was contacted by the FBI. Scroll down to the first comment for details.

H/t tina

~Éowyn

This Boeing Dreamliner takeoff is pretty cool!

I’m not a big fan of flying – AT ALL. Yet I can truly appreciate this fine piece of machinery produced by Boeing. This is a promo video for the Paris Air Show coming up soon.

What amazing technology to produce a beast that can maneuver with such finesse! To read more about the Boeing Dreamliner, go here.

DCG

TSA agents collude to grope men’s genitals at Denver International Airport

TSA groping

A male Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener at Denver International Airport (DIA) colluded with a female agent so as to grope the genitals of attractive male passengers.

Brian Maass reports for CBS4 Denver, April 13, 2015, that according to law enforcement reports, a male TSA screener would alert his female accomplice whenever a male he finds attractive comes to be screened. The female agent would falsely instruct the scanning computer that the person being screened is a female. The scanning machine, “thinking” the individual is a female, would issue an alert that there’s an anomaly in the genital area. That in turn leads to the male TSA agent to conduct a pat-down of the male passenger’s genitalia.

CBS4 claims that happened “roughly a dozen times.”

Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, it would be nearly three months before anything was done.

On Feb. 9, 2015, TSA security supervisor Chris Higgins watched the screening area, observing the employees. The law enforcement report says that at about 0925, Higgins observed the male TSA screener appear to give a signal to the female screener who was responsible for the touchscreen system that controls whether or not the scanning machine alerts to gender- specific anomalies. Higgins then watched a male passenger enter the scanner at DIA and the female TSA agent pressing the screening button for a female. The scanner alerted to an anomaly. Higgins then saw the male TSA screener conduct a pat down of the passenger’s front groin and buttocks area with the palm of his hands, which is contradictory to TSA searching policy.

CBS4 continues:

Higgins later interviewed the female TSA agent who was an accomplice in the groping conspiracy. She “admitted that she has done this for (the male TSA officer) at least 10 other times. She knew that doing so would allow (the male TSA officer) to perform a pat down on a male passenger that (the male TSA screener) found attractive,” reported Higgins.

Note to all those who sneer at and mock “conspiracy theories”: Here’s a real case of conspiracy!

The TSA said the male passenger whom Higgins had witnessed being fondled was flying on Southwest Airlines and the agency has a videotape of the incident. CBS4 has requested the tape but it was not immediately released. TSA says it could not identify the male passenger who was groped, which I call B.S.

A spokesperson for TSA released a brief written statement to CBS4 saying,

“These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable. TSA has removed the two officers from the agency. All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated by the agency. And when substantiated, employees are held accountable.”

The agency has not released the names of the two fired employees and refused a CBS4 request for an interview.

Earlier this month a prosecutor from the Denver District Attorney’s Office was asked to review the case but she declined to press charges because there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction and no victim had been identified.

It’s not the first time TSA screeners at DIA have been accused of inappropriate touching of passengers. Jamelyn Steenhoek filed a complaint against TSA screeners at the airport saying the frisking she received in December 2013 amounted to a sexual assault when a female TSA agent searched her at an airport checkpoint after an alarm went off.

Steenhoek said, “There are just areas of my body I’m not comfortable being touched in. On the outside of my pants she cupped my crotch.” She said “the part of the search that bothered most was the breast search. You could tell it shouldn’t take that much groping. I felt uncomfortable, I felt violated.”

However, the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced in 2014 it would not be filing criminal charges in the Steenhoek case.

What happened at DIA is not the first case of TSA agents groping passengers’ genitalia. Infowars reported in September 2012 that following a FOIA request in 2010, the non-profit website Governmentattic.org finally released the files after a two year battle with the TSA to make them public.

The letters confirm that the TSA’s new security procedures for “advanced pat downs” include touching, fingering and groping the vaginas and even the labia of female passengers, and the penises and testicles of men.

Denver International Airport is also where, in 2010, a gigantic, 7-ton, 26-foot-tall concrete statue of Anubis was installed. Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the dead and of the afterlife.

The airport is also known for its many occultish symbols, including an apocalyptic horse with glowing red eyes welcoming visitors, nightmarish murals of people wearing gas masks, strange words and symbols embedded in the floor, gargoyles sitting in suitcases, and runways shaped like a Nazi swastika.

This is how Vigilant Citizen describes DIA:

…there are so many irregularities surrounding the DIA, that a voluminous book could be written on the subject.  The facilities and the art displayed lead many observers to believe that the DIA is much more than an airport: it is literally a New-Age cathedral, full of occult symbolism and references to secret societies. The art at the DIA is NOT an aggregation of odd choices made by people with poor taste, like many people think. It is a cohesive collection of symbolic pieces that reflect the philosphy, the beliefs and the goals of the global elite. The DIA is the largest airport in America and it has cost over 4.8 billion dollars. Everything regarding this airport has been meticulously planned and everything is there for a reason.

~Éowyn

Is Ted Cruz an advocate of a North American Union?

Ted Cruz at Liberty U., March 23, 2015Ted Cruz, joined by wife Heidi and daughters, announces his presidential campaign at Liberty U., March 23, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) met his wife, Heidi (née Nelson), while working on the George W. Bush presidential campaign of 2000. Heidi Cruz is currently head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and previously worked in the White House for Condoleezza Rice and in New York as an investment banker for J.P. Morgan. Wikipedia lists Heidi Cruz as an  “investment banker” and a “historical member” of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Heidi Cruz was a member of the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, which was launched in October 2004. The Task Force advocates a greater economic and social integration between Canada, Mexico, and the United States as a North American region.

Comprised of a group of prominent business, political and academic leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Task Force was organized and sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (U.S.), the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. It was co-chaired by former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, John Manley, former Finance Minister of Mexico, Pedro Aspe, and former Governor of Massachusetts and Assistant U.S. Attorney General William F. Weld.

Its main publication is the 70-page Task Force Report #53 entitled, Building a North American Community (May 2005). Heidi Cruz is listed as a member of the Task Force (page 9 of the report in PDF) and described as “an energy investment banker with Merrill Lynch in Houston, Texas” who “served in the Bush White House under Dr. Condoleezza Rice as the Economic Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, as the Director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department, and as Special Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative.”

Task Force on North America Union members

The Report’s recommendations include (see pp. 7-32 of the Report; pp. 29-54 of the PDF):

1. Establish a common security perimeter by 2010

“The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States should articulate as their long-term goal a common security perimeter for North America. In particular, the three governments should strive toward a situation in which a terrorist trying to penetrate our borders will have an equally hard time doing so, no matter which country he elects to enter first.”

2. Develop a North American Border Pass

“The three countries should develop a secure North American Border Pass with biometric identifiers. This document would allow its bearers expedited passage through customs, immigration, and airport security throughout the region.”

3. Develop a unified North American border action plan

Specific recommendations under this plan include:

  • “Harmonize visa and asylum regulations, including convergence of the list of “visa waiver’’ countries;
  • Harmonize entry screening and tracking procedures for people, goods, and vessels (including integration of name-based and biometric watch lists);
  • By 2010, “Lay the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America. The three governments should commit themselves to the long-term goal of dramatically diminishing the need for the current intensity of the governments’ physical control of cross-border traffic, travel, and trade within North America. A long-term goal for a North American border action plan should be . . . the elimination of most controls over the temporary movement of these travelers within North America.

4. Law Enforcement and Military Cooperation

“Security cooperation among the three countries should also extend to cooperation on counterterrorism and law enforcement, which would include the establishment of a trinational threat intelligence center, the development of trinational ballistics and explosives registration, and joint training for law enforcement officials.”

Note: Now I “get” why U.S. police departments are hiring non-US citizens as officers.

5. Spread the Benefits of Economic Development

“NAFTA has transformed Mexico, but it has also deepened and made much more visible the divisions that exist in the country…. The gap in wages has led many Mexicans to travel north in search of higher incomes and better opportunities. For the past three decades, Mexico has been the largest source of legal immigrants to the United States, and Mexican-Americans make increasingly valued and growing contributions to the life of the United States and, through remittances, to their families at home. Mexico is also the leading source of unauthorized migration, with attendant economic and security problems in both countries and untold hardships for Mexican migrants. Over time, the best way to diminish these problems is by promoting better economic opportunities in Mexico.”

Note: In other words, more socialist “spread the wealth”!

6. Establish a Seamless North American Market for Trade

“With tariff barriers virtually eliminated, and the outlines of a North American economy visible, the time has come to take a more comprehensive approach to strengthening the economic prospects for citizens in all three countries. The first step is to encourage convergence in the most-favored-nation tariff rates each partner charges on imports from outside North America. Next, the governments should reduce the remaining nontariff barriers to the flow of goods and services, and address problems arising from charges of price discrimination and subsidization by competitors in North America. Finally, they should coordinate their approach to unfair trade practices by foreign suppliers to the North American market. The ultimate goal should be to create a seamless market for suppliers and consumers throughout North America.

7. Increase Labor Mobility within North America

“To make the most of the impressive pool of skill and talent within North America, the three countries should look beyond the NAFTA visa system. The large volume of undocumented migrants from Mexico within the United States is an urgent matter for those two countries to address. A long-term goal should be to create a ‘North American preference’—new rules that would make it much easier for employees to move and for employers to recruit across national boundaries within the continent…. Canada and the United States should consider eliminating restrictions on labor mobility altogether and work toward solutions that, in the long run, could enable the extension of full labor mobility to Mexico as well.”

Specifics on how to create a North American free flow of labor include:

  • By 2010, streamline immigration and labor mobility rules to “enable citizens of all three countries to work elsewhere in North America with far fewer restrictions than immigrants from other countries.”
  • “Special immigration status should be given to teachers, faculty, and students in the region.”
  • “Move to full labor mobility between Canada and the United States” by “eliminating all remaining barriers to the ability of their citizens to live and work in the other country.”

8. North American Political Institutions

The Task Force recommends the following North American regional political institutions be established:

  1. An annual North American summit meeting.
  2. A North American Advisory Council.
  3. A North American Inter-Parliamentary Group to meet every other year.

In the last part of the Task Force’s report, “Additional and Dissenting Views,” Heidi S. Cruz wrote (pp. 33-34):

“I support the Task Force report and its recommendations aimed at building a safer and more prosperous North America. Economic prosperity and a world safe from terrorism and other security threats are no doubt inextricably linked. While governments play an invaluable role in both regards, we must emphasize the imperative that economic investment be led and perpetuated by the private sector. There is no force proven like the market for aligning incentives, sourcing capital, and producing results like financial markets and profit-making businesses. This is simply necessary to sustain a higher living standard for the poorest among us—truly the measure of our success. As such, investment funds and financing mechanisms should be deemed attractive instruments by those committing the capital and should only be developed in conjunction with market participants.”

Now you know why, despite his blustering against Obama’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens in this country, on March 27, 2015, Ted Cruz indicated he “remains open to a path to legal status for undocumented workers.” 

Born in Canada of an American citizen mother and a Cuban father, Ted Cruz held dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship. But it was only when the Dallas Morning News in August 2013 pointed out his dual citizenship that Cruz finally applied to renounce his Canadian citizenship — which meant that in 2012 when Cruz had run for and was elected a U.S. senator, he was a Canadian citizen. On May 14, 2014, Cruz finally ceased being a citizen of Canada. See “Republican Sen. Ted Cruz announces presidential campaign, but is he eligible?

~Éowyn

Co-pilot who deliberately crashed Germanwings Airbus was a Muslim convert?

Andreas Lubitz when he visited U.S.

Andreas Lubitz when he visited U.S.

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit writes, March 26, 2015, that according to Michael Mannheimer, a writer for German PI-News, Andreas Lubitz — the co-pilot who deliberately crashed Germanwing Flight 9525 into the French Alps, killing all 150 on board —  was a Muslim convert.

Speisa.com provided this translation from German into English of Mannheimer’s article:

All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of “radical”, ie. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York – received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.

Converts are the most important weapon of Islam. Because their resume do not suggests that they often are particularly violent Muslims. Thus Germany now has its own 9/11, but in a reduced form. And so it is clear that Islam is a terrorist organization that are in accordance with §129a of the Criminal Code to prohibit it and to investigate its followers. But nothing will happen. One can bet that the apologists (media, politics, “Islamic Scholars”) will agree to assign this an act of a “mentally unstable” man, and you can bet that now, once again the mantra of how supposedly peaceful Islam is will continue. And worse still, the attacks by the left against those who have always warned against Islam, will be angrier and merciless.

For now the German Islam supporters like never before have their backs against the wall.

Michael Mannheimer, 26.3.2015

Additionally, somebody created a Facebook page, titled “Support for Andrew Lubitz, hero of the Islamic State.” The page was quickly taken down, but not before Pamela Geller managed to capture a screengrab of the page before it was removed. See below:

lubitz facebook muslim page

A close friend of Andreas Lubitz says he was mentally unstable, whatever that means

You should know that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has a “two person” rule for airlines that at any time while the plane is aloft, there must be at least two crew members in the cockpit. If, say, one of the two pilots leaves the cockpit, a cabin steward must accompany the remaining pilot in the cockpit.

Europe and other countries do not have this rule. After the Germanwings Airbus crash, in which the captain had exited the cockpit, only to discover that co-pilot Lubitz locked himself in and refused to let the captain back into the cockpit. We know the tragic rest of the story.

Happily, other countries’ airlines are now rushing to adopt the “two-person cockpit” rule, which means at least something good has come out of the Germanwings tragedy.

See also “Germanwings Airbus crash: Co-pilot deliberately crashed plane; captain was locked out of cockpit“.

~Éowyn

Germanwings Airbus crash: Co-pilot deliberately crashed plane; captain was locked out of cockpit

UPDATE:

The New York Times reports that today, March 26, 2015, French officials said that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 deliberately crashed the aircraft. Voice recorder evidence shows that he had locked the captain out of the cockpit, ignored his pleas for re-entry and steered down into the French Alps as passengers were heard screaming.

The top executive of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, said he was speechless at the news from France.

Prosecutor Brice Robin said it appeared that Lubitz’s intention was “to destroy the aircraft.” Voice recorder showed that the co-pilot had been breathing until before the moment of impact, suggesting that he was conscious and deliberate in bringing the plane down and killing all 150 abroad.

The assertions instantly changed the nature of the Tuesday crash into a wide-ranging criminal investigation that focused on Lubitz the co-pilot, a 27-year-old German with no obvious reason to commit mass murder, who had been hired less than two years ago. (Read more, here.)

Click to enlarge
Germanwings crash

From the New York Times:

PARIS – As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” […]

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

The data from the voice recorder seems only to deepen the mystery surrounding the crash and provides no indication of the condition or activity of the pilot who remained in the cockpit. The descent from 38,000 feet over about 10 minutes was alarming but still gradual enough to indicate that the twin-engine Airbus A320 had not been damaged catastrophically. At no point during the descent was there any communication from the cockpit to air traffic controllers or any other signal of an emergency.

When the plane plowed into craggy mountains northeast of Nice, it was traveling with enough speed that it was all but pulverized, killing the 144 passengers and crew of six and leaving few clues. […]

The flight’s trajectory ahead of the crash also left many unanswered questions.

But minutes later, the plane inexplicably began to descend, Mr. Jouty said. At 10:40 and 47 seconds, the plane reported its last radar position, at an altitude of 6,175 feet. “The radar could follow the plane until the point of impact,” he said.

Mr. Jouty said the plane slammed into a mountainside and disintegrated, scattering debris over a wide area, and making it difficult to analyze what had happened. […]

A senior French official involved in the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the lack of communication from the pilots during the plane’s descent was disturbing, and that the possibility that their silence was deliberate could not be ruled out.

“I don’t like it,” said the French official, who cautioned that his initial analysis was based on the very limited information currently available. “To me, it seems very weird: this very long descent at normal speed without any communications, though the weather was absolutely clear.”

“So far, we don’t have any evidence that points clearly to a technical explanation,” the official said. “So we have to consider the possibility of deliberate human responsibility.” […]

Speaking on the French radio station RTL, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday morning that terrorism was not a likely “hypothesis at the moment,” but that no theories had been definitively excluded. He said the size of the area over which debris was scattered suggested that the aircraft had not exploded in the air but rather had disintegrated on impact.

H/t my friend Don Hanks, who wrote this comment with which I heartily agree:

If the names of the pilots are ever disclosed, we may have a clue.

~Éowyn