Friday, June 12, 2009

Should He Be Wearing That?


I've been following the efforts dedicated to the recovery of human remains and debris from the Air France 447 crash. Since there hasn't been a major-major crash in about eight years (thankfully) I don't really have any recent memories to compare this recovery effort to. So these questions are based purely upon my internal "WTH" mechanism, which can go into overdrive sometimes.

At first, when it was realized that something was definitely amiss with said plane, it was being reported as "Air France jet vanishes" or "Contact lost with Air France jet". I'm more OK with the 'contact lost' descriptor than I am with 'vanishes'. Vanishes? Like 'poof!'? I don't think that it 'vanished'. I never did think that it 'vanished'. Pretty much, from the beginning, when you hear a story like this, you know, unfortunately, that it crashed. You also know, pretty much, that it didn't POOF! vanish.

It was a few days after said 'vanish-ment' that I started seeing headlines like "Air France: Missing plane likely crashed." Really? Now, this was the same day that prior headlines with "Air France flight missing mid-flight." were rampant. Likely crashed? Why jumping to conclusions so soon? You sure you want to rule out "sucked out of the atmosphere by an alien craft" or "rendered invisible by magic moonbeams" so soon? It hasn't even been a day yet. You sure you want to go that route?

Of COURSE it crashed!

Look, I'm not trying to be insensitive here, but really, what other options are there? When was the last time that a plane disappeared from radar that did not crash? Don't give me the whole 'Miracle on the Hudson' dealio, because while that plane ended up making an emergency landing, if it hadn't been for Captain Sullenberger, that plane would have ended up crashing. When it disappeared from radar what was it doing? Crashing, that is correct. So why all of the "likely crashed" scenarios making the headlines second instead of first? I don't know. Do they think that "plane missing" is going to alleviate the fears of the friends and family of those on the plane? I don't think it is! That's all I need! To have in my head that a relative or a friend of mine is suddenly a participant on a real life version of 'Lost'! Actually, I think I'd prefer "Can't find the plane, prepare for the worst."


Do I think Amelia Earhart 'vanished'? I think she crashed. Just because she was never found doesn't necessarily mean she 'vanished'.
Then came the announcements that they had found debris. Buoys that would be from the plane in the event of unexpected contact with the water were found. Cargo pallets were found. A LARGE oil slick in the middle of the ocean was found. White debris, which was never explained, was found. Seats and things that would have been from the inside of the cabin were found. Great! That means that they should be able to find the rest of the wreckage, right? Yes, but only if all of those things that they found were actually from the Air France plane. Which they weren't.

What?! Not from the plane?! Well, then where the hell were they from then!? Buoys that are from airplanes and are in the general vicinity of where the plane 'vanished' are not from that plane? How do you figure that? WHAT ARE THEY FROM?!?! I don't get it.

And while I don't understand how these recovery operations work, I do find them fascinating. I love the pictures of the guys doing all of the work out there in the ocean. I love the ocean and it scares the crap out of me at the same time. I have a buddy (who's likely reading this right now. Hi!) who works with the ocean and she went freaking snorkeling in it in the middle of nowhere last year! On purpose! So while I could never do that, I find it fascinating that others can (and do!). That's why I love the pictures. But this one baffled me. Behold!

First of all, holy cats. That's the big ol' tail they're standing on. It's so odd to see people standing on things in the water that should not be in the water. But I digress. One of those things is not like the others. Can you spot the one? Let me help you. Behold!

I believe that man is wearing a Speedo! Yes, that is a Speedo. WTH?

Since when do recovery divers wear Speedos? Was he vacationing and just decided to come along for the ride with the other divers? A wayward triathlete, perhaps? Is that Michael Phelps? I don't know, but he's in a Speedo and it just doesn't seem right. I mean, it's not wrong, but you have to admit that it's a little bit out of place, yes?

If anyone knows why Speedo-Man is there, please let me know. It's things like this that keep me up at night.

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