Sunday, 14 September 2014

Life intrudes.  Some of it's fun, some of it isn't so much fun.  But I'm ready to close the book on Massacre 747. Stanley? Brian?

Massacre 747 isn't much of a book at all.  There was this tragedy, and here's everything Richard Rohmer's researchers read about it.  It isn't even politically rabid in any interesting way.  You wonder if Rohmer had the idea to write Starmaggedon first -- inspired by the KAL 007 incident -- and then realised he could get another book out of his notes.

Show your work.

So what was KAL 007 doing in Soviet airspace?  Seymour Hersh concludes that it was pilot error.  The wrong numbers were entered into a navigational computer, and then the system tried to correct itself, and made the problem worse.  Rohmer dismisses this theory, and his argument, more or less, is that pilots don't make mistakes.

Which would be circular reasoning -- we know pilots don't make mistakes because they don't -- even if we didn't have the anecdotal counter-evidence of Rohmer's wartime memoirs, in which Flying Officer R.H. Rohmer fucks up roughly 2/3rds of he time.

What's left then, once you eliminate the impossible?  The Koreans weren't spying, and they weren't there by accident.  So they must have been taking a shortcut to save money on fuel.

$2,600 by Rohmer's guess.
And it's interesting that Rohmer, pilot and businessman, can't believe that a pilot could make a mistake, but can easily believe a corporation would kill its customers to save a couple of bucks.

1 comment:

  1. We know pilots don't make mistakes because they don't, but that's not going to stop me from writing a novel in which just such a thing brings the world to the edge of nuclear annihilation.