Slate recently published the following in an article about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: "Every day, new evidence points to a conclusion that beforehand would have seemed laughably absurd. (...) Further evidence emerges that reinforces the once-crazy notion, and some proportion of the doubters come around. Then even more implausible information turns up, and it’s off the to the fringes again." That's pretty much exactly how things have been going, right? Which is why it's hugely unlikely -- but not necessarily COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE -- that Courtney Love has found the plane.
You read that right: Courtney Love, Hole singer, Kurt Cobain widow, and all-around public trainwreck, thinks she may have located Flight 370, thanks to her satellite-image sleuthing via Tomnod. This is of course a wildly implausible scenario ... but I'm not sure the idea that it was Courtney Love, of all people, who cracked the mystery is any stranger than the rest of the story.
Here's what Love posted on Facebook yesterday:
It's safe to say not too many people took her theory seriously. Some sample comments:
swear to god if courtney love finds the fucking plane
What are the odds though that it would land right next to a red sign saying plane let alone next to the arrow?
At least we know of ONE person who still uses MS Paint!
It's hard not to scoff at this: Courtney Love thinks she found the plane! LOL, she's crazy! -- but I don't know, at least she was trying. Tomnod has been asking people to comb through satellite images and that's exactly what she did.
When asked to comment on her post, Love told the Daily Intelligencer,
I mean I don't know anything about aviation per se. I saw an article asked people to help search on Tomnod.com so I decided to give it a shot. I figured a plane would still be leaking some fuel so I searched for signs of an oil slick. I found one and there appeared to be an object nearby. I don't know if it is the plane or not, but I figured I'd do my part and bring some awareness to the site, for the sake of all the families involved. I hope they find the plane, I pray they're still alive, it's sad and my heart goes out to all those involved. It's the least I can do.
Seriously, when I first saw her image circulating online, I was all ready to snark about how utterly ridiculous it was, but now I just feel like an asshole. She clearly cares enough to put some effort into looking -- and perhaps more importantly, she gave Tomnod some free publicity. Tomnod, which is managed by Digital Globe, has reportedly gotten help from more than 3 million participants in the search, with some 200 million map views since the disappearance.
In fact, Love's theory is really only weird-sounding because it came from her. Here's what a Reddit user posted about the same area of the map:
Somehow I doubt he was mocked quite as mercilessly as she was.
Unfortunately for both armchair sleuths, Tomnod has ruled out this particular image:
Sometimes our eyes see what we want them to see: Just got note from our analysis team who has been digging in to map #128148. Although it is still an interesting clue, it is looking much more like the other boats operating in the region. Keep up the good work.
I say good for Courtney Love, for actually giving a damn and not being afraid to share a theory that she surely knew would be made fun of. She's still a big old sack of freaky, but at least she's a well-meaning sack of freaky in this case.
When you look at this image, can you see why Courtney thought it was worth investigating?
Image via whittlz/Flickr