A helicopter crew aboard the destroyer USS Kidd in the Indian Ocean, involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
By Emil Pulsifer, Guest Rogue
There will be much Monday-morning quarterbacking on the Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Not here. Over two days, beginning March 17, I predicted where the missing plane would be found and by whom, providing reasoning to back it up. Thereafter I gave frequent updates of analysis and criticism as new developments occurred. Sift through the full record of date-stamped comments, here.
The errors of investigators and of the media reporting on them can be summed up as three logical fallacies: confirmation bias, argument from authority, and argument from ignorance.
Searchers began their efforts in a part of the ocean known to accumulate vast collections of garbage (it's even called a "garbage gyre"), yet the media treated every stray object floating in the water as if it had a good chance to be plane debris instead of almost certainly being garbage, despite repeated disappointments.
Soon the satellite photographs showed many hundreds of objects, an embarrassment of riches. Suddenly, the search shifted hundreds of miles to the north, to an area which, coincidentally, offered searchers far more congenial weather. The mass of objects in the old search area was summarily dismissed, even though most of these remained unexamined. When new objects were spotted in the new search area, the media response remained the same. This time for sure!