The $5 million dollar whistleblower

Last week in The Podcaster’s Guide to the Galaxy we discussed the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370. Now it transpires that some of the families of the missing passengers are seeking to raise $5 million dollars to encourage a whistleblower to come forward and reveal what really happened.

A few things things:

  1. This all rather assumes that there is a whistle to blow. It’s possible that no one knows anything more (or, nothing particularly interesting that isn’t already in the public domain)
  2. What happens to the money if there isn’t a genuine whistleblower. Oh, there will be plenty of people who will contest the money, let there be no doubt, but there’s a very real possibility no real whistleblower might emerge. This could be because there is either because there is nothing to report or the people they report to can easily match the offered $5 million.

  3. Expect the families to dispute who to pay out to, as individual family members may very well side with one alleged whistleblower over another. The $5 million could easily disappear in divisive litigation.

  4. The parallels between narratives about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 and 9/11 are interesting here. A common refrain in the skeptical community with respect to the body of Inside Job hypotheses is that a whistleblower would have come forward by now, given the financial reward by the press for doing so. People within the 9/11 Truth community either dispute there really would be a huge benefit to blowing the lid on 9/11 (given that the powers that be would have said person’s guts for garters) or the Establishment can take comfortably reward such potential whistleblowers or that no one person knows enough to blow the whistle.

Some of these theories get a bit confusing, since some in the 9/11 Truth community claim that whistleblowers come forward all the time. It just happens to the be the case that they are routinely ignored. I think that’s actually the most interesting hypothesis in play here. What if a whistleblower did come forward? You don’t have to kill them or bribe them to silence them; all you need do is spread enough disinformation about them that most people won’t trust a word they say.

Now, certain skeptics will say “That’s preposterous!” but worries about disinformation being disseminated by influential institutions should not be dismissed out of hand. Governments, for example, have engaged in disinformation campaigns in the past, sometimes to hide their conspiracy (or conspiracy-like) activities. It’s not out of the question that should a genuine whistleblower turn up, that disinformation will be disseminated to tarnish their reputation. Indeed, it would help if less-than-genuine whistleblowers were also on the scene, so you could tarnish the real thing via guilt by association. A really clever conspiracy would even manufacture the disingenuous “whistleblowers”…

My suspicion is even if the families do generate the $5 million dollars of enticement, it won’t produce much in the way of results. It will, I think, produce new conspiracy theories to explain away the lack of whistleblowing, or the fact no one accepts the testimony of whistleblower X or Y, but that’s to be expected. Meanwhile, I still think the most likely explanation is a tragic accident.

Not that my opinion really matters to the families of the missing passengers and crew. Arohanui.


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.