Leave it to the Internet to yet again capitalize on a mysterious tragedy for the sake of a scam, a punchline, or both. Reporting on the bizarre disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has bounced all over the place over the course of the past several days, with theories on the fate of the Boeing 777 airliner ranging from a hijacking or terrorism to pilot error and an even wider range of conspiratorial hypotheses.
Fortunately, Crave has tracked down the plane. It's currently for sale on the Vietnam Craigslist for $15 million.
Actually, it should go without saying that the "Slightly used Boeing 777-300" offered with "not much fuel" and including "all the snacks in the plane" is just a rather insensitive joke. If you don't think that's immediately obvious, I'd also point out that the poster didn't seem to realize that there's a difference between US dollars and Vietnam's currency, the Dong. The listing headline asks for just 1.5 million dong for the plane. That's about $70.
Then again, maybe it would be worth putting together 70 bucks for the one in a billion chance that it gets us the most sought-after plane in the world. After all, there's a chance we're all just part of a computer simulation anyway, and what if that simulation has a serious bug in it centered somewhere in southeast Asia?
Alas, a phone number is omitted from the ad.
But it does highlight the rather ridiculous media treatment this story has been getting, with mainstream outlets jumping all over each and every thin hypothesis put forward by supposed experts or officials, only to be rebuked time and again.
This is what happens with a big story that keeps rotating through the 24-hour news cycle within a near total fact vacuum.
I've heard normally reputable journalists discussing the possibility that the plane landed several days ago, without addressing the clear lack of contact that the hundreds of passengers on board have had with the wider world for the past week, or how an isolated island big enough for a 777 to land on it has been missed amid all the search efforts.
As the old saying goes, if you'll believe that story, I've got a Boeing 777 in Vietnam I can sell you.