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The Disappearing Act  By  cover art

The Disappearing Act

By: Florence de Changy
Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard
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Publisher's Summary

The affair was weird when seen from afar, but seen in close-up, it was Kafkaesque: it was not possible in 2014 for a Boeing 777 to have simply disappeared....

A remarkable piece of investigative journalism into one of the most pervasive and troubling mysteries of recent memory.

01:20 am, 8th March 2014. 

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 239 passengers, disappeared into the night, never to be seen or heard from again.

The incident was inexplicable. In a world defined by advanced technology and interconnectedness, how could an entire aircraft become untraceable? Had the flight been subject to a perfect hijack? Perhaps the pilots lost control? And if the plane did crash, where was the wreckage?

Writing for Le Monde in the days and months after the plane’s disappearance, journalist Florence de Changy closely documented the chaotic international investigation that followed, uncovering more questions than answers. Riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions and a lack of basic communication between authorities, the mystery surrounding flight MH370 only deepened.

Now, de Changy offers her own explanation. Drawing together countless eyewitness testimonies, press releases, independent investigative reports and expert opinion, The Disappearing Act offers an eloquent and deeply unnerving narrative of what happened to the missing aircraft.

An incredible feat of investigative journalism and a testament to de Changy’s tenacity and resolve, this audiobook is an exhaustive, gripping account into one of the most profound mysteries of the 21st century.

©2021 Florence de Changy (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Totally brilliant, if unnerving, The Disappearing Act, must be read by anyone wishing to understand one of the greatest mystery of the 21st century." (Edward Jay Epstein, New York Times best-selling author and investigative journalist) 

"With ruthless forensic skill, Florence de Changy has dismantled and discredited the official versions of what happened to the ill-fated flight MH370." (Victor Mallet, Financial Times Paris bureau chief)

"People often say that non-fiction books read like fast-moving thrillers, but this one genuinely does.... This is a splendid book – and highly recommended." (Daily Mail)

What listeners say about The Disappearing Act

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Random Facts in Need of a Coherent Thesis

I wanted to like this book; I really did. However, it is such a mess that it is impossible to like. Ms. De Changy does not develop a coherent narrative and large parts of her argument are internally inconsistent. For example, the author spends a significant amount of time detailing the incompetence and corruption of the Malaysian government. However, when it suits the author's desired narrative the Malaysian government suddenly becomes incredibly sophisticated and capable of organizing an international conspiracy and coverup. Which one is it? Additionally, a number of Ms. De Changy's arguments simply do not hold up. For example, at one point, Ms. De Changy spends significant time detailing the serial numbers used by Boeing down to the serial numbers on bolts used by the manufacturer. However, after going through all this excruciating detail about Boeing, inexplicably the author uses information about Boeing's serial numbers to try and make a point about the Rolls-Royce engines on the plane. Either Ms. De Changy fails to grasp that the engines made by Rolls-Royce are manufactured by Rolls-Royce and mated to the Boeing airframe, which calls into question the level of expertise of the author, or Ms. De Changy was knowingly making a misleading argument. However, the most frustrating part of this book is the author's obliviousness to the fact she frequently engages in the same shoddy investigatory work she claims to be so frustrated by in the book. For example, in attacking the official narrative that certain debris found after the crash came from MH370, Ms. De Changy's argument boils down to well other planes have crashed in that part of the ocean so maybe such debris came from one of those planes. The obvious flaw in this argument is that large planes like MH370 are not commonly misplaced by their owners. As such, it should be fairly easy to determine if another Boeing 777-200ER had crashed in the Indian Ocean, but Ms. De Changy does not point to the crash of another Boeing 777; instead she points to crashes of other jets in the region (which is another example of Ms. De Changy's inconsistent narrative which relies on the fact that virtually every part of a jet has a unique serial number to that jet and to its model when it furthers her narrative but disregarding this fact when it helps her narrative). Further, this specific argument is made even more ridiculous by the fact that Ms. De Changy had moments before argued that the absence of barnacles on the debris made it impossible it could be from MH370 due to the time elapsed between its discovery and the crash. If as Ms. De Changy argues that it is virtually impossible for debris exposed to the ocean for as long as the MH370 debris would have been at the time of its discovery not to have barnacles and other indicia of exposure to the ocean, it is a complete non-sequitur to argue that debris that was in the water for an even longer time would not have barnacles and other indicia of exposure to the ocean. How this work got through the editing process with so many issues is beyond me. If you are interested in MH370, you will probably find some of the information in this book interesting; otherwise, I would recommend looking for another book.

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a riveting story

the detail of this analysis is most interesting and revealing. There are so many anomalies in the search and investigation that you are convinced there is a massive cover-up, they only thing in doubt is who is responsible and what parties are part of the conspiracy and why they chose to help hide the true fate of mh370.

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Nuclear conjecture.

First off, a lot of the book is fascinating. There was a lot to like in this book, while it was still planted in reality. The book quickly devolves into total conspiracy theory and was truly a chore to even finish. Author, I can be convinced that governments worldwide have secrets. I can accept that the official narrative can have a lot of discrepancies with reality. However, if all you have to offer for proof is eyewitness testimony (AKA the OBJECTIVELY LEAST-RELIABLE EVIDENCE TO EVER EXIST), then I don’t want to hear it! This book is trash. It’s full of conjecture and conspiracy theory. It has endless, only sometimes-relevant information via footnotes. It takes far-right message boards like gospel. To top it all off, it is full of smug and condescending language and jabs that is beyond irritating. If it weren’t for the narrator and first few chapters, it would get a 1 across the board. Look, if you’re entertained by this kind of stuff, there is an entire world of it on 4chan, Reddit, and other message boards that have been totally co-opted why white nationalists. Free or charge. PS: “MHist is the stupidest word I’ve ever heard.”

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Worse Than An Instruction Manuel

The content of this book lacked anything that perpetuated any interest or intrigue. The story of this missing flight, and the conjecture around it, is and should be fascinating enough without enhancing. However, the author manages to dry it out and strangle it with a discombobulated list of factual details amidst a great deal of insignificant information, with footnotes every other sentence. It also quickly lost any cohesive flow. It was like listening to someone read an instruction manuel in which all the pages had been mixed up. Such a waste of time and money. Not recommended.

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My thoughts

narater was great, content was great! I liked listening to it. fastenating stories and so thorough.

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i hope it's solved before i die

well this book definitely poses more questions than answers, but it's well written and beautifully narrated.
i truly hope i live long enough to hear what actually happened. bet on corruption and cover ups and you can get awfully close to the truth. i have no idea what happened, but this book makes me question what i thought was real. not saying she's right, but how can we possibly know at this point. interesting, very good book.

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A Franco-Chinese production. RIP journalism.

Garbage Pure speculation based on Facebook (lol) and forum posts. Her one-sided theories are rejected by any professional pilot with a sense of decency.
I note that the author ignores the in-real-time reports out of China that 370 landed safely in China, and Especially the significance of such misinformation. I also note that she ignores any possibility that China was (and remains) extremely interested in studying US reaction to Pacific ‘incidents’.
I urge any journalist, historian or researcher to exercise the utmost caution before allying yourself to any Internet theory, which these days are backed by Russia, China, or Saudi Arabia to further their own agendas. Or at the very least disclose your personal allegiances. RIP journalism.

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Phenomenal journalism

The most comprehensive, well written and narrated exposé into the disappearance of MH370. The mind boggles at the interference of governments at the expense of human lives. An eye-opening read.

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Very Interesting

I enjoyed this book very much. It is very well written and the narrator is fantastic. The information revealed in a deep dive is so much more than what we have been told. I am glad there are investigators like her out there dedicated to finding the truth.

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Outstanding

This book was incredibly well researched, thought provoking and masterfully written. The narrator was fantastic, outstanding beginning to end.

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  • Allister
  • 04-14-21

A disappointment

I write this review with a heavy heart. What started out as a forensic look through the events surrounding the disappearance of MH370, including government incompetence and media misinformation or inaccuracies quickly descended into fantasy.

SPOILERS:

For the author to debunk often rightly so some of the official narrative as the evidence was weak at best was correct. To call out inaccurate news headlines was very important. A memorable quote from the book was that where we are faced with 2 possible scenarios, the one that relies on the fewest assumptions is usually the correct one. Fair enough, I’m with you on that....

The book then descends into indulging the author’s imagination of what possibly could have happened including spy technology from Afghanistan, stealth planes from a superpower, laser weapons, and a huge coverup involving several world superpowers and probably hundreds if not thousands of people to destroy/hide all the debris, erase satellite data etc. What evidence is there for such a scenario I hear you ask? Well, apparently, mostly anonymous sources quoted in newspapers and some people who messaged the author online. Not one significant named witness with first hand knowledge of these events is listed by the author to corroborate this fantasy up to the point where i switched it off 90 minutes before the end.

A huge let down. I’m not saying for a second that everything in the official narrative is correct, but surely you can’t criticise a narrative for not having supporting evidence and then just create your own story with what appears to be even less.

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  • Nicky Walker
  • 05-06-21

Speculative garbage

The French author obviously put the work in, but having done so seems to have cursorily discarded everything 'official' and sneers at anything 'Anglo', without providing much in the way of alternatives beyond far-fetched, agenda-driven conspiracy theories based on more-or-less nothing. The narration is generally competently performed but only reinforces the overall condescending tone. This book will likely be overtaken by events as actual, less sensationalist evidence becomes public, and the author will end up with oeuf all over her face.

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  • Jim
  • 02-07-21

Stinks Like Fishy Flaperons!

What a load of ill and partitially informed speculation. I'm asking for my credit back.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Adrian Chan-Wyles Ph.D
  • 05-03-21

Interesting But Flawed.

A well researched but subtly anti-Chinese narrative. The author mentions nothing about the US-backed neo-Nazi 'Maidan' regime illegally operating in Western Ukraine - or that the racist 'organ harvesting' disinformation that she parrots is a lie confirmed by the investigating  Vatican's Ethnics Committee as a myth perpetuated by the US-backed Falun Gong Cult! She also fails to point out that the riots in Hong Kong were backed by the US, etc. As the author is French, she does strive to keep her natural anti-Chinese racism in Check. What she chooses to omit, however, is both astonishing and convenient! 

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  • Sam1234
  • 10-25-21

Interesting and quality

A really interesting account of events and the extent of research is genuinely impressive — should really be a PhD thesis!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • iain brown
  • 02-22-21

Great stuff.

Fantastic, all the way to the end.
Headline should read, now that's what I call research.
I heard the author on a podcast, couldn't believe it was on audible.

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  • Edgar Kindling
  • 02-12-21

Fantastic listen, detective work at it's best!

The true heroes of our time. Investigative journalists and whistleblowers. Without them we would be bound to the "official" source which proves every day and in any circumstance that it is more misleading then informative.

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  • Criticaldad
  • 04-21-22

Worthy of respect

Whatever you think of the author's speculative conclusions (and she admits they are still unproven), the book is a testament to her formidable research and also to the flimsiness of the official narrative, especially the notion of pilot murder/suicide.

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  • Shane canning
  • 12-24-21

just amazing

7 years have passed still no one know what happend wow rip too all me i have no idea what happend and i have consperieys


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  • RJ
  • 09-23-21

Going off at tangents

Little explanation of the detail behind the satellite data and actual events. Some good explanation of Malaysian government incompetence.

Narration doesn’t seem to come to life, poorly read and quite flat with emphasis in random places.



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  • Ron deBoer
  • 10-17-22

Don't bother - yet one more MH370 nut-bag

Don't bother with this one. Amongst other things, de Changy attributes the loss of MH370 to climate change.
She is using the tragedy to build her bank account ... plain and simple.