By TODD GLASSCOCK
Bill Farmer thinks of Philip Wood, the Keller man who was onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which has been missing since March 8.
Farmer isn't Philip Wood's relative or even an acquaintance. He just wants to help find the plane so those affected might find some sort of peace over lost friends and family.
Authorities believe the Boeing 777, en route to Beijing from Malaysia, went off course a short time after the flight took off and crashed in the Indian Ocean about 1,400 miles northwest of Perth, Australia.
Farmer believes search parties are looking for the jetliner in the wrong part of the ocean. He's quite certain the jet is much farther out from the current search area. In fact, he thinks he's pinpointed the exact spot where the plane went down – give or take a few hundred miles – at a crosshair section of the Indian Ocean along the Tropic of Capricorn and the undersea mountain range Ninety East Ridge, almost at the midpoint between Madagascar and Australia.
“I don't think they're going to find it where they are currently searching,” he said.
Farmer, who's retired from General Motors, isn't a professional expert on plane crashes, nor does he have multi-million dollar tracking satellites and search equipment that makes him certain of the plane's whereabouts. His system, the ancient technique of dowsing or divination, is much simpler: he thinks of an object or person – in this case Philip Wood – and lets those thoughts guide his dowsing rod to the location, no matter how far away. His dowsing rod is a simple L-shaped contraption, a copper handle attached to a “bait” chamber with an old car antenna glued to it.
Some dowsers place strips of paper with the names of objects or materials to be found inside the bait chamber to aid the dowser's thoughts in the search, he said.