This is very strange. Events surrounding the Air France plane that crashed and practically disintegrated raise more questions then they answer. An Air France pilot said it was 'highly likely' the jet was blown out of the sky by a bomb.
Now it has come to light that the domain name for flight 447 was registered in September 2007. Coincidence? Maybe. Iranian Kari Bian, who makes movies about Israelis and "Palestinians," registered the domain flight447.com.
And another domain related to the Air France flight — AirFranceLawSuit.com — that is up for sale on e-Bay was registered the day after the crash to Hoda Elkassem in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who is currently in Kuwait. Ghoulish.
Air France Crash Raises Questions About Domain Name Registration Wired (hat tip mOSXquito)
As investigators seek to unravel the fate of Air France flight 447, there’s been speculation online about an unusual domain name registration made some two years prior to this week’s plane crash, flight447.com.
The mystery of the Air France flight that disappeared this week deepened after news agencies on Wednesday confirmed a previous Air France flight from Buenos Aires to Paris was the target of a bomb threat just days before. That plane was inspected and arrived without incident.
Now it has emerged that someone registered a domain for the missing plane’s flight number on September 30, 2007. The domain name, which currently points to a search engine, expires on the same date this year and was registered to Success Incorporated in Malibu, California.
It’s not unusual for individuals to register domain names shortly after news breaks on a big story and then to sell them. Indeed, a second domain AirFrance447.com was registered the day of the crash, hours after the news made headlines, and a third domain AirFranceLawSuit.com is being auctioned on e-Bay this week after being registered the day after the crash.
The timing of the two-year-old flight447.com, however, makes it unusual.
But when contacted, the owner of the latter domain, Kari Bian, said that the connection between his registration and the crash is coincidental. “It’s just an accident (that there’s a connection),” he said. “I have nothing to do with anything. I feel really bad for that flight.”
The cause of the crash is still unknown.
Bian is an Iranian film producer based in the U.S. who recently finished an Israeli-Palestinian love story called David and Fatima about an Israeli soldier’s relationship with a Palestinian Muslim girl. He’s also listed as executive producer for Secrets of Life, a movie starring Tony Curtis, Vivica Fox, Jon Lovitz and Cheech Marin, and a semi-autobiographical tale called The Iron Man, which is unrelated to the Robert Downey, Jr., film and is loosely based on Bian’s life.
Bian also owns a small side business registering domains called Thriftys. Bian says he buys domain names and owns about 500 of them, which include the names of numerous airline flight numbers as well as the names of cars, flowers, businesses and songs. He says he created the flight number domains with a program.
“I just put ‘flight’ in front of 1 through 1,000 and I register them,” he explained.
He says he didn’t buy the flight domains for any particular reason and has no intention of selling flight447.com now.
“I’m very busy with my work and my career,” he says. “I’m not waiting for a flight to crash so I can go sell it. I’m a professional businessman and I make movies and it happens that I own this domain name.”
Elkassem, who is in Kuwait temporarily where her husband is teaching art, responded to an e-mail inquiry from Threat Level.