Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on March 11, 2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner that carried 239 passengers and crew, is still missing. An international effort is underway over the Gulf of Thailand, the Malacca Strait, and northern Malaysia to find signs of the missing plane.
It has been discovered that the missing flight had four stolen passports aboard, according to background checks in Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database.
At this point, the jet has vanished without a trace. No distress signal was sent. The jet was flying over the South China Sea, south of Vietnam’s Ca Mau peninsula.
Theories of conspiracy, terrorism, and UFOs are flooding the Internet. CNN has published four scenarios.
Heartfelt prayers to the families and friends of all those aboard. The waiting for word on what happened to the missing jet must be sheer agony.
Despite a wealth of technology, crews trying to find the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner must cover a large swath of the South China Sea that varies widely in depth and is subject to fast-moving currents that could carry debris more than 50 miles a day, experts say.
The search for the missing Boeing 777 off the southern coast of Vietnam had yielded nothing by early Tuesday. Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities said they had yet to find anything linked to the airliner that carried 239 passengers and crew, and that the search area was being expanded and the operation “intensified.”
Experts said wreckage could be sitting in water as shallow as 300 feet or as deep as 3,000 feet or more, where the ocean is pitch-black and the temperature is as low as 40 degrees. GPS signals are not effective in salt water and acoustic signals sent from the plane’s emergency beacon could be faint.
“Shallow doesn’t necessarily mean easy,” said David Gallo, who managed search expeditions for Air France Flight 447 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
“I can tell you, having been out there … on a number of occasions, that the ocean becomes a big place when you’re looking for an aircraft,” he said.
ABC News: The Multinational Effort to Find Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
14.44 We have looked into reports that the mobile phones of those onboard are still ringing (according to some relatives). We couldn’t get a definitive answer from anyone except that, well, sometimes they do. The authorities have been aware of it from day one, and have all the numbers, so presumably if it was possible to triangulate the location of the plane from mobile phone signals that were still alive, they would have done so?
Some of the relatives have said passenger QQ accounts (a Chinese web chat service like Gmail Chat) are still online. Tencent, the company that administers QQ, says if a user has not logged out of QQ, but merely turned their phone or computer off, they could still seem to be there, even if they are not.
14.36 Malaysia Airlines says it is investigating an Australia television report that the co-pilot on its missing flight had invited two women to stay in the cockpit for a flight two years ago.
Jonti Roos described the encounter on the program “A Current Affair.” It aired multiple still photographs from Roos that showed the women inside the cockpit and the pilots apparently working the plane’s controls.
The airline said it wouldn’t comment about the report until its investigation into it is complete.
Roos said Fariq Abdul Hamid and the second pilot talked to her and her friend in the cockpit during the entire flight in December 2011 from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur.
14.06 In the fog of rumour and speculation, what do we know for sure about missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370? Malcolm Moore in Beijing fills us in:
* Where did it go missing? Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing departed at 12.41am on Saturday March 8. After that, what happened is not clear. Until Tuesday, the last known location was above the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 40 minutes into its journey.
But now the Malaysian Air Force say its radars tracked the plane as it turned West and headed back across Malaysia and into the Strait of Malacca, where it was last seen at 30,000ft at 2.40am above the small island of Pulau Perak.
* Do we have any idea what happened? No. The authorities are considering mechanical failure, hijacking, sabotage, any psychological problems among passengers and crew and any personal problems among the passengers and crew.
* How big is the search operation? It is getting bigger every day, but at least 10 countries have sent dozens of ships and aircraft to comb both the Gulf of Thailand, the Malacca Strait, and most of northern Malaysia.
From BBC News, Malaysia Airlines: What we know about flight MH370:
There were 227 passengers, including 153 Chinese and 38 Malaysians, according to the manifest. Two were children. All 12 crew members were Malaysian.
Among the Chinese nationals were a delegation of 19 artists who had attended an exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.
Two male passengers were travelling on passports stolen from an Austrian and an Italian in Thailand in 2012 and 2013 respectively, Interpol said in a statement. The two passengers were en route to Europe via Beijing.
Malaysian police named one as 19-year-old Iranian Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad. He was probably migrating to Germany and was not believed to have any terror links, police said.
Investigations are continuing into the second passenger who used stolen documents.
Flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:41 on Saturday (16:41 GMT Friday), and was due to arrive in Beijing at 06:30. Air traffic controllers lost contact at 01:30.
At a time as yet undisclosed, a relative reportedly managed to call one of the passengers, who was carrying a Singapore phone. Malaysia Airlines has repeatedly tried to call the same number but no ringtone has been heard.
Confirmed: At Least TWO Passengers on Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Used Stolen Passports