Flight MH370: The Search and Mystery Continue
The reports, theories, speculation and just plain rumors surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 continue to proliferate.
Reports, theories and rumors — not necessarily in that order — that:
The transponder of the Boeing 777 was disabled or turned off just prior to the pilot signing off with Malaysia air traffic controllers with an innocuous “All right, good night.”
Malaysian authorities have opened up a criminal investigation with the pilots “at the center” of the investigation.
Flight 370 may have flown over China for “possibly 2,000 miles.”
The pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet may have hijacked the aircraft “in an anti government protest” and that hundreds of passengers may be held “at an unknown location.” You see, “An image has emerged of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet wearing a T-shirt with a ‘Democracy is Dead’ slogan.”
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 “may have been on ground when last signals sent…”
The missing plane “was last seen heading towards Pakistan.”
An Al–Qaeda informer “told a court last week that four to five Malaysian Islamists were planning to take control of a plane, using a shoe bomb to blow open the cockpit door and that the informer had told the court he had met with the Islamists in Afghanistan.
In the meantime the navies, air forces — and satellites — of 25 countries continue to patiently and methodically search for the missing flight in an ever-expanding area.
The U. S. Navy is one of those. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd is expanding its patrol area from the northwest entrance of the Strait of Malacca into the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea.
The U.S. Navy:
Upon receiving the updated tasking, Kidd and the two embarked MH-60R helicopters immediately transited to the new search area to continue the search and rescue mission. Kidd is covering more than 300 square miles of water space every four hours and is meticulously investigating anything that may be evidence associated with aircraft debris.
“Our helicopters are an extension of the ship’s capabilities and provide us with the best chance of finding airplane debris,” said Lt.j.g. Eric Bachtel, of Phoenix, Ariz., the ship’s Combat Information Center Officer. “With extra watch standers in place, we are able to comb through any debris spotted from the ship or the aircraft and if needed retrieve the objects via grappling hook, small boats, or with our Search and Rescue swimmers deployed from the ship or helicopters.”
Kidd searches more than 1,500 square miles of ocean each day, investigating any possible debris that may be linked to the airliner’s crash. Kidd continues to support the overall Malaysian government search effort by sharing information and investigating possible leads. The Kidd crew remains persistent and hopeful that they will find indications as to the possible disappearance site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in order to shed some light on this tragedy.
Below: Crew members on board a P-8A Poseidon assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 man their workstations while assisting in search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric A. Pastor)