In the age of super technology, lack of information about Malaysian Flight MH370 has become a really mystery. How could a jumbo jet with 239 passengers on board simply disappear without a trace and even after nearly a week, nobody has the faintest clue where it went.
Friday March 14, 2014, 18:29 DST
Even as search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has widened to the Indian Ocean off the coast of Andaman Islands, the agony of relatives of the missing passengers continues.
In the absence of any hard news, speculation and theories abound. They do little to assure anxious relatives. News has now emerged that the plane may have been flying for more than five hours even after it lost radar contact.
“It is believed the plane was sending automated signals to a satellite system long after radar contact was lost. This would mean the jet could have flown more than 1,600km (1,000 miles) beyond its last confirmed position,” according to the BBC website on Friday March 14.
Today, US surveillance teams--ships, planes and helicopters--also joined the search in the Indian Ocean, according to White House spokesperson Jay Carney. He would not give any further details.
In the age of super-technology and satellites supposedly being able to literally find the proverbial needle in a haystack, why a huge plane like a Boeing 777 cannot be traced is as much a mystery as what happened to the plane.
Malaysian Flight MH370 with 239 people on board disappeared early Saturday March 8 morning after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing at 00:40 am
The UK-based telecommunications company, Inmarsat, a satellite company claims it received an automated signal from flight MH370 at least five hours after the plane was reported lost. Similar “pinging” from the plane was reported in the US media hours after it had lost radar contact.
Theories as to what might have happened to the plane abound. One suggests that the plane might have exploded in mid-air, hence the difficulty of locating its debris since it may scattered into small pieces over a large area. The US has dismissed this theory saying its satellite picked up such explosion anywhere.
Soon after the plane disappeared, Vietnam claimed it had spotted a floating object off its coast. It turned out to be a moss-covered cable reel. An oil slick found in the same area also turned out to be a false alarm.
There has also been speculation about two stolen European passports that were allegedly used by an Iranian called “Mr Ali.” The suggestion is that there may been a hijacking. A Western diplomat speaking anonymously dismissed this as pure speculation and said if people knew Kuala Lumpur was a favourite transit point for illegal immigrants seeking entry into Europe, they would not utter such statements.
He was of the opinion that illegal immigrants use the Beijing route because of easy entry into Europe from there.
Malaysia acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said all the relevant information the two passengers who allegedly boarded the flight had been passed on to the various national intelligence agencies for investigation.
Malaysian officials also did not ruled out hijacking as a cause of the plane’s disappearance but that has done little to assuage passengers’ anger over Malaysian government’s contradictory statements.
Even China has expressed serious concern about lack of information from and effort by Kuala Lumpur. The agony of relatives waiting for news, any news about their loved ones continues.