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Malaysian police say missing jet mystery may never be solved

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- A police investigation may never determine the reason why the Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared, and search planes scouring the Indian Ocean for any sign of its wreckage aren't certain to find anything either, officials said Wednesday.

The assessment by Malaysian and Australian officials underscored the lack of knowledge authorities have about what happened on Flight 370. It also points to a scenario that becomes more likely with every passing day - that the fate of the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board might remain a mystery forever.

The plane disappeared March 8 on a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur after its transponders, which make the plane visible to commercial radar, were shut off. Military radar picked up the jet just under an hour later, on the other side of the Malay Peninsula. Authorities say that until then its "movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane," but have not ruled out anything, including mechanical error.

Police are investigating the pilots and crew for any evidence suggesting they may have hijacked or sabotaged the plane. The backgrounds of the passengers, two-thirds of whom were Chinese, have been checked by local and international investigators and nothing suspicious has been found.

"Investigations may go on and on and on. We have to clear every little thing," Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters. "At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident."

Police are also investigating the cargo and the food served on the plane to eliminate possible poisoning of passengers and crew, he said.

The search for the plane began over the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea, where the plane's last communications were, and then shifted west to the Strait of Malacca, where it was last spotted by military radar. Experts then analyzed hourly satellite "handshakes" between the plane and a satellite and now believe it crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

A search there began just over two weeks ago, and now involves at least nine ships and nine planes.

The British government said a nuclear-powered submarine with advanced underwater search capability had arrived in the southern Indian Ocean.

The current search area is a 221,000-square kilometer (85,000-square mile) patch of sea roughly a 2 1/2-hour flight from Perth.

Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the multinational search effort out of Australia, said no time frame had been set for the search to end, but that a new approach would be needed if nothing showed up.

"Over time, if we don't find anything on the surface, we're going to have to think about what we do next, because clearly it's vitally important for the families, it's vitally important for the governments involved that we find this airplane," he told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Flight Lieutenant Dave O'Brien, captain of an Australian P-3 Orion that arrived back after dark Wednesday at base Pearce near Perth, said it was another fruitless day of searching despite favorable weather and sea conditions.

"We didn't see anything at all of interest," he said. "So a fairly quiet day for us out there. However, we are back out tomorrow to try it all again."

With no other data available indicating where the plane went down, spotting wreckage is key to narrowing down the search area and ultimately finding the plane's flight data recorders, which would provide a wealth of information about the condition the plane was flying under and the communications or sounds in the cockpit.

The data recorders emit a "ping" that can be detected by special equipment towed by a ship in the immediate vicinity. But the battery-powered recorders stop transmitting the pings about 30 days after a crash. Locating the data recorders and wreckage after that is possible, but it becomes an even more daunting task.

Malaysia has been criticized by the relatives of some Chinese passengers on board, who accuse it of not providing enough information or even lying about what it knows about the final movements of the plane. In the early days of the crisis, the Chinese government itself expressed irritation at the speed of the probe and the lack of information.

On Wednesday, China's ambassador to Malaysia sought to distance the government from the more strident criticism, perhaps concerned about any lasting damage to ties between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur.

"I wish to responsibly point out that these extreme and even somewhat irresponsible views are not representative of the overall group of Chinese relatives and even more so not representative of the Chinese government's attitude," Huang Huikang told reporters.

Scores of relatives are staying in hotels in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, courtesy of Malaysia Airlines.

Authorities organized a closed-door briefing in Malaysia for the families with officials and experts involved in the hunt, including the chief of the Malaysian air force.

It was relayed by video conferencing technologies to the relatives in Beijing. Malaysia's civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said officials answered all the questions raised by the relatives and that they had "a very good meeting." Several relatives interviewed after the session said officials showed them more satellite and other data, but that they were still not satisfied.

"The fact is they didn't give us any convincing information," said Steve Wang, a representative of some of the Chinese families in Beijing. "They said themselves that there are many different possibilities, but they are judging on the basis of just one of them."

Malaysian officials have on occasion given conflicting accounts and contradictory information over the last three weeks. They maintain they are doing their best in what it is an unprecedented situation, and stress they want the same thing as the families, namely to locate the plane as quickly as possible.


Perry reported from Perth, Australia. Associated Press writers Gillian Wong in Kuala Lumpur, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, and Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
jaw00jaw April 02 2014 at 4:15 PM

Some of you people need to stop drinking the kool aid. You think the US gov. would be more forth coming? I don't think so. Whether or not the Malaysian gov. is doing a good job, don't think the US would necessarily do better. Remember, there are several countries involved in the search for this plane. That means less likely anything could be hidden.
Remember when that plane went down late one night over Long Island sound? The US gov. certainly had a lot to do with that. The night it happened, ABC news was reporting that the military was conducting "flare practice" in the area that night. They repeatedly talked about that.
The next morning, no mention what so ever of the military. Eventually they blamed the crash on frayed wires. THAT was a cover up. So was the plane in western PA on 9/11. A debris field that large, it was shot down. The plane exploded in the air.
So far, I don't see any signs that there is any hanky panky in the investigation of MH370.
What I do find curious is that the Russians really haven't said anything. I tend to believe that there would be some info from their satellites; at least confirming or disputing the planes location in the air.
Bottom line, OPEN your eyes. The US is a great place, but we have our issues. Don't believe every thing the gov. tells us. They are very corrupt, just like most others.

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3 replies
Ronni April 02 2014 at 7:05 PM

sounds like the theory of the tv show "lost"

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slh7569 April 02 2014 at 7:09 PM

Has anyone googled "freescale semiconductor Austin Texas"?? I found that article to be very interesting. It discussed patents and how there were 5 people on the patent. It also said that 4 of the 5 owners of the patent were Chinese and on the plane. The fifth owner of the patent is Freescale semiconductor. It explains that the patent was approved a few days after the flight went missing. Read it and see what you think..

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1 reply
hway395 slh7569 April 02 2014 at 8:33 PM

slh7569, I read the article last week or so. What I find curious is a later comment from Malaysia (supposedly) stating no one with those names were on the passenger list, hmmmmm. Were they flying incognito? Another article per Freescale (supposedly, plus I'm paraphrasing); out of consideration of the investigation & families they were not giving out any names. Another, hmmmmm. Not sure who is telling the truth & if either article is accurate. When I orginally read the Freescale article the first thought that came to me...."WHO is usually looked at FIRST after a murder?"

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1 reply
slh7569 hway395 April 02 2014 at 9:28 PM

I also read the article that said the names were not on the passenger list. Makes you wonder who was really even on the plane. With the stolen passports etc it's obvious someone is covering something up

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cvanac8550 April 02 2014 at 7:20 PM

This all has to do with Chinese spying either industrial or military

The plane never crashed it was high jacked

It was probably taken to some remote island in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean
Seychelles has approx. 155 islands 40 are uninhabited

When the plane turned it was heading in the direction of the Seychelles.

1 month before the plane went missing two former Navy seals overdosed on heroin while serving as "security" on a freighter while in port in the Seychelles. Those who knew both men said their was no way either would be using heroin.The whole affair was written off and no one is investigating the two women that were supposed to have been seen with these men before they "overdosed" {Google, navy seals Seychelles overdose} What did they know or prepare for that was so sensitive they had to be taken out.

The so called "mining engineer" because he knew would never be allowed to live after what he was going to do gave his wife his watch and ring because he was on a mission of which was so sensitive he would never return. Maybe after the two seals were taken out he realized this.

We have two possible"operatives" with the stolen passports that were in on the high jacking. Not to much has been discussed about them anymore or the Mr. Ali who purchased the tickets with cash.

Everyone on the plane was taken out except for the Chinese who they were after in the first place.
So now on some remote Island in the Indian Ocean a few Chinese Nationals are laying on a water board and being interrogated to find out how their spy operation works and how deep in the government it goes. Why didn't they just arrest them in this country? Because when the network found out they would leave the country or go underground. Maybe if they were high ranking officials in the sellout they would use there power to hinder the investigation.

3 years from now after everything blows over and the search is abandoned the US navy will discover the remains of the plane in the deepest most inaccessible part of the Indian Ocean.

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3 replies
wizardsking April 02 2014 at 7:38 PM

By the way I will CC: This one to you NTSA
Dear intelligent Commercial Airline Plane Companies, Forget antiquated black boxes, and only Pilot to control tower communication.
How about a constant running cockpit microphone that can not be turned off that transmits any and all comments directly into an onland recording station: That way we dont have to look for these black boxes.
I am sure the same technology could be used in the secondary black box information: Send it to a database so we dont have to dig that one up either.

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1 reply
hway395 wizardsking April 02 2014 at 8:15 PM

wizardsking, I'd like to add to your comment. How about cameras in the cockpit that can digitally transmit to ground. It's NOT like ground is going to be watching every plane, like a movie, but in such situations as MH370 it would allow them to research backward. The method seems to work for store robberies.

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2 replies
wizardsking hway395 April 02 2014 at 8:19 PM

Yes I agree that visual effect is sometimes better than words. After all a picture is worth as they say, a thousand. We could actually see with our own eyes. Great comment hway395

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mproviderone hway395 April 02 2014 at 8:42 PM

Didn't want you to know dear. But if we lose contact with any airline or Military Plane. even the people who work in the control towers know this within 2 minutes all our SAT'S at NORAD locks onto all airborne planes. ask anyone CHENEY HAD 50 MINUTES TO STOP THE FIRST PLANE ON 9/11. HIS RESPONCE WAS THE ORDER STILL STANDS .!!!!!!!!!!!!

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hilti333 April 02 2014 at 8:06 PM

this is unacceptable this day in age to lose a large jetliner. and the reason why there needs to be locator devices on board that cannot be turned off no matter what. How can anyone who flys really feel safe anymore not knowing what happened to this plane.

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1 reply
pasqual4 hilti333 April 02 2014 at 8:40 PM


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Shauna April 02 2014 at 8:08 PM

What happened that no one on board sent even a text to a relative or friend? Everyone has a phone with them now and I'm pretty sure that despite interior airline warnings to turn off "all phones and handheld devices," if something weird was happening SOMEONE would have tried to call or send a text. What happened that no one was contacted?

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1 reply
hway395 Shauna April 02 2014 at 8:11 PM

Shauna, there are no cell phone towers out in the ocean. Towers are on ground pointing toward ground.

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3 replies
mmbwildwmn April 02 2014 at 3:46 PM

They could still find it on the ground somewhere, not having crashed at all.

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kimco1 April 02 2014 at 8:59 PM

How about making a black box that floats (Duh) and stop using the discount dollars store batteries that only last a month. I mean really with the tech we have these days they should have a black box that imediately transmitts a GPS location to a satelite the moment there is a crash so we know the exact Lat & Lon of the crash

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2 replies
stormint kimco1 April 02 2014 at 9:25 PM

I'm thinkin' whoever has the plane is way ahead of you and especially the Malaysians on that one...

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Momma kimco1 April 03 2014 at 12:50 AM

Better yet, why a black box at all? Why isn't all of the flight activity and every pilot communication on board sent directly to a satellite in real time and recorded there instead? Obviously, there is risk of losing the black box when you lose the plane, so eliminate the black box and send all of that info to cyber space where it is securely preserved. Also, all planes should have a GPS on board which can not be disabled so we can never lose a plane!

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wizardsking April 02 2014 at 9:14 PM

The malaysian Govt clears all passangers..... roughly tranlated this means we are covering our own butts.
The Airline Industry has failed: My father was a communications expert: Anything that can transmit can recieve.
If you have 2 way real communication from Pilot to Tower,
You can easily have one way constant transmission from Cockpit to an onland recorder.
This would be a secondary-reliable and always recoverable voice communication undamaged and presise method of recording Cockpit Voice.
The flight data recorder, can be used in the same fashion transmitting to onland database in real time as well as having the regular data recorder.
This would eliminate having to find the black boxes as the only retrieval method.
Dashcams can record and transmit events that happen in real-time, they should be on board planes to be the eyes.
As for pilots having females in the cockpit that is a matter of not only national security for all countries, but an issue of safety for passengers.
We need to learn from our mistakes and act on them before they become secondary.
The above mentioned real time tranmitted information to an onland location would be more cost effective instead of spending time money and risking lives in searh of the black box and recorder on board a plane, the camera being the eyes could alert and devert what is wrongfully going on in a cockpit.
I am just your average citizen, if I can come up with these solutions. Someone is spending too much time Making money............And its not me.

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1 reply
hway395 wizardsking April 02 2014 at 9:46 PM

Great comments, wizardsking, you're hired ;-)

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1 reply
wizardsking hway395 April 02 2014 at 10:00 PM

thank you, I only wish someone would let the Aviation industry or the Govt know about our thoughts so we can make a better tomorrow for our kids.

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