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Old March 19th, 2014 (07:30 AM). Edited March 19th, 2014 by Livewire.
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* Search in 12th day, no wreckage found so far

* Two vast search corridors stretch from Caspian Sea to Indian Ocean

* Countries seen reluctant to share militarily sensitive data

* Data from pilot's flight simulator deleted

* Possible sighting in the Maldives discounted


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KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Reuters) - Investigators probing the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 239 people on board believe it most likely flew into the southern Indian Ocean, a source close to the investigation said on Wednesday.

No wreckage has been found from Flight MH370, which vanished from air traffic control screens off Malaysia's east coast at 1:21 a.m. local time on March 8 (1721 GMT March 7), less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

An unprecedented search for the Boeing 777-200ER is under way involving 26 nations in two vast search "corridors": one arcing north overland from Laos towards the Caspian Sea, the other curving south across the Indian Ocean from west of Indonesia's Sumatra island to west of Australia.

"The working assumption is that it went south, and furthermore that it went to the southern end of that corridor," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The view is based on the lack of any evidence from countries along the northern corridor that the plane entered their airspace, and the failure to find any trace of wreckage in searches in the upper part of the southern corridor.

Some sources involved in the investigation have voiced fears it could be drifting towards deadlock due to the reluctance of countries in the region to share militarily sensitive radar data or allow full access to their territory.

"These are basically spy planes, that's what they were designed for," said one source close to the investigation, explaining the hesitance of some nations to allow maritime surveillance aircraft into their waters.

Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is in charge of the operation, told a news conference that: "The search for MH370 involves diplomatic, technical and logistical challenges."

NEVER FOUND?

China, which is leading the northern corridor search with Kazakhstan, said it had not yet found any sign of the aircraft crossing into its territory.

Malaysian and U.S. officials believe the aircraft was deliberately diverted perhaps thousands of miles off course, but an exhaustive background search of the passengers and crew aboard has not yielded anything that might explain why.

Last week, a source familiar with official U.S. assessments said it was thought most likely the plane flew south, where it presumably would have run out of fuel and crashed into the sea.

If it did indeed end up in the southern Indian Ocean, one of the remotest places on Earth and also one of the deepest seas, it increases the chance it may never be found - and investigators may never know for sure what happened on board.

Hishammuddin said the difficulty of searching such a huge expanse of ocean made the operation in the southern corridor "much more challenging".

Officials believe that someone with detailed knowledge of both the Boeing 777 and commercial aviation navigation switched off two vital datalinks: the ACARS system, which relays maintenance data back to the ground, and the transponder, which enables the plane to be seen by civilian radar.

The source close to the investigation said that it was thought "highly probable that ACARS was switched off prior to the final verbal message" received for the cockpit.

That message, an informal "all right, good night" radioed to Malaysian air traffic controllers to acknowledge their handover of the plane to Vietnamese airspace, was believed to have been spoken by the co-pilot, the airline said earlier this week.

Investigators piecing together patchy data from military radar and satellites believe that minutes later the plane turned sharply west, re-crossing the Malay Peninsula and following an established commercial route towards India.

After that, ephemeral pings picked up by one commercial satellite suggest the aircraft flew on for at least six hours. The data from the satellite placed the plane somewhere in one of the two corridors when the final signal was sent at 8:11 a.m.

Hishammuddin said the latest in a series of reported possible sightings of the plane, this time over the Maldives, had been investigated by police in the Indian Ocean island chain and determined to be untrue.

FLIGHT SIMULATOR DATA DELETED

The methodical shutdown of the communications systems, together with the fact that the plane appeared to be following a planned course after turning back, have been interpreted as suggesting strongly that foul play, rather than some kind of technical failure, was behind the disappearance.

Police have searched the homes of the 53-year-old pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. Among the items taken were a flight simulator Zaharie had built in his home.

Malaysia's police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, said an examination of the flight simulator showed its data log had been cleared on Feb. 3. "The experts are looking at what are the logs that have been cleared," he told the news conference.

U.S. government sources said intelligence agencies had extensively analysed people on the flight but came up with no connections to terrorism or possible criminal motives.

A senior U.S. official said he was "not aware of any stones left unturned". China has said there is no evidence that Chinese passengers, who made up over two-thirds of those on board, were involved in a hijack or act of sabotage.

Australia is leading the search of the southern part of the southern corridor, with assistance from the U.S. Navy.

It has shrunk its search field based on satellite tracking data and analysis of weather and currents, but it still covers an area of 600,000 sq km (230,000 sq miles), roughly the size of Spain and Portugal.

The U.S. Navy said it had switched mainly to using P-8A Poseidon and P-3 Orion aircraft to search for the missing plane instead of ships and helicopters.

"The maritime patrol aircraft are much more suited for this type of operation," said Navy Lieutenant David Levy, who is on board the USS Blue Ridge. "...It's just a much more efficient way to search." (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi, Siva Govindasamy, Michael Martina and Niluksi Koswanage in Kuala Lumpur, Andrea Shalal-Esa and Mark Hosenball in Washington, Jane Wardell in Sydney, Peter Apps in London, Daniel Bosley in Male and Shihar Aneez in Colombo; Writing by Alex Richardson; Editing by Nick Macfie)


What do you think happened the plane? Hijacked, possible terrorist motives? Crashed? Abducted by aliens? Also, is the insane amount of media coverage justified? And what does this say about airline safety, post-9/11?
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Old March 19th, 2014 (11:37 AM).
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isn't it pretty much proven that it was, in fact, hijacked?

It is really bizarre but I don't think it deserves the amount of coverage it's gotten. I imagine planes have disappeared like this before? (could be wrong)
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Old March 19th, 2014 (11:45 AM).
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Quote originally posted by maccrash:
isn't it pretty much proven that it was, in fact, hijacked?

It is really bizarre but I don't think it deserves the amount of coverage it's gotten. I imagine planes have disappeared like this before? (could be wrong)
Yeah I mean my local airport likes to play hide and seek every week. They send a plane in a random direction and it's up to everyone to team up and find the plane. Great fun!

I don't really hear about missing jets much... in fact I can't remember anything like this. I guess maybe it's getting more coverage than other incidents or something? But since it's 2014, and there's so many means of surveillance around the world compared to like, fifty years back, I imagine losing a jet is a very very rare occurrence indeed.

I think a wreckage in the sea isn't the case. It's possible they've landed on territory that isn't particularly well known? Maybe the pilots watched too much Lost.
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Old March 19th, 2014 (01:30 PM).
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I skimmed through the article you posted, and I don't think it was covered in there. But I saw on the BBC that the airline has refused to share the full cargo / passenger list, which is instantly suspicious.

There was also a theory on there that it had flown in the radar shadow of another plane on it's way to Spain, it disappeared around the same time it reached this "shadow," and used that to mask it's travel before finally ditching somewhere. Very unlikely I know, but an interesting possibility.

The coverage is justified imo. not just because such a large amount of people are missing, and not just because airport security is a globally important issue that we debate seemingly constantly. If the situation was kept on the low down what would that suggest?

When (if) we find out what happened here then obviously steps would have to be taken to try and prevent anything similar happening; but at the same time the public need to have their say. Imagine if a whole new set of security came in as a result in this, it'd be good for everyone to know as much as possible about the situation so they can give their input.
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Old March 19th, 2014 (02:07 PM).
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I think it was the pilots who did that. They must have been in on it. The airport wasn't very helpful, which is a little suspicious. I have no idea.
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Old March 19th, 2014 (05:10 PM).
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Given that such a large and extensive search has taken place, with no signs of the plane showing up at all yet, anything could have happened to it at this point. What I fear the most is that this will turn into another decades-long case, a la Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance back in 1975.
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Old March 19th, 2014 (06:20 PM).
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It's annoying to me that news stations are literally spending hours and hours of time on the airline case when there is, the last time I checked, more news out there. Yes, it's a massive mystery, and no one is giving or receiving the right information—but my God, there are other stories to focus on. What about the Keystone Pipeline? What about police brutality? What about stop and frisk? What about gender equality? What about marriage equality? What about abortion and birth control rights? Even Obamacare has been put on the back-burner for this.
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Old March 19th, 2014 (06:21 PM).
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I read an article a few days ago that suggests that the prime minister believes the pilots were political activists. (implying they may be involved)

The flight, from the little data they had seemed to also suggest the plane, headed toward Beijing, was a few hundred miles away from Vietnam (on path) going NE, and then suddenly turned the plane, heading somewhere to the West. Thus, implying the act was deliberate. (Hijackers or the pilots)

All I can guess is that, however this story concludes, someone, somewhere, will make it into a movie :/
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Old March 20th, 2014 (02:36 AM).
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Im baffled at the fact that passenger planes dont have some kind of tracking device that cant be turned off under any circumstances. I mean, wouldnt that make a lot of sense?? As for the missing plane, im pretty sure it has been hijacked. If there had been an accident they would have found some kind of evidence for it by now i guess, so if you eliminate paranormal alternatives, its the only logical thing
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Old March 20th, 2014 (08:04 AM).
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It's kind of understandable to why it may have been easy to lose track of the plane, what is NOT acceptable though is how ♥♥♥♥ing slow things like the pings and all that were to locate. Don't you think that if it were pinging a GPS unit that someone could go, hey! Flight M370 is, I don't know, PINGING a GPS unit. Seriously. Wtf.
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Old March 20th, 2014 (11:11 AM).
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One thing that the Danish news seems to focus on a lot is the fact that the communication systems were shut down one after the other with a few seconds in between. If the plane had simply exploded in mid-air, they would have lost connection simultaneously. Also, if the comm. systems get manually turned off, general procedure is to send out MAYDAY before you turn off the system. This seems to imply that the plane has been hijacked by the pilots as they are the only persons expected to know the procedures and the security systems.
Another possible thing is that a poisonous gas has been spread in the plane, killing the pilots and passengers without them even knowing it. But then the communication lines not turning off simultaneously seems weird.

not finding any traces of airplane parts in the ocean could also actually be due to the autopilot of the plane. The plane could have flown around for a few hours before running out of fuel, and who knows how far it could have gotten in those hours.

Still, the lack of radar- or sonar-registrations seems very suspicious. Some speculate that governments have to hide something from the general public.
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Old March 24th, 2014 (06:20 AM).
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BREAKING NEWS: "With deep sadness and regret I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight #MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean." -Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, PM of Malaysia.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/24/mh370-chinese-plane-spots-white-objects-live-updates

My deepest condolences to everyone affected... May the families of those in the flight find closure soon... ;;
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Old March 24th, 2014 (04:31 PM).
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This actually made me really upset. Condolences to all the families...
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Old March 24th, 2014 (04:38 PM).
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I saw this on the news while at lunch today and kind of snubbed my date to watch it. My heart just felt so heavy, and I'm truly sorry for those that have lost someone in this event.
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Old March 24th, 2014 (05:56 PM).
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I was suspecting this from day one, that the plane would have crashed. It's so saddening that my suspicion was finally confirmed true because it's likely everyone on board got killed. This is basically the fatal 2009 Air France disapperance version 2.0.
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Old March 24th, 2014 (08:34 PM).
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As terrible as it is to finally hear that the plane did indeed go down, after having been missing for so long it was honestly the most plausible ending scenario. Condolences to all the families. Hopefully, the crazy conspiracy theories will come to an end. At the vey least, it was somewhat nice to see so many governments in the world come together to try and help.
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Old March 25th, 2014 (12:53 AM).
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Well, I just hope they can retrieve the plane quicker that their estimation (years?) so we can have some answers as to what really happened. =/
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Old March 25th, 2014 (06:06 AM).
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Quote originally posted by destinedjagold:
Well, I just hope they can retrieve the plane quicker that their estimation (years?) so we can have some answers as to what really happened. =/
It took that French flight in 2009 several years to obtain the black box to find out anything so it will probably take a long time. I really don't get why flight companies don't upgrade their black boxes so that they float.
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Old March 25th, 2014 (12:36 PM).
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Quote originally posted by daigonite:
It took that French flight in 2009 several years to obtain the black box to find out anything so it will probably take a long time. I really don't get why flight companies don't upgrade their black boxes so that they float.
I'd guess they're made of a pretty dense material given they're supposed to survive fires and explosions and crashes and stuff. Maybe making them float isn't as easy as it sounds. *shrug*

Anyway - I was reading about this today and (probably because I'm in the UK) found a load of articles harping on about how a UK satellite company has managed to identify where the plane may have gone down. On one hand, great. On the other... I don't like how focused it was on who found the plane first. It's almost as if we've forgotten about everyone impacted and are now in a race to be able to say "OH LOOK AT ME I GOT THERE FIRST TEHEHE". Pretty disrespectful. :\
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Old March 25th, 2014 (05:02 PM).
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I'm actually really interested to hear about what happened to cause the crash. Surely things like this don't just happen out of the blue?
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