SEE ONGOING, TIMED AND DATED UPDATES BELOW – ALL IN ONE PLACE. At this moment jets and marine vessels are on the way to an area about 1500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia to check out two large pieces of something floating in the waters of the southern Indian Ocean, along with other smaller pieces, described by Shep Smith as a possible “debris field.” One object is said to be 78 feet long or wide (24 meters). The images were picked up by satellite. Fox News’ Catherine Herridge cautions that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot is keeping expectations low that the sighting will be identified as Malaysia Flight MH370. At this moment, it is 1:17 p.m. in Perth, Australia — daylight — that’s a good thing. See ongoing updates below the graphic.
UPDATE 10:57 a.m. CDT 3/24/14: In the 9 a.m. CDT news conference, the Malaysian Prime Minister spoke solemnly, saying new data (I believe from US and Australia), NEVER USED BEFORE, shows the plane was clearly in the southern Indian Ocean and that the flight ended there. He offered no news of the orange and green objects sighted were evidence of the flight going down in that area. He really offered nothing. Fox is reporting that he said there are no survivors. I didn’t hear that statement but the Prime Minister certainly seemed to be saying that.
Razak said during a news conference that he was briefed by the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch about data calculations conducted by British satellite company Inmarsat.
“Based on their new analysis … MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth,” Razak said. “This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived,” the airline said in a text message to the families, according to The Telegraph. Source: Fox News
The Prime Minister, Jajib Razak, is the man Captain Shah’s supposed-relative, Anwar Ibrahim, opposed. Ibrahim has been apart of the Malaysian government for years and has been imprisoned for charges of sodomy several times, largely believed to be politically-motivated by Razak.
Curiously, there are reports that families in China are being flown to Australia, and that an “emergency meeting between families and Malaysia Airlines” has taken place. See the link to Fox News above.
If there is no doubt that there are no survivors, why are families being taken to Australia. Perhaps because the sighted objects are believed to be from MH370?
UPDATE 8:08 a.m. CDT 3/34/14: Malaysia authorities say they are NOT investigating a call received by Shah from an untraceable SIM Card. They suggest the source might share the phone number with them. In other words, they say it’s a lie. This was a direct challenge to news.com.au (see the link below at the bottom of the quote.)
Also a Euronews report earlier this morning or perhaps nighttime in the U.S., shows a Malaysian authority saying “two orange objects, approximately 1 meter in length and one white-colored drum were sighted by search aircraft but have not been identified [inaudible] linked to MH370.” Somewhat contrary to this report, it seems to have now changed to one green or gray object, and one orange object, and one of them is “circular.” Fox is reporting four objects found and a news conference at 10 a.m. EDT today, about 45 minutes away.
Also, Malaysian authorities are saying they have not investigated Capt. Shah receiving a phone call from an untraceable SIM card. See below. Malaysia suggest the source (news.com.au) provide them with a phone number. Malaysia completely denies the report.
There is also a Chicago Tribune report that Capt. Shah DID NOT ATTEND Anwar Ibrahim’s court hearing the day before, or the day of the evening his red-eye flight to Beiijing departed.
After signing up to YouTube in January 2013, the man described by friends as a moderate Muslim watched clips on God and atheism and speeches by Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. He joined Anwar’s party the same month, and helped campaign for elections in May 2013 that were narrowly won by the ruling coalition and afterwards disputed by the opposition.
About six hours before Flight MH370 took off, Anwar was convicted and sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomy, a ruling widely condemned as politically motivated.
That has sparked speculation that Zaharie, perhaps enraged by the setback for his political idol, could have brought down the plane as a form of protest or out of despair.
But his passion to see Malaysia’s first change of government in 56 years was shared by millions in the country and the opposition is a democratic movement with no links to extremist groups. There is no evidence he attended Anwar’s trial, as some media reported. He still lived with his wife, despite other reports they were breaking up. Source: Chicago Tribune, March 18, 2014.
UPDATE 3:36 p.m. CDT 3/23/14: Today we are told that Captain Shah received a two minute phone call while in the cockpit, before heading out to Beiijing. The call was received from an untraceable SIM card. See that story here.
For two days there has no new information other than countries other than Australia’s satellites (actually a U.S. company), also finding debris in the south Indian Ocean (China, France). All of the sightings seem to be in the same areas but the tedious searches during daytime hours have found nothing. Each new satellite sighting brings new hope. With travel time from land-to-sea-to-land, the very sophisticated aircraft used in the searches, have only about three to four hours of search-time.
UPDATE 7:52 p.m. CDT 3/21/14: A 54 minute transcript of the dialogue between Captain Shah and co-pilot Hamid is now available, ending with the well-reported “All right, good night.” Two minutes after the good night, a transponder was disabled. A former British pilot [Buzdygan] said at this point where the transponder was disabled, “was the only time during the flight they would maybe not have been able to be seen from the ground.”
From the first sign-in at 12.36am local time, when the plane was on the ground in Kuala Lumpur, co-pilot Hamid gave regular and routine updates, alerting air traffic controllers to the plane’s location, ascent and altitude.
‘The communication up until the plane went to the changeover [to Vietnam] sounds totally normal,’ Mr Mr Buzdygan said. ‘I’ve done it hundreds of times. It is perfectly normal.’ Source: Daily Mail
UPDATE 6:22 p.m. CDT 3/21/14: Reports out today that highly flammable lithium-ion batteries were in the Cargo hold. Days ago Malaysia stated that there were no hazmat materials were aboard, but now it’s a different story. Isn’t it always.
According to US-based Federal Aviation Administration, lithium-ion batteries carried in the cargo or baggage have been responsible for more than 140 incidents between March 1991 and February 17 this year, it was reported by Malaysiakini.
Responding to a question at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Jauhari said: ‘We carried some lithium-ion small batteries, they are not big batteries and they are basically approved under the ICAO (The International Civil Aviation Organisation) under dangerous goods.
‘They (lithium-ion batteries) are not dangerous goods per se, but in terms (of) they are (being) declared as dangerous goods under ICAO.’
He insisted they were checked several times to ensure they complied with the guidelines.
‘Airlines do that all the time, it is not just Malaysia Airlines. These goods are being flown by many airlines as cargo anyway, (which) is based on ICAO’s ruling,’ he added.
When asked earlier this week if there was hazardous cargo on board, Mr Jauhari said no, adding that it was carrying ‘three to four tonnes of mangosteens’ [Mangos or the tree mangos are grown on]. Source: Daily Mail
UPDATE 1:57 p.m. CDT 3/21/14: The map directly above shows the possible routes MH370 may have taken. Our focus has shifted to the red arrow pointing south. Retired General Tom McInerney still stands by his belief that the plane landed, and probably in Pakistan, where you see the red arrow pointing upward. Indeed, the tracked-radar route (red dotted lines) points in that direction.
The focus turned to the Indian Ocean, 1500 miles off of Perth, Australia, after a private digital imaging company spied items on its satellite that could possible be MH370 wreckage and a debris field. That came many days after MH370 would have been out of fuel if it did not land. The debris could have come from miles away of the many possible entries into waters in the area.
The possibility that something happened to put to sleep everyone aboard, including pilots, and the air craft just kept going until it ran out of fuel (as happened when golfer Payne Stewart died), is reasonable, and if that happened by crashing into land, it would likely be known today, even if in a remote area. Satellites could surely pick-up such a scenario.
…investigators concluded that the probable cause was “incapacitation of the flight crewmembers as a result of their failure to receive supplemental oxygen following a loss of cabin pressurization, for undetermined reasons.” Source: New York Daily News
To repeat: The question remains, who reprogrammed the track the flight would take, before the co-pilot Hamid said “all right, good night.” If there was a fire aboard — another possibility that could make all the questions go away — why did the co-pilot not indicate in someway that there was trouble aboard? The answer from pundits is first a pilot “aviates, navigates and then communicates,” but that doesn’t hold water in this case. If the pilots were busy fighting a fire, they still communicated by uttering “all right, good night,” and so clearly could have “uttered” “Mayday” or “Pan Pan,” or “fire.” But still, the reprogramming of the flight path before making the turn and before saying “good night,” leaves a huge question that be answered.
If the flight was hijacked, a common sign-off with a knife at your neck would be the expected communication.
UPDATE 1:18 p.m. CDT 3/21/14: No sightings of MH370 during daylight areas in the Indian Ocean. Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is said to have made a “mysterious” phone call from the cockpit of MH370 before take-off. Authorities are working on finding who that call went out too, and the FBI has the Captain’s flight simulator in its possession, attempting to recover files deleted on February 3rd. The question remains, who reprogrammed the track the flight would take, before the co-pilot Hamid said “all right, goodnight” as he supposedly left Malaysian airspace, according to the family “maid.”
Reports earlier this week that Captain Shah’s family had moved out before he left on his journey are not true. They moved out after he disappeared to attempt to escape media scrutiny.
We also heard that Shah left his watch and ring behind with his wife, but that report is unconfirmed. What seems to be confirmed is that Paul Weeks, a New Zealand-born Australian did leave his watch and ring behind with what seems to be a premonition:
Weeks boarded the flight en route to a highly paid “dream job” with a mining company exploiting a boom in Mongolia, she said. But it seemed he had departed with a premonition.
Danica said he had left his watch and wedding ring behind, telling her to give the ring to the first son who marries and the watch to the second.
“I said, ‘don’t be stupid, come back, I’ll give them to you and you can give them to the children’,” she recalled. “It feels like an eternity with no finality to it.’’ Source: The Australian
UPDATE 11:21p.m. CDT 3/20/14: No news tonight, but I did just hear a guest on with Megyn Kelly say that a P-8 can see a beer can underwater. I doubt there will be much more until about 5 p.m. CDT tomorrow when dawn dawns.
UPDATE 6:01 p.m. CDT 3/21/14: It is 7:01 a.m. in Perth. The weather is stormy, visibility short, we are told but a U.S. Navy Lt. Commander is talking to Greta Van Susteran this minute and says they struggled with weather yesterday, but expect much better conditions today.
UPDATE 1:03 p.m. CDT 3/21/14: Sunrise in Perth today is at 6:20 a.m. Perth is 13 hours ahead of the Central Daylight timezone. It is 2:05 a.m. March 21st there this minute. I’m assuming search planes will be in the area as dawn breaks. About 4 (5 p.m.) hours from now CDT, we should be hearing live reporting, although there’s no telling where this ‘debris’ has floated off to by now, or from how far away it came, if it is MH370.
UPDATE 9:26 a.m. CDT 3/20/14: No real news this morning. The weather conditions are still poor. It’s dark now, and the search has been called off for the day.
1) a Norwegian car carrier is the first ship to reach the area. It is not known if they have had a sighting of debris
2) Four Australian aircraft covered a 23,000 square kilometre expanse of ocean about 2500km southwest of Perth before air searches were brought to a halt for the day. The search will resume this morning. This minute (9:35 a.m. CDT, 3/120/14) it is 10:35 p.m. in the area)
3) Authorities should know something definite on the possible discovery of the debris within “two or three days’’, Defence Minister David Johnston said.
UPDATE 12:34 a.m. CDT 3/20/14: An Australian air craft is on site, apparently keeping watch over the objects until other help arrives.
Michael Kay, former adviser to the UK defense ministry, says the search area does fall into the arc believed that the flight could have covered in the seven hours believed that it was in the air. He also says that if these floating objects are a part of Malaysia MH370, the flight would have been crossed over Indonesian airspace, yet that country has contributed nothing indicating any radar findings.
Jonathan Gilliam, a former FBI special agent and former navy seal confirms that there are massive amounts of garbage in the ocean, dumped from passing ships, but that this piece, if it is the size reported, could be significant.
According to Ken Christensen, an aviation consultant on with Shep Smith, an Australian P-3 Orion (aircraft) needs about another five hours to reach the search area, but Shep says there is one Orion on site, which arrived about 2:45 mins ago (this minute it is 12:17 a.m. 3/20/14). Note that I am not completely clear that it is an Australian aircraft on site, as what would it be doing in the air for another five hours, so there’s that.
According to Smith, the waters in this area is 3,000 meters deep or 9,842 feet according to my online converter.
Abbott said [speaking to is Parliament] an Australian Air Force Orion had been diverted to locate the objects and should arrive in the area shortly, with three more aircraft following for a more intensive follow-up search. He added that he had informed the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, of the developments.
But he warned against drawing any premature conclusions, adding: “We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370.” Source: The Guardian
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Orion is capable of maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, naval fleet support and search and rescue supply.
The planes each carry two pilots, two flight engineers, a tactical coordinator, a navigator, a sensor employment manager, and six airborne electronic analysts.
They are 35.6 metres long and 10.44 metres high, with a wingspan of 30.8 metres. They weigh 61,200kg and can travel up to 750 km/hr for up to 15 hours.
The aircraft are fitted with a variety of sensors, including digital multi-mode radar, electronic support measures, electro-optics detectors (infra-red and visual), magnetic anomaly detectors, identification friend or foe systems and acoustic detectors. Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Once again, this is speculation. A sign of hope, perhaps for the families, but nothing definite. On going updates as available.
Other Missing MH370 posts:
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