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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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March 24, 2014 - 7:49 am

Families of those on board missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were told that everyone is believed to have perished as the plane went into the southern Indian Ocean.

“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, new analysis of satellite data suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean,” the airline sent in a text message to families before Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke this evening.

“On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time. We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We will continue to provide assistance and support to you, as we have done since MH370 first disappeared in the early hours of 8 March, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.”

Malaysia Airlines said “the ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain. Alongside the search for MH370, there is an intensive investigation, which we hope will also provide answers.”

Investigators do know that there was a sharp turn back over the Malaysian peninsula and sharp altitude changes after the ACARS datalink system and transponder were shut off. There was no mayday communication from the pilots, and the plane disappeared as it transferred from Malaysian to Vietnamese airspace. The final signoff was “All right, goodnight.”

Razak said in a late-night press conference today that he had been briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

“They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data,” the prime minister said. “…Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. 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, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Razak said more details would be forthcoming in a Tuesday press conference. Kuala Lumpur is 12 hours ahead of Washington, D.C.

“In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity. We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation,” he added.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: The families of the Chinese passengers on board MH370 released a joint statement charging the Malaysian government with making its statement “without any direct evidence that MH370 crashed in the south Indian ocean and no people survived.”

“From March 8 when they announced that MH370 lost contact to today, 18 days have passed during which the Malaysian government and military constantly tried to delay, deceive the passengers’ families and cheat the whole world,” the statement continues. “This shameless behaviour not only fooled and hurt the families of the 154 passengers but also misguided and delayed rescue actions, wasting a large quantity of human resources and materials and lost valuable time for the rescue effort. If the 154 passengers did lose their lives, Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian government and military are the real executioners who killed them. We the families of those on board submit our strongest protest against them. We will take every possible means to pursue the unforgivable crimes and responsibility of all three.”

Also see:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: A Certain Hijacking or a Riddle for the Ages? (Video)

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the most crucial issues involving the seemingly paradoxical disappearance of Flight MH370 is the possible motive. I believe it is without question a political act very much tied to internal Malaysian politics and longstanding ethnic animosities. < href="http://flight370motive.blogspot.com/">;
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the Malaysian government talking, the government
which kept secret the radar track of Flight 370 until it was
too late to launch an aircraft to intercept and follow it.

One can 'prove' any theory by creating an appropriate
scenario, ignoring contradictory evidence, and giving
totally unrealistic high probabilities to a set of low
probability hypothetical events.

The only two scenarios worth considering are a very clever,
totally insane pilot, or a State sponsored hijacking; The
lack of coverage of the second scenario by the LameStream
Media propaganda arms of the major nations gives it a
somewhat higher probability, but leaves open the question
of who/what could have been aboard the aircraft to make
such an effort worthwhile.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting.

If an electrical / battery fire DID occur and incapacitate the flight crew, it sure would have been nice had someone else in the plane been able to access the cockpit instead of pounding uselessly on a locked door (thanks to new anti-terrorism rules post 9-11).

I mean, can you imagine being on a plane you KNOW is heading in the wrong direction and can't do anything about it - then realizing it's getting lower and lower towards the ocean until it just hits?

Of course, that scenario is based upon the idea that the passengers were still alive and conscious as the plane went down...
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's all guesswork until a ship on the scene finds identifiable wreckage. A piece of debris spotted from a patrol aircraft is hardly definitive.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...the airline sent in a text message to families before Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke this evening."

A TEXT MESSAGE? That's how they notified the families?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
The battery fire scenario makes sense. The fire caused the pilots to turn back to make an emergency landing. The communications were knocked by the fire. The pilots were overcome by the smoke, passed out, presumably died. The plan continued on its way until it ran out of fuel on the reverse course.

The only question is way did take so long for anyone to analyze the satellite images.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Someone reprogrammed the flight path 12 minutes before it turned.

After it turned, the co-pilot or second pilot calmly told air traffic control good night.

Apparently just after that, someone disabled two communications systems within the cockpit.

Sounds obviously planned, and by one or both pilots.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
So there is a fire severe enough to disable communications equipment, the pilots, and presumably all pasengers who who might try to call or send messages from cell phones yet leaves the autopilot and the rest of the controls unharmed so the plane can fly for several more hours? Seems pretty implausible to me. Am I missing something?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Want to see what happens when a single lithium laptop battery burns inside the cabin of an airliner and the flight staff has to figure out what to do? Look at this official FAA lithium battery situation training video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS6KA_Si-m8

If -- and by now it's just one of many "ifs" -- the plane had on board a container full of lithium batteries destined for laptop computers and such, and if one of them went off, and if the batteries were in close proximity to each other and triggered an unstoppable fire, the simple answer is obvious: the plane crashed.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure it did, despite the complete lack of identified debris. And Israel just closed all its embassies because of an office worker strike.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
So opens a season of "What Happened To Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?" movies.

One will be the "brave pilot" who learns that an armed WMD (nuke or smallpox) is aboard and does the Noble Act of Self-Sacrifice of himself and the rest of the passengers and crew.

And for all we know, it may be spot-on.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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