In the early hours of the morning of March 8th, 2014, 227 passengers and 12 crew members boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Of those 239 people, 154 were Chinese, 50 were Malaysian (including the crew members), seven were Indonesian, six were Australian, five were Indian, four were French, three were American, two were Ukrainian, two were New Zealanders, two were Canadian, and there was one Austrian, one Russian, one Italian, as well as a person from the Netherlands.
Unfortunately, none of those people have been heard from since little over an hour after takeoff. At approximately 1:30 AM local time communications with the plane and the transponder signal were lost and the plane all but disappeared. Soon thereafter, the search began.
As of March 17th, 2014, 26 countries have joined the search Flight 370 yielding little to no success. Malaysia, Australia, China, India, Japan, Russia, France, the U.S., Vietnam, and many others have been searching in an area that encompasses most of the Indian Ocean as well as many parts of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Theories of what happened to Flight 370 range from electronic malfunctions, to terrorist attacks.
Some experts theorize that perhaps the pilot slipped off the radar on purpose. It was thought that the pilot may have intentionally plotted a course that would lead the plane through terrain that would effectively conceal the plane from radar. The theory goes that the plane flew low to the ground—5,000 feet or less—through mountainous terrain and thus evaded radar detection. Why the pilot would do such a thing is a mystery and that question is perhaps the theory’s major flaw.
However, as with all frightening events, many people were quick to jump on the idea that terrorists had seized the plane and flew it off course. This is supported by the fact that two of the aforementioned passengers (the Austrian and the Italian) were actually from Iran and had possession of stolen passports. Though Interpol later investigated the two men (seemingly unassociated with one another) and deemed the possibility of terrorist involvement unlikely (both men seemed to be seeking foreign asylum), it should be noted how quickly our society was to believe terrorism was once again on the rise. One little hint of suspicion and uncertainty and millions scream terrorism and attack, even if both are illogical.
There are many, though, who believe that the plane did not disappeared but rather believe that the plane is no more. It was thought that the plane simply crashed into the ocean or maybe exploded in the air above empty waters. Both ideas, however, have proved to be inconclusive as no debris or oil (that would undoubtedly spilled from a sunken plane) has been found as of yet. The countries in charge of the search have even gone so far as seeking help from citizens by setting up websites that display satellite images of the watery areas it is suspected the plane may have crashed into. And while it is heartening to see so many people genuinely caring about the welfare of the passengers and their loved ones, the results are inconclusive.
And then, of course, there are the conspiracy theorists who claim the disappearance of Flight 370 was orchestrated by some of the governments who are members of the search party. These theorists point out that the mainstream media has concerned itself primarily with the flight and its disappearance, even though the news stations do little more than merely speculate as no conclusive evidence has been unveiled. These theorists claim that the disappearance is being used as nothing more than a distraction for people so that they will ignore the more severe ongoing problems of the world such as the Ukrainian/Crimean/Russian crisis which may very well lead to war and/or another Cold War with Russia.
Yet despite all these pessimistic and vague theories, perhaps the most disconcerting fact about this whole ordeal is the fact that all these superpowers are at such a complete loss in such a crisis. Such a force of nations united under a common cause has not been assembled in who-knows how long, and yet it can do nothing to solve the current dilemma. 26 of the world’s most powerful nations cannot, with all their combined resources, find one single airplane.
After all, that is the main issue here: where the plane is. It does not matter why it disappeared, it does not matter whodunit, it does not matter if this was an accident, an attack, or a conspiracy, what matters is that answers are found and that, hopefully, the passengers and crew members of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are found and safely returned to their loved ones.
Unfortunately, the sad fact of the matter is that valuable time is slipping by and the plane has yet to be located. If the plane did indeed explode, then what hope is there of finding evidence now? If the plane did indeed sink, then would we still be able to discover its whereabouts by now? If the plane was in fact hijacked, then does that not mean the perpetrators could very well be home free by now? And why have our leaders been unable to find any substantial evidence in such a long period of time?
If our leaders wish to maintain the faith we have in them, then they need to get their act together and prove to us that they can handle any situation that may come our way, including finding a missing airplane.
However, as of Monday March 24th, 2014, Malaysia Airlines have announced that the plane did indeed crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister of Malaysia said on Monday that,
“…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.”
So now it seems as though they are no longer searching for survivors but corpses.
However, the Prime Minister and his allies are still only speculating. This answer was simply the result of a much more intense process of elimination. They still do not have an exact location. They still do not have substantial evidence. And they still have no legitimate answers.
Whether or not the plane did indeed crash, it does appear to be as if 26 of the world’s most powerful nations have simply given up. Which deeply detriments the assurance of security and protection our leaders claim we have.
In the end this tragic even has evinced some of the incompetence of our leaders and of the technology which is meant to make our world safer and better. It is an extremely disconcerting and saddening matter which we can only hope shall never be repeated.
And we thought Waldo was difficult to find.
Note: Featured image source: The Guardian