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Ziarul online NYtimes.com
Data când s-a declanşat criza: 7 martie 2014
Art. 1, 7 martie 2014
Malaysia Airlines Loses Contact With Jet Carrying Over 200

HONG KONG — Malaysia Airlines announced Saturday morning that it had lost contact five
hours earlier with one of its flights, which was carrying at least 239 people to Beijing from Kuala
Lumpur, and had activated a search-and-rescue team.
The plane, a Boeing 777-200 operating as Flight MH370, took off at 12:41 a.m. Air traffic
control in Subang, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, lost contact with the plane almost two hours later,
at 2:40 a.m. The plane was scheduled to land at 6:30 a.m. in Beijing, but there was no further
word on its fate by early Saturday afternoon.
Vietnamese officials told local news media that the aircraft had never reached the air traffic
control region for Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, after the plane was supposed to have
passed over the ocean between northern Malaysia and southernmost Vietnam.
Malaysia Airlines said the flight had 227 passengers aboard, including two infants, and a crew of
12. Airline staff members have begun contacting the families of passengers and crew members.
―Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members,‖
the airline‘s statement said.
Photo

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The arrival board at Beijing Airport listed the Malaysia Airlines flight that lost contact with air
traffic controllers on Saturday. CreditMark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Chinese officials expressed immediate concern. ―We are extremely worried upon hearing this
news,‖ Qin Gang, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in a statement. ―We are
currently in contact with relevant parties and are doing what we can to understand and confirm
relevant circumstances.‖
He added that the Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia and the Chinese Embassy
in Vietnam had begun emergency procedures. If the flight was traveling in a straight line, it
would have been traveling north up the entire length of Vietnam and Vietnam‘s coastal waters.
VnExpress, an online newspaper in Vietnam, quoted Dinh La Thang, Vietnam‘s transportation
minister, as saying that the flight had not reached the so-called flight information region for Ho
Chi Minh City.
Chinese air traffic control authorities said the plane had not entered airspace that they control or
established communications with Chinese air traffic control, according to the state-owned China
Central Television. Malaysia Airlines said more than 150 Chinese and four Americans were
aboard the plane.

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In the terminal at Beijing International Airport
where Flight MH370 had been scheduled to
arrive, a woman burst into tears while on a
telephone.
Liu Meng, 26, said he had been at the airport
since shortly before the flight‘s scheduled
arrival time, waiting for his boss to return from
a business trip. The boss‘s relatives had been
calling Mr. Liu with questions, and, he said, he
had nothing to tell them.
A Malaysian man who gave only his surname,
Zhang, said he had been waiting at the airport
for two Malaysian friends on the flight, but the
airport authorities had told him only that the
flight had been delayed; he learned news of
the aircraft‘s disappearance from reading
about it online.
There have been two previous crashes of
Boeing 777s. Last July 6, an Asiana plane
came in too slow and at too low an altitude
and crash-landed at San Francisco
International Airport. Three people were killed
and several others suffered serious permanent
injuries. So far it does not appear that there
was a mechanical problem with that aircraft.
In January 2008, a British Airways 777 came in short of the runway at Heathrow in London.
Both engines failed. The problem was traced to icing in the fuel system. Nobody was killed.
Reporting was contributed by Chris Buckley from Hong Kong, Bree Feng and Amy Qin from
Beijing, and Matthew L. Wald from the United States.

Art. 2, 8 martie 2014
For Families of Missing on Airliner, Memories Mix With Fading Hope

A Canadian couple returning from vacation in Vietnam. An American who worked in Asia for
IBM. A group of Chinese calligraphers who had attended an exhibition in Malaysia.
All of them were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which remained unaccounted for on
Saturday, many hours after it should have landed at dawn in Beijing with 239 people on
board, most of them from China.
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By Saturday night, the families of the passengers had few answers about what happened and
dwindling hope that they would see their loved ones again.
One passenger was Philip Wood, 50, an IBM employee who was living in the Malaysian capital,
Kuala Lumpur, where the flight originated.

―We‘re all sticking together,‖ his father, Aubrey Wood, said from his home in Keller, Tex.
―What can you do? What can you say?‖

Philip Wood, who previously lived in Beijing, has two sons in Texas. He had followed in his
father‘s footsteps when he joined IBM, from which his father retired at the end of his career.
The State Department confirmed that there were three Americans on board. The two other
Americans listed on the flight manifest were Nicole Meng, 4, and Yan Zhang, 2. It was unclear
whether the children were traveling with parents from China or another country, living in the
United States when they were born, or traveling with American parents with dual citizenship.
The two Canadian citizens on the plane were Muktesh Mukherjee, 42, and Xiaomo Bai, 37, a
married couple who had left two young sons at home in Beijing while they vacationed in
Vietnam. Mr. Mukherjee worked in Beijing for Xcoal Energy & Resources.
The company‘s chief executive, Ernie Thrasher, called him ―a dear friend, colleague and member
of the Xcoal family.‖
The couple had ―two wonderful little boys,‖ said Matthew McConkey, a close friend of Mr.
Mukherjee, whom he had seen recently in Beijing.
―A big group of us went out,‖ said Mr. McConkey. ―He was just always happy. Life had been
good to him.‖
Mr. McConkey said he was relieved that their children were safe in Beijing, but he added, ―This
is just a nightmare.‖
The couple posted photos on social media last week from a resort on the coast of Vietnam. They
often shared photos of their children on Facebook — including one a month ago of the boys
making snow angels outside an apartment building called Central Park in Beijing.
A group of as many as 24 painters and calligraphers were returning from an exhibition and a
cultural exchange conference in Kuala Lumpur. The conference was dedicated to the ―Chinese
Dream‖ and intended to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China
and Malaysia.
The Sichuan provincial government said Zhang Jinquan, 72, a well-known calligrapher, was on
the plane, and the manifest listed Meng Gaosheng, 64, vice chairman of the China Calligraphic
Artists Association.
One of the younger members of the delegation was Maimaitijiang Abula, 35, an art teacher at a
college in Kashgar. A friend, Kuerbanjiang Saimaiti, described him as a talented oil painter who
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once confided that he wanted to spend ―a lifetime on painting well‖ and recently completed
advanced studies at an art academy in Beijing.
At the Kuala Lumpur airport, a grief-stricken relative of Chng Mei Ling screamed uncontrollably
as airline employees escorted him out of the terminal.
―Be truthful about this!‖ said Koon Chim Wa, the relative, whose booming voice echoed through
the cavernous terminal.
―They say they don‘t know where the plane is,‖ Mr. Koon said, his hands and body shaking. ―Is
this a joke?‖
His niece, Ms. Chng, a Malaysian engineer working at a company in Pennsylvania, was on her
way to the United States, via Beijing, Mr. Koon said.
In Beijing, Lu Jiang, 32, told The China Daily that her neighbor was on the list of passengers.
―I saw her name and the name of her husband and her 1-year-old baby on the missing
passenger‘s list,‖ Ms. Lu said. ―I never thought this would happen. God bless them.‖

Art. 3, 8 martie 2014
Passport Theft Adds to Mystery of Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Investigators trying to find out what happened to a Malaysia
Airlines jet that disappeared en route to Beijing on Saturday morning were examining the usual
causes of plane crashes: mechanical failure, pilot error, bad weather. But the discovery that two
of the passengers were carrying stolen passports also raised the unsettling possibility of foul
play.
By early Sunday morning, there was little to go on: no wreckage of the jet, a Boeing 777-200
with 239 people aboard, and other than oil slicks on the surface of the Gulf of Thailand that may
have been from a crash, no clue that an accident had even taken place. The airline said the plane,
which departed from Kuala Lumpur, had recently passed inspection, and Malaysia‘s deputy
minister of transport, Aziz bin Kaprawi, said the authorities had not received any distress signals
from the aircraft. The plane was flying at 35,000 feet with no reports of threatening weather
when it last made contact.
After officials in Rome and Vienna confirmed that the names of an Italian and an Austrian on the
manifest of the missing flight matched the names on two passports reported stolen in Thailand,
officials emphasized that the investigation was in its earliest stages and that they were
considering all possibilities, including terrorism.
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Sources:
Flightradar24.com, Malaysia Airlines
―We are not ruling out anything,‖ the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines, Ahmad Jauhari
Yahya, told reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia on Saturday night. ―As
far as we are concerned right now, it‘s just a report.‖
Using a system that looks for flashes around the world, the Pentagon reviewed preliminary
surveillance data from the area where the plane disappeared and saw no evidence of an
explosion, said an American government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity
because the subject matter is classified. A team of aviation experts led by the National
Transportation Safety Board was on its way to the area.
If all aboard were killed, it would be the deadliest commercial airline accident since Nov. 12,
2001, when an American Airlines Airbus crashed just after takeoff from Kennedy Airport en
route to the Dominican Republic.
A senior American intelligence official said law enforcement and intelligence agencies were
investigating the issue of the stolen passports. American authorities were scrutinizing the flight
manifest closely, the official said, noting that forged travel documents are also used routinely by
smugglers and illegal immigrants.
―At this time, we have not identified this as an act of terrorism,‖ said the official, who spoke on
the condition of anonymity Saturday because of the continuing inquiry. ―While the stolen
passports are interesting, they don‘t necessarily say to us that this was a terrorism act.‖
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Photo

Oil slicks on the surface of the Gulf of Thailand may have been from a crash.CreditAgence
France-Presse — Getty Images
A European counterterrorism official said the Italian man whose passport was stolen, Luigi
Maraldi, 37, called his parents from Thailand, where he is vacationing, after discovering that
someone by the same name was listed on the passenger manifest. The official, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity, said Mr. Maraldi reported the theft last August to the Italian police. The
official said the passport of the Austrian man, Christian Kozel, 30, who is currently in Austria,
was stolen about two years ago.
The European official said that he was surprised it had been possible to check in with stolen
passports at the Kuala Lumpur airport and that an alert should have popped up on the airline
agent‘s computer.
Operating as Flight MH370, the plane left Kuala Lumpur just after midnight, headed for Beijing.
Air traffic control in Subang, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, lost contact with the plane around 1:30
a.m. on Saturday, Malaysia‘s civil aviation department said.
China Central Television said that according to Chinese air traffic control officials, the aircraft
never entered Chinese airspace.
At a news conference in Beijing after the arrival of a team of employees to assist families of the
passengers in China, an official of Malaysia Airlines said the missing plane had no history of
malfunctions. ―It was last inspected 10 days ago, well before scheduled service,‖ said the
executive, Ignatius Ong. ―It was all in top condition.‖
Photo
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Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines, addressed the media as the
search for the plane continued. CreditSamsul Said/Reuters
When pressed about possible security lapses, he repeated several times that the airline had no
confirmation from the Malaysian authorities that passengers had boarded with stolen passports.
Malaysia, the United States and Vietnam dispatched ships and aircraft to the mouth of the Gulf
of Thailand on Saturday to join an intensive search, and the state-run Xinhua news agency said
China was sending a Coast Guard vessel and two naval ships. The Chinese Ministry of Transport
said a team of scuba divers who specialize in emergency rescues and recovery had been
assembled on Hainan, the southern island-province, to prepare to go on Sunday to the area where
the airliner may have gone down.
Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, said on Saturday
that a Vietnamese Navy AN26 aircraft had discovered oil on the surface of the water toward the
Vietnam side of the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand, east of the Malaysian Peninsula. The oil is
suspected to have come from the missing plane, he added.
But on Sunday, Malaysia‘s defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, added a confusing twist,
saying the plane might have gone down west of the Malaysian peninsula. ―We are looking at the
possibility of an aircraft air turnback,‖ he said without elaborating whether the plane might have
changed course for mechanical reasons or a hijacking, or why the authorities suspected the plane
might have reversed course.
Malaysia Airlines said the plane had 227 passengers aboard, including two toddlers, and an all-
Malaysian crew of 12. According to the manifest, the passengers included 154 citizens of China
or Taiwan, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and
three Americans, as well as two citizens each from Canada, New Zealand and Ukraine and one
each from Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia — although the true nationalities of the
passengers carrying the Austrian and Italian passports are still unknown.
Photo
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A distraught couple at the Beijing Capital International Airport wait for news about the missing
Malaysia Airlines flight. CreditKim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
The family of one of the Americans aboard the flight, Philip Wood, an IBM employee in Kuala
Lumpur, said they had little information beyond what had been reported in the news media.
―We‘re relying on our Lord,‖ Mr. Wood‘s father, Aubrey, said from his home in Keller, Tex.
―He‘s the one who carries the load.‖
The tickets to the holders of the stolen Austrian and Italian passports were sold by China
Southern Airlines, which has a code share agreement with Malaysia Airlines, according to China
Southern‘s account on Sina Weibo, the Chinese microblog platform. China Southern said it sold
five other tickets to the flight: to the Dutch passenger, the Ukrainians, and one Malaysian and
one Chinese passenger.
Arnold Barnett, a longtime Massachusetts Institute of Technology specialist in aviation safety
statistics, said that before the disappearance of the plane, Malaysia Airlines had suffered two
fatal crashes, in 1977 and 1995. Based on his estimate that Malaysia Airlines operates roughly
120,000 flights a year, he calculated that the airline‘s safety record was consistent with that of
airlines in other fairly prosperous, middle-income countries, but had not yet reached the better
safety record of airlines based in the world‘s richest countries.
Malaysia has not been targeted in terrorist attacks in recent decades, although the 1977 crash was
attributed to a hijacking. But some of the planning for the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States
was done in Malaysia, which has a relatively lax visa policy. The country is a major trading
nation and a natural meeting place for a variety of groups involved in illicit activities.
The plane‘s disappearance came at the end of the annual National People‘s Congress in Beijing,
and took place at a time of rising concern in China about terrorism. Mr. Ahmad Jauhari of
Malaysia Airlines said early on in a statement that there was speculation that the plane had
landed safely somewhere along the route to Beijing. But in a telephone interview before
reporting the sighting of the oil in the ocean, Mr. Lai expressed concern about the aircraft‘s fate.
―The possibility of an accident is high,‖ he said.
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Correction: March 14, 2014
An article on Sunday about the discovery that two passengers aboard a missing Malaysia
Airlines plane were carrying stolen passports contained several errors in some editions. Because
of an editing error, the article misstated the number of tickets China Southern Airlines said it
sold for the flight. In addition to those sold to the holders of the stolen passports, it sold five
tickets, not four. The article, using information from Malaysia Airlines, also misstated the time
that the plane disappeared from air traffic control systems in Subang, Malaysia. It was about
1:30 a.m., not 2:40 a.m. And in discussing Malaysia’s links to terrorism, the article misstated the
nationality of Riduan Isamuddin, the main planner of the bombings on the Indonesian island of
Bali in 2002. He is Indonesian, not Malaysian.
Thomas Fuller reported from Kuala Lumpur, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Reporting was
contributed by Keith Bradsher from Hong Kong; Chau Doan from Hanoi, Vietnam; Amy Qin
from Beijing; Chris Buckley from Hong Kong; Alison Smale from Berlin; Gaia Pianigiani from
Florence, Italy; Matthew L. Wald from Washington; and Emma G. Fitzsimmons from New
York. Bree Feng contributed research from Beijing.

Art. 4, 9 martie 2014
In the Details of Passengers’ Lives, Signs of Hope and Prosperity
BEIJING — It was one of his first trips abroad, maybe even the first. Wang Moheng was just shy
of his second birthday. His parents took him and two of his grandparents to the tropics of
Malaysia, with its sunshine and moist air and blue skies.
―They said to other parents at our day care center, ‗We‘re getting away from the bad air in
Beijing for a while,‘ ‖ said Xie Yongzhen, whose son has been a playmate of Moheng‘s.
Other families from the center had joined them on vacation, she said, but returned on different
flights. They bid farewell to Moheng‘s family in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, with the
words, ―See you in smoggy Beijing.‖
The family of five was among 239 passengers and crew members to have vanished with
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which left Kuala Lumpur early Saturday for Beijing but never
arrived. People from at least 13 countries were aboard the Boeing 777-200 jet, with the 153
Chinese passengers by far the most numerous. Of those from China, Moheng was the youngest.
The passengers bound for China represented a vivid cross-section of a nation in its fourth decade
of a dizzying economic transformation: artists and corporate salespeople, foreign businesspeople
and employees of technology firms. Many, like the Wang family, had been on holiday savoring
the turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of Southeast Asia, a popular destination for
Chinese.
There was a Canadian couple living in Beijing, the wife originally from China, returning from a
vacation in Vietnam they had taken without their two young sons, who were being watched by a
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grandmother at home. The plane also carried a few large groups, including more than 20 painters
and calligraphers who had been honored at an exhibition in Malaysia, and Chinese employees of
an American semiconductor company traveling to China with Malaysian colleagues for a work
meeting.
There were transients, people intending to just pass through Beijing. One was Paul Weeks, 39, a
New Zealand engineer living in Perth, Australia, with his wife and two sons, one born just last
year. He had been en route to Mongolia for an assignment with a mining and construction
company.
―I‘m taking it minute by minute,‖ his wife, Danica Weeks, told reporters in Perth. ―I can‘t think
beyond the minute. I‘ve got two young kids, and I have a 3-year-old asking, ‗When is Daddy
going to Skype?‘ ‖
Relatives and friends of many of the Chinese passengers waited all of Sunday in a hotel ballroom
in Beijing. Over and over, they asked Malaysia Airlines employees what had happened to their
loved ones, only to get the same answer: No one knows.
A manager at Malaysia Airlines, Ignatius Ong, told reporters that 93 airline employees had
arrived in Beijing to give assistance to the families. He said the airline would soon fly some of
the family members to Malaysia. Many of the relatives had no passports, and by Sunday evening,
they were filling out passport applications.
The frustration built. One man in the hotel showed a petition with more than 100 signatures to
reporters, saying they were from relatives and friends who demanded more information. ―We
have been pushed to the point of helplessness by Malaysia Airlines,‖ he said.
People dealt with their anxiety in different ways. Ms. Xie, who knew young Moheng from the
day care, said she was going to the Lama Temple in the city center to burn incense sticks and
pray for him and his family. ―Everyone is in deep shock and praying for a miracle,‖ she said.

Art. 5, 9 martie 2014
Search for Jet Compounds the Mystery
SEPANG, Malaysia — More than 48 hours after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished, the
mysteries over its fate have only multiplied.
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The Beijing-bound plane made no distress call, officials said, and the Malaysian authorities
suggested it might have even begun to turn back to Kuala Lumpur midflight before it
disappeared. Despite an intensive international search in the waters along its scheduled route,
there were no confirmed sightings of the plane‘s wreckage. And electronic booking records
showed that the two passengers who were traveling on stolen passports bought their tickets from
the same Thai travel agency.

The seeming security lapse, which Interpol publicly criticized, might have had nothing to do with
what happened to the jet and its 239 passengers and crew. Investigators said they were ruling
nothing out, including a catastrophic mechanical failure, pilot error, or both.
But by late Sunday, the lack of answers — or even many clues — to the plane‘s disappearance
added to the misery of family members left behind.
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THAILAND
South China
Sea
Sources: Flightradar24.com, Malaysia Airlines
With Malaysian officials refusing to release many details of their investigation and sometimes
presenting conflicting information, the families and friends of victims became increasingly
frustrated.
One woman in Beijing collapsed in tears Sunday night in the hotel ballroom where passengers‘
relatives were waiting for news. ―Why won‘t anyone tell us anything?‖ she wailed.
The many unknowns also frustrated international security experts attempting to determine
whether security breaches might have led to tragedy.
Ronald K. Noble, the secretary general of the International Criminal Police Organization, or
Interpol, said, ―It is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international
flight using a stolen passport listed in Interpol‘s databases.‖
―This is a situation we had hoped never to see,‖ he said, adding that too few countries
systematically screen travelers with Interpol‘s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database set up
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after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. ―For years, Interpol has asked, ‗Why should
countries wait for a tragedy to put prudent security measures in place at borders and boarding
gates?‘ ‖
A senior American law enforcement official, who has received classified briefings on the global
investigation, said that the authorities had not ruled out terrorism in the plane‘s disappearance,
but that there had been no public claims of responsibility or electronic intercepts of extremists
discussing details of any bombing or attack.
―We‘re not seeing or hearing anyone claiming anything about this,‖ the official said.
By early Monday, the search effort had yet to confirm where the plane might have gone down,
even as military aircraft and a flotilla of ships from a half-dozen nations, including China,
Malaysia, Vietnam and the United States, searched the waters south of Vietnam.
On Sunday, Vietnamese media reported that rescuers had found a yellow object they thought
might be part of the aircraft. But the news media later said it turned out to be a coral reef.
Photo

A member of the military looked out of a helicopter during a search-and-rescue mission off the
Tho Chu Islands of Vietnam on Monday. CreditAthit Perawongmetha/Reuters
Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the Malaysian civil aviation chief, said samples from an oil slick
discovered in the waters had been collected and were being tested to determine if they had come
from the plane.
The flight left the international airport in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, at 12:41 a.m. on
Saturday and vanished less than an hour later as it appeared to be cruising at 35,000 feet in calm
weather. More details emerged Sunday about the two passengers listed on the manifest using
names from an Austrian and an Italian passport reported stolen in Thailand, one in 2012 and the
other in 2013. According to electronic booking records, each man bought a one-way ticket on
Thursday from a travel agency in a shopping mall in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya. A woman
who answered the phone at the agency said she was too busy to talk.
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Both men were scheduled to pass through Beijing and continue to Amsterdam before traveling to
different cities, Frankfurt and Copenhagen, according to the records.
The senior American law enforcement official confirmed Sunday that Thai officials were
investigating a ―passport ring‖ operating on the resort island of Phuket, where both passports
were stolen.
Although the official said identifying the two passengers is a top priority for investigators, he
noted that false documents were also routinely used in the region by drug smugglers.
Security experts in Asia differed on the significance of the two stolen passports.
Xu Ke, a lecturer at the Zhejiang Police College in eastern China who studies aviation safety and
hijackings, said the two men might have been illegal migrants. ―There are many cases of falsified
and counterfeit passports and visas for illegal migration that our public security comes across,
even several cases every day,‖ he said.
But Steve Vickers, the chief executive of a Hong Kong-based security consulting company that
specializes in risk mitigation and corporate intelligence in Asia, said the presence of at least two
travelers with stolen passports aboard a single jet was rare.
―It is fairly unusual to have more than one person flying on a flight with a stolen passport,‖ said
Mr. Vickers, who publicly warned a month ago that stolen airport passes and other identity
documents in Asia merited a crackdown. ―The future of this investigation lies in who really
checked in.‖
Mr. Azharuddin said investigators were reviewing video footage of the passengers in question.
Malaysian officials also said five ticketed passengers failed to board the flight but said that their
luggage was removed from the plane before it took off.
Vahid Motevalli, an aviation expert at Tennessee Tech University, in Cookeville, said that since
the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, verifying the identity of
passengers had become fundamental.
The Interpol database of stolen passports is considered crucial because it would otherwise be
difficult for airline agents to spot well-altered passports.
As they tried to deflect questions about seemingly lax security, Malaysian officials emphasized
that their priority was locating the aircraft. They said they had reviewed military radar records
and raised the possibility that the aircraft had tried to turn back just before contact with ground
controllers was lost.
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In Beijing, relatives of Chinese passengers waited on Sunday to get passport applications
processed in order to get visas to enter Malaysia.CreditAlexander F. Yuan/Associated Press
Gen. Rodzali Daud, the commander of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, said that the authorities
were ―baffled‖ by the lack of any distress signals from the aircraft and that a closer look at
military radar might have indicated a deviation from the flight path.
But Mikael Robertsson, the co-chairman of Flightradar24, a Stockholm-based service that tracks
the majority of the world‘s passenger jets, said data gathered by separate civilian receivers in the
region did not appear to show the jet turning around.
For now, such conflicting reports seemed to increase tensions.
Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia was quoted saying in the newspaper The Star, that
Malaysia would ―review all security protocols and, if needed, we will enhance them.‖
But Wang Yi, China‘s foreign minister, appeared to flash impatience Sunday in a phone call
reported on the ministry‘s website.
―The Malaysia Airlines flight has been missing for close to 40 hours,‖ he was quoted as telling
his Malaysian counterpart. ―The Chinese government is treating this very seriously.‖ He asked
that Malaysia ―constantly‖ provide updates on the situation.
As of Monday morning, Malaysia Airlines had not eliminated MH370 from its list of regularly
scheduled flight numbers. The airline is still selling tickets on its website for a flight with the
same number to Beijing on Wednesday morning, departure 12:35 a.m., scheduled arrival 6:30
a.m.

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Art. 6, 10 martie 2014
Search Area

Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur International Airport just after midnight on Saturday. Malaysian
authorities announced Monday that they were expanding the search zones.

Art. 7, 10 martie 2014
Managing the Discussion of the Missing Malaysian Jet
As frustration and anger deepened in China over the unexplained disappearance of Malaysia
Airlines Flight 370 with 239, mostly Chinese, people on board, the Chinese government sought
on Monday to balance a swirl of imperatives:
• Securing answers from Malaysia while deleting speculative social media comments in China;
• Trying to tamp down public exasperation at perceptions of a lack of information, even security
lapses, by the Malaysian authorities;
• Avoiding an eruption of anger toward ethnic Uighurs, whom some ethnic Han are accusing,
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without evidence, of a terrorist act;
• Ensuring that a tragedy that has shaken so many Chinese does not disrupt the National People‘s
Congress, now holding its annual meeting in Beijing.

In what seemed an illustration of that delicate act, People‘s Daily, the ruling Communist Party‘s
flagship newspaper, did not run an article expressly about the missing aircraft on its front page
on Monday, instead mentioning it in passing in an item about a telephone call between President
Xi Jinping and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

According to the newspaper, Mr. Xi noted in the call that he was looking forward to his visit to
Germany at the end of this month, and Ms. Merkel expressed condolences for the lost airliner.
Also mentioned: optimism over a strategic partnership between China and Germany, and wishes
to solve peacefully the political crisis in Ukraine.
Yet the missing airliner has dominated social media and private conversations in China, in an
atmosphere both sad and on edge. The plane disappeared on Saturday, exactly one week after an
attack in the Kunming train station by what the government said were terrorists from Xinjiang,
the far western region that is home to ethnic Uighurs. Uighurs are a mostly Muslim, Turkic-
speaking people, and the 29 people killed in the attack on March 1, were mostly, if not all, Han,
the dominant Chinese ethnic group.
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Apparently reflecting the government‘s desire to play down ethnic tensions, on Saturday, CCTV,
the Chinese state broadcaster, issued a passenger list from the Malaysian airliner on which the
name of the only Uighur on the flight was blacked out. That backfired, fueling wild speculation
of a terrorist attack.
On Sunday, a commentary in the China Youth Daily newspaper warned that the lack of
authoritative information about the plane was breeding wild rumors. ―At the time of filing, over
the past 20 or more hours, the Internet has been utterly chaotic with claims about the position and
state of the airplane,‖ it said.
The Uighur turned out to be Maimaitijiang Abula, a painter and art teacher from the city of
Kashgar. The family had been living in Beijing for the past two years while Mr. Abula, 35,
studied at the Chinese Academy of Oil Painting. He was traveling in a group of more than 20
Chinese calligraphers and painters honored at an exhibition at the Malaysian Oriental Arts
Center in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.
CCTV then announced on Monday morning that President Obama had spoken with President Xi,
offering condolences over the missing airliner and expressing his grief for the victims of the
Kunming attack.
Some articles in the Chinese state media had lambasted American news media last week over
what they said was a reluctance to label the attack in Kunming as terrorism. The State
Department did so on Monday last week.
Here‘s the full text of the CCTV report:
Xi Jinping telephoned today with Obama and said he was looking forward to meeting him before
too long and welcoming Michelle to China. Obama expressed his condolences for the Malaysia
Airlines incident. Obama also expressed his grief for the victims of the Kunming terror attack.
Meanwhile, official impatience in China was clear. ―At present, the most pressing and important
task remains search and rescue,‖ said Guo Shaochun, a deputy head of the consular division of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, part of a team of officials heading to Malaysia on Monday to
help the search and to press the Malaysian government for more information, state
media reported.

20

―We will urge the Malaysian side, as well as the search and rescue forces of all countries present,
to intensify efforts together with Chinese vessels and airplanes, and to strengthen coordination,‖
Mr. Guo said. ―We can never give up while there is a glimmer of hope. We will cooperate with
Malaysia and other countries to investigate this incident and bring the truth to light as quickly as
possible.‖
China has historically regarded Southeast Asian nations as less efficient than itself, and
comments in the nonparty press, which have played up the mystery on front pages, reflected that:
―Malaysia and Vietnam are relatively backward countries, without professional search and
rescue teams,‖ The Beijing Times wrote on Monday.
It quoted Chinese analysts: ―The teams they have cobbled together are nonprofessional, and their
search and rescue capabilities are very poor.‖
Still, The Beijing Times and other newspapers remained cautious about suggestions that the
plane may have been brought down by foul play.
The discovery that two passengers were traveling on false passports showed alarming
shortcomings in Malaysia Airlines‘ security, said a commentary in Monday‘s Global Times.
―As the carrier, the Malaysian side has inescapable responsibility,‖ the newspaper said. ―Even
yesterday, Malaysia was incapable of ensuring accurate information about the passengers on
21

board, and Malaysia‘s tracking of the plane‘s situation and its initial response were clearly not
prompt or swift enough.‖
―The loss of the Malaysia Airlines flight has triggered unprecedented attention in China, even no
less than previous domestic aviation accidents in China,‖ it continued. ―Chinese society is no
longer in the era when it was poor and blank, and life is no longer treated as worthless. We want
food safety and air and water safety, and transport safety must also be ensured.‖
But as Monday proceeded, Chinese could only wait.
Chris Buckley contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

Comments:
 Robert Nguyen
Valley Center 18 March 2014
We all know that "Chinese is more advanced in search and rescue operation than
Vietnam and Malaysia", and second only to their bully-capability - however, in this
situation its best for the government in Beijing to shut up and let the people on the
ground do their works...
 SCOsprey
South Carolina 18 March 2014
And so, China continues its "charm offensive"' toward some of its Southeast Asian
neighbors. Nice. LOL


Art. 8, 10 martie 2014
6 Q’s About the News | Airplane Goes Missing in Malaysia
22


In “Passport Theft Adds to Mystery of Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet,”Thomas Fuller and Eric
Schmitt write about a Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared en-route to Beijing on Saturday
morning. In “Search for Jet Yielding Only More Mystery,” Thomas Fuller writes about the
subsequent search efforts.
Note: The following questions require reading both of the above articles to answer.
WHAT were the first steps investigators took regarding flight number MH370?
WHAT discovery raised the possibility of foul play?
HOW many people were reportedly on board the plane?
WHERE did the plane depart from?
WHAT agency has criticized a ―seeming security lapse‖?
WHO is Aziz bin Kaprawi?
HOW is the Pentagon involved?
HOW much information about the investigation had Malaysian officials released by Sunday
night?
23

WHY do investigators believe the missing passports may indicate terrorism?
WHEN did the two passports go missing?
WHEN did air traffic control lose contact with the plane?

For Higher-Order Thinking
WHAT conflicting information seems to have raised tensions among the public?
HOW do you think you would handle the responsibility of communicating information in such
an emotional climate, if you were a spokesperson for the airline or the Malaysian
government?WHY?



Art. 9, 10 martie 2014
As Malaysia Expands Search Area for Missing J et, Wide Speculation Over I ts Fate
WASHINGTON — Watching a seat-back display with a plane-shaped icon gliding across the
map, it is easy to forget that in true scale, the airplane is very small and the route very large. As
the hours and days drag by with no trace of the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared over the
Gulf of Thailand early Saturday, the world is getting a reminder that if something goes wrong on
a jet five miles up in the sky, traveling at 10 miles a minute, it can cover a lot of ground — or
water — before it comes down to earth.
So far there is only speculation about what happened to the missing flight, which was headed to
Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. But Arnie Reiner, a retired captain with US Airways and the former
chief accident investigator at Pan Am, noted, ―If they somehow got turned around or went off
course when the thing was going down, it could be 90 or 100 miles away from where the flight
data disappeared.‖
It is not yet known whether the Malaysian plane deviated from its planned flight path, or how
long the pilots could still fly the aircraft after the last reported contact. Assuming that the plane
remained in powered flight or a controlled glide, the potential search area would have to be wide
and long, covering thousands of square miles. After more than two days of fruitless search,
Malaysian officials expanded the search area on Monday.
24


Sources: Malaysia‘s Department of Civil Aviation (search areas); flightradar24.com (flight path);
Malaysia Airlines; GEBCO (water depth)
The rule of thumb for a crew planning a normal descent to an airport is to allow three miles of
distance for every thousand feet of altitude. So a jetliner at 30,000 feet that cut its engines to idle
would fly another 90 miles or so before reaching a runway near sea level.
Not all planes that go down at sea prove difficult to locate. When Egyptair Flight 990 crashed 60
miles from Nantucket Island on Oct. 31, 1999, investigators quickly concluded that the aircraft, a
Boeing 767, had followed a straight track, and Navy searchers picked up signals from the
―pingers‖ on the aircraft‘s black box data recorders the next day.
But extended searches are sometimes needed. When Air France Flight 447 vanished over the
Atlantic in June 2009, it took five days to find any wreckage, and almost two years to find the
black boxes. Similarly, the cockpit data recorder from a South African Airways Boeing 747 that
went down in November 1987 was not located until January 1989. It revealed that the plane
crashed because of a fire onboard, not because of an act of terrorism, so no further search was
conducted for the flight data recorder, the other black box.
Another rule of thumb for pilots may shed light on why no distress signal was heard from the
Malaysia Airlines flight. Pilots have a mantra for setting priorities in an emergency: Aviate,
navigate, communicate. The first priority is to fly the airplane. Telling air traffic controllers on
the ground what is going on comes third, since doing so is unlikely to instantly yield any help
with the crisis in the cockpit, whatever it is.
25

Although officials have not ruled out terrorism in the Malaysia Airlines case, no evidence of foul
play has come to light. No group has claimed responsibility for downing the jet either, though as
Captain Reiner noted concerning the 747 that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988,
―when Qaddafi‘s guys blew up Pan Am 103, they weren‘t talking about it.‖
The mystery will probably not be solved until the wreckage, and especially the black boxes, are
found and recovered. The wreckage alone could yield important clues, including whether the
plane broke up in flight, suffered an explosion or had a mechanical failure. In most crashes,
definitive findings on these questions take months or even years to establish.
A team of American experts from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal
Aviation Administration and Boeing has been sent to the area and is waiting for something
concrete to go on. The team members ―stand ready to assist in any way they can,‖ said Kelly
Nantel, a spokeswoman for the safety board in Washington.

Comments:
 Robin March 11, 2014 · 12:12 pm
I know this will sound like a plot from a movie or book but maybe the plan was stolen.
It’s not lost at sea but at a hidden or unknown airstrip being outfitted for a more lethal
purpose than transporting passengers. Were the pilots above reproach or threatened?
Were there any passengers on board who were capable of flying a 777? Could they
have dropped below radar and made it to land and be currently hidden under camo
tarps…..?
 CD March 13, 2014 · 8:13 pm
here’s another idea….perhaps the airplane slowly lost pressurization.
At the altitude they were flying everyone would eventually pass out… assuming the
plane was on autopilot it should have gone straight on until it ran out of fuel.
If not on autopilot, the plane would simply fly on its own with no one at the controls… it
could have flown for hours in the wrong direction. Everyone on board would have long
died from lack of oxygen and the plane finally crashed somewhere yet undiscovered…I
have been on commercial planes throughout Asia…there are vast, vast areas of ocean
and land where no one is present….we may never find it.
As I recall this is the same kind of thing that killed the golfer, Payne Stewart.
I think the 777 (and all high altitude aircraft) have a cabin pressurization warning
system…perhaps it wasn’t working?? also, I remember the 777 in question had its wing
rebuilt because the tip hit another aircraft while on the ground a year ago or
something??…maybe there was a structural crack that caused a leak?? anyway, its just
an idea….thought I would share it.
my thoughts are with the families…it is truly tragic.

26

 Anthony March 24, 2014 · 4:56 pm
theres is a possibility that the plane was stolen. It could have also crashed into the
ocean. There are many different possibility’s of what could have happend.


Art. 10, 10 martie 2014
Use of Stolen Passports on Missing J et Highlights Security Flaw
WASHINGTON — As an armada of ships, planes and helicopters combed the waters south of
Vietnam on Monday for any sign of a missing Malaysian airliner, aviation safety experts said the
discovery that two passengers aboard the plane were traveling on stolen passports has revealed a
major gap in airline security procedures developed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Interpol created a database of stolen and lost passports in 2002 that has grown to more than 40
million documents available for governments to screen for terrorists, smugglers or swindlers who
travel the world illicitly. But according to the international law enforcement agency, only three
countries — the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates — systematically screen
travelers against the agency‘s database of stolen passports.
The two men with stolen passports who boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing over the weekend did not have their passports screened. And last
year, Interpol said, passengers around the world were able to board planes more than a billion
times without having their passports checked against the database.
―If Malaysia Airlines and all airlines worldwide were able to check the passport details of
prospective passengers against Interpol‘s database, then we would not have to speculate whether
stolen passports were used by terrorists to board MH 370,‖ Ronald K. Noble, Interpol‘s secretary
general, said in a statement on Sunday, referring to the Malaysia Airlines flight. ―We would
know that stolen passports were not used by any of the passengers to board that flight.‖
Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials said Monday that the stolen passports might not
have had anything to do with what happened to the jet. Still, they said, the episode had cast a
spotlight on a flaw in security defenses built over the past decade to counter illicit travel and
illegal trafficking of people, drugs and other contraband.
Renewed focus on the critical database, which has apparently gone underutilized, came on a day
when the search for the missing jetliner and its 239 passengers and crew members was set back
by a number of false leads that seemed to underline how little investigators knew about the
location of the plane, which vanished on Saturday. Malaysian officials said late on Monday that
they were expanding the search to a much wider area, including waters north of the Indonesian
island of Sumatra, hundreds of miles from the aircraft‘s last reported position.
One of the many vexing mysteries of the plane‘s disappearance was the hunt for the true identity
of the two passengers who used passports stolen from European tourists in Thailand in the past
27

two years. A senior American law enforcement official said Sunday that Thai officials were
investigating a so-called passport ring operating on the resort island of Phuket, where both
passports were stolen and where, he noted, false documents were routinely used by drug
smugglers.

Comments:
 American in Asia
New York 11 March 2014
By and large, Asian airport personnel are extremely careful, and by law, obliged to
check passport validity at check in, security, immigration exit and prior to boarding....it is
inconceivable and outright criminal that Malaysian Immigration did not verify with
Interpol's data base of 40 million stolen passports, that the 2 passports were indeed not
owned by those who presented them.
 michjas
Phoenix 11 March 2014
More than 90% of fatal airline crashes since 2000 were caused by mechanical failure,
pilot failure, or weather. Less than 10% were caused by sabotage. The article suggests
that boarding most planes with stolen passports is pretty much routine. Based on all
this, it seems to me that it's way too early to assume that terrorism was involved here.
 polymath
British Columbia 11 March 2014
I'd really like to know why the people entrusted with guarding our security never realize
a serious security lapse until a tragedy brings it to everyone's attention.

Is it truly the case that there are no competent guardians of our security? I don't believe
this. But we need to be much more thorough in finding and hiring them.
 mhoney42
fresno. ca. 11 March 2014
They can't check the passports, yet every single e-mail to their mother is recorded in
some warehouse, billions of bits of useless data, but not one human just looking at the
situation before them in reality. Nothing has changed since 9/11 except for the fact that
all the useless data is scrupulously listened to by machines and kept in warehouses for
future reference. That is what is wrong with NSA spying - it does not catch the criminals,
who are making obvious moves on the ground, not in computers.

28

 Sir Chasm
Rio de Janeiro 11 March 2014
They confiscate my Swiss Army knife with its 3-inch blade, yet they won't check
passports against Interpol's database??
 A
Bangkok 11 March 2014
Some comments express dismay that more countries don't screen passports through
the Interpol database. That only three countries in the world do so suggests that the
cost and time delay would be considerable. There are 40 million passports (and
growing) in the database so you would need very efficient data processing machines at
each check-in terminal or immigration counter. Think about the logistics of setting that
up and maintaining it at every international airport around the world. Non-starter, I'm
afraid.
 Steen
Mother Earth 11 March 2014
It goes to show that we don't need more security, we need better security. The airport
security's frisking is worthless if you don't know who you are frisking. The 9/11 attack
was partially blamed on non-communication between all the different intelligence
agencies in the US. The information was already available, but politics and agency
rivalries got in the way.
"What we have here is a problem to communicate!"
 billappl
Manhattan 11 March 2014
Only three countries - the U.S., U.K. and United Arab Emirates - bother to check the
database of stolen passports at airport check-in counters? Who would ever again want
to fly out of Paris, say, or Tokyo or Sydney until this gets fixed? You’d never know who
was being let on the plane with you. Unbelievable. Heads ought to roll for this.
 Thiago
austria 11 March 2014
According to Anti-Terrorist organizations it is very unlikely that the disappearance of the
aircraft was an act of terror, since this specific route was already very often used for
illegal migration. Therefore the stolen passports more likely were used as means to
enter China. Although I totally agree that more countries (if not all countries) should be
able to check passports against Interpol's database, I do not think that the two stolen
passports should be the main focus of the whole story!
People trying to seek asylum with a false passport is something that sadly happens
quite often. What does not happen so often is that an airplane disappears. So in my
opinion focusing on the question how an whole airplane can seemingly disappear is
29

more important than finding out how two people with stolen passports manage to slip
through security!
 Phill
California 11 March 2014
Why does Malaysia bother putting passengers through exit controls if they're not
checking whether or not the passports are legitimate? If one of the purposes is to
prevent fugitives from fleeing the country then they should be concerned about the
validity of the passports that the passengers are carrying. It's simply unacceptable that
so many countries are not using this critical tool for preventing alien smuggling, drug
trafficking and terrorism. In the case of Malaysia, they've already got the physical
infrastructure to do so, they just need to do it.
 Thomas D. Dial
Salt Lake City, UT 11 March 2014
The one billion number refers to the number of boardings with passports not checked
against the Interpol database, not the number boardings with stolen passports.

To do about 1 Billion annual checks against 40 million or so records, a passport
validation system would need a small to medium size database and would be required
to respond at a rate in the neighborhood of 60 - 120 requests a second, allowing for a
peak rate about 4 times the average. It is well within the capability of current database
and communication technology to provide a response time in the neighborhood of 5
seconds anyplace on Earth.

Art. 11, 10 martie 2014
False Leads Set Back Search for Malaysian J et
SEPANG, Malaysia — The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 deepened on Monday
when a sweeping search failed to find any sign of the jetliner near its last known location,
leaving experts to puzzle over how a Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard could have vanished
without a trace.
The search was set back by a number of false leads that seemed to underline how little
investigators have been able to pin down about the progress of the flight.
With so little concrete to go on so far, aviation experts explored a number of plausible scenarios
to explain the loss of the plane, and investigators said they could not yet conclusively rule out
almost any potential cause, including terrorism, hijacking, crew malfeasance, pilot error or
mechanical failure.
30


An object bobbing in the Gulf of Thailand that from a distance looked like a life raft turned out
to be the lid of a large box, Vietnamese authorities said. An oil slick in Malaysian waters was
found not to contain any jet fuel. And what was initially thought to be an aircraft tail floating in
the sea was actually ―logs tied together,‖ according to a Malaysian official.
31

Photo

A Vietnamese military helicopter on Monday flew over the Gulf of Thailand. Planes and copters
from nine nations are scouring the waters near a Malaysia Airlines flight‘s last reported location.
Credit Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters
The total lack of results so far raised questions about whether the ships, planes and helicopters
from nine nations that are scouring the waters near the aircraft‘s last reported location, some of
them using highly sophisticated equipment, were looking in the right place.
Arnie Reiner, a retired airline captain and the director of flight safety at Pan Am, noted, ―If they
somehow got turned around or went off course when the thing was going down, it could be 90 or
100 miles away from where the flight data disappeared.‖
It is not yet known whether the Malaysian plane deviated from its planned flight path, or how
long the pilots could still fly the aircraft after the last reported contact. After more than two days
of fruitless search, Malaysian officials said on Monday that they were expanding the search area.
This much seemed clear: the aircraft took off from Kuala Lumpur after midnight Saturday bound
for Beijing, and lost contact with ground controllers when it was over the Gulf of Thailand,
making its way toward Vietnamese airspace in good weather under a moonless sky. The airline
said there was no distress call.
Transponders on commercial airliners automatically report their location, altitude, speed and
other data by radio. The last two readings from the devices on Flight MH370 were recorded at
1:21 a.m. local time, some 40 minutes after takeoff, and they did not include altitude, according
to Mikael Robertsson of Flightradar24, the Stockholm-based organization that tracks aircraft
around the world. Mr. Robertsson said that might be coincidence: readings are often incomplete
because of transient interference from other aircraft.

32

The New York Times
Sources: Malaysia‘s Department of Civil Aviation (search areas); flightradar24.com (flight path);
Malaysia Airlines; GEBCO (water depth)
Boeing officials and investigators from the United States National Transportation Safety Board
began conferring with Malaysian officials about the Flight MH370 mystery on Monday,
American and Malaysian officials said. The F.B.I. has also offered to send agents and forensic
specialists to Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, but so far those countries have declined the
assistance, American law enforcement officials said.
One locus of speculation on Monday was the report from the Malaysian government that two
men had boarded the plane using stolen passports from Italy and Austria. It was not clear
whether the two men, whom Malaysian officials described only as ―not Asian,‖ had anything to
do with the plane‘s disappearance.
The men, who were scheduled to connect in Beijing for flights to two different European cities,
used one-way tickets issued by a travel agent in the Thai resort city of Pattaya. The police there
said they were booked not by the passengers themselves but by an Iranian man known to the
police only as Mr. Ali, who ordered them by telephone. Another Iranian man paid for the tickets
in cash, and the police questioned that man on Monday, according to Supachai Phuikaewkhum,
the chief of police in Pattaya.
The Malaysia Airlines plane is not the first modern jet to vanish mysteriously. Searchers
sometimes take months to locate crash debris in remote areas, deep water or difficult weather
conditions. But the Gulf of Thailand is busy with fishing boats, commercial vessels and natural
gas platforms, and is no deeper than about 260 feet. By contrast, an Air France flight that
disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 was recovered from a depth of about 13,000 feet.
Aircraft and surface vessels from several countries have joined the search, among them P-3C
Orion military planes whose radar systems are capable of locating floating objects as small as a
basketball. In a sign of how uncertain officials are of the plane‘s whereabouts, an American
Orion spent part of Monday searching off the western coast of Malaysia, several hundred miles
from the flight‘s last reported location, officials said.
33


Play Video|0:40
Authorities Give Update on Search
Authorities Give Update on Search
At a news conference, Malaysian authorities give an update on possible debris fields.
Credit Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Art. 12, 10 martie 2014
Frustration Over Malaysian Flight Turns to Anger
BEIJING — It was not an easy meeting. The four Malaysia Airlines employees stood with their
hands by their sides at the front of a stuffy room in a Beijing hotel on Monday morning,
delivering yet more unwelcome news about the missing Flight MH370, and dodging water
bottles hurled by irate listeners.

Unwelcome news meant no news. And by then, relatives and friends of the passengers had spent
more than 48 hours pondering, fretting and weeping over what had happened to the flight, which
left Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, early Saturday with 239 people on board, most of
them Chinese, but never arrived in Beijing.

―All Malaysians are liars!‖ one man shouted in Chinese. ―Do you know what ‗liars‘ means?‖
―Tell him in English,‖ he yelled to the one woman among the four airline employees. She was
the interpreter, and the three men were senior managers.

34

They did not respond to the Chinese man. It was unclear if the interpreter translated the insult.
The grilling went on for more than 20 minutes. Nearly 100 people had crammed into the room,
some standing on chairs to get a better view. Journalists were officially barred from the room,
though a few had quietly walked in.



Art. 13, 10 martie 2014
Waiting for the Black Box
Days after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 shortly after midnight on
Saturday, investigators considering a range of possible causes — mechanical failure, pilot error
and terrorism — have yet to turn up solid clues. They don‘t even know where the plane
disappeared, which suggests that for grieving families this misfortune could remain a mystery
until the recovery of the plane‘s ―black box.‖
Black boxes, which in fact are usually painted bright orange, contain digital flight data and are
indispensable in accident investigations. But it‘s worth asking why, in this era of instant wireless
communication, investigators must hunt down a physical object that stays on board the plane.
Why isn‘t black-box data transmitted in real time?
Such technology exists. According to The Wall Street Journal, a few hundred airplanes around
the world have already been outfitted to stream live data via satellite, shortening the agonizing
wait for answers in the event of disaster. These waits can be significant. When Air France Flight
35

447 crashed into the Atlantic in 2009, it took nearly two years for a search team to retrieve the
aircraft‘s black box and piece together what happened.
Carriers haven‘t adopted streaming technology for two basic reasons: the rarity of in-flight
disasters, as well as the expense associated with equipment upgrades and more satellite
connections. Black boxes may be limited and antiquated, but they‘re capable of storing an
enormous amount of data cheaply.
Yet even from a purely financial perspective — and setting aside the very reasonable public
desire for clarity within a short time frame — improvements seem desirable. If it‘s too expensive
to stream all black-box data continuously, then perhaps a well-chosen subset of data would do.
Moreover, there is always a cost to doing nothing — like, for example, the cost of dispatching
search teams to find a box in the middle of the ocean.
Comments:
 Roger Binion
Moscow 11 March 2014
This is a good idea and one I have wondered about since AF447 went down in the Atlantic and
how long it took before any wreckage was found let alone the data recorders.

The plane was able to send a burst of messages to Airbus in France but nothing of value to
investigators.

Because of the expense, perhaps a subset of planes could have this technology. Planes flying
over remote areas [Siberia, for example] or long flights over the ocean for example.

Having this technology on shuttle flights between NYC and DC would be unnecessary but
having it on long haul flights could definitely save investigators enormous time while also
helping grieving families get answers.
 New York, NY 11 March 2014
I thought of this ages ago, and it's a great idea, but back then the right technology wasn't
available. I mean, it wasn't really a super-original idea on my part, but sometimes the obvious
ideas are the hardest to implement on the first try.

But with strong encryption and the proper development, transmitting info in real time would be a
great idea. Airlines could even volunteer to send a copy to an "escrow" account where the NTSB
could have access to it should an investigation be necessary. The time has come.

 billbritton
North Port, FL 11 March 2014
36

I wouldn't be surprised if Flight MH370 was hijacked, then dipped down to the wave-tops and
ended up in some remote area, either in the ocean or on land. The black box could be emitting
signals thousands of miles from its original flight path.

 Steve Bolger
New York City 11 March 2014
A system to record the tracks of aircraft beacons by GPS technology in reverse could probably
be added to the GPS satellites that transmit the signals the airplanes fly by.

 SU
New York 11 March 2014
More important than that How on earth Black boxes has their own transponder signals. If a plane
disintegrated in a very bad place( sea, Rugged mountains etc) This boxes can withhold immense
crush capacity but localizing them shouldn't be rely on only visual , there is a radio signal
tracking systems almost last 50 years, I believe today this systems must be extremely developed.
Yet trying to find a black box with visual reference or very short radius of radio signal is
preposterous. At least box must air extremely strong radio signal 73 to 96 hours extremely wide
radius such as 100 mile.

I do not believe that this technology is not available today.
 Mountain View, CA 11 March 2014
The current question is: Where is the plane?
Why don't we know where the plane went down?
I think the priority question to ask is about data collection is: What are the deficiencies in in-
flight tracking, and how can they be fixed?
Seems like improvements in this kind of data collection would shorten rescue response when a
plan goes down, possibly saving lives. It may also generally improve air safety.

My understanding is that the main purpose of black-box data is to understand aircraft failure so
as to improve airplane design and operation. I expect what the families want to know about the
missing passengers is technically much simpler.
 James
NY 11 March 2014
Let's talk about finding the black box after we find the plane, and more importantly, the people.
There is a time for everything, including this article.
37

Art. 14, 11 martie 2014
Confusion Over Plane’s Route Frustrates Families and Search
SEPANG, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities now believe that a jetliner missing since Saturday
may have radically changed course around the time that it lost contact with ground controllers,
news that added to the air of confusion and disarray surrounding the investigation and search
operation. But they gave conflicting accounts of the apparent course change and of what may
have happened afterward.
As criticism mounted of the Malaysian authorities‘ inability to find any trace of the jet, the
officials have repeatedly insisted that they were doing their best to solve the mystery of Malaysia
Airlines Flight 370, with scarce data and almost no precedent. Yet the government and the airline
have also released imprecise, incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information, with civilian
officials sometimes contradicting military leaders.
On Tuesday, three days after the plane disappeared while on an overnight flight to Beijing, the
country‘s air force chief, Gen. Rodzali Daud, was quoted in a Malaysian newspaper as saying the
military received signals on Saturday that after the aircraft stopped communicating with ground
controllers, it turned from heading northeast to heading west, lowered its altitude and flew
hundreds of miles across Peninsular Malaysia and out over the Strait of Malacca before the
tracking went blank.

38

The air force chief did not say what kind of signals the military had tracked. But his remarks
raised questions about whether the military had noticed the plane as it flew across the country,
and about when it informed civilian authorities.
According to the general‘s account, the aircraft was near Pulau Perak, an island more than 100
miles off the western shore of the Malaysian peninsula, when the last sign of it was recorded at
2:40 a.m. Saturday.
As anger and confusion mounted, General Rodzali issued a statement late Tuesday denying some
details of the newspaper account, but he also said that the Air Force was analyzing possibilities
of the missing jet‘s flight path and that ―it would not be appropriate‖ to reach conclusions.
The assertion that the plane might have flown into the Strait of Malacca stunned aviation experts
as well as people in China, who had been told again and again that the authorities lost contact
with the plane more than an hour earlier, when it was on course over the Gulf of Thailand, east
of the peninsula. But the new account seemed to fit with the decision on Monday, previously
unexplained, to expand the search area to include waters west of the peninsula.
Most of the aircraft‘s 227 passengers were Chinese, and the new account prompted an
outpouring of anger on Chinese social media sites. ―Malaysia, how could you hide something
this big until now?‖ said one posting on Sina.com Weibo, a service similar to Twitter.
Photo

The Malaysian authorities expanded the search area in recent days. Credit Hoang Dinh
Nam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
On Wednesday, The Global Times, a widely read Chinese tabloid, said that ―information issued
publicly from Malaysia had been extraordinarily chaotic.‖
David Learmount, operations and safety editor at Flightglobal, a news and data service for the
aviation sector, said the Malaysian government seemed evasive and confused, and he questioned
why, if the remarks attributed to General Daud were true, the government took so long to reveal
evidence about a westward flight path.
39

―The relatives of the people who‘ve gone missing are being deprived of information about
what‘s happened to the airplane — that for me is the issue,‖ he said. ―If somebody knows
something and isn‘t telling, that‘s not nice under the circumstances.‖
Adding to the confusion, Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, spokesman for the prime
minister‘s office, said in a telephone interview that he had checked with senior military officials,
who told him there was no evidence that the plane had recrossed the Malaysian peninsula, only
that it may have attempted to turn back.
―As far as they know, except for the air turn-back, there is no new development,‖ Mr. Tengku
Sariffuddin, adding that the reported remarks by the air force chief were ―not true.‖
Photo

Police released photographs of the two men who boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 using
stolen passports. The man pictured at left was a 19-year-old Iranian believed to trying to migrate
to Germany. Credit Manan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Malaysia Airlines, meanwhile, offered a third account. In a statement, the airline said authorities
were ―looking at a possibility‖ that the plane had turned around to head for Subang, an airport
outside Kuala Lumpur that handles mainly domestic flights.
So far only the basic facts of the first 40 minutes of Flight 370 are well established. The plane, a
Boeing 777, left Kuala Lumpur‘s main international airport about 12:40 a.m. local time with 239
people aboard, bound for Beijing. By 1:21 it was about midway between the Malaysian
peninsula and the southern coast of Vietnam, cruising at 35,000 feet in good weather under a
moonless sky, when the transponder on the plane stopped transmitting data to Flightradar24, a
global tracking system for commercial aircraft. Malaysia Airlines has said that ground
controllers had their last radio communication with the pilots about 1:30 a.m., but it has not
given a precise time.
40

Without specifying why, the Malaysian authorities vastly expanded the search area to the west
on Monday, implying that they believed there was a strong chance the plane had traveled there.
No similar expansion was made to the east or the south.
If the flight traveled west over Peninsular Malaysia, as the air force chief was quoted saying, it
would have flown very close to one of Flightradar‘s beacons in the city of Kota Bharu. But
Mikael Robertsson, the co-founder of Flightradar24, said the jet never sent a signal to that
receiver, which means that if the plane did fly that way, its transponder had either been knocked
out of service by damage or had been shut down.

Messages expressed hope at Kuala Lumpur airport. Credit Wong Maye-E/Associated Press
A pilot can turn off the transponder, Mr. Robertsson said, and the fact that the last contact from
the transponder and the last radio contact with the pilots came at roughly the same time suggests
that that is what happened. ―I guess to me it sounds like they were turned off deliberately,‖ he
said.
Mr. Robertsson said that since the plane had been fully fueled for a trip to Beijing, it could have
traveled a great distance beyond its last reported position. ―The aircraft could have continued
another five or six hours out into the ocean,‖ he said. ―It could have gone to India.‖
Malaysian officials said they have not ruled out any possible explanation for the airplane‘s
disappearance — not mechanical failure, pilot error, crew malfeasance, hijacking, terrorism or
anything else. The absence of physical evidence from the aircraft or even knowledge of its
location left plenty of scope for speculation, including questions about two men who boarded the
plane using stolen passports and one-way tickets bought in Thailand. Interpol officials said on
Tuesday that it appeared most likely that the two men were illegal migrants with no link to
terrorism.
In Washington, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John O. Brennan, said on
Tuesday that the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the Transportation Security Administration were all trying
to learn more about the plane‘s disappearance.
41

―Our Malaysian counterparts are doing everything they can to try to put together the pieces here,
but clearly there‘s still a mystery, which is very disturbing,‖ Mr. Brennan said in remarks at the
Council on Foreign Relations. Asked about terrorism as a potential cause, he said: ―I wouldn‘t
rule it out. Not at all.‖
The Malaysian government‘s inconsistencies in the handling of the crisis were further
highlighted Tuesday when the country‘s chief of police said there had been no baggage removed
from the aircraft before takeoff, contradicting what officials had said for the past three days.
Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector general of the Malaysian police, said previous reports by
Malaysian officials that five passengers had failed to board the flight and that their baggage had
been removed were false. ―Everybody that booked the flight boarded the plane,‖ he said.
But Malaysia Airlines later issued a clarification, saying that there were four passengers who
booked tickets on the flight but failed to check in at the airport or check any bags for the flight.
Keith Bradsher and Chris Buckley contributed reporting from Hong Kong, and Eric Schmitt
from Washington.
Comments:
 kagni
Illinois 11 March 2014
In WWII military planes were equipped with beepers that were constructed to submerge at the
depth of the deep sound channel,where the sound velocity is a minimum. Because sound ―rays‖
always tend to bend away from regions of higher sound velocity, a wave directed upwards from
the sound channel axis will be refracted back down again – and a wave directed downwards will
be bent upwards. Thus, sound paths from sources in the deep sound channel weave back and
forth across the channel axis and – because they become ―trapped‖ in a deep ocean layer away
from the surface or bottom – can travel long distances with minimum attenuation. Thus shot
down pilots could be quickly found. Could such device be put on contemporary planes?
 Jay Mack
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey 11 March 2014
This is the strangest airplane disappearance of a large aircraft in modern times and the latest
reporting confirms it. I'm starting to think I'm in the movie Moonraker where space shuttles and
planes were being hijacked to a mad scientist's island. Every day the story unfolding is much
stranger than fiction.
 ellienyc
new york city 11 March 2014
The thing I haven't understood all along is what all these constantly arising new theories were
based on -- "the plane may have turned back," "the plane may have tried to reach another
42

airport," etc. They never, as far as I know, gave any reasons for these new theories as they
developed, leaving one to wonder whether there was a factual basis for them or whether they
were just getting desperate and coming up with new theories to try to keep the growing crowd of
critics at bay.

That clarification on the 4 or 5 "no shows" is nice, but it makes one wonder about these people. I
distinctly recall reading something roughly Sunday that an official had said that after the baggage
of the 4 or 5 no shows was removed from the plane it was checked and there was nothing
suspicious. Well if people weren't on the plane because they didn't even check in, there wouldn't
have been any luggage checked in and hence no luggage to take off the plane and clear as safe.
So why on earth would an official say something like that if it couldn't possibly have been true?
 Mike S
CT 11 March 2014
The Chinese, of whom the bulk of the plane's passengers were comprised, can't be pleased with
how this search effort is unfolding. I'd be upset, too. The Malaysians don't appear to be on the
same page internally. If someone within their government, either from civil aviation or the
military, knew the plane turned back, but yet they allowed everyone to search far to the
Northeast of the plane's true last known point, that would be a colossal blunder that would erode
any confidence in the accuracy of information that they have put out and will continue to release.
 Richard
Camarillo, California 11 March 2014
Cut these people, the Malaysians, a little slack. The impression seems to have arisen in modern
times that everything must have an immediate, clear explanation. Not very long ago, within
living memory, people would go off on journeys of month or years and have only long-hand
letters, weeks in delivery, by which to communicate. I am sorry for all the people and families
who have lost friends and loved ones but the Malaysian authorities are mere human beings,
contending with a difficult situation as well as they can.
 Nick Metrowsky
is a trusted commenter
11 March 2014
If indeed the plane did go west, it is quite possible it went down in the dense jungles of Malaysia
or Sumatra. An experienced pilot would try to ditch on land, if possible. The reason why the
plane changed direction will still be up to speculation. As there now is no evidence of a crash
into the sea, the searchers may want to look on land.
 Phill
California 11 March 2014
43

If the plane did turn back after flying over the ocean it would have reappeared on radar even if
the transponder was turned off. Wouldn't Malaysian aviation and military authorities have
noticed this large, unidentified target on the radar and taken action to identify it? If it turns out
that this story is true, the added suffering for the families of the lost and the enormous waste of
search and rescue resources due to thr lack of transparency is unforgiveable.
 Patsy
Toronto 12 March 2014
The contradictory communications emerging from the disappearance of Flight MH370 suggest
that there are multiple stake-holders in the suppression of the truth, in part or in toto. In the best
scenario, in which the jetliner eventually lands safely at a major airport (say, Calcutta?), any
number of factors could prevent the rest of the world from learning about it, at least for a time.
For instance: (a) the plane could have been hijacked by one or several disaffected Chinese --
embarrassing for China; (b) the air crew could have been massively bribed by disaffected (and
wealthy) Chinese -- embarrassing for China and Malaysia; (c) the situation on the ground may
not yet be resolved : negotiations are on-going and the situation is tense -- embarrassing for
China, Malaysia and India.

Many commenters have contributed believable similar scenarios with cover-ups, some involving
the Malaysian military, that end badly. I'm rooting for mine.
 carl99e
Wilmington, NC 12 March 2014
Armchair flying is a hobby for me. I have read numerous reports of crashes and their causes.
More often than not it is pilot error. However, in this case the PIC (pilot in command) had vast
experience (18,000 hours). So we look for some form of mechanical failure. Here again,
commercial airline planes have to adhere to a vigorous maintenance schedule. This 777-200 is of
recent design and build with the latest in avionics probably worth far north of a million dollars.
The plane in question made a change of course and lost altitude and headed west towards land.
This sounds like the protocol for a mechanical failure of some sort. The FAA and its counterparts
in other parts of the world will search tirelessly to find what ever they can of this plane and work
to solve this puzzle. Waiting is only the start of the painful process until it is discovered.
 Johan P
Sweden 12 March 2014
Even if the transponder was turned off and the aircraft was lost by any looking at a secondary
radar screen set to filter any movements without transponder ID, it would still be visible on any
primary radar both at the civilian air traffic control and on any military radar since they normally
do not filter any signals. Has anyone asked or investigated this?
 Taylor
CT 12 March 2014
44

I believe that there are only 3 countries that routinely cross-reference passports at airports with
Interpol's (openly available) massive stolen passport database: the U.S., the U.K., and the Arab
Emirates.
By your logic we should shut down over 90% of all airports in the world. To be honest, I am not
even certain that pre-9/11 U.S. required it at every airport.
Regardless, the circumstances here may very well be completely independent of both false-
passport migrants and staff safety indifference.
 David Hillman
Illinois 12 March 2014
If the current evidence is all accurate, the only possible explanation is a hijacking. Nothing else
accounts for the transponder being disabled, and the 270 degree turn, and subsequent hour of
westbound flight in radio silence. Not to mention the terror threat received last week against the
Beijing Airport.

The question that remains is, 'Was it a successful hijack of the plane intact ( if that was the goal
), or did it crash the plane (accidentally or otherwise )?'

The good news is, if it was successful, the passengers could be alive somewhere. The bad news
is, if it did crash, it'll be awfully hard to find -- probably just about anywhere in the Andaman
Sea or Bay of Bengal or points nearby.

Nothing else explains the variety of strange evidence. A mechanical failure would not cause the
plane to disable its tracking, and turn 270 degrees and fly for an hour or more, then crash with
plenty of fuel. Neither would a depressurization event. Or a meteor strike, or anything else.
That's human intervention. Hopefully not fatal.

This also explains the chaotic response, especially if they are not sure who was responsible, if
more attacks may be forthcoming, and worst case, if someone did in fact shoot the plane down
out of necessity.

Nothing else makes sense.

 Sriram
India 12 March 2014
All this outrage and insults directed at Malaysian Airlines by the Chinese doesn't make sense nor
is reasonable. We're dealing with a totally unprecedented event here of an airliner just vanishing
off the skies, with no possible indication of what could have gone wrong.

International experts have been digging at the mystery for days and have not come up with any
credible explanation so far. In fact the mystery has only deepened with every passing day. This
seems more and more like a human conspiracy to me.
45

 yankeefan
NH 12 March 2014
Go throw a penny into a pond. Now, go find it. That would be easier than finding a 777
somewhere in the ocean. At least you know where you threw the penny. We are not sure where
the plane went down, or how long it flew. Or even if it went into the ocean….

I know. A plane would probably leave debris floating, and a penny wouldn't, but you get my
point. Patience. The landing/crash site for a fully-fueled 777 covers a vast radius. It could take
weeks to find it.

Deep peace to all of those waiting to hear about their loved ones.

Art. 15, 11 martie 2014
Chinese Satellites Redeployed to Search for Malaysia Airlines Plane

Updated, 4:12 a.m. ET| China said it had ―immediately redeployed‖ 10 satellites to help in the
search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared early Saturday with 239 people,
46

mostly Chinese, on board, as frustration mounted among families of the missing over the lack of
progress.
According to a report on www.81.cn, or China Military Net, the military‘s Xi‘an Satellite
Monitoring Center redeployed the satellites to help search on Saturday, as soon as news of the
aircraft‘s disappearance was received.
The center said the 10 satellites were of four types — the Haiyang, Fengyun, Gaofen and
Yaogan — and were providing support for ships and aircraft at the search site.

Some of the satellites have altered their original functions — which were not specified — and
were now involved in collecting weather data, aiding communications and performing targeted
searches of the area where the aircraft is thought to have been lost.
Beidou — China‘s global navigation satellite system — will also be deployed to support the 10
redirected satellites, the website said.
The Xi‘an center has been working around the clock to program hundreds of instructions into the
satellites so they can deliver back the fastest-possible data, said a spokesman for the center, who
was not named.
Late Monday, 13 officials from three government ministries — Foreign Affairs, Public Security
and Transport — and the Civil Aviation Administration arrived in Malaysia. Guo Shaochun,
deputy head of the Foreign Ministry‘s Department of Consular Affairs and a spokesman for the
delegation, said the group began work immediately as China continued to press Malaysia for
speed.

The Chinese amphibious landing ship Jinggangshan joined the search on Tuesday.
47

The Chinese search effort at sea expanded on Tuesday, when the amphibious landing ship
Jinggangshan joined the frigate Mianyang, which had arrived early Monday, Xinhua, the state
news agency, reported. Another amphibious landing ship and another destroyer, the Kunlunshan
and the Haikou, were expected to be on hand by Wednesday morning, bringing the number of
Chinese warships to four, it said.
The Chinese ships join dozens of vessels from at least nine countries, including the United States
and Vietnam, searching the area.
Meanwhile, college students in China lighted candles and prayed for the passengers, Xinhua, the
state news agency, reported.




48



Art. 16, 11 martie 2014
Q. & A.: Cmdr. William Marks of the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet on the Search for the Malaysian
Jet

Two United States Navy guided-missile destroyers, the Pinckney and Kidd, are among the
dozens of ships searching for the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared while flying from
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. The Pinckney has been searching since Sunday, sending
out a helicopter that has been scanning the sea for signs of the missing plane and any survivors.
A United States Navy P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft has also been participating in
the search, flying out from Subang Jaya, Malaysia. The Kidd joined the hunt on Monday.
Cmdr. William Marks, the spokesman for the United States Navy Seventh Fleet, which includes
the Pinckney and Kidd, explained the search-and-rescue effort in telephone interviews on
Monday. He spoke from the fleet‘s command ship, the Blue Ridge, which is in the South China
Sea. Following are edited excerpts:
49





Q.
How difficult is this search-and-rescue effort?


A.
You have a point where you had communication, but you have another point where you had a
radar contact. So where do you put this dot in the Gulf of Thailand? And then being 48 hours
away, that search box gets bigger and bigger as every hour passes. It is a very difficult, very
challenging puzzle that we‘re trying to solve.
It‘s much, much more different and complex than other cases. For example, let‘s say a plane
goes down. If you had solid radar coverage and you track it all the way down and you see its
altitude fall, fall, fall – you pretty much know exactly where it is.
It‘s very challenging. Look at the geography. At first we thought it was closer to Vietnam, just
off the coast of Vietnam. So in this Gulf of Thailand region, you have Vietnam, Thailand,
Cambodia and then it circles down to Malaysia. And this area essentially covers almost a central
point right in the middle of that Gulf of Thailand. And then add to that, I‘m now hearing reports
that the plane may have turned around. So we are now looking at this area in the northern part of
the Strait of Malacca, in case it turned around.
This is a very large area. We are talking hundreds of square kilometers. The good news is it‘s an
international effort – there are a lot of assets down there. The country of Malaysia is in the lead.
They‘re the lead organization, and they‘re doing a terrific job of organizing all this. The last
information I had, had about 40 different ships here, and over 30 aircraft.
Q.
Who organizes and coordinates the search-and-rescue effort?
A.
This is all coordinated by the Malaysian government. They coordinate both the water-space and
the airspace management. I give them a lot of credit. They have done what I would call an
exceptional job. It‘s like a big chessboard out there. It‘s really like moving chess pieces around,
and that‘s 3-D. You have three dimensions, you have the water-space and the airspace.
If you don‘t do a good job of it, there is a very real possibility of an accident. I give a lot of credit
to the Malaysian government. They have a very well-organized plan. They track all these assets
50

coming in from all these countries, they make assignments, and they‘re very efficient, very
professional.
Q.
How much longer could the search last?
A.
The way that we in the Navy look at this is that for the first 72 hours, we consider it still a search
mission for survivors. Survivors have been known to make it at least that long, so from our
perspective, we still hold out a little bit of optimism for survivors. That‘s for that first 72-hour
period. After that, it‘s at the decision of the Malaysian government what they want us to do, and
where they want us to be.
Q.
How many of the crew are out looking at any point, and how do they do it?
A.
We rotate our helicopter crew so that they‘re always fresh. They go up about three and a half
hours at a time. The P-3, they have that one long stretch of just one long flight. But it‘s really not
the number of people, because eyeballs are not the greatest optical sensor. The P-3 has a very
complex radar that looks down. We can see something the size of a basketball or soccer ball — if
that‘s floating in the water, we can pick that up on our radar. The helicopter also has the ability
to fly at night, and they have a forward-looking infrared [camera] — we call that FLIR.
Chen Jiehao contributed research.

Art. 17, 11 martie 2014
Q. and A. on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
51


The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has left investigators, aviation experts and the
authorities in several countries at a loss to explain what happened. And the few slender clues that
have emerged only seem to lead to more questions. As the search broadens and the international
inquiries continue, Matthew L. Wald, a correspondent for The New York Times, answers some
basic questions:
Q. The Times has reported that Malaysian military radar systems saw the plane climb and dive.
Does this indicate that a hijacker was at the controls?
A. Not necessarily. Aerodynamics experts say that if an airplane is set up to fly a straight path at
a given altitude, it will eventually vary from that altitude, for two reasons. First, it will burn off
fuel, and a lot of that fuel is stored in the tanks at the jet‘s wingtips, which are behind the
airplane‘s center of gravity. As the back of the plane gets lighter, the tail will rise and the nose
will fall. As the plane dives, it will pick up speed. But with more speed there will be more lift
and the nose will rise. The aircraft will then climb until speed decreases and the nose will point
down again, repeating the cycle in an oscillation. Second, if the plane flies close to the speed of
sound, then the center of pressure and the center of lift will move toward the back of the aircraft,
pushing the nose down. Other factors at play include the accuracy of the military radar in
estimating altitude. The Malaysian military has not described its radar‘s capabilities, so if the
plane were recorded at 45,000 feet, what is the range of uncertainty in that measurement? Turns
would be much harder to explain without human intervention, but a plane that encounters certain
natural weather phenomena can turn.
A Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines leaves Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing with
227 passengers, of which two-thirds are Chinese, and a Malaysian crew of 12.
Q. How easy is it to switch off the communications equipment on the plane?
52

A. You have to know what you are looking for, but it is not that difficult. Just about everything
on the plane has a circuit breaker, which is accessible to the pilots. The equipment could be
legitimately shut off for several reasons. One reason is that if the equipment stops working, the
solution often involves powering down the equipment and then powering it up again, the way
someone would do with a frozen computer. Also, if a component has a short circuit and
overheats or catches fire, there has to be a way to turn it off. This is why transponders (most
planes carry more than one) can easily be switched off from the cockpit.
Q. If the communications equipment has been switched off, is there anything else onboard that
could still send a signal?
A. The plane is built to communicate with satellites and there is a second system, not easily
controlled from the cockpit, to accomplish that. Even when it is not in use, the system goes
through a ―handshake‖ procedure with satellites, about once an hour. This procedure is akin to a
cellphone that trades messages with the nearest cell tower, even though it never leaves the user‘s
pocket, so the cell system knows where to find it should a call come in. That handshake does not
include data, experts say, but it does offer a way to establish the approximate location of the
plane once an hour. American experts say they knew little about this system until this week,
when it yielded a clue, albeit a weak one, to the Malaysian plane‘s location.
Q. Will we ever know what happened?
A. Some investigators are warning that we may never know what happened. The cockpit voice
recorder, which would be crucial in determining if the crash were the result of a hijacking or
some other criminal act, captures just two hours of sound, continuously recording over earlier
information. But this flight apparently lasted six hours and the period that matters most probably
was not within the final two hours. Recovering the voice recorder also presumes that searchers
locate the wreckage of the plane. The cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder (which
has a 25-hour loop) have battery-powered ―pingers‖ attached, which emit a sound that can travel
several miles through the water. Their batteries only last an average of 30 days. Searchers in
other crashes have found the boxes without the help of ―pingers,‖ but it is much more difficult.
Q. How could a Boeing 777 simply vanish? Aren’t they always tracked by radar or satellites?
A. Radar coverage is not universal, especially over water. In areas without radar, pilots are
generally required to radio in their positions at fixed intervals, mostly to assure that air traffic
controllers can keep aircraft out of one another‘s way. Between intervals, something could go
wrong.
Planes like the 777 also have automatic systems that send out data on engine performance and
other technical functions. Those signals go to a maintenance base, not to air traffic control. Air
France used those signals to help determine what happened when its Flight 447 disappeared over
the equatorial Atlantic, and the satellite system installed on the Malaysia Airlines jet has yielded
clues about where to look for it, though not its precise location.
53

Q. Plane crashes most often happen on landing or takeoff, but this flight vanished almost an
hour after takeoff, when it was cruising. What could cause a plane to crash at that point in a
flight?
A. In three crashes at sea in the last few years, the aircraft‘s speed-sensing systems have
malfunctioned. In two of those cases, crews failed to diagnose and cope with the problem. (In the
third, there was probably nothing they could have done.) A deliberate act by a pilot, terrorism or
an attack in the cockpit could be other causes.
Photo

A member of the military looked out of a helicopter during a search-and-rescue mission off the
Tho Chu Islands of Vietnam on Monday. Credit Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters
Q. Why would the authorities not have found debris from the plane after so many days of
searching?
A. One reason is that much of the searching was done in what authorities now believe were the
wrong places. In the first days, the focus was on the waters of the Gulf of Thailand and the South
China Sea, close to where the plane was when ground controllers last heard from the pilots or
saw signals from its transponders. Military radar data then emerged showing that the plane had
turned far off course and flown westward toward the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea, so
some searchers were shifted there. Then satellite signals indicated that the plane had kept flying
for hours more, hugely expanding the possible search area. By the time the primary focus
54

narrowed again to the southern Indian Ocean, nearly two weeks had gone by, time in which the
elements could have scattered or sunk some debris that might have been visible immediately
after the crash.
Q. How far from its last known location could the aircraft have strayed?
A. While we know fairly precisely where the plane was when contact was lost, we have only
inferences from radar and satellite data about how long it remained in the air afterward or which
way it flew, so it is hard to say with certainty. The plane had enough fuel on board to complete
its scheduled journey to Beijing, 2,500 miles from Kuala Lumpur, so it conceivably could have
kept flying for seven hours or more.
Q. Are there any signs that terrorism might have been involved?
A. No group is known to have claimed to have destroyed the plane. Beyond that, not enough is
known to speculate.
Q. If the plane had a major malfunction, wouldn’t the pilots have called for help and sent
distress signals?
A. Pilots have a mantra for setting priorities in an emergency: aviate, navigate, communicate.
The first priority is to fly the airplane. Telling air traffic controllers on the ground what is going
on comes third, since doing so is unlikely to instantly yield any help with the crisis in the
cockpit, whatever it may be. If the pilots are fighting to keep the plane aloft, they may not have
time to use the radio.
Q. Could one of the pilots have crashed the plane deliberately?
A. It‘s been known to happen: The crashes of an EgyptAir flight from Kennedy International
Airport in 1999 and a SilkAir flight in Indonesia in 1997 were attributed to intentional acts by
cockpit crew members. But nothing is yet known publicly to suggest that that happened on the
Malaysia Airlines flight.
Photo
55


Debris from Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean. Credit Brazil's Air Force, via
Associated Press
Q. Have other planes disappeared in this way in recent years?
A. There is no record of big planes simply disappearing, though they may take some time to find.
A few pieces of debris from Air France Flight 447 were spotted floating in the Atlantic the day
after the plane crashed in June 2009, but it took five days to find most of the wreckage. Small
aircraft may be missing for much longer if they go down in remote areas. Steve Fossett, the
daredevil adventurer who flew around the world solo in a plane and set records in a balloon, took
off in his private plane in Nevada on Sept. 3, 2007, and his remains were found in October 2008.

Art. 18, 11 martie 2014
Stolen Passports on Plane Not Seen as Terror Link
SEPANG, Malaysia — Two Iranians known to have used stolen passports to board the Malaysia
Airlines jet that disappeared on Saturday were unlikely to be linked to terrorist groups,
international police authorities said, echoing an assessment by the Malaysian police that one of
them was a 19-year-old who wanted to migrate to Germany.
56

The 19-year-old, Pouria Nourmohammadi Mehrdad, was using a stolen Austrian passport to
travel to Germany, where he was to meet his mother, said Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector
general of the Malaysian police.
―We are in contact with his mother,‖ Mr. Khalid said at a news conference.
Interpol identified the second Iranian traveler as Seyed Mohammed Reza Delavar, 29,who used a
stolen Italian passport, and released a photograph of the two men boarding Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370 at the same time. Interpol confirmed the identity of the other Iranian, Mr. Mehrdad,
but gave his age as 18. The source of the discrepancy was unclear.

Khalid Abu Bakar, inspector general of the Malaysian police. Credit Azhar Rahim/European
Pressphoto Agency
At Interpol‘s headquarters in Lyon, France, Ronald K. Noble, the agency‘s secretary general,
said the evidence emerging about the two Iranians suggested that they were not likely to be
linked to any terrorist groups. ―The more information we get, the more we are inclined to
conclude it is not a terrorist incident,‖ Mr. Noble said.
He added that the two men had traveled to Kuala Lumpur on Iranian passports before using the
stolen Italian and Austrian passports to board the flight.
Mr. Noble praised the Iranian authorities for their cooperation in confirming the identities of the
two men. He said Tehran had also determined that neither of the men had a criminal record and
that both had left Iran legally.
The connection to Iran seemed to unsettle some authorities in Tehran, where a prominent
lawmaker called the reports about the two Iranians ―psychological warfare.‖
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―Americans recruit some people for such kinds of operations so they can throw the blame on
other countries, especially Muslim countries,‖ said Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, the spokesman for
Parliament‘s foreign policy committee.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry struck a more cooperative note.
―We have received information on the possible presence of two Iranians‖ aboard the plane and
―we are pursuing the issue,‖ said Marzieh Afkham, a spokeswoman. ―We have informed our
embassy in Malaysia that we are ready to receive further information about the issue from
Malaysian officials. We have announced that we were ready for cooperation,‖ she said.
Mr. Khalid, the inspector general of the Malaysian police, said previous reports by Malaysian
officials that five passengers had failed to board the flight were false. ―Everybody that booked
the flight boarded the plane,‖ he said.
Thousands of Iranians seeking to leave their home country wait in Asian countries with friendly
visa regulations to make the second part of their migration to the West or Australia. Thailand,
Malaysia and Indonesia are popular jumping-off points for middle-class Iranians who arrive on
tourist visas and are then helped by local travel agents.
By SERGIO PEÇANHA, TIM WALLACE, DEREK WATKINS and KAREN YOURISH
Sources: Malaysia‘s Department of Civil Aviation (search areas); flightradar24.com (flight path);
Malaysia Airlines; GEBCO (water depth)
58

The police in the Thai resort town of Pattaya said that they had questioned an Iranian man who
paid cash for the tickets of the two passengers who traveled on stolen passports.
The man they questioned, Hashem Saheb Gharani Golestani, 51, runs a frame shop in Pattaya
and was a friend of another Iranian, a frequent customer of a local travel agency, who booked the
tickets from abroad, the police said. Mr. Hashem was released after questioning, they said.
The stolen passports used to board the flight had been taken during the past two years in Phuket,
another Thai beach resort. Both destinations attract budget tourists from Russia, China, Europe
and the Middle East and have become centers of crime, particularly human trafficking and the
counterfeiting of travel documents.
The fact that two passengers on the flight carried passports stolen in Thailand, and traveled on
tickets bought in Thailand by an Iranian who does not live there, has raised the possibility that
the passengers were part of a stolen passport syndicate.
An Iranian, Seyed Ramin, suspected of commanding one of Southeast Asia‘s biggest human-
trafficking and counterfeit passport syndicates, was arrested in Pattaya in June 2012. But the
police chief in Pattaya, Col. Supachai Phuikaewkhum, said in an interview on Tuesday that he
had found no connection between Mr. Hashem, whom he described as ―coming and going‖ from
Iran to Pattaya, and Seyed Ramin.
The one-way tickets bought for the passengers were routed from Kuala Lumpur with a transit
stop in Beijing, according to Benjaporn Krutnait, the manager of the Grand Horizon travel
agency in Pattaya. One ticket then went on to Copenhagen, the other to Frankfurt, she said.
The Grand Horizon has a bold sign, Tehran Tours, above its shop front on a busy commercial
street. Nearby, a store sells Middle Eastern carpets, Buddha statues and paintings of Arab men.
Two Thai women working at the Grand Horizon declined to answer questions on Tuesday. A
man selling SIM cards and mobile phone chargers outside the store said Ms. Benjaporn had
flown to Bangkok on Monday night after being questioned by the police.
Colonel Supachai said he did not know if the two men had been in Thailand before boarding the
flight in Kuala Lumpur. He did not know, he said, if the passports used to board the flight had
exit stamps from Thailand or entry stamps into Malaysia.
Before leaving for Bangkok, Ms. Benjaporn said that the purchaser of the tickets, known only as
Mr. Ali, first asked her to book cheap tickets to Europe for the two men on March 1. She made
reservations for one of the men on a Qatar Airways flight, and the other on Etihad, she said.
Those tickets expired, she said, because Mr. Ali did not confirm them. Last Thursday, she
booked the tickets again, this time on Malaysia Airlines through China Southern Airlines on a
code-share arrangement. She said she chose Malaysia Airlines because it was cheapest.

59

Art. 19, 11 martie 2014
Iranian Lawmaker Blames U.S. for Plane Disappearance

With the fate and location of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet still unexplained on Tuesday, the
police were investigating the possibilities of hijacking, sabotage and possible psychological or
personal problems among the crew and passengers, while other agencies in Malaysia continued
to investigate noncriminal explanations, as Thomas Fuller, Jane Perlez and Alan Cowell
reported.
On Tuesday, an influential Iranian lawmaker accused the United States of having ―kidnapped‖
Flight 370, saying it was an attempt to ―sabotage the relationship between Iran and China and
South East Asia.‖
The parliamentarian, Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, who is the spokesman for the foreign policy
committee, responded to the news on Tuesday that two Iranian nationals had been traveling on
the missing flight holding stolen passports. This accusation was a ―plot,‖ Mr. Naghavi Hosseini
said, according to the Tasnim news agency.

―Documents published by the Western media about two Iranians getting on the plane without
passports is psychological warfare. Americans recruit some people for such kinds of operations
so they can throw the blame on other countries, especially Muslim countries,‖ he said.
Thousands of Iranians, if not more, wait in Asian countries with friendly visa rules to make
journeys to the West and to Australia. Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in particular are popular
springboards for middle-class Iranians who enter on tourist visas and are then helped by local
travel agents and human smugglers to travel to Western countries.
Interpol had confirmed on Sunday that two passports, an Austrian and an Italian, were recorded
in its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (S.L.T.D.) database and were used by passengers on
board Flight 370.
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On Tuesday, Ronald K. Noble, Interpol‘s secretary general, said the two men‘s identities were
confirmed by Iranian authorities as Seyed Mohammed Reza Delavar, 29, and Pouria
Nourmohammadi, 18.
He said the Iranian authorities had also determined that neither of the men had a criminal record
and that both had left Iran legally.
The Malaysian police gave the Iranian teenager‘s full name as Pouria Nourmohammadi
Mehrdad.
Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector general of the Malaysian police, said he was using a passport
that had been stolen from an Austrian man and was traveling to Germany, where he was to meet
his mother.

On Tuesday Iran‘s foreign ministry said it was ready to cooperate in the investigations.
61

―We have received information on possible presence of two Iranians among the plane‘s crews.
We are pursuing the issue,‖ said Marzieh Afkham, the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman.
―We have informed our embassy in Malaysia that we are ready to receive further information
about the issue from Malaysian officials. We have announced that we were ready for
cooperation.‖