The search for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH370 continues in southern Asia, with many theories and little information.
Nine countries have sent out 40 ships and 34 aircraft to search the land and waters for any trace of the missing airplane. The plane dropped off the radar just over an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur International Airport early Saturday morning.
“All right, good night,” were the last words heard by the air traffic controllers before the flight went missing over the South China Sea. In the past five days the search area has expanded as far west as India, making the search area the size of Portugal.
Satellite images out of China show debris that was believed to be the missing plane at a possible crash site. Planes were sent to the area to check out one of the most tantalizing leads in the case so far.
“We went there, there is nothing,” Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
Satellite imagery has given the most promising leads in the search so far. U.S. company DigitalGlobe Inc. launched a program allowing volunteers to search 3,000 square km of satellite images where the plane may have crashed.
The technique, known as crowd searching, gives the user a small space to look through, so every area is covered. If the user finds something they can flag it and the site managers will look into it further.
Chicago IT Manager Mike Seberger said he couldn’t believe he may have detected the missing plane in just a few minutes of looking.
“At first I skipped past it, thinking, ‘Nah. No way I would find anything that quickly,'” Seberger told the Mirror.”But then I kept scrolling back to it and thinking to myself, ‘It does resemble a plane.’”
Seberger has confirmed on his twitter account that what he saw was boats and not the missing Boeing 777.
@StevenPageCNN – I’ve seen some subsequent (cloud-less) pics that tell me it’s boats, and I don’t want to distract from the “real” search.
— Mike Seberger (@MikeSeberger) March 12, 2014
Investigators are looking at all aspects of the missing plane, including the crew. Police are searching into whether any of the crew, including the pilots, had personal or psychological problems.
The pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has over 18,000 hours of flying experience and worked for Malaysia Airlines for 33 years.
“We have no reason to believe that there was anything, any actions, internally by the crew that caused the disappearance of this aircraft,” Hugh Dunleavy, the commercial director of Malaysia Airlines told the International Business Times.
A woman from South Africa claimed that in 2011 co-pilot of flight MH 370 Farid Ab Hamid let her and a female companion into the cockpit during a flight, raising safety concerns about unauthorized personnel in secure areas. It is unknown if anyone was invited into the cockpit of flight MH370.
Malaysian police have allegedly visited the house of Captain Shah. Earlier reports said his house was raided but Malaysian police say they only interviewed family members. Police say they went to the house to look at underlying mental and psychological issues.
Authorities aren’t counting out terrorism as a possible reason for the missing plane. No terrorist organizations from around the world have come forward to claim the incident. When it was announced that two passengers had boarded the plane with fake passports immediately a terrorist attack seemed likely.
Pouri Nourmohammadi, a 19-year-old from Iran used a fake passport to board the flight to Beijing. His final destination was to be Germany, where he would meet his mother and seek asylum.
Seyed Hamid Reza Delavar, a 29-year-old, also from Iran has been identified as the second passenger who used a fake passport to board the flight from Kuala Lumpur. Both men used Iranian passports to leave Iran but switched to the stolen documents to board the flight to China. It is not known where Delavar’s final destination was.
Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said in a press conference that they “were probably not terrorists.”
Satellites reportedly picked up an “electronic ping” after the plane lost contact with ground control. The “ping” doesn’t give information as to where the plane was heading, or any information about its technical condition.
Satellites picked up electronic ping from Malaysian flight MH370 after it lost contact with ground control: source close to investigation
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 13, 2014
U.S. investigators say there is a possibility that the plane could have kept flying for up to four hours after the signal was lost — widening the search area by hundreds of miles.
There have been many planes in history that have vanished or crashed under bizarre conditions. Below are ten mysterious plane crashes.