The disappearance of flight Malaysian Airline flight MH370 has become one of the most mysterious events in recent history. A few hours into its March 8th voyage, the plane’s transponder was switched off, and according to military radar, the plane then proceeded to sharply turn west, where it eventually dropped off the grid. It wasn’t until March 24 that the Malaysian government stated that the plane and its passengers were lost “beyond all reasonable doubt.” A recent satellite discovery of around 122 objects in the southern Indian Ocean is, according to Malaysia’s Transportation Minister the, “most credible lead we have had so far.” Unfortunately, inclement weather has prevented searchers from properly scouring the incredibly large 1.6 million square kilometer area.
When details are few and far between, imagination begins to run rampant. Speculation tends to fill in the gaps of unknown information and theories begin to pour in and fill the void of uncertainty. From the plausible to the outrageous or unlikely, all possibilities have been discussed by the 24 hour news cycle. A few such theories include an accident, terrorism, hijacking, electrical fire, and a suicidal pilot. A cable news channel has even discussed the possibility of a black hole swallowing up the Boeing 777 with a modicum a seriousness. It may come as a surprise that commercial planes are not tracked via GPS as, say a person could be with his or her own cell phone. This fact, coupled with the inability to conclusively locate the wreckage until (however many) days after the disappearance, ill surely provoke calls for an improved worldwide tracking system.
The fact remains that the public cannot definitively state what happened to the 239 people on board. Until an investigation has been completed by the proper authorities and the results have been released that fully disclose all information can there be a semblance of closure for both the families of those affected as well as those who demand answers. The ineptitude of the Malaysian authorities proves the importance of having an investigative body with the authority to direct.
Families of those aboard the ill-fated flight have chided those in charge for both their seeming incompetence and their unwillingness to disperse any enlightening information. This situation has only been exacerbated by a Malaysian team of investigators who informed relatives of those onboard that there is sealed evidence that cannot be made public. This evidence includes radar data, airport security recordings and the air traffic control radio transcript. The resulting outburst of frustration and anger from the relatives is to be expected. Inquiries were rebuffed with answers like, “We can answer but we might not be correct as we’re not the investigators.” Expect lawsuits from numerous parties to be filed.
The pain and anguish resulting from a fatal plane crash is enough for anyone involved to bear. The fact that both the search and overall investigation have been lacking for weeks after the disappearance only intensifies the torment. However incompetent the Malaysian authorities seem to be, it is safe to say that all aboard are lost. A semblance of closure in the form of a forthright public investigation is the least that can be done to provide this. As spectacular as this story is and has become, it is important to remember that nothing is verified. Speculation, from all sources, can only serve as a distraction and sensationalism.