"Malaysian authorities defended their handling of the hunt for the missing Boeing 777 on Wednesday even as they acknowledged they were unsure which direction the plane was headed when it disappeared, highlighting the massive task facing an international search mission now in its fifth day. The mystery over the plane's whereabouts has been confounded by confusing and occasionally conflicting statements by Malaysian officials, adding to the anguish of relatives of the 239 people on board the flight -- two thirds of them Chinese." CBS News
Seriously - Where is this airplane?
- In the water between Malaysia and Vietnam? There is no sign of floating debris so far.
- On the ground in Vietnam somewhere? The Vietnamese are looking for it, but Vietnam is the size of California.
- On the ground in China? The aircraft had enough fuel to reach Beijing.
- In the water in the Indian Ocean? The Malaysian Air Force had a radar contact that mighthave been this aircraft heading in that direction at about the right time.
The possibility exists that explosive decompression could have killed everyone on board while the aircraft flew on under autopilot control. A major problem with that theory is the silence of the on board radar transponder. Basilisk is a pilot. He tells me that if the autopilot worked the transponder should have been working as well.
Another possibility is that someone in the crew or among the passengers shut off the transponder. This would indicate a deliberate effort to take the aircraft somewhere other than Beijing. But, where?
To quote the king of Siam in "The King and I," "is a puzzlement." pl