Mystery surrounds MH370 disappearance just like Amelia Earhart, Bermuda Triangle; What if the jet is never found?



Picture 1 of 54

In this photo taken April 29, 2014 provided by the Australia Defence Force, multinational air-crew and aircraft involved in operation "Southern Indian Ocean" are assembled for a photo at RAAF Base Pearce, in Perth, Western Australia. Seven nations, including Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., South Korea, Malaysia, China and Japan, have flew daily search mission out to the southern Indian Ocean in the massive multinational hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. AP Photo/Australian Defence Force, Cpl. Nicci Freeman

NICK PERRY And KRISTEN GELINEAU
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The plane must be somewhere. But the same can be said for Amelia Earhart’s.

Ten days after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people aboard, an exhaustive international search has produced no sign of the Boeing 777, raising an unsettling question: What if the airplane is never found?

Such an outcome, while considered unlikely by many experts, would certainly torment the families of those missing. It would also flummox the airline industry, which will struggle to learn lessons from the incident if it doesn’t know what happened.

While rare nowadays, history is not short of such mysteries — from the most famous of all, American aviator Earhart, to planes and ships disappearing in the so-called Bermuda Triangle.

“When something like this happens that confounds us, we’re offended by it, and we’re scared by it,” said Ric Gillespie, a former U.S. aviation accident investigator who wrote a book about Earhart’s still-unsolved 1937 disappearance over the Pacific Ocean. “We had the illusion of control and it’s just been shown to us that oh, folks, you know what? A really big airliner can just vanish. And nobody wants to hear that.”

Part of the problem, said Andrew Thomas, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Transportation Security, is that airline systems are not as sophisticated as many people might think. A case in point, he said, is that airports and airplanes around the world use antiquated radar tracking technology, first developed in the 1950s, rather than modern GPS.

A GPS might not have solved the mystery of Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. But it would probably have given searchers a better read on the plane’s last known location, Thomas said.

Related Stories:

“There are lots of reasons why they haven’t changed, but the major one is cost,” he said. “The next-generation technology would cost $70 to $80 billion in the U.S.”

Experts say the plane’s disappearance will likely put pressure on airlines and governments to improve the way they monitor planes, including handoff procedures between countries. Flight 370 vanished after it signed off with Malaysian air traffic controllers, and never made contact with their Vietnamese counterparts as it should have.

And if the plane is never found, liability issues will be a huge headache for courts. With no wreckage, it would be difficult to determine whether the airline, manufacturers or other parties should bear the brunt of responsibility.

“The international aviation legal system does not anticipate the complete disappearance of an aircraft,” said Brian Havel, a law professor and director of the International Aviation Law Institute at DePaul University in Chicago. “We just don’t have the tools for that at present.”

The families of the missing, of course, would face the most painful consequences of a failed search.

“In any kind of death, the most important matter for relatives and loved ones is knowing the context and circumstances,” said Kevin Tso, the chief executive of New Zealand agency Victim Support, which has been counselling family and friends of the two New Zealand passengers aboard the flight. “When there’s very little information, it’s very difficult.”

Tso said the abundance of speculation about the plane’s fate in the media and elsewhere is not helpful to the families, who may be getting false hope that their loved ones are still alive.

It has been nearly 50 years since a plane carrying more than two dozen people vanished without a trace, according to a list of unexplained aviation disappearances tracked by the Flight Safety Foundation. An Argentine military plane carrying 69 people disappeared in 1965 and has never been found.

Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean, vanished over the Pacific with Fred Noonan during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Seven decades later, people are still transfixed. Theories range from her simply running out of fuel and crashing to her staging her own disappearance and secretly returning to the U.S. to live under another identity.

There is also an ongoing fascination with the Bermuda Triangle, where several ships and planes disappeared, including a squadron of five torpedo bombers in 1945. Studies have indicated the area is no more dangerous than any other stretch of ocean.

More than two dozen countries are involved in the effort to find Flight 370 and end the uncertainty, with dozens of aircraft and boats searching along a vast arc where investigators believe the plane ended up, judging by signals received by a satellite.

Gillespie and other experts said they expect the plane will eventually be found, even if investigators have to wait until some wreckage washes ashore.

“We all expect we’re going to find this plane and the chances are probably pretty good that we’ll find something. But you know, I think everyone thought that about Amelia Earhart as well,” said Phaedra Hise, a pilot and author of Pilot Error: The Anatomy of a Plane Crash. “We know there’s a chance that we may never find out what happened. Which is a little scary, isn’t it?”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

accident

Man in Surrey accidentally shoots friend in the leg — then flees

The victim is ‘supplying limited details of the incident,’ said Surrey RCMP VANCOUVER DESI A man is in hospital after getting accidentally shot by a…
Continue Reading »

BRITAIN-ROYALS

Happy birthday, Prince George — the baby who rescued the monarchy

RUTH DUNLEY CANADA.COM Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge came into the world on July 22, 2013 with much fanfare — there were gun salutes…
Continue Reading »

police headquarters Vaastu shastra

Delhi police reject new high-tech office that clashes with Hindu beliefs

CEN AGENCY Superstitious police officers in the Indian capital New Delhi have said they will refuse to move into a new high-tech police headquarters –…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

accident

Man in Surrey accidentally shoots friend in the leg — then flees

The victim is ‘supplying limited details of the incident,’ said Surrey RCMP VANCOUVER DESI A man is in hospital after getting accidentally shot by a…
Continue Reading »

BRITAIN-ROYALS

Happy birthday, Prince George — the baby who rescued the monarchy

RUTH DUNLEY CANADA.COM Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge came into the world on July 22, 2013 with much fanfare — there were gun salutes…
Continue Reading »

Riders were left stranded after Expo and Millennium lines of the SkyTrain stopped running in Vancouver on Monday. Arlen Redekop/PNG

Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines restart after 4.5 hour delay

VANCOUVER DESI UPDATE (5:05 p.m.): The Expo Line has been fixed and crews are conducting a safety sweep. The line is expected to open in segments…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Shadab (L) and Sanjana's relationship has finally been accepted by their families and they will be  getting married soon. Gagan Nayar/Hindustan Times Photo

Man in India to marry transgendered woman with both families’ blessings

VANCOUVER DESI After a nine-year relationship filled with “emotional turmoil,” a gay man in India has finally been accepted by his family and allowed to…
Continue Reading »

File photo of a worker in a jungle in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. A baby girl was found abandoned in a jungle in India. Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

Abandoned eight-month-old in India makes incredible survival in remote jungle area

CEN NEWS A group of Indian lumberjacks were shocked to find a baby girl in a remote jungle area after she had apparently been abandoned…
Continue Reading »

A screen grab of Google Maps shows the northern Indian city of Bareilly, in which Bargauna village is located, where a mother was burnt alive when she confronted burglars in her home. Screengrab/Google Maps

Mom in India burnt alive by burglars in front of five-year-old daughter

CEN NEWS Indian woman Raaka Tamasi, 30, who apparently disturbed burglars that had broken into her house in the village of Bargauna in the northern…
Continue Reading »

courtroom drama

A different kind of courtroom drama: Woman gives birth to baby girl in witness room

IANS London – A heavily-pregnant woman gave birth to a baby girl in a court in Britain after going into labour in the witness room,…
Continue Reading »

Desi stylist and wedding planner

Vancouver woman aghast when only one man among 100 shoppers at Metrotown tried to help when her purse was stolen

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI Is chivalry dead? A woman whose purse was snatched from the busy food court at Metrotown was dismayed that none of…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

basu

Bollywood stars outshine fashion at India Couture Week 2014 (w/ gallery)

NIVEDITA IANS New Delhi  – Design esthetics and creativity may have impressed fashion patrons at the just concluded Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers India Couture Week…
Continue Reading »

JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images

Sonam Kapoor unveils Khoobsurat trailer (w/ video)

IANS Mumbai — Actress Sonam Kapoor Monday unveiled the trailer of her upcoming film Khoobsurat, and said the film’s producer and director have “exposed me…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor and activist

Aamir Khan’s daughter organizes charity celebrity football match

IANS Mumbai  – Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira organized a celebrity football match to raise funds for an animal welfare shelter. The charity match…
Continue Reading »