MH370 hunt takes new course after six months - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

MH370 hunt takes new course after six months

Posted: Updated:
BY BILL NEELY, NBC News

(NBC News) - Not since the American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared without a trace over the Pacific 77 years ago has there been a mystery like it.

And in so many respects the disappearance of Flight MH370 exactly six months ago today is a far more profound puzzle.

When Earhart went missing her plane was equipped with radio navigation systems, a Morse code receiver and a voice transmission system, all of which she used until her plane vanished into the sea. But this is rudimentary equipment compared to the highly sophisticated location devices on board the modern Malaysian Airlines jet.

Earhart's last known position was searched by American Navy ships and naval planes until, at a cost of $4 million, the most intensive search in U.S. history was called off without finding any trace of her or her plane.

But this is a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of millions of dollars (the exact figure isn't known) spent by a dozen countries scouring a vast area of ocean for the missing Malaysian plane. Hundreds of men working thousands of hours have, for six months now, come up with precisely nothing.

And this bears repeating.

In six months, they have found not a single piece of debris that can be linked to the missing plane. Not a piece of clothing, nor a fragment of a body. Not a slick of oil. Not the slightest trace of a modern passenger jet, manned by an experienced crew, whose path was tracked by the most sophisticated radar equipment modern man has developed.

In our hi-tech, inter-connected, satellite-covered world, it is a staggering failure.

But it's not for want of trying.

Experts from more than a dozen countries have searched for Flight MH370 with satellites from space, with planes from the air and with ships on the sea. They've scoured the ocean floor. On land, they've analyzed and re-analyzed the radar data and worked day and night to try to find the missing plane.

The batteries of the plane's flight recorders, the black boxes, began to fade and die after 30 days; since then, submarines and ships have been all but blind in their search.

Earhart's last known position was searched by American Navy ships and naval planes until, at a cost of $4 million, the most intensive search in U.S. history was called off without finding any trace of her or her plane.

But this is a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of millions of dollars (the exact figure isn't known) spent by a dozen countries scouring a vast area of ocean for the missing Malaysian plane. Hundreds of men working thousands of hours have, for six months now, come up with precisely nothing.

And this bears repeating.

In six months, they have found not a single piece of debris that can be linked to the missing plane. Not a piece of clothing, nor a fragment of a body. Not a slick of oil. Not the slightest trace of a modern passenger jet, manned by an experienced crew, whose path was tracked by the most sophisticated radar equipment modern man has developed.

In our hi-tech, inter-connected, satellite-covered world, it is a staggering failure.

But it's not for want of trying.

Experts from more than a dozen countries have searched for Flight MH370 with satellites from space, with planes from the air and with ships on the sea. They've scoured the ocean floor. On land, they've analyzed and re-analyzed the radar data and worked day and night to try to find the missing plane.

The batteries of the plane's flight recorders, the black boxes, began to fade and die after 30 days; since then, submarines and ships have been all but blind in their search.

The relatives of the 12 crew members have fared little better. At first, some of the crew were suspected of causing the crash. The families of the pilot and co-pilot were questioned about their political beliefs, the theory being that one, or both, had determined to crash the plane deliberately.

Thieves tried to rob the bank accounts of missing passengers.

Flying on Malaysian Airlines became the subject of online and water-cooler comment worldwide, along the lines of “you're flying Malaysian? Pack a parachute!”

Until a second Malaysian plane fell out of the sky, this one shot down by missile fire in Ukraine.

No one's joking any more.

But the heartbreak hasn't ended.

Or the puzzlement. As I flew on two search planes, skimming just 100 feet above the waves, I thought how amazing it was that there are some things modern man just can't work out; man-made mysteries that are beyond our modern knowledge.

Soon, six months on, another set of vessels will head for the horizon off Western Australia, sailing with the glimmer of hope that they may solve one of the greatest mysteries of our time.
Powered by Frankly