March 12th, 2014
04:44 AM ET

Confusion Clouds Search

The puzzling scraps of information that have come to light about the Malaysian airliner that disappeared more than four days ago are generating a lot of bafflement and an increasing amount of frustration.

Amid continued confusion about where the plane with 239 people on board might have ended up, Vietnam said Wednesday it is pulling back its search efforts until Malaysian authorities come up with better information on where to look.

"We have scaled down the searches for today and are still waiting for the response from Malaysian authorities," Phan Quy Tieu, Vietnam's vice minister of transportation, told reporters.

He described as "insufficient" the information provided so far on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished early Saturday over Southeast Asia.

The apparent cause of the veiled irritation on the Vietnamese side concerns the deepening mystery over the path the plane may have taken after it lost contact with air traffic control on its scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

A senior Malaysian air force official on Tuesday told CNN that after the plane lost all communications around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, it still showed up on radar for more than an hour longer. Before it vanished altogether, the plane apparently turned away from its intended destination and traveled hundreds of miles off course, the official said.

It was last detected, according to the official, near Pulau Perak, a very small island in the Straits of Malacca, the body of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Those assertions, reported by CNN and other new organizations, have fueled surprise among aviation analysts and a fresh burst of theories about what might have happened to the plane. They also appear to have created tensions between some of the different countries involved in the search efforts.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Charlotte Hamlyn

    Two Points: One, The two stolen passports, one stolen a yr ago, the other 2 yrs ago. The same people that stole those were on that plane. Obviously if this goes back for more than 2 yrs then that says this was well planned so whatever has taken place could reach far beyond our imagination. There's many vast area's out there that may have been well studied as a good place to land a plane.
    Point two, The plane had 4 hrs of fuel, so in those 4 hrs of extra flying time and staying within any given radius for 4 hrs the plane would now have to stop somewhere not beyond that radius once those 4 hrs are up. I mean in any direction within that radius it must be?? The plane is now out of fuel!
    No one could pick it up and take it somewhere else.

    March 13, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  2. Manelle

    This morning a woman was saying that her husband who took the Malaysian flight that went missing took off his wedding ring and watch and gave it to her saying " give these to my children if something happens to me "
    A little strange don't you think? People are not afraid of air travel anymore. Why did he make that statement? Something worth looking into I think.

    March 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  3. Pat Ryan

    The technology to track airplanes every minute has been available for the last 10 years, but Malaysian Airlines did not have it. It is currently used in thousands of aircraft around the world every day. Look at this article to learn more about a technology that is inexpensive, and would be invaluable during the last few days...

    March 13, 2014 at 11:52 am | Reply

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