May 7th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Poll: 46% of Americans Think Flight 370 Search is in the Wrong Place

As officials from China, Malaysia and Australia meet Wednesday to discuss plans for the next phase of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a new CNN/ORC poll conducted by telephone from May 2 through May 4, gives a closer look at what Americans think about the plane, why and how it disappeared, and if we should still be looking for it.

Feedback shows that more than half of Americans do believe we’ll find out what happened to the plane, but over 70% feel that the Malaysian government has not done a good job in managing the search, and nearly half feel the search is happening in the wrong place.

When it comes to conspiracy theories like pilot suicide or terrorism, the numbers show Americans strongly believe something nefarious happened.

But on "New Day" Wednesday, aviation experts David Soucie and Mary Schiavo said there isn't enough evidence to support those conclusions.

On the pilots, Soucie said because of the time of the disappearance,  he'd have to assume it was one person acting and "the chance that they would have acted together on this is astronomical."

Schiavo said the fact the FBI checked computers and the lead pilot's flight simulator and found nothing means she doesn't want to rush to judgement.

"I’m gonna keep the jury out on that one," she said.


Do you think Flight 370 is located in the Indian Ocean where the search is taking place?

Yes 51%

No 46%

indian ocean


How do you think the Malaysian Government has handled the search for Flight 370?  

Good job 26%

Bad job 69%

malaysia government


Do you think the disappearance of Flight 370 is due to accident or mechanical failure?

Likely 52%

Not likely 46%



Do you think the disappearance of Flight 370 was due to actions by pilot or flight crew?

Likely 66%

Not likely 33%

pilot or crew


Do you think the disappearance of Flight 370 was due to terrorists or hostile government?

Likely 57%

Not likely 41%



Do you think anyone on Flight 370 is still alive?

Yes 18%

No 79%

Anyone still alive


Do you think the general public will ever find out what happened to Flight 370?

Yes 52%

No 46%

general public


Do you think the search for Flight 370 should continue? 

Yes 69%

No 30%

search continue

The survey, which is based on interviews with 1,008 adult Americans, has an overall sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


What do you think happened to the plane? Do you think the Malaysian government is providing enough information to the public? If your loved one was on Flight 370, what would you do?

Let us know in the comments below.


READ:  Nearly 80% of Americans think no one survived Flight 370, CNN poll finds

READ:  MH370 search gets deeper, pricier

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soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Cheryl

    I do believe the passengers are all dead, unless they are needed for some other reason, it is too costly to keep these people fed and housed and why would you keep them alive when I believe what was really wanted was the plane itself. I think we should all be scared as hell to think where that plane is going to show up eventually and I do think it will.

    May 12, 2014 at 4:41 am | Reply
  2. Nancy

    Has anyone seen this theory? It really makes you wonder.

    May 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  3. Tracey

    I think the plane crashed in a large, deep part of the Ocean (somewhere). No, the Malaysian government is not providing enough information. If my loved one were missing, I would apply pressure on the Malaysian government through interviews (TV & print), social media & networking with advocacy organizations to bring a large spotlight. I'd also hire an attorney to be an *agitator* to the Malaysian authorities as they refuse to be completely transparent.

    May 10, 2014 at 11:29 am | Reply
  4. daniel nogueira

    For me, this was mechanical failure but admit could be anything. Surprises, or not, that Boeing didn't say a word publicly. Thus, I think they are covering up and a future accident of a 777 will probably explain what happened. Unfortunately, I frequently fly those as passenger

    May 10, 2014 at 9:37 am | Reply
  5. max

    plane in Malaysia , check hangers collect insurance plane redone put back in operation black box dropped in ocean

    May 9, 2014 at 2:31 am | Reply
  6. Desiree

    In my opinion, the plane was hijacked, the people are still alive, and their intelligence is being used to help create a weapon that's going to be used in a terrorist attack in the months to come. As far as searching the ocean, I think they should continue, but I also think that they should expand their search and look in other areas, hangars, smaller islands, surrounding countries, etc. I do believe it's out there waiting to be found, and the Malaysian Gov knows more than what they're telling us.

    May 9, 2014 at 1:55 am | Reply
  7. masuchna

    I believe this was a failed attempt to crash into Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur and the plane was shot down because the conspiracy was betrayed. But who did it? I am publishing an E-Book on this topic on Kindle any moment

    May 9, 2014 at 12:50 am | Reply
  8. Nancy

    Also, in the beginning, it was reported that the pilot made a phone call, after leaving the tarmac to an unidentified woman who was using a prepaid cell phone. Was that ever looked into or talked about ever again? I never heard anything.

    May 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  9. Robert Clark

    Chabahar Iran!!!!

    May 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  10. John

    Well, that's a bit ambiguous.

    The poll should read something more like:
    1) in the Indian Ocean just where the search is currently taking place
    2) in the Indian Ocean somewhere that hasn't been searched yet (duh)
    3) somewhere else entirely (for the tinfoil hat folks)

    I strongly suspect #2 would be the majority of the responses

    Which, of course, is a different result than what is portrayed here. And these pollsters actually get paid good money for their work?

    May 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  11. morris

    its in a hanger

    May 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  12. Richard Kahn

    I think it is disgusting that the focus in the media has almost completely left the plane and that the Sterling story and now the missing children in Nigeria has completely overtaken the media. Their is a multitude of problems here. First the politically controlled media deciding what should and should not be news. How about the news media pushing the issue a little more suggesting that the media take a trip to Diego Garcia to disprove the theory that the plane actually could be there. Than if that is disproved, how about we push a little harder and see if we can identify if we have special operations troops on the ground in the areas around Pakistan and other areas within reach of the plane had it gone north. There is too much that does not add up here. There were high level employees from Freescale on the plane, there was technology that they were working on that would have been desired by any government to get their hands on. There was definitely cargo on that plane that was of high importance to either be recovered by the US or captured by the US. In February there was two suspicious deaths of two Navy Seals aboard the Maersk Alabama a ship in the Indian Ocean. Apparently there may be a tie into their deaths and the cargo that may have been on that plane. Problem here is that there are just too many things that the news does not tell us about to get to the bottom of what is going on here. The news media must push harder for real hard answers.

    May 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  13. Marual malual

    If possible you experts may going ahead with searching" be'cos this flight 370 missing is "compared to what nobody knew' even if you think the past is gone! Do not close the door' make senseful present exists now.

    May 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  14. Donte ravenell

    No stoping they need to keep searching they have families on board

    May 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  15. Nancy

    I have never heard this mentioned by any of the experts, but there is the possibility the pilot could have adjusted the oxygen level in the cabin that would have killed the passengers. This would explain why there was no communication from any of them.

    If the pilot was working alone, he would have murdered the co-pilot which might have explained why he had turned on his cell phone. The pilot could have landed the plane somewhere.

    I also believe it could be on Diego Garcia island and that ours and other governments will definitely never reveal that to the public. There was the report where islanders saw the plane flying low around that area. Then all those reports were dismissed. I wonder why?

    May 8, 2014 at 11:31 am | Reply


    May 8, 2014 at 9:07 am | Reply
  17. Franzo

    I don't think we will ever know the actual truth even if the plane is found . 227 passengers on board it seems strange nobody tried to send a message via emails, text etc, when they realized something was wrong. Most of the Chinese carry with themselves the latest technology being a hand device or any other electronic device to communicate from anywhere around the world. There are thousands of satellites orbiting earth and none picked up anything ? Whatever happened all governments involved will cover up. Somebody knows the truth and I strongly believe somebody communicated with someone , somewhere . Now somebody is or has to make money right out of this right ???

    May 8, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply
  18. jean claude emond

    You tell me that the army/navy at Diego Garcia don't have detecting equipment on a base that has nuclear weapons launching capability. Wake up people.

    May 8, 2014 at 5:07 am | Reply
    • Sudoku Sake

      Exactly. I find it funny I see no mention from anyone about the plane purposely making an s turn down under Thailand and then up over Indonesia-why_ just so the pilot could then fly south for hours to nowhere and crash intot he ocean? Why did the plane avoid both these countries airspace? And yes Diego Garcia can track anything in the region. The US Government did not want that technology nor those Chinesse specialist getting back to Chinesse soil.

      May 9, 2014 at 2:01 am | Reply
      • Sudoku Sake

        Also, what was the massive unexplained explosion in White Sands Nevada within a week after this disappearance that was tracked on News weather sonar.- and the flights that went out of Diego Garcia to White Sands leading to this?

        May 9, 2014 at 2:05 am |
  19. Joe

    If they want to find it, check the hangars on Diego Garcia.

    May 8, 2014 at 1:34 am | Reply
  20. Anita C.

    Flight 370: No one is alive. If it was an accident they are all in the ocean. If it was stolen or landed somewhere, they were all killed unless their particular skill was needed for something in which case their life would be nasty. You can also bet that all devices would have been confiscated and disabled –I also think that the poll results accurately reflect the general feeling of the whole world minus surviving families

    May 8, 2014 at 12:16 am | Reply
  21. Elsa De La Rosa

    I believe that the search should continue. Whatever happened to the flight, it needs to be solved. In my opinion i believe the plane was hijacked. I cant say to stop searching in the ocean but also to look outside the box and think other possibilites

    May 7, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply

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