Many questions remain unanswered about missing jetliner
For more than two years, it has been a lost ship, a metal container carrying 239 souls that simply disappeared one night never to be seen again. And now, the search for the remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will likely become a thing of memory, too.
With last Friday’s announcement that the meticulous ocean search for the missing jetliner will be suspended - in effect, called off - one of this decade’s most tantalising unanswered questions is headed toward becoming, in effect, a cold case.
“I am not surprised it’s coming to an end without any answers,” said Tony Wong, a businessman in Kuala Lumpur.
“People are slowly forgetting the incident. No one will ever know the truth.”
The truth may be out there. The problem is, you have to know where to look. And that’s been precisely the problem all along.
The Boeing 777-200ER vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
Investigators believed it turned back west then south before dropping into the Indian Ocean west of Australia, where the search has been concentrated.
The Malaysian government has concluded that it was deliberately steered off course. Conspiracy theories, unsurprisingly, still abound in the vacuum of facts: was it blown up? Steered into the sea? Diverted to a remote airstrip somewhere? Abducted by aliens? For a long stretch, it seemed the world’s biggest loose end - a global obsession for weeks, a niggling unsolved riddle for years. And behind the epic tale were the lost souls and the families they left behind, which expected maximum effort and, to hear many relatives tell it over the long months, a successful resolution. They were not happy at the news that the search was being suspended. To varying degrees, they have accused investigators and searchers and the governments overseeing them of disingenuousness, incompetence and nefarious political agendas. In China, relatives have denounced the decision. They still don’t seem ready to think about the finality of it all. “They are actually just playing with words,” said Hu Xiufang, the mother of a Flight 370 passenger. “‘Suspension’ means termination to us. We strongly demand a re-investigation into how the plane went missing, and there is no excuse for the suspension of the search.” “It’s all a big fabrication, a big cover-up,” said Sakinab Shah, the eldest sister of senior pilot Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah. “Things just don't add up. With modern-day technology, how can there be a mystery?”