While walking through Concourse B at O’Hare last evening on my way to greet Senator Kirk, checking my phone revealed a disturbing text from my friend. “So scary,” said the message, along with a screenshot of a Tweet published by NYCAviation announcing that Malaysia Airlines confirmed the loss of contact with flight 370, a Boeing 777 carrying a total of 239 individuals. Naturally, I walked toward a restaurant in the concourse that I knew would be showing CNN, only to see the same set of stories looped from earlier — a tell-tale sign that the news was focused on an air disaster and was, therefore, censored at the airport.
Following up via Twitter and mobile apps, I was able to start putting information together to understand what happened, but the true nature of social media began to show itself as stories began to fly about wild assumptions of the aircraft. This article is a summary of what is currently known and the false information thus far published.
What we know:
- Malaysia Airlines flight 370 ceased communication during the early morning hours (local time) en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
- At least two passengers were traveling on passports that were not their own, and are reportedly Iranian.
- No distress radio calls or emergency beacon activation signals have been recorded or observed at this time.
- The United States is contributing to the search and investigation efforts via US Military and FBI involvement.
- Search and rescue operations are currently ongoing.
- Malaysian officials have spoken to the fact that a hijacking is likely the case in this incident.
- “As of today, 14 countries, 43 ships, and 58 aircraft are involved in the search” – Prime Minister (3/15, 1:24am Chicago)
- The aircraft is confirmed to have turned to its left, and last communicated with its satellite link at 8:11am local time, over six hours after last “in-contact” position south of Vietnam.
- Two corridors, located between Kazakistan and Thailand or Indonesia and the southern Indian Ocean, have been confirmed as the locations in which the aircraft must be located, per satellite data. (3/15 1:30am Chicago)
- Search operations have been completely stopped in the South China Sea in an effort to focus efforts in the aforementioned corridors.
- Imagery from 2,500 km off the coast of Perth, Australia, seems to indicate large debris in excess of 24m in size. Analysis is pending (3/19 11:40pm Chicago).
If hijacked, Six Miles Out believes a possibility exists that the stolen passports and the unannounced departure from the planned flight route may indicate similar motives to the Ethiopian Airlines 702 flight from last month, centering on attempting to attain asylum in a foreign country. (SPECULATION, not confirmed in any sense.)
Please feel free to comment below to leave any recent updates or to correct any previously-published information.