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Malaysian leader: Plane's disappearance deliberate

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:52 p.m. HST, Mar 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia >> A Malaysian passenger jet missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about seven and a half hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday.

Najib's statement Saturday confirmed days of mounting speculation that the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board was not accidental, and underlines the massive task for searchers who already been scouring vast areas of ocean.

"In view of this latest development, the Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board," Najib said, stressing they are still investigating all possibilities as to why the plane deviated so drastically from its original flight path.

"Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase," Najib told a televised news conference.

The Malaysian Airlines flight 370 was carrying 239 people when it departed for an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing at 12:40 a.m. March 8. The plane's communications with civilian air controllers were severed about 1:20 and the plane went missing in one of the most puzzling mysteries in modern aviation history.

Najib said investigators now have a high degree of certainly that one of the planes communications, the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, was disabled before the aircraft reached the east coast of Malaysia. Shortly afterward someone on board then switched off the aircraft's transponder, which communicates with civilian air traffic controllers.

The prime minister then confirmed that Malaysian air force defense radar picked up traces of the plane turning back westward, crossing over peninsular Malaysia into the northern stretches of the Strait of Malacca. Authorities previously had said this radar data could not be verified.

He then said the last confirmed signal between the plane and a satellite came at 8:11 a.m. Malaysian time -- 7 hours and 31 minutes after take-off. Airline officials have said the plane had enough fuel to fly for up to about eight hours.

"The investigations team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after this last point of contact," he said.

Najib said authorities had determined that the plane's last communication with a satellite was in one of two possible "corridors" -- a northern one from northern Thailand through to the border of Kazakstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern one from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

Najib said that searching in the South China Sea, where the plane first lost contact with air traffic controllers, would be ended.

The current search involved 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft.

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marc_collins wrote:
maybe it didn't crash?
on March 14,2014 | 07:13PM
serious wrote:
A plane that size needs a long commercial or military runway and would surely be noticed. I haven't heard this scenario, but my guess is that the pilot or whomever took over the aircraft knew what he was doing i.e. turning off the transponder and the engine transponder computers. Just put on an oxygen mask and slowly depressurize the aircraft. Anyone who has been in an oxygen chamber will tell you you don't notice the event until you are asleep and then die from lack of oxygen. (Anyone remember Wayne Stewart, the golfer, on his private jet when they took off and forgot to pressurize the aircraft?? Neither the pilots nor Stewart noticed and they didn't make it.) But why someone would do this--the motive?? Anybody's guess. I understand they surveyed all the passengers for flying experience--so it must have been one of the pilots????? The problem also is, if the attendants knew what was happening--the highjacking--the door to the cockpit can't be opened from the outside--this has got to be something the FAA has to look at and come up with a fix.
on March 15,2014 | 07:37AM
st1d wrote:
still, how did they silence all of the passengers and crew, keeping them from using their cell phones while flying over land.
on March 14,2014 | 07:37PM
BuhByeAloha wrote:
Threats and violence.
on March 14,2014 | 07:59PM
mitt_grund wrote:
If it was the pilot and c0-pilot, no one else may have been aware until landing or crashing.
on March 14,2014 | 11:54PM
glenn57377 wrote:
An abrupt turn or any turn at all could have spurred the curiosity of a frequent traveler.......not that they could do anything about it. Certainly the crew would have been alarmed if a captain or copilot were going off-course.
on March 15,2014 | 12:22AM
mitt_grund wrote:
"Ladies and gentlemen, please remain calm. We have been alerted of severe air turbulence ahead and must fly around it. Please cooperate with the flight attendants. As an additional precaution, please do not use any personal electronic devices. Thank you. Please enjoy our in-flight movies (free of charge)."
on March 15,2014 | 12:44AM
mitt_grund wrote:
"Ladies and gentlemen, please remain calm. We have been alerted of severe air turbulence ahead and must fly around it. Please cooperate with the flight attendants. As an additional precaution, please do not use any personal electronic devices. Thank you. Please enjoy our in-flight movies (free of charge)."
on March 15,2014 | 12:45AM
mitt_grund wrote:
"Ladies and gentlemen, please remain calm. We have been alerted of severe air turbulence ahead and must fly around it. Please cooperate with the flight attendants. As an additional precaution, please do not use any personal electronic devices. Thank you. Please enjoy our in-flight movies (free of charge)."
on March 15,2014 | 12:47AM
glenn57377 wrote:
They may not have been flying close enough to a signal tower for a signal to be picked up. They may have also been under duress and were afraid to move. There is also a chance there were signal towers that could have picked up cell phone GPS coordinates. In the day and age of high technology, it seem unbelievable that an entire large aircraft cannot be located. It seems to me that with modern satellites, its path could have been identified all the way until landing or impact. The majority of the passengers were Chinese......I wonder how China will react if this is terrorism? Life is plentiful and cheap in China.....they may not be overly concerned, considering they don't have the best human rights record. This is indeed an anomaly that has stumped the world.....and there could be entities or militaries/governments that know exactly what happened and are not coming forward. We don't know when, but the jet will eventually be located.......it may take longer to find out what happened.
on March 15,2014 | 12:18AM
2localgirl wrote:
Well the only other thing is it went to a UFO! Well it's certainly a strange happening. As far as pilot suicide, I know a very nasty airman but even he wouldn't do that. I'd like him to disappear into a UFO....however. One can only hope! All kidding aside, what a horrible experience for any of the family of the missing,even the perpetrators family. I can only hope that there is an answer for the poor waiting families....may the Lord be with you, all of you passengers as well as loved ones.
on March 14,2014 | 09:31PM
mitt_grund wrote:
An Air Egypt pilot did precisely that. Don't know what he did with his co-pilot. Maybe he did his act when the co-pilot left to relieve himself. His last words as the plane plummeted to the ocean, "Allah Akbar" (god is great?). Initially, Egyptian government denied this, but investigation proved otherwise.
on March 15,2014 | 12:58AM
hikine wrote:
Time to call Fox Mulder and Dana Scully of the X-Files to do their investigation.
on March 15,2014 | 05:02PM
2NDC wrote:
More propaganda from the government via news media. THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHERE THE PLANE IS! http://vietnam.craigslist.org/for/4372477162.html
on March 14,2014 | 09:39PM
hikine wrote:
The ineptness of the Malaysian government blaming hijackers instead of being diligent in looking for the plane. They took no action when communication was cut off and further took no action several hours afterwards. Using hijackers as scapegoats is lame.
on March 14,2014 | 10:36PM
inverse wrote:
Why can't all commercial planes be designed so pilots CANNOT turn of their transponder in flight? It can only be turned off remotely from a coded signal sent from the airline control center on the ground and only by an authorized person trained to know when a transponder should actually be turned off and on.
on March 14,2014 | 10:42PM
mitt_grund wrote:
One word answer: cheap.
on March 14,2014 | 11:55PM
glenn57377 wrote:
I don't think cheap is the answer. Most of the hardware is already there.
on March 15,2014 | 12:25AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Airlines are basically cheap. Otherwise, why do they pack passengers in like sardines. Every dollar they spend on safety is less for profit.
on March 15,2014 | 12:29AM
mitt_grund wrote:
It may have been a Muslim-to-Muslim sympathy gesture. Since the Uyghur insurgency in Xinjiang Province has gained momentum with recent bombing in Tiananmen Square, and the mass group stabbings at a Chinese train station, Muslim sympathizers in Malaysia, which is a Muslim nation may have taken it upon themselves unilaterally to further the rebellion. As a sympathy gesture not planned by the Uyghur insurgents, there may be no claims of victory forthcoming. Only the brotherhood would know. But the apparent suspects, the pilot and copilot are now martyrs in the jihad against the unrighteous West and China. Again, the Malaysian government should seek out the no-shows who may have been alerted by those in the know that this was coming.

A boycott of tourism flights to Malaysia should produce an outpouring of more info from the Malaysian government, if they are worried about the income Malaysia receives from tourism. They spend enough on promoting it. Now they should put as much effort in tracking down the people who did it.

on March 15,2014 | 12:27AM
hikine wrote:
IF the plane was hijacked how come no group has claimed it so far. Terrorists will usually announce their victory and hold everyone for ransom. The Malaysian government's weak excuse for failing to locate the plane is reprehensible.
on March 15,2014 | 04:05AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Because in the deranged mind of a martyr, the ultimate justice of Sharia law would be to give these 239 souls the same anonymity in death as we the US gave martyr Osama bin Laden. I believe they ditched the plane in the proximity of the lower southern boundary of the Arabian Sea, where the USN deposited bin Laden's body. A single person doing his thing doesn't necessarily seek publicity. The Tsarnaev brothers were seeking glory in the deed, not in revealing who they were.
on March 19,2014 | 02:29AM
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