Day 13: Obama: Finding missing plane a top US priority

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says finding out what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is a top priority for the U.S.

In his first public comments on the mind-boggling disappearance, Obama said Wednesday that every available U.S. resource is being used in the search, including the FBI, the National Transportation Safety Board and others who deal with aviation. Finding the plane will take time because the search area is so vast, he said, but the U.S. will continue working in close cooperation with the Malaysian government, which is leading the investigation, “to see if we can get to the bottom of this.”

Flight 370 had 239 passengers and crew members on board when it disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

“We have put every resource that we have available at the disposal of the search process,” Obama said in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth …

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Day 13: 7 leading theories on disappearance of Flight 370

Selamat Omar, 60, father of one of the passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, speaks to the media at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Four military search planes were dispatched Thursday to try to determine whether two large objects bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean were part of a possible debris field of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. One of the objects spotted by satellite imagery had a dimension of 24 meters (almost 80 feet) and the other one was smaller. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Selamat Omar, 60, father of one of the passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, speaks to the media at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Four military search planes were dispatched Thursday to try to determine whether two large objects bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean were part of a possible debris field of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. One of the objects spotted by satellite imagery had a dimension of 24 meters (almost 80 feet) and the other one was smaller. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Countless theories have surfaced about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 nearly two weeks ago.

Some are plausible, some are downright absurd. There is, unfortunately, no clear answer as the families of the 239 passengers and crew — and the rest of the world — wait in agony. Even the most logical hypotheses about what happened to the 209-foot-long Boeing 777 have holes. No scenario solves …

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Day 13: Flight simulators used by enthusiasts worldwide

One of relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines, MH370 complains to an officer of the airlines during a news briefing at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Flight 370 disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation, but have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

One of relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines, MH370 complains to an officer of the airlines during a news briefing at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Flight 370 disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation, but have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

By The Associated Press

Malaysian authorities have asked the FBI to help analyze data from a flight simulator found at the home of Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the Malaysia Airlines pilot whose plane has been missing since March 8.

WHAT’S A FLIGHT SIMULATOR?

The purpose of a flight simulator is to recreate the feel of piloting a plane. Simulators can range from software on a personal computer used as a hobby, …

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Day 12: Australia checking 2 objects in search for plane

An office building is illuminated with LED lights displaying "Pray for MH370" next to Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Countless theories have surfaced about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 nearly two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

An office building is illuminated with LED lights displaying "Pray for MH370" next to Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Countless theories have surfaced about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 nearly two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

By KRISTEN GELINEAU

The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia —

Australia’s prime minister said Thursday two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted on satellite imagery in the Indian Ocean and an air force aircraft was diverted to the area to try to locate them.

The Orion aircraft was expected to arrive in the area Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament in Canberra. Three additional aircraft are expected to follow for a more intensive search, he said.

But Abbott cautioned that the task of locating the objects will be extremely difficult and “it may turn out that they are not related to …

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Day 12: FBI will attempt to restore pilot’s deleted files

University students hold a candlelight vigil for passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Yangzhou, in eastern China's Jiangsu province. (AP Photo)

University students hold a candlelight vigil for passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Yangzhou, in eastern China's Jiangsu province. (AP Photo)

A flight simulator and other computers in the home of one of the pilots from missing Flight 370 will be transported to the U.S. and analyzed by the FBI, reports USA Today.

The FBI is expected to have the computers, hard drives and other materials at its Quantico, Va., headquarters this week.

U.S. agents have been in Malaysia awaiting an official invitation to join the investigation for the missing Malaysian Airlines jet but that request did not happen until Wednesday, 12 days after the Boeing 777 disappeared.

Malaysian officials said files were deleted from the flight simulator in the home of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah. The files were deleted Feb. 3 and may have been deleted simply to free hard drive space, officials said, but the FBI will try to restore the files to see what information they contain.

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Day 12: ‘Pray for MH370′ sign lights Malaysia skyline

An office building is illuminated with LED lights displaying "Pray for MH370" next to Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, Malaysia's defense minister said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

An office building is illuminated with LED lights displaying "Pray for MH370" next to Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, Malaysia's defense minister said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

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Day 12: Poll: What happened to Flight 370?

What do you think happened to Malaysia Air Flight 370?

  • There was some kind of mechanical failure or fire and the plane went down.
  • Someone hijacked it and it went down.
  • Someone hijacked it and it landed somewhere.
  • It’s in the Bermuda Triangle.
  • Alien abduction makes sense.

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

The Associated Press

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has generated dozens of theories on where it is now, from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, and how it vanished. Here’s a rundown of what we know and what we don’t, along with clues and theories about what happened to the Boeing 777 jetliner:

THE WHERE:

— LAST CONTACT: Flight MH370 last communicated with air traffic control on March 8 east of Malaysia, and that area of the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam initially was the focus of the search. Many experts assumed the plane had suffered a sudden catastrophic event because pilots didn’t alert ground control …

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Day 12: Relatives shout for truth

A Chinese relative of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane cries as she holds a banner in front of journalists reading 'We are against the Malaysian government for hiding the truth and delaying the rescue. Release our families unconditionally!" at a hotel in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Malaysian authorities examined new radar data from Thailand that could potentially give clues on how to retrace the course of the Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished early March 8 with 239 people aboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Twenty-six countries are looking for the aircraft as relatives anxiously await news. (AP Photo)

A Chinese relative of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane cries as she holds a banner in front of journalists reading 'We are against the Malaysian government for hiding the truth and delaying the rescue. Release our families unconditionally!" at a hotel in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Malaysian authorities examined new radar data from Thailand that could potentially give clues on how to retrace the course of the Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished early March 8 with 239 people aboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Twenty-six countries are looking for the aircraft as relatives anxiously await news. (AP Photo)

The Associated Press reports that some relatives are becoming increasingly vocal about the lack of results in the search for Malaysia Airlines 370.

Relatives of passengers on the missing airliner — two thirds of them from China — have grown increasingly frustrated over the lack of progress in the search, in its 12th day on …

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Day 12: Missing airliner changed course before final message

Malaysia airport police officer stands in front of messages board for the passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. New radar data from Thailand gave Malaysian investigators more potential clues Wednesday for how to retrace the course of the missing Malaysian airliner, while a massive multinational search unfolded in an area the size of Australia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Malaysia airport police officer stands in front of messages board for the passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 changed course before the pilots’ final spoke their final words to air traffic controllers, reports Fox News.

A former FAA spokesman said the plane changed course 12 minutes before one of the pilots, presumably the younger co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, said, “All right, good night” in his final radio call.

“One of the pilots clearly had the intention … that he was going to take [the plane] in a different direction,” said Scott Brenner. “It’s 100 percent clear this pilot, or this co-pilot, was going to take this plane with the intent of doing something bad.”

Brenner said it would be very difficult for one pilot to have hidden the course change from the other pilot, so both pilots were likely aware the plane …

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Day 12: Were cell phones jammed aboard missing airliner?

Why didn’t any of the 239 people aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 make a phone call if the plane experienced trouble?

Investigators believe the plane flew for hours after disappearing from Malaysian radar at about 1:30 a.m. on March 8, but there’s been no report of anyone using their phone.

A Time.com article suggests it would have been simple to “jam” passenger cellphones aboard the Boeing 777 using off-the-shelf electronics available in Asia.

Once a jammer (or jammers) was activated, the passengers would have been unable to make phone calls, the article says.

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Day 12: Making the case for a cockpit fire

A report by a Chris Goodfellow, a pilot, at wired.com is gaining momentum on the web. The article, “A startlingly simple theory about the missing Malaysia Airlines jet,” makes the case for a fire in the cockpit. He writes:

For me, the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense in a fire. And there most likely was an electrical fire. In the case of a fire, the first response is to pull the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one. If they pulled the busses, the plane would go silent. It probably was a serious event and the flight crew was occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, navigate, and lastly, communicate is the mantra in such situations.

Read the report at wired.com

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Day 12: Files deleted from pilot’s flight simulator

A man takes a picture of a paper plane of a Malaysian airliner, on the messages board for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. New radar data from Thailand gave Malaysian investigators more potential clues Wednesday for how to retrace the course of the missing Malaysian airliner, while a massive multinational search unfolded in an area the size of Australia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

A man takes a picture of a paper plane of a Malaysian airliner, on the messages board for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

By IAN MADER

The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, Malaysia’s defense minister said Wednesday.

Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference that the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, is considered innocent until proven guilty of any wrongdoing, and that members of his family are cooperating in the investigation. Files containing records of simulations carried out on the program were deleted Feb. 3, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu said.

Deleting files would not necessarily represent anything unusual, especially if it were to free up …

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Day 11: What if Flight 307 is never found?

In this May 1937 file photo, American aviaor Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, pose in front of their twin-engine Lockheed Electra in Los Angeles prior to their flight around the world. Earhart’s disappearance in 1937 is among aviation’s most enduring mysteries. Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean, vanished over the Pacific with Noonan during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Seven decades later, people are still transfixed with the mystery. Theories range from her simply running out of fuel and crashing to her staging her own disappearance and secretly returning to the U.S. to live under another identity. (AP Photo/File)

In this May 1937 file photo, American aviaor Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, pose in front of their twin-engine Lockheed Electra in Los Angeles prior to their flight around the world. Earhart’s disappearance in 1937 is among aviation’s most enduring mysteries. Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean, vanished over the Pacific with Noonan during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Seven decades later, people are still transfixed with the mystery. Theories range from her simply running out of fuel and crashing to her staging her own disappearance and secretly returning to the U.S. to live under another identity. (AP Photo/File)

The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The plane must be somewhere. But the same can be said for Amelia Earhart’s.

Ten days after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people aboard, an exhaustive international search has produced no sign of the Boeing 777, raising an unsettling question: What …

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Day 11: Nothing suspicious in pilots’ homes

Journalists stand outside the home of Fariq Abdul Hamid, the co-pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Attention focused Sunday on the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced findings so far that suggest someone with intimate knowledge of the Boeing 777’s cockpit seized control of the plane and sent it off-course. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Journalists stand outside the home of Fariq Abdul Hamid, the co-pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Attention focused Sunday on the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced findings so far that suggest someone with intimate knowledge of the Boeing 777’s cockpit seized control of the plane and sent it off-course. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

A search of personal computers and e-mails of the pilots aboard missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 turned up nothing suspicious, CNN reports.

Investigators don’t know who was controlling the 777 as it made several deviations in its scheduled flight on March 8, but nothing indicates the pilots were planning anything, the report says.

Most of the airliner’s 239 passengers were Chinese, but China says it has found no evidence that any of its citizens on board the missing plane were involved in hijacking or …

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Day 11: Maldives residents report seeing plane

No one knows where missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is now, but residents of the Maldives say a plane that could have been a Boeing 777 flew over the island several hours after the airliner went missing.

The Maldives is a chain of 26 islands in the Indian Ocean, and could easily have been reached by Flight 370, which went missing at about 1:30 a.m. on March 8.

At 6:15 a.m., several islanders reported seeing a large white jumbo jet with red stripes, reports an island newspaper.

The plane was flying so low one resident said he could make out the plane’s doors.

The newspaper, Haveeru, said the plane was reportedly seen over Kuda Huvadhoo, the largest of the tiny nation’s islands.

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Day 11: Could pilots intentionally avoid radar?

Could the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 avoid radar detection?

In some parts of the world, yes, writes CNN, in an article that suggests planes as large as the one missing since Saturday could slip past radar if pilots sought out “blind spots.”

“It certainly is possible to fly through the mountains in that part of the world and not be visible on radar. Also, an experienced pilot, anyone who wanted to go in that direction, could certainly plot out all the known radar locations, and you can easily determine, where are the radar blind spots?” said former FBI agent and security specialist Jeffrey Beatty. ”It’s the type of things the Americans did when they went into Pakistan to go after Osama bin Laden.”

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Day 11: Thailand may have detected missing airliner

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may have been detected by Thailand’s military radar, CNN reports.

The jet, with 239 people on board, “disappeared” at about 1:30 a.m. on March 8.

Thailand said Tuesday that it believes it detected the plane headed west towards the Indian Ocean a few minutes after its disappearance.

This would be the second report of the Boeing 777 flying west, far from its scheduled flight path. The Malaysian military said its radar tracked the plane as it passed over the small island of Pulau Perak in the Strait of Malacca, meaning the jet had to turn sharply to the west and cross back over the Malay Peninsula instead of continuing north towards Vietnam.

CNN says the Thai report indicates investigators are on the right track, but there’s still no indication the plane crashed or landed anywhere in a massive, 3 million square mile area the plane could have reached.

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Day 11: Why didn’t passengers use phones, NY Times asks

A relative shows the media a screen of his mobile phone while calling a mobile phone number of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 during a demonstration at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Monday, March 17, 2014. The relative claims that the dialing tone kept ringing, hut failed to connect, indicating that the mobile phone was switched on. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

A relative shows the media a screen of his mobile phone while calling a mobile phone number of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 during a demonstration at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Monday, March 17, 2014. The relative claims that the dialing tone kept ringing, hut failed to connect, indicating that the mobile phone was switched on. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

The New York Times addresses an issue that has occurred to many Americans who lived through Sept. 11, 2001: Why didn’t the passengers use phones to contact relatives or others?

SEPANG, Malaysia — When hijackers took control of four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, and sent them hurtling low across the countryside toward New York and Washington, frantic passengers and flight attendants turned on cellphones and air phones and began making calls to loved ones, airline managers and the authorities.

But when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did a wide U-turn in the middle of the …

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Day 11: Search for lost jet tests capabilities of China, U.S.

In this Thursday, March 13, 2014 photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's rescue ships sail different ways as they conduct a search operation for a missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, flight MH370. China has the most at stake and has been taking an unusually high-profile role. Almost immediately after the plane disappeared, Beijing dispatched its largest-ever rescue flotilla to the initial search area in the South China Sea, which Beijing considers its own backyard. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhao Yingquan)

In this Thursday, March 13, 2014 photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's rescue ships sail different ways as they conduct a search operation for a missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, flight MH370. China has the most at stake and has been taking an unusually high-profile role. Almost immediately after the plane disappeared, Beijing dispatched its largest-ever rescue flotilla to the initial search area in the South China Sea, which Beijing considers its own backyard. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhao Yingquan)

The Associated Press

TOKYO — Finding the missing Malaysian jetliner would be a coup for any of the more than two dozen countries out there looking. But for China and the United States, it’s a lot more than that — it has been a chance for the two rival powers in the Pacific to show off what they can do in a real-life humanitarian mission across one of the world’s most hotly contested regions.

The hunt has major ramifications for Beijing, which has been rapidly …

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Day 11: NY TIMES: Lost jet’s path seen as altered via computer

This graphic released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Tuesday, March 18, 2014 shows an area, left bottom, in the southern Indian Ocean that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on. Manager of AMSA response division John Young has identified their search will cover a massive 600,000-square kilometers (232,000-square miles) area, saying it will take weeks to search thoroughly. (AP Photo/The Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

This graphic released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Tuesday, March 18, 2014 shows an area, left bottom, in the southern Indian Ocean that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on. Manager of AMSA response division John Young has identified their search will cover a massive 600,000-square kilometers (232,000-square miles) area, saying it will take weeks to search thoroughly. (AP Photo/The Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON — The first turn to the west that diverted the missing Malaysia Airlines plane from its planned flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carried out through a computer system that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems, according to senior American officials.

Instead of manually operating the plane’s controls, whoever altered Flight 370’s path …

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