What happened to Malaysian airline MH370? In our age of presumed super technology the notion that a Boeing 777, a huge passenger aircraft, could simply disappear from the sky is both fascinating and terrifying. As days pass and the mystery deepens the rumors and speculation grow wilder. Observers read news articles and listen to television reports. Meanwhile, as much as thousands of miles away families wait for some word about what happened to their loved ones.
I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to conjecture about the air mystery. My mind immediately went to terrorism. As a former New Yorker, post 9-11, terrorism always seems to loom large when airline disasters occur. I considered the possibility of mechanical failure. As days passed and more oddities about the flight were discovered I returned repeatedly to the notion of terrorism. Passengers with stolen passports were reported, purported changes in the direction of the flight were indicated, and searches seemed to be fruitless.
Early reports showed photographs of family members crying as they waited for word of the fate of missing. Recently the only photos I see are of search teams, televised news conferences with talking heads who offer no real answers. Reading the latest report my thoughts went to the families and friends of the still missing passengers and crew of the aircraft. What is merely a mystery to me is a life changing event to those suffering from loss. Certainly there is little doubt these passengers are no longer living. It is unlikely the plane settled on some sandy beach with palm trees waving in the breeze and are merely awaiting rescue. It is not even remotely likely some of the passengers are floating on pieces of debris waiting to be spotted and plucked successfully from the jaws of death. If someone I loved was missing under these circumstances I think my mind might occasionally latch onto these improbably scenarios only to be dashed time and again. Every time another piece of theoretical information is released my heart would beat faster with the hope of at least having some answer. But those hopes would crash again as the debate over the event continues to take twist and turns and no real answers are provided.
I can only imagine how horrible it is for these mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, friends and family to watch the news, read the papers, and hunger for some answer. It is traumatic enough to lose a loved one unexpectedly, but to lose one (or in some cases more than one) under such tragic circumstances with so many unanswered questions can only be described as torture.
I’m not criticizing the investigators. I don’t know enough about the difficulties they face in trying to find out what happened. I’m not even criticizing people like myself whose curiosity is aroused by the event. I am simply trying to look at things from the perspective of those whose loss is overwhelming, whose questions come from the heart, and who yearn daily for some official word of those they have lost. My heart goes out to them and I pray they will find some peace of mind.