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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Mystery of Flight 370
Aired March 19, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: This is Piers Morgan Live. I am Bill Weir, filling him on again tonight. And after staring at maps of the Indian Ocean, pictures of black boxes for almost two weeks now, but we now have what maybe the most emotionally devastating image related to missing Flight 370.
This is passenger 162, his name is Moheng Wang and he is two years old, and I say "is" rather than was of course with the hope that Moheng and his parents and grandparents are still alive somehow, somewhere. Of course that would defy all logical odds. But when you look at this adorable little guy, you couldn't help but hope. And you can't help but understand this mother's anguish. She is also missing a son and her frustration in this endless empty search exploded into emotions today.
We got this photo from a close friend of Moheng's parents who through social media, just discovered yesterday that the people she loves are on that flight. Imagine watching this whole mystery with a luxury of emotional distance and suddenly being sucked in like that. She will join us in just a moment.
I will also try to understand how and why the key search area shrunk from the size of the continental U.S. to an area the size of Arizona since last we spoke. And what FBI computer specialists might be able to find on the pilot's home flight simulator after it was discovered that the captain deleted some files from the simulator's hard drive sometime last month.
But our Big Story begins in Malaysia where Kyung Lah is in Kuala Lumpur and spoke to one very upset family member at that Ruckus press conference earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What have Malaysia Airlines told you in the past days?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just kept brushing us off, saying keep waiting and waiting for information. I don't know when we are going to wait 'till it's already 12 days. My dear, I don't know where my dear is, 12 days. My son, where is my son?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: And Kyung Lah joins us live now from Kuala Lumpur. Just even with the cultural and language barrier, it's heart rending to watch that day after day. What exactly are Malaysian Airline official saying at these things? Are they even apologizing for the lack of information, what goes on in these things?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was a brief mention of what happened with these mothers at yesterday's daily press conference. We do want to mention that these conferences happen every single day, Bill, and these women knew exactly where to go because the time as always said, is always the same and they came to a place where they knew there would be hundreds of cameras and they wanted that message out. "Please help me find my son." But also to say that they felt that the government was not telling them the truth, that they were holding something back. And what the government did is say that they're trying to be as transparent as possible, addressing it in that briefing. They did say that the best way to help these mothers is to find their children.
WEIR: OK. Kyung Lah, once again, thanks for your reporting there. Let's turn to Jim Sciutto. CNN's Security Correspondent in Washington. Jim, talk to me about this search area. What happened between tonight and last time we spoke 24 hours ago that that thing shrunk?
That's good news I suppose, but why?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It is. And I think you said these are the most (inaudible) development of the day. It shrunk for a couple of reasons. U.S. and Australian authorities working in this huge international coalition you have right now have calculated based on the track of the plane that it was on at last radar contact, how much fuel it has in its tank and therefore how long it would be expected to fly before it run out of fuel.
Plus those last radar satellite rather contacts that it had that bring it down not just anywhere along that band there, that sort of southern arc, but right to the very end of where it would have ended up when it ran out of fuel and that's allowed them to shrink it down from 3 million square miles that we were talking about yesterday, to about 230 square miles as you said, difference between continental United States and the State of Arizona.
And they're also calculating drifts because you have currents there that assuming the plane hit the water that it would have moved the wreckage a little bit south and east down that Coast of Australia.
So that's where they're looking now. They got a fair amount of confidence there and the U.S. officials I talked to, you know, they don't know anything for sure and it's still possible the plane could have gone north or stop somewhere else. But in terms of what they are focusing on, I could tell you Bill, that's what they're focusing on now. What official say to me quietly what they think happen to this plane is it's far more likely, it's in the water there and somewhere else.
WEIR: Right, maybe making a calculated guess if there's enough sort of radar systems up in Southeast Asia that if it gone north, the world would know. Let's talk about the flight simulator, the much discussed home flight simulator of the captain. Now, is the actual hard drive at Quantico, at FBI headquarters?
SCIUTTO: Well, a mirror of the hard drive is, because what the Malaysians have done is shared a mirror of it, not only with the Americans but with some other countries as well. So they're looking at it right now. And I'm told that, you know, even the things that would have been deleted on, I think we all have this impression when we delete something, it disappears forever, but of course it doesn't.
And what they're doing now is piecing those files back together. It depends on how much these files were deleted, because we even notice when you're deleting e-mails, right? You could delete -- put them in the deleted file and then you can permanently delete them. So there are few different levels. If it's has been more severely deleted then it's kind of like working a puzzle.
I'm told that the experts in Quantico takes those pieces, they put them together, it may not look like it looked when he was using those programs on the flight simulator, but they can at least get a pretty good idea of what's in there. These are the guys -- these are the best guys you want on this job ...
SCIUTTO: ... because, you know, they're often searching computers where people have tried to hide stuff, whether it's pornography or ties to a extremist few groups. So this is the team you want working on a job like this.
WEIR: And they just have the flight simulator or do they have the personal computers of the captain and co-pilot?
SCIUTTO: Both ...
SCIUTTO: ... both hard drives of the personal computer but also special interest of course on that flight simulator because, you know, if there's something on there that indicated he practice ...
SCIUTTO: ... up for a flight like this, that's what they would be (inaudible) ...
WEIR: And really quickly, that's all they've asked help for from the U.S.? Are those computers -- if the guys willing to do -- probably go over there, but this is all they need right now?
SCIUTTO: Well, you're right, exactly. They have not asked for the FBI to go there. Of course they have asked for other help including searching that search area.
SCIUTTO: You got 26 countries, 60 ships, 50 airplanes. The U.S. is most powerful sub-hunting airplane, the P-8, which is designed to find periscopes on the water, little tiny things. It's now using those capabilities to look for wreckage on the water.
WEIR: But you think that maybe they'd want the best cops in the world, the best detectives or the FBI ...
SCIUTTO: No question. And this has been a frustration from the beginning, right? Because you got people around the world, particularly in this country raising their hand say, "Hey, let us help you interpret the radar data, the satellite data, you know, and so on." It's taking some time to get those requests out.
WEIR: And President Obama, I understand finally address this search.
SCIUTTO: He did. President Obama, he made it clear, and if you like, we can play the clip of the video. He just made it clear that the U.S. is providing all the help that it can. I think you probably hinting a little bit, but it would offer more advanced.
WEIR: Right. OK. Jim Sciutto.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We have put every resource that we have available at the disposal of the search process. There's been the close cooperation with the Malaysian government. And so, not just NTSB but FBI, you know, anybody who typically deals with anything related to our aviation system is available. And so, you know, our thoughts and prayers were with the families, but I want them to be assured that we consider this a top priority and we're going to keep on working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: One more thing we didn't mention, you reference it a bit Bill with satellites as well, the U.S. is using some of its satellites, it's not moving military satellites, but we are told that they're using what those satellites have seen particular on that northern corridor. And as you said, because there's so much radar coverage up there in the north and so many satellites and the fact that they haven't picked up the plane is another reason why they're looking south more than north now.
WEIR: Jim Sciutto, another day a few more cramps, but we appreciate it. We'll take everything that we can get, thank you sir.
And let's get more now on these topics. Joining me, Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst. Also Foria Younis, former FBI agent, founder and CEO of the South Asia-Middle East consultants. And Missy Cummings, a former Navy Fighter Pilot, Professor of Drone Research at MIT and Duke University. Thank you all for being here.
Peter, let me ask a question, I didn't get to with Jim. This word that we got, actually CNN confirm from a source within the law enforcement agencies in the United States that the plane's navigation system was adjusted, like a new path, a new flight path was programmed around 12 minutes before that final verbal "All right, good night."
First of all the -- by that bit of reporting, do you trust that? And second, what does that tell you if anything?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANASYT: Well, let's presume it's accurate for the moment, I mean, for that story has changed, but that seems like a confirmed piece of information. I mean I think that you are left with probably three or four scenarios, one of which is hijacking for a political purpose, which I think is quite unlikely for a whole set of reasons. Two, you know, the possibility of pilot suicide, which is very rare, but, not unheard of. Three, some kind of piracy for an economic reasons which isn't completely impossible. And finally, some kind of idiosyncratic motive that, you know, we haven't often seen in the past, but does cope (ph) up.
There was a Turkish Airlines flight, it was hijacked by somebody who was trying to avoid military service for instance and he had a very desired plan to talk to the pope about his desire to get out of military service and he hijacked the plane to Italy.
So, you know, you can hijack a plane without a political purpose in mind. It can be something idiosyncratic. But clearly, you know, I mean, it seems to be little debate anymore that this was diverted by intentionally by someone.
WEIR: Right. Foria, you are in the investigations, this is really interesting, not only TWA 800, but the Egypt Aircraft in which was pilot suicide. How did you determine that and what was your reaction when you came to that conclusion?
FORIA YOUNIS, FMR. FBI AGENT: Well, as an investigator, you know, air craft issues and terrorism issues are something that I've always looked into. But with the TWA 800, for quite a few -- for quite that long period, we looked that it has a terrorism, but then it came about that it was clearly just an accident and a crash. The Egypt Air, it was a pilot suicide, but to this day, the pilot's family will not concede that it was pilot suicide but that was from the recording -- from the pilot's recording that we're going back and forth. We were able to figure out that this was some statements that he was making indicated that he was looking to end his life plus looking into some of the other conversations in the cockpit that they were differences about rather to try to save the plane or take it down. So that led us to believe that it was clearly pilot suicide.
WEIR: If only we have that -- is that kind of information would show up on the black box if it's ever found, that kind of conversation would determine such a thing?
YOUNIS: I think, you know, between what you find out between the two different pieces of equipment, what the pilots and what conversations being hide in the cockpit, but you can also find out what's going on with the mechanics of the flight has (inaudible).
WEIR: Missy Cummings, what kind of jets did you fly in the navy?
MISSY CUMMINGS, FMR. NAVY FIGHTER PILOT: I flew A-Force and F-18th.
WEIR: Wow. And so, thinking about this theory, you know, it seems like they have sort of eliminated if they're looking in the south, but this theory that the plane might have gone north and gone very low to dodge radar, possible given your experience?
CUMMINGS: Well, I think, you know, it's possible except that ones you do the fuel computation, planes burn a lot more fuel when they go down low. So it reduces their range even further. So, while it may have been possible if they did that, they most certainly would have run out of fuel before they got too far.
WEIR: Yeah, certainly, wouldn't be able to get over the Himalayas if they're going that far north. And then also, I want to touch on your drone expertise there. I was looking at some mockups. The navy has a super drone in the works. They can take incredible imagery and just stay up forever. Do you think, do you hope, that they're being used in this search now?
CUMMINGS: Well, the government hasn't said for sure. I would be surprised if they weren't being used in some way shape or form. But, they also -- the mission is not different really between manned and unmanned aircraft. For example, the U-2 is our spy plane. We have a squadron over in Korea right now. I'm sure that they are using that in some kind of capacity to get some imagery. But the drones actually can provide you much longer surveillance time than you have with the pilot and you certainly don't have to worry about the pilot and their physiologic needs.
And so, while the navy is not up and running yet, the air force certainly have some that could and it's not clear whether Australia may or may not be using drones in this capacity as well.
WEIR: Yeah. And for those wondering, we checked at Barbara Starr at the Pentagon asked about submarines and apparently, those are -- you have to plan those missions way in advance. So, it doesn't sound like that's the case.
One more question before I let you go, Peter. Well, what do you make of the FBI now finally getting a crack at the pilot and co-pilots computers. Do you think they've might be able to find something that the Malaysians couldn't?
BERGEN: You know, it goes to the question of motive. I mean, Foria have -- about on the Egypt in that case that not only was the information from the cockpit useful, the fact that this pilot was about to be fired and there was a whole investigation into the circumstance of that. I mean, he had a real motive. Now, we have no motive in the case of the pilot or the co-pilot, but perhaps looking at the computers might produce one if there is one.
WEIR: Peter, Missy, Foria, much obliged for your time and thoughts tonight. Thank you.
And when we come back, the very human face of this mystery, it's one thing to look at this passenger manifest that's another to actually get to know the people out there missing. We're going to talk to friends of a young Chinese family, father, mother, two-year old son, just discovered that they're on that flight.
WEIR: Two-thirds of the passengers who boarded Flight 370 were Chinese. The planes stated destination was of course Beijing, and onboard, a young husband and wife Rory Wang and Vivia (ph) Jiao and their two-year old Moheng Wang. He was with him on that flight and his grandparents were there as well, Vivia's (ph) parents.
And joining me now, couple of friends of that couple, that beautiful family. Saleel Limaye is the classmate of Rory's MBA program at the Kellogg School at Northwestern. He joins us from Austin. And Weina Shi is here with me in New York.
Thank you both for coming in such a difficult time. And Weina, this is -- what's amazing about this is we reached out. We sent messages to Facebook friends of folks on the manifest as a result of that just trying to touch base and personalize a story. You learned of this last night.
WEINA SHI, FRIEND OF FLIGHT 370 CHINESE PASSENGERS: Right, yes, through Gloria.
WEIR: And you have been, I guess, watching the story just like the rest of the world.
SHI: Yeah. (Inaudible) story and, you know, since then, it had been just a story, but now, very much close and personal.
WEIR: Tell me -- before I get to the reaction there, tell me about your friends. You have got their photographs. I mean, this picture, absolutely is just -- he is a bundle of molten (ph) cuteness.
SHI: I know.
WEIR: This little guy. He's ...
SHI: He's a little baby.
WEIR: He is so adorable. But this is your friend Vivia (ph) and you met at college. How did you meet and how did you headed off right away?
SHI: Well, I went to school with Rory. So, we met at the (inaudible) party, both of them obviously came in and then I immediately connected with Vivia (ph). She's just so warm, very sweet, so caring, that we just immediately connected and became pretty good friends.
WEIR: And you'd go shopping and do things together and ...
SHI: We just talked so often, hang out a lot, and obviously shopping as well, and also we kept in touch after Rory's graduation. We talked on the phone international calls, write e-mails. The last time we talked is actually through e-mail before the New Year, wishing each other, you know, Happy New Year.
SHI: But, you know, I didn't know it's going to be the last time.
WEIR: Do you hope that it's not the last time? Do you ...
SHI: I wish I could see them again.
WEIR: Yeah. Had you decided -- everybody has theory as to what happened to this flight? Had you decided, you know, along with the world that you've thought it would have gone down or did you hope that it would have been taken or?
SHI: Well, I like to be keep hoping, I mean if there's a chance that people out there who is watching this show can, you know, help finding this plain or find out what happened, I'm sure would be -- will mean a lot to the families and obviously to mine as well.
WEIR: Yeah. Saleel, tell me about Rory. I have a picture of him as well here. You guys were buddies in the same MBA program, yeah?
SALEEL LIMAYE, FRIEND OF FLIGHT 370 CHINESE PASSANGERS: Yes, and so we were together for one year in the MBA program and then he went back to China. And then since then, we've been in touched mainly through e-mails. So in fact, I got an e-mail sent and so did the rest of my class from Rory a week a go before this thing happened.
And he -- in that e-mail, he wrote that he was going ahead to Malaysia to enjoy a week with his family before he was going to go back to a project at Beijing. So ...
WEIR: And I understand he wrote that he wanted to get out of the smog of Beijing and relax with his beautiful wife and child and her parents.
LIMAYE: Yeah. Rory love to travel and he was also an avid photographer. So he used to write about his travel experiences in his e-mails and also about the latest cameras that he was looking into. And the pictures he would send in the e-mails were just fantastic pictures.
WEIR: And what went through your mind Saleel, when you realized that your friend was on Flight 370?
LIMAYE: It's been - initially, it was the first couple of days, it was about, hey, we will find something about the plane and looking at all the possible theories that has come out. For the last few days for me, it's been mainly hope and prayer for me as well as everyone else in the (inaudible) community here in the U.S. as well as through out the world.
WEIR: Yeah. Weina, you mentioned in as we're chatting before about just sweet little exchanges between Vivia (ph) and Rory that proved that they were perfect for each other. SHI: I know. I am, you know, once I was in their apartment and I saw her leaving a note for her husband and obviously she's a great wife, very supportive of her husband. That notes says something like, you know, "Honey, I'm going out to run some chores. I'll be right back," but you know, "food is in fridge." I mean, how sweet is that? Yes.
WEIR: And how did they feel about being in America? What was it like? They are both from Beijing?
SHI: I think Vivia (ph) is from Beijing and Rory from a smaller town.
SHI: But, you know, both of them obviously come to U.S., had there challenges with languages but, you know, Rory is very, very hardworking, actually both of them. And, you know, he is very smart, very hardworking and he got into the top schools and also Kellogg, you know, a one-year MBA, a very impressive guy, very, very hard working.
WEIR: You saw them like, well, a couple of summers ago, right? Was the last time you actually got together? They ...
SHI: Few years ago ...
WEIR: ... moved back to Asia.
SHI: ... yes, that's right.
WEIR: So did you -- you ever get to meet the little guy? Moheng?
SHI: Not yet, but I saw their pictures and they were just so wonderful.
WEIR: You're a mother, you're a new mother you have a ...
SHI: Yes, I have a little one as well.
WEIR: I bet you -- a boy or girl?
WEIR: I bet you hug him a little tighter last night after getting this news.
SHI: You bet, yes. And this morning, sending him to Day Care was very challenging.
WEIR: How will you go forward? What will, you know, how are you, still yourself emotionally to get through this?
SHI: Just hang tight and, you know, pray for them, you know, keep hoping that someone will find and also, you know, treasure the people that are near you, your loved ones and, you know, make everyday count.
WEIR: It's so amazing that you're willing to sit and discuss your friend, but if -- I guess in this constant speculation that the story has become ...
WEIR: ... there's some solace in thinking it the more of the story stays alive, the more -- as far as this search and we all have to hang on to hope, that's it, right?
SHI: Exactly, yeah.
WEIR: Thank you for being here.
SHI: Yeah, thank you Bill.
WEIR: And then Saleel, thanks for taking the time sharing ...
WEIR: ... sharing thought of your friend as well. Stay strong.
LIMAYE: Thank you.
WEIR: And we come back -- imagine that, imagine what it must be like for not just for folks like Weina and other friends but the families.
We're going to talk to lawyer who has some experienced in this area who's tried to helped families past. And also a woman in this country who has changed -- helped changed laws to empower those who are in this position. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son, where is my son? Can't you give me an answer? My son, it's already 12 days. I have been here for 10 days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: As the world watches and guesses the loved ones of the folks on Flight 370, they're twisting in the winds of uncertainty and suddenly the longer this goes on, the more it seems like families won't get answers for a very long time.
It took two years to find the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 on the ocean floor in the South Atlantic even no debris was found five days after that plane went missing.
And joining me now, Aviation Trial Attorney Michael Verna. He won a $23 million dollar settlement for the victims of Flight 447. Also joining us, our CNN friend, Mary Schiavo, former Inspector General at DOT, now represents victims of negligence by transportation companies including airlines.
Michael, let me ask you, do these families have any recourse legally if they get frustrated enough by the Malaysian investigation? There's no international court, there's no way to change jurisdiction, the force changes in who leads this investigation.
MICHAEL VERNA, AVIATION TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, no. Under international treaties that apply to this accident, both the ICAO Annex 13 investigations as well as the Montreal Convention, jurisdiction is reposed in either Malaysia, China or the place of domicile of the passengers.
VERNA: So they do have a legal recourse through that process. But to compel the Malaysian government to do more than what it's been doing, it requires actions in Malaysia.
I will say that in the United States, we have something called the Family Assistance Act that was passed about 20 years ago and that has been applied most recently to result in a fine of $500,000 against Asiana Airlines because they didn't treat the passengers properly in accordance with that act in the United States ...
WEIR: What does that mean they didn't ...
VERNA: ... and that actually occurred here in San Francisco.
WEIR: Yeah, that was the one where he missed the runway there in the bay area. What does that mean? What didn't they do that caused them a half a million bucks?
VERNA: Well, in the United States, now I guess this law -- of course this law would not apply to Malaysia Airlines in Malaysia. But in the United States, since I believe it was in 1996, there is federal law that requires airlines to have contingency plans, emergency plans in the case of a disaster like this ...
VERNA: ... and to provide lodging, food, transportation, counseling et cetera to the passengers. So the passengers have some sense of what is going on or in the case of accidents involving death to families, have some sense of what's going on and they are comforted as best the airline can. That did not happen to the degree that's supposed to happen and the Asiana case and as a result, the Department of Transportation fined them.
So, if this accident involving Malaysia Airlines had occurred in the United States, they'd have to comply with that act.
WEIR: Mary, well, both of you have seen what this sort of thing does to human beings who are watching and waiting and, Mary, you represented families in 9/11, those planes, they knew right away what had happened. I wonder just -- I know you're not a psychologist but what do you think these folks are going through in Beijing, in Kuala Lumpur? I mean, does the five stages of grief I suppose can start for some and not for others? How do you see what's happening to these poor folks?
SCHIAVO: Well, and the five stages of grief don't really work or they don't apply to families, the victims of air crashes because it's such a different reality and especially of a worldwide well-known crash. There's a lot of families, I call them my families, my clients from 9/11 said, you know, "It's a constant reminder." Others, you know, others are more, you know, quiet, the accidents, you know, go into history and they don't have a constant reminder. But an accident like this one and like 9/11 and like so many that had become very famous accidents and they're frequently brought up in the news. It remains a constant reminder.
But one of families put it best. They said, "You know, everybody talks about closure. But there's no such thing as closure. We never have closure, we'll never get closure. All we have learned to do is to learn -- we've learned to live with the difference. We are now, you know, a family who has lost someone in an air crash and they never, you know." it's not anything that ever gets, you know, better, it doesn't go away. But they learn to just deal with it and cope with it and they become tremendous allies as the Malaysian families will too because they demand answers, they demand information. They become, you know, really good fighters with UN litigation because they say, "No, we'll keep going. We'll keep going." And I had one family in 9/11 and they were the last case resolved that took 11 years and they stuck with it for 11 years.
And I have to tell you, we had 157 depositions. And they stuck with it because they have such drive to get the truth out and they have one driving force, and that is they don't want what happened to them to ever happen to any other family. And every single one of my clients has said that. I don't want this to happen to anyone else. And so they want the truth to come out and it really helps.
WEIR: Do you have a story like that, Michael, from -- I mean the Air France thing went on and I know more than 70 victims of that crash were never found, is there a person or family you met that sticks with you?
VERNA: Absolutely. They all stick with this. I mean, this is incalculable sense of grief and loss that these families have. But unlike Air France and frankly unlike any accident I've ever seen in my 30 years of practice, here we don't even know what happen some 12, 13 days after the accident. I mean, it's one thing for a family to lose a loved in a horrible crash and deal with the immediacy of that. It's quite something else and we don't even know if there's been a crash. We don't know what happened. We -- and there doesn't appear to be on the near horizon any answers that are going to be forthcoming to these families.
WEIR: Have you been on ...
VERNA: On top of that ...
WEIR: I'm sorry, go ahead.
VERNA: I was going to say that on top of the fact there's been 12 days here where people, you know, have no answers to what's going on, we don't know what happened to their loved ones, in those 12 days or in the last minutes of this flight if in fact it did crash. We also have some investigations suggesting that other people perhaps besides the pilots may have gained access to the cockpit. So in effect, that means there's 237 suspects on this air craft in addition to the two pilots.
So those kinds of issues are not something that the families need to be dealing with. And frankly, I think all the speculation out there as to what happen on this accident when we don't have the facts is not doing a service to the families.
WEIR: Michael, we appreciate that thought, all of your thoughts and Mary as well. If you'll stay with us Mary, we want to talk about that search area narrowing tonight. Does it mean that we finally be getting closer to finding Flight 370?
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was fishing when I saw the plane. It looks strange flying low other told me. I told my friend, that's not normal. It normally flies at 35,000 feet, but that night it touched the clouds. I thought the pilot must be crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: That is a Malaysian fisherman who claims he saw Flight 370.
Meanwhile, 60 ships, 50 air craft looking for the missing plane. We're learning the key search area has finally narrowed, does that mean progress? Everyone is wondering.
Joining me, David Soucie, Former FAA Safety Inspector, author of "Why Planes Crash: An Accident Investigator's Fight for Safe Skies", Philip Baum is the Editor of Aviation Security International and Mary Schiavo is back with me. It looks like in lovely Charleston if I'm judging that picture behind her, right?
Mary, you don't buy the fisherman's story do you?
SCHIAVO: No. I mean I'd like to buy the fisherman's story. Every sighting that you see, every possibility for another clue, you get a little glimmer of hope that perhaps you can solve the mystery.
But if we believe the satellite data points and so far those are the few thing we've had that have held, you know, that arc that we've been seeing all week as to where the plane traveled either north which does not seem possible or south.
Those data points have held and if those data points hold then it's not possible that they went to the Maldives where the fisherman says that they saw it. But it certainly is compelling and it sounds like it would be very reasonable. But it's just not on the data points where the plane was tracked to have gone. WEIR: Right. And it would have been about 1:30 in the morning, David ...
DAVID SOUCIE, AUTHOR, "WHY PLANES CRASH": Yeah.
WEIR: ... in the moonlight, we have to depend on moonlight. I guess to see it.
SOUCIE: Well, yeah. As far as seeing an airplane at night if it's that low as he's saying it was low, you'd know there's big airplane going over but I don't see like Mary had said in those pings that were on there. It wouldn't indicate that it was in that area necessarily.
WEIR: It wouldn't raised with me, Philip, you can chime in on this as well and David, I wondered, would it make any sense to put out a reward offer to people with any information or would that just draw crazy opportunists like flies?
SOUCIE: Yeah. In the investigation, I think is trying to figure out what it is that's real and what's not. And as Mary had pointed out, the only thing that's real in my mind that really given us some clues are those pings out there in the ocean.
So you have to manage your resources in an investigation and that's the best place to start, it's what you have that you know.
WEIR: Right. Right. Philip, I've been asking about this report, this is only confirmation we got from law enforcements so is in America that that the coordinates were punched in 12 minutes before the "All right, good night" what do you make of that report?
PHILIP BAUM, EDITOR, "AVIATION SECURITY INTERNATIONAL": Well, we've had so many reports that it just sort of leads this to great speculation. You know, what we're hearing in the last 24 hours is -- right from the beginning, we've known that were was a probable deliberate act that took place onboard the flight deck but we have to be careful because a deliberate action to disable the transponders doesn't necessarily mean that there was criminal intent. I mean we may have a situation that there was a fire onboard the air craft and the pilots were desperately in their heroic effort to find a safety air craft, shutting down systems in an attempt to put out fires and prevent its spreading further.
We simply don't know and until we find the wreckage or we find by some miracle the air craft and the passengers, we don't know. Terrorism is definitely one of the options that are out there and, you know, we've certainly learned a lot of lessons from this incident, even for aviation security, whatever the outcome. You know, we've identified a lot of holes, we've identified them in the media and those are holes that we actually need to actually address.
WEIR: So that being the case, David, and if ever there's an event that's going to cause reform when it comes to tracking planes or beefing security at something like this, you're a big proponent and very knowledgeable about this next generation GPS. Explain what that is, how much it would cost and why we don't have it. SOUCIE: Well, there's a lot of reasons why don't have it but let's talk about what it is first. The ADS-B system is in operation, it's out there right now. ADS-B is a way of using the GPS navigation or GNSS navigation to fly rather than just based on ground based equipment.
So what NextGen was -- I was working on NextGen when I was with the FAA about the information sharing portion of NextGen. And so during that time, the idea is that we're working on technology in the FAA where traffic control was designed and built back in the 50s and 60s. So it's really tough to say that we're still working on this whole technology but nonetheless, we're working on those backs of the ancestors. It's time to move up and upgrade into something new.
SOUCIE: And that's what we're trying to do with NextGen.
WEIR: Would the airlines have to pay for this? The FAA has to pay for this?
SOUCIE: The FAA has to pay for it. It's about a $40 or $50 billion investment and the Congress did approve it and the FAA started the project and they've been working on it. But the attorney general -- I think it was the -- yeah, I think the attorney general report just came out recently saying that the FAA was as far back as 13 years on some of these projects, trying to get 13 years past the schedule to not get them done.
SOUCIE: Some things are on schedule, some things aren't. So they keep going back to Congress asking for more money ...
SOUCIE: .... Congress is kind of at stand still saying, "Well, why would we give you more money if you can't manage what we gave you now?" So the whole project is in danger right now in my mind.
WEIR: Let's go to Don Lemon. He's been hosting the CNN Special Report: Mystery of Flight 370 at the top of the hour throughout the week. He's got another one coming up, experts on every aspect. I got a lot of tweets. Are they still coming like a flood?
DON LEMON, CNN SPECIAL REPORT, "THE MYSTERY OF FLIGHT 370" HOST: Absolutely, I hate to interrupt that conversation by the way. It was fascinating.
Yes they are still coming like a flood. You and I were discussing this after the show last night. Unbelievable.
A couple of questions we're going to try to answer for folks tonight. One person says, "What person is in charge of this search?" Someone has to oversee all the nation searching. We've been hearing about the FBI being asked to, you know, to look at the simulator but not much more on the investigation there.
And then another person said, this is Kevin, the first one was from Leslie Crawford, and the next one was from Kevin Nichols. Kevin Nichols says, "CNN, if we find out that the pilot was practicing short landings, what would be our next move?" That's a very good question along with many other questions and Bill Weir, I have a question for you.
WEIR: Bring it.
LEMON: Have you ever seen anything -- you and I have been doing this for 20 years, both of us, have you ever seen anything like this? I haven't ever in my career.
WEIR: No. It is the perfect storm of sort of a primal morbid fascination, fear and fascination, that a human need to know how the story ends. No. And ...
WEIR: ... as the new guy at CNN, this is a baptism by fire. But we're trying to pay respect to those waiting and hoping as much as we can with these little bit of facts as we saw with that mother today. Unbelievable.
And by the way, if you have questions please hashtag them 370QS, 370QS and I'll see you at the top of the hour ...
LEMON: We'll see you there. I mean your show there by the way.
WEIR: Of course, no, you're doing great work. We'll see that.
So we do have new breaking news now. This just in, like I said, going on scraps when we can get them. An Indian government official, this is a government of India confirms to CNN that the Malaysian government has given India coordinates for a new area to search in the effort to find the Malaysian Airline 370. And the official did not reveal the new coordinates and said India is still finalizing assets to deploy in the new search area.
You guys have been on this, David, India -- OK, should we go to break and come back and talk about India's search? Let's do that.
Everybody stay put. We'll explore this new bit of information about the India piece and we'll be right back.
WEIR: And back now with our breaking news. An Indian government official confirms to CNN that the Malaysian government has given India coordinates for a new area to search in the efforts to find missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. An official though did not reveal the new coordinates and said that India is still finalizing assets to go into that new search area.
So it seems like David Soucie that that it's probably not on land, it's probably in maybe the Bay of Bengal. I don't know if we can put the map up there as well. But what does that tell you?
SOUCIE: To me, it's really good news. For a number of reasons. One is it means that they've exhausted a search in another area and now they're redeploying assets to a new area. They won't do that unless they've exhausted what they're doing currently if that makes sense.
SOUCIE: So that's I think good news. The other thing too is the only other reason they would have done that is, let's say they have some new news or some new information about what went on knowing that those hard drives are down at Quantico being looked at right now.
SOUCIE: It's possible that there's some good information from that. But either way, I won't speculate as to why but definitely I think that that's a good sign.
WEIR: And there's no indication that they pulled off American and Australian assets down about 16,000 miles west of Perth where those-- and what are they? P-2s, P-3s are looking as well.
WEIR: Yes, Poseidons. All right, thank you, David.
Could there have been a third person in the cockpit of Flight 370? We know the co-pilot had a history of having unauthorized guest under the flight deck. And I want to see what some pilots think of that.
Joining me now is Karlene Petitt, International Pilot. David Funk, pilot and Former International Captain for Northwest Airlines.
So Karlene, you -- this is your theory, you suspect that there might have been someone in the jump seat at take off. Why?
KARLENE PETITT, INTERNATIONAL PILOT: Absolutely. It has to do with the timing. Initially I thought somebody came into the cockpit because we had heard it was an hour out before all these happen. But if you look at the timing, I mean a part of it (inaudible). And then seven minutes or seven minutes after the hour, they had the last ACARS report.
Now that ACARS report was sent with the position report. And if the information is correct that that position report was input during in the computer that they stated it was between the pilot, I'm assuming it was in the number three FMS, that would have been the jump seat or -- And the timing from midnight 45 up till seven minutes after, there wouldn't have been enough time for somebody to get in the cockpit, take over and input it.
So I'm thoroughly certain now, I've heard that there was flight engineer actually on the manifest. So there could be a third person right there.
WEIR: OK. David, point, counterpoint, do you ...
DAVID FUNK, PILOT AND FORMER INTERNATIONAL CAPTAIN FOR NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Not ...
FUNK: Yeah. I'm not buying it. Here's why, the engineer was a mechanic, he was not someone that was familiar probably with the 757 FMS.
Number two, if I'm the captain sitting there and my jump seat starts punching buttons on my FMS, is I'm going to ask him to excuse himself from the cockpit. So it's unlikely to me that they'd even allow a person up there.
PETITT: Well here, I have to ...
FUNK: More importantly the math, if it was a ...
WEIR: Go ahead Karlene, defend your theory, go ahead.
PETITT: I will defend my theory because that initially I thought beyond the flight engineer. We already know the first officer has a history of letting unauthorized people on flight deck. We know the captain is ...
WEIR: Well, to be -- just to be clear they were very attractive Australian women, so...
WEIR: Mitigating ...
PETITT: You know, boys, yes, boy will be boys. But here's to deal ...
FUNK: He's a 28 year old single co-pilot, what do you expect?
PETITT: We also know that they do that. And we know the captain is an MD. He has a passion for flying and he loves it.
So what happens it, you know, somebody comes up, private pilot, same old pilot, and it's in the middle of the night and we know person let's people in and then the other captain -- what would it hurt, what would it hurt to let this, you know, maybe the friend of a family or somebody. But he's got a passion.
WEIR: David ...
PETITT: There would be a reason they could let him in.
WEIR: David, your final thought, what's your theory? Mechanical?
FUNK: I don't -- I think it's electromechanical. I think they had a fire in the center pedestal right between the pilots and that's what knocked out the ACARS, the transponder, all the navigation radios. And those guys were probably under heroic effort.
You know, I've been in this business, security business for 25 years. And I just don't see somebody coming up to the flight deck unless captain, particularly a training and checking captain. A check airman and instructor highly respected a guy within his pilot group from everything I can find out from acquaintances in that part of the world, I don't see him violating protocol for anybody. You know, for a, you know, 27 year old co-pilot...
PETITT: Here ...
WEIR: Guys you we got it.
FUNK: It just doesn't -- none of this fits.
WEIR: Al right, well it is. I'm sure that these kind of robust discussions are happened with investigators on this thing. But I got to move on. Karlene and David, thank you both for that. We'll be right back.
WEIR: Underlying in this breaking news. The Malaysian government has asked the Indian government to search a new area in the southern parts of the Indian Ocean. Their search will only utilize air assets. So that is a new section.
We know American planes are flying, basically to the southeast of that area closer to Australia but now they have Indian assets, air assets looking in the middle of that vast ocean out there tonight.
And why do we finish this hour where we began with this picture or Mao Han Wang (ph), two years old, the youngest passenger aboard flight 370.
We've heard a lot about the emotional toll the searchers have to stay focused over days and weeks looking for that plane. But I know if I was in the cockpit in one of those planes it would be nice to have that shot as a reminder of the stakes here. Our hearts go out to the families, but hey, a new search area means new hope.
Special report with Don Lemon and all of your Twitter questions starts right now.