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Search for Flight 370; U.S. to Send Resources to Search Southern Corridor; Chinese Satellite Spots Floating Objects

Aired March 22, 2014 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Take a nice deep breath, folks. We've got some breaking news here in regards to the missing Malaysia airplane 370. We have may have spotted something, or Chinese authorities may have spotted something this morning.

I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. 7:00 here on the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY. And this is now the third week of this disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370. Also the nearing of the end of the third day of this multinational search for pieces of debris.

Still no traces of the plane. But the breaking news this morning is that Malaysian authorities, right at the news conference, the acting transportation minister said that the Chinese ambassador received this satellite image. It's of a floating object.

Now the dimensions are 72 feet -- 72 feet long, 43 feet wide. This is in the southern corridor here, in the southern Indian Ocean. China plans to send ships there to confirm it. And that now is the important part, laying eyes on it. We've been here with satellite images several times in this mystery now on day 15.

PAUL: We have, and right now at this hour, it's 7:00 in the morning, Eastern, we're waiting to hear from the Chinese because they just kind of -- it was almost haphazardly handed --

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: It was a ripped sheet of paper. Yes.

PAUL: The transportation minister -- yes. During this press conference in Malaysia. This information that they had spotted something, and that was it, saying that they would release more in a couple of hours so we're waiting to hear from them about maybe, hopefully, more specifics.

But you've seen the satellite picture. Here are the coordinates, you can see how far away this is from Australia. We are working right now to figure out transportation time to get to this area. You know, and how many people are going to go, or how many jets, how many planes. We know six planes, both military and corporate jets, we should point out, scouring the waters of this region today where that debris is believed to be.

A U.S. Navy P-8 plane has also been part of this search operation. It's undergoing apparently some routine maintenance today. So it's got to be out of the picture. But two Australian planes that have returned already today said they found nothing of significance. But we do not know if they were in this area.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: Where this satellite image was taken. The satellite image taken, we should point out, four days on March 18th.

BLACKWELL: March 18th.

PAUL: We're just now seeing it.

BLACKWELL: Yes, March 18th at noon is what it's dated. Let's put that -- the map up, guys, because I want to tell people what they're looking at during that time. What you're seeing there is the pinpoint of where that debris that -- I don't want to call it debris -- the floating object was found here off the western coast of Australia there.

Guys, back there, if you can get me a distant from Perth, a distance from where these planes are taking off, where we have our correspondents where this multinational coalition, 26 countries now, searching for this and assisting in the investigation. But this is where the Chinese satellite said that they found this item. This floating object. We're going to learn more later.

I think we've got Barbara Starr with us this morning. We can go to Barbara now? OK. We've got Barbara Starr with us.

Barbara, what will it take for the U.S. to get involved and try to get out into this southern corridor now that we know where this was located four days ago to get some U.S. equipment and resources to it?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me reframe that a little bit. This is a coalition operation run by the Australians, so all parties, all hands on deck, whoever's got the closest asset will go out and look at it. But I think we should go back to that satellite image because wherever that was taken four days ago, that object certainly is no longer in that exact location.

These are very rough waters. After four days it will have drifted. The wind, the water current, all of that. They're going to want to know if the water current is really even running in that direction. Could it actually be out there. So a lot of calculations to be done. It would have moved from here. And this is the problem when satellites find these objects.

The way the search has been going, what they've been doing, is they try and send aircraft out first. Not ships. Aircraft can get there, potentially, depending on how far it is, much quicker, if it's within range of an aircraft, they will go look for it. If they find it. And so far, they haven't been ever able to locate any of the satellite objects they've been looking for, if they find it.

An aircraft will drop a GPS marker with the location of the debris so that a ship can get out there and take an even closer look at it. That GPS marker with the piece of whatever it is in the ocean will be able to help aircraft ping on it as it moves around. So still, a very long way to go. They're going to want to put eyeballs on it of some sort. Somebody to go up, take a look at it, and see if it really even looks like it's feasible it came from an aircraft -- Christi, Victor.

PAUL: Barbara, I want to let you know, we're learning this floating object that people are looking at here, this is the satellite image from Chinese authorities from March 18th, four days ago. We have learned it's floating about 75 miles southwest of those other suspicious objects were found -- that were found by Australia several days ago.

So, Barbara, for you, we know Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the Navy to check out whether the U.S. military underwater technology can help locate that wreckage. Have authorities in Australia, in China, in Malaysia, have they been receptive to allowing, you know, a lot of U.S. presence and resources, and have they been welcoming it?

STARR: Certainly. You know, right now it's pretty much the P-3 and the P-8 aircraft because that at the moment is all that the Malaysian and the U.S. have really put against all of this.

What you're talking about is a little bit further down. The Malaysian minister and Secretary Hagel had a phone conversation yesterday. They talked about trying to see if it's feasible for the U.S. to technically be able to offer undersea surveillance technology which is some of the most classified technology the U.S. Navy has to potentially recover debris, recover wreckage when and if they find it.

And some acoustic technology to listen for the data recorders, but that can only come after they find debris, verify it and know where then they can begin to calculate, looking for the data recorders. Vast piece of water. This is just a huge, very multidimensional search problem.

BLACKWELL: It certainly is, and now that the sun is setting there off the coast of Australia, much of the search will have to wait until daybreak tomorrow.

Barbara Starr, thank you so much. We'll get back to you in just a moment so stand by.

We want to continue this conversation. And I think -- do we have a picture of this -- the satellite image from the Chinese we can put up as we introduce our panel this morning.

We've got Mary Schiavo who is a CNN aviation analyst, former inspector general, Department of Transportation, also Evy Poumpouras, security and threat assessment expert, and former Secret Service agent.

Welcome to both of you, as we now have this breaking news about this image of this floating object.

Mary, it's dated March 18th, and one of the problem in this in investigation, now day 15, is that countries are holding on to this information, the raw data, so long that by the time you could get crews out to it, the currents in this part of the world could have washed it away?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Right. And they've explained their delays and several of these delays in that they have put eyes on the satellite picture and the time they review the data and see that they might have something, days have passed. There was also news yesterday from Inmarsat that they have provided system coordinates just two days after what would have been the crash, plane crash in the area to the authorities.

And so maybe they can go back to those original coordinates on that original sighting when they thought something was there and search there. But it's very frustrating. Now the size of this one is very large. I don't know, this particular piece might be a little too big after all these days in the Walter. Pieces of plane are pretty battered and torn apart.

BLACKWELL: So you're skeptical that this is a part of 370?

SCHIAVO: On this one, yes. But I do think they are looking in the right place.

BLACKWELL: OK.

PAUL: OK. Evy, what is your take?

EVY POUMPOURAS, SECURITY AND THREAT ASSESSMENT EXPERT: Well, as far as the governments holding on information and not releasing it right now, I do think they're somewhat a little bit skittish, especially with the Chinese when they initially released some data earlier on. And then it turned out to be nothing. So I do think a lot of it is a little bit of embarrassment on their part. They want to be careful even also by the time they get to that information and released it because there has been a lot of criticism out there as far as how this investigation is going.

BLACKWELL: And that's something we saw from the acting transportation minister when he held up that sheet of paper and there were follow-up questions. He said, I've been accused of holding on to information too long. I'm just going to read it now that it was given to me. And of course, that fed the appetite or created the appetite to ask why now are the Chinese waiting a few hours for that news conference?

I'll put that question to you, Mary. It's been announced. And you have planes out there right now, we don't know where they are, that are searching. Well, maybe not now but when it was announced the sun was still up. Why not release that information then?

PAUL: To people?

BLACKWELL: Yes. SCHIAVO: Exactly. Although no explanation for that except they have been now trying to finally to get the families briefed and to tell them and in the United States, what we'd do, the NTSB gets the families together and briefs them sometimes as the same time as the media, often before, so that would not be unlike what we do. And that's the only thing I can think of. But I have no knowledge if that's why for the delay.

PAUL: All right, Mary Schiavo and Evy, listen, stick with us. We have to take a quick break here. But we have so much more that we wanted to talk about as we continue to show you this new image that we just got it from Chinese authorities as well as gauging exactly where this is. This object.

BLACKWELL: Yes, floating object.

PAUL: Floating object in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BLACKWELL: The breaking news we're following this morning, investigators may have a new lead in the search for missing Flight 370.

PAUL: Yes, the acting minister of transportation of Malaysia says China -- and here's the image, folks. China spotted this large object in the south Indian Ocean.

CNN's Andrew Stevens is in Perth, Australia right now. It's a base which is the staging ground for the air search.

We are just learning, Andrew, that this item was found 1970 miles away from where you are standing right now, from Perth. And where planes and ships will be taking off. How long do you gauge it would take for them to get out to this area?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It will be at least four hours to get out to that area. But that's a critical piece of information because it does put that object reasonably close to the other objects that have been identified by Australian satellites in the water which is the search is now focusing on. So it's very much in the same zone.

I had a quick look at that satellite picture just before we came on air. It's pretty indistinct as the other objects the Australian picked, all very indistinct at this stage. But it could be another piece in this missing piece. It could actually be the same piece of debris. The dimensions are now we know there about -- it's about 70 feet long by that 40 feet wide. There was -- we originally told it was 90 feet wide. It's actually 40 feet wide.

So it sort of fits with the pattern of the other objects. At this stage, we don't know. But what I can tell you is that it's so critically important to get eyes on these objects. And this is what's happening at the moment here in Perth, the operation, the search is really ramping up. And they're getting more planes involved with observers. Spotters. The Chinese have arrived here, at the -- perhaps surprisingly for some people, at the Australian air base. There are now two Chinese military jets packed on the runway waiting to head off tomorrow morning.

They've got visual aids. That's what they're looking for. That's what the key to this, as the Australians keep saying, get some confirmed sighting. Getting actual vision of what these are. So that's we're at the moment. This could be a useful clue. It may turn out to be nothing, it may turn out to be what we already know. It's very difficult to say at this stage.

BLACKWELL: So you mentioned that this item is pretty close to where the floating object was discovered six days ago by the Australians. We can tell our viewers at 75 miles, the one found by the Chinese, is 75 miles southwest of the item found by the Australians that still has not been located.

I want to ask you about the weather. We'll actually get to our meteorologist Jennifer Gray in a moment, but you're there on the ground. You look dry, the wind's not blowing. But they're not out searching right now because it's dark now.

What are the expectations as we move into tomorrow as now that there could be a starting point for this, what's the expectation as we move into Sunday's search?

STEVENS: Not good, Victor. There is more bad weather blowing in. The conditions today here in Perth, a very nice day today. Quite a clear day. But remember, the search area is four hours' flying time from here southwest. The pilots today we were talking to. The deal is, the planes land, the pilot gets out, comes over to us, and gives us a brief statement. No questions so we can't get too much of a feel for what they're going through.

But the part of them saying that visibility wasn't good. Thick cloud, low cloud, going from 500 feet to 2500 feet. That is a problem, obviously, if you are looking, you didn't have to bring the plane right down low to the water which does limit your search area.

What I should point out, commercial planes are now involved in this search as well. If they can get to the -- to those zones a lot quicker and they can stay on target for longer. Twice as long as the -- as these military planes are doing. But if that visibility starts closing in, which is what we're expecting what we're being told, that's going to hamper this crucial part of the search just to actually eyeball that area, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Andrew Stevens there for us in Perth, the staging ground for all these planes and all the resources that are searching for possibly this now item that was located.

Andrew, thank you very much. We'll get back to you in just a moment.

And we continue with the breaking news, this item, that was found floating in the south Indian Ocean by Chinese satellites four days ago. We've learned about it this morning. Here is that satellite image. We're expecting to hear more from the Chinese soon. We'll continue with our coverage after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

PAUL: All right. We are getting word today in this critical search for Malaysia Flight 370 that something, some object has been found in the southern corridor, and take a look at this picture. It's a satellite image that was taken by Chinese authorities. But it's four days old, even though it's just being released this hour, this morning.

Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general with us now as well as Evy Poumpouras is a security and threat assessment expert and a former Secret Service agent as well.

Thank you so much, ladies, for being with us.

Evy, I want to just start with you. A couple of things stand out here. First of all, this image is four days old, it's just now being released. Secondly, the Chinese authorities handed this information to the Malaysian Transportation minister during his press conference on a little sheet of paper where he said something has been found floating. And that's all he knew.

It was kind of an odd way to get the word out, then saying we're going to wait a couple of hours before we release any more information.

Evy, I know you have been skeptical of this investigation and that you said, basically, we are watching the mismanagement of this investigation. In the process. What do you see specifically, this break in protocol, as we try so desperately to find this plane?

POUMPOURAS: I think there has been a lot of mismanagement -- regarding this investigation. One of the things that's, first of all, we're obviously trying to locate and find a plane and that is a priority because we're looking for obviously the plane and possibly survivors. But at the same time in tandem, you need to do other things. And some of those other things are obviously assessing the pilots which did not happen until several days later into the investigation.

So that's a concern. That should have been done day one. You run all of those leads in tandem. The other thing of concern is well, let's go to the simulator, how long did that take before they actually -- the Malaysian authorities went to the residences of the pilot and co- pilot to basically search and seize whatever, you know, they could. They waited too long. And again with the simulator, as far as computers go.

Printers, you want to grab printers. And when you go and you basically seize any type of electronic device there is a protocol that you need to follow. You can't just start unplugging things, turning switches on and off. That changes the integrity of everything. And then also you have concerns regarding chain of custody with the evidence, because later on if you don't maintain integrity then there can be concerns of somebody tampering with the evidence.

So that's a major concern. As far as how did they do this forensic assessment, I was an investigator but I knew enough to know that I would never touch the electronical equipment, any computers. I would bring in the technical experts to do what they knew best.

The other thing that's the another red flag is the cell phone. We're just hearing about the cell phone now the last two, three days about the pilot and co-pilot. Why didn't they do that early -- earlier on. They're talking about that one last call he made. We should have known about from day one. And they should also been looking at the cell phone of the passengers. So, again, focus should be on finding the plane. But there are all these other leads that we do have that were really not being thorough with.

BLACKWELL: You know, Mary, the other element, that news that came out of this news conference, of course, the big story here, this -- Mary's gone?

OK, then I'll bring this question to you, Evy, the other element that came out of this news conference was the CEO of Malaysia Airlines told reporters that the transcript that was obtained and published by UK's "Telegraph" is not accurate. Now it didn't elaborate on what portions weren't accurate. But I -- my question to you is, could it simply be something that translating it from English to Mandarin to English then creates questions about what exactly the pilot and air control discussed?

POUMPOURAS: I think -- I don't think so. I think that you have interpreters, you get good interpreters. I know what to do. I've worked with interpreters before. Again what I see here is a lot of hastiness. A lot of, you know, going at it halfway. You know, like you mentioned, you know, the Malaysians basically handing over a sheet of paper saying here, this is what we have, we'll get back to you.

This is not proper protocol. It's not professional either. Again, this is a government investigation. This isn't a small entity, a local police department within Malaysia. They should be doing a much better job, a much thorough job than they are.

If this were happening here on our side of the house it would be much different. That's why it took them several days when they realized they were overwhelmed by all this, that they actually reached out to these other countries, especially us, to say can you help us?

I mean, obviously, they gave us the mirror copy of the hard drive of the simulator because they don't have the means nor intelligence to be doing what they're doing.

PAUL: And we know now that is with the FBI in Quantico.

CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo, we lost her, but we thank her so much, being with us this morning. And former Secret Service agent, Evy Poumpouras -- Evy, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still to come on NEW DAY, if this morning's breaking news from China is correct, and the image spotted is from Flight 370, which people have been looking for now for 15 days, it could still take a very long time to find the jet's recorders and to know what happened to the men and women on board.

We'll continue our coverage of the breaking news after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: I want to give you your update on mortgages. Rates are up from last week. Here's a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

PAUL: So glad to have you with us. 7:32 to be exact on a Saturday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLITZER: I'm Victor Blackwell. Here's the latest on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The big news this morning, quite possibly a lead in the search for the flight. Beijing says it will be sending ships to verify an image, this image, from a Chinese satellite. Chinese officials say the image shows a -- and they characterize this as suspicious. A suspicious floating object in the southern Indian Ocean. This is about 74 feet long by 43 feet wide. This was captured four days ago, on the 18th, on Tuesday.

And this comes as search planes are scanning the remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean looking for any flight -- any trace of Flight 370.

PAUL: And that is no easy task right now. This is, as you can see by that red dot there, showing you where this latest object was found. This is in the middle of nowhere, folks. There is no land around this to buffer it from the storms that hit in that sea every other day.

Meteorologist Jennifer Gray with us now to give us an idea of what they're going to be fighting through in the next couple of days as they try to get to this object?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and as we know, we've been talking about this for weeks now, it is definitely not a very forgiving part of the world. We have a lot of weather features that we've been watching down there and it has been pretty nasty at times. Of course, this is where the original objects were located. The search is obviously going to shift a little bit farther to the southwest.

We do have a band of showers expected to come on through. And this is Sunday, 5:00 a.m. local time. So 5:00 p.m. and it is going to bring in some very, very gusty winds. Forty and 50-mile-an-hour winds at times, and you can expect very rough seas in that location as well.

As we travel very far to the north, right around Christmas Island, there are searchers in this area as well. We have a cyclone on our hands. This is Gillian and is expected to intensify over the next couple of days. Sixty-five-mile-per-hour winds right now expected to intensify over the next couple of days.

One thing I do want to point out, though, this has been the search area the past couple of days and if the new object that they seem to have located on those satellite images is 100 miles or so to the southwest of that, the dangerous part about that is it could get wrapped up in that west Australian current that we've been talking about for so long. That moves at one foot per second. And so with this information being a couple of days old, guys, it could make it very, very difficult to locate it now.

PAUL: Yes. All right. Hey, Jennifer, thank you so much.

What science it is trying to figure out how best to get to these things and how far they may have traveled by the time they're spotted and by the time somebody might be able to get there. And in addition to that, time is running out for find this thing because the flight data recorder may go silent in the next two weeks.

BLACKWELL: Yes. You got to consider the batteries on this missing jet's locator beacons are now at about 50 percent this morning. Meaning that search teams have only 15 more days until the electronic pings we've been discussing for two weeks are due to stop transmitting.

PAUL: John Hansman is a professor of aeronautics at MIT.

John, thank you for being with us. Good to see you. Breaking news, of course, this morning as you've been listening to, and want to show again that satellite picture, the Chinese satellite spotting a floating object in the southern search off there that they've been focusing on.

If searchers cannot find that object and they can't it, rather, and it does turn out to be from Flight 370, does that make it any more likely that searchers are going to find the data recorder in 15 days as we talk about these currents and how fast moving things are.

JOHN HANSMAN, PROFESSOR OF AERONAUTICS, MIT: Well, first off, we have to keep an open mind as to whether this is part of an airplane. It actually looks to be too big to be part of the airplane. There's no part of the airplane that is that wide. So -- but we have to crack it down.

If it is a part of the airplane, it's still going to be a really rough job to get to the pinger on time. You have to backtrack upstream to wherever this would have gone into the water and search in that area, and it's going to take time to get assets to the right location. So this is going to help but it's still questionable as to whether we're going to get to the flight data recorder in time to get to the pinger.

(CROSSTALK)

HANSMAN: Even if we don't get the pinger --

BLACKWELL: Go ahead, John.

HANSMAN: Go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: Finish your thoughts.

HANSMAN: Yes. Even if we don't get the pinger and we know roughly where to search, we can search with sonar equipment in the bottom of the ocean. It's much tougher, it's much easier to have that pinger to localize on you.

BLACKWELL: You mentioned that this is quite possibly too big to be that part of a plane. Guys, if we can get that animation that shows the dimensions of the 777 so people can understand which part possibly this could be if it is 370. There it is. Again, this item that the Chinese have found, 72 feet long, 42 feet wide.

My question to you about these batteries and the flight data recorder, John, is let's say that it takes another 15, 16, 17 days to find this plane. And once they find the data recorder, the pings have stopped but will all the information still be stored? Or do you lose that, too, once the battery dies?

HANSMAN: No, no, the information is actually -- it's designed so that you don't need any power. It's been written in. So as long as it can be recovered, you'll get the data. So, for example, for Air France 447, it took two years to find the flight data recorder, but we got all the data. So that's not a concern. It's just going to be much harder to track down when you don't have that identification ping being sent out to make it easier to find.

PAUL: This mystery flight has gotten a lot of talk of new technology that needs to be added to these planes. One of them making flight data and voice recorders that have a greater capacity. Why would anybody fight -- I mean, is sounds like something so positive. Is that a tough technology to create? I mean, what is -- what is your thought on it?

HANSMAN: No, the capacity thing is pretty easy to fix. The reason why cockpit voice recorders have a limited capacity actually has to do with privacy concerns on the part of the flight crew. You know, they don't want big brother looking over their shoulder. So the agreement with the flight crews was, you only want to know this in order to understand an accident if it occurs so they're designed to have a limited amount of time so you don't have two weeks of flight crews talking if someone wanted to go back and figure that out.

That's the reason why they're limited. There are technologies that we have today, it's much easier to record data. So there is discussion of having more flight data recorders on the airplane, possibly one that would break away in the event of an accident and maybe float. So there are different technologies like that that can help in a case like this.

PAUL: All right. John Hansman, professor of aeronautic at MIT, so grateful to speak with you today about this. Thank you.

HANSMAN: Happy to be here.

BLACKWELL: Next on NEW DAY, we have this breaking news of this object found, imagine what the relatives, the loved ones, who are waiting for some word, what they're feeling this morning as they learned that the Chinese satellites found this item. We'll talk with a clinical psychologist about the ability to keep hope alive, or people who have been waiting for just some word now, this offers them closure. We'll ask the important questions. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BLACKWELL: And the breaking news this morning, if you're just joining us 17 minutes before the top of the hour, that Chinese satellites have spotted an object they consider suspicious here, of course, in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. We're expecting to hear more from them, the Chinese officials, in a moment.

You see the coordinates here, 44 degrees, 57 minutes and 90 seconds south of the equator. Ninety degrees, 13 minutes and 43 seconds east of the meridian.

We're going to get to our Jennifer Gray to show exactly where that is. So here's a map that shows you almost 2,000 miles west of Perth where the planes are taking off in their search now in day 15. And it's just been 15 days of grief, and pain and confusion for the relatives of the passengers. Just waiting for answers. But how do they maintain hope during this ordeal?

PAUL: Yes, well, clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere is joining us now live from New York.

Jeff, thank you so much for being with us. And when we look at -- I try to understand, I try to have some sort of understanding of what they're feeling, even this morning, as they wake up and they see, oh, my goodness, maybe there is going to be an answer of some sort. What do these people need most from us right now?

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right now what they need most from us and what they're getting is support. They're getting support from all over the world. Support from various world governments. Of course, they're very, very upset with the Malaysian government and the Malaysian airlines because they feel that they've gotten inconsistent information and fuzzy words, as they call it.

But we found out that even the Air France flight that went down many years ago, even those families are now sending good wishes and support to these present families right now. So that's a very good thing.

BLACKWELL: You know, I wonder if this has -- this new breaking news has depreciated value. There was this item that was found in the South China Sea. There was the item that was found six days ago by the Australians. Now today's item found by the Chinese. I'd imagine that there are some who say until you can tell me this is part of 370, I don't want to hear about it. Or am I wrong? What do you think?

GARDERE: Yes, Victor, I think you're absolutely right on that one. As a matter of fact, some of the media have tried to interview the family members and several of them are now saying we don't want to talk about this anymore until we have definitive information because we've been getting so much information which has not been good information or true information. But I'll tell you what's going on is that now as the days passed, a lot of these family members were hoping that the plane was hijacked and that their family member are still alive.

So anytime they get this kind of information, they may not see it as being true information, but it also dashes their hopes a little bit more. As time goes on, they're getting more and more into this hope that it was a hijacking. So it's a coping mechanism. Maybe not the healthiest coping mechanism. But it is helping them stay true to the cause right now.

PAUL: You know, the images are so jarring. You talk about some of them are clinging to hope that they're going to be alive. Others are on the other end of the spectrum. And you wonder what they were going through if they did die, and did they suffer. How is it as a psychologist that you can help them reconcile that?

GARDERE: Well, again, the Air France families have told them, in time, you will have to move on. But the most important thing that they can do is continue to talk to the counselors that are provided there. And talk to one another as family members, as in many ways relatives in arms who have the same mission of trying to find out what happened with that doomed flight. So it really is about the catharsis is.

It really is about the communication. And letting them vent their anger. They're really, really enraged at this point, and they've been treated badly because of that. We need to listen to them.

PAUL: They want to be heard.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely.

PAUL: They just want to be heard and they just want some answers.

BLACKWELL: And we can't forget that.

GARDERE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And all the information about searches and the planes and the ships, there are the families of 239 people that we have to remember.

Jeff Gardere, thank you so much.

GARDERE: That's right. Pleasure.

BLACKWELL: Quick break and we'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: More than eight million people entered Warren Buffett's billion-dollar bracket challenge. You can't blame them.

PAUL: And as of this morning, every single one of them can count on not winning the billion dollars.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm included.

BLACKWELL: That was quick.

PAUL: I am out, people.

BLACKWELL: Yes, me too. I think --

PAUL: Ohio state, my loyalty Ohio bit me in the tuche.

BLACKWELL: Right.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS: Yes. Yes. That was tough.

PAUL: Right in the beginning --

CARTER: That was Thursday. That was Thursday.

PAUL: Yes. Right in the beginning.

CARTER: Yes. That was a tough loss. Yes. Dayton. The smaller school in Ohio beats the big hour --

PAUL: But go, Dayton. I'm -- still my Ohio team but --

CARTER: I will tell you, guys, you are still in the running, including myself, and a lot others out there for the $100,000 prize. There are 20 of them because that Buffett billion-dollar bracket challenge, they're still going to give out $100,000 to the 20 best brackets out there. So that something to play. It was free to enter, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: Right.

CARTER: But obviously the odds were not in anyone's favor entering this because I believe it was one in 9.2 quintillion to fill out a perfect bracket.

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: I'd like to see that with all the zeroes. BLACKWELL: So Mercer.

CARTER: Mercer. Yes. The pride of Georgia, we're calling them. Big win over Duke yesterday. Shattered 97 percent of those Buffett brackets. By Friday night, just three perfect brackets remained and that's until Memphis beat George Washington. So officially it took just 25 games for everyone to be eliminated from this contest. I believe it was just over eight million entries, 25 games done. That's why they call it March Madness.

Stephen F. Austin. Yes, yes, number 12-5, earned up 12-C, beat the 5- C BCU yesterday. That was a big upset. The Lumberjacks pulled off a comeback to the ages. They had a four-point play with three seconds left in the game. The coach said afterwards miracles truly do happen.

This is a scrappy team. And you saw it last night when they clawed their way back into this game to win their 29th straight game. They advance now to the round of 32 to play UCLA on Sunday.

And trending this morning at bleacherreport.com, not many people predicted that Mercer would knock off Duke including Atlanta Falcons' wide receiver Roddy White. See, he betted one of his Twitter followers season tickets to the Falcons on the 50 yard line if Mercer upset Duke.

Time to pay up, Roddy White.

BLACKWELL: Wow.

CARTER: Right? Well, actually the NFL wide receiver is not going to be giving the fan a season ticket. He said through Twitter he'll be giving him tickets. Tickets. One pair or one game, a pair of tickets to the Bears game, because he's a Bears fan.

BLACKWELL: No.

CARTER: Not season ticket. He's getting hammered by the (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: I'm sure.

CARTER: So come on, Roddy White. Come on, guy.

PAUL: Own it, baby. Own it.

BLACKWELL: Pay up.

CARTER: So there are eight more games on tap today, guys. You can watch some of them on the Turner Family of Networks. TNT's coverage starts at 6:10 Eastern tonight. San Diego State takes on North Dakota State. TBS goes on the air at 7:10. Syracuse facing Dayton.

PAUL: Go Dayton.

CARTER: Yes. I mean, I got to say that Syracuse was number one in the country at one point.

PAUL: Yes.

CARTER: They're at top of the world and then they lost five of seven so they're training in the one direction. A lot of people think Dayton could beat Syracuse and keep -- you know, taking that Cinderella story deeper in this tournament.

BLACKWELL: I picked Florida.

CARTER: To win it all?

BLACKWELL: Yes.

CARTER: Safe bet.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

CARTER: Safe bet. I picked Michigan State. I know a lot of people picked Michigan State as well.

PAUL: I'm out. All I can say.

CARTER: Ohio State. She with my heart, not her head.

PAUL: Joe, yes, I did. You're right. I did vote with my heart, not my head.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Joe.

PAUL: Joe Carter, thank you so much.

CARTER: Good to see you, guys.

PAUL: Hey, we got this breaking news today.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We're going to continue with the breaking news. Chinese satellites discovering a suspicious floating object in the search for MH-370. We'll continue to report on the breaking news after this. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Breaking news this morning that Chinese authorities' satellite picked up the image of an object floating in the southern corridor of the search area for Malaysian Flight 370 this morning. Here is the picture of that image. Now it's just kind of a frantic race to get out there and see if they can recover it and find out what it is.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Nearly 2,000 miles from Perth, which is the staging area for the resources there.

Let's go to CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

Talk about how difficult the conditions are there and we understand that they're going to become a little rougher as we go on through the start of the week.

GRAY: Yes, guys, this is not the Caribbean. This is a very, very rough ocean. We have very strong winds. We have very high seas. And then we're also looking at a cyclone as well. So this is where the object was originally thought to be. Now we're searching an area just to the southwest of that. As we go through the next 48 hours, it does look like we are going to get some rain in that area. Also going to increase the winds.

We could see winds tomorrow anywhere from 40 to, say, 50 miles per hour at times during the end of the day. So the winds will be building throughout the day. And as you can imagine, the seas will also be building throughout the day. And we have to keep in mind that there are searchers all over the Indian Ocean. And as we head to the extreme north, we have a tropical cyclone out there.

We have Gillian that we've been watching with winds of about 65 miles per hour expected to intensify a little in the next 48 hours. But I do want to mention these ocean currents because it is very interesting.