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Mystery of Flight 370

Aired April 8, 2014 - 21:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, HOST, THE LEAD: Tonight, the desperate race to keep the search for Flight 370 from running cold. I'm Jake Tapper. This is The Lead.

The World Lead. The eureka of discovering signals from underwater has kept optimism afloat in a 24/7 hunt with the missing the plane, but now, nothing but silence. If searchers are lucky, the batteries in the pingers have not yet died, but seriously, when has anyone been lucky in this ordeal?

And she refuses to believe that the plane is at the bottom of the ocean. A companion of the Texas man who was aboard Flight 370 joins us live. She's hoping that the plane was taken and that the love of her life is still alive.

Also, in world news, why is Russia warning that Ukraine is a hair away from the Civil War while Russia amasses its own troops near Ukraine's border. Is Vladimir Putin pulling the strings on the uprising in Ukraine?

Good evening. Welcome to the special prime time edition of The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. And tonight, we'll begin with the World Lead.

They are 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time zone in that search area for Flight 370, the flight that vanished 33 days ago with 239 people onboard. Crews are once again narrowing their search area from the day previous using every aircraft, ship, gadget they can deploy that far out including the Ocean Shield, the ship, the one that is carrying that advanced pinger locator from the U.S. navy. That ship picked up what could have been two separates signals from the black boxes. But those pings have not been heard since and there's a very real danger that the batteries on the pingers are out of power.

Now, as our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh reports, crews are in a frantic race to keep alive their most promising lead yet.


RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: After another day of searching, crews onboard the Ocean Shield continue to try to find this sound again. The Australian Defence Department released audio of the possible black box signal. The toping are detected twice over the weekend.

Despite of continuous effort to recapture it, still nothing.

CMDR. WILLIAM MARKS, ABOARD USS BLUE RIDGE: As the hours pass, we -- our optimism is fading away ever so slowly.

MARSH: If it is Flight 370's black boxes, finding it again is the only way to pinpoint its location. The Ocean Shield moves about two miles per hour tracking back and forth around the clock. The toping measures intensity but not position. So, multiple hits are crucial in triangulating a smaller search area.

ANGUS HOUSTON, CHIEF COORDINATOR, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTRE: Until we stop the pinger search, we will not deploy the submersible. Is that clear? We will not deploy it, unless we find -- unless we get another transmission.

MARSH: This is the submersible, Bluefin-21. The underwater drone moves along at a painstakingly slow pace, mapping the ocean floor. The pinger manufacturer is analyzing the reporting. It's actually at 33.3 kilohertz, a lower transmission frequency than the standard 37.5, a change possibly due to environmental factors.

HOUSTON: There's a change with the pressure on the ocean floor. And they drop the particular batteries, the capacitance (ph) can change and you get changes in the transmission level.

MARSH: Meantime, they're guarding against noise interference limiting the number of ships and air crafts near the Ocean Shield.


MARSCH: Australian officials say they will keep searching for that pinging sound until there is absolutely no doubt the pinger batteries have expired. That means roughly another 10 to 12 days or so. Jake.

TAPPER: Rene, thank you. We'll have more on that underwater drone Bluefin-21 later in the show.

It's an exhaustive effort one that's going around. The clock as many as 15 aircraft and 14 ships scouring the waters, but the weather may head to their challenges in the coming hours.

Our own Erin McLaughlin is standing by near the base of operations in Perth, Australia. Erin, the Australians are watching the clouds with real concern now, right?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Jake. Well, weak front is expected to move in from the east bringing perhaps some scattered showers which may have an impact on visibility in the area. But, that being said, this is day 23 of the search operation here from Perth and still despite hours and hours of scouring by air, by sea, and by satellite, still, no signs of any debris from this missing plane. And that being said, they have 15 aircraft and 14 vessels out participating in this search today and they're still hopeful. Jake.

TAPPER: Erin, clear something up for us. There was some conflicting information earlier today between New Zealand and Australian officials about whether the search is continuing in that specific area where the Chinese claim to have picked up a signal. Can you get to the bottom of that for us? What's the reality there? MCLAUGHLIN: So what Angus Houston, the man responsible for this multinational search effort, has long said that the Ocean Shield's find is the most promising lead at the moment. These signals that it picks up or detected in deeper waters, they were more indicative of the two black box signals. But, that they are exhausting every lead and the JACC, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, putting out a press release today this morning saying that the HMS Echo, the British vessel, is still in the area of the Haixun 01. Find still investigating. We are expecting a press conference shortly. So, hopefully, we'll get more details on that operation. Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Erin McLaughlin in Perth, Australia, thank you so much.

I want to bring in our panel now to discuss the latest developments in the search for Flight 370. David Soucie is the CNN's safety analyst and author of the book "Why Planes Crash." Captain John Gadzinski flies 737 and he's a former director of safety for the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations. And of course, our own Miles O'Brien is a CNN aviation analyst, pilot, and science correspondent for PBS NewsHour.

David, let me start with you. They've released some new search maps for today. One of them shows a sonobuoy search area. Can you explain what exactly that is and what they're looking for?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, sonobuoys are, they are deployed. We've seen them before on the news here. We had some film of that before being dropped out of the back of the aircraft. They're about five or six inches in diameter. They drop out the airplane when they hit the water. They'll deploy a float and a radio transmitter on top of the water. Below that is a selectable (ph) depth that the sonobuoy can drop down to.

Now, that depth is not such a depth that we would be picking up pinger necessarily, but it's possible that it could, it's just that it's not down in the 4,000 meter range but that's what the sonobuoy does. It moves and it floats along with the flow as well. So, they're very effective in maintaining and understanding of where you were when you saw something or where you were when you're looking at a certain search area.

TAPPER: Miles, let's get a reality check here. It's day 33 of the search, passed the expected life of these batteries. They say that they can last 30 to 35 days. OK. Let's grant it, 35 days. Captain Matthews of the U.S. navy says he believes that pingers are still alive at this point even though the ship has gone back and it can't find the signal it picked up a few days ago. How long can the search realistically go on with this expectation that the batteries will be found ...


TAPPER: ... that the pingers will be heard.

O'BRIEN: You know, he said 15 days, which to me seemed rather excessive frankly. I mean, they have a vehicle onboard that very ship on the Ocean Shield, an unmanned vehicle that can go down and start painting the ocean floor with sonar. And I suspect there will be pressure to deploy that sooner. You know, my experience with lithium batteries has been, they kept tended quit (ph) rather abruptly. And so, what an amazing stroke of luck it would be if we caught the last few moments of those pings, maybe that happened. I suspect within five days, there's going to be a lot of pressure to deploy that unmanned vehicle.

TAPPER: David, why are we still on 30 days for black box batteries. Why don't they last longer?

SOUCIE: Well, I'll tell you what. That's the biggest disappointment for me right now. We shouldn't be having this deadline at all. Five years ago, it's recommended by the French authorities to send out to have this be at 90 days. To date, there hasn't been anything done to this right now. We're talking about this broken airplane, there's something much bigger than that that's broken and that's this International Civil Aviation Authority for not taking action when this was recommended. There were several recommendations, not only the 90 days, but to also have eight megahertz frequency being transmitted to separate frequency that would allow you to hone in. When you pick up that pinger frequency, you can almost triangulate off a bit with two separate frequencies. So, why we are having to do this at this point fall squarely on the shoulders of regulators both international, domestic, and foreign.

TAPPER: John, looking at what we know about the flight path at this point, as a pilot, what sort of questions does it raise for?

JOHN GADZINSKI, BOEING 737 CAPTAIN: Well, there's no real reason. I mean, it's very hard for anybody who's a professional pilot to look at the flight path and say that I am -- that flight that was there (ph) to ensure that safety of the passengers, I mean, we try and go through all the functional hazard assessments in all the scenarios that you can imagine, of a fire or a malfunction or a lack of a system or any other kind of an in flight emergency and we try and put that together in the piece and look at how that looks -- how that would play out from the cockpit.

Where there's a lot of airports around that you can land. And every pilot has the emergency authority to land at a nearest airport, regardless of what country it is, regardless of whether it's a military civilian field. If he thinks that that's the safest place for that airplane to be and there is certainly no shortage of fills around for him to land on. I think it's really interesting though that when they looked at the background of the passengers that they came to a conclusion very quickly that the -- there was no issue with the type of people who are onboard the airplane. I mean, when I was in the navy and they wanted to do a background investigation for me for security reasons for all the officers and all the people who knew the security clearance, it take about four or five months and that's with us helping them find the answers.

I'm a little bit surprised that they stopped that, you know, two or three weeks and said, "Yeah, we don't have a problem anybody who's onboard the airplane. They're all good." I might ask a few questions of that as the investigation goes on.

TAPPER: Oh, that makes sense. John, do you think that the U.S. should be investigating if they aren't already the passenger list (ph)?

GADZINSKI: Well, somebody told me that we do have a way to listen into other phone conversations.

TAPPER: We heard that.

GADZINSKI: Yeah, who that guy was, you know.

TAPPER: Right.

GADZINSKI: Yeah. It's been in the air but -- so, I obviously think there should be some cooperative investigation between the national security agencies in (inaudible) around the world. But again, those people -- they don't know what it's like talking to each other especially when they're showing their cards about what they can do. But it's definitely something and I think needs to be looked at.

TAPPER: Exactly right. Miles, a New Zealand air force officer today said that the main focus is now around the area where the pings are being picked up by the Australian ship not the area where the Chinese ship picked up the pings. Why the focus on the Australian ship pings more so than the Chinese?

O'BRIEN: Well, two things. First of all, the Chinese detected those pings in rather unconventional way with a device not designed for that particular purpose. Designed for shallow water and wasn't recorded. There's a lot of reasons that have skepticism about it. Having said that, you still want to check it out. The other thing that we're hearing speaking of things in the secret world is that there's a good possibility. There might have been radar information that might have helped the Australians come up with this location on that arc. And if that was possible, if the defense radar is in Australia were able to identify a blip, that would obviously give them a lot more confidence.

TAPPER: That's right. I think we all hope that there's more information than we know. We assume that there is and we hope that there is.


TAPPER: David Soucie, John Gadzinski, and Miles O'Brien, stick around please. We're going to bring you back in a little bit Miles.

Coming up on The Lead. We're still holding out hope. And so, of course, either are the companions of the family members and the people who are on that plane especially perhaps the companion of Philip Wood, an American on Flight 370 who believes the plane is still intact after being intercepted. I'll ask her about that next, live.

Plus, what does a remote island housing the U.S. naval base have to do with the missing Boeing 777? Well, conspiracy theorists say there's evidence it landed there. There isn't and we'll discuss it coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to our World Lead. It's been 33 days since the disappearance of Flight 370. But for those left behind, time has in many ways been standing still. Sarah Bajc who's partner, Texas native Philip Wood was a passenger on the flight. She continues to hold hope that she will see him again. She continues to post messages to Philip on her Facebook page like this one that went up just a couple of days ago. Part of the caption says, "People are giving up. Please help me convince them we must keep trying to find you. Just a small sign? I love you." SJ.

Sarah Bajc is in Beijing and she joins us now live. Sarah, thanks so much for doing this. Let me start up by saying that my heart goes out to you and admire your strength. Are you still following the day to day developments in the search for the plane or are you tuning out everything until some substantial evidence comes forward?

SARAH BAJC, PARTNER OF FLIGHT 370 PASSENGER PHILIP WOOD: First of all, thank you for having me on the show. And I am continuing to follow the investigative reporting that I'm seeing mostly on CNN but a number of the other high quality agencies are also pursuing a continued -- looking to what the evidence may or may not tell us, but I've stopped looking at things like the pings and the other government provided information because it's all proven to be wrong so far.

TAPPER: In fact, you've been vocally critical of how the Malaysian government has handled this investigation and you've said, you know, just think there in over their heads, you think there's a cover up here. Explain what you mean by that. Do you think it's a cover up of some tremendous and aptitude or do you think there's something potentially more nefarious there?

BAJC: Well, the criticism that I've rallied against the Malaysian government's involvement so far has been there in aptitude in communicating things properly. They say one thing and then they say another. They're constantly contradicting each other. Whether or not they, the government itself, is covering something out or has made a mistake, I don't know. I can only look at the evidence of how they've communicated with us. But, I do believe that there is some sort of cover up by some sort of government agency whether that's Malaysia, the United States, China, I don't know. But it's impossible to me that all of those government's radars was so silent and so quiet when a 777 was flying over their airspace. There's clearly something we don't know.

TAPPER: Are you convinced that Philip is alive somewhere or do you just think we don't know anything so anything is possible?

BAJC: It's both actually. I'm convinced that he is still alive because I still feel him and because there's absolutely no evidence to tell me contrary to that. I mean, we really don't know anything except for circumstantial things. It's different from the day it went missing. So, that tells me that all of these supposed pieces of data have all been wrong so far. That means the plane can still be intact and the people can still be alive. So, both my heart and my head are telling me that that is a very real possibility.

TAPPER: You took part in the meeting with Malaysian authorities along with some other family members last week. Did anything come out of that meeting that surprised you or maybe changed your perspective on things?

BAJC: Nothing that came out that surprised me except for the facts that they were actually even less organized and less transparent in person than they were in their taped and written communication. The thing that heartens me is that the Malaysian families have done a very good job at binding together and have begun a more structured organization. I participated in a Skype meeting last night for couple of hours and they've build some very, very good momentum. So, their family organization combined with the Chinese families who have started to bind together and that -- then all tried to take a lead in the non-Malaysian, non-Chinese families so that we can all have a central voice that's trying to continue to push this forward.

TAPPER: And you were saying earlier, I'm sure your tremendous source of information for a lot of these families, because you said that the information you learned from watching CNN, the other families in Malaysia and China don't hear. Before we go Sarah, I've really -- I want you to tell us a little bit about Philip. What can you tell us about him? You've spoken about him before but what should we know?

BAJC: You should know he is a survivor and he's a fighter and he's smart and he understands how to harness the power of other people in a very positive way. And I believe that he will be very pleased at how people have rallied together around trying to solve this crisis. So I'm trying to behave as he would have behaved if I was in the situation instead of him. And I want him to have hope and know that we're all still trying to find them.

TAPPER: Well, Sarah Bajc, our heart goes at you, our sympathies and we all admire your strength. Thank you so much.

BAJC: You're welcome.

TAPPER: Coming up next, an outrageous conspiracy theory about the little known island in the middle of the Indian Ocean that's catching fire online. We will set the record straight.

Plus, a small drone on a mission trolling the ocean floor, will this piece of technology be able to track down any part of the missing plane? We'll get an in depth look at how it works, coming up.


TAPPER: Welcome back to The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. More now on our World Lead. Ever since Flight 370 disappeared, we have heard countless outrageous conspiracy theories about what may have happened to the plane ranging from alien abductions to Bermuda Triangle, over the Indian Ocean, many have been so absurd we did not find it necessary to bother debunking them, but there's one theory that seems to be picking up steam has have laid (ph) a theory that needs a thorough fact check. It involves a tiny remote island that many of you probably have never heard of.


TAPPER: We would not even be talking about Diego Garcia, this small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean if it were not for the conspiracy theories about it. Once flooding not only the usual murky depths of the Internet but spilling out in the mainstream locations such as the White House briefing room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some news report saying that the missing flight could have landed in the U.S. military base, Diego Garcia in central of Indian Ocean, do you rule in that or rule out that?


TAPPER: So, what is Diego Garcia? The island is just south of the equator making for a tropical paradise but don't go planning a vacation there. Diego Garcia is owned by the British but home to the U.S. navy and air force. Entry into Diego Garcia is restricted requiring area clearance by the U.S. navy.

Yeah, it would has everything from swimming pools to basketball courts to even a four-lane bowling alley but it's set up for serious business. After 9/11, it was controversially used as a refueling base for transporting accused terrorists. The base played a major role during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and planes there have been used in Afghanistan.

Now, there is no legitimate evidence about Flight 370 that has anything to do with Diego Garcia. But as with so much in this bizarre world, there's plenty of baseless and cruelly misleading nonsense out there some of which has made its way to those desperate for information about loved ones.

When this all black image supposedly giving coordinates to Diego Garcia by Philip Wood, passenger onboard Flight 370, went viral on the Internet. Family members of the missing asked authorities to search the military base for their loved ones.

These postings on the Internet even claimed falsely that Wood was texting from the island. Let's make this clear. The pings heard days ago and the arch on the Inmarsat satellites placed the plane more than 2,000 miles to the southeast of the island. Meaning, landing at Diego Garcia would have been impossible.

MARK WEISS, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Just basically impossible. Not from where we had that last ping.

TAPPER: Not to mention, the dangers and issues of approaching a highly sensitive military base.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: They would be scrambling jets at the minimum to go up and find out what aircraft is approaching that base. The idea that it's coming through alive (ph) and land with any kind of a stealth manner and then be housed and have 240 people on the island and no word of that would ever leak out is pretty outrageous.


TAPPER: I want to bring back in CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien for some analysis. Miles, the cruelest thing about this conspiracy theory that's been pushed out there is that it gives us false hope to the family members. Why do you think this particular theory has gained so much attraction?

O'BRIEN: You know, I think people -- hoping against hope would like to see that plane intact and people alive. But, you know, it's like so many conspiracy theories, you know, there's a tiny little grain of an idea which snow balls on the internet and it develops a little bit of momentum with its own. But couple of that with some of the mixed messages, you're just talking ...


O'BRIEN: ... about that from the officialdom, which had raise false hope frankly. And that coincides with some of these conspiracy theories. And I think it gets a momentum. So, shame on the officialdom for in a not direct way, but in indirect way encouraging this kind of discussion.

TAPPER: Betting confidence from -- particularly Malaysian officials and the mixed messages has in some ways open the door for this. Is there anywhere feasible based on the fuel that was in the plane, based on where the plane was last known who have been based on the things? Is there anywhere feasible that the plane could have landed? Any proof?

O'BRIEN: No, no. If you believed those pings, that's what pretty much run out of a gas. So, I mean, if you describe the Inmarsat pings, we're sort of back to square one. And I think we've move beyond that point. The ability of that satellite to interrogate that flight and at least come up with the rough idea of where was in the planet earth excludes a lot of things including Diego Garcia.

TAPPER: Yeah. Of course there are people that aren't going to believe all sorts of nonsense. There are people who I can't even speak to how much these people bother me than who think that the Boston marathon bombing was a hoax. We can't address those people. But for anyone out there wondering about the Diego Garcia story, this hopefully should stop away (ph).

O'BRIEN: It takes us back to the Grassy Knoll, doesn't it?

TAPPER: It sure does. Miles O'Brien, thank you so much. When we come back, a country on the brink of war as a new report suggests that Russia is preparing for a full scale invasion of Ukraine. Just what exactly is Vladimir Putin planning? Plus, rebuilding a life, ripped apart by two of these terrorists. How this survivor of Boston marathon bombing thrived after tragedy, but not without a lot of tears along the way. Her story, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) TAPPER: Welcome back to The Lead, more of our continuing coverage of missing Flight 370 in a moment. But first, in other world news, mountains of tires, Molotov cocktails, and razor wire now littering at this government building in Donetsk just one of the cities in Eastern Ukraine that pro-Russia protesters are attempting to take by force.

Meanwhile, a nearby Lugansk, conflicting reports of a hostage situation. Kiev, the capital of Ukraine says 51 government workers have now reportedly been released after being detained and threatened with explosives. But, the pro-Putin protesters of course deny all along that anyone was being held against their will, with propaganda clouding the reality on the ground. Russia now warns that civil war will erupt if Ukraine uses force to put down and revolts. And with 40,000 Russian troops waiting on the Russian side of the border, a warning is starting to sound to some like a threat.

For more, let's bring in two experts that have recently spent time in the region. Senior Editor for the New Republic, Julia Ioffe and Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for Time Magazine, Michael Crowley, both of whom have recently been there.

Julia, let's start with you. Three weeks ago, you tweeted, Putin is not going to be, you know, happy with just Crimea. He's going to want Eastern Ukraine. Is that what you think is coming next?

JULIA IOFFE, SENIOR EDITOR, THE NEW REPUBLIC: It's happening now. I mean I said he would invade Eastern Ukraine. I don't know if that's off table yet. What you're seeing now is Putin making share all his options are open and available to him. He hasn't really -- you can see that he hasn't really decided which one he's going to use. But the end goal is the same. The end goal is to destabilize Ukraine, to make it a weak decentralized power that he can easily manipulate and a power that most importantly won't join the E.U. or NATO. So he won't have an E.U. or NATO country right under, you know, right under Russia.

So the way in which he goes about it can differ but he's still achieving, he can do it by diplomacy, by having lever of demand of carry that they federalized Ukraine. He can send in troops, he can send in protesters, he can do it any number of ways. But the end is still the same and we're seeing him achieve it.

TAPPER: And Michael, some interesting news from our friend Eli Lake of The Daily Beast. He reports a quote, "U.S. Intelligence Agencies now have detailed information that Russia has amassed the kind of forces needed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But, the Obama administration has not shared with Ukraine the imagery intercepts and analysis that pinpoint the location of the Russian troops ready to seize more Ukrainian land."

So our government has voiced support for the Ukrainian government. Why keep the Ukrainian government in the dark about this information?

MICHAEL CROWLEY, CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, TIME: Yeah. Well, so I think that first to answer that is probably they were worried they would leak out just as we don't often maybe don't tell the Pakistani government we're going to do a counter-terror operation, because you don't know whose' talking to who. We may basically we like the government in Ukraine right now, but we might not trust everyone in the military and there is Russian influence in the Ukrainian military.

We know what the Russians know and what we know about the Russians. The other part Jake, I think is a generally speaking, I think the White House and this administration they don't want to see a military dimension in this conflict, like they really don't. And I think there's concern about encouraging Ukrainians, you know, potentially to try and go take a shot of Russians first if you know where they are or just generally to encourage the idea that there would be military conflicts there. I think they want to de-escalate it, in the way that they want to hit back on against Putin if necessary is economic not military. So ...

IOFFE: We have that in -- sorry to interrupt, but we have that in Georgia as well, right? Where the Russians we're taunting, taunting, taunting and finally the Georgians, Mikheil Saakashvili, the president that time was sick of it, fired over the border into Russia and, you know, within a few days, tanks were outside of the capital city.

TAPPER: (Inaudible) and they took the two ...


CROWLEY: Perfect pretext for them. And the administration keeps saying how much they admire the restrain of Ukrainians even in this case of this government in buildings are being taken over, in not responding violently. Because again, pretext for Putin. That's something he would love as an excuse to do whatever he wants.

TAPPER: Secretary of State John Kerry testifying today before the Senate Formulations Committee, talking about how these all, all these protesters were just pretext for Putin to invade. I want to place some sound from Senator John McCain, a frequent critic of the administration's foreign policy, blasting the administration for what he called weakness that could invite further aggression from Russia.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: On the issue of Ukraine, my hero Teddy Roosevelt used to say, "Talk softly but carry a big stick." What you're doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small stick, in fact a twig.


TAPPER: Ouch, a twig. Is there anything that the Obama Administration could be doing to tell Putin, don't do this?

IOFFE: I mean, they're telling Putin "don't do this." Can you think of anything else like ...

TAPPER: Well, maybe -- should they be carrying a bigger stick, I guess? IOFFE: Well, you can ask the French and Germans what it's like to carry a big stick and maybe take a swing at Russia. It doesn't really play out well and that's before they had nuclear weapons.

TAPPER: So, you think the bottom line is none of these governments, the U.S., the French, the Germans are willing to go to war with us and therefore Putin will get away with it?

IOFFE: In that, yes, absolutely. But they're right not to go to war. If they -- if economic sanctions or for example exporting natural gas or exporting energy from the U.S. to kind of shift the Europe's demand a way from Russia could be a nice lever over them, but it will take years. And unfortunately, that's not how Vladimir Putin thinks. He doesn't think many years in advance, he's a very short term thinker.

CROWLEY: This matters so much more to Putin than it does to us. I mean, it maters to us but just not in the same proportion. We're just not willing to get into a military engagement. There are people who say we should be sending, for instance, advanced fighter jets maybe up to the Baltic countries. We should be giving military equipment to the Ukrainians. I mean, there are things that we could be doing.

But, I guess, at the end of the day, I think the administration has concluded, it's not going to stop Putin who can destabilize the country. Even he doesn't cross the border, he is already clearly wreaking all kinds of havoc. And I think this President wants virtually no risk where accidentally going to get into a shooting worth Russia. Just not worthy to him, however, horrified he maybe at Putin's behavior.

IOFFE: It also plays right into Putin's on propaganda domestically that this is the U.S. antagonizing Russia, humiliating Russia, trying to invade Russia, trying to take advantage of Russian speakers wherever they are. And the more that we're involved, the more place into his propaganda at home.

TAPPER: And it's also interesting is that I've heard Obama Administration officials and people defending the Obama Administration say, "You know, President Bush carried a bit, pretty big stick." Launched two wars not far from Russia in the scheme of things, and he still grabbed the two break way (ph) Republics in Georgia. So, he just is going to do what he's going to do no matter what.

Julia Ioffe, Michael Crowley, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

Coming up on The Lead, the deeply personal story of survival after the Boston marathon bombings changed her life forever. We spent a year with this professional dancer as she shared her pain and her triumph and pushed her self to dance again.

Plus, an underwater drone in searching for the missing plane, but can this technology succeed? Were every other search teams so far has failed?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) TAPPER: Welcome back to The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. In our national lead this evening, she personifies the determination, the spirit and yeah, the toughness of Boston strong. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, she was one of the 260 people wounded in the Boston marathon bombings on April 15th of last year. But she refused to give up her life as a dancer even after one of those bombs blew off part of her leg.

Tonight, just a few minutes, right here on CNN our own Anderson Cooper will share her riveting story of recovery with help from home video she took along the way in the CNN special report titled the "Survivor Diaries." Here's a special sneak peek.


ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR AND DANCER: Part of my PTSD was always thinking that a bomb would go off at all times.

They let fireworks over the Harbor. And all of a sudden, we heard explosions and I started screaming and crying, call 911.

ADAM DAVIS, ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS' HUSBAND: Can you please have somebody stop setting out fireworks, please.

ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS: Can we keep it -- stop, stop with the fireworks.

ADAM DAVIS: The Fireworks in Harbor stop them. OK. Was your foot blown off like my wife -- was in the -- bombing?


TAPPER: (Inaudible) Anderson Cooper joins us now. Anderson, it's just so amazing. How was she doing? Is Adrianne still experiencing that level of post-traumatic stress?

COOPER: You know, I think she'll tell you she has good days and bad days. Today was a good day. And, you know, I think the thing that makes her so strong and Boston strong is her willingness to, you know, to admit it's OK than not be OK on sometimes. And to have moments like that and to, you know, still be able to get up the next and hold your head up high and try to keep moving forward.

And so, you know, I don't think she would say that she's out of the woods in terms of what of her recovery. But, you know, I think it's gets better and better and she's not only walking she is dancing again. And, you know, she's got a long road ahead of her though.

TAPPER: I know a lot of soldiers who have knights like the one she just captured. It's a good reminder the post-traumatic stress is not just for survivors of war. Why exactly did she agree to share her story? It's a very bold decision, but I don't fully understand it. What did she say?

COOPER: You know, she says that, because I ask her that same question and she know, she says that she wants people to know what recovery looks like and wants people to know that it is OK to not be OK, which is a saying her grandmother taught her when she was little kid. But she uses it all the time now. And she wants people to get a realistic look at what recovery looks like.

And, you know, I meet her in the first couple of days when we were all covering the bombings in Boston in her hospital room. And, you know, we had a great talk and she was just so optimistic and so determined. She didn't really know what this year would entail. She didn't know what -- she's said she was determined to start dancing again.

She didn't know really even how that would happen or how difficult it would be. But she wanted to show people what that journey was like in this part year. And she was very courageous I think to do it.

TAPPER: And having seen her then and stayed in touch with her and followed her, how has she changed over the last year? How was her husband Adam changed?

COOPER: Yeah, I mean, Adam was injured in the bombing as well, not as really as Adrianne. You know, they're both doing well. I mean, Adrianne is just incredibly strong woman and is able to, you know, project this determination and talk about it in a way that's just very real. And she's out there talking about it. She's going to speak on the anniversary of the bombing. She's going to go back to watch the marathon, to cheer runners on. You know, it's important for her to do this and to kind of give voice.

She's not claiming to speak for all survivors but she is speaking for her own experience and her family's experience. And, you know, she looks great and I think she is doing good.

TAPPER: It's a fascinating story. It must have been emotional for you to report as well.

COOPER: Yeah, you know, it's a privilege and you know this when you report on someone and other reservist members who have been injured. You know, it's a privilege to be invited into someone's life and to tell their story and I just -- I feel very lucky to know Adrianne. And I'm glad that everybody is going to know her tonight.

TAPPER: Thanks so much for coming on Anderson. The special, do not miss it, the "Survivor Diaries" premiering at the top of the hour right here on CNN.

And a reminder, tomorrow, right here on The Lead, I will talk with yet another survivor of the Boston marathon bombing, Jeff Bauman and his fiance.

Coming up, it's the underwater drone that will be cruising along the ocean floor to find Flight 370. That is once the Australians decided to deploy it. Why the wait? We'll ask the guy who helped create it, coming up next.


TAPPER: Welcome back to The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. As these search continues for the missing plane without knowing whether or not the pings from the block boxes have died at this point. Many are asking, well why not deploy the Bluefin-21, that underwater drone than can be use to scan the sea floor? The Australians leader the search says, right now it's a waste of resources to do that.


HOUSTON: Until we stop the pinger search, we will not deploy the submersible. Is that clear? We will not deploy it.


TAPPER: Joining me now is David Kelly, President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, the company that manufactures the Bluefin-21. Mr. Kelly, thanks for joining us. So this is called an AUV which stand for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, let's call it an underwater drone for clarity of understanding of the viewers. It can go on at 24-hour mission. Walk us through what this underwater drone does and how it gets data.

DAVID KELLY, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE BLUEFIN ROBOTICS: Sure Jake. Basically the vehicle is programmed on the surface by operator. He does that on a basic PC or laptop. The program is loaded on to the underwater robot. The robot is launched. It will then dive down to depth. While it's diving it will monitor its altitude, its speed.

When it reaches the appropriate depth, it will turn on its sensors. It will then run what's called the lawn mower pattern which is a series parallel lines or tracks where it will go back and forth just like mowing your lawn. There'll be a little overlap on the sensors which will make it easy to mosaic the data when it's done. After 24 hours, it will complete its mission. It will return to the surface. The vehicle is recovered on the boat. The data is downloaded and the batteries are swapped out.

TAPPER: And how deep can it go? Is there an optimal depth for the Bluefin-21?

KELLY: The Bluefin-21 is a standard commercial product. It is depth rated to 4,500 meters which is about 2.5 miles deep. That when it operates it operates at a height above the bottom optimized for its sensors. So if it's doing a sonar search it would be running at about 15 meters above the bottom of the ocean.

TAPPER: And explain the side-scan sonar. How exactly does that work?

KELLY: So you can think of a side-scan sonar as two flashlights looking out to either side of the vehicle. And they will illuminate roughly a half a mile across perpendicular to the vehicle. And as the vehicle moves forward, it sweeps that area and then that is mosaic together into an image. And over a 24-hour period, the vehicle can image about 40 square miles.

TAPPER: It can also take picture underwater but that's not done while the side-scan sonar is on the vehicle. Why not?

KELLY: Jake, that's correct. The sensors, there's two different sensor packages. There's a sonar sensor package that has the side- scan sonars and some other sonars and then the camera is in a separate payload. That's done mainly because when you're doing a camera survey, you're flying much closer to the bottom, approximately five meters off the bottom. And at that height the sonar return and the sonar imaging would not be as good. So, there's not sense having the sonars on the platform at that time because the two sensors operate from different altitudes.

TAPPER: An Australian official say they're not going to deploy the Bluefin-21 until or unless they get another ping. Do you agree with that that is that the best use of the Bluefin-21?

KELLY: Well, I think the details of the search are really up to the Australians and the U.S. navy personnel conducting the search. I think if you look at it, it's a very difficult problem. You can think of it as trying to reduce the search area to an area then that the Bluefin-21 can effectively survey. And so, when they first started, the search area was roughly the size of Texas. The vehicle can survey 40 square miles in a day. So obviously, reducing the search area down is the way to practically get data that's needed to examine the bottom.

TAPPER: David Kelly, thank you so much for your time, we appreciate it.

KELLY: Thank you Jake.

TAPPER: Stay with CNN tonight for a live press conference on the latest.