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Signal Detected; Altitude Dropped Over Malaysia; School Stabbing

Aired April 10, 2014 - 08:30   ET


DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: And it helps you locate where that sound came from.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So we know the towed ping locater -

GALLO: Right.

BOLDUAN: That can work at a maximum depth at some 20,000 feet.

GALLO: Yes. Sure.

BOLDUAN: So that can really get down (INAUDIBLE).

GALLO: On a cable, right.

BOLDUAN: Right. Exactly. The high -- the sonobuoy -

GALLO: Right.

BOLDUAN: It really can only - it drops a microphone about 1,000 feet.


BOLDUAN: What's the benefit of that?

GALLO: Well, you want to get below -- the oceans have a thermal layer on top. It's the layer heated by the sun. You want to get below that layer, maybe down to 1,000 meters if you can. And then you -- the whole ocean's almost uniform in its ability to transform sound so you can listen a lot better. You don't have to worry about that thermal layer causing trouble.

BOLDUAN: So as we're looking at this -- and we don't know the exact location of, obviously, where this was picked up. They're telling us it's generally in the area where the Ocean Shield -

GALLO: Right.

BOLDUAN: Has been, which we know here are the four pings that have been picked up -

GALLO: Sure.

BOLDUAN: From the towed ping locater. You had mentioned that if one -- many are dropped. Eighty-four were dropped overnight in this general area -


BOLDUAN: We were told by Australian -- the Australian team. But only one came back with a signal. Does that surprise you? Is that unusual?

GALLO: It does - well, it surprises me, but I'm not that familiar with sonobuoys -


GALLO: And how sensitive they are. And we don't know, again, the oceans, if there's a mountain in the way, a plateaus. And there are plateaus there. If it's in the valley. Any of those scenes can obstruct the sound. And there's thermal layers and there's fill (ph) that can bend sound, slow sound down, do all sorts of stuff to the sound. So, in that sense, it doesn't surprise me.

BOLDUAN: And I want to talk about that kind of topography, if we can.


BOLDUAN: Because we have the search going on. They're trying to narrow the search area in order for it to be as small as possible before they send in the underwater submersible.

GALLO: Sure.

BOLDUAN: When they do, when we get to that point, which we will at some point, they're going to put it in, you have to assume.

GALLO: Yes. Yes.

BOLDUAN: What is it going to come up against? What are the factors that come into play here?

GALLO: Well, there's the water depth for one, right? So - and the water depth in this area can be as shallower than the 1,000 - maybe a mile and a half to the top of some of these underwater plateaus. But on the sides of the plateaus, it can go down to about three and a half, four miles. And so there's the ruggedness of the plateaus. If it's on the flank, that's rugged. If it's off to the sides of the plateau, it may be fairly smooth and flat but it may be very deep. And deeper than the range where the Bluefin 21 can actually operate.

BOLDUAN: Which can be a challenge. I want to step back because I want to show us one animation because it has been discussed quite a bit in the past couple of days the issue of silt on the bottom of the ocean floor. So you've got -- this is just an animation, obviously. Our own mockup of what would happen possibly if the black box had gone to the seabed and gone kind of within this silt layer. You're not so concerned about the silt factor here. Tell us why.

GALLO: You know, I -- I'm just not. I mean in the -- I thought this area, from what I've seen, has sediment, sure, but it's not something that's going to like quicksand suck in some sort of -- the black boxes.


GALLO: It may obstruct it. It certainly will have some effect on it. But I don't think it's going to preclude the sound. Obviously not. I mean we're getting pings.


GALLO: And in the search, the sediment may help because it covers up rocks and boulders that would otherwise be on the sea floor. So something added recently will show up in that silt easier than if it was just bare rock.

BOLDUAN: And you were even mentioning, the silt, maybe if it hurts (ph) a visual search.

GALLO: Right.

BOLDUAN: The sonar, it's going to - that's actually going to see right through it and that's going to help.

GALLO: Yes, well, if it's in this silt in the shallow levels, you should see right through it. But if it's on top of that level of silt, it's great because you're looking for changes -- something new against the background.


GALLO: And if the background's like a clean canvas, which is silt, then it's easier to pick up than if it's against the rubble or landslides and things like that.

BOLDUAN: First things first, they say they have more analysis that needs to be done on this latest ping, this signal that was detected from the sonobuoys.


BOLDUAN: That will be done. And, of course, they continue the search to try to narrow down the search field on these other pings.

David Gallo, always great to see you. Thank you, David.

GALLO: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to get to me for the five things we now need to know for our new day.

Number one is the breaking news we've all been covering. As we mentioned, Malaysian officials now claim that Flight 370 dropped to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet as it crossed over Malaysia after going off course. And CNN has now been told by officials it was the pilot, not the copilot, who spoke the final words from the jet.

Number two, a 16-year-old suspect charged as an adult in the knife attack at a suburban Pittsburgh high school. His computer, his phone, his parents' computer has been seized. Twenty-one people were slashed or stabbed, four of them are critically hurt.

An intense manhunt underway in Florida this morning as police look for Robert Alex Corchado, the man they say was behind a deadly car crash at a daycare center. One child died, another 14 were hurt.

More dramatic testimony from Oscar Pistorius at his murder trial, admitting he never said "I love you" to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in all the time they were together before he shot and killed her. Pistorius insisted despite some blistering questions from prosecutors that he did not intend to shoot her.

And number five, General Motors is reportedly asking NASA to help investigating its faulty ignition switches. "The Detroit News" says the head of NASA's engineering and safety center will lead an independent review to determine whether the cars are now safe to drive.

All right, we're always updating the five things you need to know. So go to for the very latest.



Coming up on NEW DAY, the question no one can seem to answer is why that shocking knife attack at a Pennsylvania high school happened. Not even a hint of motive. We're going to talk with Dr. Drew Pinsky about what could have sent this young man off.

BOLDUAN: And closing in on Flight 370. The search area narrowing this morning and so is the story. The plane's final moments. The breaking developments for you straight ahead.


CUOMO: A community outside of Pittsburgh can't believe what just happened. A vicious high school knife attack that left 21 wounded, four in critical condition. Almost all of them, teenagers. The suspect, a teenager as well, 16-year-old, a sophomore. He went from classroom to classroom swinging two big sharp kitchen knives at anyone in front of him. The big question is, why? And we don't know. Joining me now is Dr. Drew Pinsky, host, of course, of HLN's "Dr. Drew On Call."

Let's start with the obvious.


CUOMO: The idea that this is a good kid and no one saw it coming and there was nothing and he just snapped, no clues, no nothing, what is that, a 1 percent chance that that's true? PINSKY: Unlikely. That's right, Chris, this is very unlikely. Now, it's easy for families to miss things. I don't want us to create another set of victims here by pointing at the family and blaming them. Kids are growing up.

CUOMO: Right.

PINSKY: In close proximity, the people closest are often the ones that miss some of these symptoms.

CUOMO: Right.

PINSKY: All of us need to be vigilant about teenagers. I mean, my goodness, if they change their dress, if they change their sleep patterns -

CUOMO: Right.

PINSKY: If they're hanging out with new kids. If they seem to be thinking strange things or withdrawing or - this - and the problem with teenagers also is they're pretty much all mental health issues manifest kind of the same way, at least in so far as families are concerned.

CUOMO: That's right.

PINSKY: But if you see these things, please get help. In this case, the idea that it was just a one day he snapped, he got angry at his best friend, no, no way.

CUOMO: I mean not something like this.

PINSKY: No way. Not like this, that's right.

CUOMO: You know, this is so haphazard, the randomness, the viciousness of it. The use of knives.

PINSKY: Knives, which is crazy, Chris. And so it's - image it's - I'm going to use a word here that seems bizarre, but the intimacy of that kind of violence. I mean he has to get close enough to reach somebody --

CUOMO: Intentionally each time.

PINSKY: Eyeball to eyeball, although he was swinging at a lot of people's backs, which is, you know, we could go -

CUOMO: He was plunging it into people's chests as well though, doc.

PINSKY: And eviscerating people. I mean -- think about that. You're -- imagine you're a 15, 16-year-old. Can you even fathom engaging in that kind of - so he's in an altered state clearly.

CUOMO: Didn't use a gun. No guns in the house.

PINSKY: And no guns. So, you know, we've spent a lot of time in the last couple of years pointing at guns and I've been active, blaming access to people with guns that may be at risk for these kinds of behaviors. Now we've graduated to yet a new level of violence in this country where people are accessing weapons that are not guns and doing things that are almost unthinkable.

CUOMO: And that's why you've got to break out the two issues separately.


CUOMO: I have had the misfortune of covering every one of these since Columbine -


CUOMO: Either in person or remotely. And I'll tell you, the idea of what the safety net is about mental health. Of course all mentally ill are not violent.

PINSKY: Of course. Of course.

CUOMO: Of course it's just a small fraction.


CUOMO: But neglecting the illness, neglecting the treatment, not setting up the support groups so that people have a place to go -


CUOMO: Is what's leading to this as much as anything else.

PINSKY: No, it - almost exclusively, Chris. That's the thing. So, to me, there's two big issues that are at work here that are creating these circumstance, stigma and access. If we could reduce stigma and increase access, I think we'd have a much better circumstance here. These things can be prevented. You can't prevent them all. Sometimes you can't predict these things. It's strange in this kid's case -

CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) like nowhere. We're like - I mean my frustration is this.

PINSKY: Yours? I live with this every day. I'm glad to see you - hear you say this.

CUOMO: I - I don't know - but, you know, we - we cover it. And when you're bathed in the pain of the families and you wind up asking the same questions and you're writing the same things into your scripts -

PINSKY: Yes. Yes.

CUOMO: It starts to make you wonder whether or not anything actually changes. People got frustrated with gun laws after Newtown, but what changed with mental health after Newtown?

PINSKY: Right. CUOMO: Nothing.

PINSKY: That's right.

CUOMO: You've got Congressman Murphy who's got a damn good bill up there right now. He's got big forensic experts behind him.


CUOMO: Will he get the vote? I don't know. It's not happening. He's got Democratic co-sponsors. You need change. PC (ph), don't demonize the kid. He was sick. I don't think it's the time for that. I think you respect what happened to the victims first and you find out what happened with this kid. It had to be something.

PINSKY: And I think, you know, people have a - people get very confused about saying mental health is an excuse for this kind of behavior. The way I help people understand it is this, if the people have deteriorated to the point that they're harming others, now it's the legal system. Now it's too late. Now it's retribution. Now it's punishment. The idea is to intervene before that ever happens. That's when we can understand these people can be sympathetic towards them. After they've acted in a way that's harmful to others, it's pretty hard to be sympathetic.

CUOMO: They have the computer. They're going to see the digital footprint. There has to be something there, right?

PINSKY: Something. You're right (ph).

CUOMO: Assuming that the family is authentic in saying, we didn't really see it, that's where you'll see it?

PINSKY: I think so. Another thing, I saw an interview this morning to one of the CNN producers, a kid who knew this child said he - a lot of kids, he was not bullied. No more than - I mean any adolescent.

CUOMO: Yes, yes.

PINSKY: And the young man described this kid as a psychopath, but a good psychopath.

CUOMO: That's right (ph).

PINSKY: So whatever that means, we're going to find out what some of the kids were saying.

CUOMO: Dumb talk from a kid, but you have to figure out what's behind it.

PINSKY: Well, but, by the way, part of the thing is, let's educate the young kids about mental health.

CUOMO: That's right.

PINSKY: We don't give them a life 101 lesson. CUOMO: Right.

PINSKY: We're busy talking about calculus. Let's also talk to them about how they develop and how their minds develop.

CUOMO: Because you don't do this on just one bad day, that's for sure.

PINSKY: Well, it is a bad day. You do it on a bad day, but it builds to that bad day.

CUOMO: Right. Dr. Drew, thank you very much.

PINSKY: Thank you.

CUOMO: We'll stay on it because it's the next set of conversations matter the most.

PINSKY: You bet.

CUOMO: Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, a lot has happened this morning in the search for Flight 370. We're learning more about the plane's flight path. We're going to break it down for you coming up next.


BERMAN: Welcome back everyone.

Big developments to tell you about in the search for Flight 370. CNN has been told by Malaysian officials that they now believe the plane dropped to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet as it crossed back over Malaysia. This they say brings the focus back into the cockpit.

We want to bring in our expert David Soucie to talk about this. He's a CNN safety analyst, the author of "Why Planes Crash". He's also a former FAA inspector.

And David let's show everyone what we're talking about here -- this flight path that we've looked at so many times, the plane flying over the Malaysian peninsula and then it takes that little jog north right there and then flies south down over the Indian Ocean.

What I want to do here -- let's step over here and take a closer look. I want to take a closer look at what happened over the Malaysian peninsula, that little jog north. Because what they're saying now happened is they're now saying that as that plane went north here, it disappeared from radar right here -- disappears from radar and reappears right there. It says during that period that it was gone from radar they now believe it was flying at between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.


BERMAN: Why would a plane dip to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet? We don't know for sure. Malaysian officials are assuming or presuming or suggesting it could be they were trying to leave the congested flight zones. What other reasons could there be?

SOUCIE: I have speculation as to why it went down. I don't have an answer for why it went back up again.

BERMAN: Tell us why it goes down.

SOUCIE: A rapid decompression which is where something has happened, something is dramatic, the oxygen masks are dropping down, and people are panicking. And so they hit it and they go down to an altitude because remember, when that happens, when you put that oxygen mask on in the cabin, you only have 15, 20 minutes at the most of oxygen before that aircraft has to get down to an altitude where you can breathe normally.

BERMAN: Bad stuff is happening. That's why it goes down. Why it goes up we don't know. It doesn't necessarily happen automatically though, does it?

SOUCIE: In fact, it would be rare -- very rare if it did happen automatically. You'd have to have -- it still would take some kind of movement. You'd still have to take the changes from the scratch pad and put it into the flight control. Something would have to be done manually. It's not going to drop automatically and then come back up.

BERMAN: All right. Let's talk about another new piece of information that CNN is being told by Malaysian officials. It has to do with what happened during this whole incident. CNN is now being told that the Malaysian military put planes in the air once they realized or once they heard or once they had reason to believe that Flight 370 was missing.

But here is the thing. These planes went searching in the air here, the Straits of Malacca. That's what the Malaysian military or officials are now telling us now. They searched here looking for this plane. However, the next day when they went searching for debris, they weren't looking here where they had put the military jets, no. They were looking over here.

SOUCIE: Right.

BERMAN: This seems strange to me.

SOUCIE: It does. The only thing I can think is possibly it was a defensive maneuver on their part. I don't know why. But when they scrambled those -- now remember, these aren't jets that were scrambled like in 9/11 we scrambled jets, like something that could shoot down airplanes.

That's not what was dispatched here. They sent search airplanes. So at that point they knew, obviously, that there was something missing, the aircraft was missing and they were out searching for it.

BERMAN: They're searching for it here though.

SOUCIE: Right. So it's not a defensive maneuver. Why they went that way tells me that they already had reliable radar data saying something was here and it dropped off radar. Let's go look for it.

BERMAN: The only plausible explanation is, that's not nefarious, is the people who searched here never told the people who ultimately searched there that they had reason to believe it's here. That to me is a little strange, David.

All right. Another new piece of information, the final words we're now being told again by Malaysian officials -- the final words came from the pilot. They say they've had five people who knew them, listened to this. It was the pilot who said them -- the part of this that's interesting to me is that weeks ago we were told it was the copilot with the last words.

SOUCIE: Well, and we also heard the last words were different than they are now as well. So there's a lot of miscommunication. A lot of things that are not falling together but that is very concerning to me.

BERMAN: In and of itself not a reason for concern or instructive in any way that it was the pilot who said the last words.

SOUCIE: It may not be. The thing I get from that though is I think that the controls were changed at that time because first of all, the language -- the framing of the language was different than all of the other responses because it didn't say the frequency afterwards. So it tells me that whoever said the last word was different than the person that was communicating before. And there's 12 minutes between the last communication and the one before it.

So if you think about that time that would have been a time where I'm changing over from pilot in command or pilot flying to the pilot not flying.

BERMAN: One of the things that's happening today too that's getting obscured by this is the search for the pings of black boxes, which by they way, if we can pull back out of the map here is happening all the way down here again off the coast of Perth, Australia. They've now picked up pings from sonar buoys. What's interesting as we tie these stories together, if they are able to retrieve the flight data recorder, what will that tell us about what happened back up here? What will it tell us about this now supposed drop in altitude?

SOUCIE: Well, remember the flight data recorder is recording everything that happens -- altitude changes, there's 82 different parameters being recorded every fraction of a second throughout this flight. We can go back, all the way back to here. Was there rapid decompression that would answer the question as to why it dropped? Maybe not.

If it doesn't say anything other than the altitude change, then you go back into the radio portion of the box and you say what was manually changed. Because what the box does, it records the manual movement, the moving of the yolk or the changing of the switch. It records that and then it says did it execute the way it was supposed to because remember this is trying to help the investigation.

BERMAN: And that's why this search down here is now so important.

SOUCIE: Absolutely.

BERMAN: David Soucie, thank you so much.

SOUCIE: Thanks.

BERMAN: Chris.

CUOMO: All right JB.

Coming up, need some good stuff? Of course you do. We're going to serve it up Chicago style? What does a bright toothy smile mean? For one homeless veteran it means everything. We're going to tell you how he's paying back an incredible gift when NEW DAY continues.


CUOMO: Chicago music for a Chicago story. It is time for the good stuff -- Chicago style in honor of our series "CHICAGOLAND".

Now no veteran should ever be homeless -- right. Well, you would be shocked to learn how many are. One of them, Melvin Bridgmon -- he spent ten years homeless, damaged his health, his self-esteem and also his teeth.


MELVIN BRIDGMON, HOMELESS VETERAN: I was afraid to go a lot of places, afraid to speak out in public.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was very shy, and I had not realized that he had been without teeth for several years.


CUOMO: Of course he was shy. His dignity was hurt and he didn't feel confident in himself. Well, that is until Mantis Dental in Chicago stepped. Their program Grant a Smile provides free dental care to veterans who need it. Now Melvin has a toothy grin and a smiling outlook on life.


BRIDGMON: Now I can go to my classes and I don't have to worry about not smiling, hiding my face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you see a veteran succeed at something that he's not been able to do for a long time, you watch them beaming with pride, and we're very happy to be able to do that.


CUOMO: We're happy they did it as well. That's not all. With his new found confidence, guess what Melvin did? Started his own not-for- profit to help other homeless people around Chicago. BOLDUAN: Good. And it's amazing what small things like that -- it really was his self esteem that was taking a hit because of it.

CUOMO: Right. Help one, help many and helping veterans best of all.

BOLDUAN: There you go.

CUOMO: And of course, be sure to catch our original series "CHICAGOLAND". It airs tonight at 10:00 Eastern, 9:00 Central. Everybody has good teeth.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right. And time now for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks guys. Have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.