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Raging Wildfires Force Mass Evacuations; Bill Clinton Slams Rove For Brain Damage Claims; Desperate Rescue Operation in Turkey

Aired May 14, 2014 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, breaking news, at least five wildfires burning out of control at this moment. Tens of thousands evacuated. We're live on the scene.

Plus, unleashing Bill, the former president of the United States jumps to his wife's defense, firing back at Karl Rove, but did he do a lot more harm?

And Christopher Columbus's flagship, the Santa Maria, how much is it worth? So the man who discovered it and a star from the hit show "Antiques Road Show" all here OUTFRONT to tell us. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, at least five wildfires are burning out of control in Southern California at this instant. We want to listen to this reaction of what is happening right now.

The fire is fuelled by low humidity and those powerful Santa Ana winds has forced the evacuation already of 15,000 people. The flames are also burning dangerously close to a nuclear power plant. Officials have now evacuated that facility as a precaution. But obviously, it is a nuclear power plant still operating, 20 buildings so far already destroyed.

Hundreds of firefighters are digging along the front lines, igniting backfires to try to knock the flames down. Paul Vercammen is about 20 miles north of San Diego in Carlsbad, California, and Paul, when we hear those headlines, you know, how threatening is the fire right now. Obviously with you even wear that eyewear.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is how threatening it is. It is setting up the embers, and the embers are always dangerous. Not only can they land in your eye, this is how fires skip from house to house. Just a short time ago, a huge firefight right in this canyon right here. They made a stand along Javier Parkway here in Calabasas. This is the southern flank of the fire.

They were able to contain it in the canyon by a variety of measures and you can tell by looking at a fire truck, they have dumped something unusual on them. What it was, they came from the air, Erin, and they picked up a bunch of water and sort of brackish mud from a nearby lagoon and dumped it right on the fire here. As you pointed out, they say some 20 buildings in San Diego County. On this fire alone three buildings completely burned down. At least 12 more damaged. We have not heard silver lining in all this gray smoke of any serious injuries. They've been able to get at this fire by making stands along broad boulevards such as this. Asphalt of course easily defensible and these are multimillion-dollar homes throughout this area. This is a rather affluent part of north San Diego County, nearby Legoland closed down.

Schools closed down in San Diego County alone, four major wildfires burning, including this one in Carlsbad. One I think in rancho San Bernardo, another near Fallbrook and the one nearby a nuclear power plant is Camp Pendleton. It wasn't huge, but shut down an entire interstate for a while -- Erin.

BURNETT: Paul, you mentioned we're going to be going to Camp Pendleton in just a moment to someone there who is maybe evacuated. But what do you know about the proximity there about nuclear power plant?

VERCAMMEN: Well, when we passed it, it was -- I would say a quarter mile away, but the good news, on the other side of the freeway. So the fire would have had to make some sort of monumental and colossal leap over the freeway to get back there and what we have noticed today from covering these fires, the winds coming off from the pacific, the pacific is that way, everything is seemingly burned this way.

So I don't believe it came extremely close, but still, a quarter of a mile. And you drive by that thing, it all started with a truck which caught fire that is going to cause you to swallow hard and give pause. Certainly it was the right call to evacuate the plane. I don't think it was an abundance of caution. I think they had to do it.

And also, throughout this neighborhood, they had to ask people to go ahead and get out because it came so dangerously close to so many houses. But they definitely set up the perimeters here and this is one of those places I said where they made a stand and so far so good.

BURNETT: All right, Paul Vercammen, thank you very much. And pretty incredible as he is saying, the freeways, which we know a lot of them are closed right now are serving as a barrier. When you think of nuclear power plant, not evacuated from his perspective out of an abundance of precaution, but out of necessity. It's pretty frightening. Some in the area have not yet been evacuated, but are perhaps soon to be, their concern growing as they watch the flames making their way closer and closer to their homes.

Christina Echols lives next to Camp Pendleton, which Paul mentioned is also where the nuclear power plant. She joins me now on the phone. Christina, you sent us some video of what you can actually see from your house. We're going to show our viewers with the flames very close by. What is it like now? And are you afraid that you're going to need to leave?

CHRISTINA ECHOLS, EYEWITNESS (via telephone): Yes, I don't know if we're going to have to leave, but I am afraid of the fires right now. We're actually in the middle of three fires, where I'm located.

BURNETT: In the middle of three fires?

ECHOLS: Yes. The Bonsall fire, and then there is a small fire in Oceanside, which is on North River Road and College Boulevard.

BURNETT: And you -- is that sort of converging on you from different directions? Are you still confident you would be able to get out?

ECHOLS: Yes, I'm actually out right now because I had to pick up my son, but it took me an hour to get to him. And I'm still not back at my home right now.

BURNETT: Wow. And what about, Christina, we were just reporting on that nuclear power plant, which is obviously near Camp Pendleton. And I don't know if you just heard our reporter. He said it looked like basically a freeway is what prevented the flames at this point from actually, you know, going to the nuclear power plant. Is that something that frightens you?

ECHOLS: Yes. We're close but not that close. I'm probably about seven miles, seven to ten miles from the power plant. I'm on the other side of Pendleton.

BURNETT: Seven to ten miles. It's obviously very close. Christina, thank you very much. I hope you get home safe. Don't have to evacuate. But as you can understand, I mean, the nuclear power plant of course gives this a level of urgency there is a dangerous mix of extreme temperatures, the strong Santa Ana winds this year and the low humidity. All of that is coming together to cause these wildfires and conflagrations.

CNN meteorologist, Jennifer Gray is OUTFRONT. Jennifer, this is sort of an imperfect storm.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it really is, you know, and we're not even really to the peak of wildfire season yet. This is very, very early. And so you can only imagine as we get into June and July, very, very hot, dry months for California. This is only going to get worse. So this is a very, very bad situation in California. Carlsbad right now 91 degrees. We did hit 100 today. Humidity 8 percent. Single digits. The dew point has been in the single digits.

Earlier today temperatures did go down a little bit with a shift in wind, which is good news. And that was what allowed those helicopters to get up in the air. But we still have wind gusts about 15 to 20 miles per hour inland locations, 20 to 30 and the foothills and the mountains today, we had wind gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour.

So it was very intense for a while, but now starting to slack off a little bit as we go forward tomorrow into Friday, then we'll really start to really see the winds die down, which is excellent news. Unfortunately, we're not going to get the rain, but at least we'll get cooler temperatures, and we will get lighter winds as we go into the weekend.

Relative humidity will start to increase as well. Will start to get that onshore flow. So that will start to increase the humidity, which is what you want as well. So Erin, we're not going get the rain, but we'll get cooler temperatures. We'll get higher humidity levels. The winds will start to decrease in the next couple of days, and that will really give those firefighters a chance to tackle this.

BURNETT: All right, Jennifer, thank you very much. We're going to keep following this breaking news through the hour tonight as we're tracking those fires. As you can understand from the reporting now. Perhaps just a quarter mile away from a nuclear power plant. We're going to continue following that. In the meantime, Bill Clinton uncensored came out with a major slam against Karl Rove.

Plus, the breaking news on the search for Flight 370 halted and we're going to tell you why.

And the dog versus cat debate re-ignited today and perhaps a verdict. We'll show you who won.


BURNETT: Tonight, Bill Clinton uncensored, the former president striking back at Karl Rove after rove reportedly said Hillary Clinton may have suffered lasting brain damage after a fall two years ago.


FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, I got to give him credit. That embodies that old saying that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. First they said she faked her concussion, and now they say she is auditioning for a part on "The Walking Dead."


BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, David Brock, founder of Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary group, and RNC Communication Director Sean Spicer along with our political analyst, Maggie Haberman. All right, Sean, let me start with you. Did Rove start a fight that is bad for the GOP? Even Newt Gingrich on "CROSSFIRE" on CNN said the comments represented the worst instincts of the consulting class of the Republican Party. Did it just make all you guys look bad?

SEAN SPICER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Karl, when given the opportunity to clarify his statements to "The Washington Post" made it clear this is a question about her answering questions about her health, which I think everyone admits that every candidate for president needs to go through and be forth coming with the American people in terms of their fitness, their medical and health fitness for office. And they think is a fair criteria that every candidate, Republican and Democrat needs to go through.

BURNETT: All right, to that point, David, let me just play something that Bill Clinton said today. There is something new in here. He spoke in more detail about Hillary's medical scare in 2012. I'll play for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: They went to all this trouble to say that she had staged what was a terrible concussion that required six months of very serious work to get over.


BURNETT: And, you know, David, we looked into this because it sounded new. And the Clintons to CNN's knowledge have never explicitly said her recovery took two months. Bill has never used the word like terrible. No one in Hillary's camp ever did that. Did Bill Clinton inadvertently fan the flames of Rove's fire?

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, CORRECT THE RECORD, A PRO-HILLARY CLINTON GROUP: I don't think so at all. The Clintons were completely transparent about this incident when it happened. And I think that the president was characterizing what actually happened today. He is -- to his wife. And the fact is she got back on her feet. She was like a trooper. She got back to work. But if we're going to debate how long it takes for recovery from a concussion, we've just been through 48 hours of the Republicans trying to blatantly and despicably trying to politicize and play this game of gotcha --

BURNETT: They did seem to be more downplaying at the time. To your point, they didn't try to say it wasn't serious, but they didn't use terrible and serious work to get over it. It was more like she is going to be out testifying within a month. This is a more dramatic description than we had heard.

BROCK: You know, I think nobody has ever disputed that this was a serious incident. Nobody has tried to hide that and when rove corrected himself yesterday and retracted his statement, he lied in his retraction and said that they were hiding facts. Nobody is hiding facts. This was a very heartfelt comment by the husband of somebody who did have a serious incident and fully recovered.

BURNETT: Maggie, what is your take on this? Did Bill Clinton left Karl Rove with the terms of the conversation or, I mean, was the right to come out slamming today, even if it meant giving new information or not?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, actually, I think Bill Clinton was pretty pitch perfect if you're the Clintons today. Yesterday's statement was less than pitch perfect. Today he was pretty even. He didn't actually sound angry. He did absolutely reveal new information as far as I'm concerned. I had never heard the six months window before. And they had made very clear this was a serious injury. So that wasn't a surprise. You want to debate whether terrible was new term, a different term, a more serious term.


HABERMAN: But six months was definitely a new window. He definitely offered up new information. Whether that was intentional or not, I don't know. But I do think that for most people who are hearing this, for those who are tuning in and listening to this, what Rove said, what their takeaway is going to be brain damage. And the other thing that Rove said, remember was that, she was in the hospital for 30 days according to "the New York Post" is how she put it. She was in the hospital for 30 days.

BURNETT: Three days.

HABERMAN: Three days. So when you stretch facts, then it always calls into question what the other parts of your statement. And I think that Bill Clinton probably handled it as much more serve more in shaking his head than in anger (INAUDIBLE).

BURNETT: Sean is the representative for the GOP here. When you're talking about all the campaigns you're going to run, I mean, do you think that Bill Clinton in revealing the six months and revealing things that they have never formally admitted before is giving you ammunition, or do you agree with Newt Gingrich, this is inappropriate, don't touch it?

SEAN SPICER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, I mean, the issue of anyone, any candidate's health and fitness for office is a fair question. So that is a fair angle.

BURNETT: But specifically discussing her fall and the brain damage, the inappropriate words that Karl Rove used.

SPICER: Well, I will tell you that that's what I was going get you. I think at the end of the day, we are going to run against every democratic candidate whether it's secretary Clinton or any other democrat, frankly, go after their record and their issues.

And I think when it comes to secretary Clinton, her tenure as secretary of state is something we would rather spend our time, her tenure as secretary and first lady pushing universal health care. Those are issues we would rather be focused on, especially when it comes to issue likes Benghazi, Syria, Russia, her failed record there.

BURNETT: You mentioned Benghazi. And Bill Clinton, actually, also talked about that. He defended his wife. I want to play that very quickly. Here he is.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Chris Stevens was the most popular foreigner in Libya. And he knew as much about it as anybody and made the decision that he would go.


BURNETT: David, is that a strange way of sort of blaming Chris Stevens for what happened?

BROCK: No, I don't think so at all.

BURNETT: I think it's odd.

BROCK: I think the president was correcting the record out there today on Benghazi. And I think that's welcome because there has been so much misinformation about it coming from the Republicans. The truth of this is, and I think President Clinton conveyed this was that most people look at Benghazi and see a tragedy. Unfortunately, the Republicans look at it and see political opportunity. It's a way of ginning up their base.

SPICER: You guy have politicized it since day one.

BROCK: And also raising money off dead Americans as their committee did, I think that's disgusting.

BURNETT: Quickly, Sean.

SPICER: Look, OK, if you want to get down to disgusting, I mean, the fact of the matter is four Americans did die in that tragedy. And since that day, the Democrats have done everything but say don't look here. And as we have gone through and probed more and more of that. In fact, just this week, it took a court order to realize there was more information out there that the Democrats in the White House have been telling us over and over again, there is nothing more to see here. They want to talk about everything being political. And yet they were the one to politicize this from day one, continue to keep information from the American people. That's the travesty.

BROCK: Mitt Romney was the one who on day one, as it was even happening politicized this tragedy.

BURNETT: All I have to say about Benghazi is what is sad it's become like abortion, right? Nobody even listens before. And there were four dead Americans and no one has been held accountable. And it has become a thing whatever side you take, you're a polemicist it is pretty sad?

But Maggie, Bill Clinton, though, on the offense. He did this in 2008. It didn't work out so well when it came off. It caused a lot of backlash. Is this going to be the model of what we see with Bill Clinton today? And it felt good. Is it east going to help Hillary?

HABERMAN: I think today was different than 2008. In 2008, when he was on offense against now President Obama, it was very aggressive, and it was angry. To me the issue today was his tone. His tone when he was talking about Karl Rove anyway was not anger. He was talking in head shaking, there is Karl being Karl, which you heard a lot of Democrats saying over the last 24 hours. That's the approach he was taking. And I think what they're going for. Remember, she is always very well perceived by Democrats when she is perceived as being attacked.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all three of you. We appreciate it.

And OUTFRONT next, a desperate search underway at a mine in Turkey. As many as 120 still could be trap. We are live on the scene.

And Christopher Columbus' most famous ship the Santa Maria discovered 500 years later. So tonight, the man who actually found the ship, and a star from the beloved "antique's road show" is going to actually tell what's it is worth or any parts of it.

And you're going to be looking right now, a live picture of the southern California wildfires. There is at least five of them burning right now oft control. Thousands forced to evacuate. We're going to go live in a moment.


BURNETT: Breaking news. A desperate rescue operation is under way right now to reach as many as 120 miners trapped under ground in Turkey. There is hope that some of them may have found air pockets after the horrific explosion yesterday. Eighty eight of them have been saved so far, but the death toll is climbing, now 274.

Ivan Watson is OUTFRONT live outside the mine in Soma, Turkey.

And Ivan, what are officials telling you about the possibility of air pockets and survivors?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what they've been doing over the last couple of hour, Erin, is they have suspended the rescue operations to allow the venting out of some of the poisonous fumes that are believed to have accumulated in the mine shaft as a result of this electrical fire that exploded into flames on Tuesday deep underground.

And what we have been seeing is like billowing clouds of this white acrid smoke coming out. It appears from one of the entrances to the mine. And that is the smoke that is believed to have killed so many of the coal miners inside.

Now, some of the rescue workers that I have talked to who have retrieved some lifeless bodies of some of the coal miners, they say, you know, there could be hope of somebody surviving if they had gotten perhaps to some of the emergency rooms deep in the mines where there were believed to be kind of breathing devices and air tanks. And if those workers could have sealed the doors in time to save themselves from the fire and the heat and the smoke.

Sadly, many of the family members that I have talked to, many of the workers who were not in the mine, they are much less hopeful, and it perhaps because they know the mine so well. And also perhaps because they have watched the bodies brought out one by one, hour after hour from within that mine. And it is depressing, depressing, tragic stuff to watch -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Ivan, thank you very much. It is tragic and depressing. But of course we can all hope for a miracle. It will go down as one of the worst mining disasters in history.

OUTFRONT next, the breaking news of wildfires blazing through California. Tens of thousands of homes evacuated. We're going to go live to the scene.

And the search for flight 370 suspended tonight. We'll tell you why.


BURNETT: Back to our breaking news. Five wildfires right now out of control in southern California. The fastest moving fire is now threatening homes and a nuclear power plant about 20 miles north of San Diego.

Hundreds of firefighters are on the job at this moment. They're battling the flames both from the air and the ground. It's a serious match. Crews are up against steep terrain, powerful winds, and extremely dry conditions.

At this hour, at least 15,000 people have been told to pack up and get out of harm's way. The flames have burned through at least 20 buildings already.

Paul Vercammen is OUTFRONT in Carlsbad, California.

What is the scene like where you are now? I know they had staged a battle right there.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they did. They won a huge firefight right here literally, because they made a stand along this road. You're talking about the steep terrain. It's always a danger because fire races extremely fast uphill. And right here along the Aviara Parkway, Erin, they made that stand that you alluded to.

You also mentioned that there were five fires that are all burning in San Diego County. We now understand on this Carlsbad fire, some 23,000 people have been evacuated. And north of us, as we passed down Interstate 5, it was closed. You know that the San Onofre nuclear power plant had to be closed down as fire burned near, but on the other side of the freeway to that fire.

Right now, what we're watching is a retrenchment. These firefighters are going to go ahead and try to head off this blaze and get to the other parts of the fire. So many of them burning in San Diego County right now that it's difficult for them to marshal all of the resources.

I was talking with some with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, and they monitor all fires. The big concern for this summer, they say, with all the fires happening so early is all of California, all of Oregon and parts of Nevada, it's just so dry here. And as you look out on to the hillsides, the vegetation has just been absolutely dried out, making all of these areas like San Diego County that much more vulnerable, Erin.

BURNETT: And so, Paul, you obviously mentioned the San Onofre nuclear power plant. But I know you had driven by it. You said it was very close, but there was a freeway sort of between the flames and the fire, at least that you saw?

VERCAMMEN: Well, no. It was absolutely a freeway. It was the Interstate 5, that well traveled north to south route from San Diego to Los Angeles. And, yes, the fire was on the other side of it, making it that much more easily defensible. Very near to Camp Pendleton. So, you actually had U.S. military resources that is completely separate from this fire in Carlsbad, as well as two or three others burning.

And I did note on Twitter, there is a fire in Santa Barbara County, in Ventura County. This is what everybody feared is that a fire season would have an early start here in California. And as evidenced by today with these extremely high temperatures, these devilish winds that are whipping around here, and then basically, just dry conditions, less than 10 percent humidity.

It's just been one of those days for these firefighters. But so far as you said, they made a pretty good stand right here.

BURNETT: Paul, thank you very much.

And Paul is talking about the stands that they're trying to take along the roads, I want to go to Jennifer Cole. She joins me on the phone.

Jennifer, you're actually trapped in your home right now?

JENNIFER COLE, EYEWITNESS (via telephone): We're in our house, yes. It's pretty hot and windy outside. The visibility is not great there is a lot of smoke. And I can see flare-ups from a couple different fires to the north of us.

But we're safe here. We're far enough away. But just the weather keeps changing. The wind direction keeps changing. So everyone is kind of on pins and needles.

BURNETT: Are you worried that you're going to need to leave or that it would be impossible to leave? I know that my understanding is some of the freeways have been shut. I mean, a lot of people are getting trapped where they are.

COLE: Yes. There has ban lot of road closures. One of the main like thoroughfares that we use up and down the coast is El Camino Real. And that has been shut to the north. We're closer to Highway 5. And that has been closed on and off due the fires to the north as well.

If we needed to leave, we would go south and go to the coast and stay as west as possible and just have better air quality there as well.

BURNETT: All right, Jennifer. Well, I hope you don't have to leave. And of course, you stay safe.

Well, breaking news in the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It's been halted. The only underwater search tool, the submersible Bluefin-21 broken. The best case scenario, repairs could take four days. And the record is spotty at best. It has malfunctioned several times.

So, now what? Tonight, serious questions as to whether the Bluefin is even searching in the right place. The plane disappeared 69 days ago. So far, not one single piece of debris.

Tom Foreman has our report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Finding the missing plane in the vast Indian Ocean is increasingly looking like a long shot. And it just got longer.

The Bluefin underwater robot now high and dry. It is the dramatic setback, and not the first.

WARREN TRUSS, AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: The operation must now enter a new phase, and it will be focused on intensifying the ocean floor search over a much larger area.

FOREMAN: Only a month ago, everything seemed so promising with new analysis, new search areas, new clues popping up every few days. But since then, much has changed and not for the better. The above water search for debris has been called off. The four underwater pings believed to be from the plane's black boxes have yet to produce anything.

Some mathematicians are strongly challenging the satellite data that led to the current search areas, and even search officials are acting less certain.

ANGUS HOUSTON, CHIEF COORDINATOR, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTRE: We are reexamining, reviewing the data to ensure that there are no flaws in logic.

FOREMAN: Specifically, the mathematical critics suggest in "The Atlantic Magazine" that Inmarsat's analysis of the electronic handshakes between its satellite and the plane, the very signals that created the now famous arc to guide the search just don't add up.

(on camera): Unless authorities have some other information that no one knows about, these critics say variations in the frequency of the signals, the precise position of the satellite and the assumptions that followed may right now have searchers looking hundreds or even thousands of miles off course.

(voice-over): And just as importantly, they say, all of that could be making searchers less likely to consider alternative theories about how, when, and where the jet finally went down.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


BURNETT: All right. Now, I want to bring in Richard Quest, Miles O'Brien and David Soucie.

Miles, let me start with you. I mean, part of it I don't get, right? Fifty-three days searching solely in the southern Indian Ocean, and they're still searching only with one tool, which is the Bluefin which seems to be broken.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: You know, Erin, I've been beating this drum since day one. This has been a search on the cheap, frankly, for way too long. The fact that they're relying on one autonomous vehicle, which may or may not have the capability even to work in this particular environment, and it breaks down, and there is no searching is absolutely unfathomable to me, if you'll excuse that expression there are devices that should be on scene, towed side scanner devices which are not there, and should be working with multiple units. They can work in concert with each other.

This is an important search. And I feel like the Malaysians are not opening up the pocketbooks.

BURNETT: I mean, David, that is a big question. I mean, the Bluefin fix this time, as we said, you know, at the best case, it's going to be several days. It's been broken multiple times before.

The official word was that the parts that are missing are just not parts that you would expect to go bad. So they're not parts that you have with you. I mean, it is just a matter of poor operation, David, or are they really using the wrong tools, as Miles said? Put other tools in the water?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, I think there are some wrong tools being used. Bluefin isn't the right tool for the depth that they're expecting to go into. It is the right tool for what they're doing right now.

What happen heard is they lost communication with it, which they have done several times. So, they brought it up. And they brought it up during a windstorm, a lot of waves. And it simply crashed into the side of the ship as it was being brought up. So would you expect to do that? I wouldn't expect to, you know?

BURNETT: You would think that would be the kind of thing to happen.

SOUCIE: They're doing what they can.


SOUCIE: Exactly. Especially with the transponder that sticks out like it does. So, I hate to second guess those guys. They're out there hardworking and trying to do all they can. But if Miles said, if you don't have all the tools you need, you're really kind of spinning in the wind there.

BURNETT: Miles, isn't it time to go ahead and try all these devices that our viewers have seen, the Remus, the Orion, they send back information in real time. They've got various things they can do. They can go to deeper depths.

I mean, at first they said look, you know what in this Bluefin is all that was available. These things are hard to get. They're used for scientific research. It takes months to get them. It's been months.

O'BRIEN: Yes, it has been months now. And I'd be willing to make the statement at this point, given the stakes of all of this, unless those other devices are involved in a life and death operation where literally they're taken off the task, somebody might die, it's time now to requisition them. Get them on-site. Let's just get them there and get this thing settled.

I have one other quick idea too while they're just cooling their heels for four or five days. Why don't they take out that towed pinger locator again? See if they hear some pings. Wouldn't that be interesting if they heard pings and it turns out that maybe there was some other source for the pings in that area.

I mean, if they're doing nothing, maybe that would help run that idea to ground.

BURNETT: That's an interesting point.

Richard Quest is with us. He is in South Africa.

I mean, Richard, interesting point Miles is raising, which why not listen for pings again. Because if you hear them at this point, you'll know they're not from MH370's flight data recorder, right? You'll know it's something else?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: And I think that's exactly the process that they're now under way with. Having had to rush to the area for the first 30 days, then do that initial search, they really do have the time now to actually go back and look at the science, do things like miles says, go and tow a few pings and see if you hear anything, and basically review from top to bottom.

So much of what was done originally was done in extremis and just to get it done before certain deadlines passed. Those deadlines have been and gone. And now they can go back and review.

But here is the really worrying part. And I keep saying this. If the science is wrong, Erin, if the pings aren't the pings and the handshake isn't the handshake, then really, we're left with just about nothing. And that's a very worrying position to be in at this stage of the investigation.

BURNETT: Right. Because, Richard, the question, how likely is it that they would even widen the search to other areas? If it turns out there is an issue, like Tom Foreman was talking about, the question is about the Inmarsat data. If it turns out there's an issue there, it looks like Richard's shot just went down.

So, Miles -- oh, no, Richard is back. Richard, all right. I'll ask this and somebody can jump in.

How likely it is that they will actually -- that it's worth it to look 100 miles away, a thousand miles away? Because if it's not here, it could be anywhere?

O'BRIEN: Who is going to take that? Is that a jump ball?

BURNETT: It's a jump ball. Go ahead Miles and then David, and then we'll wrap. O'BRIEN: All right. Let me just -- you can't just go willy-nilly searching in the ocean without something. And so, that's what I've been saying all along on this. Whatever you may say about these pings, whether it was a whale, a dolphin, a fishing net -- whatever you want to say, it's all we've got. And so that's where you're going to put your resources until they're disproven.

So, maybe this is an opportunity. Why don't they take the towed pinger locator out there? Wouldn't that be something if you heard more pings that would tell you, you know what? Maybe this wasn't the black box after all.

And then you're right. We are there with a vast blue ocean or maybe -- maybe the mountains of Tibet as a location for the end of this flight. We don't know.

BURNETT: All right, David. That's what is in incredible. Look at this map. It could be in Kazakhstan.

SOUCIE: Yes, Miles, too. The thing to think thereby, Miles, about bringing that towed pinger locator back out is they did search for days, even weeks after they got those pings. And so, you would think that they would have reported some other pings after, that which they didn't.

So, either they did pick up additional pings and they didn't report them, or they weren't there. So, I like your idea of going back and vary fight are there still pings there buzz that would rule them out. That's a great idea.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you and to Richard Quest as well who is in South Africa. I do want to let you know just at this moment that the Ocean Shield, the Australian ship that has the Bluefin on board has actually left the search area now. So, they're going back to the Australian coast, already 100 miles away from the search area. They've got about 550 miles to go until they get to the coast, which is where they are heading to get the Bluefin fixed.

OUTFRONT next, an historic discovery. Christopher Columbus' lost ship. So, our question, how much it is worst, any shard of it? The man who found it and a star from "Antiques Roadshow" coming up.

Plus, the video that is re-ignited the age old dog versus cat debate. Jeanne Moos reports.


BURNETT: It could be one of the biggest discoveries in history, a sunken shipwreck thought to be the remains of Christopher Columbus' legendary ship, the Santa Maria. But now, the man who found the wreck, our guest in just a moment, says priceless artifacts have already been looted. Photos from the shipwreck discovered off the coast of Haiti showed this object.

Now, I just want to show you this. This was back in 2003, believed to now be the cannon from the 15th century ship. Now, explorers recently returned to the site, and they say the cannon is not there. Other crucial items have been stolen.

With me now is Barry Clifford, the man leading the charge on the discovery, along with one of the stars of the hit show "Antiques Roadshow" also joining me now.

OK, great to have both of you.

Barry, let me start with you. So, you find this. I mean, what goes through your head when you actually find this and think this could be the Santa Maria?

BARRY CLIFFORD, MARINE ARCHEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATOR: Well, you know, obviously the personal satisfaction. But this incredible obligation that is on your shoulders to do the right thing. To make sure that it is excavated and conserved and protected and it goes on display for the general public.

And especially, with the Santa Maria, which is in Haiti, where people desperately need money.


CLIFFORD: The Santa Maria, in a place like New York City, for a certain amount of time that the Haitian government may decide to put. It would generate millions of dollars that could go back to the Haitian people who are in very bad shape.

BURNETT: And, Sebastian, let me ask you. I mean, you think about this, this kind of shipwreck. People come to you all the time with this question, might this be a piece of the Titanic? Might it be -- so if someone comes to you and if you were to -- you know, you could establish this piece was from the Santa Maria? From Christopher Columbus's ship? How much it's worth?

SEBASTIAN CLARKE, APPRAISER, "ANTIQUES ROADSHOW": You know, without assigning the provenance, without being able to say it's from Santa Maria, it has very little value.


CLARKE: And as we're discussing earlier, for someone to say, I have this canon, they're going to get arrested right away. So, really, they cannot sell it --

BURNETT: Or if they stole it and can't sell it.

CLARKE: Precisely, if it is proven to be from the Santa Maria, it is hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. But really as part of the larger ship and all of the contents remaining intact.

BURNETT: So, hundreds of thousands of dollars if it was proven to be from the ship. What about the things that might still be there? I mean, you know, Barry saying, well, that was the cannon itself may have been looted, but, you know --

CLIFFORD: Everything was taken off the ballast pile. So, in other words, and the ballast pile are the stones that they put in the bottom of the ship to stabilize the ship. So, essentially there is a group and leads on who may have done it.

The point is, none of these things can be sold unless they say it is from the Santa Maria. They're just rusty old things. But if you could prove that they were from the Santa Maria, obviously they would be worth money.

But the point is, a ship like this, a collection like this should never, ever under any circumstance be broken up and sold. It should be kept together in its entirety for posterity. And in terms of money, which I'm not thinking about, that's what ultimately is the value of it to the Haitian people.

BURNETT: And, Sebastian, what about other things that may be on the ship? So, you know, little trinkets or pieces on the ship. You know, I'm thinking that somebody has a piece of wood from the Titanic, and people say it is incredible valuable. Again, if you could establish --

CLARKE: If you can establish the provenance, again, it's keeping it intact. It's really priceless, but assigning a value, it's one of the most important finds in history. And so, it's going to be tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars, even the smallest object. But only then again if you draw a straight line with provenance to the Santa Maria, which if you remove it from the Santa Maria, you have broken the line and then it becomes --

BURNETT: Not worth anything.

CLARKE: -- a rusty small object.

BURNETT: But you're saying this would be one of the most significant finds in history?

CLARKE: Absolutely, one of the most important finds in history.

BURNETT: How does that make you feel?

CLIFFORD: Again, I'm saddled with this incredible responsibility for to make sure the right thing happens with this. You know, we found this priceless pirate treasure. In fact, the pirate treasure that we found is the only pirate treasure in the world, period. And we've never sold one coin. We've kept the entire collection together, eating Wheaties half the time because we haven't sold anything.

But yet, millions of people have seen this collection with the real pirates exhibit. And that is what should happen with the Santa Maria.

You know, don't think about money. Money is not -- what it can do. You know, it's a touch stone to this incredibly important period, 1492. The world was changing, the end of the Dark Ages, the beginning of -- you know, some good things, some very bad things. 1492 was the year the inquisition started, but it was the year that Portugal was making their way around Africa, and Columbus goes to the new world. This objet is a touch stone to that period. It has to be protected. Haiti needs all the help that they can get. And that is what I hope to be able to contribute.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much for both of you. The year, 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a hinge of history is coming (INAUDIBLE), and that of course is priceless.

Thanks to both.

And now to a story we have been following closely OUTFRONT today. It's been exactly one month today since Boko Haram terrorists attacked a school in Nigeria, kidnapping nearly 300 girls, and tonight, a powerful new call to put American boots on the ground.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If there are hundreds of young girls who are being kept in what must be horrific -- and we are worried about the opinion of Goodluck Jonathan? This is a crime against humanity.

I would utilize every tool that we have to rescue these young girls. And that means it would be done surgically. It could be done in a way that is very efficient, but for not to do that, in my view, would be an abrogation of our responsibilities.


BURNETT: McCain tells "The Daily Beast" that he supports Special Forces on the ground even if that means doing so without permission from the Nigerian government. McCain joins Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Peter King who told me he wouldn't oppose Special Forces if the president asked for congressional approval. So far, the administration says Special Forces are not on the table, although experts tell us that sending them in would put American lives at risk.

Still OUTFRONT, cat versus dog.


BURNETT: So little boy is under attack, there is only one thing that can save him. Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Remember how Lassie always used to rescue Timmy? Well, this time it was the cat that saved 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo from a --


MOOS: This mean dog, a Labrador chow mixed who managed to slip out of its fenced property when the gate was open, Jeremy was playing on his bicycle, his mom was watering plants nearby, when the dog leaped on Jeremy, dragging him by the leg. That's when the cat pounced and the dog ran away.

Watch again, it was over in an instant.

ERIKA TRIANTAFILO, JEREMY'S MOTHER: Before I could even get there, my cat clobbered him. She saved the day.

MOOS: Soon, everybody was calling Tara the cat a hero, including Jeremy, who is mildly autistic.

J. TRIANTAFILO: Yes, she is a hero.

MOOS: A hero who is trying to escape the limelight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Tara a nice cat?

J. TRIANTAFILO: She jumped. Stay here.

MOOS: Tara has lived with the Triantafilo since before Jeremy was born. The fearless cat attack adds a new dimension to the dog versus cat debate.

Sure, there are affectionate cats capable of even hugging, but dogs usually win in that department.

But a feline that dares to p pounce on a much more aggressive dog, even dog lover have to tip their hat to that cat.

Today, my respect has gone up for all cat kind.

Or as an apparent cat lover put it, cats rule, dogs drool.

(on camera): The not-so happy part of story is what's to become of the dog?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That dog is a goner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This dog is probably doomed.

MOOS (voice-over): Bakersfield, California, animal control confirms that the decision has been made to euthanize the 8 month-old dog. Jeremy required 10 stitches. His mom says even if she had managed to get to her son before the cat, she could never have gotten the dog off so effectively.

E. TRIANTAFILO: There is no animal finer than her.

MOOS: With her bravado, Kara rivals legends like "Puss in Boots", this puss gave the dog the boot.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And Anderson starts now.