By DANIEL KLAPHEKE
One of the most perplexing mysteries in transportation history occurred two weeks ago, and still no answers have been uncovered as to what happened.
Malaysian Airlines flight 370, which departed from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 8, has seemingly vanished from the face of the Earth.
The flight was on course to Beijing, China when it disappeared from the radar at 1:07 a.m. The plane was carrying 239 people, including three U.S. citizens and five toddlers. There is little information available pertaining to the event, but several puzzling clues have arisen, which only adds to the mystery.
One of the first pieces of evidence uncovered was that two of the passengers boarded the flight using stolen passports. Both were Iranian men. On the surface the conclusion is clear: The plane was hijacked by the two men with stolen identification. However, further investigation by Malaysian authorities has discredited that theory. The men had no ties to any terrorist organizations, and one was using an Austrian passport in hopes of entering Germany. According to CNN, Southeast Asia is an international hub of this sort of immigrant activity, so it is likely that the men are just as innocent as the other passengers.
After ruling out the men with stolen passports as hijackers, another keen piece of evidence suggests the captain of the flight himself was behind the disappearance. When police searched the home of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah they discovered a full flight simulator of the Boeing 777. Speculation surmised that Shah used the simulator to plot the hijacking and practice his getaway route. This seems to be another sure conclusion to the case, but it sadly is not. Shah used the simulator as a sort of online gaming forum to connect with other pilots, as many pilots do.
The search for the aircraft has been going on for two weeks in a search area with a 500-mile search radius. In all seriousness, this is an international crisis that is taking a heavy emotional toll on the families affected. It has also brought into question as to how safe the international transportation system is.
Since 2001 the airways have been in a semi-lockdown state in order to prevent another crisis as severe as the attacks on the world trade center, yet a massive Boeing 777 can manage to completely disappear. The search spans land, sea and air, but no one knows how long it will take to uncover anything or if anything will even be uncovered. All you can do is hope for the best for the missing passengers, and that this massive game of hide and seek will end soon.
Daniel Klapheke is a journalism freshman. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.