New Radar Evidence the Jet Turned West

Thai military releases its data
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2014 11:17 AM CDT
New Radar Evidence the Jet Turned West
Members of the social group Christian Muslim Alliance Pakistan take part in a candlelight vigil for passengers,Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in Islamabad.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Thailand is offering what CNN calls "the second radar evidence" that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight took an altered path toward the Strait of Malacca. All looked normal on Thailand's military radar until 1:22am, when Flight 370 vanished. Within six minutes, an unknown aircraft was spotted moving in the opposite direction, a Thai air force official tells CNN, indicating the flight may have taken a sharp turn to the west. "The unknown aircraft's signal was sending out intermittently, on and off, and on and off," says the official. Due to radar limitations, the signal was later lost. The Malaysian Air Force earlier stated its radar tracked the plane over the Strait of Malacca; the BBC notes the Thai military earlier said it picked up no sign of the plane.

  • As for what happened next, experts tell CNN that even a jet as big as the Boeing 777 could keep itself hidden. "It certainly is possible to fly through the mountains in that part of the world and not be visible on radar," says a security consultant. An "experienced pilot … can easily determine, where are the radar blind spots?"
  • China has been frustrated with Malaysia's progress on the mystery, and now families of the plane's Chinese passengers are taking a stand. The relatives believe officials may be withholding information, and are planning a hunger strike if more details don't emerge soon, the BBC reports. "What we want is the truth," said a woman after families met with airline officials."Don't let the passengers become the victims of a political fight."
  • The search area, which spreads toward Kazakhstan and into the southern Indian Ocean, is currently bigger than the size of Australia, the Guardian points out. China and Kazakhstan are in charge of the northern section; Indonesia and Australia heading up the search in the south, Malaysia's transportation minister says. "A needle in a haystack remains a good analogy," says an Australian official. "It will take at least a few weeks to search the area thoroughly."
(More Thailand stories.)

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