January 17th, 2017

The search for MH370 is officially over

The search has ended with no resolution:

The Joint Agency Coordination Center in Australia, which helped lead the $160 million hunt for the Boeing 777 in remote waters west of Australia, said the search had officially been suspended after crews finished their fruitless sweep of the 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) search zone.

“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting-edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft,” the agency said in a statement, which was a joint communique between the transport ministers of Malaysia, Australia and China.

“Accordingly, the underwater search for MH370 has been suspended…

There is the possibility that a private donor could offer to bankroll a new search, or that Malaysia will kick in fresh funds. But no one has stepped up yet, raising the bleak possibility that the world’s greatest aviation mystery may never be solved. For the families of the 239 people on the doomed aircraft, that’s a particularly bitter prospect given the recent acknowledgment by officials that they had been looking for the plane in the wrong place all along…

in July, 2015, came the first proof that the plane was indeed in the Indian Ocean: A wing flap from the aircraft was found on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar. Since then, more than 20 objects either confirmed or believed to be from the plane have washed ashore on beaches throughout the Indian Ocean. But while the debris proved the plane went down in the Indian Ocean, the location of the main underwater wreckage — and its crucial black box data recorders — remains stubbornly elusive.

What a sad state of affairs. My heart goes out to the families of the lost. Remember when the plane’s disappearance was just about the only thing anyone was talking about? At least—and it’s a small comfort, but it’s something—a few pieces of wreckage have been found over the years. Let’s hope the families don’t have too long to wait for more information. Nothing will even begin to bring back their loved ones, of course, but more knowledge would help.

10 Responses to “The search for MH370 is officially over”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    They need some kind of GPS alert system. The pilot presses a button and a signal is sent to a GPS satellite to identify location. Combine that with a parachute safety system. A series of parachutes are deployed to bring the aircraft down safely to earth. They already have them for small aircraft and NASA long ago proved the concept with much faster moving vehicles. Money is the only reason it hasn’t been done.

  2. J.J. Says:

    Tragic for the families of the passengers and crew.
    Recovery of a body and some understanding of how a loved one died provides at least a modicum of closure. Such mystery makes grief that much more difficult to bear. My deepest feelings of empathy go out for what they are suffering. May God be with them in their time of need.

  3. OM Says:


    You seem to have forgotten that the pilot of MH370 is strongly suspected of causing the loss of the airplane. Self flying Google airplanes (in many ways already a technology already in use. But how to keep a malevolent pilot from countermanding safety systems? Remotely-operated (drone) airlines? It’s only a matter of money?

  4. Trimegistus Says:

    I ran across an interesting hypothesis that the plane may have suffered a cockpit window heater fire, and the crew may have been trying to deal with it but were overcome. The URL is linked to my signature.

  5. MikeII Says:

    “Nothing will even begin to bring back their loved ones, of course, but more knowledge would help.”
    While I agree that it would be helpful to find the wreck but at what point do you call it quits? When Amelia Earhart went missing, they finally gave up the search after a couple of weeks. And some 80 yrs later they have a good idea of what happened. I find the bitching of the survivor’s families interesting. Look until you find them! I wonder if they would be so vocal if they were footing the bill? Funny how when it’s not your money, cost is no problem but if its your money, well that is a horse of a different color.

  6. Lurch Says:

    I really do not understand this fetish about finding a bunch of dead bodies. A dead body is an artifact. It is not the person you loved. It’s your memories that truly matter and they can never be taken from you.

  7. Stubbs Says:

    The actual paper can be found at


    It is a remarkable explanation of what may have brought the plane down. Whether the author is correct may never be known, but it is certain that he has produced a narrative that is engrossing and heartbreaking.

    I first encountered a link to the paper at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen’s blog that is itself wonderful, not the least for the amazing links Cowen puts up each day.

  8. Stubbs Says:

    I meant to say that the “actual paper” refers to the one Trimegistus must have encountered.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I didn’t consider that aspect because it would require a different set of solutions. Plus, malevolence will always find a way. It can be made more difficult to achieve but complete prevention is impossible.

    Fortunately, its a rarity for the pilot to intentionally crash the aircraft. I’m concerned with minimizing preventable deaths.

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    In many religions, a dead body is important to bury and give last rites to, and even to those who are not religious it offers a burial site and a place to go to when feeling grief and the need to connect.

    Even more, however, in this case—when the mode of death, the story of what actually happened—is unknown, it’s not even so much the finding of bodies (although that’s important) but the finding of the black boxes and flight recorder and that sort of thing. There is a deep need to know where it happened, how it happened, how long it took, did they suffer much, and all those other questions that occur when people seem to disappear off the face of the earth.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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