MH370: New last words from cockpit: 'Good night Malaysian three seven zero'

Authorities revise Flight 370's sign-off

    Just Watched

    Authorities revise Flight 370's sign-off

Authorities revise Flight 370's sign-off 05:20

Story highlights

  • WSJ: Poor coordination made crews search in wrong place
  • Tuesday's search for Flight 370 includes 11 planes, 9 ships
  • Source: Plane's turn off course is being considered a "criminal act"
  • Malaysian officials: Final transmission was "Good night Malaysian three seven zero"

They were words heard around the world as investigators searched for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Weeks ago, Malaysian authorities said the last message from the airplane cockpit was, "All right, good night."

The sign-off to air traffic controllers, which investigators said was spoken by the plane's copilot, was among the few concrete details officials released in a mystery that's baffled investigators and drawn global attention since the Boeing 777 disappeared with 239 people aboard mid-flight on March 8.

There's only one problem. It turns out, it wasn't true.

On Monday, Malaysia's Transport Ministry said the final voice transmission from the cockpit of Flight 370 was actually "Good night Malaysian three seven zero."

MH370: Malaysian investigation failures

    Just Watched

    MH370: Malaysian investigation failures

MH370: Malaysian investigation failures 02:28
Official: We're in the right place

    Just Watched

    Official: We're in the right place

Official: We're in the right place 01:07

Malaysian authorities gave no explanation for the discrepancy between the two quotes. And authorities are still trying to determine whether it was the plane's pilot or copilot who said them.

Frustrated families arrive in Malaysia

    Just Watched

    Frustrated families arrive in Malaysia

Frustrated families arrive in Malaysia 01:10
'If mystery is solvable, we'll solve it'

    Just Watched

    'If mystery is solvable, we'll solve it'

'If mystery is solvable, we'll solve it' 02:13

The new language is routine and is not a sign that anything untoward occurred aboard the flight, said CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo.

But the change in wording weeks into the search for the missing plane raises questions about how Malaysian officials have handled the investigation.

"It speaks to credibility issues, unfortunately," Schiavo said.

"We haven't had a straight, clear word that we can have a lot of fidelity in," said Michael Goldfarb, former chief of staff at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. "We have the tragedy of the crash, we have the tragedy of an investigation gone awry and then we have questions about where we go from here."

No matter what the pilots' last words were, it's hard to understand what they mean without more details from authorities about what they said and how they said it, CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien told "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on Monday.

"Without the preceding information ... either the transcript or the recordings themselves, it's difficult to know what any of that really means," he said. "And that's the problem with this investigation, which has been so opaque."

Malaysian authorities have defended their handling of the situation.

Acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Monday that authorities were not hiding anything by declining to release some details of the missing flight. Some details are part of ongoing investigations into what happened to the plane, he said.

Will search return data recorder?

    Just Watched

    Will search return data recorder?

Will search return data recorder? 01:24

"We are not hiding anything," he said. "We are just following the procedure that is being set."

Source: Plane's turn considered 'criminal act'

A Malaysian government source told CNN Monday that the airliner's turn off course is being considered a "criminal act," either by one of the pilots or someone else onboard the missing airliner.

And in a background briefing given to CNN, Malaysian investigators said they believed the plane was "flown by someone with good flying knowledge of the aircraft."

Several friends of Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah said they refuse to believe he could have been the "criminal" controlling the plane.

Could plane ditch into ocean intact?

    Just Watched

    Could plane ditch into ocean intact?

Could plane ditch into ocean intact? 03:57

Rallying to his defense, they showed CNN's Nic Robertson pictures of him at flight school.

"I think finally it will come to a stage where people think of him as a hero when things come out," friend Jason Lee said. "I think he is a hero."

A senior Malaysian government official last week told CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes that authorities have found nothing in days of investigating the two pilots that leads them to any motive, be it political, suicidal or extremist.

And an ongoing FBI review of the two pilots' hard drives, including one in a flight simulator Zaharie had built at his home, has not turned up a "smoking gun," a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN last week.

In a Facebook post, the captain's daughter lashed out at a British tabloid that claimed to quote her criticizing her father.

"You should consider making movies since you are so good at making up stories and scripts out of thin air," Aishah Zaharie wrote. "May God have mercy on your souls."

Several leads dry up as search ramps up

Potential leads on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 keep coming. So do the setbacks and frustrations.

Ten military planes, a civilian jet and nine ships are part of Tuesday's Indian Ocean search, which spans a swath west of Perth that's 120,000 square kilometers (46,300 square miles), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

Monday's search ended without finding anything significant, Australian officials said. Four orange objects spotted by search aircraft and earlier described as promising turned out be nothing more than old fishing gear, they said.

Partner: My world is upside down

    Just Watched

    Partner: My world is upside down

Partner: My world is upside down 03:24
Missing Malaysia flight stirs old memories

    Just Watched

    Missing Malaysia flight stirs old memories

Missing Malaysia flight stirs old memories 02:58

Finding possible leads that turn out to be trash, fishing gear or jellyfish isn't easy for search teams, U.S. Navy Cmdr. William Marks told CNN's "AC360."

"You have that excitement, and then when it is garbage or seaweed or something like that, it's hard, it's hard to realize you didn't find anything," he said. "But you just keep at it and you keep at it. And this is what we do. This is what we train for."

U.S. Navy officials loaded underwater locating gear aboard an Australian naval ship and set out to sea Monday evening, but won't be able to use the equipment until investigators narrow the search zone.

The gear includes a pinger locator that's towed behind a ship and scans for the sound of the locator beacon attached to the plane's flight data recorder. Also onboard is an underwater drone that can scan the ocean floor for debris.

It will take the ship, the Ocean Shield, three days just to get to the search zone, leaving precious little time to locate the plane's flight data recorders before the batteries on its locator beacon run out. The batteries are designed to last 30 days; the plane has been missing for 24 days.

Under favorable sea conditions, the pingers can be heard 2 nautical miles away. But high seas, background noise, wreckage or silt can all make pingers harder to detect.

In this case, searchers barely know where to look at all.

"We are searching a vast area of ocean, and we are working on quite limited information," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters Monday. "Nevertheless, the best brains in the world are applying themselves to this task. ... If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it."

Late last week, the search area shifted more than 600 miles after what authorities described as "a new credible lead." But a Wall Street Journal report Monday night, citing anonymous people familiar with the matter, said before that crews had searched for three days in the wrong location due to "lapses in coordination among countries and companies" trying to find the missing jet.

What happened? Andy Pasztor, one of the reporters who wrote the story, said it boiled down to poor coordination between two parts of the investigation: one dealing with satellite data, and the other one dealing with fuel consumption and aircraft performance.

"And so what we're left with is sort of a three-day gap where it's clear that folks were definitely looking in the wrong place," he said.

Despite false leads and other setbacks that have plagued the search, officials have vowed to keep looking.

"The effort is ramping up, not winding down," Abbott told CNN on Monday.

Malaysia will ask the United States about the possibility of deploying more military assets, Hishammuddin said Monday.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Monday that he will consider any additional requests from Hishammuddin.

"I don't know what additional requests he will make of me," he said. "I certainly will listen carefully to whatever those are. ... We're providing everything that we can provide, as are other countries."

Get up to speed

Relatives' demands

Family members of people onboard Flight 370 have accused Malaysian officials of giving them confusing, conflicting information since the plane vanished more than three weeks ago.

On Monday, dozens of Chinese family members visited a Kuala Lumpur temple. They chanted, lit candles and meditated.

"Chinese are kindhearted people," said Jiang Hui, the families' designated representative. "But we can clearly distinguish between the good and evil. We will never forgive for covering the truth from us and the criminal who delayed the rescue mission."

Jiang asked Malaysia to apologize for announcing March 24 that the plane had crashed, despite the lack of any "direct evidence."

At the daily press briefing, Hishammuddin responded, saying Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had not used the word "crash" or mentioned a lack of survivors in his announcement that the plane's flight had "ended" in the southern Indian Ocean.

He described a meeting Saturday between Malaysian authorities and Flight 370 relatives as "the most difficult meeting I've ever attended."

"The families are heartbroken. For many, the strain of the past few weeks has been unbearable," he said.

He said Malaysia will hold a high-level briefing for families where experts will explain some of the data and methodology used to guide the search.

He also said authorities have discussed with the families what happens if they are unable to find debris from the missing plane. But he declined to discuss it with reporters Monday, saying "to be fair to the families, that is something I would not want to share with the public at the moment."

Beijing has also publicly slammed Malaysia's efforts to find the Boeing 777. Of the 239 people aboard the jetliner, 154 were Chinese. But Malaysia says it's done its best with what it has.

"History will judge us as a country that has been very responsible," Hishammuddin said.

Flight attendant's husband has no answers for children

      Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

    • nr intv moni basu husbands quiet suffering flight 370_00020822.jpg

      His wife never came home from her flight on MH370, and now K.S. Narendran is left to imagine the worst of possible truths without knowing.
    • This handout photo taken on April 7, 2014 and released on April 9, 2014 by Australian Defence shows Maritime Warfare Officer, Sub Lieutenant Ryan Penrose watching HMAS Success as HMAS Perth approaches for a replenishment at sea while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Two fresh signals have been picked up Australian ship Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370, raising hopes that wreckage will be found within days even as black box batteries start to expire.

      Was the sound of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 striking the water captured by ocean devices used to listen for signs of nuclear blasts?
    •  A crew member of a Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) P-3K2-Orion aircraft helps to look for objects during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in flight over the Indian Ocean on April 13, 2014 off the coast of Perth, Australia. S

      What was believed to be the best hope of finding the missing plane is now being called a false hope. Rene Marsh explains.
    • Caption:A Chinese relative of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 uses a lighter as she prays at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 8, 2014. The hunt for physical evidence that the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed in the Indian Ocean more than three weeks ago has turned up nothing, despite a massive operation involving seven countries and repeated sightings of suspected debris. AFP PHOTO/WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

      Involved parties, including the manufacturer Boeing, are bracing for a long public relations siege.
    • The painstaking search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 got a vote of confidence Friday that the effort is headed in the right direction, but officials noted that much work remains.
Credit: 	CNN

      Official: The four acoustic pings at the center of the search for Flight 370 are no longer believed to have come from the plane's black boxes.
    • INDIAN OCEAN (April 14, 2014) -- Operators aboard ADF Ocean Shield move U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 into position for deployment, April 14. Using side scan sonar, the Bluefin will descend to a depth of between 4,000 and 4,500 meters, approximately 35 meters above the ocean floor. It will spend up to 16 hours at this depth collecting data, before potentially moving to other likely search areas. Joint Task Force 658 is currently supporting Operation Southern Indian Ocean, searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair/RELEASED)

      The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will effectively be put on hold this week, and may not resume until August at the earliest.
    • Movie-makers say they have recruited leading Hollywood technicians to bring their experience to mid-air flight sequences.

      Movie-makers in Cannes have announced they're making a thriller based on the disappearance of Malaysian flight MH370.
    • The search for the missing Boeing 777 has gone on for eight weeks now. CNN's David Molko looks back at this difficult, emotional assignment.