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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS
Flight 370 Search Area Narrows; Stabbings in Pennsylvania School
Aired April 9, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a CNN special report. I'm Don Lemon.
And we have breaking news tonight.
The search area for Flight 370 has narrowed significantly tonight after more pings were picked up by the Australian ship Ocean Shield yesterday. Thirteen ships and 14 planes are out there right now crisscrossing and area that is about 7,000 square miles smaller than yesterday. The Ocean Shield's 24/7 search with the Navy's towed pinger locator is still going on with the ship's nonessential equipment turned off to minimize distracting noise.
As that search goes on, there's still more questions than answers. You have been tweeting us your questions by the thousands. We have got top aviation and security experts standing by to answer them, like this one from Debbi: "If they find the black boxes, how long until they find out what happened?"
Right now, I want right to go to CNN's reporters in the search zone. Michael Holmes is in Perth. Joe Johns is in Kuala Lumpur. Also joining me, Richard Quest is with here me in our New York studios.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening.
LEMON: Good evening to you, sir.
Michael, just when it looked like the trail was going cold, the search of Flight 370, new signals are heard yesterday. What's the latest on today's search? .
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The planes haven't headed out yet, but they will be. There will be more than a dozen planes up in the air and more than a dozen ships out at sea all continuing to search for that elusive jet.
As you said, we had two more pings on Tuesday, that in addition to the two that we had on Saturday. What that does is it helps those who are out there searching, who are dragging that ping locater on loan from the U.S. Navy. They are trying to get more pings today. What that will do is help them triangulate, if you like. Think of it like looking for a cell phone using cell phone towers and the pings of the towers.
It helps you work out where the best spot to search for those flight data recorders are. Of course, it's a very difficult task. It's still a vast area. And on the bottom of the ocean floor, by all accounts, there's perhaps meters of silt. So it depends how these things, if they are there, hit the ground, hit the ocean floor.
And maybe they are buried in silt, which is going to make finding them even more difficult. But that's the aim today. And what we heard from the man who's heading up the search effort here, he says he was optimistic they would find the wreckage because of what data they have received so far.
And that coming from a man not prone to exaggeration or raising false hopes. He's a very mild-mannered gentleman. If he says he's optimistic, than that really is a good sign -- Don.
LEMON: We have been paying close attention.
Hey, Richard, it appears they are a little bit late today, right, because they are usually up by now.
QUEST: Yes, Michael what's going on? The first flights have normally left by now, the first P-3s have taken off.
It is 10:00 a.m. Any particular reason why they might be a bit later tonight -- or today?
HOLMES: You are right. You are right. Most days they have taken off by now. Today they have not, but it's not the first time they have been this late. It can be complications of weather. It is a beautiful day here in Perth today. It's going up into the 80s Fahrenheit, high 20s Celsius.
But this search is happening a couple thousand kilometers off shore and the tiniest sort of variation in the weather out there can keep the planes down for an hour or two. So, no, they haven't taken off yet, but that is not unheard of.
They have usually gone by now, but not always.
LEMON: All right, we will see.
Thank you, Michael Holmes. We appreciate that.
Joe Johns now.
Joe, it's been an agonizing month for the families. How are they reacting to the news of the new signals?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Don, we talked so much in the last several days about the emotional limbo these families are going through, the not knowing compelling them to not say too much in most cases, until they get some firm evidence that this plane has, in fact, crashed. But there's also the financial limbo many of these families are in. What I mean by that, there are bank accounts, there are wills, trusts and estates, all of which cannot be dealt with until a death determination is made. There are also dependents who need financial support from individuals who were on that plane.
All these pieces of the puzzle cannot be resolved until a determination of death has been made or authorities otherwise tell these families what has happened to their family members who were on that plane, a very difficult situation for people here in Malaysia, also for people in China, and many of them are just sitting and waiting, Don.
LEMON: All right, Joe and Michael, thank you very much.
I want to bring in now Mike Dean. He's the deputy director for salvage and diving for the U.S. Navy. Also, Geoffrey Thomas, he is the editor in chief of AirlineRatings.com.
Thanks to both of you gentlemen for joining us.
Geoffrey, to you first. The head of the search, Angus Houston, is predicting that they will find the plane or the wreckage soon. Are you as optimistic? What do you hear from your sources there?
GEOFFREY THOMAS, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: Look, absolutely, Don. I'm very optimistic, both on the record with Angus Houston, a man not known for being enthusiastic. He's enthusiastic, but also off the record very positive feedback.
And there are actually two search areas, Don. We have got where the Ocean Shield is. That's a very small search area. That ship is there by itself with the pinger locater.
And then about 500 miles to the west of that, we have about 14 ships. And also that's where the aircraft are going as well because they are looking for debris. That debris is 500 nautical miles away, because a tropical cyclone, a hurricane, if you like, went through there about two-and-a-half weeks ago and they think it has taken the debris off to the side.
LEMON: OK. With two new sets of pings from the Indian Ocean, the search for Flight 370 has shrunk to a patch of a water the size of about South Carolina. How much more manageable is the search area now, do you believe, Mike?
MIKE DEAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR SALVAGE AND DIVING, U.S. NAVY: Well, it's too large certainly to move to the next phase of the search, which would be autonomous vehicles.
Ideally, we want to try and reacquire that signal and shrink it down a little bit more. Remember that these AUVs can really cover about 20 miles a day on a side-scan sonar search. So we have to get that number down a little bit more. And certainly this is good news. We're optimistic that we reacquired a signal somewhat, but having done this for a while, we never believe we have found anything until we have put a camera on it and seen it for sure.
LEMON: OK. I want everyone to stand by. Geoffrey, Mike and Richard, I want you to listen to this the, because we are going to go to CNN's Tom Foreman for a look at the placement of the pings.
Let's take a look, everyone -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don.
It is very interesting to look at precisely how they collected these pings out here. There's the arc that the satellite defined. And as we move in on it, right along that arc, this is the actual path followed by the Ocean Shield, the ship that collected these four different pings out there.
Now, how do they do this? It looks like a mess. What they were really doing and what they're trying to do more of now is establish some order on the ocean. They do this by essentially going back and forth and back and forth over their target area, getting as many hits as possible and then going in a perpendicular fashion to get as many more as they can and then they look for the strongest ones in both directions, hoping that they will coincide to make a smaller box, a smaller search area, allowing them to crush this down to an area that's much more efficiently and capably searched underwater, where the job is that much tougher and that much more time-consuming -- Don.
LEMON: All right, Tom Foreman, thank you very much.
Richard, you think this is an extremely significant development.
QUEST: There is absolutely no question. It is of huge significance.
To have had two pings and then to double that with another two, you are bringing the search area ever smaller. You are getting a better handle on where you need to be. Now, the worrying part in this is what Houston said last night. The signals that they had yesterday, the 5:30 -- I'm sorry -- the 7:30 and the five-minute, the signal is getting weaker. The batteries are dying. He believes that's why...
LEMON: Well, that's an indication that it probably, in their estimation, is 370, but the bad thing is that the signal is getting weaker, the batteries are dying.
QUEST: Exactly. And the batteries are dying. And so time is against them.
And what Houston said is, there's no second chance. That's why -- what Tom Foreman was just talking about. They are going to keep going up and down, mowing the sea, mowing the ocean, before they even think of putting the -- put vehicles in the water until they can be absolutely certain that there's no more life left in those pingers.
LEMON: All right, Richard. Mike, to you now. How long do you think they will continue with the towed pinger locater, knowing the battery life is roughly 30 days and that it's almost over?
DEAN: Well, sure.
There has been anecdotal data that would suggest we have seen last 35 and perhaps as long as 38 days. I would expect that they continue on the towed pinger locator tracking for a few more days until they have probably hit one of the -- 35, 38 days and then likely not had a signal in 48 hours before they discontinue the TPL.
That's the urgency. You don't want to discontinue TPL operations too early and switch over, only to go down and not find anything with the AUV.
LEMON: All right, Mike Dean, thank you very much. You will be back with us a little bit later on. Geoffrey Thomas, Richard Quest, stay with me.
When we come right back, more than a month since Flight 370 vanished, we still have not found a single piece of debris. Does that tell us something important about how the plane might have hit the water?
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.
The search has narrowed significantly tonight. Are we closer than ever before to finding the plane?
I want to bring in now my team of experts, Jeff Wise, the author of "Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger," Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation. She is now an attorney for victims of transportation accidents, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kay, a former adviser to the U.K. minister of defense, and David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash," Jim Tilmon, a retired American Airlines pilot, and also back with me is Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of AirlineRatings.com.
I'm going to start with you, Michael.
Michael, we are now up to four signals since Saturday all within 17 miles of each other. How confident are you that this is Flight 370?
LT. COL. MICHAEL KAY, EXPERIENCED MILITARY PILOT: Well, look, Don, the first priority here and the first priority from the outset has been to unequivocally locate the final resting place of MH370.
And there's a usual process that we have been used to in the past of being able to do that. Usually, it involves identifying surface debris. It then involves getting down on the ocean bed.
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: But how confident are you that this is 370?
KAY: I still think that we have a few facts that we need to get our heads around. But in the absence of anything else, I'm confident that Inmarsat data and what Ocean Shield has picked up so far is going to lead us to the location.
LEMON: OK. Thank you for that.
David, you know, authorities have analyzed the signals from Saturday and they have concluded they need more from electronic equipment there indeed. So, let's take a quick look at this tweet.
This is from Kerry. It says: "We hear that that might stimulate pings, but how often do false positives actually occur if previous searches get them?"
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: None. There have been frequencies picked up, but never a one-second pulse like these are doing. And that's what is so distinctive about it. You not only have the frequency, which other things use. Commercial fishing boats use some in that same frequency to look for fish.
But they are talking about multiple pings per second. This is a one-second ping, and that's what we have here, is a one-second ping. So, no, we have never picked up anything that I'm aware as far as false positives that have that distinctive one-second ping.
LEMON: No false positives in anything that you can remember. That's pretty interesting. OK.
Mary, the initial signal picked up on Saturday lasted two hours and 20 minutes. The two most recent pings lasted five-and-a-half minutes and then seven minutes as well. The signals appear to be weakening. How bad is that for searchers?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's bad for searchers because we still have a lot of area to search. By the time you calculate that 17-mile swathe in to mowing the ocean floor, it's really a long, long spell, or it can be, unless they get lucky and happen to be right on top of it.
But once the battery dies, they are left with that, what, 36- square mile path on the ocean floor to then search back and forth, mow the ocean floor with those submersibles and side-scan sonar. Yes, if the batteries die, it is really unfortunate for them, because then we are looking at weeks or months of constant searching.
LEMON: Even with the smaller search area, right?
SCHIAVO: Even with the smaller search area. With the larger search area, I don't like to be not optimistic, but with the larger search area, until it was narrowed with the pings, it would be impossible. It would point pointless to put down the sonar until they narrowed it down to what we have got.
All right, hold it a minute, because I have a question for CNN's Martin Savidge. He's in a 777 flight simulator, along with flight instructor Mitchell Casado.
Martin, searchers have possibly detected a black box. And that's possibly -- but still no debris has been found. Could that mean that the plane landed in one piece and then broke apart as it sunk?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's possible.
Until we find the black boxes and until we find the aircraft itself, there a lot of things that will be possible. What we wanted to do was show you this time -- last time we showed you a demonstration of what it would be like to land on water without power. In other words, the engines had quit because they ran out of fuel.
But Mitchell Casado brought up a good point, which is if you were a pilot and you knew you had to ditch, you wouldn't wait until you were out of fuel, right?
MITCHELL CASADO, PILOT TRAINER: Oh, no way.
SAVIDGE: You're going to do it under power, because that way you would have a second chance.
Take us down and get us really close. We will make this approach and show you what a water landing can look like. We will warn you we will not go in to the water. The simulator couldn't possibly take that. But we will bring you in and Mitchell can tell us what the approach would be like.
What would you be doing and what are you watching and waiting for?
CASADO: Well, Marty, or, Martin, for a water landing, you want to keep the airplane in a similar altitude as you would for a regular landing.
So, level wings, nose up, you want to touch down tail low. You are going to bounce. That's pretty much a certainty. And of course you want to have the hatch open to escape. The crew would be prepared in the back and we want to have about 15 degrees of flaps, which is optimum, but not full, because that's too much drag.
SAVIDGE: You keep the power going because you would like to have a second shot or you would like to be able to maneuver if there's a problem. We're now 30 feet above the water surface. We're at right about stall speed almost.
Can you show us the attitude outside of the aircraft? This is the critical thing to look at here. We can bring that up because it is a simulator.
CASADO: There we go.
SAVIDGE: Look at the aircraft as it would be over the water. This is the miracle on the Hudson kind of profile you want to have, but this plane far bigger than the one that occurred and went down on the water that day. Tail first, you hope there aren't big waves and you would set it down gently. You are going to bounce. There's no guarantee it's going to be intact, but it is possible.
And the other thing to point out, it was daylight, assuming that the seven hours had gone by. In theory, yes, you could set it down intact. It could sink after that. But nobody knows for sure -- Don.
LEMON: But, Martin, you guys said -- you and Mitchell said you are going to bounce. Doesn't that kind of offer up the possibility that if you bounce, there's going to be some breakup, especially in waters that are that volatile?
SAVIDGE: Right. No, you are absolutely right.
There's no perfect the scenario here, unless you have got an absolutely glass sea, which is highly unlikely, but it's the best-case scenario.
CASADO: That's the best-case scenario. If you saw the fuel draining, you would have to be a really -- you would have to be really something to go, OK, I will just wait for it to empty. That doesn't make sense. You are going to have, I very little fuel and I'm going to make the best approach I can.
And that's with power so you have the most control and the most stability.
SAVIDGE: There you have it.
LEMON: And, Martin, we have a tweet from Joe Nemo. And he would like to ask you this. He says, "How many more hours in that simulator until you are a fully licensed pilot?"
SAVIDGE: Well, I would say, thanks to the tutoring I have had of Mitchell and almost unlimited access to the trainer here, I did a pretty good landing yesterday.
CASADO: I would say so.
SAVIDGE: And I'm getting there. I would say maybe pretend co- pilot status at least.
LEMON: Yes. We have been asking that since week two.
LEMON: All right, thank you, Martin. Thank you, Mitchell. We appreciate it. Back to business now. I will get my panel of experts in here first.
First to Richard. What do you think? Was this a Sully Sullenberger-type landing and the entire plane is in one piece?
QUEST: I think there's a strong...
QUEST: No, I think there's a strong possibility. I don't think it was a Sullenberger-type landing. But I think that whatever happened when the engines flamed out -- and remember Houston did say, speculated that the engines flamed out, even the words they ran out of fuel.
One stop and then the other stops. I think there's a very strong possibility that the aircraft has gone into the water and remained substantially intact. I'm not suggesting some sort of movie style it is all on the bottom.
LEMON: But as Mary Schiavo -- and I have been listening -- Mary Schiavo said, this is a very strong, sophisticated plane, and this would indeed be a testament to the 777 if it did pretty much stay intact.
QUEST: Right. But it is like hitting concrete when you hit the water at speed and you're coming out of the sky.
LEMON: Right. Yes.
QUEST: And I think that would help to explain the lack of a very big debris field, but I'm still not certain they are not going to find a good debris field once they have gone to this more intense search area to the west.
LEMON: Mary, I don't want to use your name in vain. You did say that, right?
When I was an aviation professor, I used to used a film and it was supplied by Boeing. And when they built the 777, they were actually required to take one and break it. They had to stretch the wings up until they snapped off the plane.
And you know those wings, they could flex up from like a -- from a straight plane, they could flex up about 70 degrees before they would snap. Now, when they did snap, it was a powerful sound, but they were tough.
LEMON: Yes. All right. Thanks, everyone. Stay with me, everybody.
When we come right back, how deep is three miles underwater? We are going to take you below the ocean surface for a look.
And also the latest on the other big story we are following tonight, a stabbing spree today at a Pennsylvania. What was behind the stabbing?
LEMON: I want to turn now to the latest on another story, a teenager boy who went on a stabbing spree at his Pennsylvania high school today; 20 student and one adult were stabbed in classrooms in the hallway of Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.
Sixteen-year-old Alex Hribal has been charged with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault.
CNN's Pamela Brown is live at the scene with more.
Pamela, what can you tell us tonight?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the suspect, the 16-year-old sophomore Alex Hribal, appeared before a magistrate earlier today. The magistrate denied bail, saying there is no real method of bail that could protect the defendant and the community.
And his defense attorney asked for a psychiatric evaluation, saying he's not sure that he is competent enough to stand trial. And also we heard from the district attorney in court today, who said that one of the victims was eviscerated, that he's not sure if he is going to make it. It's one of the victims that is still in critical condition, and that the suspect in this case walked into school this morning and started allegedly stabbing people indiscriminately.
We know this all unfolded before classes even started. Don, it was a chaotic scene. We have learned that there were 21 injured, 20 classmates, one adult and four remain in critical condition tonight.
LEMON: Did we hear or learn anything in court today about why this might have happened?
BROWN: Well, that is still the big question. We still don't have the answer to why.
By all accounts, Hribal was a quiet student who kept to himself. He didn't have any prior run-ins with the law, according to officials we have spoken with. We know the FBI searched his home earlier today. They were able to retrieve his computer. So, they are looking through that. At this point, it is unclear if he has a cell phone. The officials said earlier today they don't believe that he owned a cell phone.
But they are pulling together all the evidence that they can, going through the forensics and trying to figure out the motive, Don. But at this point, it is still a big question mark as to why he allegedly did this.
LEMON: All right, thank you very much, Pam Brown. We appreciate that.
It has been more than a month since Flight 370 has been missing and the families have been in anguish since then.
Joining me now via Skype is K.S. Narendran. What's that? Are we going to that? All right, we are.
We are having a little bit of technical trouble with this. But we will bring that to you.
Anyway, the search zone now has gotten a little bit smaller, but it is up to three miles deep. The undersea terrain is full of valleys, canyons and mountains, and those are just some of the obstacles searchers are facing.
We are going to go to CNN's Ed Lavandera now with more on that.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Plunging to nearly 15,000 feet below sea level is a journey into a mysterious abyss, a journey few humans can even comprehend.
The Boeing 777 is about 200-feet wide, 242-feet long and possibly so deep under the Indian Ocean that you would pass the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and the tallest building in the world in Dubai on the way down, and still be only a fraction of the way to where the plane wreckage might be resting.
Keep plunging, and you have entered a place sunlight can't reach. The pinger locator is being towed well below that, 4,600 feet below the surface.
Marine biologist Paula Carlson says at these depths marine life is unlike anything most people have ever seen.
PAULA CARLSON, MARINE BIOLOGIST: And then the deeper you go you find less and less. They have to be cold-tolerant. They have to have -- they might not even have eyes. They might be blind, because they don't need to see. There's no light down there.
LAVANDERA: Keep going toward the ocean floor, and at 12,500 feet below sea level is where you'd find the wreckage of the Titanic, which took some 70 years to discover, and where it still rests today.
And if it were turned upside down, at 14,400 feet is where you'd hit the iconic peak of Washington state's Mount Rainier. Only after all of that would you reach the spot where search teams believe the pings from the flight data recorder are coming from, 14,800 feet into the abyss.
(on camera): If that doesn't capture the magnitude of this search, then imagine what one oceanographer described for us. He says picture yourself standing on top of one of the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, looking all the way down, and trying to find a suitcase in the dark. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh-oh, that's not good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a lot of failures here. We've got a problem.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Only a handful of people have traveled to these staggering depths or even beyond. One of them is movie director James Cameron. Using a state of the art vessel, he dropped 35,000 feet or about seven miles to the deepest place on earth. He's turning the scientific mission into a movie.
JAMES CAMERON, FILMMAKER (voice-over): It's that need to see what's there, beyond the edge of your life. To see the unknown for yourself.
LAVANDERA: The pressure at nearly 15,000 feet is crushing, and very few manned submarines can even withstand it.
SYLVIA EARLE, OCEANOGRAPHER, "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC": There are only half a dozen subs that can go to, basically, half the ocean depth, with a number of countries having that capability. It gets to the point of -- of collapse. It basically implodes. It just crushes.
LAVANDERA: Finding the plane is daunting. Bringing it back from the deep even more difficult.
Ed Lavandera, CNN.
LEMON: I want to get my panel of experts to weigh in on this to see exactly how they feel about it. Mary, have you ever dealt with the ocean depths like this when trying to retrieve a plane?
SCHIAVO: Not from these depths. I mean, there have been many other accidents in the water, and there's one in Indonesia called Adam Air. But that was -- and it was in the water and, like this, it was lost for about a month. And then when they found it, that was only in about 6,000 feet of water. But at these depths, no. Not -- there's no recovery like it.
LEMON: Jeff, if the wreckage is found, how are they going to attempt to bring it up?
WISE: Well, what they'll do after they've sent down a -- the robot with the side-scan sonar and they've actually located specifically where the black box is, then they'll send down a remotely-operated vehicle, which has arms and which they'll be able to pick it up, put it in a basket and bring up to the surface.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Erik Van Sebille. He is a physical oceanographer at the University of New South Wales.
Erik, many of us envision the ocean as a crystal clear blue water, but at these depths, I mean, what is the ocean really like? ERIK VAN SEBILLE, PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHER, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES: Well, it is pitch black at these depths. And it is because ocean water doesn't let light through. Even if -- if you go slightly below the surface, sure, there's still a little bit of light. But as anybody who's been diving knows, the further down you go, the less the light goes through. And as soon as you get, like, 300 feet or so below the surface, nothing gets through there. This is darkness only.
LEMON: They said that, you know, silt, sediment was going to be a problem. Can you explain the ocean ooze or the sediment to me and to our audience? If the plane is resting down there, what is the sea floor like?
VAN SEBILLE: Yes. So the sea floor down there is a few feet, maybe 20, 30 feet of what we call marine snow. It's ooze when it's on the sea floor. But -- and essentially what it is, it is literally snow. It is tiny particles that animals, that plankton, that krill, that shrimps, that all fall down very slowly. And over years, over centuries, it has created this layer of ooze, which is very fine, very thin, easily distorted.
LEMON: At these depths, could currents be moving the wreckage? I mean, would you expect debris to still be on the surface at this point?
VAN SEBILLE: At the surface, we certainly expect debris to be there. Right? Anything that floats. Even though we had this hurricane come through the area a few weeks ago, and that might have stirred up something and put something -- made it too waterlogged or so waterlogged that it went down. There's still things floating at the surface.
At depth, probably most of it doesn't really move anymore. The currents down at depth are much weaker than they are on the surface, but it depends a little bit. If the plane went down in an area that's actually sloping, because we know there are still hills there. It's quite hilly. If there's a slope, then slowly over time, with a little bit of current, things could actually roll down the slope and actually get further and further away.
LEMON: How does that affect the sound, then, if it's rolling down a slope already at a very deep depth?
VAN SEBILLE: Yes. That makes it even more complicated to hear it, of course. Parts of this plane, of the wreck might be slowly rolling down. It doesn't go fast, but that might indeed affect the sound, yes.
QUEST: It's Richard Quest here. If the plane or large parts of it went down relatively intact, as any parts from within that would float, seat cushions, life rafts, anything like that that would float, how high up would they float? Would they reach the top or just sort of reach neutral buoyancy in the middle?
VAN SEBILLE: No, no, no, no. Most of it would probably be at the top initially. But then some things like life rafts, they might get waterlogged and they might get lower. They might slightly go lower.
But the last few weeks or so, everything that is really floating is still floating. Over longer time scales, things might break up, or over months and years you get barnacles growing on it that actually weigh down on it and make it go downwards into the ocean.
But everything that was floating when the plane crashed is probably still floating. The reason we haven't seen it is, I think, mostly because we've been looking in the wrong place. Because where they are now searching for the plane wreck is so far northward that a current actually moves most of the debris, most of the litter, towards the west, towards Africa rather than towards Australia.
And the search has been looking to Australia. So it might have been that a lot of the floating debris is there. It's just in a completely different area than where we've been focusing on sort of the past few weeks.
LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Erik. We appreciate you.
I want to ask my panel, though, because who was it that said earlier -- someone said earlier -- I don't know if it was David or someone, who said that it may not be floating at this point. Was that David Gallo? I'm not exactly sure.
So what do you -- do you agree with that, Jim Tilmon? Do you think it would be floating at that point?
TILMON: I do. I cannot imagine a situation where you wouldn't have anything that was floating to the surface, because there are so many parts of that airplane that would find a way to get to the surface. It's always been a puzzle for me.
LEMON: David Soucie, do you agree that it would be still floating?
SOUCIE: Yes. Absolutely. If you think of the construction even of things simply as the meal carts, or the drink carts, they're made out of honeycomb structures, which are pieces of aluminum or plastic. That are epoxied together with honeycomb structure in between, which is cavities of air, and it would take a long -- many, many, many years for that thing to ever degrade to the point where it wouldn't float.
LEMON: Why have we not seen any -- that's just odd. I mean, maybe the debris is further south or what.
QUEST: We're just not looking in the right area yet.
LEMON: All right. It's all so, so, so bizarre. Thank you, guys. Thank you very much, Erik and thank you panel. Everyone else stay with me.
As the search narrows, how are the families handling these latest developments? Next I'm going to talk to the husband of a Flight 370 passenger. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: It has been more than a month of anguished waiting for the families of Flight 370. Joining me now via Skype is K.S. Narendran. His wife, Chandrika, and Charma -- Chandrika Charma was on the -- on board that plane. And we have spoken before.
Naren, it's good to see you. How are you holding up?
K.S. NARENDRAN, HUSBAND OF FLIGHT 370 PASSENGER: I think reasonably well. It's -- I think the reality of warmth (ph) stares at us for the coming months and years, is sinking in a lot more. A lot more clearly, a lot more deeply. And so it's been that much harder the last few weeks, to deal with it.
So it's not been easy. It's been tough. It's -- of course, looking at the news that one's hearing, I'm not sure whether the wait is more difficult or the dread of a call from Malaysia report, confirming and giving it a sense of finality. So I don't know which is worse.
LEMON: Yes. You said a lot more clearly and a lot more deeply.
Can you -- can you explain that to us? What do you mean?
NARENDRAN: I think the early weeks there was a lot more adrenaline, and one was visiting by so many people and there were so many calls, and there was just enough time to be there as much for oneself as one had to be there for others.
And over the last couple of weeks, the house has emptied out. It's quite bare. It's just me and my mother. My daughter, I put her back in college. So we are looking at a fairly empty, barren house.
Some of the things that we -- that have shaped our lives over the years have simply just gone upside-down. There was a certain rhythm, a certain routine that we have been used to and a certain sense of respect of space that we inhabited and that we engage from.
Now all of that has changed. So we're looking at an all-new movement, I suppose, in life where we have to reconfigure, re- understand how one will have to conduct one's life, afresh.
There's just -- the scars, I think, are a little more vivid now, a little more accessible. The trauma is a little more sharper as one lives and relives what the month has been.
To me, the single most source of grave apprehension and dread is that very part of her -- and end at sea. It's been my nightmare scenario, and it's unfortunately something that has perhaps has come true for my wife. And...
NARENDRAN: ... I just can't bear the thought of what that might have been. LEMON: Well, you -- I'm going to tell people about your wife. Your wife was on her way, on 370 on her way to a U.N. conference in Mongolia. And she did lots of volunteer work. She was a very good woman.
And your daughter's name is Megna (ph), right? And she decided to go back to college.
NARENDRAN: That's right.
LEMON: You said you're not sure, this new information, what to read into it, whether its finality or what, because if there's finality, that is the worse-case scenario for you. What do you make of all of this, you know, hearing of the pings, not hearing and then hearing again? There's more hope, at least for searchers in finding some sort of debris. Are you paying attention to the press conferences and the newspapers, or is it just too much?
NARENDRAN: I keep pretty much the same routine. I watch the press conference. I listen to it. The distance that science has traveled that technology is able to achieve today.
A part of me hangs in there to see what might eventually come of all of this.
In my mind, I'm fairly clear that, as the days have gone by, the probability of a happy ending has just diminished if not extinguished. So I'm not so sure that I have great expectations from anything that's happening right now.
I think what, perhaps, any finding, any debris, perhaps, brings up is the -- is a certain finality, a certain conclusive end to a story that began a month ago.
NARENDRAN: Life in any case is never going to be the same way again, one way or another. I can't imagine that we would be back to where things were a month ago. There's no possibility of reset.
LEMON: I have to ask you this. Because you -- you know, reading your story, you had great advice for everyone, especially all of the families involved here. And you said that you were using -- I think you said yoga, your new experience, recent experience with yoga to help you get through this.
You're not there in Beijing. You're not there in Malaysia. It seems to me that you've sort of resigned yourself to the fact of the worst possibility. So then what do you say to families here? Is it time to move on? Are you going to start -- are you going to do some sort of service for your loved one? What's your advice?
NARENDRAN: First of all, what I -- what I tried doing was a form of meditation called Rupashana (ph). I wouldn't call that yoga.
LEMON: Right. NARENDRAN: As part of the act.
See, I didn't go to Beijing or I didn't go to K.L. for just one simple reason: it didn't seem to serve any purpose. I'm not better educated by being there. And I don't aid the investigation by being there.
What being here, in my hometown, in my home has helped do is to not get overrun by the sea of emotion and anger and frustration that is quite natural when we assemble together and we have our own stories and our own sorrow. That simply doesn't go away.
So o that respect, I think it helped to not be there in both these places, but it is not -- one feels for all those people who I watched on TV from time to time, how difficult it has been for them. I can't say what they should do. I think I said this before, I'm not one who lives -- I don't have great use for hope.
I think that we go with the reality as is. And we go with what it is that is available at present in front of us. We go with a certain -- go with a certain skepticism and doubt and intense scrutiny of the facts as presented because there's also a wave of secrecy and a cloak of, what shall we say, duplicity sometimes.
NARENDRAN: So some doubt and skepticism, and then beyond that we just go with what is the reality that one is willing to make peace with.
LEMON: Right. Naren, thank you. You're a very brave man. The whole world is thinking about you. We appreciate you.
NARENDRAN: Thank you. Thanks for your time.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: The search area has narrowed significantly, but the hardest part of the hunt for Flight 370 may still be ahead. What happens after it is located? How do we bring the wreckage to the surface?
I'm back now with my panel of experts. I'm going to start with Jeff.
Jeff, the next step in this search would be SUVs or towed sonar. Searchers say that they don't want the excess noise in the water from the AUV. Do you agree with that?
WISE: Well, it makes sense. I mean, they're really going all in. They feel like this is their best chance to find this -- these pings. They have located them here and there on this -- in an area of about 12 miles across. It's not small enough yet. The batteries might still have a little bit of juice left in there. So they really want to narrow it as much as they can before they commit the AUV.
Apparently, the AUV is a much slower way of scanning the bottom. It takes about six days to do what the towed pinger locater can do in one day. So you know, if there's any hope -- if they go a couple of days without hearing anything at all, though, I think it's going to be time to cut bait, as it were, and go right for that AUV.
LEMON: For the Bluefin-21. Jim, how long could all of this take?
TILMON: It could take weeks, months, and I'm sorry to say, years.
LEMON: Yes. I think you're right.
Mary, obviously, they're going to want to get every piece of the debris up, I would imagine and not going to leave anything. You know where they reassembled -- are they going to reassemble, as they do with other airplanes that have, you know, had crashes, reassemble it in a big hangar to try to figure out exactly what happened?
SCHIAVO: Well, the reassembly is necessary when you can't figure out what happened or what caused the crash from the black boxes and the other data. I mean, often you can figure out why a plane crashed from the maintenance data, from the flight data recorder. Usually, you have more indication from air traffic control and other things.
But for example, the reassembly of TWA Flight 800 was because they simply couldn't figure it out from the black boxes. And when we do private crashes, you know, we don't reassemble them unless you just can't figure it out, but you do comb through the wreckage that you get up.
So I think it will depend entirely on what they find on those black boxes and what they -- you know, if they have clues and if they have solutions. If they have no solutions, then they're going to need to recover, but that's going to be very expensive from that depth, and I don't know. Is Malaysia going to pay for it? I don't know.
LEMON: All right. We'll be right back.
LEMON: We're back now. Richard Quest is here. Richard, we talk about debris -- and I hate to say debris, because it can mean remains when it -- right?
QUEST: And in the case of 447, relatives were given the option, if the remains of their loved ones could be found, did they want them to be brought to the surface. Some people chose to. Others chose to let them there at the bottom as a final resting place.
LEMON: As a final resting place, because that's what many people do anyways.
Thank you, Richard Quest. We appreciate it.