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MH-370 Search Zone Narrows; Which Country Would Get Jurisdiction of Black Boxes; Search in 2 Places for MH-370.

Aired April 11, 2014 - 11:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New developments this morning on a serious threat to your personal information online. It is called the Heartbleed bug and it's affecting major websites that you almost definitely go to. They're saying it is the worst security hole the internet has ever seen, ever. Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, OKCupid, and Wikipedia -- they say they have all fixed the bug. We are told it is good idea to change your password now for these sites.

So the search area getting smaller. So is the zone small enough now to look under water for flight 370. That is ahead.


BERMAN: The latest now for the search on flight 370. Authorities says sounds picked up yesterday likely did not come from the plane's black boxes. The crews will use listening devices several more days before deploying a remote-controlled vehicle equipped with cameras to start search and scanning the ocean floor. That, according to Angus Houston, the man coordinating the search effort. His statement came after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised hopes that the plane might soon be found.


TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: We have narrowed down the search area. And we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH-370.


BERMAN: You heard him talk about the new narrowed search zone for MH- 370. Crews are focused on an area about 18,000 square miles, about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined. It is much, much smaller than the search area just a few weeks ago.

CNN analyst Rob McCallum joins us. He's a search specialist/expedition leader, partner and vice president of the geophysical consulting firm Williamson & Associates.

So, Rob, 18,000 square miles, is that narrow enough in your mind to start the underwater searches with the submersibles?

ROBERT MCCALLUM, PARTNER & VICE PRESIDENT, WILLIAMSON & ASSOCIATES: The smaller the area the better. An AUV scanner might scan 30 square miles a day. A toad sled might scan 125 to 150 square miles a day. BERMAN: Rob, you have been involved in searches before. If they have in fact located the rough area of the black boxes, why then, have they not located any debris from these planes? Does it make sense to you?

MCCALLUM: It is a mystery. The only explanation that I can think of is we are dealing with something that is high speed and high angle, a high rate of speed. The crash footprint was small and contained.

BERMAN: You are suggesting that the pieces of the plane could have gone into the water immediately? That's one theory. Other says that's not possibly. And their explanation is the debris when the flight ended could have floated away now. I don't understand how they could be searching so long and not have found anything at this point.

MCCALLUM: It is one of two things. Either there wasn't debris to start with or it has been widely disbursed or hard to find. As any kid knows, if you are into the water at a high speed and a high angle. You can be under the water when the wave surrounds you from above.

BERMAN: Quickly, Rob, we are talking about depths of nearly three miles here, what are the complicating factors in a search that deep?

MCCALLUM: You are operating a long way below the surface. The next time you are below a commercial aircraft and they turn the seatbelts on, look down and see if you can see a bus something large on the freeway. Very, very small. To do that remotely in the dark, that is a tough job.

BERMAN: Very, very tough. That is why we appreciate your expertise. It does seem they will be taking the search to the next level. We are excited to have you talking about that when it happens.

Head @ THIS HOUR, what happens when and if search crews do find the black boxes? Who takes possession of them? We'll go live to Malaysia for answers.


BERMAN: 35 days into the search of flight 370. They could find the black boxes that might reveal what caused this flight to end. But which country gets jurisdiction over the flight data recorder.

I want to bring in our Nic Robertson, at Malaysia's capitol of Kuala Lumpur, who was in a heck of a downpour just right there. He is on the phone.

Nic, a lot of people would be ecstatic over the idea of finding these devices. It wouldn't occur to them that there would be a fight or conflict over the jurisdiction. What's the situation?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John, They, Malaysia has jurisdiction. They say a normal investigation, although they are not leading the search, they are leading the investigation. They say the problem is that they don't actually have experts capable of extracting the data from the black boxes. So although they are going to need to turn to other experts, they didn't say which experts they would turn to. The Australians, the British the French are all involved. And some of the families would like French investigators involved in this. It is up to the Malaysians to decide. The black box will be under their jurisdiction and they will decide and they will get the data inside it.

BERMAN: One would hope they would seek the help of other nations with experience. At this point, there are other countries involved in the search.

ROBERTSON: I think, at the moment, we can reasonably expect the Malaysians to turn to the country that is capable of doing this. What would happen after that is that they would likely take control of it themselves. And they certainly are doing investigations of downed aircraft at Malaysian where several dozen were killed on that aircraft and that was investigated by the Malaysian authorities using the black box data recorder. They have to use the data, but police say whatever they are finding out on the ground here, it is important.

BERMAN: Right, certainly there have been enough hiccups in this investigation so far.

Nic Robertson, thank you so much for that reporting.

Ahead for us @ THIS HOUR, the search area is much smaller now. We'll have much more on that. If it is so small, why are they still searching in two places? We'll answer that question after the break.


BERMAN: The huge swath of the Indian Ocean the search for flight 370 is now being conducted over a much, much smaller area. The Australian prime minister says he is confident that the signals that he is hearing are coming from the missing plane's flight data recorder. But the search agency that's running the investigation, the latest signals, the ones from the SONAR buoy, that one is probably not from the missing plane.

I want to sort some of this out. Let's bring in David Soucie, CNN safety analyst, and author of "Why Planes Crash."

David, one of the things that you have been trying to explain, we are still not talking about one search area are we?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST & ANALYST: That is correct. What we have got are two different numbers. The 18,000 square miles is referring to the debris field search. And the pings that are being received are more of a 500 to 600 square mile search for the black boxes. So it is two different areas really. So when you talk about putting submersibles under, that's what they're talking about, the 500 to 600 square feet.

BERMAN: And that is much, much smaller than 18,000, however, still not the pinpoint accuracy that they want.

SOUCIE: Yeah, we are not saying that is easy. It sounds small but in the ocean 560 is not small at all. With the AUV's you can't only do 18 to 20 square miles from what I'm hearing from the search teams.

BERMAN: Are you surprised that they are still looking? Because it has been 35 days and they haven't found anything yet.

SOUCIE: I am a little. I think they are still hoping for debris which would be extremely hopeful to have. I wouldn't put all of my eggs in that basket either and say there's no debris, it's all in the bottom of the ocean.

BERMAN: Would it be shocking if they found debris after searching for this much time?

SOUCIE: If there is debris, I think they would find it.

BERMAN: I'm talking about on top of the water.



SOUCIE: Yeah, the floating debris -- wouldn't surprise me if they find something. Remember, early on, they were finding small things in the ocean, so if it's out there, they will find it.

BERMAN: I want to shift gears now from off the coast of Australia, way up to the Malaysian peninsula. News from the Malaysian officials they say the flight disappeared from radar. They think it was because the plane dropped to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet from a cruising altitude of 35,000 to 4,000 or 5,000 feet. I want to back up and ask about the beginning of this. They say it disappeared from radar. But are there other things that can cause a plane to disappear from radar?

SOUCIE: There are. I've gotten conflicting reports about this actually. If you're farther away from the radar, which at this point was pretty far from the radar. It's about 115 miles from the radar. Now, civil radar only gives, goes about 75 miles out. Now, this is military, which goes about 200. Remember, it loses its ability to define as it gets further away. If you're 200 miles away, you're going to drop off radar typically anyway.

Let's talk about this 5,000 feet. That is definitely within the 200 mile range. And so, you know, thunderstorms, that kind thing, can have an effect on it. Not all the time. I'm just kind of stretching, saying there might be other things that cause it to go off. Airplanes go off and on radar. I've sat in front of radar screens before and watched that happen. Nobody panics for a little while. But this is 24 minutes, you kind of wonder.

BERMAN: It does seem like an awfully big leap to say just because it disappeared for a little while, but they think it dropped to 4,000 feet.

David Soucie, great to have you here.

SOUCIE: Thanks, John. BERMAN: Ahead for us @ THIS HOUR, a standoff in Nevada turns violent. Why a grassroots army is uniting with a rancher now in his fight against the federal government.

And later, the great escape. Chimp on the lam. This is the video that will have you talking.


BERMAN: Losing your home in a fire can be devastating. For pet owners, finding help for your pets adds to that burden. When this firefighter, Jen Leary, saw people forced to abandon their animals because they didn't have a way to care for then, she came up with this solution. This is why she's this week's "CNN's Hero."


JEN LEARY, CNN HERO: You get to a fire scene and the firefighters are there to put out the fire it the Salvation Army and the Red Cross take care of the people once the fire is out. But there just wasn't anybody there to help the other part of the family.

I would see how upset the people were about their animals. You know, where is my pet? And then where is it going to go. These are people's children. They've just lost everything. They shouldn't, then, be forced to lose their pets as well.

We have a dog displaced by a fire, a Chihuahua. I'm headed to the scene now.

We respond 24/7, 365 day, a year. We do for pets what the Red Cross does for people.

We went into the basement, found the dog hiding behind something. Once the fire's under control, we're able to look for the animals and bring them out.

Hi, baby. Come here.

Red Paw headquarters is my house. We've helped close to 1,000 animals.

She's been at my house. The owner said she was pregnant. Everything that their animal needs -- hi, buddy, you hungry? -- we'll handle for free for them.

When we reunite the families, it's a good thing.


It's like a void has now been filled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Chocolate, welcome home.

LEARY: My hope is that a fresh start, that they can move forward together. After going through such a sad thing, it's so good to have a happy ending.


BERMAN: Help for the entire family. Do you know someone who deserves this recognition? Tell us about it at

A contentious showdown brewing in Nevada. Militia members are joining forces with a rancher who is locked in a standoff with the federal government. You can see the dispute get physical in this YouTube video. Authorities say a protester got tased at one point and a police dog was kicked. The rancher says his family's cattle have grazed on this land since the 1900s. The government says he owed more than $1 million in grazing fees. Last week, they started rounding up his cattle.

In Kansas City, everyone is still talking about the case of the chimp on the lam. Seven of them, actually. Seven chimpanzees got out of their enclosure and went on a walk about. Zoo officials say a tree fell in the exhibit and one chimp used it as a bridge to get out and apparently persuaded six others to go with him. It made for a tense few minutes for zoo visitors.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They come running at us and said, we need you to get to safety and we need you to get there now.


BERMAN: The chimps were lured back with chocolate, specifically, a pack of whoppers. Zoo officials say the chimps never got to public area bus they may want to keep some extra whoppers on hand just in case.

Thanks for joining us @ THIS HOUR. Have a great weekend, everyone.

"LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right after this.