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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS
Three Dead in Kansas City-Area Shooting; Diplomats Work Late to Prevent Civil War; Search for Malaysia Flight 370; Is Ukraine on the Brink of a Civil War?
Aired April 13, 2014 - 23:00 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: Hello, everyone. This is a CNN special report. Good evening. I'm Don Lemon. I'd like to welcome our viewers watching not only here in the United States but around the world on CNN International.
We'll following three major news events tonight. One here in the United States, one in Eastern Europe, and one that for more than a month now has lived in the realm of the mysterious.
In the suburbs of Kansas City in the USA tonight, shock and sadness over a senseless tragedy. A man with a gun kills three people at two different places that are important to the city's Jewish community. Something that man said might be a clue to what drove him to start shooting.
We're also following the diplomatic disaster that is Ukraine. United Nations ambassadors are gathered right now late night, Sunday night, trying to prevent full-on civil war.
And the puzzle of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. So many days of nothing from the deep ocean, no pings, no pulses. Might be time to accept the fact that the pingers are probably dead. But we'll get an update from the search commander in just one hour from now.
Coordination center chief Angus Houston will hold a news conference in western Australia and we will carry it for you live.
Today a community outside Kansas City was rattled by a deadly shooting spree. Police say one man drove to a Jewish community center in Overland Park, Kansas, began asking people if they were Jewish, and opened fire with a shotgun. He killed two people, a doctor and his 14-year-old grandson.
The killing did not stop there. The man got back in his car and drove to another Jewish facility, a retirement home, and killed one person, a woman.
Tonight we have learned several new developments including some key details about the man who is in police custody right now.
CNN's Nick Valencia has been following it for us all night.
Nick what do you know?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good evening, Don. Just in the last hour we've been able to find out more about two of those victims who died in today's shooting. You mentioned they were a grandfather and grandson. They've been identified by their family as Dr. William Lewis Corporon and 14-year-old Reat Griffin. We've also learned more about the alleged shooting suspect. He's been named as Frazier Glenn Cross, 73 years old.
And very interesting point here to note, Don, our reporters in Washington, D.C. have spoken to law enforcement officials who say that Glenn Cross, the alleged shooting suspect, has known ties to white supremacist groups and has been involved in past instances including threats.
Now today's shooting, just south of Kansas City, happened about 1:00 p.m. and here's how it all went down.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Three people are dead after shots were fired at two Jewish facilities just south of Kansas City.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no other words to describe it, just panic.
VALENCIA: Police say a man in his 70s is in custody but didn't release his name. CNN affiliate KMBC captured this video of police cuffing the man at the scene and shouting from the car.
FRAZIER GLENN CROSS, SHOOTING SUSPECT: Heil Hitler.
CHIEF JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: The suspect in the back of the car made several statement. We are sifting through and vetting those for accuracy, number one. And number two we're looking at them for their evidentiary value. It's too early to tell you what he may or may not have said. But we're trying to determine what that was at this time.
VALENCIA: At a press conference, police said they were investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. They're not ruling anything out.
In an interview with CNN, a rabbi with the Overland Park Police Department said the alleged shooter was clear about who he wanted to shoot.
RABBI HERBERT MANDL, OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: That he's apparently an older gentleman and was asking people before he shot if they were Jewish or not. The person who identified themselves at the, for example, Village Shalom as being Jewish, he then shot.
VALENCIA: The shootings at the Jewish community center and a Jewish assisted living facility happened at about 1:00 p.m. local time on the eve of Passover. Police said there were many children inside the community center at the time but the shooting took place in a parking lot outside. A shotgun was used and possibly a handgun and assault rifle, police said. No motive has been released. The FBI is also investigating.
VALENCIA: And more on those two that we've confirmed were shot and killed today. A family released read in part, "Dr. Corporon was a well-loved physician, who moved to Johnson County to be closer to grandchildren. He cherished his family and more than anything had a passion for others. Reat was a 14-year-old freshman in Blue Valley High School, a school he loved. Reat had a passion for life and touched so many people in his young age. We take comfort knowing they are together in heaven."
Just 14 years old, Don. One of the victims in today's shooting. Of course we will learn more about that third victim who has yet to be named -- Don.
LEMON: Nick Valencia, thank you. Very sad.
More on this story now. On the phone with me is Jacob Schreiber. He runs the Jewish community center where that man killed two people today.
Mr. Schreiber, where were you when this shooting started?
JACOB SCHREIBER, JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF GREATER KANSAS CITY: Well, I was here being a judge for auditions for what we have as K.C. Superstars so I was really involved in a program when this happened.
LEMON: And so you were holding auditions for what is K.C. Superstar at the time. You said you did not hear the gunshots but once the commotion began, you said staff and volunteers came into the room and brought the participants into a secure area within about 30 seconds?
LEMON: So tell us, what were they saying? People, witnesses, and people who were there?
SCHREIBER: Well, I mean, the witnesses were basically saying that there were gunshots. Some of them in the front of our building heard gunshots in the parking lot to the back. They made us aware, so we went into lockdown and we really had to just be there until the police came, which they did within minutes. And all the information was then, you know, revealed slowly but surely.
LEMON: You heard our reporter Nick Valencia report two of the names as Dr. Corporon and his grandson Reat. Did you know them?
SCHREIBER: I did know them and I know the family. And I have to tell you, this is one of the nicest, kindest -- most supportive families that we have here. They're really, I think, a community treasure that have been supportive of so many different charities here. Great people. And this really just -- has left us all breathless.
LEMON: What do you make of the timing of this? And apparently according to police, that this man has ties to white supremacy groups? SCHREIBER: Well, like I said, I can't really comment on, you know, those reports because I haven't heard that from the police yet who we are working very closely with. And I really can't, you know, comment on the timing. I don't know why people would do this type of thing during any time.
LEMON: Yes, it is the eve of Passover that -- we should mention.
SCHREIBER: It is. Well, Passover is definitely a time that we certainly celebrate freedom, strength and hope, and I can't say that there was a tie to it, but this is certainly a time when we get together with our community, with other communities and we really stand up against violence and stand for hope. And I know this community, which is a very tight-knit community will band together to do that very same thing over the next number of days.
LEMON: How is the community doing now? How are people doing?
SCHREIBER: We're sad. Anytime we lose any member of our community, we're sad. Anytime we see this type of violence, we're sad. We're sad when we see it here, and we're sad when we see it anywhere in the United States. So, you know, our response is to be a caring, loving place that has empathy for all. And that's our response. And that will continue to be our response. And I'm very confident that's going to continue to be the response of our community.
LEMON: Jacob Schreiber, president of the Jewish Community Center, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you very much for joining us.
Thank you. We want to keep tabs now on another developing story for you. The U.N. has just wrapped an emergency session over a crisis in Ukraine, a situation that Ukraine's ambassador warned could lead to, and I quote here, "civil war." This comes after a surge of violence there, like these pro-Russia militants, firing guns to take control of a police headquarters in eastern Ukraine.
Now we're just hours away from a key deadline for those protesters occupying government buildings to get out. They have until 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
We'll keep you posted. For now, though, we want to go to CNN's Richard Roth live at the United Nations.
Richard, you know, we heard Russia blame the West in that meeting and claim the situation very dangerous. What do the U.S. representatives say at that meeting?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was again another heated session at the Security Council. Sunday night fighting, verbally, that is, with, as you mentioned, that deadline looming where Ukraine says this time it will use force against these pro-Russian activists who have taken over multiple buildings and harassed other people.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin making their case at the Security Council Sunday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The human stakes of what is happening in Ukraine are extremely high. The lives of innocent civilians are at risk. Yet we are being bombarded by Russian disinformation and propaganda while the Ukrainians are being confronted by incitement and violence.
The United States stands with Ukraine and the fundamental principle that the future of Ukraine must be decided by the Ukrainian people.
VITALLY CHURKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS (Through Translator): There has already been bloodshed in the southeast. And the situation is very dangerous. It is the West that will determine the opportunity to avoid civil war in Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: The main part of this meeting is that Russian Ambassador Churkin appealed to the Security Council to use its influence among the member countries to tell Ukraine, don't go through with this, don't use force on people who just want democracy. That people power is going on in eastern Ukrainian cities.
U.S. ambassador Samantha Power said to believe all of that, you would have to not believe in the Internet and all of the images you see of people wearing military fatigues and using Russian equipment to terrorize cities in eastern Ukraine.
So once again, major differences here at the Security Council. There are talks planned in Geneva between Secretary Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and some others on Thursday. That's a long way from here with a deadline regarding military force being proclaimed by Ukraine. So we'll have to watch what happens -- Don.
LEMON: Richard Roth, at the United Nations. Richard, thank you very much.
Ukraine may be on the brink of a civil war. Where are the Ukrainian police? Where's the government?
Well, coming up in just a few minutes, we're going to take you inside the fragile nation where chaos is rising very quickly.
And while the crisis goes worse in Ukraine, the search for Flight 370 goes on. And in less than an hour, a news conference from search leaders. We're going to take you live to Perth. That's next.
LEMON: Now to the case of Flight 370 and the task at hand. Find the black boxes and hopefully find the missing plane.
We go straight now to Perth, Australia where it's already Monday and in less than one hour coordination center chief Angus Houston will hold a news conference.
CNN's Erin McLaughlin is standing by for us.
Erin, can we expect any big announcements from this press conference?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Don. Well, no topic for this press conference was given, but Angus Houston doesn't call a press conference every day. And when he has in the past, it's tended to have involved some rather dramatic announcements.
Now we know from a Joint Agency Coordination Center press statement this morning that there have been no new acoustic detections in the past 24 hours and that the Ocean Shield, the Australian vessel continues to comb those waters, searching for any signs of pings. But many people here are wondering if it is, in fact, time to deploy the U.S. Navy-provided Bluefin-21, the underwater autonomous vehicle capable of searching the ocean floor for actual wreckage.
Now Australian authorities have not been in a rush to do that, saying that they want to be absolutely certain that the black box batteries have completely expired, that they have detected every ping that there was to detect. Why? Because the more pings they can detect, the more information they have with which to narrow down a potential search field. And that helps the Bluefin-21 search some 2.8 miles underneath the water.
Right at the edge of its capability. It can only go some 11 square miles so really authorities have been concentrating on narrowing down that search field so far. But there have been no new acoustic detections, no new pings since Tuesday. Many here speculating if those black box batteries have in fact expired and are wondering if it's if time to deploy the Bluefin-21. But no doubt something that Mr. Houston will be asked in the next hour -- Don.
LEMON: All right, thank you very much, Erin McLaughlin. We appreciate you. We'll see you as soon as this press conference happens.
You know, for 38 days, families of the 239 people onboard Flight 370 have waited in agony. Search crews are out again looking for any signs. All we have are four pings, the most recent from five days ago, and we don't know for sure if those pings -- if those pings are linked to the flight -- to Flight 370. How effective is this search?
Joining me now to discuss is aviation analyst, Les Abend, a 777 captain, aviation analyst Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general with the U.S. Transportation Department, audio expert Pau Ginsberg, David Jourdan, founder of Nauticos, a company that does deep ocean exploration, and editor in chief of Airlineratings.com is Geoffrey Thomas, he is in Perth, Australia.
Mary, I'm going to start with you to talk about how do they calculate the search area each day? What factors are they taking into account?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, for the pings, they have to look at where the previous pings were and then they do parallel tracks to the previous sightings or soundings of pings. So if they found at, you know, one particular area. They would go to the left, they'd go to the right. And then they do perpendiculars swath back across the area where they had picked up the pings and what they're trying to do is box in each signal.
And then for the ocean search which is the visual search as oppose to the audio search underwater for the ocean search. It's just calculated on where they think the waves may have taken the wreckage. The wind and the waves. And even it's the float patterns from the ocean. So two different considerations for the two different searches.
LEMON: David, where should most of the search assets be focused right now? Should it be the air or the sea?
DAVID JOURDAN, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, NAUTICOS: It would be wonderful to find some debris somewhere and be able to nail down and -- not nail down but to have some idea where to be looking underwater. Really, these two things are in parallel. The best answers will be to integrate all information we have. That being any debris we can find, any underwater signals that we can hear, and any information we may have from tracking prior to the loss.
All of these things need to be integrated together thoughtfully and carefully before spending what would otherwise be wasted time searching the floor of the ocean.
LEMON: And, you know, the -- Angus Houston, head of the search, has kept the family top of mind. He said that, you know, in his first press conference, the families have been watching, Les, these press conferences. But this is important, obviously not only for the families but for the flying public. Malaysia Airlines of course keeping close watch on this. But airlines around the country are keeping watch on this. And so are people who work in the industry.
LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I mean, this is -- this is not only a great mystery for the layperson, but for those of us that are professionals. It's just -- there's so much about this that's perplexing that doesn't make sense to us.
LEMON: And watching these press conferences as well to see what Angus Houston has to say. Because we get the most information from Angus Houston.
ABEND: Yes, it seems to be, yes. Yes, very much so. Very much so.
LEMON: Yes. You know, are we being too hard, Mary, you think, on Malaysia and the type of job that they're doing here?
SCHIAVO: Well, I'd like to say yes, but not really. I mean, so, so very important. But even simple things where you would expect a simple answer. For example, you know, the thing that's -- is quite irritating to me is this business with the Malaysian radar.
Where were the civilian air traffic controllers and the military traffic controllers? Aren't they in the same building? Are they near each other? Why did it take them so long to relay the information? And first they tell people they're going to tell us what that information is, and now they say they won't release their radar data.
Those pretty basic information that people should have. And it's a question that's very easily answered. Oh, gee, they're in the same building, they're on different floors? How do they usually relay the information? Well, usually they pick up the phone or they walk down the hall or they turn around and say, hey, Joe, we've got a missing plane. I know -- I mean, think they are -- and they deserve a fair amount of criticism.
LEMON: Paul Ginsberg now, if the black boxes are never recovered, though we don't know what Angus Houston is going to say in this. Maybe he'll say they have better information about the black boxes. Chances are he will say we have come to the conclusion that the pingers, the batteries have run out and now we start a different phase of the investigation. But can the investigation ever be complete without these black boxes?
PAUL GINSBERG, AUDIO EXPERT: Well, if you find wreckage, you can find, I guess, the mode of failure of different parts of the aircraft and you'd have to work backwards to see how that fit in with the last radar tracks. But with the black boxes, you'll know everything about all of the characteristics of the aircraft, how it was flying and certainly with the cockpit voice recorder, you'll get an even clearer picture of what happened. Why did this happen.
LEMON: Geoffrey in Perth now. It's good to have you here. Do you know what we can expect to hear from this news conference in Perth?
GEOFFREY THOMAS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: Don, look, we haven't had any word whatsoever. We've had the first announcement that there's been no acoustic events in the last 24 hours. And about an hour or so later, we got advice that Angus Houston is going to address the media at 12:00, which is about just a bit over an hour or so to go. And so there has been no indication whatsoever even off record about what he may or may not say.
Possibly there might be some news from HMS Echo, the British oceanographic ship which is doing those echo sounds of the area, although possibly they're going to say it's time for the Bluefin-21. At this stage, we don't have any indication at all.
LEMON: All right, Geoffrey Thomas, thank you very much.
Everyone, stick around. Again, we're waiting for a news conference from the head of this search coming up at midnight Eastern Time, in just about 40 minutes, we'll bring it to you live here on CNN.
Coming up, a shooting rampage today near Kansas City. Three people are dead. It happened at two Jewish facilities, a community center and a retirement home. Joining me next, a woman who was at the community center when it happened.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Back now with our live special coverage here. I want to welcome our viewers of course here in the United States and around the world.
New developments now from today's shooting rampage in the suburbs of Kansas City. A man with a gun started shooting at people outside a Jewish community center in Overland Park, Kansas. He killed two people, one of them a teenager. The gunman then reportedly drove to a Jewish retirement home and killed an older woman there.
Just a short time ago police released the name of the man they say killed those people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROSS: Heil Hitler.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The name is Frazier Glenn Cross, age 73. And that is Cross on the back of a police car, shouting anti-Semitic slogans. Cross is now -- no stranger, I should say, to law enforcement. Investigators say he is a known white supremist and has been involved in previous extremist incidents. He is booked tonight on premeditated murder charges.
On the phone with me now is Janessa Watkins. She was inside the Jewish community theatre with a group of children when the school -- when the shooting started.
And Janessa, tell us what you saw and what you heard?
JANESSA WATKINS, WITNESS: I didn't see or hear anything when that was going on outside. I was inside the building. And some -- one of the staff from the Jewish community center ushered all of us to go into the theatre, and lock the doors and told us that he would let us know what was going on as soon as he heard something.
LEMON: But there must have been -- panic must have been running through that community center?
WATKINS: Yes, I mean, we were all really confused and definitely worried. The first news that we got, all that was said was that there had been a shooting in the parking lot. And so we were all very scared. People were calling their loved ones. And some of the children didn't know what was going on, but the ones that did were definitely very scared.
LEMON: Did you know the victims?
WATKINS: I did not.
LEMON: You did not. How is everyone doing? How are you doing?
WATKINS: I'm just very grateful to God that no one inside the building was hurt, but my heart definitely goes out to the families of the victim for this senseless act. It's just very heartbreaking.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you very much, Janessa Watkins, who was there when the shooting happened, working with a group of children on a performance in the theatre. We appreciate it. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
And another developing story that we are watching is Ukraine on the brink of a civil war. That's what the country's ex-president believes. We're going to take you there.
LEMON: Live now just -- after 11:30 p.m. Eastern as we await a news conference on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. I want to bring you major new developments regarding Ukraine. That fragile nation may be on the brink of war.
Tonight, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss a deteriorating situation in the Soviet Republic. Violence erupted again today as pro-Russian separatists occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh takes us inside Ukraine and up close to the chaos.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Ukrainian government says it's retaking this town, Sloviansk, well, not in any hurry. A pro-Russian barricade blocking the main entrance. Hours earlier, the interior minister said elite police would swarm into here, but this helicopter was the only sign of that. Calm on the streets, just more barricades on more roads.
(On camera): The Interior minister now declared an anti- terror operation here and told everyone to stay indoors. But, really, life is carrying on as normal here. And just down this road, the barricades have been reinforced around those key buildings. No sign apart from one police car of the Ukrainian government and police here.
(Voice-over): This amateur video shows how far the anti-terror operation got. Just to the outskirts of town according to one senior security official who confirmed armored personnel carriers were there and shots exchanged. One Ukrainian security officer dead and others injured.
And in Kramatorsk, where the pop song says Putin will save us from fascism, the authorities have simply vanished from the town hall. The speed of change suggesting real preparation. But one man, Vladimir, isn't joining the party.
"Where are they, the mayor, the government?" he says. "Where are these people? This is madness. I'm not afraid. I built this country. My father fought to defend it. And now they want to drag us back to the Stone Age."
Its police station was last night run by this captain, but now it's under the control of pro-Russians.
Here's how that happened. The captain tries to stop these men dressed the same as militants in Sloviansk "I'm pro-Russian, an Afghan veteran," one policeman cries. They're pushed aside. Shots in the air.
The captain tries again, but fruitlessly. More shooting. After weeks of restraint and as Ukraine's beleaguered leaders measure how hard they can respond, gunfire is becoming the new language of this crisis.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Sloviansk.
LEMON: Thank you very much, Nick.
The fragile situation in Ukraine may require speedy diplomacy.
Want to bring in now Christopher Hill, former U.S. special envoy for Kosovo and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, South Korea and Poland.
You know, you've handled tricky diplomatic situations. What is the best move you think to calm the situation in Ukraine?
CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Well, this is a real tough one. And it's gone pretty far down the tracks right now. Ukraine has had a lot of crisis in its 23 years, but this is really the worst. So obviously, I mean, people need to be in touch with each other. I'm not sure how the phone lines are working in Moscow right now, but, you know, clearly that statement by the U.N. -- the Russian ambassador to the U.N. offered really not a lot of room for hope.
There wasn't a lot to work from there. So I think what we can hope for is that there'll be some calls to Putin himself, to the Russian side to make sure they don't move into Ukraine, because I think it's pretty clear, the Ukrainians are going to fight back at this point.
LEMON: Ambassador, what do you think the -- Putin's end game is in Ukraine?
HILL: You know, I'm not even sure he knows, but it is quite possible that he's hoping to hive off eastern Ukraine from the rest of the country. And if he's doing that, I mean, this is a crisis not just to Ukraine, it's a crisis for all of us. And I don't think it's anything the international community can walk on by as to some extent they did with Crimea a few weeks ago.
LEMON: Do you think Vladimir Putin has any concern about stiffer sanctions?
HILL: You know, I think he probably has some concerns down the road. I mean, the Russian economy is not that strong. Were the Europeans prepared to put up with a lot of hardship on their own. You could imagine a situation where Russian oil and gas would be cut off. And down the road that would really hurt Putin. But it also hurts Western Europeans which is why I think the White House is said to be very, very careful on that.
I think the strongest card we have right now is that everybody has been together. That was certainly symbolized by tonight's Security Council meeting, where everybody, everybody spoke out against what the Russians are up to.
LEMON: U.S. options here, you think the only options we have at this point are stronger sanctions and to band together with the international community?
HILL: I think those are the two things with we'll be probably trying to do. But I think the third element is very important. That is to shore up the eastern flank of NATO. I'm not expecting Russia to go into Poland or the Baltic states. But I think that's a situation where those countries need to be assured that they're being treated as a full -- as full members of NATO, meaning that an attack on them would be an attack on all of us.
LEMON: Christopher Hill, thank you very much. We appreciate you joining us here on CNN this late evening.
Now to another developing story. We are watching the search for Flight 370, my panel of experts is here with me. And on this day, 38, what should be done next? And is failure an option?
Coming up, I'm going to ask my panel. Don't go anywhere.
LEMON: Back now live here on CNN. A news conference from the Joint Agency Coordination Center just about 18 minutes away. Finding a precious ping amid all the random noise requires huge amount of skill. Audio experts (INAUDIBLE) gazillions of sounds, justifying one black box ping.
We have a special guest now to show some -- to show us some enhanced techniques used in the search for pings. Joining me now is audio expert Paul Ginsberg.
Paul, to the untrained ear, some of these noises might sound blurry or insignificant. I want you to show us how the audio experts tell the difference.
PAUL GINSBERG, AUDIO EXPERT: Well, what I did was I did a simulation of the pinger output. First the pure pinger output sound to give us an idea of what we're listening for.
Nice and clear, crisp, sharp and evenly pulsed. OK. But underwater with other echoes and other wild life, sea life, manmade noises, swishing of water flow, and so on and so forth, this is what the ocean sounds like with the pinger sound embedded in it.
And the job, of course, is to try to identify and bring out what we're looking for. So we employ a number of forensic techniques, the same ones that I used in clarifying FBI recordings in the Waco and 911 calls in Sandy hook and so on. And after a certain amount of processing with some good planning, this is what we evolved.
Then once we have an idea of what we're listening for and we feel that we've gotten it, we do some additional processing and we finally evolve something that is much more useful for taking measurements.
And that would be the unmistakable sound with the proper repetition rate, frequency, and shape. And so then we know we have a pinger sound. But to get to this stage takes lots of work, time and patience.
LEMON: Right. Thank you. I mean, that's an amazing demonstration.
And I want to bring in my panel now to discuss this, Paul, if you allow me. They may have some questions for you.
Geoffrey Thomas is here, Mary Schiavo, Paul Ginsberg of course, Les Abend and then David Jourdan.
You know, Geoffrey Thomas, that -- those sounds, we haven't heard in at least five days. And so we're waiting to hear, for this press conference at the top of the hour whether or not they're hearing these pinging -- pings like Paul Ginsberg has put together for us there, or whether it's the next phase where now submersibles go in the water.
THOMAS: Look, indeed. And it's sort of Paul's demonstration really highlights how difficult it is to hear this ping.
In fact they've heard six pings. Four of them they locked on to, two of them they held momentarily then they faded, so they discounted those. But those two faded ones were actually in the same area that the other four -- that they held on to. So they really do believe that they are in the right spot. There doesn't seem to be any doubt about that.
And I'm still hopeful that we might get something from Ocean Shield with its echo sounding to possibly have some strong return off the bottom. Let's hope we have something.
LEMON: As we look forward to this news conference statement, Jourdan, you know, and speaking about -- because the best hope so far has been whether or not they could find those pingers, find the black boxes. And it really get a location to where those black boxes may be. That appears to be running out right now as we look forward to this news conference.
What do you think we're going to hear?
JOURDAN: Well, the data that we have may prove to be very valuable. I think one thing that Paul said in his great demonstration that really caught my attention was patience. And rarely are these mysteries solved in a short amount of time. And rarely is there a clear answer very quickly. It usually takes integration of a lot of different sources and information. Some smart people thinking about it, who understand what these pieces mean and a deliberate search effort that may take years, I'm sorry to say.
LEMON: Mary Schiavo, same question to you.
SCHIAVO: Well, I think the significance is not only with the -- you know, the pings and the difficulty in finding them and the demonstration was great to show us how difficult it is, but here they have two different black boxes that they're searching for. And first they told us they might have had both of the pinger, and now it's come down to one.
I guess my hope would be is that we do have both of them and once they start searching, they'll be able to get both. So not just one pinger but two and find the black boxes on the -- both of the CDR and the FDR.
LEMON: Les Abend, what do you think is going to happen now when it comes to the cockpit voice recorders and black boxes. Because there's been a lot of criticism about the batteries, you know, only 30 days. Why this? Why that? Do you think that there will be improvements to come very shortly when it comes to the data that comes from those? And how those machines are configured and constructed and how long the battery lasts?
ABEND: Well, it's hard to say, but I -- you know, my understanding is that -- in the new batteries are going to be 90 days longer. So that's -- you know, that was already in the works. But, you know, I think we may be leaning towards the possibility of streaming situation with the flight data recorder. I mean, we really have to move in the direction of being proactive with reference to real-time stuff.
I mean, this is what I've mentioned before on previous shows. It's tombstone technology, unfortunately. We find out after the fact we should develop technology that we can find out, you know, beforehand and ways to prevent it.
LEMON: Yes. Isn't that technology already there, though, Paul Ginsberg, when it comes to these types of devices, live streaming? We're already there, we're just not using it?
GINSBERG: Well, that may be the case. Nowadays, we have Internet coverage as well as satellite television. When you take a trip flying cross-country or even internationally, the problem they tell me is bandwidth. And we've got to find a way to stream all of this massive amount of data, because the flight data recorder has lots of information constantly being measured that needs to be uploaded.
And I certainly agree, of course, with Mary, because you need -- you need both pieces to the puzzle synchronized to understand fully what transpired just before the end.
ABEND: We basically have that technology now. We have to separate air traffic control from company usage of the data. But, you know, when I fly across the North Atlantic, we have a system called ADSB, which is Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast. And basically you're giving information that's sending directly from the airplane to a satellite and then back down to a ground station that reports it. Just similar to a radar situation.
So air traffic control constantly knows where you are. And that system is available in the North Atlantic.
LEMON: What do you mean from company to air traffic control?
ABEND: Well, ADSB is an air traffic control function where ACARS is more developed as a company-type function. In other words, taking engine data, other parameters at the company and dispatch data that the company -- the airline, that particular airline wants to disseminate.
LEMON: Mary Schiavo, what's the hold-up when it comes to a better tracking system, a better recording system?
SCHIAVO: Well, in this case, it's the United States' own government ineptitude and bungling. We have had the contract out to build this new system out literally since the '80s and they've had to scrap it twice. And now the system, it's called Next Gen. And it's a wonderful system if it's ever done. But literally the planes will seamlessly and hopefully effortlessly talk to each other and to air traffic controllers. Literally the planes will do the communicating and it's not going to be done until at least 2020, maybe 2025.
But they have done tests on it in the Gulf of Mexico, in Alaska, and literally the planes and the air traffic control system were completely synchronized through the computer so you couldn't lose a plane under the new system. It's just not done yet and it won't be for some time. There's just been horrible contract overruns and delays.
LEMON: Is there a money aspect here? A cost aspect?
SCHIAVO: Well, they say there's a money aspect, but the amount of money that had been appropriated for it by Congress have been spent and then many times over. And so just this past year, they went back to Congress to get more funding. And Congress said we already gave you funding. Not once, not twice, but several times. You need to be a little more frugal so there's a money battle going over. But that will go on for years to come. That's always a convenient excuse.
LEMON: Geoffrey Thomas, is there a similar situation going on in Australia? And possibly in Europe or is that just not an issue?
THOMAS: Look, in Australia, we have ADSB already mandated. It's for all large commercial aircraft so it's not an issue here so much, and that's the future. And my understanding is it's all being rolled out in Europe as well. So although I'm not an expert on the Europe air space issue, but I know they have some funding issues there as well. But certainly in Australia ADSB has been rolled out across the country.
LEMON: David Jourdan, if we can look forward to this press conference, you know, we have been trying to figure out what Angus Houston may be about to say and he is, you know, a man who picks his words very carefully. He doesn't just come out and say I have nothing to tell you. Usually when he comes out there's great information that he gives and he has a reason for coming out and one wonders, coming out, we say at this late hour here in the United States it is not late in Perth.
JOURDAN: Well, I suppose he's going to tell us what they have found with the pinger information because that's really the only news I would expect at this point. The only other possibility is that maybe they found some wreckage on the ocean surface. That was what I would expect him to say if he has news.
He may simply be trying to keep us informed about the progress. These things, as I said, don't really progress as quickly as we would like. If we don't find something right away, usually it does take some time to -- and persistence to find the answers we're looking for. I believe they can be found, but it will take time.
LEMON: Yes. Let's talk a little bit more about the cockpit recordings. OK, Paul Ginsberg? Because it has been said -- OK, we'll get a break in. We'll be right back and then we'll continue our conversation accordingly.
LEMON: Australia will hold a news conference to update us on the search for Malaysia Flight 370 at midnight. I want to bring back my panel now. Geoffrey Thomas is in Perth.
Geoffrey, you know, we're getting word that the press is going to start now at any moment, but can we look at the search area? We have the new search area here, and the search area, it's not very far off from where it was yesterday. And just within a couple of miles. And the two boxes where they're searching where the sonobuoys are and where the planned research areas for today, they're moving closer.
One would gather, just from looking at this, and I'm a layman, that they think that they're pretty -- they're in the right area, otherwise these boxes may not be moving together. These areas may not be moving together.
THOMAS: Looking deep, and in fact, the pinger locator search area where the Ocean Shield and the Echo is. That hasn't -- that basically hasn't moved at all. The other area where the debris they believe is and, let's remember the tropical cyclone Jillian, a hurricane in U.S. terms, moved through that area about three weeks ago with 190-mile-an- hour winds. And they believe took debris off to the west and that's where they're looking right now.
That area keeps moving around as they search an area, write it off, move to another area, and get more oceanographic current data, so that's a moving feast, if you like. But the pinger area stays the same. So we're looking for three things, pings, acoustic return for HMS Echo, or we're looking for debris, to try and nail down the final resting place of MH-370 is where they're looking.
LEMON: David, you've been involved with a lot of searches for wreckage also with the Titanic. You know, it took many, many years from 1912, I think it was in 2004 when they actually found it, but it wasn't a consistent search. It takes time to find these things. And I don't think the Titanic was down as far as they believe this plane is.
JOURDAN: Well, they were at similar depths, and once you get down deeper than 10,000 feet, it's all deep. The Titanic, of course, no one searched for it for many years because there was no technology able to do that.