Return to Transcripts main page


Drone Strike Hits Al Qaeda Suspects; 33 Dead in Ferry Sinking, Captain Faces Charges; Sea Floor Scan Set to Conclude in a Week; Captain Charged In Ferry Disaster; High Tech Help For Flight 370 Search; Bourdain Living Large In Las Vegas

Aired April 19, 2014 - 11:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right -- so happy Easter all of you who celebrate and go make some great memories.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. That will do it for us today. We turn it over to our colleague Fredricka Whitfield. Hey -- Fred.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Oh it's good to see you guys. I don't know I think this feels like a typical Easter weekend, in that, isn't it true don't you remember as a kid, you got your cute little Easter outfit and everything and you still have to wear a sweater?


PAUL: Yes, my kids are doing it now.


WHITFIELD: And it's a little overcast. It doesn't -- it's not fitting with all those colorful eggs and, you know, bunny surprises and all that good stuff.

PAUL: They don't care, as long as they get their candy.

WHITFIELD: That's true. It will not stop the kids or the Easter Bunny. All right good to see you guys. Thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: Likewise.

WHITFIELD: It is the 11:00 Eastern hour of the NEWSROOM, which begins right now.

The death toll rises in that sunken ferry catastrophe -- divers desperately racing to find survivors. The captain facing new charges now and admitting he wasn't even at the helm of the ship when it capsized.

And an underwater drone scans the ocean floor in search of the missing Malaysia Airliner. It's capturing clear and sharp images of new territory, but for how long? New details on that.

And a drone strike targeting al Qaeda operatives in Yemen killed at least 15 people today, according to officials in Yemen. Twelve of them were suspected al Qaeda militants, according to Yemeni defense ministry spokespeople. The strike hit a pickup truck in the southwestern part of that country.

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins me right now on the phone. So, Barbara, what more can you tell us about this strike?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, good morning, Fredricka. You know so far, U.S. officials are not commenting on this at all and probably with good reason when these very sensitive drone strikes happen in Yemen. It is either the Pentagon or the CIA that carries them out. They're some of the most classified operations. So don't expect any public statements.

But what sources from the region are telling us is that it was aimed at three very well-known al Qaeda operatives linked to a training camp in southern Yemen. They weren't going after, we don't believe, any of, you know, the top-tiered, number-one leaders of al Qaeda in Yemen, including the man named Wahishi, one of the men we saw on the videotape earlier this week at a meeting of about 100 militants in that very southern Yemen region.

And it's going to take some time to figure out if they really got the people they were going after. They'll have to get on the ground, get some identification, gather some more intelligence. But at this point, what they're telling us is these are operatives, they were keeping an eye on them, they knew where they were, and they went after them -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And so, Barbara, we'll check back with you as you get more information. Thanks so much.

I'm joined now by former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, as well he is currently the dean of the Joseph Corvell School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Good to see you.

So in your view, how significant is this strike, hitting three well- known operatives?

CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Well, first of all, I think our services do quite a job tracking these people. And you know, coming a few days after that brazen effort by the al Qaeda leadership to show that they're around, we, I think, demonstrated that we can hunt them down.

I have seen a number of these strikes and it is amazing how accurate and how well targeted they are. I mean the idea that innocents are being killed it's really not the case. They're going right after some real bad guys and, you know, they've done a very good job.

WHITFIELD: So even if you're in your view lesser powerful figures were hit in this strike, does it still send a very strong message, one of intimidation? Does it make an impact on a grand scale anyway?

HILL: I think it's obviously the right to do -- the right thing to do, whether these are small fry or bigger leaders, I suspect they weren't, you know, the top leaders. It sounds like the top leaders met somewhere else with other top leaders. But I think it sends a very powerful message first of all, of our technical capabilities obviously but also of our will. And I think one thing we've really shown through the Bush administration and Obama administration is a real will to deal with these people.

WHITFIELD: And that these strikes would take place in Yemen, give me an idea what kind of cooperation the Yemeni government or what represents the Yemeni government and the U.S. efforts, how they're able to work in concert to do something about what some thought was a diminishing al Qaeda, but it looks like al Qaeda is very much strong and has a significant presence in the world.

HILL: I mean this issue of whether al Qaeda is diminishing, they've certainly diminished in some capabilities, some significant capabilities. But unfortunately, they're going to be around for some time. This is something that is -- has been going on for years and will go on for some more years. So I think we simply have to stay at it, and I think we're doing that.

With respect to the amount of cooperation we received from local governments, this is obviously a very delicate matter, when we talk about the cooperation publicly we make future cooperation more difficult. So I think the last two administrations have felt that the best way to deal with this is quietly and through the context that we have, and not discuss it publicly.

WHITFIELD: All right. Ambassador Christopher Hill, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

HILL: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right now to that urgent race to find more survivors who were on that South Korean ferry that capsized this week. Here is what we know right now at this hour the death toll now stands at 33. At least 269 people are still missing -- most of them students who went to the same high school. They were on a field trip to a resort island when the ship rolled over.

Hundreds of their parents are gathering on Jindo Island where they are watching the search for their children by video. They're also giving DNA samples to help identify anyone who is found. Some survivors say people on the ship were told not to move for their own safety, but the captain said he feared passengers would be swept away in the rough waters.

He and his third mate and a crew technician all made it off the ferry, and now face charges. A lawyer says the captain broke the seaman's law. It states a captain must stay with the ship until all personnel are safely off the ship. The captain says he was in a cabin and not at the helm of the ship when it capsized.

The third mate was, instead. The captain said he did not make a sharp turn, but the steering turned much more than usual. Our Paula Hancocks is at the scene of the search.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The two large inflatables behind me are really the only sign of where this sunken ferry is. A more than 6,000-ton ferry is beneath the waves. You simply wouldn't know it was there if it wasn't for the sheer number of vessels on the water. I've counted more than 100, ranging from the very large national warships down to the very small private fishing vessels. Everybody wants to be involved if there is any chance they know of finding survivors.

The two helicopters in the air I saw earlier, four cranes, this floatable, massive cranes are here, as well, but they're not part of this operation at this point.

And we do know that there are divers right now trying to get inside this submerged vessel to see if they can find any survivors at all. One thing we're noticing as well in the past hour is an oil slick on the top of the water and a very strong smell of oil in some areas. It's not clear at this point though whether this is actually related to the ferry.

And unfortunately, this afternoon, the weather conditions are deteriorating somewhat, which is jeopardizing the search and rescue operation. The swell of the sea is a lot bigger than it was just a matter of hours ago and now we don't see any divers in the area where the ship is submerged. You see the two big inflatables there. That's where the ferry is under the water.

So there is a concern that this search and rescue operation is being jeopardized again this Saturday by the weather.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, in the Yellow Sea off South Korea.


WHITFIELD: Up next, why officials are saying it may be time to regroup in the hunt for Flight 370.


WHITFIELD: All right some new developments in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. We're learning today that the underwater drone that's been scanning the sea floor should complete its work within a week. That's sooner than many experts has predicted. Officials say the Bluefin-21 has captured clear and sharp images of territory that had been unchartered until now. Well, though it hasn't found any trace of the plane.

Malaysia's acting transport minister also said the next two days could be crucial in the hunt for the jet that vanished six weeks ago with 239 people on board. He agreed with the Australian Prime Minister who said that no matter what happens in the next few days, officials may have to, quote, "regroup and reconsider the search operations."

Today, 11 military planes and 12 ships are scouring a search zone that has been narrowed dramatically. Searchers are expected to cover about 20,000 square miles today. But they will be contending with some rough weather as rain moves into the southern Indian Ocean.

So the big development today seems to be the accelerated schedule for searching this particular zone of the Indian Ocean. Let's bring in our panel for today. Peter Goelz is a CNN aviation analyst and former NTSB managing director, Jeff Wise is a CNN aviation analyst and the author of the book "Extreme Fear", and Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer and explorer and resident at the National Geographic Society. Good to see all of you.

So Sylvia, to you first here. So why will they be done mapping this search area so much quicker than all had been thinking?

SYLVIA EARLE, EXPLORER IN RESIDENCE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY: Well, it really relates to focusing on the most likely area and it may not be in that area, but that's the most likely centered around the pings were detected. So I think that's the answer. There's no guaranteeing that the aircraft is really in that place. But this is the most likely area and so they're focusing on that area.

WHITFIELD: So Jeff, in your view, what's the best way in which to use this Bluefin-21 at this point, even though while it's mapping unchartered territory there is no sign of those primary objective -- that plane?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think it's worth asking at this point whether the Bluefin-21 is really an appropriate technology to be using at all. Bear in mind the way that an airplane search in such a situation is traditionally carried out is first you have a general idea of where the plane is then you search from the air to look for wreckage and debris on the surface. Then once you find the wreckage, you work backwards using your knowledge of the currents to try to figure out where it might be on the bottom, then you listen for pings, and then once you have found the pings, then you use something like the Bluefin to try to search the bottom.

Now, we have skipped all of those steps. What we've essentially done is wound up looking at some random place in the Indian Ocean using a very fine, detailed instrument that can only search a very small area.

WHITFIELD: But you're -- so you're saying that -- well, the use of the -- the pings did appear, at least according to, you know, all the technology that was used, so there were pings that helped to zero in on this area, thereby the use of the Bluefin. That was there.


WISE: Well, there was always a lot of questions whether these pings were false positive or actually correlated to the black box. Now remember, these were not at the frequency that we were expecting to hear them. And they were discrete and they distributed across the seabed in a way that was not what we would expect.

WHITFIELD: All right.

WISE: And so basically -- yes -- it seems that this is a false positive. WHITFIELD: So all right so in your view, it's a false positive. Peter, has that been your gut instinct that this false positive of the pings brought this Bluefin to an area perhaps that was bound to have futile results?

PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, they were searching -- their search area was based on a number of suppositions, which are another word for guesses that were based on some very cutting-edge analysis. They hadn't done this before. And Jeff is right. The pings were a little questionable. You had three of them clustered somewhat together then you had an outlier 17 miles away. They weren't quite at the megahertz level that they should have been. This was the best shot.

And I think that the statement by the minister that we're shutting down the Bluefin within the next, you know, five to seven days means that they're going to have searched about 300 to 400 square miles, and then they're going to reassess. I think that shows that they've got some real problems ahead.

WHITFIELD: So, Sylvia, in your view, what does reassessing mean? Does it mean that it's time to move on to a different type of technology? Does it mean backtracking completely and starting from ground zero? How do you see this reassessing?

EARLE: Well, essentially, that's right. To broaden the search area, the reason the Bluefin was brought in is because they thought they found the most likely place. And now, stepping back, it's like looking for the Titanic before they knew where the Titanic actually did go. I mean they knew kind of where it went down, and we kind of know where the airplane is thought to have gone down, but it's a much wider area.

So -- using other sonar technologies are not as refined as what you can get with a system that is deployed close to the seabed like the Bluefin. Otherwise, you get less -- resolution isn't as good when you drag sonar detectors, or use ships, which is the more common way to get an overview of what's in an area.

WHITFIELD: So what other kind of submersible-type assets do you believe, Sylvia, should be brought into this area in the interim if they're already giving a timestamp of maybe another week for the Bluefin? What else should be brought in while Bluefin is doing what work it can?

EARLE: Well, technologies that have been used in the past include towed sonar arrays, or sonar that is actually embedded within ships that pass back and forth over an area, but the resolution is not nearly as good as what you can get when you're close to the sea floor. They may miss something, even as large as the aircraft.

All right. Well, it looks like there may be a plan in development of starting this all over again. Peter Goelz, Jeff Wise, Sylvia Earle, thanks so much. We'll be sticking with you, again, a bit later on so we hope folks will tune in for more discussions on where do we go from here in the search for Flight 370. All right, still to come in the newsroom, the deadliest accident ever on Mount Everest just got even deadlier -- details next.


WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

We'll get back to more on that South Korean ferry and the ongoing search for Flight 370, but first there is a lot of other news going on. Nick Valencia is here with all the big stories.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lots to catch you up on here. 22 minutes past the hour. Good morning to those watching us at home.

People in Eastern Ukraine awoke today with thousands of Russian troops near their border. Russia says they are there due to political instability, all while pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk have dug in for another day in defiance of an international deal aimed at resolving the crisis and preventing an all-out civil war. So far, the separatists have rejected calls for them to leave the public buildings they occupy and lay down their arms.

The number of fatalities in what was already the deadliest accident on Mount Everest rose again this morning when search and rescue teams found the body of another Sherpa guide. In total, 13 people were killed and three others remain missing after an avalanche struck at 20,000 feet. Mount Everest, of course, is the world's highest peak. The deadliest year on Everest was in 1996 when 15 people died; another 12 climbers were killed in 2006. More than 200 people have died on the mountain in the last 100 years.

The FBI questioned the passengers of a flight from Detroit to Denver last night after a note with a bomb threat was found. Delta Flight 1500 landed safely and was diverted to a remote area of the Denver International Airport. The plane was permitted to taxi to the terminal, and about four hours of screening. An FBI spokesman said most of the passengers were allowed to claim their luggage and continue with their travel plans.

Imagine this. Imagine driving a night and seeing this light up the sky. That's dash cam video posted on YouTube of what looks like a meteor here -- just incredible footage, one of the most incredible scenes that we've seen. Fred, you know, the footage of this meteor in Russia, there's a lot of live dash cams on their cars -- they love dash cams to sort of prevent insurance fraud and police corruption, catch things like this -- this meteor trailing across the sky. Look at that just light up there. It looks like it's --

WHITFIELD: Yes. And don't we recall that it was Russia where there was once a meteor that actually made impact, made a big boom, et cetera? I don't know if Russia is just that big or just that unlucky.

VALENCIA: They love their dash cams.

WHITFIELD: I guess lucky depending on your point of view if you're excited about these things or something like that. VALENCIA: Yes, catch incredible footage like that. Yes.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that's incredible. All right Nick. Thanks so much.

VALENCIA: Thanks Fred.

WHITFIELD: We'll see you again. Appreciate it.

All right. The death toll climbing in that ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea. And the blame could go to the captain, the shocking details about where he was when the ship capsized.


WHITFIELD: A check of our top stories right now.

A drone strike in Yemen today killed 12 suspected al Qaeda militants and three civilians according to Yemeni defense officials. The strike hit a pickup truck in a province in southwestern Yemen. Officials said the truck was heading to an area known as a hotbed for al Qaeda. A source from the region said the strike was aimed at three well-known operatives linked to a training camp. There's no indication today's attack had anything to do with the recently released al Qaeda video made last month.

Some new developments in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: the Bluefin-21 underwater drone that's been scanning the sea floor looks like it could complete its work within a week. Also, both Australian and Malaysian officials are saying they will have to regroup and reconsider search operations in the next few days. Today, 11 military planes and 12 ships are scouring the search zones.

And the death toll rises to 33 in that horrific ferry disaster. 239 people, many of them students and teachers, are still missing after the ship sank three days ago. Divers are desperately trying to find more survivors. They made it to the third deck inside the ship and saw bodies, but couldn't recover them because of the currents. At least 174 people have been rescued so far, including the captain.

In fact, the ship's captain is explaining his decision to delay the evacuation of the sinking ferry. You see him in a hoodie there and handcuffs, but his explanations aren't satisfying prosecutors who have already thrown five charges at him, charges that could land him in prison from anywhere from five years to life. CNN's Kyung Lah has more.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ferry Captain Lee Joon- seok answering a question consuming hundreds of desperate family members, why would you order passengers to stay on a sinking ship? "The current was very high and the water temperature was cold, and if you had not worn a life jacket, or even if you had worn one, if you got off the boat with no judgment, you would have been swept very far away," he says. The captain is handcuffed, arrested today on five different charges, including abandoning ship and causing bodily injury resulting in death, according to South Korean news agencies. In this newly released video, you can see the captain right after he was rescued from his own sinking ship, while hundreds of others were left behind. In the eyes of many here in South Korea, he's public enemy number one.

Prosecutors today revealed the captain wasn't on the bridge when the boat began to sink, but still hold him responsible for, quote, "failing to slow down while sailing the narrow route and making the turn excessively." Also released today, radio traffic between the ferry and authorities. The first sign of distress came in at 8:55 a.m. local time.

Now all that remains of the ferry above the surface are buoys marking its position. New footage from inside the doomed ferry continues to surface. In this survivor's video, the ship is already at an extreme angle as passengers clamored to high ground, others brace themselves inside as they were instructed by the crew. It's unclear if these people made it out alive.

One man who did make it out alive couldn't bear the reality in the end. In a wooded area near where distraught relatives are camped out in Jindo, police say the vice principal of the school where these kids attended hung himself. In his suicide note, police say he took responsibility for the loss of life and asked for his ashes to be placed over the site.

His suicide has heightened fears that relatives of the missing might soon do the same. "I want to jump into the sea," she says, "thinking about my child in the sea, how can I as a parent eat or drink? I hate myself for this." Kyung Lah, CNN, Jindo, South Korea.


WHITFIELD: Man, so many questions about what will happen to the captain and what lies ahead for the families of the victims. Jim Walker is a maritime lawyer. Joining us now from Miami. Good to see you. So you've represented a ship crews and passengers before. The captain is facing charges like negligence and abandoning ship. As more bodies are found, will more charges be added?

JIM WALKER, MARITIME LAWYER, WALKER & O'NEIL: I don't think so. I mean, essentially, he's been arrested for doing two major criminal acts, engaging in man slaughter. It is his responsibility to look after these passengers and the crew. He is responsible under the International Maritime Regulations, the safety of life at sea regulations, to oversee the safe evacuation of the passengers. He clearly didn't do that. One of 47 lifeboats were deployed. He was in the first one. So that's a major charge, and, of course, abandoning ship. It's the first and foremost duty of a captain. So I think the charges are there, we're going to see a lot more evidence coming out in the next few days.

WHITFIELD: So specifically, those five charges, abandoning ship, negligence causing bodily injury, not seeking rescue from other ships, and violating seaman's law, you're talking about the manslaughter is under that violating of seaman's law?

WALKER: Manslaughter is under the failure to use reasonable care resulting in death and injuries, as well, to some of the passengers. These are the same charges in essence that were levelled against the "Costa Concordia," Captain Shatino. Manslaughter, abandoning ship, when he, too, left the ship prematurely.

WHITFIELD: Isn't it amazing that the parallel, the captain of the "Costa Concordia," essentially did the same thing as this ship's captain. It would seem that it's an assumed responsibility, any ship captain, everyone knows around the world that you are responsible for the care of all those on board, and you go down with the ship if it comes to that.

WALKER: Yes, the duty of a captain in this circumstance goes way back past Moby Dick, back to the medieval sea codes, back to the laws of Oleron, literally a thousand years ago. This is a particularly sad case. It's not just sad and tragic for the parents, but many, many years ago I was a history student at Duke. And you would think that the industry could learn a basic lesson. There are basic lessons from the "Costa Concordia."

You have to look after the passengers. It's your obligation. You can't abandon ship. And to see this happening in this circumstance reflects, I think, poorly on this -- not only this captain -- I mean, he has his hoodie on, looking down, he's disgraced. But the issues I think are broader and deeper than just pointing the finger at one person.

You have to look at the ferry company itself, the marine company, what was their training, what was their safety culture, were there lifeboat drills, were there muster drills? Were these children --

WHITFIELD: And that's generally what happened -- that generally would happen before a ship were to set sail, right?

WALKER: Right.

WHITFIELD: Some kind of drill, so everyone knows what to do. The captain said he was in his bedroom, and he didn't order the evacuation because he feared without some kind of rescue boats, some of the passengers in their life vests would drift away. So how do prosecutors use that to their advantage, or perhaps even in his defense, he expressed the sense of helplessness at that moment. Is that a valid defense in maritime law?

WALKER: No, that sounds like gobbledygook to me. That sounds like a pitiful excuse. I mean, let's face it. He's the first one in the boat. He is out of there. He is bailing. It's like a captain of the airplane opening the door and jumping out with a parachute. It doesn't matter what he says at this point. It's his obligation. This obligation is centuries old. He failed to do the most basic steps to protect children, for goodness sake.


WALKER: So he's going to go to jail. It's just a sad case to see this happening time and time again.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Five years to life is what he faces. This is a horrible situation, tragedy there in South Korea. Thank you so much, Jim Walker. Appreciate that from Miami.

WALKER: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Crews scouring the bottom of the Indian Ocean with an underwater drone may get even more high-tech help for their search. Next, the powerful tool that can do things the Bluefin-21 can't.


WHITFIELD: Welcome back. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Malaysia's transport minister says the government may deploy underwater probes in the search for missing Flight 370. The Bluefin-21 has already completed six dives to the depths of the Indian Ocean, but so far, no sign of any debris or wreckage. It turns out there's another underwater robot that can go even deeper than the Bluefin. Our Rosa Flores has details.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This World War II era plane crashed off the coast of Massachusetts in 1947. For more than 50 years, it remained lost on the bottom of the ocean. Over a decade ago, an AUV, an autonomous underwater vehicle, discovered the missing plane.


MIKE MULROONEY, FIELD SENIOR TECHNICIAN AT HYDROID: Having the right tool is always the best case that you're look for.

FLORES: Hydroid makes the Remus family of AUVs. This is the Remus 600. A larger AUV, the Remus 6000 found Air France Flight 447 in 2011. Mike Mulrooney was the senior field technician on that mission.

MIKE MULROONEY, FIELD SERVICE TECHNICIAN AT HYDROID: At the end of the day we knew what we were doing was to try to help people answer questions about what happened to that flight.

FLORES: So with the Bluefin 21, which is currently being used in the search for Malaysia Flight 370 can't the find the missing jet? Searchers could call upon the Remus 6000. It can navigate in waters almost 5,000 feet deeper than the Bluefin-21.

MULROONEY: Well, basically be able to be operated in most of the world's ocean.

FLORES: When searchers asked the U.S. government for an AUV, the Navy says the Bluefin-21 was the only deep water vehicle it had available. After the Remus AUVs, use side scan sonar to map the ocean floor, they usually come back with what's called low frequency images. These are pictures it took of the submerged plane in Massachusetts.

MULROONEY: And this shows up as different from the surrounding area, indicating that there is something on the bottom for us to go look at.

FLORES: But take a look at these images taken at a higher frequency.

MULROONEY: You can clearly see the body of the plane, the two wings.

FLORES: Here's what it looked like in its glory days. These AUVs also have steal camera and video capabilities giving investigators perspective and a better picture of the bottom of the ocean.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


WHITFIELD: All right, so could more Bluefins be added to the search effort or possibly other robots like the Remus 6000, and what kind of impact would that have? Let's bring back our panel, oceanographer, Sylvia Earle, CNN aviation analyst, Jeff Wise and Peter Goelz.

All right, so Jeff, let me begin with you. Australia's top transport officials saying authorities may consider expanding the search area significantly. So if that's the case, what other tools would be needed?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, you know, they're talking about really kind of going back to first principles and saying, OK, where do we look, what tools do we use to look? It's going to be a big question, because really so much political capital really committed to saying, "we are very confident that we found the black box pingers, that we're about to locate the wreckage," they really set themselves up --

WHITFIELD: That was about a week and a half ago when they expressed that kind of confidence, and now not so much.

WISE: And now we're seeing that fade away, and hearing language about reassessing. So basically, what we're saying is, we have to reassess before we can really talk about what kind of tools to use, because we really don't know what kind of search -- I mean, if we go back to first principles, we don't know that we'll be looking on the ocean bed even.

WHITFIELD: Right. And I wonder, especially with the newer information that, you know, came out about whether indeed these electronic locator transmitters -- there are four of them on this plane designed to signal to a satellite upon impact, and apparently that never happened. And so, Peter, with that kind of information and that coupled with reassessing, what is really happening to this investigation, the search for the plane?

PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think if I were running the investigation, one of the things I'd do right now is reconvene -- or convene a group of a fresh set of eyes. New mathematicians. New satellite experts. New radar experts, have them sit down with the raw data, have them intensively review it, and see if they come up with the same solutions. See if they pinpoint the same area. Because if we're now scanning what will be 300 to 400 square miles of the ocean bottom and have found nothing, as Jeff said, first principles. Are we looking in the right place?

WHITFIELD: Is it your hope that some of that was still taking place, even though it may not have been widely reported every minutia, you know, of these investigations, but wouldn't you think that there is a review taking place of the satellite imagery, all of that, you know, simultaneously, but the problem is still nothing is pinpointing the whereabouts of this plane?

GOELZ: Well, I've been involved in very complex investigations and investigators are humans. They get an investment in the theory. They get an investment in a solution. We need fresh eyes. If they're looking at reassessing in the next five to seven days, what it means is this hasn't worked out.

WHITFIELD: So Sylvia, are you in agreement, fresh eyes, fresh tools even?

SYLVIA EARLE, OCEANOGRAPHER: It does make sense. The idea that they found the location and thought that they were zeroing in on right where the plane was, well it did make sense to bring the Bluefin or Remus to get refined information about this part of the Indian Ocean. Given that it's now an open question, is this the right place, it does take a reassessment.

WHITFIELD: And it sounds like, Jeff, you're not so convinced that that search area should be concentrated under water, period, that really going back to the beginning means even reconsidering whether this plane may have made an impact or landed or ended up on land somewhere?

WISE: I mean, I would say -- I mean, I think it's absolutely a fantastic idea to bring in some fresh eyeballs, some fresh brains. You know, Air France 447 was a very different search, obviously. But, also, there was a similar dynamic that occurred where a model was developed, a probability matrix was generated, a certain area of the ocean was searched, and it came up empty. And so, a new set of people were brought in and brought in some new ideas, and very quickly it turned out that they were able to find the plane within less than a week, actually.


WISE: So I think the idea -- all we really have at this point is the analysis that Inmarsat carried out on this data that it received, and nobody -- I have a piece up on just yesterday, actually, pointing out that nobody knows what this analysis was about, how it was carried out. And so, maybe it's valid, maybe it's not. We really just have their word for it and even very intelligent people can make mistakes or jump to the incorrect conclusions. So I think it's a fantastic idea to bring in a new set of ideas.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jeff, Peter, Sylvia, thank you to all of you. Our panel will be back later on to talk about the search for missing Flight 370.

And when we come back, Anthony Bourdain takes a culinary gamble in sin city. Did he end up a winner? Find out next.


WHITFIELD: Anthony Bourdain is living large in Las Vegas. This Sunday on "PARTS UNKNOWN" Bourdain takes a bite out of the hidden luxuries on the strip and beyond.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": The villa at Caesars Palace. A pad they give you if your credit line runs into eight figures. How did I get it? I told the casino that Wolf Blitzer was coming, that he was expected any minute. I suggested that Wolf might be hungry. Fortunately, he doesn't watch a lot of television. I plan to live large until they figure out that Wolf isn't coming. I'll deal with the fallout later, but for now, we live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, this dish, everything is in layers. You're going to find a caviar vinaigrette, and topped with French green beans with caviar, finishing the dish.

BOURDAIN: Beautiful. Look at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is rare that I say it is too beautiful to eat.

BOURDAIN: I was just thinking that. Speaking of fantastically luxurious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a specialty.

BOURDAIN: Man, that's truffle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a combination of if he is and the, duck, cabbage. Please enjoy it.

BOURDAIN: Look at this. That is beautiful. Feel guilty eating this well?


BOURDAIN: I'm feeling guilty now, but it will pass.


WHITFIELD: That wasn't very convincing. He does not feel guilty. That looks good. Tune in Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern to find out everything that happens in this villa and more. I will chat with Anthony Bourdain later on this afternoon.

Get comfortable because following Bourdain is an all new episode of "Inside Man." Morgan Spurlock will explore mankind's quest for immortality. That's Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.


WHITFIELD: Coming in next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM, we take you inside a submarine and reveal how challenging the search for Flight 370 really is. Plus more on this morning's deadly drone strike in Yemen that killed at least a dozen suspected al Qaeda militants.