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Piers Morgan Live
Indications of Sabotage Aboard Flight 370
Aired March 14, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is Piers Morgan Live.
Tonight, breaking news, strong indications of sabotage on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, the Wall Street Journal reporting the investigation of Flight 370 maybe turning fast into a criminal investigation and more than one person maybe involved manually changing the plane's course. Malaysia military radar showed the plane climbing and diving erratically, other transponder went dead as the New York Time's first spot it and report it. Is it a sign of a fight for control in the cockpit?
We go right to our breaking news; a dramatic breaking news is too. Joining me now, CNN's Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, also New York Times Reporter Matthew L. Wald and Jon Ostrower from the Wall Street Journal. Welcome to all of you.
Jon Ostrower, the Wall Street Journal in the last few moments has broken this extraordinary development in this story which is that the plane may have been manually turned by at least one person quite deliberately and taken off course. Tell me what you know.
JON OSTROWER, AEROSPACE AND BOEING REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, at this point we've learned over the course of today is that the change in heading that was made to the Triple 7 came after various systems were -- appeared to be deliberately turned off.
And we do know from the folks that we have spoken with that are directly familiar with this investigation as it's unfolding now that a manual input to the aircraft was made whether it was made through the autopilot appears to be the most likely means based on satellite data transmissions that we received shortly after the input was made.
MORGAN: And let me go to Matthew L. Wald, New York Times obviously reported that the jet made sharp changes in altitude and course. Tell me about those and tell me about the significance of that and also that in relation to what the Wall Street Journal's reporting.
MATTHEW L. WALD, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: Well, it might confirm, it might contradict if you have an airplane that's trimmed to fly at a certain altitude and it flies long enough. You will end up changing its center of gravity, it'll burn of fuel, the tail will become lighter as you burn off the fuel, and the wing tips, it'll pitch down, it'll pitch up, it'll pitch down.
The fidelity of the Malaysian radar is not clear probably for defense reasons. They're never going to tell us that. It has always been a possibility that this was a deliberate act, sabotage might be a word, it might have been a crew member in the cockpit but it really isn't clear what's happened at this point.
MORGAN: Let me go to Barbara Starr. Barbara, when we spoke last night, you broke the news that you believe that American officials were pretty convinced now that this plane had gone down into the Indian Ocean somewhere. Putting together the new revelations that we've heard about the trajectory of the plane, about the fact that it may have been taken over by one or more people, deliberately tamper with the systems. What can you now tell me with all that and also bringing in your information about the plane probably having crashed.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Piers, let me go through a couple of things tonight. A U.S. official I've spoken to says, as time goes on, as they have looked at all of this erratic flight data, the pings from the aircraft, the radar returns, the satellite data all of it, as they look at the erratic path of this plane, this official tells me it has becoming harder to write off the notion that a human hand was not involved in this in some fashion.
Now, this does not go to motive. It may have been the pilot, it may have been the crew trying to regain control of the plane in some fashion for some reason. It may have been something totally nefarious. But what they are saying now that they've analyzed all this technical data, it's leading them to the conclusion, they are going to have to seriously consider that there was some human intervention in all of this.
What we also know, the radar returns, the dramatic changes in altitude. To underscore what my colleague was saying a moment ago. The Malaysian radars may not have that much accuracy and fidelity. The plane was flying a good distance from them. That reduces the accuracy.
But we do know, if the plane made a turn west into the Indian Ocean and now with the Malaysians, the U.S. has calculated two areas that it needs to go search. The plane, they believe based on their high-tech analysis either made a right turn into the Indian Ocean and went north into the Bay of Bengal or it made a left turn to the south and there is this southern search box that they are also looking at, the Indian Navy and the U.S. looking in the north, the U.S. navy looking in the south.
MORGAN: But Barbara, tell me this. Although they believe it is most probable that the plane has gone down in Indian Ocean, clearly they found no sign of any debris yet or any sign of this plane. Had they completely 100 percent ruled out the possibility that it could simply have landed somewhere?
STARR: Nothing is ruled out in this case 100 percent at this point. I mean, the world has been watching this mystery for a week now. But, but I mean they are looking and based on their calculations that the Indian Ocean is the place to look these two areas are the place to look. There are lands masses out there but there are so many aviation experts have said on air. If you are going to land a Triple 7 somewhere, you are going to need expertise and thousands of feet of runway. If it had crashed into land, it's getting a little difficult to sort of firmly believe that there would not be some notice of it, some surveillance overhead that would not have noticed a crash.
All of this adds up plus mainly the technical data that they believe it went into the ocean but nothing is certain, Piers.
MORGAN: OK. Matthew Wald, you know, when people has say has this kind of thing happened before well actually quite recently, yes. We saw a diverted Boeing 767 which was going from Ethiopia to Rome and the pilot suddenly decided to take it off to Switzerland with 164 passengers on board. He landed it safely.
So if you've assumed expertise here was needed of maybe pilot standard caliber, is it beyond the realms of fantasy that either the pilot or the co-pilot or possibly both of them have done exactly what this Ethiopian pilot did? They've just taken the plane off for whatever nefarious reasons it may be.
WALD: Yes. It's beyond the realm of fantasy. Barbara forgot to mention, they did it in the dark. You can't land a plane like this in the dark without some ground based navaid. This would be very difficult to do.
I got two additional discouraging problems here. One of them is if eventually they recover the cockpit voice recorder, it maybe of no use whatsoever. It's a two-hour loop. What you really want to know is what was happening when the plane made that left turn and left it to sign flight path. That's going to be long gone because it'll be erased over by subsequent conversation if there was any. That's problem number one.
Problem number two is if you eventually find the floating wreckage, it's been in the water for a week. If it's moving at two navs, it's going to be hundreds of miles from where it started. You got to go back and back calculate where to look on the ocean floor. So this gets harder and harder.
And in addition, the pingers on the black box was supposed to last 30 days give or take. Seven of those days are gone. The confidence that we're going to figure out precisely what happened here is declining.
MORGAN: OK. So Matthew Wald, I mean fascinating analysis there but what is your gut feeling with a lot of expertise in your locker about what you think is probably happened here.
WALD: We have increasingly detailed theories based on very little information. It's very hard to say. It is easy to reconcile the changes in altitude given the lack of fidelity, the radar, the Malaysians are never going to tell you how good their radar is, that's a defense secret. It's easy to reconcile the changes in altitude, it's harder to reconcile the changes in direction, people will postulate, well maybe they will lift the batteries on board, maybe they had a fire, maybe they had a progressive electrical failure. We just don't have the information we need.
MORGAN: OK. Jon Ostrower, that is certainly true because we had all the information we needed. We don't know what happened. But clearly, the reporting that you've done and the New York Times and Barbara Starr all excellent reporting, all coming in a slightly different angles, if you put it all together, do you put the sum of all parts together, what is your feeling about what we are looking at here?
OSTROWER: Well, certainly based on the indications that we've gotten thus far and across all the reporting that has taken place over the last week, everything points in the direction toward something changed the course of that airplane and likely someone and someone who had expert knowledge of the aircraft systems and knew exactly how to steer a Triple 7 at altitude and that's not a skill that's come really easy to come by.
And in this particular case, certainly indicates that there was human intervention and as we kind of look at the span of it that there was something that took place. I mean I think we can definitively say that there was a human factor that took place here and everything points to that.
So as you take the sum of all of its parts, it's really clear that this investigation is certainly veering rapidly toward some kind of criminal element and a criminal investigation rather than an aircraft safety investigation related to some potential mechanical failure.
But again, nothing is ruled out and nor has a criminal investigation been declared. But certainly as we see it right now, everything points in that direction.
MORGAN: OK. I want to bring in now David Soucie. Stay with me panel. Moving to David Soucie, Author of "Why Planes Crash".
David (inaudible) about this and you had some fascinating analysis about what you thought have happened. Has your view of what may have happened changed as a result of all the reporting that has come in late today?
DAVID SOUCIE, AUTHOR, "WHY PLANES CRASH": Not a bit, Piers. What's in here in this Wall Street Journal report I fully support. I have been talking with them along the way as well, the theories and the ideas that we've had, I've done investigation with seven 777 captains that I just got off the phone with again to validate and help me understand this.
But where I want to get is where there's an apple, I want to call it an apple, so with the apple that the I see right now is that someone did intentionally. I support exactly what Wall Street Journal is saying if someone did turn that aircraft, it was by hand, I suspect it was by the auto-pilot because the navigation systems are not connected to the communication systems that had been disabled.
So I'm very convinced that someone took this aircraft, took it off course and flew it again with the altitude information for the Wall Street Journal, I don't put a lot of credibility into that because I just don't believe in primary radar that much. So the fact that it went ...
MORGAN: OK. OK. Let me jump in. Let me jump in. I am not an expert here nor are most of the people watching this, OK. So let's presume that this theory is correct. That somebody, a co-pilot, a pilot, somebody else possibly has taken control of this plane are going to be highly skilled to do what they do. How did they then keep this plane flying for four, possibly five hours, possibly even longer without any detection? Just explain to me how that physically can happen.
SOUCIE: Well, pilot's have been flying in nap (ph) of the earth for years I mean since -- as radar came out, they figured out that they could fly at low altitudes, fly those low altitudes and not be picked up by primary radar. That is not a surprise. It's been around for years.
So I don't -- that doesn't surprise me in the least. The range of the aircraft changes dramatically at those lowest altitudes though so you don't have as much as range as you did before.
But the fact is that that aircraft at credible evidence that that aircraft was at those altitudes. I'm going to except that. I'm going to call than an apple. I look at apple and that's what it is. I can't see if there's anything else.
MORGAN: Right. The people -- right, we're talking of apples. If I had an iPhone, you know, pretty certain that if I dropped it in New York then I can probably have it found by somebody in Europe and what people -- again, if you're watching this all week will be like, "How is it in the modern age with all this technology we have that the worlds greatest aviation experts have no apparent clue really where this plane is."
SOUCIE: Well, you have to understand the investigative process in the first place. They're trying to keep the information here. They want to keep it here and that's so that they can come up with a credible evidence. At some point, it has to come out.
Now, with my experience in doing investigations with what I've had experienced in the past, what surprises me at this point is the thought that let's say that it did come over -- what I kept questioning is how did they get into the cockpit? How -- if this is true, how did they get into the cockpit? How did they take over the aircraft? How did they disable everything?
Well, I've got a simple answer for that and Wall Street even touched on it as well, there's access to the ENE equipment mayday (ph). In the ENE equipment, they are the circuit breakers for the transponders, the circuit breakers for the ACARS and everything else has been turned off on that aircraft is accessible from the cabin through an access door. Now, getting to that access door is very simple thing. It's right behind the cockpit door, it's right next to the entrance door of this aircraft. How this has been overlooked as a security issue, I can't even imagine. We've spent years and years making sure that cockpit was secure. And now there's access to the critical systems of this aircraft from underneath the airplane? It's unfathomable to me that this is the situation we're in right now.
MORGAN: OK. Let me go to Matthew Wald again for the New York Times. Unfathomable, try and put some fathom into it for me.
WALD: I'll put some fathom into it. This airplane was flying over the ocean, radar is only good for about 200 miles from shore. So you don't have to fly it below altitude to be undetected once you get on the range of radar.
As we discovered on 9/11 in this country and certainly in places like Malaysia and Thailand, there are not fighter planes waiting to scramble to chase unidentified aircraft. It just doesn't work that way. The ocean is very large, very dark and very easy to disappear into.
MORGAN: OK. Let me ask this to Jon Ostrower, if you're on a plane and you know it suddenly diverting off course and you're one of those passengers, again with all the new technology, everyone's got some kind of gadget on them. Could not one of them had made any kind of e- mail, text message, BBM whatever it may have been to anybody else outside that plane to notify them there was a problem? And if they didn't collectively, what does that tell us about what may have happen to them in the cabin?
OSTROWER: Well, let's talk about what we know factually at this point. Aeromobile which actually provided a cellphone system for another one of Malaysia's Boeing Triple 7s actually said that this particular aircraft was not fitted with such a system.
So, certainly at altitude there would have been -- would have been no ability for passengers to see either where they were or send a message. And in addition to the type of controls that a pilot has, one that they have access to right above their heads is one that provides power to the in-flight entertainment system. That in-flight entertainment system provides both a moving map in a lot of cases on the Triple 7. And also, the Triple 7s on Malaysia, early on I can't say that I know this particular Triple 7 still had the an air-flight system what if the seat had been disabled and as far as how we're going to it. They wouldn't have been able to communicate and that is some other thing that is available on a Triple 7 as far as the types of pilot controls.
MORGAN: OK. Let me stop you there. Please all stay with me. Let's take a short break. We're getting closer perhaps to some answers at least on what happen to Flight 370.
When we come back, I'll ask top terror experts and a pilot what they make of all this breaking news.
MORGAN: The mystery of Flight 370 is a week-old now. We may have a little bit more of an idea tonight of what happened. I want to bring in the experts to break down what we know and what we don't know. Joining me now, CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, David Soucie Author of "Why Planes Crash", Former American Airlines Pilot Mark Weiss and Philip Baum Editor of Aviation Security International and joins via Skype and remaining with me Matthew L. Ward and John Ostrower. Welcome to all of you. I couldn't get a more expert group of people to discuss all of this.
David Soucie, I want to go back to you to clarify something you said before we broke there which was that you seem to suggest that there is a way through in the main cabin i.e not cockpit to basically power down things like the transponder and so one.
Let's clarify exactly what you said.
SOUCIE: What it is is there's a hatch that goes down into the equipment area which is the avionics mayday (ph), the ENE is what's referred to as, so that you can -- with a special screw driver of what it takes, if you can open the hatch, you can crawl down into this area and from the inside of there is where all the circuit breakers are for all of the equipment that we've been talking about has turned off and even more could be turned off from down there.
So that's the access. That's how this -- finally, I have an answer in my head as to why and how this could have occurred. Now, why ...
SOUCIE: ... it had occurred? I don't know but I can't tell you how.
MORGAN: OK. Let me go to Mark Weiss, Former American Airlines Pilot, Security Consultant now. I mean that's a riveting new piece of information which I haven't heard before and it also opens up the possibly that although the finger of suspicion that this plane has been taken off course deliberately rest at the moment with perhaps the pilot or co-pilot. This could have actually been done by somebody in the main cabin i.e one of the passengers or indeed one of the rest of the crew.
MARK WEISS, FMR. AMERICAN AIRLINES PILOT: Well, absolutely. I mean we certainly don't know at this point. And David's correct, the -- you'd have to have access from that. It's really near the forward galley, you have to lift the carpet, you have to use a special to undo the screws, and then there's some set of steps that will allow you access to the ENE compartment. And from there, you can disable all the instrumentation that we've been talking about before.
But at the same time, you'd still have somebody, a cohort to be able to be up in the cockpit, to be able to fly the airplane. So this has to, you know, at least in theory, you're dealing with more than one person.
MORGAN: OK. So let me ask you this then. If you are implying then that you need to have someone with pilot experience and we're making assumption that either the pilot or the co-pilot both of whom have large question marks as we've established this week about their own potential involvement in this in a sense that the co-pilot we know had already got a habit of inviting passengers, random people to come and spend the entire flight in the cockpit with him posing for pictures and smoking and so on.
We know that from somebody I interviewed earlier in the week. We also know the main pilot had an entire flight simulator in his house. Now, both of these things may not or may had any involvement or they may do. But if you assume that there was somebody else involved, would you say that there would have been a struggle in the cockpit, is that your guess about what may have happened? And if so, again, why would none of this show up with anyone alerting anybody outside of this plane?
WEISS: Well, I mean and certainly that's one of the questions but yes, I do think somebody got into the cockpit. Now, whether that was one of the crew members, whether it was an invited guest or an uninvited guest or again it could have been a flight attendant for all we know that could have had some flying experience. I certainly believe because of the erratic behavior, about changes of altitude that that for me certainly suggest that there was a potential, a fight for the controls in the cockpit turning to different headings certainly to be more -- that was a very deliberate act that did not necessarily have to engage in a fight.
MORGAN: OK. Let me go to Matthew Wald. Matthew, we're looking at pictures there which are -- this flight simulator that the pilot used, this is his that he had in his house. What is the significance of this? I understand it's not unprecedented but some pilots do indeed have simulators at home. But should we read anything more sinister into this?
WALD: It means he likes his work. I should say that the people whom the co-pilot invited into the cockpit were not random, they were mostly pretty girls. That's not unheard of.
Pilots say that over water flights tend to get boring. I'm not sure what I can read into that and I'm not sure we should be ready to slander the dead. There maybe time to do it later but I'm not sure this is the time.
MORGAN: But on a particular point and I -- listen, I accept what you say about the co-pilot inviting girls and although I was surprised and I think many people were that you could even do that anymore. I remember little kids being able to go into cockpits, you know, years ago but certainly post 9/11 I was pretty amazed that you could still do that and adults would go in and out.
But let's move on to this pilot and his flight simulator. Is that in your experience Matthew Wald common, unusual, strange?
WALD: I know that -- I don't know. I know that there are a lot of pilots who live and breathe airplanes and in fact become really attached to one model of airplane. Right after (inaudible) 800, I met a man who had been a captain and reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 which of then was and went back to work as a flight engineer on a 747 just because he love the plane so much. He bounce (inaudible) down two steps because his life is flying this airplanes. There are people like that out there.
MORGAN: OK. Peter Bergen, let's turn to national security here because if we make an assumption and all the indications are beginning to point this way that this plane was taken over by nefarious forces of some kind and we don't know who they were, how many they were or what they're purpose was. Let's theorize about what their intentions could have been.
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, I think terrorism is kind of a remote possibility right now and we haven't had an authentic claim of -- for this kind of attack for many groups that is known. There has been one but it didn't seem like a serious claim.
The two groups that might be inclined to do something like this I don't think had the motive. One would be the local Al Qaeda affiliate. Why would they attack a Malaysian Airline flight rather than a western one? Similarly with the Chinese Uyghurs, they haven't shown an ability to really operate outside China. And these are fundamentalist Muslims and they are unlikely to attack a country like Malaysia.
So you are left with perhaps idiosyncratic motives and we've seen ...
MORGAN: What about this theory? What about this theory? Let me throw one out there which may sound utterly ridiculous but so do most theories when no one's had a clue what's happened.
What about the theory that it was fall into order, a $37 million brand new plane virtually stolen to order, taken off, landed and you've got a 150 odd Chinese people onboard this plane and then somebody whoever they maybe may want to hold those people to ransom from the Chinese. Is something like that completely ridiculous? Could be ruled out or is there a possibility that that is what's happened?
BERGEN: I think that's pretty remote. I mean I would go with the idea of idiosyncratic motive. We saw for instance in 2006, the Turkish Airlines was a guy got in the cockpit, he said he had a bomb, he diverted the plane to Italy, he had some sort of hair-brained plan to meet with the Pope, he was arrested. But you could imagine somebody with idiosyncratic motives or even, you know, we've also seen cases in asylum (ph) you mentioned early in the program a pilot ...
BERGEN: ... diverting for asylum reasons. So terrorism doesn't seem to be very plausible right now and idiosyncratic motives cannot be ruled out.
MORGAN: OK. Let's take a short break. When we come back, please stay with me everybody because this is a fascinating debate amongst people who at least have the benefit of expertise in all their areas. We will get into some of the unanswered questions about Flight 370 after this break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: On breaking news tonight, the Wall Street Journal reports, there are strong indications of sabotage aboard Flight 370. There's still many, many unanswered questions.
I'm back with my launched (ph) and very expert panel. So now, I'll go to Jon Ostrower for the Wall Street Journal. Rupert Murdoch, your boss has just tweeted, "World seems transfixed by 777 disappearance. Maybe no crash but stolen, effectively hidden, perhaps in Northern Pakistan, like Bin Laden." I mean, not dissimilar, there is the one I just disposed (ph). Can you rule that out? Can -- I merely covered anything, but, is it beyond the realms of reality that this plane has simply been taken off perhaps to somewhere like Pakistan and has just been hidden for whatever reason?
OSTROWER: Well, we don't know. You know, at this point, we're just going by the reporting that we're doing and the factual information that we can gather and put together in a way that provides a bit of context for understanding the situation, and also what may have unfolded here. To say it went somewhere specific is certainly within a realm of possibility, but there are again a number of things that are over that and around possibilities.
There's been an enormous amount of speculation this week. And what I found in my reporting along with Andy Pastor is that this story has unfold so quickly and so suddenly that one conception we made have had in one day about -- there are expectations about what has unfolded here has been transformed considerably.
OSTROWER: So, I think, you know, lot of respects, there's a lot of (inaudible) things behind here in terms of watching the evidence that is real come out as it does.
MORGAN: Right. I'm going to go to Philip Baum now. I mean, I also -- this is not unhelpful to this trial (ph) as many theories as is humanely possible because one of them is going to be right. What do you make of all the developments in the last 24 hours and where is your head now going in terms of your theory for what may have happened?
PHILIP BAUM, EDITOR, AVIATION SECURITY INTERNATIONAL: I don't think my -- I've really changed my opinion since day one, but there are, as you say, so many different possible scenarios out there. Right from the beginning, we suspected that some -- there was a negative intent either by crew member or by a passenger onboard that aircraft. And as mysterious and spectacular as the story is in many respect, you know, if you go back to 1976, go back to that famous hijacking of the Air France jet to Entebbe and how did been Israeli's carry out that rescue attempt by flying undetected from Israel to Uganda in the middle of the night, flying aircraft that had to be refueled, flying above a British airways aircraft to avoid radar detection and landing in Entebbe in the middle of the night. That seems incredible, but it happened.
And so, yet again, we brought, you know, all sorts of scenarios out there. One thing that I'm really concerned about though is this whole issue of integrity of the cockpit that reinforced cockpit door. And to -- with regards with the great deployment after September 11th, I was always very worried about it because as much as you can keep the bad guys out of the flight deck, you can also keep the good guys out of the flight deck. If you got the wrong person in the cockpit, then you're in a really serious situation because nobody else can get in.
MORGAN: Right. And let me come back to Peter Bergen. I mean, again, I'm going to reference one of the reasons I've got one of the passengers who survived this, but the hijacking on the Ethiopian Airlines plane which happened early this year, you know, there are parallels here because the first almost who left the cockpit to use the restroom and then the co-pilot allegedly locked the security door and headed off to Switzerland and that could just happened here, couldn't it?
And I suppose, again, I'm going to put you on the spot to just throw out a few ideas here. If it wasn't a traditional terrorism organization like al-Qaeda, who else and for what reason would perhaps want to control a pilot to do that if it wasn't just the pilot wanted to commit suicide or to seek asylum.
BERGEN: You know, I don't know the answer to that, Piers. I mean, if that is, you know, that's why I comeback to sort of hideous and chronic (ph) motivations can sometimes come into play. By the way, before 9/11, we saw a lot of that in United States before the reinforced cockpit door. We saw a FedEx plane which was, you know, somebody tried to get in the cockpit in '94. We saw a Southwest Airlines flight in 2000. We saw an Alaska Airlines flight where the guy got in the cockpit.
So, you know, this is not as uncommon as some people might think where people who are basically kind of crazy for one reason or another try and take control. I mean, arguing against that, of course, the person who have the sophistication to turn off the transponder and all the other things that happened isn't crazy.
MORGAN: OK. Mark Weiss, you're a former pilot, American Airlines, flew many, many flights. Is it possible that somebody could have commandeered this plane and got as far as somewhere like Pakistan as some people are suggesting?
WEISS: Absolutely. There was enough fuel on the airplane to do that. Whether, you know, without -- you would think that if that airplane had been over a land mass, someone's radar would have been able to pick that up. And certainly at this point, political pressures alone, I would think, would have determined that the Pakistani government or another government would have determined that the radar tape should be shown to everybody onboard.
MORGAN: But, if you know what you were doing, if you know what you're doing and you're very, very smart pilot with a lot of experience, could you, if you had planned it properly, perhaps using simulators, who knows, could you have avoid the detection by radars if you knew where they -- the most intent? WEISS: Well, I think you'd be, you know, even with the transponder turned off, there's still be radar pinging, you wouldn't know who you are, you wouldn't have the identity that you'd have with your secondary radar on the aircraft, like a primary transponder, but I think what you're really asking is, is it possible for somebody with the knowledge with some level of expertise in flying the airplane, could they have landed that airplane somewhere in that area.
Again, you know, that airplane, you have to have a lot of training to fly that airplane safely, you'd have to have the right runway, you'd have to have the navigation facilities on the ground to accommodate that aircraft, it's, you know, there would be more planning involved than I think just throwing something out and just saying that this is a real possibility. I don't know that that really exist.
MORGAN: OK. Listen, thank you all to my panels. It's a fascinating views there from a lot of experts. So, I won't thank you by name as too many of you. Thank you all very much indeed.
Coming up, one of the leading theories of what happened to Flight 370, a hijacking. I'll talk to a man. He survived a terrifying hijacking. We're going to be talking about from Ethiopia to Rome that was diverted to Switzerland. And this survivor will talk to me after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The breaking news this morning, an Ethiopian Airlines jet headed for Rome hijacked by the flight's co-pilot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How an airline pilot hijacked his own flight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swiss police are trying to unscramble a bizarre hijacking attempt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: One of many theories of the fate of Flight 370 is hijacking. Last month ago, an Ethiopian Airlines flight on route to Italy was hijacked shockingly by its own co-pilot and flown to Switzerland where the co-pilot was seeking asylum.
Well, joining me now is Francesco Cuomo who's on that plane Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702. Francesco Cuomo, thank you for joining me, you're via Skype. Obviously, when you heard about this missing plane, I guess, your mind went straight back to what happened to you. Tell me about the first moment you realized that you're plane had been hijacked.
FRANCESCO CUOMO, SURVIVED ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES HIJACKING LAST MONTH: Well, I don't know really what to say. I mean, I realized it wasn't a clear moment because there are just been emergency which we learned. It was similar to afterwards but -- and then I basically saw someone who was an off duty pilot onboard the plane trying to, like kicking the cockpit outside. I sort of understand something was wrong in there. You know, it was kind of presented to me as this happened and there's not much you can do.
MORGAN: Obviously, very terrifying though for you and all the passengers. You must have been hugely relieved when the plane landed. Do you think that something similar may have happened here from the experience that you went through?
CUOMO: I'm sorry. I don't know. I'm afraid of -- as you said, when I came onboard of this flight, I basically thought I'm not get over (ph) on it.
MORGAN: Did you feel, Francesco, in the incident that you went through, did you fear for your life when you realized the plane had been taken over?
CUOMO: Yes. I mean, we were a few people that realized that and I think all of us have to (inaudible) next time here. You know, what can -- what could happen.
MORGAN: And obviously, many people are now concerned about flight safety going forward. You went through what you went through last month, this has now happened. Do you think that more should be done to deal with this kind of situation?
CUOMO: I don't how feasible it is, something I was asked as well, I was thinking now. I don't know what could be done more to prevent sort of crazy like, you know, people who might get to these people that seem to go crazy.
MORGAN: Well Francesco, thank you for joining me, I know it's a great traumatic thing that you went through and I appreciate you taking the time to speak to me tonight.
When we come back, I want to talk about the crew of Flight 370 and what know about them. We have new images tonight, believed to be the pilot's in-home flight simulator. That's after the break.
MORGAN: Images tonight believe to be the pilot's in-home flight simulator with our breaking news tonight appointing to sabotage. The focus is turning to exactly who is on that plane.
Well, joining me now via Skype, Patrick Skinner, a Former Air Marshall also Rafi Ron, CEO of New Age Security of Solutions, and former Director of Security for Ben Gurion Airport, welcome to both of you.
Patrick Skinner, you've been air marshal, you're a former CIA counterterrorism air marshal in fact. Tell me what your instincts tells you about what has happened here because the whole world appears to be both grieved and completely battled.
PATRICK SKINNER, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: Yeah. I mean, it's unprecedented for this to happen. Usually in a hijacking, there's some kind of claim of responsibility, there's some kind of disaster. In here, it's seven days later and we're still trying to figure out literally what happened, that it was an intentional, accident, and it's unprecedented. It's unlike any other hijacking if that is what it is.
MORGAN: Rafi Ron, you've obviously dealt with some very high security situations in your career. Have you ever encountered anything quite like this before?
RAFI RON, CEO, NEW AGE SECURITY SOLUTIONS: Well, not the quite like this, but we had an incident the -- sometimes in the early -- late 2001, when a Russian aircraft that took off from Ben Gurion Airport disappeared from the screens all over the Black Sea. It took about 10 hours to realize that it was actually shut out off the sky by a Russian military missile by mistake during an exercise that the Russian Navy held in the Black Sea.
But, I think that the lesson that we've drew at that time was the importance of preparedness for these type of scenarios. I can say that within a very short period of time that the fact that the aircraft has disappeared become known. We managed to accumulate all or most of the relevant information about the passenger, about the aircraft while it was hosted at the Ben Gurion Airport, about the cargo that went onboard at Ben Gurion Airport.
And because, as you may know, at Ben Gurion Airport we rely heavily on speaking to passengers, and what some people call profiling. We had a lot of information about who was on that flight and we were very comfortable at a relatively early stage that there was nobody on that flight that could have been defined as suspicious enough got to carry out such an aircraft.
MORGAN: OK. Patrick Skinner, if you were at the CIA now investigating this, would you been pretty critical of the way that the Malaysian government and the Malaysian Airlines have been behaving in the last week or would you accept they've never been through anything like this and they are novices in the world of dealing with this kind of thing?
SKINNER: Well, I think on a public level, there's probably some frustration. But I imagine that on the intelligence Liaison level, they're probably sharing as much as they possibly can. And they wouldn't be that in frustration because, I mean, they have a huge interest in solving this. And my old employer would be working very closely with them to scrub (ph) the passenger list quickly and that was probably -- the first thing they did was quickly go through that passenger list to make sure.
I mean, the Malaysian is, I mean no country is really prepared for this. And Malaysia is relatively poor. And this is a tragedy that hasn't happened in a decade anywhere right along in Southeast Asian country, that's not prepared for. So I would be -- if I was still in Liaison, I would be very understanding and so pathetic.
MORGAN: Rafi Ron, of all the theories that people have put out there about what may have happened, which of the theories which to you sound the most potentially credible? RON: Well, I think that at this point in time with the level of information we have, we cannot avoid prioritizing the possibility that there was a human intervention here. The fact that the flight -- that the aircraft kept flying, and the patterns they indicate that there must have been somebody out there. And the way the scenario has rolled out, there was one really detail that drew my attention and that is -- it was mentioned that shortly before the event started rolling, somebody of the cockpit said goodnight.
For me, that might have been an indication that somebody was going to leave the cockpit, possibly one of the pilots. And that involves opening the door of the cockpit, which allows the opportunity for somebody to rush in. And that's exactly the point where all the events started to go wrong, turning off the transponders, and doing all the kind of things that according to the experts can be done almost only by human intervention.
MORGAN: Yeah. I mean, Patrick Skinner, that's a really good point, I think, that Rafi Ron made. If you look at that chronology of what happened, that simple good night could well precipitated of the opening of the cockpit door and everything that followed it.
SKINNER: Yes, I mean, it could be or could be the pilot themselves were involved in the -- what transpired afterwards. It's -- the problem with the armored cockpit doors are, as one of your earlier guest mentioned, once it shut, it's shut and your not getting in, either, you know, if you want to help save the plane or want to take it over. And so, it would be hard to imagine 239 people sitting there while people are going into the innie (ph) cockpit. 13 years after 9/11, people are still paying attention to that. So, it could be that they open the plane, that they would quickly fall apart.
MORGAN: OK. Good lead to that. Patrick Skinner and Rafi Ron, thank you both very much indeed for joining me. We'll be right back.
MORGAN: That's all about tonight. Anderson Cooper starts right now.