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Piers Morgan Live

Mystery of Flight 370

Aired March 17, 2014 - 21:00   ET


BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: This is Piers Morgan Live and I am not Piers Morgan. But don't worry, he will be back next week to pick up his Rod Stewart albums and tell us his future plans.

But in the meantime, my name is Bill Weir and I know what you're probably thinking. Hey, maybe this new guy on CNN knows where the plane is. Oh, if only, what makes this mystery so fascinating for all of us is exactly what makes it so frustrating for the entire world especially all those fathers and mothers, brothers, wives, children from 15 different countries who have been riding an elevator of dread and hope since we all learn the basics on March 8th.

Flight 370, disappeared 40 minutes into a flight to Beijing. 10 days later, those are still the only concrete confirmable facts upon which the world can agree. Search areas are supposed to get smaller overtime. This one has only gotten bigger. Investigations are supposed to eliminate possibilities overtime.

In this case, each new day brings new conflicting crams and a host of new questions about the flight path and fuel range and radar systems in Kazakhstan and the political persuasion of pilots who keep flight simulators in their living rooms, and whether a 777 can stay hidden by drafting in the shadow of another 777.

Yikes. So tonight, we will put all of these questions to a panel of the best aviation and security minds we can find. And we have new information, a new word from the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines that cast doubt into whether they are even looking in the right ocean.

Our Big Story is of course the fate of Flight 370. And why do we begin in the country leading the so called investigation.

Kyung Lah is in Kuala Lumpur. Good to see you and I guess anybody watching the story wouldn't be blamed if they rolled their eyes every time they heard the words senior Malaysian official. They're not exactly filling us with confidence but what about the people there? What are the folks in Malaysia making of all of these?

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are rolling their eyes here. There is a lot of frustration here in Malaysia as to how all of this is being handled, but there is intense interest here.

Every single second of the local news cast is being dedicated to the search and to the investigation and to the backgrounds of all these people. Remember, a third of the people aboard that plane are Malaysian. And just, you know, look at the papers. This is this morning's papers. It's almost these entire newspaper is dedicated to news of what's happening here as far as the investigation.

So, a lot of interest, but certainly, there's a lot of criticisms about how the government is handling all of these, Bill.

WEIR: Well, included in those questions is the fact that they didn't even bother to look into the pilot's background until recently, they finally search that. And so now we're getting new information on Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his political persuasions wondering if there is anything in his personality or his politics that could lead us to, you know, suspected at something very bad with this plane.

What can you tell us?

LAH: Yeah, let me walk you through all of these. Where that's coming from is some suspicious timing. And let me lay the ground work for you. Here in Malaysia, there is one political party that has effectively ruled this country. It's like as if the republicans would have control the United States for 60 years straight.

That's effectively what's happened here in Malaysia. So the ruling party has been criticized for a good bit of corruption and that's frustrated people just like this pilot. This pilot supported the opposition party, the minority party and it's led by name, by a guy name Anwar Ibrahim. And Ibrahim -- Anwar has been really butting heads with the ruling party.

Well, the day before, just hours before this Malaysia Airlines actually went and took off from the airport behind me, Anwar was sentenced to prison. He was convicted and appeals court overruled a charge from a lower court sending it back to jail for a sodomy charge. Sodomy is illegal here. And so, a lot of people here in Malaysia were upset. So that's where this narrative is coming from.

Did the pilot perhaps down this plane for political reasons? But Anwar Ibrahim saying, that's not true, that this is a political vendetta, Bill.

WEIR: Yeah. There's a big leap between being politically active against the ruling party and being a mass murderer. So a lot to find out more about him.

Kyung Lah, thank you for your reporting, all those time zones and five-second delays away.

Now, let's bring in Jon Ostrower. He's the Aerospace and Boeing Reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Hey Jon. And so, you wrote in tonight's -- it hit the web, it will be in tomorrow's paper, about this new wrinkle that cast all kinds of doubt into the timeline that we have been extrapolating so long. Tell us about what this Malaysian official told you.

JON OSTROWER, AEROSPACE AND BOEING REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, what we learned earlier today was that our expectation of how this entire situation began to unfold 10 days ago is not exactly as we first thought. So, in -- about Saturday afternoon in Malaysia, the prime minister initially stated that the sequence of events had -- initially the deactivation of a key reporting system, we've been hearing it on CNN quite a bit about ACARS.

WEIR: ACARS, we know all about ACARS.


WEIR: Yes.

OSTROWER: And in that -- began the sequence of events that led up to the transponder being deactivated. What was not clear at that point was what information the Malaysian officials had to suggest why exactly they thought the ACARS system had been shutdown. There is some confusion about that. The defense in transportation minister stated the following day that in fact the situation was, yes, that was the order, the ACARS had been shutdown, the final call had been made by the crew, and the transponders shut off. And that was really serves as the basis for a lot of the suspicions that someone on board was responsible for deliberately stirring this aircraft very significantly off course.

WEIR: Right.

OSTROWER: But, at this point, what we have is almost 180-degree reversal saying that the government expected that the last ACARS message was going to come a bit before it came, and then the one they expected later never came. So, we don't actually know or why the Malaysian government believes that the ACARS system was actually even shutdown.

WEIR: Right. So, the idea of that someone in the cockpit, whether the pilot, co-pilot, or somebody else, turned off the ACARS, then said "all right, good night" is a fallacy because it just didn't send a beep 30 minutes later like it was supposed to. It could have stopped working because the plane had crashed, right?

OSTROWER: Well, there are a lot of different possibilities what could have gone on. Certainly, we've seen anything from this suspicion that someone took control of this airplane early on during its crossing across the Gulf of Thailand or there was some type of a mechanical catastrophic failure, some type of fire or decompression that caused this to unfold.

We really don't know at this point. We're really suffering from a terrible lack of information. Every turn in this investigation, there has been a likely option and a less likely scenario that is unfolded. At each point, when faced with those two options, we've all continually gone down the less likely road.

WEIR: Right.

OSTROWER: So -- and they've done it three or four times now.

WEIR: But again, 10 days into this, we're wondering what we're even looking in the right ocean again, whether this thing even took a left turn because it's possible that it didn't. Just before you go, I assume that many of your sources are Americans, what do they say about the Malaysian investigation and their involvement they're in?

OSTROWER: Well, there is -- I want to speak to my sources, of course, but, there is a broad sense that there is frustration there and that's not limited to any officials in this country, the U.S. or anywhere else in Europe or Asia. So, certainly, there is quite a bit of frustration that's being felt as far as the speed of this unfolding. And certainly, this is going to be something that is going to be focused on over the next several days and weeks as this unfolds and whether or not this investigation and the search can be carried out in a way that delivers results for all the interested parties.

WEIR: All right. Well, we appreciate your insight. You're at least trying to frame this with the block of salt we should be taking as we try to figure out what happened to this flight.

Someone else who has some interesting theories is a gentleman by the name of Jim Tilmon. He is now one of our CNN Aviation Contributors, a former pilot with American. Jim, thanks for being with us.

So, does that change your opinion? You were -- you, I think, were about to float sort of more extreme theory about what happened to this plane. You're got to go with that or you're going to pull back?

JIM TILMON, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Bill, I don't know what to believe. I've heard it just about everything. You could imagine it's like somebody's writing children stories without any concern for the kids. I got to tell you that this whole thing is so perplexing that I left a lot of my thinking about the details of what happened before the airplane ended up at a point, where just about everybody agrees, was the endpoint for them ...

WEIR: Right.

TILMON: ... but not the endgame. The endgame is a different thing. We got rules something to value and it's far (inaudible), it's crazy, call me whatever names that fit the deal and I'll tell you that ...

WEIR: Hey, go and bring it, bring it.

TILMON: Yeah. I'm kind of bring it. I ask myself what is the endgame. Why would they do this if they in fact are doing it deliberately? Why would they take that airplane full of passengers and roar (ph) around the skies and hide it or do whatever they'll see it doing, underneath the radar, why would they do this? What do they want this for?

Now, what would happen if they did in fact find a way to land, refuel, take off again, and then threaten the integrity of certain kinds of structures. Structures like the White House, the Eiffel Tower, the -- whatever else -- what's the name of that tall -- really tall building in that area? What if they threaten those in a 9/11 type of approach? Why would they do that ...

WEIR: And why wouldn't they have done that -- why wouldn't they have done that in the, you know, few hours after they had taken the plane. Why would they land it ...

TILMON: Well ...

WEIR: ... with 230 people onboard, refuel, and then make an attack.

TILMON: I don't know why they've done all of those things. I'm telling you that I have no clue as to how they managed to land the airplane and refuel it from a truck tanker or whatever else. I just believed that they do have that as part of their plan. These are very skillful people, I believe, very, very smart, very, very good pilots ...

WEIR: Who's they?

TILMON: ... and those who would have taking plans ...

WEIR: Who's they, Jim, in your theory?

TILMON: Who? You might as well call them ghost because I have no idea who they are. I don't know what they're affiliation with somebody would be, whether it's an organization or it's just a group of people who want to create havoc. I can only tell you that I wanted to find out if there was anything that would be meaningful to anybody, an individual or group of people or whoever else to take this airplane follow these past-dues and go following around the skies.

And if they did in fact threaten some kind of property on the ground, who would make the decision about what they're going to do about it.

WEIR: Yeah.

TILMON: You've got all of these nations involved. You've got 75 different people on there other than large group of Chinese on there.

WEIR: 25 nations ...

TILMON: If somebody has said, well, all right ...

WEIR: Yeah.

TILMON: ... somebody has said, "Well, we got to shoot it down. We cannot let it fly into the -- whatever." What kind of a diplomatic mess would that be around the world?

WEIR: Jim, your take us ...

TILMON: And so ...

WEIR: ... like three nightmares into the future. Let's focus on the one we've (inaudible) ... TILMON: Well ...

WEIR: ... but I appreciate you being here. Hey, hold that thought. We'd like you to speak around. We want to talk about more with you based on your aviation experience. We also have veteran members of the CIA, other pilots, and other's theory that not only that the missing plane could be used as a weapon, that we should be doing voice analysis of "all right, good night" and see where that leads us. So many questions to raise. Stick around everybody.


WEIR: Welcome back, Bill Weir, and for Piers Morgan tonight. And I want to go back to this timeline as it relates to ACARS. We got new word today that there is confusion. A conflicting report fancied out in the story between what the Malaysian government was saying yesterday and now what the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines is saying today.

Now, we all know ACARS, we've kind of learn that this is this system that lets planes communicate with each other or ground stations via radio or satellite.

And what we do know is that at 12:41, a local time they took off, ACARS sent its last communication at 1:07. Now, we were under the impression yesterday believing, if we listened to the defense minister there in Malaysia, that he said that was shut off, then he said "all right, good night" which is very suspicious. Then a couple of minutes later, at 1:21, the transponder goes off, all held breaks loose, and at 1:30, it loses control.

But what we're missing here is that 1:37, the ACARS expected transmission, didn't happen. So what this Malaysia Airlines executive is saying, it doesn't mean someone shut it off, it just didn't go off on the half hour as it was scheduled to do which is then this cast doubt into whether that plane took a left turn over the Strait of Malacca and went into the Indian Ocean and got pinged by that satellite which is why we're looking at half the planet for missing 370.

Bringing in now Jim Tilmon, he has the pretty controversial theory. A former American Airlines pilot that it's, if the plane is somewhere, being refueled might be used as a weapon. We're also welcoming Patrick Skinner, to his right there, former CIA counterterrorism expert in air marshal. We also have David Soucie, the author of "Why Planes Crash." And General James 'Spider' Marks, one of our CNN military analyst.

Gentlemen, first, let me start with you Pat Skinner, what about this new information? Are we back to square one with the search now?

PATRICK SKINNER, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: Yeah. I think we are tragically. Unlike any other case, there are no traditional aviation markers or clues that have been used to pinpoint not exactly what happened but where it happened or when it happened. We meddle on why. And we don't have the debris field of the missing black box. There's no transponder. There's no mayday call. No one else heard anything. So, we're having to rely at on radars and satellite and just transmissions. I would never design to pinpoint this kind of accident.

WEIR: Right.

SKINNER: So, therefore, (inaudible) understandable that there would be mistakes or corrections in the record because frankly, this is unprecedented and the systems they are using to try to find this missing plane really weren't designed for this. It was to understand the plane (ph).

WEIR: David Soucie, I guess by definition, all air disaster reporting speculation until you can actually pick up the pieces and put them back together. But, 10 days, 11 days in, are we in for the long haul, what do you think about this latest conflicting report out of Malaysia?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, with the ACARS system, that doesn't really change too much in my mind about what happened. The ACARS system is also designed that if anything else happens irregular on the aircraft, it will send an immediate signal out. So it's not like it only sends a signal every 30 minutes. That's not the situation.


SOUCIE: So, if anything else happened between there, it's still would have sense something. So, if the transponder was turned off for example, the ACARS would have sent a message saying so. If there was a fire onboard, if there is dramatic changes in the aircraft during that time period, all of that would have been recorded on the ACARS system if it was capable of doing that. Now, if the ACARS have been turned off, it wouldn't have been capable of doing that.

We also -- we already know that the transponder was turned off and the ACARS system did not transmit. So, in my mind, is just clarifying -- the Malaysian government is just clarifying that it could be that it was just sent here and it was sent here. They can't verify that it was truly turned off with the switch. It doesn't mean it wasn't off.

WEIR: You can jump in on this Jim Tilmon or anybody. If these instruments, the transponder, the ACARS are so vital, why do they have an off switch?

TILMON: You want an off switch on anything you can turn on in that cockpit. I don't want to fly a cockpit that has electronics in it that I can't turn off if that thing wants to catch fire or something.

WEIR: Yes. Spider, again I'm layering heavy skepticism into the Malaysian investigation on this sort of thing.

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Easy to do with it. WEIR: Easy to do. Yes. How does that changed? At this point, we got 25 nations involved. A lot of them don't like each other. They don't want to know each others or they'll want each other to know their radar capabilities. How do we help them help us know what's going on?

MARKS: Well, that's the key point. I think upfront without cascading its versions (ph), the Malaysians didn't embraced what was out there and what could've have assisted initially. You know, our embassy has an FBI presence. Our embassy, all embassies have an intelligence presence. So immediately, had the Malaysians embraced what was in Malaysia, the United States at the minimum could have come forward and started opening its books and it would have to assist them in the investigation.

And then at this point, you'd hope there would have been a, you know, a kind of a cascading effect of assistance that we come in, additional FBI investigators and then additional Intel folks who could come in and start piecing all this together. Because truly, this is nothing like a crime scene, and in fact, it should have been handled like a crime scene upfront so you can immediately assume that all 239 souls onboard were suspects until you took them out of the picture.

And everybody that touched that aircraft 24 hours before it originated on the flight should have been investigated, and that should have been aggressive and wide open immediately. And my understanding, at least the way it's been covered, is that did not happen. So moving forward, can you get over the hubris? Can you get over the initial false start? And can you now do that? And certainly, that needs to be done.

WEIR: All right. Since David Soucie set me straight on that ACARS thing, so let's talk about this thing and the fact that it might have flown that Northern route and the Southern route.

We come back. Another part of the story, raising a lot of questions on was it literally flying under the radar or masking itself in the shadow of another 777. That was a new theory burning up the Internet today. We'll ask these men when we come back.


WEIR: We have a bit of breaking news now from the New York Times, just now reporting that the flight 370 turned to the west from its plan flight path at the direction of a computer system that was likely programmed by someone in the cockpit. Just got in this, whoever altered flight 370's path the time says type seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee high pedestal between the captain and first officer according to U.S. officials.

Let's bring in Jim and David Soucie to react to that.

David, obviously, the American officials leaking this information share some of our frustrations with words from the Malaysian, but what you make of this? SOUCIE: You know, we do -- we have been having frustration all along and it's just become, like Jim Tilmon mentioned, a little bit hesitant to accept new information immediately as a main source at this point ...

WEIR: Smart man, yeah.

SOUCIE: ... you know. But I do think -- could we touch on that a little bit because I think that this whole investigation, all of it from any investigation I've been involved in, has frustration with it. And the fewer the answers, the more frustrating it becomes and then your teams starts falling apart. And I think that's kind of where we are now. I was admiring the team for how they came together during the search. And now, at this point, it seems like it's diverged into separate investigations with the military drawing out, and the navy drawing out, I'm very concerned about where these investigations headed at this point.

WEIR: Jim Tilmon, you want to digest this latest report that somebody punched a sort of coordinate change into that cockpit controller there.

TILMON: A lot of it support the idea that it was definitely deliberate and then it's sort of gives you sequence of activities that follow that deliberate approach giving us some feel that somebody really wanted this thing to go wrong.

WEIR: One of the theories now, since we are talking about not just this report, the satellite ping that put it well west and then perhaps that northern track into Asia and across China into the stands there. Is that -- in order for that to happen, the plane had to fly -- had to dock radar intentionally along the way.

And Greg Charvat ...


WEIR: Did I get that right? Is the author of "Small and Short- Range Radar Systems." I've read it three or four times. I love it.

CHARVAT: Thank you.

WEIR: First of all, before we get into that, radar for dummies, real quick, it's ...

CHARVAT: Real quick. So, your viewers can do this at home. You get a flashlight, get a swivel chair like this, turn off the lights, put the flash light in your head and spin around. What the flashlight bounces off of is what the radar sees. That's light through the eyes where a radar.

WEIR: OK. And our perception of radar in the modern age is that's it's sophisticated enough, it's on the border of all these countries that it can see a pigeon flying into the air or space. That's probably an exaggeration?

CHARVAT: That would be. Assuming the pigeon is close enough, maybe you can see one ...

WEIR: But what about a 777? Could it fly over China into Kazakhstan without being noticed? How would it happen?

CHARVAT: It's anything like this is possible, but to do it, you'd have to have a very detailed information of the type of radars, their disposition, their heights, and their wave forms actually pulled that off, you have to know a lot.

WEIR: So, it would be like flying a video game? Here, the pilot would have to know a certain altitude and path you could -- you'd have to go.



CHARVAT: You have to know a lot.

WEIR: When the Indian government says, "You know, we're more focused on the Pakistan border for obvious reasons.


WEIR: We don't pay as much attention to the Bay of Bengal down there. Does that surprise you?

CHARVAT: I can't speak to their geopolitical situation, you know, wouldn't surprise me a one bit, depends how much money they want to spend on it, you know.

WEIR: Spider Marks, you can speak to this. What do you think when the Indian say, "Yeah, you could probably get in here." whereas the president of Kazakhstan is saying, "We would try to shot you down if you try that."?

MARKS: I doubt that's very -- I doubt that's true. But what this really gets to is in order for this happen, I mean this is conjecture and it's bounded a little bit. But in order for this to happen, there clearly had -- we would had to have a much greater understanding of the pilot and the co-pilot. And again, getting back to who were those folks onboard and who would be motivated to do this?

At this point in an investigation, 10 days on, as you've indicated Bill, we would have a great understanding of what the motivations are of all those folks, and we don't, we simply don't. So we have this flight so fancy. We've got this company of cacophony of conjecture if you will ...

WEIR: I like that.

MARKS: ... just kind of running around out there and we have a thousand different theories. We need to bound this think a little bit and get back to what we know and what we don't know and kind of walk ourselves through what the possible outcomes might be.

WEIR: You know how cable news works, don't you Spider?

MARKS: Yeah, that's true.

WEIR: We got time to fill here, so yeah. Before we bind our conjecture, let me ask about Greg about another one that blew up today online. This is hobbyist aviator look at other flight paths in this area on the Malacca Straits and all of that and found a Singapore Airline 777 that was flying in a certain way.


WEIR: And the theory he floated was, what if Flight 370 sort of, you know, did a little slipstreaming ...


WEIR: ... got in the shadow of that and where it would pass itself of as one plane. Without that plane in front of them knowing, possible?

CHARVAT: It's possible.

WEIR: It is? Probable?

CHARVAT: I would say ...

WEIR: Crazy.

CHARVAT: ... that's a question for a pilot, how close are you willing to fly to other plane. You know, it's definitely possible you've also have to understand the wave forms used by the other radar. Are they sending a really long wave form or a little wave form?

WEIR: Right.

CHARVAT: It's little and could be very hard to do.

WEIR: David Soucie, what do you think of this one, this theory?

SOUCIE: Yes, I think it's highly possible to do that. In fact it's been done before. Mary Shiavo reported on that, I think this morning on CNN that this has been done before and we've got people researching to find out specifically when that was and what flight it was. But in order to do that you would as your previous guest mentioned that you'd had to have very extremely good pilot skills and you'd have to know what type of radar is looking at you to know how close you'd have to be. But I'm not underestimating any of these, I do think that there's foul play here.

And I'm not underestimating what it would take to have the systems knowledge to do what they've done. This is highly planed. It's highly skilled, people trying to put this together. I don't see any other way it would. So I'm not underestimating the capabilities of whoever is pulling this off.

WEIR: Are there levels of trust in terms of radar in these countries, you know, in terms of sophistication. We think everything is cutting edge but are there some pre-Soviet era radar systems here?

CHARVAT: There could be anything out there. I mean, unfortunately you can't Google radar systems in China and find out what they are. They don't -- that's very protected information. But a lot of stuff tends to be to very old, yeah.

WEIR: That it tends to be old and sometimes they shut it down at night to save to money.

CHARVAT: Yeah, I mean you may have in the meantime between failure and you order 500 to a thousand hours. You could have all the equipment where you have two of them on one site, so you could, you know, keep one going while the other one is being repaired. These are all possibilities.

WEIR: Yeah.

CHARVAT: But if you design a, you know, they did it right. They've accounted for this stuff.

WEIR: Spider Marks, what do you -- can we trust their radar? Can we trust the Malaysian Military's radar when they say, "We saw something across the sky. We weren't sure exactly what it was on its way to the Indian Ocean." do you believe that?

MARKS: We'll speak -- yeah, well speaking to an expert today I understand Malaysia within the last year upgraded their radar system. So if we can put on the table that they had the very latest state of the art, then you get into whether it worked or didn't worked based on the operator. And at 1:30 in the morning, was it on, was anybody looking at it, I mean having spent a whole host of my life during those very, very dark hours, I can understand how there might somebody who won't necessarily be the number one guy who's got his head or head at the game at that very moment.

WEIR: So with ...

MARKS: I think that's a trajectory too.

WEIR: Let me ask you this though. With that upgraded system, is there a recorder on there or do you -- if you go out to get a cup of coffee and you missed the blip crossing the screen, you missed it?

MARKS: You might miss it at that moment but all that would be downloaded and that would be available for forensics.

WEIR: You could go back forensically. OK.

MARKS: Sure.

WEIR: Interesting. Thank you so much, Greg I appreciate your insights.

CHARVAT: Thank you.

WEIR: All you gentleman stick around. Coming up, the flight simulator in the pilot's home. To some that's a red flag, to others it's just a passionate pilot doing what he loves even on the weekends. I want to find out what our experts think. I think you might too.


WEIR: Breaking news, the New York Times now reporting that it was Flight 370's computer that sent that plane off its flight path on the way to Beijing.

I want to bring in Jon Ostrower back. He's the aerospace Boeing reporter for the Wall Street Journal. So this seems to buttress some of your reporting from Friday, right Jon?

OSTROWER: Both duplicate and buttress. We addressed this last Friday specifically when we talk about the manual change that was made to the aircraft.

Of course there's a, you know, a lot of us chasing this story around the world right now. And certainly, you know, they are giving new revelations about what specifically took place here. The manual change that we referenced last Friday specifically referred to an input to the computer system actually, which either could have been the flight management computer or the auto pilot panel.

So at the end of the day, this is certainly building on the idea that U.S. officials believed that there was a manual change made to the air craft. For what purpose that certainly is up for grabs at this point.

WEIR: And beyond just taking the yoke and turning it to the left, someone punching in specific coordinates into a little keypad between pilot and co-pilot. Interesting Jon. Thank you.

Let's bring the rest of our panel, Jim Tilmon, David Soucie, Spider Marks. And let's talk about the verbal transmission, a lot of, sort of -- we're going to get into the simulator into his -- in the pilot's house.

But this all right good night, I saw some questions today, we actually got one from a veteran pilot and also an American pilot who says, "That's not how pilots talk to each other." That he would have to usually say roger and put the call sign in there somewhere. Jim what do you think about "All right, good night."?

JIM TILMON, AVIATOR ANALYST: Well, I've heard both extremes. I've heard guys just casually say, "All right, have a good night," whatever else I've heard. Most pilots will do exactly as what this other gentleman said. They will say that the source of 170, flight level 230, roger or whatever else or the -- give the frequency that he's been asked to change to. And once he says that frequency then he can be acknowledged on the ground and make sure he has the right frequency if they're going to have to change.

I agree that it's out of the protocol, but I'm not sure that it wasn't just somebody's that's really casual.

WEIR: Yeah. I mean, this guy was suggesting that they do some sort of voice recognition. David Soucie, what do you think, "All right, good night," is that how they talk to each other?

SOUCIE: Yeah, you know, well Jim is right, they technically say -- what you're suppose to do is that, but, you know, after spending thousand of hours riding around, surveilling pilots and observing what they do and what they don't do. Even with an FAA inspector onboard myself listening to what they're saying, they are casual and they're calm.

And when you're transferring with someone you've been talking to for an hour over the control area and then you transfer the next control area, after you've exchanged your frequencies then at that point it is kind of casual exchange of saying, "All right, good night," and lot of guys will say thank you and move on to the next area.

WEIR: Patrick Skinner, how common is it for a pilot with 15,000 hours like Mr. Shah to have an elaborate flight simulator in his house? I mean, some guys I suppose love flying so much they want to do it all the time, but a guy with this much experience, is that common?

PATRICK SKINNER, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: Well, I can't speak if it's common or not but I can say that it's probably not a learning in it by itself. It doesn't really mean anything. What is on the simulator would be a great deal. If he's an enthusiast or hobby, obviously he's a professional captain. He should have some passion for it. But that's not the big deal. I would say that searching the simulator and seeing what flight has on there or if there is any kind of low level or high level maneuvers that are consistent with what the radar is showing us now. That would be highly important.

WEIR: And could you -- David, could you wipe that? I suppose you could, right? If he was thinking ahead in covering his tracks.

SOUCIE: I'm sure he could, I mean it's -- although it looks very complex, it is a simple computer running with a simple computer or relatively.

WEIR: Right.

SOUCIE: But what -- and I don't think it's to suspects either, I don't know any pilots actually who have that sophisticated of a flight simulator at home, but those are pilots who have access to flight simulators to maintain their skills and their capabilities. In a little bit more -- an area like where he was from, he probably didn't have that access and was passionate about maintaining his skills.

So I don't really think that that's that, but again as the previous speaker said the information, it's in the putting, you know, where did you fly? How often did he go? Did he continually try to improve his skills in low level flying over through mountainous areas? Those are the things that you would be looking for in that investigation.

WEIR: By all accounts, this pilot is a loving father of three and a good guy. It would be a shame if he is a suspect, erroneously in through all these. But this is what happens when you have no facts.

Let's check in with Don Lemon, he is hosting CNN special report, "The Mystery of Flight 370." Top of the hour, he's got experts there as well, every aspect of the story.

You have been tweeting him your questions throughout the day. Don, what are you getting? What's the common theme you're getting tonight?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, "THE MYSTERY OF FLIGHT 370": Bill, I can only imagine what your Twitter feed is like. You should see what mine is like, my e-mail, Facebook, everything on social media.

A couple of things that we're getting and we have been discussing this hour after hour, but people at home aren't necessarily going tit for tat with us and going every single minute with us.

Here's what Cindy Cole says, "What have we been told about the absence of MH370 cellphone contact, no photos, text, calls at Don Lemon, that's incredible. And of course if you want them answered, you can send them to the hashtag 370QS, which means 370 Questions.

We've talked about that a lot on the air, Bill, about whether or not the folks on the plane have had -- did they have Wifi, access to Wifi? Were they able to pickup on their cellphones? Why aren't they using the find my cellphone app? All of those questions.

Another one says, could the plane have landed back in Malaysia and turns out they are just throwing the search off while they hide?

We're going to ask a panel of experts. We have a pilot with us. We have CNN's analyst. We have other analysts as well. We also have a radar expert who can drew down for us exactly how they could have tracked that plane and what all those pings might have missed.

This is a viewers chance right now coming up at 10 p.m. Eastern to have all of their questions answered, Bill.

WEIR: All right Don, we look forward to it. Special report "The Mystery of Flight 370", top of the hour at 10 eastern.

And coming up, a leading psychiatrist talks about maybe the red flags he might see in pilots histories and also advice for the families clinging to hope against hope to see their love one once again.

Stick around.


WEIR: Breaking news once again, the New York Times is reporting tonight, it was Flight 370's computer that led it off of its flight path to Beijing. And that was programmed intentionally. The emotional rollercoaster continues for the families of those 370 passengers.

And joining me now, psychiatrist -- forensics psychiatrist Dr. Michael Wellner, Chairman of the Forensic Panel, consults on some of America's most complex crime and death investigations. I know this. We worked together at ABC, good to see you again.


WEIR: Take a look at these pilots. Did you -- have you looked into these guys as a forensic psychiatrist? Can you see anything that gives you any information as to whether they did something bad here?

WELLNER: Well the -- we're operating in a reference point that this is not mechanical failure and a lot of signals are going to the pilots for having this sophistication. Murder suicide in the previous such incident involves a plane going straight into the water.

WEIR: Right.

WELLNER: And so ...

WEIR: EgyptAir right?

WELLNER: EgyptAir, SilkAir, two instances where you had a disgruntled employee and you had someone who is on the manifest who was a boss and someone that he had grudge with.

So you've got a flight taking a wondering path, that doesn't fit a murder's suicide. You've got a plane that by all descriptions is fleeing detection. And those who are carrying out a murder suicide don't flee the scene. Those who carry out spectacle crimes like 9/11, they want to be seen, they want to be shown, they want to be known, they take credit. There's no chatter here. This was undercover of flight.

WEIR: So what's the motive?

WELLNER: Well, what's left? The possibility of piracy, piracy of property, piracy of people, piracy of ...

WEIR: Like they're going to sell the jet and ...

WELLNER: ... plane.

WEIR: Or hold them as hostage.

WELLNER: The plane took off. I mean, the plane left the scene. You leave the scene to not be apprehended and to get away with whatever one wants to get away with. So if this wasn't mechanical failure and if it was intentional, the previous murder suicides of pilots which are extremely rare, they're lot more rare than hijackings and attempted hijackings. WEIR: Take a look at this little sound bite. This is woman named Sarah Bajc, she's a partner of missing American Philip Wood, and she just refuses to give up hope. Watch.


SARAH BAJC, PARTNER OF MH370 PASSANGER PHILIP WOOD: My bag is packed and ready to go. It has been since Saturday morning.

WEIR: And ready to where?

BAJC: Wherever he is. My son even helped me pick out which clothes to bring for him. So I have an outfit for him in my back pack, because he wouldn't want to wear his dirty old stuff anymore, I'm sure. And he probably wouldn't want to wear a hospital gown if that's the case, so yeah, it's all ready.


WEIR: I don't know that I could be as strong as she's being there. I've, you know, we all put ourselves in that position and I just wondered this up and down, where the plane is in the sea -- wait, maybe it's as you say, it's on the ground somewhere. Does that hurt these folks in the long run?

WELLNER: A loved can't watch the news because then and one would be exposed to false hope and to being misled. For a loved one in this situation, there's one thing to do, and that is pray and be determined that your loved one will come home. We saw it in Elizabeth Smart. We saw it with Jaycee Dugard. We've even seen it with holocaust survivors who are reunited decades later for assuming death. If we were in that situation, we wouldn't want someone to give up on us. And if people are captive, their captors manipulate that sense of utility that no one cares.

The best thing you can do for a loved one is to show them, you will hang in until they get final word that you're a confirmed victim. Otherwise, do not give up hope and you must maintain your belief in prayer.

WEIR: Those are the most rousing words I think I've heard all day on this network. Thank you Doc and we'll be right back.


WEIR: Forensic psychiatrists look at some of the most confusing horrific scenes and ask themselves a couple of questions. Dr. Michael Wellner, what are those?

WELLNER: Well, if you've got all kinds of facts all over the place, you look at modus operandi, victimology, perpetrator, victimology, the Malaysian people and the Chinese, and very particular and unusual who would even dare to victimize the Chinese?

WEIR: Most of the passengers are Chinese. WELLNER: Who would dare to victimize the Chinese? And, you know, in the complex operation, what country would pick a fight with the Chinese? We've been looking at the Uighurs and the Al-Qaeda, separatists, the Muslim separatist group. And yet many people overlook that the mass stabbing that took place in the train station, they extended their reach 900 miles, 900 miles beyond the Xinjiang province where they're based.

So is this an extension of reach? You draw relevance to your terrorist movement through a spectacle of an act. And in terms of the modus operandi, you got a plane that didn't fly back into buildings, that didn't carry out a 9/11 attack that had this wondering path and then took off and escape. And then lastly, the perpetrators and that's the big question, Mark, of course because we don't know really who is on that plane.

WEIR: But you look at the two pilots and you look at their ages, if we're considering them as suspects and who knows ...

WELLNER: We only look at the pilots.

WEIR: If we only look at the pilots, what do you see there?

WELLNER: Well, terrorism is a young man's game. 50 year olds, those are the psychopaths who guide them into giving up their lives. But if we look at political fanaticism, Al-Qaeda playbook its playings (ph) Muslim brotherhood has been known to orchestrate kidnappings to free its leaders. So there are reasons to follow through a many a strands and it's best to keep one's mind open about them and the others on ...

WEIR: But that would point to the Iranians with the fake passports, Muslim brotherhood.

WELLNER: And Iran and China have a very close relationship and boy, are the Chinese quiet.

WEIR: Dr. Michael Wellner. Thanks for your time tonight.

That's all for us.

Don Lemon has the latest on this New York Times reporting as well as your questions on the CNN Special Report: The Mystery of Flight 370. That starts right now, OK.