US Officials: Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane’s Turns Suggest Control of Aircraft


The plane vanished early Saturday about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur and heading for Beijing. It disappeared from radar at 1:30 a.m. local time. After searching intently east of Malaysia in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, much of the attention has shifted hundreds of miles west in the Strait of Malacca and the Indian Ocean. Officials believe it may have flown west because Malaysian military radar picked up a signal after the jetliner disappeared and they believe it may have been flight MH370.

“I will be the happiest person if we can confirm that [the military radar blip] is MH 370 because then we could move all our assets to the Strait of Malacca. But at this time we cannot do that,” Hishammuddin said today.

Investigators are trying to retrieve data from the satellites that had been pinged by the missing airliner in the hopes that those contacts might aid in plotting the plane's final position.

Vietnamese officials added some detail to the plane's mystery today by telling ABC News that when flight MH370 left Malaysian airspace and failed to make contact with Vietnamese air traffic controllers, the Vietnamese asked another plane in the area that was heading to Japan to contact MH370.

The Japan-bound plane reported back to the Vietnamese controllers that when it reached MH370 only a “buzz signal” came back, but no voices. And then the signal went dead. The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not say what time that contact was made.

The destroyer USS Kidd arrived in the northwestern section of the Strait of Malacca today to help search that vast expanse of sea.

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