On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which was carrying 239 passengers, vanished over the the Gulf of Thailand in the early morning hours en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There was no distress call before the plane disappeared. Despite search efforts, no wreckage has been found.
Fueling hijacking suspicions, two of the 239 people on the flight manifest were not on board the flight. When contacted, both men reported that their passports had been stolen. Investigation has revealed that an Iranian man purchased the men’s tickets in Thailand. In addition, radar records indicate that the flight turned around, heading back toward Kuala Lumpur, before disappearing.
Also, several family members of Flight 370 passengers reported calling their missing loved ones’ cell phones after the flight disappeared and hearing the phones ring several times, suggesting that the phones were intact and turned on somewhere.
According to the Washington Post, “a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.”
Other relatives of passengers “said that when they dialed some passengers’ numbers, they seemed to get ringing tones on the other side even though the calls were not picked up.”
The families’ pleas to the airline and the police to track down the phone signals “were largely ignored.”
Sadly, “[o]ne man said he had convinced two policemen to come to his home Sunday night to witness the active QQ account on his desktop computer. But sometime Monday afternoon, when he wasn’t paying attention, it had suddenly switched off.”