What We’ve Learned from the Malaysian Flight MH370 Mystery

If I happen to lose my cell phone, I’m assured by the fact that the My iPhone app can track its exact location in the world and I can act accordingly. One would only think that there would be a similar Find My Airplane program in existence for large, expensive aircraft carrying valuable human lives, right? When I first read that a plane had gone missing over the Indian Ocean, I skipped over the headline, expecting that it would be found on a remote island somewhere in a matter of days. As days turned to weeks however, the world lost all hope of finding the 239 people on board. Over two dozen countries joined in the search for the missing plane and Fairfax Media reports that USD$53 million has been spent so far on the search efforts, making it the costliest aviation search in history. Here are a few things we have learned about the world from the ensuing mystery that surrounds the fate of Malaysian Flight MH370.

  1.      Technology is not as advanced and applied as we thought.

On April 3, it was reported that scientists found water on Saturn’s moon. Saturn is 1.2 billion kilometers away from Earth. One would have thought that in 2014, with all the advances in technological knowledge, we’d have steps in place to ensure that the whereabouts of aircraft, especially commercial planes, are always known. All the radar and global positioning technology we have today aren’t as comprehensive after all

2. In the absence of definitive answers, everyone is an expert.

Since flight MH370 was reported missing, countless explanations have been offered about what could have happened to the ill-fated plane. Everyone from terrorist groups, Russian spies, aliens and God have been blamed. Even reputable news sources like CNN joined in the guesswork, irritating the loved ones of those missing, who were eagerly anticipating real answers. This brings me to my next point.

3.   The world prefers to hear meaningless speculation over real news.

While we were all captivated by the missing plane mystery, internationally significant events continued around the globe: bombs rained over Damascus, Russia took over Crimea and nuclear talks with Iran screeched to a halt. News outlets abandoned their better-senses and scrambled to satisfy the public’s craving for Scooby-Doo-type mystery solving. While we could point our fingers accusingly at the media for deserting good journalism, we the public created the demand for the fantasy storytelling in the first place.

  1. The world can unite for a common goal.

Considering how the world powers have been failing to agree over much lately, it was moving to hear that 26 countries were working together to find the missing Malaysian plane. It showed us that we’re living in a truly global environment, one where the greater good trumps all our differences.