tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 17, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
authorities. >> what we have here is really what you were you talking about earlier. we have had a war situation in eastern ukraine. that nobody has really treated as a war situation globally, basically. >> we are just now at the top of the hour at 2:00 p.m. on the east coast, the united states. if you're just joining, want to bring you up to date on all that has happened. we are anticipating comments from president obama to be made, probably in about ten minutes or so. we anticipate him to be discussing this situation. we know calls have already taken place between russia and the white house between vladimir putin and president obama. whether or not the president will talk about the details of that or not, there's still a lot we don't know. but the plane left amsterdam, heading for kuala lumpur, 280 people on board. 15 crew members on board, as well. a total of 295 souls on board. no information on what has happened to them. though it is simply, frankly,
hard to imagine anybody surviving something like this. 33,000 feet or so, 32,000 feet, the plane was flying at when it was believed to have been shot out of the sky according to ukrainian officials. at least they say a rocket was fired, missile was fired. that hit the aircraft. questions remain about who fired it, what their intent was, whether it was a mistake, whether they knew it was. a civilian airliner, two ukrainian military airlines have been brought -- planes have been brought down in previous days, one of them a transport plane. so there's still a lot of questions at this hour. i'm here with richard quest, and fareed zakaria, rick franconia. also peter gould, aviation analy analyst, miles o'brien. peter, in terms of getting access to the crash site, how important and what sort of a time frame is it crucial that
investigators get access to that site in? >> well, it's critical they get there as soon as possible. for a couple reasons. one is for the investigation. but most importantly, for the humanitarian side, for the recovery of victims. and i have to tell you, anderson, the idea that the ukrainians are going to put the stake on this that they're going to investigate this accident is going to be unacceptable. to a large part of the world. there has to be an independent impartial investigation for this tragedy. and the traditional guidelines allowing ukraine to step forward is not going to be accepted. we need investigation. >> you're saying because of the international makeup, assuming given the flight path, most likely families, guide book for
a beautiful chain of islands in indonesia, perhaps i'm going to fly to kuala lumpur would have been headed to onward. >> family members are going to demand an impartial investigation. we'll remember when kal went down, the russians avoided for years any acknowledgment of their involvement in the oh ordering of the shootdown. i don't believe the ukrainians are going to have the stature to be able to conduct what's going to be viewed by the world as an impartial investigation given the political situation there. and the family members deserve an impartial. >> you investigated twa flight 800. and we talked about this a little bit in the last hour. getting that black box, how critical is that? obviously, another crash is critical. how critical was it in the twa
flight? >> it was critical to get it, because it told us -- it confirmed that this catastrophic and horrific eventuality, it told us when it occurred and where it occurred. it did not give us much more information from that, because it was the black box was pretty rudimentary by today's standards. and in this case, i would say the -- if the plane came apart, and in a dramatic fashion, it may not give us much information. but it will tell us when and where it happened. and the trick would be in the metal, and unfortunately in the condition of the victims. they may show damage from outside missile blast. >> again, echoing the importance of getting to the site as quickly as possible, being able to recover. >> absolutely. >> the -- those victims and also the parts of the aircraft itself. >> and anderson, the
investigation, getting there, conducting the investigation, it has to be done without a hint of political gain on the part of the investigators. >> there's also the other aspect in this, which is nato countries, other countries in the region, as our barbara starr was reporting in the last hour, all looking at their radar information, satellite information, to try to see if they can pinpoint where -- whatever missile system was used, where it was, when exactly the device was launched and exactly what occurred or senior international correspondent, nick payton walsh joining us in london. what are you learning? >> reporter: what we're hearing from the ukraine and prime minister, a bit more detail about the sort of investigation they want to see happen. they've already said, he says, formed their own governmental commission. they are appealing for an international investigation, not only of this, but also of the downing of an illusion 76. that's a large passenger cargo
plane on the 14th of july, near that same area. and also the an-26 cargo plane on the 16th of july. they want all three incidents investigated together, of course, part of their broader narrative, something which the separatists may well be mind here. you pointed out this book missile system which many people are talking about. not something we have seen much of on social media. the separatists are very keen to parade their weaponry, lots of amateur video. they mostly have light artillery that's mobile, some rocket launcher systems. we haven't seen this. there is on social media and i say it's deeply unreliable, but there is a tweet reportedly claiming to have been from the donettes people, been found in some caches on the internet. a lot of confusion as to who had what. it's tricky to see the logic test, necessarily of giving a
device quite so sophisticated with a devastating range. giving that to a bunch of separatist who your relations are frayed. it's tricky to find out what happened. and i should point out one thing i feel slightly uncomfortable with. when you see the plane come down in the amateur video we've been showing, there is a substantial explosion. and it had a six-mile journey from having been hit. the point of impact right down to the ground. interesting to work out quite what could have exploded when it still hit the impact on the ground, what fuel there could still have been and any wreckage. a lot of questions still to be answered. but certainly prime minister moving forward in ukraine to make sure the international organization for -- sorry, the international civilian air authority organization, pecuniary involved and trying and assist in this. >> richard quest joining us along with fareed.
>> what could have happened, you don't need to blow the aircraft out of the sky. for it to fall out of the sky. this missile only had to hit the aircraft. >> as peter -- >> a wing, a tail plane. >> as peter gould said, when an aircraft is hit like this, it in his words unzips and falls apart. >> all the fasteners around it start to fall apart. so it's essentially the plane could have come out of the air in one piece. but extremely distressed. because obviously it has been hit by a missile. and what you're seeing there is the fuel explosion. >> fareed? >> what this reminds us is of the enormous kind of power of asymmetry and asymmetrical warfare, that you have these weapons systems that even ten years ago you would not have had. that a few people, a handful of people, not particularly well-trained, could take out a commercial airplane, flying at
35,000 feet in the sky. the fact that you have radar that can do this -- we have democratized violence in a sense and made it accessible. but what we haven't done is created systems and structures to control or regulate and so that's why you can have something like this happen. some group. all it needed was to be given this weaponry, easy to operate, and yet can cause devastating damage. >> then you look at other areas of the world where this has the potential. i mean, you look at isis in -- fighting in iraq right now, getting this weaponry, which the u.s. left behind and the u.s. helped train the iraqis on, the idea that a group like that could get a missile system or something. >> and then in that case, it wouldn't be a mistake. this appears to have been a rogue operation gone terribly awry. in those cases, those groups are often trying to kill civilians. >> david soucie, safety analyst and author of "why planes crash" joins us from denver.
david, we haven't talked to you thus far. what are your thoughts on the information that's come out so far? >> well, anderson, in every investigation i've ever run, most difficult thick thing is not to jump to the most common and accepted answer right away. there are other things. if you to that, you miss what's right in front of your face. and if you look at that video, the first thing you see is the impact and the explosion. if this were a missile, do you think the aircraft would have come down with no smoke, no trail, nothing at all and simply hit the ground and explode on the ground? i don't think so. there would be evidence of that in the air, and the aircraft would have followed it. you would have been able toel follow that down to that impact point. the evidence is right in front of us. i'm very hesitant to jump to the missile idea at this point. >> david, i want to come back to you on that topic. but president obama is starting to speak. let's listen in. >> it is wonderful to be back in delaware. before i begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the russia/ukraine border.
and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. we're working to determine whether there were american citizens on board. that is our first priority. and i have directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the ukrainian government. the united states will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. and as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home. i want to thank jeremy for that introduction. give jeremy a big round of applause. it is great to be in the state that gave us joe biden. >> the president speaking in wilmington, delaware. this was obviously a pre-planned
event. we wanted to just hear his comments on the crash again. his -- him saying that they are trying to determine whether or not there were any americans on board this flight. again, which gets to the point, richard quest you and i have been talking about the last several hours about the international nature, no doubt, of the passengers on this flight. we won't release names -- we have people coming around europe heading to asia. southeast asia and from that part of the world. this is going to have a truly global footprint in terms of those who were on board. and china, of course. not to forget, china -- i would expect it would have been an element a number of chinese
people on board. >> we heard david soucie saying -- and david, we should point out, has led many investigations into crashes, saying don't jump to conclusions about it being actually a missile that you don't actually see a plane coming down in that video. could be other explanations for that, the quality of the video, the distance of the video. what do you make of it? >> i think david makes a very good point, that you don't jump to conclusions. and that the most -- you know, every investigation we've ever known has always turned into something different than what we started with. and we're hearing a missile, because that's what we're being told. it's really significant we make this point. we haven't come up with this ourselves. that's what the ukrainians are saying. that is what people -- the defense minister, what we're hearing. so that is where this is coming from. but is there a possibility of other options? absolutely. of course there are. >> we're getting a statement, i believe, from the state department. let's listen to that. >> we have seen the same reports
you have. at this point, we do not have any confirmed information about casualties. the cause or additional details. our thoughts and prayers go out to those on board. their families and loved ones. we're closely monitoring the situation. the secretary is, of course, aware of these reports. and we're seeking additional information. our embassy in kiev is also in close contact with the ukrainian authorities on this incident. but at this point, those are all details we have. >> so you have seen the reports apparently coming from the manifest that there were 23 u.s. citizens on board. even if you don't know if that's actually correct, can you say whether you have that information from the manifest, that apparently there were 23 u.s. passengers aboard? >> we have seen the public reports. i spoke to our team right before i came out here. we don't have any additional details at this point on american citizens. we're looking to, of course,
obtain that information as soon as we have it available we'll make it available to all of you. >> for the state department speaking there, again, we are getting pieces of information as we have been on the air for the last several hours. and this is the way it happens, little pieces of information starting to build the larger picture of what has occurred here. the key questions we still don't know exactly what sort of device or what it was that brought this plane down. who was in control, if it was, in fact, a missile, who was in control of it. what their motivation was and what their knowledge was when they launched a device. were they aware it was a passenger jet? at this point, there's hard to see any strategic reason why any of the groups involved in that region would aim to try to bring down a civilian passenger airline. they have brought down a ukrainian military aircraft, two other ukrainian military aircraft the last several days. there's still a lot we don't
know. jim sciutto is joining us in washington. jim, let's just kind of review if we could the information that we have now that you have been getting. you have been talking to ukrainian authorities a lot. you have been talking to folks from nato. lay out the broad picture, kind of the broad brush for those who are just joining us. >> well, i'll tell you, the perspective of ukrainian officials, and it is good that we add a caveat here, because there are political elements involved in this conflict that would lead ukrainian officials to immediately point the finger at pro-russian separatists or indeed russia. but they are indeed doing that. and they're taking it out of the theoretical category and saying explicitly they believe this plane was shot down. and, in fact, with specificity, saying they believe it was a russian-made buk, b-u-k, missile system, used to take it down at altitude of 33,000 feet. and in speaking with them, they made the point to me that two weeks ago, pro russian
separatists in ukraine captured just such a missile system in what was a ukrainian base and bragged about it. there were russian television reports showing pictures and video of the captured weapon system at the time. and in addition to that, they criter cite as evidence previous strikes against ukrainian planes over the last several weeks, half a dozen or so. just two this week. on monday, a russian -- ukrainian military transport plane and then earlier this morning, a ukrainian military jet shot down, which ukrainian officials say were shot down by pro russian separatists using weapons supplied by russia. when ukrainian officials point the finger inside ukraine, they are at the same time pointing the finger at russia, because they say, and u.s. officials believe this to be true as well, that russia is arming those separatists with very capable
weapons. including weapons we knew to this point shoulder-fired missiles. but this would be a step up, because this is a launcher-fired missile, with a much higher range, the buk system that ukrainian officials accuse of being behind this crash. so from the ukrainian perspective, they're very clear now who is behind this. as david soucie and others have said, that's definitely true. let me share a quote i shared earlier. this coming from the ukrainian foreign minister when asked who is behind this, he said, quote, it is clear as day. it's the separatists, they have been hunting our planes for weeks. pro russian separatists have shot down a number of planes over the last several weeks.
and claimed to have shot down what he believed to have been a ukrainian military plane, and saying we warned you, stay out of our skies. it's around the same time this plane disappeared and that's another piece of evidence that ukrainian officials are citing to me as a sign that it is pro-russian separatists who were behind taking down this malaysian passenger jet. so that's their perspective, anderson. >> and our nick payton walsh getting information on the separatists and joins us from london. nick? >> a russian citizen himself giving me their perspective. he says right now they have separatists prosecutors, done and he says this is his speculation, they are concerned about the potential for a rocket attack, potentially destroying
the investigation site, something he has put out. no evidence from that or other sources at all. he calls this is a provocation, suggesting perhaps they did this themselves. obviously international condemnation of the separatists. he says himself that they do not have any weapons system in their possession that's capable of doing this. most sophisticated they have, a range of 3 kilometers in total. repeating what we have seen on social media before but goes on to say, he's heading there himself, imminently and will be there in minutes to try and work out exactly what did occur here. so a bid by the separatists, because they always do appear a functioning government. we don't know who these prosecutors are, if they have any expertise at all in aviation disaster investigation. but this is obviously their bid to try and show they have a plan of their own, and blame this squarely on the ukrainian authorities. >> obviously, they have no experience in investigating something like this.
>> absolutely. no. they're barely functional themselves, as you might call a self-declared government for more than a couple months. routine services for people they purport to govern. >> nick, i'm sorry. ukraine's president is speaking. i want to bring that to our viewers. we lost the feed. we'll obviously try to get that back. let's go back with -- to nick paton walsh in london. as we were talking about, the idea of separatists investigating this crash site obviously to the families of all those on board -- to the families, 295 people on board this plane, probably from all around the world, that is absolutely not going to be acceptable that some sort of international body with experience investigating a crash would not be able to get access to this site. >> i think the issue for the separatists, if they wish to have any sense of responsibility
in this international community calling for help would be to allow international investigators. but we're talking about a phenomenonly dangerous place. that area might be rocketed in hours ahead. in context, this civil war, although out of the spotlight because of the middle east recently, has been raging absolutely violently in the past few weeks. and the separatists are very much, i think it's fair to say, on the run. they have been moved out of their strong holds, pushed back, fracturing some say in leadership, still have many militants. increasingly heavy weaponry turning up in their hands. people asking where is that coming from, pointing certainly towards russia but increasingly when i was there two months ago, you weren't talking about regular exchanges of artillery between these two sides. it was small arms crashes. now the ren see of the war is heavy weaponry. all suspicions are going to ask immediately what kind of weapons have gone into whose hands in an area like that.
how terrifying it is when you're flying a civilian passenger jet out of that particular area when a few days earlier i had seen in the mayor's office missile man pads, taking any helicopter out of the sky. so a lot of fears about weapon proliferation in that area, and quite who let those weapons out in the first place towards separatist hands. anderson? >> we're going to take a short break. when we come back, ukraine's president, we will bring you his comments. we want to also talk back to david soucie about his thoughts and perhaps there was not a missile involved, why he may believe that. a lot more to learn. let's take a short break and we'll be right back.
get involved and investigate in this terrorist act, action. i would like to draw attention -- we do not call it an incident, catastrophe, but terrorist action. >> ukraine's president's comments. when he refers to terrorists, he refers to separatists in eastern ukraine, ukrainian forces battling, some with greater success, i should point out in the last several weeks than they have been the last several months. our jill dougherty, moscow chief for cnn, joining us now on the phone. jill, obviously a lot we still don't know at this moment. but the pieces are starting to come together somewhat. >> reporter: oh they are. but that said, i think you really have to bear in mind, this area where that plane went down is an area of very severe conflict. there is a lot of confusion about who had what kind of weapons. i've been monitoring russian media, and they are back and
forth with all sorts of theories, conspiracy theories, really, about who might have had some type of interest in shooting down a plane. in fact, one of them, of course, this is not confirmed at all. based on an unnamed source. talking about the fact that it might have been an attempt to shoot down president putin's plane, returning from an international flight. but in any case, that, of course, is not confirmed. but i think you really have to bear in mind that there are a lot of gray areas that aren't coming out at this point. let's talk about the ukrainian military. they, as we have seen over the past few months, are not in good shape. were they -- let's say they did have these weapons, which obviously they do. they deny they use them. but could it be that in the heat of battle, they might have thought that that plane was not
a passenger plane? that it was for some ulterior motive, russians, et cetera? there are all sorts of possibilities. and i think some people on cnn recently have been noting, it's very important they get that -- that investigators get in there and get the black boxes and continue to investigate and as soon as possible. there are reports in the russian media that the black boxes already have been found. where -- if that's true, where will they be sent? there are all sorts of issues like that that have to be resolved very carefully. and completely dispassionately, without any political overtures or any political concept of who might benefit from that decision as to who did it. >> it's an important point you make, and the idea that frankly, ukrainian authorities in kiev or russian authorities would be the ones analyzing black box information or even analyzing the crash site. that is something that probably
up to certainly family members of those on board this plane. that would be unacceptable, given the political nature of all this, and given the hostilities we have seen over the last three-and-a-half months between these two nations, let alone with these separatists. so there's a lot still obviously to be determined. and as peter was talking about, it is vital to try to get access to this crash site as quickly as possible by some sort of international team, international investigators, people actually have experience on the ground. it's not clear really the ukrainian authorities or certainly we know separatist authorities do not have experience in any kind of crash investigation like this. i'm joined by our richard quest, here onset. still, again, a lot we don't know. >> right. can i say, i've just received an e-mail and text from a pilot in europe. who basically said it could have been me today. flew from moscow -- i've had two
or three pilots saying flew from moscow, that particular area. which was not part of the restricted zone by either us or the european of a saying safety or the faa. so the pilots are now starting to say hang on, why were we flying in this part of the world, which is clearly where the gravity of danger was greater than we realized. in terms of the investigation, the investigating authority has to be part of iko, that's a given. separatists will not get anywhere near it. it will have to be the ukrainian government. the russian government, they all provide problems. an independent authority, that looks like it will it have to be something -- >> i'm told we're now getting new video of debris falling from the sky. i've not seen in this video. let's take a look.
>> that could be -- that's very likely to have been or could be material that exploded and went up into the explosion, and is then coming down from -- with the fireball that we saw, rather than -- or it could be, god forbid, pieces of the plane that followed on from it falling out of the sky. but my initial thinking would be it's part of the explosion that went up with the fireball. >> jeff weise, aviation analyst and columnist, joining us. it's good to have you with us. we haven't talked to you yet. what are your thoughts seeing this video? >> my first reaction was utter increduli incredulity, the same type of aircraft from the same carrier within a matter of months. >> you're referencing the other flight -- >> right, 370. that remains a mystery. still don't know what happened to it, who did what, when and
why. the other thing that struck me is the fact -- to what richard touched on earlier. this plane was -- this daily flight between amsterdam and kuala lumpur flew the same route every day. and so every day you've got who knows how many planes going over areas where there might be a shooting war on the ground. one of the busiest routes over south asia goes right over northern afghanistan, over the tribal areas of pakistan. it's almost a separate world when flying at 35,000 feet. they have their own rules, their own territory, and you can really ignore what's going on on the ground, until today, i think, as richard alluded to, maybe rethink that idea. >> i think that's a really important point. we have all flown at that altitude and, it does feel like you are above it all. you're above the fray, you're above the clouds. you're in your own little world there and it all seems very peaceful and hushed and everything is fine. the idea that a missile could be
fired from the ground, hit a plane at that altitude and bring it down is just -- it's stunning. >> we're not just talking about, you know, long haul flights from europe to asia. you're talking about a vast swath of european low-cost carrie carriers. the easy jets, the british airways. >> all using this route. >> they were until today. the turkish airlines to istanbul. this is a major thoroughfare. what we now know, of course, they're all stopping. we heard from klm, turkish, air france. they're all going to avoid that area. but until now, this war, this civil war in eastern ukraine had been violent and brutal. but there had not been an indication there was the capability, until recent days, of this sort of event.
and therefore, airlines continued and regulators continued to allow them to fly these routes over this area. >> i also wonder if terror groups around the world seeing this are suddenly now going to be emboldened with the idea, if we can get our hands on equipment like this, i mean -- i hate to even bring this up. but you look at isis forces in iraq, which now have access to huge amounts of equipment. >> and that's a very good appointment. because inside those organizations you have people with the requisite military training to operate this equipment. we have seen this in syria where rebels have captured the sa-8 and been able to operate against the syrian air force. so we may see this more and more as terror groups have qualified people in them to operate these systems. and as we were talking earlier, this system would require a certain level of expertise. this is a fairly complicated system. it's a multiple vehicles, multiple radars. you know, it's not something you just pick up and shoot. >> and i want to bring in again,
david soucie and miles o'brien. you brought up an interesting point before president obama spoke and i think it's important to zero in on it more. i don't want to give it short shrift or let views think it's been given short shrift. you said this was not a missile but this plane came down for some other reasons. what do you base that on and does your opinion change at all with this new video we're seeing? >> no, it doesn't really, anderson. this new video shows, as richard quest pointed out to me, at an impact site, you can get debris flying 10,000 feet, 5, 10,000 feet up into the air, because of the actual explosion itself. so it's not uncommon to have debris this close to when the accident happened falling from the sky. any debris that would have happened when the aircraft came down would have closely followed the aircraft and wouldn't be located at this point, because of the fact the aircraft is moving at 480 miles per hour, so
where it breaks apart, those pieces are far from the impact zone. so what my concern was at first was that we might be jumping to a conclusion and as an accident investigator, that's the hardest thing not to do, is to jump to the most obvious conclusion, and the most coincidental conclusion. so when you look at this video, though, you'll miss things that are in front of your face. and by looking at this video, not the one showing now, but the one prior when we showed the actual impact point, you can see there is nothing leading to that impact point. in a missile explosion, and i've asked spiter marks to confirm this, any aircraft he's seen blown out of the sky by a missile of any point, there is a trial of smoke that leads down to the impact zone. and you don't see that in this video. there is nothing leading down. at first i thought there was, there seemed to be a dark line above it, but that's just vergara coming from the clouds above. so that is not what happened here, in my estimation. that vessel was not on fire before it hit the ground. >> so you're basing this really
on this one video, saying that because you don't see a smoke trail before the impact on the ground, you don't believe that the plane was in any way on fire or had been hit by any kind of a missile. >> yeah. if it had been let by a missile, you would see evidence of that in the air. >> colonel? >> this is rick francona. if i described the warhead to you, what we're looking at is 150 pounds of high explosion fragmentation warhead, proximity fused, would that change your opinion at all? >> i don't know what you're even talking about. why would that have anything to do with this? >> no. i'm saying, if what struck the aircraft was a 150-pound warhead that was radar-fused to go off in the neighborhood of it, would that change your opinion? >> so you're saying, rather than a missile that actually struck the aircraft, and this is an actual device, you're saying -- >> you're talking about a
delayed explosion that was implanted? >> no, i'm talking about the warhead on the suspected missile, the alleged missile that would have hit this. it's 150 pounds and high explosion with fragmentation, and it's a radar proximity fuse. so would that give you the same kind of characteristic you were describing? >> well, certainly would. first of all, you're talking about implanting the head of that warhead missile into an aircraft flying at 32,000 feet flying at 480 knots. so it would have to have gotten into the aircraft and exploded later? is that what you're trying to say? if it impacts the aircraft at all in the air, then it would cause a fire on board that aircraft. there is no way it wouldn't. >> rick, you're saying you don't think that's necessarily the case. >> no, i'm not explaining this correctly, i guess. no, what i'm saying -- >> you must not be hearing. i'm sorry, rick. >> go ahead and explain what you believe what might have happened with the missile. >> if this was the buk missile
that everybody is talking about, the standard warhead on that missile is set to go off in the proximity of the aircraft, not just strike the aircraft. >> so doesn't actually hit the aircraft. >> it's not a kinetic hit. and what -- it's about 150 pounds of practicing mentation. >> and so you're saying -- >> i don't know what kind of damage that would cause to that aircra aircraft, but would that give that kind of signature you were talking about? >> well, maybe i could compare that to just an engine that has titanium parts. when that engine comes apart, and let's look at sioux city, for example. when that engine comes apart, you're sending fragmentation, at least that much. but it does impact the aircraft. anywhere on that aircraft, even if it's an impact like you're talking about away from the aircraft and not through the aircraft, it would cause something to make the aircraft go down. unless it was an electro magnetic pulse or something that was caused by it, it would have shut down all the electricelca systems and thereby the aircraft could have glided down. but in this case, to me, it's
just suspect. i'm not saying it's not a missile, rick. i'm just saying it's suspect to me, because if there is something significant enough in a missile or any kind of impact to that aircraft, it would have caused some sort of fire on board, whether it was a true impact or whether it was radar exploded like you said. either way, something to bring the aircraft down would have started some kind of smoke, some kind of fire, if the engines were out, in my mind. of course, i'm not a military expert such as you. >> jeff, your thoughts. >> i wanted to point out there is a bit of a historical precedent here, 1983, soviet fighter shot down a korean airlines 747. and in this case you saw the plane stay aloft for a while. the pilots lost control of the tail so weren't able to maintain the correct pitch and went one up and down and eventually crash. >> miles o'brien joining us, aviation analyst. what do you make of david's thoughts? and, again, david raises i think the most important point here,
that for -- as an investigator, which david is, you don't want to speculate, you don't want to go into it, you don't want to rule anything out at this stage. >> yeah. and that's the most important point here. what -- you just have to systematically go through this. we have plenty of evidence. there was an in-flight break-up here. we have seen pieces of wreckage in other locations that do not -- they're not impacted by fire or explosion. we see that streaming down wreckage, which is hauntingly similar to the footage you see after the explosion of the "challenger" which we have all seen many times. so in flight, something happened here. it broke up. was it an explosion on board or was it an explosion from the ground that came up in proximity? this is a radar-guided device that is most suspect at the moment. the buk. because it has the range to reach that altitude, about 30 miles disk horizontal range. if that particular device, which is designed to explode in
proximity, guided by radar, not the heat of the engines. a heat-seeker will go to the engine and you'll get exactly what david is talking about. but if it in fact exploded in proximity of the tail, you would not necessarily get a fire on the aircraft, but you certainly would lose control of the aircraft, it would break up in-flight. it would match everything we're seeing here. but going back to what david said, putting blinders on at this stage, is not a good idea at all. i think we have plenty of evidence right now on the ground, and there will be concrete evidence, to find out if the explosion happened internally, blew outward or broke up from something -- an external force. that kind of information will be there, will be available. one thing that's important, we should take a look at a 30-mile disk around where this happened and see if there are military installations there, see if there are buk missile launchers. they're mobile, but nevertheless, we have a lot of assets trained in this area. we can probably find out where this was -- where this all
originated from, if, indeed, it did come from the ground. these are all answerable questions. very important that we make sure the ukrainians follow through on their statement earlier to make this transparent, objective and international in nature. it cannot be just a ukrainian investigation. >> no doubt about that, richard. >> none whatsoever. absolutely not. it would be unthinkable. i mean, first of all, you're going to have rolls-royce involved, because it's their engines. then the ntsb, because the plane was made in the united states. state of manufacture, state of design. but ultimately, you're going to have to have credibility. and that's only going to come from a major investigation. one thing, just to say -- anderson, delta air lines has just put a statement, if i may. out of an abundance of caution, delta says, delta is not routing flights through ukrainian air space and monitoring the situation. the flight was not a co chair with delta. delta doesn't operate over the region. >> it is extraordinary, though.
and you know, i fly as much as anyone and i don't know why i hadn't thought of this previously. but the idea that planes would have been flying over this part of ukraine all this time for the last three-and-a-half months seems now, of course, like an extraordinary lapse. >> when you have a full-scale war like the iraq war or the iran-iraq war or equakuwait, yo avoid it. planes went miles out of the way, to avoid, because they knew military with the most sophisticated hardware was at battle there. but this -- as fareed was saying, this has been a battle -- small arms fire that's escalated and people have sort of -- and a few warnings over crimea when russia was seeming to be directly involved. but now you have had this part in the eastern part of ukraine. no one has really realized the severity and the sliding slope of violence that's taken place until this terrifically awful
event. >> jim acosta joining us with some more information on communication i think between russia and u.s. jim, what are you hearing? >> reporter: actually, anderson, want to point out the vice president traveling in detroit today just got off the phone, according to the white house, with ukrainian president, petro poroshenko. he's offering assistance to the ukrainians, obviously, to determine what happened in that plane crash. but also want to point out that vice president biden has been on the phone with poroshenko four times in the last couple weeks, president obama's point man when it it comes to dealing with ukrainians during these series of phone calls between biden and poroshenko on the ukrainian-russian border. they also want to point out what
may or may not have caused the crash of that plane. i did talk to a senior admirable official just moments ago who said, listen, at this point, we don't have anything to add to the remarks made so far by the president. you saw what the president said earlier in delaware. his remarks about the plane only lasted 38 seconds. anderson, i think that indicates that this white house at this point is trying to be very, very cautious. not jumping to any conclusions and really just trying to get the details straight before coming out with more information, anderson. >> certainly, as we thshould. we're going to take a quick break. we have more information about the black box when we come back. we'll be right back. this is kathleen. setting up the perfect wedding day begins with arthritis pain and two pills. afternoon arrives and feeling good, but her knee pain returns... that's two more pills. the evening's event brings laughter, joy, and more pain... when jamie says... what's that like six pills today? yeah... i can take 2 aleve for all day relief. really, and...
nick, what are you hearing? >> reporter: i've just spoken again to the self declared security council of the separatists and the donetsk people's republic. he checked with the people armed the self declared prime minister of the separatists and confirmed they do not have the black box. there had been reports on twitter, suggestions it was in their possession. he said if they did, they would say so. that's what he's telling us. he said if they do get their hands on and he said there are people on the ground conducting preliminary investigations while they say under the threat or fear of potential rocket attack by the ukrainian military. of if they get their hands on the black box, they want to give it over to international investigators and want a transparent international investigation about what happened. but it's key here at this point. we don't know the whereabouts of this black box. that's what everybody is going to need to pore over to work out how on earth this did happen. this man says he's en route to the crash site at the moment. and just to be clear, this is a key figure around the leadership here.
if that black box was in separatist possession in such a way this could be handed over to international investigators and not just squirrelled away in part of the local population, i think it's clear he would know. and at this point, they're saying they don't have it. where it is, still a thinks tree, anderson. >> and an hour or two ago it was reported the black box had been found. that's not what this man is saying. is it clear exactly, though, nick, who is in control of the crash site and also how widespread the crash site is? they talk about wanting an international team. would they allow access to ukrainian authorities, to russian authorities? is there any -- have they had any communication, to your knowledge, with any kind of international body at this point? >> reporter: no, i think, actually, using the media in many ways to communicate what they want. they want international investigators and that's clearly not the ukrainians in allowing those international investigators here and doesn't mention russia, too.
the relations have been frayed. they consider themselves abandoned by russia. a separate story. they want international investigators, they say, and they will provide access. but they say their people, self-declared prosecutors were the republic, no idea who they are, they are at the site of the investigation now, doing their preliminary investigations. we have seen lots of social media traffic, locals poring over the wreckage, moving around there, from the crash site. this man part of the prime minister's self declared prime minister of the donetsk people's republic, key aid, and they say when they get to the site, they're going to try and find out more information. the key thing, they don't have the black box right now. although they appear to have people on the site. they say they're worried about being hit by ukrainian rockets. no evidence to back that up but that's part of their narrative to suggest they're working under difficult conditions as well. this is a brutal war with lots of weapons used in the last two
weeks, anderson. >> bob baer joining us, as well. bob, when you hear about some local prosecutors from a separatist group headed toward the crash site for their own investigation, the idea of, you know, people kind of combing over this crash site without really any experience in doing this, that raises all sorts of questions. >> reporter: anderson, i don't trust anybody in this. the russians, the ukrainians or the separatists. we're not going to get a clear version on it, authoritative version. we clearly need investigators on the ground. but right now, the people who know best what happened there is russian intelligence. i just don't think we're going to hear an honest account out of them. but i think at some level the russians are culpable, simply because they're sending so many weapons into eastern ukraine that, you know, this is almost inevitable this would happen. but the russians are just not cooperating. >> you're saying whether or not they were manning this -- a
weapons system, whether if, in fact, it was a missile that brought down this plane, even if there were no russian personnel there or involved or pressing the button to launch, you're saying they're culpable because of the entry of the weapons systems into this region. >> exactly. i don't think the russians brought this airplane down. i think that's a conspiracy theory we shouldn't entertain. i think when you send these weapons in, sophisticated and trained people, which are clearly coming across the border from russia, this shouldn't come as a surprise. and what i can't understand is why civilian airliners were flying over this area, which is just a huge error on their part. >> certainly seems that way. and richard quest, we have been talking about that here, along with lieutenant colonel rick francona and jeff weise, aviation analyst. again, the absurdity of the idea of local prosecutors taking
taxis or cars to the crash site to comb over the wreckage, that's the last thing you want on a crash site. >> first of all, it's extremely dangerous. i mean, there are chemicals, there are pieces of giant metal. it is wickedly dangerous. frankly. for anybody not in the most experienced form to be going over the wreckage. secondly, you could do terrible damage to preserving the information that's there. >> the black box will be important in this case, but so will that wreckage. they will be able to tell from that wreckage what happened. and finally, this is an exceptionally complex area of aviation analysis, and investigation. it's going to have to -- even the ukrainians would be hard-pushed to investigate this. under the old regimes. the russians could do it but there's questions about the transparency of the investigation. >> right. >> so the whole thing is fraught with operational difficulties.
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that's why i drink the champagne of beers. welcome back to our continuing coverage of the malaysian flight crashing with 290 souls on board. no information yet on who was on board the aircraft. obviously, the notification of families is a crucial component of all this. and obviously it's made all the more complicated by the international nature of this flight, a flight which left amsterdam heading for kuala lumpur, a flight which obviously had people connecting from other european capitals, as well. an unknown number of americans on board this flight, as well. still a lot to learn about the human side of this tragedy, which is why we have been focusing so much on the strategic and the military aspect, exactly who brought down this aircraft, if, in fact, it was some sort of a missile fired at the aircraft. chad myers has more information on who else was flying in this
region at the time. chad, what are you learning? >> just in this little area here, i'll take you into the area, donetsk and to the red zone, that circle right there, that would be the crash site. this is the malaysian air number 17, one of the last pings we get here from flight radar, 24. 21 other planes on this map at this time. i will slide you ahead to right now and we will see that very, very few planes are even close within this area, and at this point right here, obviously where anything happened, 200 miles in radius, not a single plane there at all. and let me show live what's going on. all the planes that were flying through this air space on 980 or 991, the airways we're talking about, all now well down to the south over romania, hungary, slovakia, avoiding that ukrainian air space. anderson. >> still so unimaginable to think about all those planes for so long over the last three,
three-and-a-half months of this conflict flying over that region. again, just something that really internationally there hadn't been given too much thought to, other than the faa, which had stopped u.s. planes from flying over crimea. >> and the europeans. the europeans, along with the faa, they had stopped people flying or aircraft flying over crimea and the black sea because that a potential battle after the referendum. >> we're talking three months ago. >> right. but this further area north, no one had quite grasped the severity of this and the pilots i've been speaking to this morning say they have been concerned for some time flying over ukraine knowing there was a real risk of something happening in that area. in terms of what happens now, well, this area will be avoided by airlines. we're already seeing that left, right and center. but it wasn't part, anderson -- this wasn't part of the current
restricted zone at the moment. >> still so many questions to be answered. and there's going to be a lot of finger-pointing over the next several hours, days and even weeks as this investigation begins to intensify. let's take a -- kind of a look back now at all we know. at the top of the hour, thank you very much for joining us, it is 3:00 here on the east coast of the united states. we are following breaking news this hour. right now it is 10:00 p.m. in ukraine where earlier today the horrifying scene was captured on camera, the moment a passenger jet falls from the sky, exploding on impact. the tragedy without a doubt. but was it an accident? right now it appears very likely this plane may have been intentionally shot down over eastern ukraine. we don't know for sure. there's a lot we don't know. here's what we know right now. this was malaysian airlines flight a boeing 777 traveling from amsterdam to kuala lumpur in malaysian. on board, 295 people, 280 of