tv Forensic Files CNN April 10, 2014 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
a warm welcome to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. i'm errol barnett. >> i'm isha sesay. you're watching breaking news coverage of the search for missing malaysia airlines flight 370. >> here's the latest information we have for you this hour. australia's prime minister says authorities are confident they know where the plane's flight data recorder is within some kilometers. significant because it's the strongest words he's used yet. but search leader angus houston says a fifth sound picked up thursday is unlikely to be related to the missing plane. and also mr. houston says there's been no major breakthrough. meanwhile, the overall search area continues to shrink. today it's down to just under 47,000 square kilometers. the search is headquartered in perth, australia, that's where
our erin mclaughlin is and has been covering this for the past few days. she joins us live. erin, bring us up to speed on where the search stands right now. >> reporter: hi, let's first chat a little more about what the australian president, prime minister, rather, tony abbott had to say at that lunch in shanghai. he admitted that he was holding back some details about this search ahead of his meeting with the chinese premier. take a listen to what he had to say. >> we have very much narrowed down the search area, and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on mh 370. >> reporter: he also said that out of respect for the families, the -- the families and friends of the chinese passengers that were on board that he was
withholding some detail about this search ahead of that meeting with the chinese president later today. as for the search itself, the -- angus houston, the ma not responsible for this -- the man responsible for this joint coordination effort, issued a statement today. he's -- in fact, right now they're behind me in the building behind me coordinating all of these efforts. he said that the statement saying that the "ocean shield," the australian vessel, is continuing to comb the water with the american towed pinger locator trying to pick up signals. interestingly enough, according to marinetraffic.com, a website that tracks in real time marine vessels, it shows that the "ocean shield" has moved some kilometers outside of the search area. and the "hms echo," a british vessel, has moved interest the center of it. now the "hms echo" is equipped with sophisticated audio detection technology.
it's also capable of mapping the sea floor. and interesting to note that in his statement, houston did not specify as to what the "hms echo" is going to be doing today. as far as we know, they are continuing to search, according to houston's statements, for more pings to narrow down the search field. >> talk to me about the flow of information. you're just outside the jacc. they have been giving on-camera updates at around -- earlier, around 11:00 a.m. local time where you are each day when there's a significant development. you say they only issued a statement today. prime minister abbott on his overseas tour even saying out loud, i'm withhold something details until after i talk to xi jinping. is it likely that we could get another update later today as a way of the jacc not jumping in front of tony abbot speaking to xi jinping? >> reporter: if it's possible, angus houston in that statement this morning was very clear when
he said that he was not aware of any significant developments in this search. >> all right. that's erin mclaughlin live in perth, australia, just out the jacc coordinating this massive effort to find and confirm debris from mh 370. thank you. >> thanks. optimism from the australian prime minister somewhat tempered by angus houston who's heading the search. what we're looking at is something of mixed messaging from the australian prime minister and chief coordinator. last hour i asked two cnn aviation analyst the, michael kay and jeff wise, to try to make sense of all of this for us. >> i think there are serious ramifications to any information that would lead to a false start. what i mean by that is not just from tony abbot's political credibility but also the number-one priority at the moment which is getting closure for the families and loved ones
of mh 370. i do think we've seen over the last week optimism creeping in to the investigation. we saw angus houston's press conference last saturday. that then led to the australian defense prime minister having a sort of smaller press conference. and now we see tony abbot on the international stage talking with increased optimism. i'd also say that i don't think we will be seeing tony abbot with this optimism if he hadn't consulted with those other five countries that form part of the team under this investigation. that is the u.k., u.s., china, malaysia, and france. >> okay. jeff wise, let me ask you this then -- is there -- is there the chance, of course there's a chance, but how likely is it that angus houston would not have the same information that tony abbot had, and that was lead to this breakdown and conflict in messaging.
>> it's hard to understand personally to understand the nature of the messaging that we're getting from the australians. you know, objectively speaking, this is day 35 of what's shaping up to be the most expensive search for an aircraft in history. and what do we have to show for it -- nothing. we've got no wreckage, we've got no clues, we don't know why this was done, really even who did it or why. it's just one huge question mark. and maybe people are getting frustrated. oh, and to mention -- don't forget to mention now the pinger's probably dead. so our odds are getting worse by the minute. our only hope -- listen, a few days ago they weren't even going to deploy these towed pinger locator equipment until they found some wreckage that would let them narrow down the search. they didn't have any wreckage. the pinger was about to die. they said, let's throw this in the water and hope for the best. boom, they found a signal. how good is the signal? not very.
it's the wrong frequency. the returns they've been finding are scattered around an area that's something like 12 miles across. much too wide an area to be able to actually find a signal. these things only work for about 2.5-mile range. >> jeff wise, let me ask you, do you draw any confidence from the fact that the search area is being narrowed? >> they say it's being narrowed, but it's not being narrowed on the basis of new data. we haven't had any acoustic return in three days. we just threw out the last, most recent one because it turned out not to be good. if you look at the returns, they're scattered all over the place. they're not getting narrower or converging. it's not an optimistic picture. it's puzzle why they're making optimistic noises. >> makele kay, what's your take on what jeff -- michael kay, what's your take on what he said? do you share the same pessimism or a sense of there's going to be no significant progress made in the search?
>> i think jeff raises a good point. i don't think it's pessimism, i think it's realism. throughout this investigation, you've got just enough evidence to leave all the cards on the table. and we don't have enough evidence to take any cards off the table. and that's why we're left in this conundrum. there are three phases to this investigation. there's the where, the what, and the why. and we still haven't achieved the where at the moment. what we're doing is unprecedented when it comes to aircraft investigations. we're bypassing the haystack and trying to go straight to the need. we've never found a black box without having debris. jeff's points valid. however, i think we need to see the investigation for what it is. we need to understand that it's unusual, it's probably one of the most mysterious we've had in aviation history. we have to treat all the facts of what we've got, look at them, and the situation is we've got a situation where we think we might have located an area where the black boxes may be. we're still looking for the
derby that we haven't found and keep continuing until the batteries run out and the auvs are deployed. we better raise our expectations for the long game because it could take years. >> it could take years. 35 days in, the mystery deepens, and we remain baffled. >> this will change the aviation industry. some saying the blocs need batteries that you know -- black boxes need batteries that you know can go longer. >> that was jeff wise and michael kay speaking to me earli earlier. centuries are encouraged by the fact that they've picked up signals they believe may be from the so-called blockses on board flight 370. >> finding them is one thing, retrieving them, something completely different. george howell explains. >> reporter: once you found a needle in a haystack, how do you extract that t? that's what investigators are up against in the search for flight 370 as they try to hone in on the black boxes. >> authorities and search
operators actually found the needle before they found the haystack. it's unprecedented. >> reporter: onesce -- once you know where to look, how do you get down there, below the indian ocean? >> there's one two of ways you do. you'll either do it with a remote vehicle that is not tethered to a ship on the top, or you do it with a tethered remote vehicle. >> reporter: the former managing director of the national transportation safety board says similar types of vehicles went almost 13,000 feet deep during the search for the cockpit voice and data recorders from the 2009 air france crash. off the coast of brazil. the recorders were found about two years after the crash, long after the pirngs had died. underwater vehicles were also used to recover artifacts from the "titanic." but before sending the vehicles down, investigators must first map the terrain. a step that takes time and
requires patience. >> if it is in rocky or cavernous terrain, it -- it could be challenging. but once the wreckage is identified, the vehicles and operators have extraordinarily capabilities. >> reporter: locating them is one thing. but pulling the black boxes from the incredible depths is another. the remote-controlled vehicles armed with sonar, cameras, lighting, and remote control arms may sift through silt and potentially through wreckage in pitch dark waters. >> it can be painstaking. it can be very difficult. the -- you know, sometimes the boxes have separated from the wreckage. sometimes the boxes have separated from their pingers. so this is -- this is going to be a long process. >> reporter: george howell, cnn, chicago. this is a painstaking and difficult search. we hear that from everyone. let's bring in our own samantha
mohr here from the international weather center with a closer look at the area. what are ca-- what are conditio looking lake now? >> reporter: looking good thank goodness. we may see a shower and a few tropical scares the last ten days or so. things looking fairly tranquil. they said in perth, great conditions for those coming and going in and out of perth. it's very warm, winds offshore at 189 kilometers per -- 19 kilometers per hour and great visibility with tremendous sunshine. the search area is shrinking as we have folks on the water and in the air searching for the black box and any possible debris. of course, the search area has shrunk quite a bit. and now that main search area is just over 2,200 kilometers away from perth. also the current sonobuoys
search area is 1,700 kilometers away from the coastline, as well. that is how it works, deplaying the buoy and reaching down to some 1,000 feet where it passively listens for transmitting the pinging up to an airline or boat on the surface. the weather certainly cooperating. high pressure, a dome in place. of course, air moves counterclockwise around highs in the summer in the summer hemispheres. that will tap into clouds, a few showers. overall a very good pattern here for this search that continues off the coast of australia. you can see the modeling showing the clouds on the increase, and the winds will be up as we head into the next 24 to 48 hours. the waves, we're looking at it from around three wave heights. it cub a lot worse. we're lucking out a bit. >> we'll take that.
they said they need all the help they can get. kshls are essentially. thank you. you are watching breaking news coverage of the search for missing airlines flight 370. >>a we brought you expert and next we'll see how families are absorbing the latest news. stay with us. latte or au lait? sunny or bubbly? cozy or cool? "meow" or "woof"? wheels or wheeeels? everything exactly the way you want it ...until boom,
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malaysia's flight 370. here's the latest information. australian prime minister, tony abbot, says he's very confident that signals picked up in the indian ocean are coming from the black boxes of the missing plane. he spoke during a visit to shanghai. the ahn agency coordinating the search says a fifth signal detected by a sonabuoy is unrelated to the black boxes. search leader angus houston says based on the latest information there's been no major breakthrough in the search for flight 370. while the loved ones of passengers aboard flight 3370 have been through -- 370 have been through such a roller coaster, twists and turns, they have to respond to this new development. to pauline chiou joining us live from beijing. what has been the reaction from family members as we get these comments from the australian prime minister expressing some confidence that the signals that have been detect read from the
so-called black boxes? >> reporter: they are digesting the comments and are fully aware of the comments coming out of perth saying there have been no major breakthroughs. there is a bit of the mixed message you touched on earlier. that's been the complaint of relatives here. that was their complaint with the malaysian officials early on in the scene. they're trying to tune out that noise. they just want hard information. and as they wait, they're doing their own research. they've had days to go over this data because we're talking about their loved ones. they want to know what exactly happened to them. they've been meeting with malasian officials in beijing every couple of days. there's a team that comes over to answer their questions. the relatives have asked very technical questions about the speed of the airplane, the altitude, the satellite data, whether or not malaysia tried to call the pilots with a satellite phone. relatives so far have been frustrated with the answers. take a listen.
>> the motor team cannot answer either. and we asked them several times, and we want to communicate with inmarsat and boeing directly. i'm not sure whether they send out such requests. they refuse to give us such kind of help. >> reporter: and steve also told me the families really are calling for boeing and inmarsat and even rolls royce, maker of the engines, to send representatives here to page because the technical team from malaysia can't answer all those questions. they want to ask the companies directly some of their concerns and some of their questions so they can really try to understand what has happened with this plane. now we heard from aaron mexican laugh lynn earlier in the newscast from perth saying that australia's prime minister, tony abbott, is here in china. he's on a very through asia. and he spoke with reporters in shanghai and spoke out at a luncheon. he acknowledged the bond between the two countries as they are
involved in the search and also the citizens involved. of course, 154 chinese citizens were on this plane. six australians were also on the plane. two of them were beige -- were beijing residents. and there will be a meeting in three hours they'll be updating and we'll see what comes out of the meeting to see if there's new information. >> i've been following it very closely. thank you, pauline. many of these relatives have complained toward the malaysian government, a large number of malasians were on the plane, too, for the way it released its information. malaysia says it's doing its best to protect state secrets and help this investigation as much as possible. so many people working hard to find debris. no confirmation yet. >> 35 days. we are following another story for you now here on cnn.
oscar pistorius, back on the witness stand in his murder trial. after the break, we'll take you live to south africa for a preview of what kpo to expect. bulldog: [yawning] it's finally morning! i can't wait to get to mattress discounters good and early for the tempur-pedic bonus event. i'll have first pick from the huge selection of tempur-pedic mattresses. then, i'll get to choose $300 in pillows, sheets, and other free gifts. on top of that, up to 48 months interest-free financing. it's a beautiful day for mattress discounters' tempur-pedic bonus event. mmm, some alarm clock you turned out to be.
to bring it to you live when it happens. here's a look at thursday's testimony. the phrase "i love you" appeared twice in reeva's text. both times, highway is wrote that to her mother -- she wrote that to her mother, never to you, and you never to her. am i right? >> that's correct, my lady. i never got the opportunity to tell reeva that i loved her. >> but on the 14th of february, that's where there were arguments, and those arguments were all about you, what's important to you. >> there weren't arguments that turned into fight or anything like that. but we did have arguments, my lady. >> you never wanted to shoot the intruders coming out of the door. >> that's correct, my lady.
>> we knew that reeva was in there. >> that is correct, my lady. >> there was no reason to shoot, objectively, after the fact, as we stand here today, you had no reason it shoot. >> that's correct, my lady. >> why but fire? >> because i heard a noise coming from inside the toilet that i interpreted at that split moment as somebody coming out to attack me, my lady. i didn't intend to shoot. my firearm was pointed at the door because that's where i believed that somebody was. when i heard a noise, i didn't have time to think, and i fired -- i fired my weapon. it was an accident. >> your version is so improbable that nobody would ever think it's reasonably possibly true. it's so improbable. a policeman moved, put the device on the floor, opened the curtains wider than it should be
before the photographs were taken. >> that's correct, my lady. my lady -- >> let's take a moment to adjourn until tomorrow. [ applause ] >> the prosecution revealed for the first time in court what it says happened on the night of steenkamp's death. cnn legal analyst kelly phelps is following the trial and joins us live outside the courthouse. good to speak to you. given the back and forth, the contentious back and forth we witnessed yesterday, what are your expectations for what will happen today in court? more of the same? >> reporter: certainly. and it's very important for nel that he makes progress now with the strategy that he's been laying the foundation for. yesterday, near the end of the day, we saw him having for the first time in the trial so far set up a clear narrative of what the state is arguing happened.
his strategy to try and prove that through cross-examination is essentially to get pistorius to trip over himself in his version of events and reveal a track record of lies and inconsistencies so that the judge is left with no other option but to con cleat that -- conclude that the only reasonable inference that pistorius is telling is that he must be guilty. yesterday he managed to set up the narrative clearly. but he did manage to really make much -- didn't manage to really make much progress in getting pistorius to support that narrative. that could be what he aggressively pursues today. >> that aggression that you speak of, that you say he must display, does it come with risks -- especially when you're taking on a defendant like pistorius, that has been emotionally fragile? >> reporter: well, that aggression really is a key feature of most systems of law that we call accusetorial
systems of law. in other words, where it all revolves around two sets of lawyers who are going at the witnesses through cross-examination -- >> but it's a fine line, isn't it? a fine line that so that you don't -- it doesn't seem as if you're beating up on someone who we've seen in court time and time again unable to keep his emotions in check. >> reporter: absolutely. and there needs to be that line adhered to from aggressive cross-examination, a natural feature of our system, toward badgering a witness and coming across as gratuitous or disingenuous. we have seen the last few days the judge has found it fit to step in and essentially give nel a warning and say, look, you're stepping over the line at this point. nel does have to walk that line carefully going forward. >> what is your sense of pistorius' handling of nel's
questioning, how he's carrying himself on the stand, and how well prepared he is for the strategy by nel? >> i think yesterday was a turning point for pistorius in that respect. all the way up until the lunch break and from when cross-examination had started, you saw pistorius being very intimidated by nel's aggression, managing to get unsettled, speaking around himself in circles, and being quite ruffled. for some reason after lunch, he had managed to compose himself. when he came back after the lunch break, it was the most composed we've seen him in the trial. because of that composure, he was -- he fared far better at essentially batting back aggression and not allowing him to veer off the course of the narrative he's telling. if he can go into court with that kind of demanner today, it will put i mean -- demeanor today, tell bring a response to
the questions that nel is putting to him. >> you mentioned i clear and coherent version of events. that is what pistorius must put out and maintain during during the trial. do you feel he's provided the prosecution with any opening so far since he's been on the stand? >> i don't think he's necessarily provided them with anything since he been on the stand, but i think there have always been inconsistencies or improbabilities within the version of events all the way back from bail. it will be those areas that see the prosecution taking advantage of and really honing in on. for example example, there's always been a question mark around why he didn't hear her when -- if he had shouted that there was an inturer. surely she would have screamed. it's those sorts of inconsistencies that don't appear to make sense, that nel will exploit and push hard
hoping to get him to crack and admit that he wasn't telling the truth about this. >> kelly phelps, great insight, great perspective. we need to reach it. kelly phelps, outside the courtroom where pistorius will arrive a short time from now. appreciate it. thank you. >> he should be there in a half-hour, as soon as his begins, we will bring it you to. first, we return to our top story, if and when key parts of the missing airliner are retrieved, american experts may step up their involvement into the investigation. that's in addition to the u.s. vessel already joining the hunt. that story coming up. also, we'll hear from the parents of one of the flight's passengers who remain hopeful he is still alive. why relocating manufacturingpany to upstate new york? i tell people it's for the climate. the conditions in new york state are great for business. new york is ranked #2 in the nation