March 8, 2014

Godspeed

About this time last night, I was reading the news headlines and learned that a Malaysia Airlines flight had lost contact with air traffic control.  I thought then what so many have said in the media, it sounded eerily familiar to the Air France tragedy in 2009.

Any sense of security we had about air travel is a false one.  No matter what the final report may show, no matter if terrorism had nothing to do with whatever outcome we discover - it remains that two people boarded an international flight using passports that had been duly reported as stolen.  Silly me, I assumed that there was some sort of database or something, since they scan your passport at customs.  Even the beleaguered credit card industry has a system that works worldwide, should you report your card stolen.  One would think that the identification needed to enter and exit countries would have stringent safeguards.

I sincerely hope that the passports are simply some sort of Thai black market thing, and nothing more nefarious.  Though, it sure seems odd that TWO people with false credentials ended up on the same flight.

As the few details have been released, and corrected, it is now believed that three Americans were on board the missing flight.  One of those Americans was from a neighboring town, and as social media has revealed today, the friend of friends, our children the same age, with numerous connections.  He was the father of two Aggie sons, one currently in the Corps of Cadets, the same year as my daughter, which makes him family to us, even if we have never met.

Seeing the expressions of grief for one man has been heartbreaking, I simply cannot imagine the pain that over 200 families are suffering with tonight.   Sometimes this world seems unnecessarily cruel.

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

Sorry to hear about your neighbor. The death of so many is sad - doubly so when it includes someone you sort-of know.

FWIW, there are approximately 39 million reported stolen passports. One story I read (sorry, couldn't re-find the link) stated that most flights originating in that part of the world can be expected to have two or more false passports each.

Technology problems ... corruption ... indifference/incompetence ... based on what little experience I have with that region nothing would surprise me.