Just disappeared. Vanished. A frightening scenario out of "The Twilight Zone" or a Steven King novella, but not something that happens in the real world. Except that it did happen.
This planet sometimes seems like an unsettled neighborhood where at all times there's always at least one tenant who's causing trouble, mixing it up and keeping the rest of us from getting along with each other.
And yet when tragedy hits somewhere in the world we all feel it on some level or another, we connect, our hearts go out, we're anxious for the fates of the victims, we'll help in any way we can.
All this is true in the case of the missing plane.
But it's so strange, isn't it? Such a mystery, so few sound details that there's little to talk about among ourselves, little to discuss or conjecture over, litte except to keep asking each other and ourselves, "What could have happened to that plane?"
For a while reports of elusive plane pings, radar blips, silent electronic communications, random bits and pieces that may or may not mean something continuing on for hours, offered a straw of hope: maybe the plane had somehow landed somewhere; maybe there were people still alive, safe.
There were two passengers with fake passports on board. The plane's transponder, which sends signals identifying the plane's location, may have been intentionally shut down. But the two passengers could have merely been trying to gain asylum in Europe and an electrical malfunction could have caused the transponder to fail.
But over the days evidence accumulated pointing to likelihood that early in the flight the plane turned around and flew out over the Indian Ocean in the opposite direction of its flight path; Why? Still a mystery. As of last night there was little hope that the plane could be anywhere but at the bottom of the sea.
And yet the news has just broken: there's a thread of possibility that the plane could have landed on some remote island in the Indian Ocean. So we still wait. And hope.
I do sometimes imagine some future cyber-historian sifting through the infinite archives of the cyber-universe and by chance coming across this blog.
I imagine him or her studying the photos and deciphering my writing and translating the words into whatever language English will have evolved into and perhaps adding his or her findings to the body of information on life on earth in the second decade of the 21st century.
And at this moment I'm wondering if, when my archivist reads over the post for today, March 14, 2014, he or she will nod and think, Oh, yes, the mystery that of missing jet liner. Amazing how that turned out.