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WSJ: Poor Coordination Between Countries Led To Three Days Of Searching In The Wrong Area; After 5.1 Earthquake More Than 100 Aftershocks Rock Los Angeles Region

Aired March 31, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It is 8:00 p.m. here on the East Coast of the United States, 8:00 a.m. in Australia and Malaysia where another day of questioning begins and the search is on again after so many false starts and leads fall apart.

There really has been so little to count on definitively in the search, which is now in its fourth week. Hard to believe. Time and time again information that has come out has later turned out to be flat-out wrong. They need to shift to a whole new area on the Indian Ocean as one huge example.

Tonight we have another. For weeks now, there's been an official line on what the last transmission from the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was and who said those final words.

Here's what Malaysian officials said two weeks ago.


AZHARUDDIN ABDUL RAHMAN, MALAYSIA'S CIVIL AVIATION CHIEF: I can confirm it's 1:19 when we got, you know, the last transmission from the cockpit that says, "all right, good night."

AHMAD JAUHARI YAHYA, MALAYSIA AIRLINE CEO: Initial investigation indicates that it was the co-pilot who basically spoke the last time it was recorded on tape.


COOPER: OK. So that was March 17th. This was one of the few angles that did not change day after day until today that is.

Our Kyung Lah is in Australia following that part of the story yet another change in information, frustrating for everyone particularly for the family members on those boards.

Nic Robertson is in Kuala Lumpur with new information on that front as well.

We begin with Kyung Lah.

So what more do we know about this new version of that final sign off? What was said? KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, you heard it from their own mouths, in that news conference, I was there. We all heard it. But now we're getting a new story.

Look at this news release that we got from the Malaysian government saying that the last transmission from air traffic control from the cockpit now is, "Good night, Malaysian 370." Read further down that news release and you read that they are still doing forensic investigation to determine whether it was the pilot or the co-pilot who actually said all of this.

Well, two weeks ago, they seemed very certain about the facts. But now we're getting a new version, a new story. Maybe just a slight variation of it, but still something new -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, I also don't understand how -- I mean, you either have a recording of what was said or you don't have a recording of what was said. I mean, I don't know when they're saying, it's not like you can confuse the words there.

What has this done to the credibility yet again of the investigation? Obviously people have been skeptical all along about the inconsistencies coming from the Malaysian authorities, particularly the families.

LAH: Yes, as far as credibility, talk about another ding. And a huge dent, if you will. Where is the transcript, everyone's been asking, where is the evidence, where is the transcript. And this is certainly not going to still any conference from the other governments involved here, certainly the families who have been asking for this evidence. They want to see it. It is certainly not going to extend any sort of goodwill to anyone.

COOPER: Nick, in Kuala Lumpur, have the families, particularly the families in China, have they -- you know, they've been demanding more information all along from the Malaysians. Is there any indication they're getting what they want?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, some of them have actually come down from Beijing in the last couple of days here, and it does seem to be, if you will, a slight stall on the part of Malaysian authorities not to rush out and meet them at the highest level and to discuss all their questions with them.

But we do understand, it's Tuesday morning here now, the -- that there will be what we're told is a high level delegation going to meet with those Chinese families to answer some of their questions.

You've got to ask yourself, though, how high level is that delegation going to be. The Defense minister who is the acting Transport minister is out of the country for the next couple of days. He's been heading -- he is the public face and front of the investigation and all that goes on here. It seems apparent he won't be attending that high level meeting. So it does make you wonder who will actually go and brief them. That perhaps has a lot to do with the -- sort of the politics of China and Malaysia right now. But whether or not the families are going to be satisfied with what they hear, how much will they be told, really that is very unclear at the moment -- Anderson.

COOPER: And do Malaysian authorities still believe this is a criminal act?

ROBERTSON: They do, and there is a picture, a map if you will, that the Chinese families have put forward that they say that they've collected from data, public data that's available of what they say is the track of the flight as it turned back towards Malaysia. And this does seem to support, if you will, what Malaysian officials have been briefing, is that the plane was flown by someone in full control of it, who knew what they were doing, who knew how to fly.

And they are saying that the way that the plane turned back was a criminal act? Because it doesn't appear that whoever was behind the controls was responding to some kind of emergency or mechanical failure. So that does seem to be what we're hearing at the moment, again. Will the families here get any -- any further details, an explanation on that? We are certainly not getting it here -- Anderson.

COOPER: The -- just confusing when you see that map with the plane basically kind of flying very erratically. Where did that come from? You're that came from families who said that -- families have figured that out based on data that was released in the media? I mean, that just seems completely without any basis in fact. Is it?

ROBERTSON: It does appear that way and it's borne it appears again, we're talking about it, look, the frustration of the families in China who get briefings or had briefings from Malaysian officials but weren't allowed to ask questions. So they prepare their own set of questions which includes a PowerPoint, which includes this map that they've discovered, details that they say they've discovered.

And they say, OK, so we've got this map, we've got these details, what's your -- Malaysian officials -- answer to it? And so far they haven't been able to put that to them. What is the basis for that map I think is going to require a lot more research to find out what data that is drawn from? What radar that it's been drawn from? Who drew it when they drew it?

Certainly when it was drawing the attention of Malaysian officials here Monday, they refused to confirm or deny it. And they also said that this sort of information is important to their investigation. The arc that it drew, if you will, of this so-called turnback certainly fits with somebody being in control of the aircraft. Fits with that criminal act narrative that we hear at the moment -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Nic Robertson, appreciate it, and Kyung Lah.

Joining me now is CNN safety analyst David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash," David Gallo, co-leader of the search for Air France Flight 447 and director of Special Projects in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, former Transportation Department Inspector General Mary Schiavo, who currently represents accident victims and their families, and CNN aviation analyst and veteran private pilot, Miles O'Brien.

David Soucie, let me just start with you. I'm confused by that map that was shown. That's clearly the families saying that they got this information from, I'm guessing, the Internet, and they made up this map. That has no basis in fact whatsoever and just seems to confuse the issue.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Absolutely. I get tweets every day about things, it's got to be here, it's got to be there.

COOPER: Right.

SOUCIE: You know. It's got to be based in fact. We've got to start sticking to the facts.

COOPER: The fact that the families, though, are coming up with their own maps and showing it to investigators gives you a sign of just what little confidence they have in the information that they are getting.

SOUCIE: Well, why wouldn't they? I mean, this -- the "all right, good night" versus "All right, Malaysia 370," you know, investigations, we put real numbers on those and calculate the probabilities, and that lowers the confidence in that source.

COOPER: Miles, what do you make about, I mean, this complete turnaround on what the final words coming from the cockpit were. Now they're saying they're not even sure who said those final words.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, you know, I -- the change in the final words and who said it, it really doesn't change the whole picture. Especially completely out of context, since we don't have a transcript. It's closer to a standard response because they indicate the airline and flight number. Still doesn't have the repeated radio frequency which is the actual perfect response to it.

But let's just take that aside. I think you hit on the key point, Anderson. The fact that, you know, here we are 25 days in and we don't have a transcript even of the --


COOPER: Right. Why not release the transcript?

O'BRIEN: Why not release it? Why not release that? And why can't we listen to the recordings? It'd be very interesting to see if there was a change in the voice of the crew member who was responding? That there may be a click of the microphone that might be telling us. There might be stress in the voice of one of them. There's all kinds of things. This has not been released and at this point the families deserve to hear this. COOPER: Well, Mary, let me bring you in here. I mean, let me play devil's advocate here. You might -- one might say, well, look, you know, as investigations are going on, you don't want to release information in drips and drabs, although technically the Malaysians did do that. And we don't want to give out the transcript.

Why not? Is there a good reason not to give out the transcript?

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: No, and in fact prior to the problem, I think the families are probably used to investigations that they read about in other countries. For example, in the United States, air traffic control tapes the actual words, that the oral tapes plus these transcripts are released right away. They're subject to Freedom of Information Act request

The cockpit voice recording is not. But air traffic control tapes are and people are used to seeing the transcript. And so last week, the Malaysian government said, well, we're not going to release them because it's secret. And it's going to be considered secret in the investigation. But then they dribble out the information and it makes one wonder, so why release this now? What purpose is it serving the investigators? And that will just make the families question what the purpose is behind it.

COOPER: David Gallo, I mean, you were co-leading the Air France 447 investigation. And you and I have talked over the last several weeks about how the public pronouncements from that investigation were handled by French Airline authorities.

What do you make of how the Malaysians have handled thus far and now this new turn of, you know, not releasing the transcript and now saying, well, maybe it was the pilot who said it, and what he said was completely different than what he said two weeks ago?

DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: Sure, it's frustrating, Anderson, no doubt about it. And the French clamp down on information pretty quickly on. It was called the criminal investigation, so they were very careful about what anybody said from the inside out. And at the time, I was very critical of it, now I begin to see the value of it, but at the same time, you know, the families have a need to know, the public wants to know, it's a horrible situation, and I don't know what -- you know, how do you -- from the investigative point of view, you want to get rid of all this extraneous stuff, stick to the facts and it's tough to know just what the facts really are.

COOPER: David Soucie, is that all the Malaysians are holding back? And I know there's some more technical information you would like to see them released?

SOUCIE: Absolutely. I've got scientists that are talking to me all the time that are -- even some within Inmarsat and say release this data, we need more information, more different -- there are different ways to interpret the -- whoops, excuse me --

COOPER: What type of information?

SOUCIE: Well, what we're looking for is the L band of the Doppler.


SOUCIE: What that would do is give us real information as far as the relative distance that that Doppler read those pings. Because now we understand that those Doppler pings are not physically saying it's this distance, it's saying this one compared to this one is that much different. So that row of lines could be here or here or here.

COOPER: So you're saying -- so you're saying just in layman terms that it's still maybe possible that we don't know the real track of this -- of this flight?

SOUCIE: Well, not necessarily that but that it could be much more clearly defined as to where that track is because these scientists -- now I'm not discounting the people that have done it so far, but I've got, you know, leading professors that actually help design the Inmarsat, tell me, there's a lot of information we could really use it, would you please give it for us. And I'm begging for it.

COOPER: David Gallo, do you agree with that?

GALLO: Absolutely. You know, the more and more I think about it, the more it seems like there's some pieces missing here that we need to have. We need to know the last known position as best we can find out what that is, and then we need to know how far could the plane have possibly gone from that position on. And I think Inmarsat's got that stuff, you know, and it's really frustrating not to have it.

COOPER: Mary, were you surprised to hear the Malaysian acting transportation minister over the weekend say that there might be survivors particularly after the Malaysian prime minister said all lives were lost? I mean, that just seem -- I was kind of stunned by that.

SCHIAVO: I was too, and it's so incongruous. I mean, one entity says one thing, another person says another, and it's like -- it's been a hallmark of this investigation. You know, last week announcing that the air traffic control tapes and the Inmarsat data were secret and would never be released. And then they dribble out information, announcing that everyone had perished in the ocean. And then -- and then turning around.

It's like their reacting but they don't know what they're reacting to. And I think at this point it has so compromised their credibility that they really ought to be looking to forge a very close bond with Australia and let them take a bigger role because I think at this point the credibility of their investigation is doomed.

COOPER: Miles, the Malaysians announced today that they're putting in place a new rule that when a pilot leaves the flight deck, a flight attendant has to head into the cockpit in his place or her place, which is something that's already done in the United States.

Can you explain just for passengers why they do that?

O'BRIEN: Well, it's a security measure. You don't want to have a single individual in the cockpit if something happens. There's a person there to assist. In other words if the flight crew goes on the other side of the door and some sort of bad thing happens, he's kidnapped, held, whatever, you have an additional person in there just to assist to get the aircraft down as much as anything. And the fact that wasn't standard protocol for Malaysia Airlines is, you know, fundamentally a security hole.

COOPER: And again, you know, Mary, you know, I've talked about this over the last several weeks. I come back to, and at some point I think more people are going to start looking at passengers' rights in terms of special on international carriers about, I kind of , I want to know now, any international flight I'm going on, I want to know what's in the cargo hold, I want to know what their rules are versus what U.S. carrier rules. All that stuff we have no right to learn at this point.

Mary, I don't know if you have a thought of that but --

SCHIAVO: That -- oh, yes, absolutely. Certainly I didn't hear my name there, but, yes. The problem for passengers is they assume that they have a right to know these things, but when you actually look at all the regulations, and this is including the regulations in the United States there are no rights for passengers to know these things. You simply have to pick your airline, you get to know your contract of carriage, what's listed on the Web site, but you don't know what's under your feet. You don't know the age of the plane unless you can look up the tail number on some of the indexes and you have very little information about that flight other than what they tell you on their Web site.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to check back with our panel in just a few moments. Let me know what you think. Any questions you have follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper, tweet using #ac360.

Coming up, the search for wreckage on this surface has his own challenges. There's a lot of garbage floating in the ocean, particularly in this new area that they are searching in. And imagine finding anything under the water in total darkness, technology can do it. Not without its limits. We're going to look at that next. Also we're going to get a live demonstration of that sonar pinger. That could lead search teams to the plane's black boxes. You'll hear what they sound like, see what they look like when they hit the water. The demonstration ahead.


COOPER: Hey welcome back. It's a little past 8:00 -- 8:00 a.m. excuse me, I should say, in Australia and in Malaysia. 8:18 a.m.. The search for Flight 370 has resumed. Ten planes, nine ships looking for any signs of wreckage in the Indian Ocean. So far the search has turned up nothing as you know. Four orange objects that aircraft spotted earlier turned out to be nothing more than a little fishing gear. It has been a challenging search just to say the least. I mean that -- to state the obvious. Even on the surface not to mention the extra difficulties of finding anything underwater.

Tom Foreman has that tonight.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. For all this talk about high-tech gear being brought in to search under the water, that is useless by and large until they complete this overwater search, which is now covered hundreds of thousands of square miles already.

Now we're off the coast of Australia. They have redefined the search areas over here several times and they're still doing it day in and day out. But they have to. Because the job of searching above the water is comparatively easy, as daunting as it is, compared to the challenges below the water.

And let me show you why this matters so much because above the water you can scan many, many, many miles all at once. Below the water even if you get just a mile down, darkness reigns and now you have to use nothing but devices to help you look below here.

Whether it's side scan sonar, or it's some kind of device that's listening to pinging under the water there, and this will only reach out maybe a mile, maybe two miles, it's very limited even in the best of conditions. So you can only scan 50 square miles, 60 square miles a day on a good day. So if you're talking about a 90,000 square mile area, you can take well over a year to scan it if you don't have some guidance.

That's why, for all this high tech equipment, they can't just go diving beneath the waves until they have some reason to believe that they have a clear target -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Tom, fascinating stuff. Thank you very much.

You heard Tom talk about the technology of pinger locators which can pick up sound from the plane's black boxes as long as they're working, assuming search teams find a promising area to deploy that technology, as I said, assuming the pingers still work.

Here's what they're going to be listening for. Listen.

That simple. That knock, knock sound is the sound of a sonar pinger. You're looking at the distinctive shape the pinging makes on sonar screens that spike that stands out from other ocean noises.

Now we've been talking about the black boxes and pingers and how they're activated almost from day one when they hit the water, we want to give you a demonstration with CNN's safety analyst David Soucie, David Gallo, co-leader of the search for Air France Flight 447. And director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is with us. Former Transportation Department Inspector General Mary Schiavo who currently represents accident victims and their families, and aviation analyst, CNN aviation analyst and veteran pilot -- private pilot Miles O'Brien. So, David, you have the -- the pinger, explain how it all works.

SOUCIE: OK. What we have here is the pinger. And this gets replaced at the C check on 777.

COOPER: Is that -- it's that small.

SCHIAVO: That's all it is. That's all it is. That little pinger. There's one of these on the cockpit voice recorder, there's one on the flight data recorder as swell. Two different boxes, and that's the battery. Now it's important to point out this battery does not keep the memory in it, the memory is already stored, it's solid so even after this goes off, if this battery goes off, the data is still stored in here. I've had that question --

COOPER: So this battery is solely for the actual pinging sound?

SCHIAVO: That's correct.


SCHIAVO: Yes. It just creates --

COOPER: And now we have -- I think water here. How does it -- how's it work?

SCHIAVO: Well, what's going to happen here, I'll place it in there in a second. This is -- we use this device to listen for it because it's a 37 kilo hertz which is higher than the human ear can hear, but it does move through water pretty well.

So what we have here is the connecter, the plastic area in between, keeps it isolated, and as soon as the water connects that little dot with this case is when it starts --

COOPER: Do you know what distance it can broadcast from?

SCHIAVO: It's supposed to go up to three miles. But I remember as Gallo I'm sure will point out here there's a lot of interference.

COOPER: Right.

SCHIAVO: You can -- you can hide submarines under just thermal differences in the water.

COOPER: Right.

SCHIAVO: So I learned a lot from David on that earlier.

COOPER: Let's put it in the water to see how easy it is to actually locate it.

SCHIAVO: OK. What I'm going to do first is turn this on. And what this does -- and we're going to tune it to the right frequency. And it's -- we'll put it right around there.


SCHIAVO: Because that's going to be close. Turn that all the way up.


SCHIAVO: And I'll see if I can do this without falling out. You know, before I point this out, I don't know if they still have that tight shot or not, but I want you to notice that it says keep in a cool dry place on that box. And that's important, we're going to talk about that in a minute.

So here's the pinger. Remember it's attached to the black or orange box, and as soon as it goes into the water --

COOPER: It's already starting.

SCHIAVO: Yes. That quickly. Immediately.

COOPER: It doesn't even have to be fully submerged. As soon as you put it just a little bit in the water it started.

SCHIAVO: As soon as -- if the water connects that little dot with the case, it just grounds it out, and that's when it knows to start pinging.

COOPER: David Gallo, you know that the terrain underneath where the search area is now, initially you had kid of thought it wasn't too bad, but it's actually pretty difficult.

GALLO: Well, initially where the search area was a few weeks ago wasn't so bad. It was very routine kind of underwater topography for a scientist to search. Now it's moved into a fairly tricky place called the Broken Ridge where there's a lot of steep cliffs, and -- fairly (INAUDIBLE) kind of terrain, (INAUDIBLE) meaning lumps and bumps where, you know, something like this you could hide it behind one of those and never hear it.

COOPER: And so the sound -- I mean, as you said in the past, the sound can play tricks on you?

GALLO: Sure. I mean, it can be bent by topography. As David Soucie said, you can have thermal layers that would hinder or attenuate the sound. All sorts of ways to lose that pinging sound. And especially distance. It may not even be close to it. In Air France, it was -- the pinger itself was at a depth of about two and a half miles so it was quite deep. So you really had to be right on top of it to hear it.

COOPER: And the pinger locater that's currently being towed behind the Australian ship Ocean Shield but isn't in the search area yet, you say it can't even get to some of the deepest parts of the search area, is that right?

GALLO: Yes, I think it can -- well, that pinger locator, the TPL, I believe can go to 6,000 meters, and that will get to almost all the area, the Bluefin 21 AUV, they've got the robot, the drone, can get to most of it but there's some pockets they may have problems with.

COOPER: And, Mary, the -- the pinger -- it's got to be towed at a very slow speed, three nautical miles an hour I think in order to work effectively, so in terms of the area you're going to be able to search, you're only going to search about 150 square miles a day, which is -- I mean, that's a big challenge for searchers.

SCHIAVO: Well, it's a very big challenge for searchers, and unless they get some additional information, they're going to have to rely on luck. Because, you know, at this rate it would take a year or so to cover the area. And they've only got, you know, a week left.

COOPER: And, Miles, I remember David Gallo saying before that early on in the Air France search, in 447, the listening device went over the area where the black boxes were and heard nothing, debris and silt, on the seafloor, it can make it harder for the pingers to be detected and gives you a sense of just how hard it is in real-life situation.

O'BRIEN: Or maybe it wasn't pinging at all. You know, that is a possibility. In the case of the famous Sully flight into the Hudson River, the pinger attached to the cockpit voice recorder on that flight which of course came into contact with water and was easily recovered because it was still in the aircraft, never operated. So we don't know for sure.

COOPER: And David Soucie, that gets to your point of keeping it in a cool dry place. And it's important that it be stored -- correctly in order for the battery life to continue?

SOUCIE: Yes. That's exactly right. It's critically important for that because as it gets hotter, it has less life. So as much as half life stored in high temperatures storage areas which we have word from an auditor who audited Malaysia Airlines, these batteries at one point were being stored in this hot, hot room.

So the auditor got in touch with them, said let's get rid of those, let's put the right ones in the refrigerator. Subsequently looked at it again and found that they weren't following that procedure.

COOPER: Wow. Frightening stuff. All right, thanks to our panel.

You can find more on the mystery of Flight 370 at

Ahead -- just ahead, 24 days into the search, time running out, we're going to get the latest from the Commander William Marks, U.S. Navy's William Marks on board the USS Blue Ridge in the Southern Indian Ocean. What he sees from his vantage point.

Plus Gary Tuchman shows us how a Silicon Valley start-up is helping with the search. Its satellite incredibly powerful, but they also have their limits. And we're going to look at the future of earthquakes in California coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Getting some breaking news now. A news tonight that paints a clearer picture of why search teams were looking in the wrong place for three days before the search area was moved hundreds of miles away to a different part of the Indian Ocean. The "Wall Street Journal" reporting this evening, it was a matter of plain old bad coordination.

The countries and companies involved in the search not communicating with each other. The search area finally shifted when authorities finally put the information together from two teams of experts that had been working separately.

Australia's prime minister says the intensity of the operation is increasing, not decreasing, even though there's still no concrete proof that the search teams are even scouring the right area. Somewhere in the Southern Indian Ocean, the plane's black boxes are still pinging. Time is running out for finding them while they're still operating.

Commander William Marks is on board the USS Blue Ridge in the Southern Indian Ocean. I spoke to him earlier tonight.


COOPER: Commander, what's the latest on the search? Will the P8 Poseidons be heading out to the search area today?

COMMANDER WILLIAM J. MARKS, ABOARD USS BLUE RIDGE (via telephone): They are with two P8 Poseidons in the theatre. We are able to support this coordinated effort on a daily basis. We intend to, if passed, to have planes in the area every single day. Our flight yesterday launched a little after noon and returned late evening. Once again they see things every day out there, but nothing associated with an aircraft wreckage, so we do plan on having it up today.

They search 15,000, 16,000 square miles every single day, between that and the other eight to 10 planes out here and the great deal of ships. We are searching a large number -- large amount of area, a lot of miles out there, and we've covered so much area. I was talking to one of the air crew yesterday. And they can confirm every time they go out, they have near 100 percent certainty that the area they covered is completely searched.

And so every time they go out, they can confirm that certainty. At this point it's just getting to the different places that we have not searched yet. But there is a lot of aspects out there, and we're just slowly getting to every single place.

COOPER: And while initially a lot of focus had been on how the new search area is closer to land, the area is more amenable to the search, there are these issues we've seen over the weekend like how much garbage and sea junk there is. How are your crews dealing with that? All these new debris in the area. It's got to be incredibly challenging?

MARKS: You have that excitement, and when it is garbage or seaweed or something like that, it's hard. It's hard to realize you didn't find anything, but you just keep at it, and keep at it, this is what we did. This is what we train for. These planes by nature are built for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare as their primary missions.

They're used to looking for small objects. That's what they do and so there is a lot of enthusiasm still. You know, the air crews, every day, they go out there and are really positive. They keep at it. They're really tenacious and persistent groups.

COOPER: Today the Australian prime minister said that the intensity of the search, the magnitude of the operations are increasing not decreasing, are you seeing that reflected in what the U.S. is being asked to do in terms of searching? Are you seeing an increase in the magnitude of the operations?

MARKS: I have on an international scale so for the U.S. 7th fleet, we're in a supporting role, every day an order comes out that's created by the Australians and that de-conflicts the search sectors, the communication frequencies, the times, and really, it's important for us to understand that we play just a small role in this big coordinated international effort. I do see it increasing.

Last night the "Ocean Shield," the Australian ship departed free mantle with our locater on board. Along with our Bluefin sonar, so that's at sea right now, and hopefully can be used later on. I do see an increase in the overall international effort.

COOPER: Commander Marks, I appreciate your time, thank you.

MARKS: You're very welcome.


COOPER: Well, again, the breaking news to tell you about tonight, why search teams were essentially looking in the wrong place before the search area was moved hundreds of miles. It's coming from the "Wall Street Journal" tonight, joining me now on the phone with breaking news is reporter, Andy Pasztor, who just broke the story. Have you learned, Andy?

ANDY PASZTOR, REPORTER, "WALL STREET JOURNAL" (via telephone): My colleague and I have a story up on the web site, which basically says that when the search was shifted, yes, there was new analysis to back that up, it also appears there was a lapse in coordination in the previous week or so, and two different strands of the investigation, one dealing with satellite data, and one dealing with fuel consumption and aircraft performance.

They were not really fully combined. In effect, when the Malaysian prime minister on March 24th announced that the plane had gone into the water, and showed a trajectory of its flight, they didn't really have the full story, and they didn't put everything together until last Friday.

COOPER: You're obviously talking about the switch from the search area, I guess it was last week to this newer search area, which they're now searching at. Not the one from the Gulf of Thailand early on in the investigation?

PASZTOR: That's correct. This is all in the past two weeks.

COOPER: It is extraordinary that the Malaysian prime minister would get so far out in front of this in terms of making this announcement, and basically announcing that everybody had lost their life, when the people behind him doing all the work haven't linked up.

PASZTOR: Well, I think partly it shows the tremendous pressure that everyone is under, and secondly, as you know, the Malaysians have been criticized, many would say properly so for failing to provide a lot of information in the past. So I mean, I think there's a sense among people who have been watching this that perhaps they overreacted and the prime minister moves a little too quickly.

Before everything was really fully staffed and analyzed and coordinated with all of the different strands of the investigation. And so what we're left with is a three-day gap where it's clear that folks were looking in the wrong place, based on the current updated analysis.

COOPER: And Andy, based on your reporting and your colleague's reporting, and maybe you don't know this or you do. Have they rectified the problem so this doesn't happen again? So you don't have different arms in the investigation not really communicating?

PASZTOR: I think it's an effort in progress, obviously, I think everyone is trying to be more coordinated. If you talk to folks in Malaysia, including a former U.S. ambassador there and others. Their point of view is the Malaysians have never coped with anything like this, but they may not have the capacity in terms of the number of people, and in terms of their ability to coordinate, not just between governmental entities inside the country.

But to coordinate with many other countries who are working on this, I think they're trying, probably getting a little better, but it's a basic problem, a basic problem that they've had to cope with from the beginning and most likely will have to continue to cope with for as long as it continues.

COOPER: Miles O'Brien is joining us as well. It's frustrating, when we saw at the press conference, they announced the change, the complete change in search areas, and they kind of just couched it in the most positive terms possible, without really acknowledging all the stuff that we've been doing for the last week is basically a waste of time, we've just been in the wrong area.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Let's break it down for a minute. You have a country that doesn't have the fundamental expertise to really run a proper investigation like this and they just haven't had that experience. Couple that with the fact that they're not used to being in an open society, they don't release information in the natural fashion.

It's normal for them to hold back. You add in the mix that they're trying to coordinate with nations whom they consider rivals. Let's take one more, that the information that they're seeking is about their military radar systems. So you can see, what could go wrong with all that, right?

We're seeing exactly what could go wrong with all that, and the fact is, frankly, that the accident of geography that puts the search zone near Australia is good news, they may take a de facto lead here.

COOPER: Interesting. Andy Pasztor, I should point out, the article is on the "Wall Street Journal's" web site just breaking now. Appreciate you jumping on the program with us. Miles O'Brien as well.

Up next, we're going to go inside that flight simulator. Miles is going to come back. We are going to take a look one of the possibilities the investigators must be looking at. The Flight 370 was on auto pilot and the engine stalled. We'll see what that would look like from the cockpit perspective.

Also, dozens of aftershocks hit Southern California after 5.1 magnitude earthquake. Is an even bigger quake on the way? That's what it looked like. We'll look at the possibilities of what may be coming in years ahead. We'll be right back.


COOPER: for weeks now, we've heard about the high-tech devices being used in the search for Flight 370. What many are wondering is we have all this extraordinary technology, why isn't there more accurate information this far into the search? And one other point, why haven't searchers found any wreckage? Satellites are playing a key role. They're powerful tools, but they also have their limits when it comes to ocean searches. Gary Tuchman tonight takes us up close to show how it works.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the launch of a satellite, which captures high resolution and high definition images, a satellite that has nothing to do with any government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a time for the air point.

TUCHMAN: It was launched a few months ago by a Silicon Valley start- up for its private clients. It's also being used to help the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We tried to use the images we're collecting to help people around the world.

TUCHMAN: This is mission control at Skybox Images in California's Silicon Valley. Where 15 times a day --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we have radio signal --

TUCHMAN: Employees check on the health of a satellite and download pictures and video including images from the Indian Ocean. Skybox shares its findings like this large white spot in the middle of the search area. Could this be part of the plane? Certainly not the other pictures not the least bit ambiguous, during the demonstrations in Ukraine and Kiev.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two million feet away.

TUCHMAN: And in other countries like Saudi Arabia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This shows the port of Jetta in Saudi Arabia. You're able to see individual shipping containers sitting in the storage facilities of this port.

TUCHMAN: And at the airport in Sudan.

(on camera): You can see how many planes, you can see here it says Runway 12, Runway 12 goes to the southeast, can you tell even which direction this is going by looking at this picture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, that's what the 12 means.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This company can't tell if this white spot is airplane wreckage in the Indian Ocean. Why such uncertainty if you can actually see numbers and words on the ground and other pictures taken from space?

DAN BERKENSTOCK, SKYBOX IMAGING: It's easier to see that something is a car in a parking lot on land and be able to determine that with high confidence and be able to determine something is a piece of an airplane or other type of debris field in the ocean.

TUCHMAN (on camera): And it's because it's water, there's nothing else there. There are clouds and waves?

BERKENSTOCK: Absolutely.

TUCHMAN: This is the so called clean room here at this company where the satellites are assembled. We have to wear these clothes, no dirt or germs can come near the satellites. This is the project manager. They have to be so clean, a camera can't even come inside here. So the camera and the cameraman are outside this room right now, but this particular satellite, the company is expected to launch this June.

(voice-over): More satellites mean more business for this company. Skybox also plans to keep taking images of emergency and political hotspots on its own dime.

BERKENSTOCK: We find these imaging satellites are a tremendous source of transparency to help humanity on a daily basis.

TUCHMAN: As part of that, the company will continue looking for plane wreckage in the Indian Ocean. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Mountain View, California.


COOPER: Wow, amazing stuff. Up next, the magnitude 5.1 earthquake that rattled walls in Southern California. We are going to show you what it looked like as it happened.

Plus the latest on the deadly landslide in Washington State where the governor is asking for as the search for victims goes on.


COOPER: A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck Southern Californians with no warning over the weekend. Here's what it looked like at an ice cream parlor near Los Angeles. Dozens of aftershocks followed. It struck on a fault that's less well known than the San Andreas, but potentially even more dangerous. Jason Carroll investigates.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friday night's performance of "Bye-Bye Birdie" interrupted when the earth started to shake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and Gentlemen, please stay seated.

CARROLL: Surveillance cameras rolling, with a magnitude 5.1 quake sent a convenience store owner jumping the counter for cover.

SAN DEEP REM, OWNER, FOOD CIRCLE: My first reaction was I'm going to run. I saw them run, I said, let's go.

CARROLL: The owner and others ran outside. A small part of the store's roof was damaged. Food knocked into the aisles.

REM: The floor starts shaking, something's wrong you have to go.

CARROLL: Customers at an ice cream parlor, the home of the eight scoop earthquake sundae got a taste of the real thing. At an apartment near the epicenter, fallen pictures, frayed nerves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ran into the middle of the street into the arms of this stranger, and we were in the middle of the street just like hugging.

CARROLL: More than 100 aftershocks hit the region including a magnitude 4.1 that struck Saturday afternoon. The quake centered around 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles on the Puente Hills fault. One seismologist have been closely watching.

DR. LUCY JONES, SEISMOLOGIST, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: When we have a big earthquake on the Puente Hills, the strong shaking is going to be downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, east L.A. and we are going to see a much, much higher level of damage.

CARROLL: While there were no injuries reported and damage mostly minor, tremors were a wakeup call, what it means to live in a quake country. They haven't seen a major one since the 1994 North Ridge quake. The magnitude 6.7 was felt as far away as Las Vegas, 57 were killed, 5,000 injured. Property damage estimated at $20 billion.

(on camera): What was learned after that happened? ANTHONY AKINS, LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT: We saw In North Ridge we need to have those channels of communication open. We need to be able to respond quickly, not just within ourselves, but with L.A. City and some of the nearby agencies, one of the big focuses that came out of North Ridge.

CARROLL (voice-over): The L.A. County Office of Emergency Management estimates there is an 86 percent chance of a magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquake hitting California in the next 30 years. Akins says the recent quakes are a reminder to be prepared. While the tremors sent some ducking for cover. His message not being felt by everyone.

JB CARLIN, LOS ANGELES RESIDENT: Nervous and not prepared.

KHARA AERTS, LOS ANGELES RESIDENT: I'd say we're sufficiently, sort of ready, as ready as one could be.


COOPER: Jason, you talk about that 86 percent chance of a 7.0 or greater earthquake hitting California in the next 30 years. There's no way to predict when or where that can happen?

CARROLL: Right. I mean, it could happen on the San Andreas fault and the Puente Hills fault. That was a fault that was recently discovered. I believe in 1999, and you look at what happened at North Ridge in 1994, that fault scientists didn't know about until unfortunately after their earthquake had happened.

So the point really is, when you talk to emergency officials, it's going to happen, where it's going to happen, they're not sure, but it is going to happen, be prepared. This weekend should be a reminder to do some basic things, having supplies such as food and water for at least 72 hours, have those supplies ready this weekend a reminder as to the reason why --Anderson.

COOPER: Medication as well. Jason Carroll, thanks very much.

Up next, a new GM recall affecting more than a million vehicles and the governor of Washington State making a special request to President Obama to assist the victims in the devastating landslide. More on that ahead.


COOPER: Let's get caught on some of the other stories we are following. Susan Hendricks has the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, today the governor of Washington State asked President Obama to declare the landslide in Osso a major disaster, which would bring additional resources to families and businesses. At least 24 people were killed, 30 others are still missing.

Germany says that Russian President Vladimir Putin told Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone call today that he is pulling back some Russian troops from its border with Ukraine. The State Department says that if the report is accurate, it's a welcomed step.

General Motors is recalling 1.3 million vehicles including some Chevy Malibus for problems with the power steering. This is separate from the one with ignition switch problems. Meanwhile GM's new CEO, Mary Barra, testified before Congress on Tuesday -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks very much. That does it for us. We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360. I hope you joins us. Make sure youyou're your DVRs so you never miss 360. "SMERCONISH" starts now.