The longtime girlfriend of an American passenger on the missing Malaysian Airlines jet said Monday she is hopeful he and the other passengers will be found alive.
Philip Wood, a 50-year-old Texas native and IBM Malaysia employee, was one of the 239 people on board flight MH370 that vanished on March 8.
“My feeling is that they’re still alive. I've had that feeling the whole way through," his girlfriend of two years, Sarah Bajc, told NBC News from Beijing Monday. “I haven’t ever believed that the plane crashed."
Bajc said recent revelations by Malaysian officials that the plane was intentionally diverted gave her an extra “glimmer of hope … because the alternative is that they’re just missing.”
"We will have a fairy tale ending, and enjoy many, many years together.”
Families of many of the Chinese passengers told NBC News on Sunday they were also encouraged by the possibility that the plane might have been hijacked, rather than crashed.
“A really skilled pilot could have managed a crash landing that would be likely to preserve most life,” Bajc said. “And by all accounts, we had some very skilled pilots on the plane."
Police searched the home of the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, on Saturday. On Sunday Malaysian authorities said investigators had removed a flight simulator from the home so that experts could dismantle and analyze it.
"I’d be intensely curious what kind of drills were recorded on that flight simulator,” Bajc said.
If investigators discover the simulator was used to practice landings on water or into trees, “I think we might have an answer — at least a plan,” Bajc said.
Wood’s brother Tom Wood told NBC Dallas Fort Worth that in recent days he has also started to think, “there might be a good ending to this. I mean, we're believing there is a miracle in this.”
The family has set up a Twitter account and a Facebook page with the goal of gathering information that will aid the search and rescue mission for the plane.
Bajc said she doesn't think that she will find something that the experts could not, but “at least I feel like I’m doing something useful.”
Bajc said her faith in humanity was “dashed" at the thought that someone might have hijacked the plane, but she has been buoyed by all the support she has received on social media from family, friends and strangers.
There were just three Americans on the flight, but Bajc believes "the whole American population is rooting for everybody on that flight."
Wood and Bajc were getting ready to move from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur. “Everything was just coming together,” Bajc said, describing their life together as “perfect.”
“I’m still hoping and kind of making assumptions that I’ll be together with Philip and that we will have a fairy tale ending, and enjoy many, many years together.”