The girlfriend of an American passenger aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken of her heartache, saying families have no confidence in the investigation because “something is being covered up.”
As relatives marked the six month anniversary of the Boeing 777’s disappearance Monday, Sarah Bajc told NBC News she believes that there “are active steps being taken to interfere with finding the plane.”
Bajc is among 350 family members of passengers aboard the missing jet who have demanded raw data be released for independent analysis amid questions about how the investigation has been conducted. She was preparing to move from Beijing to live with passenger Philip Wood, a 50-year-old Texas native and IBM Malaysia employee, in Kuala Lumpur at the time of the tragedy.
“Our opinion, the family members’ opinion, has been the same since the very beginning that we need an independent investigating group who has access to all the native information, so including military radar records, to be able to go back and start the investigation from the beginning to see if we can find out what happened,” she said.
“I think that if the existing investigation team is left in charge … we may not ever find the plane. Because I believe there are active steps being taken to interfere with finding the plane,” she said,
Asked what she meant, Bajc said she wasn’t sure. “Failure to release information - whether its obfuscation, you know, actually covering something up - or dishonesty… creating false evidence or just hiding something, right? We don’t know why or what is being covered up, but something is being covered up.”
She said the Australian investigators, who have been working alongside the Malaysian team to find the jet in its presumed location in the southern Indian Ocean, “should be very embarrassed by their behavior so far,” adding: “They pursued a path of underwater pings long after it was very clear they weren’t accurate. They have not had the strength of will to force Malaysia to open up all if its records.”
Six months after the overnight flight to Beijing disappeared on March 8, Bajc said the families still had to hold out hope because there is a “very, very small chance” their loved ones might still be alive.
“The reality is that, without proof of a crash and without any kind of bodies, we have to hold out hope there are still passengers alive.”
She added: “Can you imagine what it would be like to have a memorial service for somebody, giving up on them because you had just run out of energy to push for the right answers? And then a couple months they actually come back home. Can you imagine what that would do to you psychologically? Can you imagine what it would do to a person to have been given up on? And I think we owe it to our family members, we owe it to our loved ones to continue pushing for the truth.
“I think it’s a very real possibility that Philip is still alive because there is no proof that he’s dead. And so I will continue to push to find proof, one way or the other and at some point in time, if a body is brought to me or even confirmed wreckage of the airplane, then I will acquiesce to the fact that he’s not coming back. But until then I will continue to push and many, many family members feel the same.”
Bajc also called on airlines to immediately adopt round-the-clock GPS tracking of aircraft, a measure that she said would be “inexpensive.”
“I don’t buy the issue of cost,” she said, “Every single entertainment system in the back of the seat of an airplane costs $15,000. And you got how many seats on an airplane? So they can afford to give us movies, but they can’t afford to keep track of where the plane is going and at what speed and what height it is? I don’t buy that. Besides, you can put a GPS tracking device in your dog for $75.”