Relatives of the missing passengers of the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared over the ocean last week are becoming angry over the failure of the Chinese government to give them any answers about what happened to their loved ones. And some are reporting strange “phantom phone calls” made to phones of the missing, calls that are spawning conspiracy theories.
The grieving family members have gone through a range of emotions from shock, to sadness, and now to anger as Chinese officials have had little real information about what happened to flight MH370 and the 227 passengers and 6 crew members onboard who have vanished, thus far without a trace.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that 100 family members have signed a petition demanding answers from the government. Many are upset because government officials didn’t even meet with any of them for three days after the disappearance of the jet liner.
Chinese officials have not handled this situation well, either. Fearful that family members would become violent when government representatives were to meet with them, police were sent in first to intimidate the grieving families into quiescence. Police were also ordered to remove chairs so that angry family members wouldn’t throw them at the officials. But this forced elderly family members to stand causing a PR problem for officials.
One of the strangest aspects of the situation are the so-called “phantom phone calls” to passenger phones.
Family members have called the cell numbers of some of the missing passengers and the lines do ring as if the passenger is just waiting to pick the phone up and answer it. These eerie calls led family members to demand that Chinese officials use the ringing numbers to trace the whereabouts of the phones in hopes that the wreckage of the jet could be located.
Officials dismissed the idea, however, angering families further.
But some family members hoped that the ringing phones might mean that the plane had landed somewhere and that passengers were still alive. But if that were so, some are wondering why the plane flew so far off its flight path and who made it land?
Chinese officials finally began to process visas and travel papers for family members to fly to travel to Kuala Lumpur to await news of the search for the missing flight but some family members are refusing to leave China preferring instead to wait at home for further developments.