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Where is Kazakhstan?

How Crazy Am I to Think I Know Where MH370 Is? -- NYMag

*Kinda crazy. (But also maybe right?)

In the year since the vanishing of MH370, I appeared on CNN more than 50 times, watched my spouse’s eyes glaze over at dinner, and fell in with a group of borderline-obsessive amateur aviation sleuths. A million theories bloomed, including my own.

The unsettling oddness was there from the first moment, on March 8, when Malaysia Airlines announced that a plane from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, Flight 370, had disappeared over the South China Sea in the middle of the night. There had been no bad weather, no distress call, no wreckage, no eyewitness accounts of a fireball in the sky—just a plane that said good-bye to one air-traffic controller and, two minutes later, failed to say hello to the next. And the crash, if it was a crash, got stranger from there.

My yearlong detour to Planet MH370 began two days later, when I got an email from an editor at Slate asking if I’d write about the incident. I’m a private pilot and science writer, and I wrote about the last big mysterious crash, of Air France 447 in 2009. My story ran on the 12th. The following morning, I was invited to go on CNN. Soon, I was on-air up to six times a day as part of its nonstop MH370 coverage.

There was no intro course on how to be a cable-news expert. The Town Car would show up to take me to the studio, I’d sign in with reception, a guest-greeter would take me to makeup, I’d hang out in the greenroom, the sound guy would rig me with a mike and an earpiece, a producer would lead me onto the set, I’d plug in and sit in the seat, a producer would tell me what camera to look at during the introduction, we’d come back from break, the anchor would read the introduction to the story and then ask me a question or maybe two, I’d answer, then we’d go to break, I would unplug, wipe off my makeup, and take the car 43 blocks back uptown. Then a couple of hours later, I’d do it again. I was spending 18 hours a day doing six minutes of talking.

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A Guide to Flight 370 Theories, From Mechanical Failure to Alien Abduction

As time went by, CNN winnowed its expert pool down to a dozen or so regulars who earned the on-air title “CNN aviation analysts”: airline pilots, ex-government honchos, aviation lawyers, and me. We were paid by the week, with the length of our contracts dependent on how long the story seemed likely to play out. The first couple were seven-day, the next few were 14-day, and the last one was a month. We’d appear solo, or in pairs, or in larger groups for panel discussions—whatever it took to vary the

I soon realized the germ of every TV-news segment is: “Officials say X.” The validity of the story derives from the authority of the source. The expert, such as myself, is on hand to add dimension or clarity. Truth flowed one way: from the official source, through the anchor, past the expert, and onward into the great sea of viewerdom.

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FAQ

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Yahoo! - 301 Moved Permanently

A former Soviet Republic. Kazakhstan lies directly between Russia and China. It's not hard to find on a map; Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, roughly the size of Western Europe. But with a population of just 15 million, it's a largely empty land of steppes, deserts, and forbidding mountains - majestic, but not necessarily inviting. This desolation made it an ideal place for the Soviet Union to build gulags,test nuclear weapons, and dump toxic waste, and large swaths of the country are uninhabitable. About half of the population lives in a handful of modern cities do…

avatar
Where is Kazakhstan?

A former Soviet Republic. Kazakhstan lies directly between Russia and China. It's not hard to find on a map; Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, roughly the size of Western Europe. But with a population of just 15 million, it's a largely empty land of steppes, deserts, and forbidding mountains - majestic, but not necessarily inviting. This desolation made it an ideal place for the Soviet Union to build gulags,test nuclear weapons, and dump toxic waste, and large swaths of the country are uninhabitable. About half of the population lives in a handful of modern cities do…

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