So, it’s the greatest mystery of 2014: What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

So, it’s the greatest mystery of 2014: What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

The Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 8 en route to Beijing. The airplane never touched down in China and a so far fruitless international search and rescue mission was launched to salvage the aircraft and any survivors. Monday morning, Malaysian officials declared the plane went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean. All 239 people aboard are now presumed dead.

Since the aircraft’s mysterious disappearance, speculation has dominated the news coverage — unfortunately, that’s really all there is at this point. Facts have become a grey area, leaving ample room for a host of interpretations and theories.

I’ve read the gamut:

•The plane experienced a mechanical or technical failure and crashed.

•The flight crew purposely crashed the airliner in an act of terrorism.

•A passenger(s) highjacked the plane, landing it in a hostile region like North Korea or Pakistan.

Or the even more improbable:

•A coalition of anti-Chinese governments (most of the passengers were Chinese nationals headed home) captured the plane and is holding the passengers hostage.

•Aliens objects abducted the aircraft.

•The airplane flew too high in the stratosphere and sailed into the beyond.

Plenty of people have put on the Nancy Drew hat and tried piece together the clues of this strange mystery.

But in the end, does it really matter? Almost certainly, everyone aboard the airplane is dead by now. Whether fire took down the plane or if a person caused the demise of the airplane, 239 lives were lost. That’s the story here.

I can’t imagine the grief the families of the victims have had to withstand over the past few weeks as almost no answers have been readily available.

We often forget, perhaps because the event was around the globe, that the gravity of human loss outweighs the conspiracies of the plane’s loss and the struggle to find answers.

Journalism students are taught that behind every story is a central human experience. The sadness, confusion and grief of the living friends and relatives should be of primary interest.

It’s interesting to see the dynamics of the event, with some comparing the disappearance to the hugely-popular television series “Lost.”

But “Lost” is a fantasy and the missing Malaysian Airlines 370 is reality with grave consequences.

Too much effort has been put in to confirming or debunking the various answers to this tragedy. Sometimes there aren’t answers.

The families of the victims might have a chance at some peace if the world would stop trying to find answers where there aren’t any.

Whether you think the plane crashed mid-flight or there’s some grand cover-up, I assure you that no matter what the truth is — and we may likely never know — it won’t ease the pain of a loved one lost.