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The Five

Theories abound as search for missing jet enters 7th day

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 14, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle, along with Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, and Greg Gutfeld.

It's 5 o'clock in New York City, and this is "The Five."

(MUSIC)

GUILFOYLE: One week, that's how long Flight 370 has been missing after it took off from militia headed for Beijing.

Here's what's new today. Investigators are now seriously considering that this could have been an act of piracy and not a catastrophic plane malfunction. There's reportedly evidence that a hijacker could have flown the jet off course toward India and may have even landed the plane somewhere. We're also learning that the plane sent signals to a satellite for hours after it went missing.

Here's more from a "Wall Street Journal" reporter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON OSTROWER, WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER: Well, what we've been able to figure out, thus far, was that after it dropped off radar in the early hours of Saturday morning over the Gulf of Thailand, the aircraft continued to essentially broadcast a -- what's essentially the equivalent of a ping. Over the course of the time that that elapsed, at least five hours, the satellite kept pinging the airplane and the airplane said, "Yes, I'm here and I can receive data."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: So, 24 hours, and we're seeing a little bit of a different picture than what we knew just yesterday.

More credible leads now? Some trail of evidence to see what we might have?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: A couple quick thoughts. They were having a hard time finding -- kind of covering a small piece of area that they originally thought the plane may have gone down in. Remember, it made the left -- the sharp left turn, and they thought it was going to go over that Malacca Strait.

Now, if this is true, there's four or five hours of continuous flight in any direction, because they're not sure which direction it went, you have a radius of 500 miles per hour, four hours, you got 2,000 miles in all directions. That's a massive search. It could be anywhere.

But I will tell you one thing, it just keeps coming back. If these transponders went off and the plane continued to fly for four more hours, they had to be manually turned off. If it was a catastrophic electrical failure, that plane is going down. It's going down somewhere near that area, but it didn't. It flew for four more hours.

So, there has to be some sort of foul play in my very humble opinion on this.

GUILFOYLE: Dana, this new (INAUDIBLE) evidence coming in seems to make sense because there hasn't a debris field that they found or anything like that. They could kind of show remnants of the plane, there could be forensic evidence that could lead to exactly what happened, what went wrong.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: One of the reasons I think we know a lot more today than we did yesterday is because a lot of the speculation, even information coming out of the administration, our administration, the U.S. government, has gone quiet. And that usually means that they've got some sort of a lead.

And now, you have to balance the public's right to know with the need to keep secrecy to be able to work in conjunction with the Malaysian military forces and all of the other allies working with us in the area.

I do think that a week ago, if you had said, yes, the plane was hijacked by a pilot and landed somewhere so they could use it another time, it would have sounded like something out of a Hollywood proposal. Unfortunately, that could end up being the reality. For the families, I feel bad for them because they're just basically going to have to hang on and hopefully they can get some sort of information behind the scenes from the government.

GUILFOYLE: You bring up a good point, because it sounds so farfetched, almost, like an ABC show, "Lost." JJ Abrams saying, where does the plane go? Did they land some place else? Could they still be alive?

I mean, it's opening up whole other doors and possibilities, Greg.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: That's the problem. I have tried for a week to suppress the desire to speculate. But at this point, it's almost impossible. It is -- the closest thing this is like is like a missing child, but it's taken to a surreal level. It's a 200, 300-ton missing person, and the globe is actually the neighborhood, and I think how can that happen?

But, remember, Ariel Castro hid kids for 10 years in the community. It's perhaps incredibly possible with a dark will to create dark deeds.

It seems to me intentional and performed by a trained person who knew when to start a mission, which means there's a purpose and possibly the purpose is not over and that maybe someone will claim responsibility or not. The other option, which is very grim and hard for everybody is that the passengers thwarted this and that we might never know what happened because they might have stopped something heroically and we'll never know.

GUILFOYLE: Wow.

PERINO: Good point.

GUILFOYLE: You're right, because we were able to get communication and evidence from 9/11, even cell phone calls.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: The thing is, let's assume for a moment that this piece of evidence that we've got, at least been reported, is reliable. That means that the field, as Eric pointed out, is huge to look for this thing. It's been isolated.

That means there's a lot of places in the debris field to look for. So, they've got to start looking in those areas. Let's assume for a moment that it was an act of piracy.

Now, what does that mean? Piracy, for a terrorist act? If it's a terrorist act, I come back to this point. Why do we not hear from anybody yet taking credit for this?

This thing has got to be landed by now. I mean, if it landed, and I don't buy into that necessarily, but I still wonder what the terrorist aspect, and what you would do with piracy? Piracy for what, to steal a plane, to repaint it, use it for yourself? I mean, what is -- what would the piracy be involving?

GUTFELD: I mean, it could have been botched, which is why you're not hearing anything about it.

PERINO: Yes.

BOLLING: Can I point something out? So, the way you figure this out, if it's 500 miles per hour traveling, which is a likelihood it was at that altitude. Four hours, 2,000 miles, the radius would be, you draw a circle around that, you're talking 15 million square miles of land and sea you've got to search before you know what happened to this plane.

I'll make one more point. I made it yesterday. I think it's relevant. If the NSA has the capability to do everything they're doing with cell phones, with knowing everything that's going within phones, within e-mails, within telephone calls, massive amounts of data. To track airplanes from known terrorist places on their way through China, to another terrorist hotbed of activity, go for it. Go for it. You know, spend some time doing that rather than finding out who I'm texting.

PERINO: Well, the other thing is we don't know if there is foul play, we don't know the expertise and the capabilities of the individuals involved, the murderers possibility involved.

And interesting, especially on the cyber-terrorism front, it's so difficult to stay ahead of any of the capabilities that are being taught all around the world, that's why I'm for -- I don't think it's a good idea to cut our military. I want more availability, more resources available to either the NSA or CIA or whoever it needs to be to be able to help do the things you're suggesting.

GUTFELD: I mean, the other option is, I mean, I would like to think that if this was foul play, it was one person. It was a person who committed suicide. It wasn't a greater terrorist act.

But it does put the news in perspective in the sense that if it is a monumental event, which it seems to be, it makes other disputes and issues that are covered seem ridiculously small.

And the other -- to what you're saying, is that, you know, we all work 9 to 5, but terrorists and these villains that seem far worse than anything in any Batman film, their desire to create menace and fear in our hearts work nonstop for this. This is performance art for them.

BECKEL: Has anybody noticed that two people who had phony passports that came out of a fellow in Iran, all of a sudden, that's dropped off in the news?

PERINO: That's because authorities have said they checked out the leads and there wasn't anything there.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Probably not a phony passport in and of itself, there's something wrong with that, right?

PERINO: I think that -- well, yes, but as you pointed out, Bob, there's a lot of passport theft, identity theft in that area. In Thailand, if you want -- if you want to get a fake passport, that's one of the best places to go.

BECKEL: Let me ask you another question. Of this pinging we hear about, it doesn't say where. I mean, it just pings? It doesn't have the location where it pings?

BOLLING: They were still being hit with satellites. Remember, satellite can cover the globe. Radar can't.

So, some satellite picked up some pings, some sort of image at some point, and it may or may not be true, but it sounds like it's true.

Remember when we were going to have a no-fly list. Remember if you came from a country like Iran and you're paying cash for a ticket, you weren't going to get on an airplane. You remember that? And you certainly weren't going to get into a U.S. airline, into a U.S. airport. But even though this who wasn't, wouldn't you think Interpol has the same standards?

BECKEL: No, I don't think they do. Nor do I think they have the same resources available to them. It's one of the reasons you don't have direct flights from Malaysia into the United States, because you make them fly through somewhere else.

GUILFOYLE: Isn't that a great point? Now you see.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: I think that's why.

The good news, I believe, is that our military still has good relationships with the Malaysian military, so because the Malaysians have given us so many pieces of conflicting information and they have undermined confidence in their investigation, I think that we should all be able to trust that our government is on top of it because you start to hear confirmation about the five-hour flight after the transponders turn off, that means our government is in charge. I think we should feel comfortable with that. I think.

BECKEL: But it seems to me like the press is in charge. I mean, "The Wall Street Journal" does the reporting on this. The question is really who is in charge?

There's no place to go on official capacity to get an answer that seems to be straight. You're right --

GUILFOYLE: You're saying there's no sort of central nexus for information.

BECKEL: Yes, I'm not sure --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: I think it's working like it's supposed to, right? Our government has to balance the competing needs of the press and the need to not compromise the investigation and possibly hurt the ability for us to track down additional threads in an intel string.

BOLLING: You also need to know where this plane actually is or went down, because if it's in international waters, it's a whole different animal than if it's, you know, across the shore, on land of a country.

GUILFOYLE: He's right, jurisdictional issues.

BOLLING: Jurisdiction.

One other point, it's a Boeing airplane. It's an American-made airplane. If there's a problem, if there's a fault, something that went wrong, the NTSB will be on it and they'll be in charge of that investigation. But again, you have to find the thing first before you can make the call.

GUILFOYLE: This is something, you bring up such a good point, because it relates internationally. Everybody has a vested interest in making sure that we some find answers about what happened. Whether it was some kind of malfunction, catastrophic event or some kind of piracy, there are a number of options on the table. Until we know, we don't know, and they have to be vigilant to find out.

I mean, I agree with Dana. I feel much more confident the U.S. is on top of this. If we can bring in our own aviation experts to investigate, perhaps we're going to get some --

PERINO: You have to do it in a way that allows the Malaysians a way to save face.

GUILFOYLE: Correct.

PERINO: That's important thing to that part of the world --

GUILFOYLE: Tell us about the diplomacy.

PERINO: Obviously, we have our State Department folks on the ground, but the military cooperation is one of the most important things you can have when you have a situation, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: All right. We're joined now by Shepard Smith on the FOX News desk -- Shepard.

SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You mentioned the military.

You can bring it to me. That's fine.

We've just gotten this new information in from "The New York Times." And this is fascinating. Officials now say data picked up by Malaysian military radar shows the plane climbed from the 35,000 feet where it was scheduled to be up to 40,000 feet, even higher. It later dropped sharply to 23,000 feet. And that's more on this. It's just coming in.

So, here's the area we're talking about, taking off from Kuala Lumpur. They were headed in that direction, as we now know. And once the ping -- the ping stopped, the plane climbed to above 40,000 feet, and then dropped to 23,000 feet.

It also suggests, the data shows a sharp drop, as much as 40,000 feet in the course of a minute, but they don't believe that that reading is accurate. So strange, investigators say they don't know -- they don't expect to believe that at all.

But this new information suggests when the data stopped flowing, that the plane went up for some time, and then went down to 23,000 feet, which would explain why they said it was flying at a very low altitude.

Now, what does all this mean in the grand scheme of things, FIVE guys? I don't know. I know the plane is still missing and nobody can find it.

BOLLING: Can I ask you quickly?

SMITH: Sure, Eric.

BOLLING: If they know the plane climbed to 40,000 and then back down to 23,000 feet, you would assume they had a locater on that as well, right?

SMITH: Well, you would assume they would. This is Malaysian military data, which -- and it seems to follow along the same course about which we have been speaking, headed in that direction. The pinging stopped. It makes a turn, and at that point, according to the brand new reporting of "The New York Times" in the last five minutes, it went up and then went down.

Remember, they told us they thought it was cruising at a much lower altitude that the 35,000 it was supposed to be, once it reportedly made this turn and then went on for some four to five hours. Nobody can explain why that would happen.

BECKEL: But, Shep, this is Bob. Over your -- I guess your right shoulder, the area they were looking for the plane, the direction it was supposed to be flying in, they had a lot of aircraft and sea and radar looking in that area. I look at that big circle you're talking about. How much people -- how much equipment would it take to cover that kind of area?

SMITH: You can't cover that area. This is six times -- and I saw a graphic on your program just a few minutes ago, I was watching from office. Six times the size of the United States. They're not searching all of this. They can't search all of this. They think in general that it headed this way. The U.S. military seems to believe it ended up somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Now, does that mean it landed on some island? People don't seem to know or really think that. The thinking is it probably crashed into the Indian Ocean.

Why do they think it crashed in the Ocean? I don't know, but I thought what Dana had to say as a former White House insider, was interesting. The United States is saying we're not issuing any more press release, we're not issuing any more statements because Malaysia is in charge of this.

And yet, our assets are in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is so incredibly deep that you would need the United States Navy and United States government facilities to be able to get down that deep.

We're headed there for a reason, that we don't know what the reason is makes a lot more sense to me than all the rest of it. They don't tell us information until they feel like they've got everything covered.

And usually, like what Dana said, when they put it out, it's usually right.

PERINO: Shep, I have a question about the new information that's coming out that you said was just released from "The New York Times."

SMITH: Yes.

PERINO: Is this new information to the Malaysians or is it new information to us? Which my question is, did the Malaysians either not know about this, or are they just learning about it, or did they not tell us about it in the first place?

SMITH: They just shared it with the United States, is our understanding. Why they haven't shared from the beginning is beyond me. I know that their military and their civilian authorities work sort of on counter-plains, if you will.

But I want to read exactly what it says. Radar signals recorded by the Malaysian military appear to show the missing airliner climbing, I said 40,000 earlier. I thought it was a typo. "The New York Times" is reporting 45,000 feet, way above the approved altitude for a jet like this, for a Boeing 777.

And then soon after, it disappeared from civilian radar, it made a sharp turn to the west. According to a preliminary assessment by a person familiar with this data. It goes on to say, the radar track, which the Malaysian government has not released but said it has provided to both the United States and China now, then shows the plane descending unevenly to an altitude of about 23,000 feet, below normal cruising altitude.

So, what we're talking about is it goes that way. It's climbing as it does. It drops off the radar. And then it unevenly descends to 23,000 feet while headed in this general direction for hours on end.

GUTFELD: Shep, I mean -- I hate asking questions that you can't answer, but it seems to me, it sounds like perhaps there was a struggle. And I was just wondering, if -- what about the cabin door? What is it about this plane that is different from say our planes in terms of security of that cabin door?

SMITH: My understanding is there's not a lot different. But the untold truth, you know, you fly in the front, if you work with this company, you get to fly in the front of the plane a lot, and I appreciate that. The fact I'm flying in the front of the plane means I get to see that cabin door. It's locked, but the guy has to go out and use the toilet. He doesn't have one in there.

What they always do is they bring the curtain and the flight attendant stands there. It's not as if you can't get in there.

GUTFELD: It seems to me, again, I hate saying speculation, but it seems like passengers knew something was up and revolted. That's what it sounds like.

PERINO: If you're climbing that much that fast, you would probably know something was wrong.

SMITH: If you're used to flying and you're at a cruising altitude, you expect to stay at that cruising altitude. If you don't, your ears warn you immediately.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: But that being the case, nobody can get any communication out for four to five hours? Nobody, no communication of any kind? Really?

BECKEL: You know, Shep, you said something about sending assets from the United States. You know, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, we have one of our largest bases, Diego Garcia is there, and we have a lot of assets there.

So, in other words, it's not a question of having to steam towards there. We have most of what we need right there, which could be helpful if they have limited the area they think the plane could have gone down.

SMITH: Well, they have repositioned some assets. We were moving over to Malacca for a while.

BECKEL: Right.

SMITH: But now the United States -- from everything we have heard from the United States prior to today, and this doesn't refute any of that, the United States for reasons that are beyond me, because we are not going to know until they want us to know, if most of these leaks happen on purpose, this is -- this is the last known path. This is where they think it went. But it kept going.

So that position right there, that broadens out. You can see the position where that was, taking me live, was right here. And then they think it continued in this direction.

And at 500, 550 ground miles per hour, it would have ended up in here, about 2,400, 2,500 miles from where it was. If that's the case, you may never find it.

BOLLING: Shep, could you just read that again? They said radar and it's been given to the United States and China? It's radar, we've already been -- we've heard that "The Wall Street Journal" was reporting that a satellite had picked up the plane. So, now, you have a satellite pinging and a radar.

I'm going to go -- listen, it sounds like they're going to know pretty darn close where this plane is and they're probably getting the assets the to find it.

SMITH: Well, we can hope so, until we find out it went in the drink right there. I'm not sure exactly what we know.

How do they know? Why do they tell us they believe this plane flew for four to five hours? The only thing I can figure is they put all these data points together, probably somebody from the United States or China, was able to compile it all.

And then they said, all right, here's the most logical thing to have happen. We have pings here. But, you know, the ping doesn't say this is this airline, Flight 370. It doesn't say that. It says there's some object in the air. They put it together and they think it took this circuitous route and flew unevenly down at 23,000 feet or whatever.

I don't think they'd be dropping this sort of thing on "The New York Times" if they didn't know what they were talking about. Not at this stage, I think.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Thanks, Shepard, for all that information.

SMITH: You bet.

GUILFOYLE: We have more to come on the Malaysia mystery, ahead.

But up next, billionaire Obama supporters Gates, Bloomberg and Buffett break from the president on the minimum wage. What they say a hike would do to jobs in America.

Keep it right here on "The Five."

(MUSIC)

GUILFOYLE: President Obama wants to raise minimum wage to over $10 an hour, but some of his billionaire supporters do not think that's a good idea. Here are Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER: When people say we should raise the minimum wage, I think, boy, I know some economists disagree, but I think, boy, I worry about what that does to job creation, potentially dampening demand in the part of the labor spectrum that I'm most worried about.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NYC MAYOR: This impetus to raise minimum wage is one of the most misguided things we can do. You're going to hurt the poor. There will be some amount of job loss if you raise the minimum wage.

WARREN BUFFETT, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: If you can have a minimum wage of $15 and it didn't hurt anything else, I would love it. But clearly, that isn't the case.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

PERINO: You have something to say?

GUTFELD: I was going to say Gates, Bloomberg, Buffett, what do they know about starting a business? Not like President Obama. Geez.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: Yes, don't believe anything they say.

GUTFELD: Please?

GUILFOYLE: They should listen to him.

GUTFELD: Just go to Harvard.

PERINO: The minimum wage debate is shaping up to be something that President Obama is going to keep pushing through this year. It was in the State of the Union and he's been talking about it on the campaign trail.

Eric, do you think -- how much does it undermine those campaign efforts to have these three gentlemen, at least these three, speaking out against it?

BOLLING: I don't know. At least a couple of them supported President Obama. Now, they're finally admitting that this minimum wage thing is a bad idea. It feels like as Greg points out, these are people who create jobs and they know what raising minimum wage above supply and demand, the right price for wages, you're going to push jobs overseas.

Don't take these three guys' word for it. Take the CFO's new Duke -- today, a new Duke University study came out with "CFO Magazine," a substantial, a big study. Fifty-seven percent of people -- of CFOs in the retail industry, 44 percent of people -- of CFOs in the service industry and 40 percent in the manufacturing, said raising the minimum wage artificially will definitely affect the way they hire. Not only the people that they employ, the way they hire, and they may cut back on employment.

Now, if that's not -- if that doesn't tell you right there you should not mess around with free market minimum wage, nothing should.

BECKEL: What do you expect these guys to say? They're in that industry. They don't want to raise the minimum wage. Of course they're going to say something like that.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: But those three guys aren't in that industry.

BECKEL: OK, these billionaires, they're fine and they were supporters of Obama. I grant you that. The fact still remains --

GUILFOYLE: Oh, you said were.

BECKEL: -- at $7 and some change, you work a full time job, you're still in the poverty level. And there's something wrong with that, when you say a minimum wage. Minimum wage means you work full time, you work hard, and you're still in poverty.

PERINO: OK. So, you have experts, studies, every -- people in business saying it will hurt jobs and their ability to create jobs.

Kimberly, do you think that President Obama thinks that's a price worth paying in order to raise the minimum wage? I mean, is he OK with that?

GUILFOYLE: I think he clearly thinks it's OK. That this is an acceptable outcome, that it's a necessary evil, but it really doesn't think it's evil.

The problem is this has been the most anti-business administration we have had in a very long time, and you see it reflected in some of these policies. If you have even a mild crush on business versus you love it, you're going to see this is an administration that isn't helping the economy grow or move forward. So, you have to people who used to be ardent supporters of the president forced to acknowledge the facts.

BECKEL: Can somebody here cite a specific interest where the minimum wage --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Don't try to prove it with me.

Let's get Greg's thoughts.

GUTFELD: Well, no --

BECKEL: What do you mean don't try to prove it with me? I mean --

PERINO: Because you throw up these things. Can you show me one thing -- like can you show me one person, can you name one person help by Obamacare?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You show me a survey of some people. All I'm saying -- they think it would affect their hiring?

BOLLING: No, no, not just their hiring. Their employment. They said they may cut back current employment as well as hiring.

GUILFOYLE: Those are jobs lost.

PERINO: Can Greg say one thing?

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

PERINO: Bob, can Greg say one thing in the block?

BECKEL: Sure.

PERINO: Go ahead.

GUTFELD: Number one, there is no shortage of jobs. There's a shortage of people who can do those jobs. And Mike Rowe has brought it up a million times, welding and operating big machinery. We need trade skills. We need people to learn trades.

They don't need full-time work at McDonald's. That is for a high school opportunity. That is not for a grown man and a grown woman. The minimum wage is for that first rung, and you want to turn that into a permanent rung for an underclass that should be growing and should be moving up. That's the problem.

PERINO: That's actually my concern, is that the minimum wage, raising it to $10.10 an hour is a wholly insufficient policy to help them in the long run.

GUTFELD: And also, if you raise minimum wage, what about the wages above that? You're going to have to increase wages for those people and you're going to end up firing them because you can't afford it.

PERINO: Do you know why that is? The unions support it because their wages are tied to the minimum wage.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: OK. We have breaking news and we're going to go back to Shep the news desk.

SMITH: Listen to this, in just the last two minutes, none of this made sense, right? How in the world did they know the plane is still flying when all of the transponders and stuff are off? Now, we know. And I'll explain it right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: All right, we have breaking news. Shep alluded to it before the break. We're throwing it over to Shep on the news desk -- Shep.

SMITH: Eric, some of this is starting to make sense now. So we know that the ACAR system, which allows for communication and the one that tells folks on the ground, I'm Flight 370, that those things went off. Not at the same time, but sequentially. So, how in the world do they know this plane flew for another four, five hours?

I think we have it now. This comes from the reporting of Catherine Herridge in Washington who works intelligence for us and has spoken with her sources and here's what she has. You know how your phone, you'll see at the top every now and then, it's not connected to AT&T or Verizon and whatever it is and has that circling thing, it says I'm searching, I'm searching, I'm searching. And then eventually, it says got it, and it lets you know you have range and you can make a phone call?

You didn't do anything there. No data was transmitted, but it made a connection. Well, according to the reporting of Catherine Herridge and her sources, that's what happens with these jets. Every hour or so, a handshake is made between the transmission devices that are on the plane and the receiving devices which are on the ground. And that happens about once every hour. And that happened with this jet four to five times after it lost signal.

So what does that tell us? A handshake was made.

Here's when that handshake can't happen, if the power is cut for any reason, that doesn't happen. If it's in the water, that doesn't happen. If it's exploded, obviously, that wouldn't happen. But if it's still flying, it happens. And it happened.

So, what do you learn from that handshake, if you will? You don't learn the exact altitude or direction of travel or anything like that. But you learn the arc and scope of where the thing is. In other words, could our signal that is receiving it hit it, based on the curvature of the earth or whatever? So, you learn the arc and scope.

Then to try to figure out where it went, they have to combine that data with points on the ground or in the water. Sometimes buoys, sometimes on little islands, so they had points where they could pick this up on military radar all over that range. And that's why they now indicate to us that it flew for hours and they think it was headed in the general direction of the Indian Ocean.

One more thing. This is what they said happened: take off from Kuala Lumpur. Right here is where they say they lost contact with the thing, that it stopped sending out the transponder, right? It's there on the way to here that we learned in the last 30 minutes, it began to climb to 45,000 or so feet, according to the reporting of "The New York Times."

And then it went this way and descended irregularly, down to about 23, 000 feet. They have markers that indicate it made this zigzag over here, that happening along the way. So, here's the original route. And instead it went that way. Now, we know how they know it was still in the air, because of the handshakes.

Now, Catherine is reporting that they don't normally use this thing early in the investigation. They usually use civilian and military markers to begin all of this, but because this is so weird, they had to go with this handshake. In the same way your phone makes contact with a cell tower but sent no information, the cell tower knows you were there, and the same thing is true with this airplane, and that's how they know it flew for four to five hours.

GUILFOYLE: Hi, Shepard.

Yes, that information is significant about the ACARS system, but there's an additional piece of information we could have gotten from the system, except Malaysia Air, it's my understanding, didn't sign up for the service with Boeing 777 that you can get. So, it's like a subscription service. If you do that, you can get more specific targeted information as to the location of the plane, such as like a GPS system.

SMITH: That's right.

GUILFOYLE: Tracks it with specificity, you know the direction, not just the arc or the general region. Because we didn't have that, we have that misinformation for this time or lack of specifics.

SMITH: That's right, and that was described to me as maybe you didn't get the long range coverage on your car.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

SMITH: And, you know, your car can now send information to an app if your car is fancy enough. They didn't sign up for that service. So, it wasn't there.

BECKEL: Hey, Shep, you said before the plane went from 45,000 feet and rapidly went down to 23,000.

SMITH: Erratically and irregularly.

BECKEL: OK. Well, if you're saying that this information was transmitted every hour or so, how do you get -- how do they know it went from 45,000 to 23,000?

SMITH: I think I have an answer for that.

BECKEL: OK.

SMITH: It's the handshake that lets them know that the plane is still flying. And based on what they know about the trajectory, they use military radar and civilian radar to figure out, OK, if this plane was flying in this direction, which of these pings with no identification means anything, right?

So, they lock into that plane and they were able to determine from those radar, from the scope and the arc, what height, what elevation the plane which was not sending out identifying marks, was flying.

And according to the compilation of the military and civilian, radar along with the knowledge it's still flying, they have been able to come up with this flight path.

Now, is this definitive? Is this 100 percent? No, but according to the reporting of "The New York Times" and our Catherine Herridge, these are the items to which investigators are now pointing as their very best information, to say they believe this is what happened is true.

BOLLING: Shep, we're going to have to break in. We're going to take a quick break. This is fascinating breaking news. We're going to have a lot more of that right after the break.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: Welcome back to "The Five."

We're continuing our fascinating discussion with Shepard Smith about the missing jet.

Shep, I have a question about another possible scenario that was as strange as this one, which was the Payne Stewart doomed flight when he was in a jet, in a private jet and he was unconscious and the plane flew. Has that been entertained?

SMITH: It has. There is the possibility of rapid depressurization inside the cockpit and for that matter in the rest of the cabin. What would -- and the rest of the plane, what would have caused that? A lot of things potentially. Any of them would be extremely rare.

This is the safest mode of transportation on earth, safer than walking. So, you have to keep that in mind.

But could there have been a crack in the hole that would have caused rapid depressurization if that happens. According to analysts and, in fact, our own Leah Gabriel, who's a fighter pilot herself, we have three seconds and you're asleep, if rapid depressurization happens.

Now, pilots are trained about things you can do in that amount of time, that three seconds, but you would go to sleep after three seconds. She has a friend who this happened to in an F-18. When he realized it was happening, he changed the altitude of the plane, hoping it would sort of glide down. And instead, they crashed -- crashed and burned.

So, is that a possibility? It is a possibility.

But they don't believe this happened because, according to this new reporting, there is indication that it came up and hit the southern tip of Thailand, and then made its way back. And if I pull out a little bit, this is Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and then the Indian Ocean. It just would have come right back across here. And they seem to have pings from military, which -- by the way, the Malaysian government will not share with the public, therefore not the media. And there's no indication why if the Malaysian government realize the plane flew back over Malaysia, that it didn't react in real time to all of this. No explanations for any of that.

GUTFELD: Dana?

PERINO: Shep, I have a question about something we could actually know about rather than just speculation. It's about the news gathering and what it's been like for journalists to try to find good sources, solid information.

I mean, we're going on a week now of trying to solve a mystery, and I'm curious from your perspective and leading your team, what it's been like to try to get solid information?

SMITH: It's been difficult, and I think largely because the United States isn't -- we have good contacts within the NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies. Worked with them during TWA flight 800, through the Value jet crash, through so many, and we have good friends and contacts who want to make sure we're not giving the public the wrong information.

I don't think in this case they were as informed as they should have been in the early going. And then we start getting a little information yesterday, and then today, everything officially shut down. Yet, "The New York Times" got a very detailed leak, and that is at nytimes.com, and Catherine Herridge got all this very valuable information about this handshake and the way in which the plane was still communicating on a very -- almost like a baby communicating with mom.

It was just the slightest thing, just bing, we're here. No information, no data. We're still flying.

All of that is new, that we're getting this sort of thing. That says to me that American officials have now been informed and are involved. And you're telling me that we sent all of these resources to the Indian Ocean, and we're not sure that that's where America thinks this thing is? They wouldn't do that if they didn't think so.

BOLLING: Can I just jump in? We don't have a lot of time, Shep. But if all this information is correct, it made the left turn. It's got four or five hours of flying about 500 miles per hour. It's going to end up being in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

SMITH: Yes.

BOLLING: Here's my Question. Who takes over the search and rescue, whatever, the search at that point? Can we make a case as Americans that we'll take it from here, because we have the best assets?

SMITH: Well, we can make that case, but it's not our ball, you know. It's their ball. You know, we're there to help them with it, but we can't do that. The Malaysians are in charge of this investigation, unless and until the Malaysians decide "We need help."

And you know, Dana was talking about face saving, and it's part of the culture there. There would have to be a way for them to save face on this. I would believe right now, based on the volume of information that we're now getting, that the Americans are much more involved now than the Americans are admitting.

GUTFELD: All right. We are going to return to the search for the missing Malaysian jet with Shep next. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKEL: All right, we're back now with a FOX News alert. And we're back with Shepard Smith.

Shepard, let me ask you, the -- when Greg mentioned the Payne Stewart plane, that had a fixed -- the reason it kept flying was it had a flight plan, and it kept going on the flight plan, and they flew next to it. Eventually, it ran out of fuel and crashed.

But in this case, the flight plan obviously was not followed. So somebody or something had to alter that flight plan, correct?

SMITH: Yes, and that's why this idea that, you know, this is where they lost contact, after apparently climbing at the end. And then it made a turn. So if you have a rapid depressurization in the cabin, and that happens here, you have three seconds before you fall asleep. Maybe you have programmed in a new flight pattern. Maybe you're trying to head back to the airport from whence you came. There is no explanation for this, none at all. So if everybody's, quote, "asleep" up there because of rapid depressurization, that can't happen.

And I'm guessing that's why they're discounting that, that and the fact that it flew for four to five more hours. You would have to have programmed in this circuitous route, and no pilot would ever do that, according to every pilot...

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Well, Shep, one other Question, and I'll turn it over to everybody else. But the Malaysians have said from the beginning of the week, when these scenarios came up, that they weren't right. They were not accurate. The Malaysian military says they weren't accurate.

Now, we've got the Malaysian military saying that they are accurate. Does that mean they were lying about it, trying to cover it up, or there was something -- just nobody was talking to the right person?

SMITH: It seems to me like the left hand and the right hand weren't working very well together. They don't have a communications arm over there. From extensive reading on this now, they don't have a communications system set up like we do. They have what they call a free media, but by our standards, it isn't. And they're not used to putting on -- being put on the spot like this. And I'm not sure that their military data, their civilian data and all the rest had been compiled.

The reason we have this now is because there has been U.S. analysis that is completed today. And I tell you another thing. Everybody just got a leak in the last 30 minutes. Catherine Herridge got this detailed information. The New York Times came out with its detailed information. Our cable news competition has come out with its information, and we now have that, as well, which is two different scenarios now.

The same thing where they take off here for Malaysia, head in this direction. Let me see. I think I can draw on here. Head in this direction, and then this is where they had -- they lost contact, right, and they headed in this direction, right? And then at this point, off. At this point, there are two theories on what happened next, and they're searching in both areas.

One is that it went toward the Bay of Bengal, which is sort of in this direction. Right? And the other is that it went south and east toward the Indian Ocean. And either way, they don't know what happened then, except four or five hours later, it stopped.

And there are these discussions being had about whether it may have landed on some island. But I've got to tell you, at this point, those are just discussions. If they have that sort of information, they have not shared it.

PERINO: Shep -- thanks, Bob. Shep, on -- when it comes to the next wave of information that you can expect, so after the sun comes up, do we have any sense from our military assets that are heading in that region, when we might find out a little bit more? Will it be overnight, or I understand it could be days from now? But do you have any information about that?

SMITH: I don't. Well, here's what I do have. That they're headed toward the Indian Ocean, that some of them, as Bob mentioned accurately, are already there, and that there are a lot of assets here. Thirteen different countries are playing a part in this.

But it's my sense that they're not focusing on the water and the land in a location from the air or from a boat as much as they are trying to put all these different points of record on. Like what do we have from Cambodia? What do we have from Vietnam? What's available from Thailand? What's available from Singapore, in Malaysia? What's available here, and can they put it all together and then put a map together that makes some sort of sense?

It appears that they've done that, and it appears that this is what they believe is the beginning. It's what happened from here they don't seem to know, and further, they don't know if somebody did this deliberately, though everyone with whom I've had contact seems to believe that's where they're leading now. That said, we don't know.

GUILFOYLE: And Shepard, the last information that we have was the lack of communication, the good night from Air Malaysia.

SMITH: Which is normal.

GUILFOYLE: To Vietnam.

SMITH: You know, when you're leaving one area if you're a pilot, you leave one area of control, and you're about to leave them, you good night them. You're like, "Good night, talk to you later. See you whenever."

And then you would go to the next area, like they would have been picked up next by another air traffic control center. You'd switch your frequency. You'd go, "Yo, it's 370 over here. We're coming into your territory. How we doing?"

So good night and good morning -- hello, that's not unusual.

BOLLING: And Shep, let's reiterate to a lot of people who may be tuning in a little bit late, that this information, we have an idea that it flew on for a while.

Also, that radar. Very, very important. It was picked up on radar at some point...

SMITH: Yes.

BOLLING: ... in Malaysian military, telling us it was radar, which means on some radar screens, that plane was in contact with someone.

SMITH: But they didn't know it was that plane, because it wasn't sending out identifying marks. They just have something that's in the air. A flock of birds can register on radar if it's big enough. We know that. But that's -- it's not that they think that's what happened.

The plane sent out something, just like your phone, trying to connect to the Verizon Tower, and it connects. You don't send information, but it makes a connection. And they found that for four to five hours after.

Further, they put together ground radar, military and civilian, and satellite data, as well...

BECKEL: Shep...

SMITH: ... which also picked it up, and they -- I got it, Bob. I know you're wrapping. And it's seen...

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I've got to ask you a fast question before we wrap.

SMITH: What?

BECKEL: Does that mean for the last week they've been searching an area where the plane wasn't?

SMITH: You know, we don't know where the plane is, but for the last week, they were working on some data from over there and some data from over here. A bit here and a piece there. And they hadn't put it all together. It looks like now they have.

BECKEL: OK. You want to say something quick, Greg?

GUTFELD: I was joking.

BECKEL: OK.

SMITH: You have four seconds.

BECKEL: Thanks, Shep. That's terrific. "The Five" returns in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to "The Five." We'll get some final thoughts regarding the Malaysia air flight mystery -- Eric.

BOLLING: Very quickly, just say a prayer for these families. With all the misinformation, it has to be incredibly frustrating for these poor people.

BECKEL: And I just want to add to that, speculation is just that; it's speculation. A lot of people think they have an idea what it is. We don't know yet.

PERINO: I want to express admiration for the U.S. officials, both civilian and military, that are working on this, because it takes a lot to make sure that your counterparts are assured of what they need of your cooperation and to try to keep us informed.

GUTFELD: It's funny that we say we shouldn't be speculating, but we are.

GUILFOYLE: Well, hopefully, we'll be able to get more information with the latest communications information we got from Shepard Smith of the news desk. Keep it right here on the FOX News Channel. We will continue to bring you, throughout the evening, the latest info. Don't forget to set your DVRs so you never miss an episode of "The Five." Have a great night.

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The Five, hosted by Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Juan Williams, and Andrea Tantaros, airs on Weekdays at 5PM ET on Fox News Channel.