KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Family members of those lost on MF370 were outraged last week when they were informed that crucial information related to the whereabouts of the plane was being withheld by the Malaysian government.
Information on these documents was recently brought to light through a series of leaked emails between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, CEO of Malaysia Airlines. The email exchange confirmed that Waldo, skilled hider and star of the long-running “Where’s Waldo?” book series, was present on the flight. The report has since been corroborated by newly released security camera footage.
“Mr. prime minister, our chief security officer has just confirmed: Waldo was on that plane,” wrote Yahya.
“How could this happen?” wrote back an enraged Razak, “If word of this gets out, they’ll be hell to pay.”
Waldo’s presence on flight 370 adds yet another layer of intrigue to an already baffling case. Up to this point, the joint search efforts of 22 nations has been unable to locate any trace of the plane, a Boeing 777 with a near-perfect safety record and captained by a pilot with over 18,000 hours of flight experience.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the disappearance, there has been much conjecture over the fate of the plane and its occupants. A recent analysis from a Canadian pilot suggested that a tire fire caused by the hot runway and underinflation might explain the disappearance, but the new leaks all but confirm that the plane’s mysterious fate is tied to Waldo.
Waldo has eluded Interpol agents for nearly three decades by utilizing his legendary ability to hide in plain sight. He was almost apprehended while on a trip to Bangalore in 1999, but escaped at the last minute with the help of his wizard friend, Whitebeard.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” says Mireille Balestrazzi, president of Interpol, “He’s always one step ahead of the authorities. The agency is still trying to regain credibility after that fiasco in India, and now something like this happens.”
Waldo is wanted for a laundry list of crimes dating back to 1987, including wire fraud, impersonating government officials, and racketeering, among others. He was initially wanted for questioning over alleged involvent in the Iran-Contra affair, but efforts by authorities to find him were thwarted at every turn. Subsequent investigations into his finances uncovered fraudulent activity with links to organized crime and terrorism.
“Men have gone mad trying to find him,” says Chuck Hagel, current U.S. secretary of defense, “He’s like a ghost; just when you think you’ve got a lead, you realize it’s only some poor moustached beatnik with a candy cane hat.”
Though evidence of Waldo’s involvement could allow governments to better focus their search efforts, authorities seem certain that this development will only add more questions than answers. “Honestly, this doesn’t help at all,” says Balestrazzi, “It’s hard enough to find him in those damned books—finding him in the field has proven next to impossible. His involvement in the disappearance is by far the worst-case scenario.”