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Today on the Sunday morning shows, intelligence committee chairs for both the House and the Senate said they see no evidence of terrorism in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 saga.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Rep. Mike Rogers, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, threw cornstarch on the widely embraced terrorism theory: 

 "I have seen nothing yet that comes out of the investigation that would lead me to conclude that (this was) ... anything other than a normal flight that something happened and something went wrong."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said pretty much the same thing.

Feinstein echoed those remarks on CNN's "State of the Union" program, saying she had not seen any evidence indicating a terrorist act brought the airplane down.

Which brings us to an even more potentially frightening notion: A plane falling out of the sky with no understanding of why it happened or no knowledge of where it ended up nearly a month later.

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Despite a feverish search and multiple reports of possible debris, no wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been located. Searchers now fear the battery on the plane's black box beacon will die before MH370 is found. 

The plane infamously went missing on March 8 and the black box, otherwise known as the automated flight data recorder, is fitted with an acoustic beacon said to have a battery life of roughly 30 days. 

That gives the people searching for Flight 370 a little more than a week, perhaps 10 days at most, to not just pinpoint the place where a 240-foot plane went down in a roughly 200,000-square-mile area, but also find it on the ocean floor."

As search planes continue their passes in five-hour blocks, today a warship with an aircraft black box detector was dispatched from Australia to the search area, which is roughly the size of Poland. While data can still be retrieved from the black box even after the beacon dies (as was the case with Air France Flight 447), finding the plane, especially on the sediment-covered sea floor becomes more difficult. 

Despite the challenge and the lack of evidence of any debris linked to the flight, officials are expressing confidence.

In Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott insisted that the "intensifying search effort" was positive because objects "have been recovered from the ocean" in the zone after a weeklong search in another area spotted items from planes that ships never managed to find.

Elsewhere, a delegation of Chinese family members of the passengers staged a protest in Kuala Lumpur and demanded a meeting with the Malaysian prime minister. Roughly, two-thirds of the passengers aboard MH370 were Chinese nationals.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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