Exactly one year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared without trace during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, an independent investigative group released a 584-page report on Sunday detailing what's known about the missing plane.
Their conclusion? Not much.
If anything, the odds of finding an answer seem worse than before: The report found that the battery in an underwater locater beacon expired over a year before MH370 began its journey on March 8, 2014. Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, sounded pessimistic.
"The lack of answers and definitive proof—such as aircraft wreckage—has made this more difficult to bear," he said on Sunday.
The mystery surrounding MH370 is almost unprecedented in aviation history. The closest recent comparison is Air France 447, an Airbus A330 that disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean minutes into a Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight on June 1, 2009. Even though investigators spotted debris and bodies in the days after the crash—giving them a clear idea of where the plane might have sunk—it took two years to locate the black boxes on the ocean floor.
The search for MH370, by contrast, is far more challenging. The first problem is the sheer lack of physical evidence: There are no seats, no luggage, no oil slicks, body parts, or anything else. Such a phenomenon isn't totally unheard of in aviation history: Most famously, no evidence was ever recovered from Amelia Earhart's doomed solo flight in 1937. But to lose an entire Boeing 777 in the hyper-connected, technologically advanced modern world is far more difficult to accept.