The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 a couple of weeks ago is probably the urban mystery of the year (though admittedly the year is young) and is providing grist for lots of pulp mills. Curiosity about the open questions is natural - was it a hijacking gone bad, a nut case pilot, or even a very weird aircraft malfunction, and where on earth is the wreckage?
What's far less understandable to me is the reaction of those who had relatives, loved ones, or friends on the plane. First they complained for days they weren't being given any information, when it was evident there wasn't any information. But I'm sure we can chalk that up to their being distraught. (Quick: what's the noun of distraught?)*
More recently, though, these same folks are refusing to accept that the plane is in the drink and the passengers are lost. They want "evidence." This I find far harder to understand. I can certainly sympathize with the frustration that lies ahead in being in a documentary limbo where the victims can't be declared dead immediately, yet that doesn't seem to be what's troubling these disaster deniers. Can they really imagine anyone has survived? Do they suppose the plane landed in Antarctica and the passengers and crew are all huddled around a fire made from the seat cushions, waiting for spring until they can fly out again? (Well, actually in that part of the world winter is coming now, so it will be a long wait.)
If survivors do somehow turn up, they'll be a nice surprise, but for now, it's time for acceptance, whether or not there is "evidence."
* A noun for "distraught?" None, apparently, though the word is related to "distraction" and "distress."