Thoughts on the Disappearing Malaysian Plane...

 The plane seems to have just disappeared with 236 souls on board,” said Brian Williams on NBC News, speaking about the missing Malaysian plane.

That word made me look up from cooking dinner, and remark, “Did he say 'souls?' Why not people?

It seemed that even normally cautious network anchors were emphasizing the SUPERNATURAL elements of a plane full of people simply DISAPPEARING.

The entire world was watching, because it's so unsettling to think of something DISAPPEARING. As a young girl, I had a birthday party business as a magician. For one trick, I borrowed items from the audience: a dollar, a key, and at Lynn Fishers's party, her mother’s diamond wedding ring.

At the end of the trick, everything came back -- EXCEPT for her diamond ring. Everyone thought it was a part of the show, but it wasn't. I had no idea how it disappeared and started profusely sweating. “It will be back soon,” I lied.

It's hard for me to contain the notion of a disappearance. Every morning I wake up to see if there is an ending to this mystery. I remember sitting through endless seasons of Lost, so anxious to see the answers to the mysteries, only to be disappointed as it became clear that the one thing truly missing WAS an ending.

Netflix understands the power of needing to solve a mystery. I wasn't the only one who binge-watched Breaking Bad needing to know what happens. And then, the show disappeared...

When my mom died, it surprised us all because she was young and healthy, and, all of a sudden, she was gone. She got sick with the flu and died within the week. When I walked into her hospital room, her body was there, but she wasn't. She had disappeared. I got down on my hands and knees, looking under the bed to see if I could find her.

At the end of my magic show, a young boy in the audience handed me the diamond ring that had accidentally gotten attached to his key. It came back. And the mystery that stumped the magician was solved.

They say that when you die, you get to see all the people you miss. I always wonder, “what if they don't want to see you?

And -- I also wonder, are these just ideas we make up because it is just unbearable to contain the fact that people disappear?

In the last news report I heard, it sounded like they may have found indications that the plane is in the Indian Ocean with no survivors. But what happened to it – and more importantly, to the passengers on it – remains a mystery.

I hope that somehow, some day, someone solves that mystery.


  1. Hey, ever seen the TV show LOST????? It's real - and that's where the Malaysian plane is and all those missing "souls."

  2. Not that this make any difference in what networks say, but as a pilot when you file a flight plan they ask you "how many souls on board" because you may possibly carry caskets or body bags with deceased persons on board. If you crash they then know how many died and how many may have already been dead. (I know that is really some insignificant crap to know)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hey, Judy,

    Actually, Brian was taking his cue from pilot-speak. I fly Cessnas, and what he's mirroring is the lingo used by air-traffic controllers. They use it to differentiate between the regular passengers, listed on the usual manifests, and in the total crew including passengers--souls. It also differentiates clearly, between dead people you might be carrying from an overdose of cupcakes and champagne, and in those living, but wishing they were dead because "Dumb and Dumber" just came on as the in-flight movie.

  5. So, you must be a member of the Magic Castle as am I. The things that we learn about those around us.

  6. I JUST had another speaker email me last night and ask me for a quote, along with an original picture I shared last weekend. I was flattered that it spoke so much to her, until I realized she was attending an event this weekend, and I can imagine where my original material might end up. Not okay.


Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.