Saturday, March 29, 2014


Ratings at CNN have soared during the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, despite a lack of verifiable information. - New York Magazine

"Welcome to CNN-L, I'm Wolf Blitzer. The 'L' of course is for 'Lost,' and you're watching the only network focused exclusively on what is not found. Yes, it started with the Malaysian airliner. But our ratings have shown that no amount of speculation is too much for you, our viewers. And so here at CNN-L we will round up all that is lost, and bring you whatever facts, speculation and downright guesswork we can. If it's missing, you'll find it on CNN-L. Let's get things started. Candy Crowley anchors our 'Lost Desk.' Candy?"

"Thanks, Wolf. You can see here a listing of all the stories we're tracking, but let me just highlight just a few. We'll start in London, where 16-year-old Melissa Patel was last seen around 10AM on March 7th in the Waterloo Street Tube station. Patel is from Stokley-on-Thames, and was on a school field trip when she told her friends she was 'popping over to the loo.' Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Don LoPedro has reported that when he came out of the Walmart on State Line Road on Tuesday that his 2010 Dodge Dart was not where he parked it. And in Markham, Canada, Alice Kelderhouse has reported that her keys were not on the peg where she usually hangs them. She says she absolutely remembers putting them there after her Pilates class, but, well, they're not there now. And Wolf, those three are just the tip of the iceberg. They keep coming in; we'll keep you updated."  

"Thanks Candy, great work. Let's focus on one story that's been the subject of a lot of Twitter comments recently, the disappearance of Buttons, a 2-year old black and white tabby in Houston Texas. For that, let's go to the Lost White Board, and John King. John?"

"Thanks Wolf. You can see here a picture of Buttons as provided by her owner, Emily Dirksen of West Lake. According to Emily, Buttons generally slipped out of the house around mid-morning, but always returned by dinner time. However, she hasn't been back in two days. This graphic shows the incidence of missing cats after two days in a three county area. As you can see by the data, it's highly unusual for one to be gone that long. There is one spike in Pineles county in October, but that is generally attributed to the demolition of an old theatre and the mice that ran out. With reference to Buttons, let me pull down this satellite view of the neighborhood, overlaid with a heat map. Each red dot represents a living organism outside a dwelling. If we filter out all dots over 20 pounds by heat signature, the picture gets much clearer. But even if if we further adjust for those which are horizontal as opposed to vertical, effectively eliminating toddlers, we still have well over a hundred possibilities. So any on-the-ground search could take some time. Wolf?" 

Thanks John, keep us informed. Another big story has been the disappearance of Bill Sandlebags' iPhone 5C in Omaha Nebraska. It's been over a week, and no real clues. We have experts looking at the possibilities, hosted by our own Erin Burnett."  

"Thanks Wolf. I'm joined by Former FBI Agent Doris Dipplemaestro and Retired NSA Specialist Colonel Lee Leberingway. Colonel, let me start with you: is this a national security threat?"  

"Erin, it's certainly a possibility. I don't want to be an alarmist, but terrorists have been known to use cell phones to set off explosive devices. In the absence of any solid information to the contrary I think it's a scenario that should not be taken off the table."  

"Agent Dipplemaestro, your thoughts."  

"I would caution against any rush to judgment, Erin. Nearly half the thefts these days are smartphones. So the simplest explanation, that it was stolen, is the most likely. Though to echo the Colonels' thoughts, it could have been stolen by a terrorist. We can't rule that out."  

"Sobering. Wolf, back to you."

"Thanks Erin and panel. Chilling stuff, indeed. We have to take a break, but when we come back, we have breaking news: that Dodge Dart has been found in Kansas City. Turns out it was a case of unpaid parking tickets. We'll have the surprising details in just a minute. This is CNN-L."


Marc Wollin of Bedford refuses to talk anymore about the you-know-what. His column appears regularly in The Record-Review, The Scarsdale Inquirer and online at, as well as via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

No comments: