Goodnight Malaysian 370: The Truth Finally Comes Out

“Good Night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero”:Those were the last words spoken by the co-pilot of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which happens to be different from what Malaysian authorities reported after the plane simply vanished from the skies on March 8, 2014.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 / Zaharie Ahmad Shah / Computer screen / View from airplane.
Source: Getty Images

To this day, no one knows exactly what happened to the flight carrying 239 people. Since the tragedy, experts, web sleuths, conspiracy theorists and the like have devoted their time to figuring out what the hell happened that day. The latest theory, which many are starting to think is the most plausible, is that the plane was part of a murder-suicide plot. Could it be?

At the Hands of a Pilot in Training

The night of March 8, 2014 was quiet and the moon was bright. At 12:42 a.m., the Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur and headed toward Beijing. 27-year-old Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane. Believe it or not, it was a training flight for him, and would have been his last before becoming fully certified. Ultimately this was his last flight ever.

An image of the plane taking off.
Source: Wikipedia

His trainer, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was the pilot in command and one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. Captain Shah, who liked to use his elaborate Microsoft flight simulator at home as a hobby, was never known to be overbearing, not even to his First Commander sitting next to him.

But Shah became the main suspect in the post-crash investigations…

The Captain’s Reports Were a Tad Unusual

The 10 flight attendants, all Malaysian, had 227 passengers to care for, five of them children. Most of the passengers were Chinese, but there were also passengers from Indonesia, Australia, France, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and other countries.

A picture of Zaharie sitting in front of a flight simulator.
Zaharie Ahmad Shah. Source: Pinterest

The arrangement in the cockpit was standard, but Shah’s transmissions were a bit unusual. 20 minutes into the light, he radioed in that they leveled off at 35,000 feet — an unnecessary report in radar-surveillance airspace. It’s normal to report leaving an altitude, not arriving at one. Once they were over the South China Sea, in the direction of Vietnam, Shah again reported the level of 35,000 feet.

Good Night, Malaysian Three-Seven-Zero

11 minutes later, the plane was closing in on a waypoint near Vietnamese air-traffic jurisdiction, so the controller at Kuala Lumpur Center radioed in to Shah, “Malaysian three-seven-zero, contact Ho Chi Minh one-two-zero-decimal-nine. Good night.”

A shot from the airplane flying during the night.
Source: Wikipedia

Shah then radioed: “Good night. Malaysian three-seven-zero.” He didn’t read back the frequency, as he was supposed to. Those were the last words heard from MH370. Neither Shah nor Hamid checked in with Ho Chi Minh or answered any of the subsequent attempts to contact them. Initially, when the investigation began, Malaysian authorities reported a different final communication from Shah.

Blip, Blip, Blip…. Gone

Five seconds after MH370 entered Vietnamese airspace, the symbol representing the plane’s transponder vanished from the screens of Malaysian air traffic control. 37 seconds later, the entire airplane disappeared from the radar. It was 1:21 a.m., 39 minutes after takeoff.

An image of a flight management system.
Source: Pinterest

Back in Kuala Lumpur, the air traffic controller didn’t notice the missing flight on his radar. But when he finally did, he assumed that MH370 was in the hands of Ho Chi Minh and in a spot beyond his range. As for the Vietnamese controllers, they saw the plane cross into their airspace only to disappear from the radar.

What Took So Long?

Ho Chi Minh was supposed to inform Kuala Lumpur right away if an airplane that was handed off to them was more than five minutes late checking in. They tried to contact MH370 repeatedly, but to no avail. 18 minutes passed between the plane’s disappearance from their screens and when they informed Kuala Lumpur.

An object appearing to be a part of an airplane floats in the sea.
Photo by Jason Reed-Pool/Getty Images

From then on, the process was handled by what must have been confused and incompetent personnel. Lumpur’s Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre should have been contacted within an hour of the disappearance. It took about five hours for an emergency response to finally begin, at 6:32 a.m.

The Search Started in the Wrong Place

By then, the flight should have reached its destination in Beijing. When it didn’t, the search began, starting in the South China Sea, between Malaysia and Vietnam. The effort was an international one, with 34 ships and 28 aircraft from seven different countries. But it turns out that MH370 was nowhere in that area.

An image of Malaysian Airlines aircraft at a terminal.
Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

Within days, records salvaged from air-traffic-control computers – in addition to some secret Malaysian air-force data – revealed that as soon as it disappeared from the radar, it turned sharply southwest, flew back across the Malay Peninsula, and around the island of Penang. From there, it flew northwest and out across the Andaman Sea. That’s when it faded into oblivion.

A Plane That Vanishes Into Thin Air? Impossible

This last part of flight took over an hour, which suggested that this wasn’t a standard case of hijacking. It was unlike any accident or sinister scenario that anyone had encountered before. From the get-go, MH370 was taking investigators into unchartered territories.

An image of operators monitoring areas searching for the wrecked plane.
Photo by Nick Perry-Pool/Getty Images

To this day, the theories continue – some more plausible than others. But the fact remains the same: the loss of all those 239 souls have devastated families on four continents. The very concept that a sophisticated machine with such advanced technology and redundant communications, could just vanish? It is simply impossible.

What Are You Hiding, Malaysia?

Think about it: it’s difficult to permanently delete an email. So, how can a Boeing 777 disappear into thin air? With over eight years of time to dive deeper and deeper into the mystery, more information has come to light. Many believe the unanswered questions will have to come from Malaysia.

International press gathers around a Malaysian plane at the terminal.
Photo by Jason Reed-pool/Getty Images

The country first reported that the captain said, “All right, good night,” which is a surprisingly casual phrase for a captain to use. In the wake of the tragic incident, this one phrase started to raise suspicions that the pilot – or whoever was flying the plane – was already departing from protocol.

Was It a Murder-Suicide?

Many have zeroed in on Captain Shah with the common theory being that he locked Hamid out of the flight deck. If this is true, he would have then switched off the communications systems that keep MH370 in touch with air-traffic controllers, put on an oxygen mask, and depressurize the aircraft.

A photo of Captain Shah dressed in his captain uniform.
Captain Shah. Source: Pinterest

At such a high altitude (higher than Everest), everyone on board would have died from oxygen deficiency (hypoxia). As this theory goes, the captain then flew the aircraft between Thailand and Malaysia to avoid any military intervention on either side.

Reports Showed the Captain Was Mentally Stable

According to this theory, he would have then turned south to a destination he believed would prevent him from ever being found. The official report, however, stated that “There was no known history of apathy, anxiety, or irritability. There were no significant changes in his lifestyle, interpersonal conflict or family stresses.”

A dated picture of the captain.
Source: Pinterest

That’s what the official report from Malaysian Airlines reported. New information proves that statement is false. Malaysia, however, had stated that they are hiding nothing…

Debris from the aircraft has washed up in six countries, yet the bulk of the lost plane has yet to be found.

The Bulk of the Plane Is Still Missing

The main search, headed by Australia, was called off in 2017. An American robotics company, Ocean Infinity, searched over 50,000 square miles of ocean floor the year after, and came up with nothing. No current searches are being conducted, but the theories are still being considered.

A mother of one of the passengers’ cries as she hears the news.
Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Thanks to a recent documentary, new and interesting information is being revealed. The murder-suicide plot, for example, was revisited and even supported. A new documentary by Sky News Australia added fuel to the fiery speculation that MH370 was brought down by its own pilot.

A New Documentary Supports the Suicide Theory

In MH370: The Final Search, former commercial pilot and aviation writer Mike Glynn gives his expert opinion. According to Glynn, a 22-minute holding pattern discovered (in 2021) in the plane’s flight path might hold the key to the mystery.

A wife of a missing passenger lit a candle during an event for the missing Malaysian Airlines.
Photo by NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Remember how the flight did a sharp turn southwest? “There’s no reason to do that,” Glynn said. His theory has “always been that it was the captain who is responsible.” Glynn believes those 22 minutes were a time of “possible negotiation” between Captain Shah and someone else.

22 Minutes of “Possible Negotiation”

What would be his motive, though? Well, Glynn theorized that it would have been anger. Apparently, Shah’s distant relative and Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had been arrested before the doomed flight.

An unidentified floating object is brought up on the screen for verification.
Photo by Richard Wainwright-Pool/Getty Images

The documentary, however, gave an opposing argument. “Would it be enough for him to take such drastic action without saying he did it?” Journalist Ean Higgins proposed. “That’s difficult to say.” That Shah is the most likely culprit –intentionally downing the aircraft – is something the authorities have long focused on.

It Couldn’t Have Been the First Officer

In 2019, French investigators reported that Shah was likely in control of the plane “until the end.” As for Hamid, it was his first Boeing 777 mission without a training captain supervising him. He had only flown the aircraft five times before.

An image of a plane during a sunset.
Photo by Rob Griffith–Pool/Getty Images

Investigators said his “ability and professional approach to work was reported to be good.” That said, someone with such limited experience isn’t likely to pull off such a scheme. In 2020, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed that Malaysian authorities even suspected the crash was an intentional murder-suicide.

The Truth Comes Out

“I’m not going to say who said what to whom,” Abbott stated, “but let me reiterate, I want to be absolutely crystal clear, it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder-suicide by the pilot,” he said.

A coast guard looks out of a plane's window to the sea.
Photo by Rob Griffith–Pool/Getty Images

“I don’t see him as a person who could do that,” Malaysia Airlines Crisis Director Fuad said. “He has been flying as a Captain on a 777 since 1998 … so a very senior captain.” But I think it’s safe to say that even those we think we know well can surprise us…

What Was the Captain Hiding?

People don’t always show their true colors to their friends and families, especially their colleagues. A report in the Atlantic suggested Shah was clinically depressed and was suffering in a failed marriage. Who was Captain Shaw, really?

A course on flight safety is held in Beijing.
Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group/Getty Images

Well, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, born July 31, 1961, had been an airline pilot with Malaysia Airlines for 33 years, 16 of them as a Captain. He was an accomplished and well-respected pilot with no blemishes on his record. Shah was also a married man with three adult children.

Who Was This Captain Shaw?

He was known as a passionate cook and fisherman who lived with his wife in a gated community. After the fated flight, rumours surfaced that his wife had moved out of their home. Recently, a fellow Boeing 777 captain has reluctantly suggested that his close friend intentionally crashed the plane.

A friend of victims of the flight speaks during a press conference.
Photo by Simon Song/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

“It doesn’t make sense,” the unnamed pilot told The Atlantic. “It’s hard to reconcile with the man I knew. But it’s the necessary conclusion.” Shah’s family maintained a positive image of the captain after the event, but this façade has been contradicted by multiple indications of trouble.

Trouble Brewing Under the Surface

The anonymous fellow pilot believes Shah’s mental state was a contributing factor to his crucial and final decision. The Malaysian police, however, held back on divulging what was already known about Shah.

Reporters gather outside an airport.
Photo by Felix Wong/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

They were seemingly hiding different aspects of his life that should have made them dig more deeply. It came to light that the married captain was sending 26-year-old Malaysian twin sisters, models Lan Qi Hui and Qi Min Lan, personal messages. Apparently, he was begging them to come to Kuala Lumpur, where he lived.

The “Self-Destructive” Messages

His Facebook account was investigated after the disappearance, revealing 97 messages that psychologists say showed his “self-destructive” side. The messages he sent the sisters, for example, were sexually suggestive.

A man offers a prayer during a candlelight vigil for the flight passengers.
Photo by Firdaus Latif/NurPhoto/Corbis/Getty Images

On one occasion, he commented under a photo of Qi Min Lan in a bathrobe, “Just showered?” Shah continuously asked the girls when they were coming to visit his hometown, despite them repeatedly ignoring his advances. Also discovered on his Facebook account were signs pointing to his dislike of the government, like how he called the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, a “moron.”

He Should Have Been Fired for His Rants

Shah publicly slammed the government which owned the very airline he worked for. He urged his Facebook friends to follow suit: “There is a rebel in each and every one of us. Let it out!” According to aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas, such political rants should have been cause to fire Shah.

A man looks out from a viewing gallery as a Malaysia Airlines aircraft sits at the terminal.
Photo by Joshua Paul/NurPhoto/Corbis/Getty Images

Thomas told Australia’s Daily Telegraph: “It should have raised serious alarm bells with the airline that you have someone flying who has such strong anti-government views… If a Qantas pilot did something like that, he would be spoken to and grounded.”

The Airline Got Him All Wrong

The formal conclusions Malaysian Airlines drew were incorrect. The official account said, “There were no behavioral signs of social isolation, change of habits or interest.” After studying his behavioral pattern at the airport on the day of the flight (and the prior three flights), “there were no significant behavioral changes observed.”

A member of the Malaysian Airlines police stands guards at an airport.
Photo by Joshua Paul/NurPhoto/Corbis/Getty Images

He was seen well-groomed and attired, and his “gait, posture, facial expressions and mannerisms were his normal characteristics.” Again, this was in the official report, contradicting what came to be known about Shah. People who knew him personally painted a different picture.

Sad, Lonely, and Pacing His Empty Rooms

Based on accounts from those who knew him, Shah was often lonely and sad. His wife moved out of the house to live in the family’s other house (they owned two). He had told his friends that he spent a lot of time pacing the empty rooms, waiting for the days between his scheduled flights to go by.

A man is in tears during an event for the missing Malaysia Airline.
Photo by Joshua Paul/NurPhoto/Corbis/Getty Images

Shah was supposedly in touch with his children, but they were adults and already living on their own. There were also accounts of him engaging in a wistful relationship with a married woman who had three children of her own, one of then disabled.

The Man at the Top of the Pyramid

It’s been strongly suggested by investigators in the aviation and intelligence communities that Captain Shah was clinically depressed. His fellow captain described the whole mystery as a pyramid – broad at the base with one man at the top.

Relatives of the passengers wait for the latest information on the flight.
Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

In an interview with The Atlantic, the unnamed captain was asked about what Shah would have needed to do to deal with his cockpit companion, to which he replied, “That’s easy. Zaharie was an examiner. All he had to say was ‘Go check something in the cabin,’ and the guy would have been gone.”

His Wife Knew About the Flight Attendants

What about a motive? To this, the captain had no answer. He did say, however, “Zaharie’s marriage was bad. In the past, he slept with some of the flight attendants. And so what? We all do. You’re flying all over the world with these beautiful girls in the back. But his wife knew.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak addresses the media.
Photo by How Foo Yeen/Getty Images

Shah also enjoyed using his homemade flight simulator during his spare time. The FBI looked into this simulator, too. Forensic examinations revealed that Shah experimented with a flight profile that more or less matched that of MH370 —north around Indonesia, a long run to the south, and ending in fuel exhaustion over the Indian Ocean.

Was It a Cover-Up?

Malaysian investigators dismissed it, though, as merely one of several hundred in the simulator. The official Malaysian report just kept so many things absent. But does that mean there was a cover-up? And chances are there is even more information that has yet to come to light.

Relatives of the passengers on the missing flight cry.
Photo by Simon Song/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

While most of the international effort has subsided, the Malaysians just want the whole saga to end. But the answers more than likely lie with them, as they seem to know more than they have revealed so far.

For now, we can rely on the theories…

Was It a Hijacking by the Pilot?

Not all theories have precedent, but this incident was so bizarre that all angles would (and should) be examined. It is technically possible that either Shah or Hamid intended to land the aircraft and ditch it in a survivable state. But perhaps his plan failed and he lost oxygen in the process, along with the others onboard.

A dated picture of captain Shah sitting at home.
Captain Shah. Source: Pinterest

The motive for such a plan is hard to conceive, though. And besides, investigators concluded: “There is no evidence to suggest that the PIC [pilot in command] and FO [first officer] experienced recent changes or difficulties in personal relationships or that there were any conflicts or problems between them.”

But It’s Not Possible to Deactivate Masks

The report continued: “There had been no financial stress or impending insolvency, recent or additional insurance coverage purchased or recent behavioral changes for the crew.” It was also stated that it isn’t possible “to deactivate automatic deployment of the masks from the cockpit.”

A poster showing the cabin crew is displayed during a remembrance ceremony.
Photo by NurPhoto/Getty Images

Most flyers know that oxygen masks are set automatically to drop in the event of a severe fall in cabin pressure. This means that in this theoretical case, the passengers and crew would have had some time to try to communicate with the ground.

Did a Passenger or Crew Member Hijack the Plane?

With such a large number of passengers onboard, and 10 crew members, there are a range of possible motives for hijacking the plane. But as standard procedure goes, security measures were in place at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Still, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

A person holds a candle during a candlelight vigil for the missing passengers.
Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

Of the 227 passengers, two Iranians were travelling on passports that had been stolen from an Italian and an Austrian respectively. Investigations shows that they appeared to have been illegal immigrants, and in terms of motives, theirs was likely to reach the West rather than hijack a plane. As for the crew, they were all married with children, and thus unlikely culprits.

Was It a Remote, Cyberterrorism Hijacking?

Back in 2003, Boeing took out a “Patent on Remote Control Take-over of Aircraft” – a protocol designed to foil hijack attempts. With it, an “uninterruptible” autopilot could be activated, either by pilots, onboard sensors or remotely, if anyone (or anything) were to try to gain control of the cockpit.

An helicopter waits at an airport to direct the search and rescue for the missing airplane.
Photo by Felix Wong/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

It would make a manual hijacking virtually impossible. But then there are criminals on the ground who might be enabled by the same technology to take over the aircraft. Ultimately, Boeing reported that it never implemented the patented system… and “is not aware of any Boeing commercial aircraft that has incorporated such technology.”

Maybe the Plane Was Seized by a Stowaway

There is the off chance that someone boarded the aircraft before any of the passengers and crew, either in a suicidal mission or not. This is actual a theory that expert Philip Baum considers second-most likely after the suicide plot theory.

A ship searches for remains in the sea.
Photo by Greg Wood-Pool/Getty Images

Baum has shown that there’s an underfloor area outside the flight deck door which could indeed hide a person. This stowaway could also deactivate the transponder and make the aircraft “disappear.” Who knows? Maybe there was an ex-employee with a grudge (it does happen)? But the arguments against this theory have been heard…

But the Chances Are Just Too Slim

Many say that the odds of such a scenario seem extremely low. The begrudging stowaway would have needed access to the aircraft before it was prepared for departure from Kuala Lumpur. They would also have needed overcome the cabin crew, the 227 passengers and the two pilots in order to take over the aircraft.

An airplane comes in for a landing after search operations.
Photo by Rob Griffith-Pool/Getty Images

And this person would have had to not be reported as missing back on the ground. There was no terrorist group either, that announced a serious claim to have taken control of MH370. At the end of the day, all these theories – ridiculous or not – will only be tested when (and if) the aircraft is found.

Girlfriend of Missing Passenger Was Hopeful

Let’s take a turn to the more personal accounts of flight MH370 and those personally affected by the tragic event. One person directly affected was a woman named Sarah Hamil Bajc, the girlfriend of Philip Wood, an American passenger aboard the flight.

A dated picture of Sarah Hamil Bajc and Philip Wood spending time at the beach.
Sarah Hamil Bajc, Philip Wood. Source: Pinterest

Back, a business teacher in China, intended on joining Wood in Kuala Lumpur; they where planning to start a new life together there. Wood was on his way to her in Beijing to help her move. But fate had other plans in store for them.

He Was a No Show

When she fell in love with Wood, she had come out of a 22-year marriage with two kids who were already in college. On the day of the fated flight, Wood was setting up their new house with furniture, prepping for their move. He was also getting ready to board the flight to Beijing to meet Bajc.

A dated picture of Sarah and Philip smiling at the camera.
Sarah Hamil Bajc, Philip Wood. Source: Pinterest

The movers arrived at their place in Beijing at 10 a.m., but they were still waiting for Wood to arrive from the airport. He was supposed to land at 6 a.m. A driver had gone to pick him up from the airport, only to call Bajc and ask, “What should I do? Should I wait here?”

Nobody Was Saying Anything

All the information boards at the airport were blank; nobody was saying anything. Eventually, everybody was told to leave the airport. Something was clearly going on, but the news wasn’t reporting anything. So, Bajc called a friend who worked in IT at the British school where she taught.

Staff of Malaysia Airlines goes through paperwork at the departure terminal.
Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

He gave her access to the school’s private IP address that was able to bypass the Chinese firewall. This way, she could see the news being reported from Malaysia. That’s when she got the shocking news. Wood’s plane was missing.

She Fell Apart in the Chaos

The following few days were utter chaos. “It was the most horrendous rollercoaster,” she described, as there were so-called “sightings” on the news, like debris in the water. Still, there was no news on the plane or its passengers. Despite being a self-described “logical and put-together kind of person,” Bajc said she “literally fell apart.”

Bajc cries during a televised interview.
Sarah Hamil Bajc. Source: CNN News

She didn’t sleep for five days. Her youngest son, who was still living at home at the time, told her, “Mom, you’re going to die of a heart attack if you don’t take care of yourself.” He convinced her to take a tranquilizer so she could get some sleep.

Hearing All the Wild Theories

Bajc started getting involved, going to protests and talking to the press. She entered the role of advocate for the other passengers’ families. “I threw myself into this new responsibility as a way of venting my frustration and trying to take control of the situation,” she explained.

Bajc speaks during an interview.
Sarah Hamil Bajc. Source: NBC News

There were also all the theories floating around about Wood and the other lost souls. Some said they were stranded on an island, while others figured they were captured and being held in Afghanistan. The families could only wait and remain hopeful.

She Wrote Him Love Letters

In May of 2014, Bajc started writing of her pain and hope that they would soon be reunited, in a series of letters on her Facebook page. While search and rescue teams were frantically combing the waters, Bajc was keeping Wood updated.

A dated picture of Sarah and Philip.
Sarah Hamil Bajc, Philip Wood. Source: Pinterest

She would post about her day, sharing information he missed since the plane’s disappearance. One post read: “Dearest Love. This is the second Saturday of your disappearance,” and in another: “I cannot remember much of the first, but I have spent today remembering you.”

Get Rest and Eat Well

In another note, she told Wood, an IBM executive, that they never finished their last game of “Words with Friends.” She wrote, “I hope you are able to get some rest where you are, and that they are feeding you. Any chance they include a glass of wine with dinner?”

A dated photo of Philip.
Philip Wood. Source: Pinterest

But Bajc also expressed her frustration with how Malaysian authorities were handling the investigation so far. “Dysfunctional is the word!!!” she posted. Bajc told ABC News that she was still hopeful that the passengers were alive, yet “prepared” in the event that he wouldn’t return.

Alone and Stranded

But after several months, it became clear that Wood wasn’t coming back. She had no choice but to accept the fact. “I hadn’t just lost Philip; I had also lost all of the plans that we had made together. They had disappeared overnight, and I felt stranded. It was devastating.”

A portrait of Sarah.
Sarah Hamil Bajc. Source: Pinterest

She moved to Malaysia alone and took the new job at a new school. “For the first time in my life I was all by myself. I felt like a ghost during that period.” But eventually, she made it out of the dark hole.

She Found Love Again

Come 2022, and Bajc wrote an article titled My Partner Disappeared on the Malaysian Airlines MH370 Flight. This Is How I Found Love Again. Thankfully, she was able to move on, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still experience the trauma of losing someone so suddenly and tragically.

A photo of Bajc with her new partner.
Sarah Hamil Bajc. Source: Facebook

“If I’m watching a TV show and there is a plane crash, I will burst into tears and have nightmares for days afterwards. It’s an uncontrolled reaction, caused by trauma,” she wrote. She also chose not to watch any of the documentaries on the flight.

Bonding Over Lost Ones

Bajc moved on to Panama for another teaching job. There, she met Ernesto, with whom she had this “intense, immediate connection.” After six months of dating, he asked her why she never talked about Wood. He asked if she still loved him.

A picture of Bajc by the beach.
Sarah Hamil Bajc. Source: Facebook

While she admitted that she did, it didn’t change the way she felt about Ernesto. Thankfully, he was very accepting. In a matter of sheer coincidence, Ernesto had a sister who died in a plane crash in the early ’90s. It was something they were able to bond over. After a year together, the two married.