Mother, brothers of missing Keller man want more proof about Flight 370

Posted Monday, Mar. 24, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Sondra Wood of Keller watched TV news reports on Monday as some relatives of passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were overcome with grief and anger upon hearing that the jetliner probably went down March 8 in the far southern Indian Ocean.

She understands their raw emotions.

Her son, Philip Wood, 50, of Keller is among the missing 227 passengers and 12 crew members.

“I feel so empathetic with the other families,” she said. “Some of them lost three members. That’s horrendous, just devastating.”

But Wood spoke calmly by phone from her home in Keller. She said that she and her husband, Aubrey, and their other children — two sons and a daughter — have been steadied by their faith.

“We trust in the Lord who is sovereign and in control,” she said. “He did not cause this, but he can bring us peace in the midst of this.

“That doesn’t mean that I don’t cry suddenly. I do. I’m sad and I want him back.”

Malaysian officials on Monday said satellite data indicated that Flight 370 went down in the southern end of the Indian Ocean. They said no one on board could have survived.

Although the Wood family is ready to accept that Philip and the other passengers may be gone, they still want proof of what happened.

“One prayer was answered regarding what had actually happened,” said brother Tom Wood of Fort Worth. “A lot of people are saying it crashed. Now we’d like more proof [of] that.

“We wonder where that conclusion came from with such certainty, but with no real hard evidence. Everyone’s saying, ‘Wreckage, we found the wreckage,’ but they have no wreckage.

“I think they took all these calculations, put them in a software program and [it] spit out an answer.

“We’re willing to accept he’s gone, if that’s the case. It’s just hard not knowing anything for two weeks.”

Another brother, James Wood of Oklahoma City, said on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° that he initially assumed searchers actually found some wreckage. Later, he learned that was not the case, which put him on an emotional roller coaster.

“I really thought someone had put eyes on the water and had found something when they made a statement that was so definitive,” he told Anderson Cooper. “That’s a bold statement to make without having an actual piece of information, a tangible piece of evidence.

“I’m very hopeful they’re going to find something very soon.”

The brothers both noted that their sister, Paige, has been overlooked in news reports. James, the youngest, said Paige and Philip were very close because they were the closest in age; she is the eldest child and Philip is the second born.

The family recently saw Philip Wood, an executive for IBM, when he visited Texas. He had been working in Beijing for the two years and was making his last work trip to China before starting a new assignment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Philip Wood is divorced with two adult sons. His girlfriend, Sarah Bajc, has spoken to the media and maintains a Facebook page titled “Finding Philip Wood.”

“The memories are many,” Sondra Wood said of Philip. “He was very smart, very creative and very curious. He grew chili peppers in his garden and made jelly. He wrote poetry and rode motorcycles.

“And I had one precious week with him before he left for Kuala Lumpur, and that was a gift as well.”

Sondra Wood said she earlier had hoped that the missing plane had landed on a remote airstrip, but that hope was dashed on Monday.

“Your mind can go crazy, thinking what might have happened on that plane,” she said, “but you can’t go there.”

Now she is bracing for the possibility that the plane may never be found.

“I want to know,” she said, “but I may never know.

“But, I don’t have to have that. We believe in heaven, and I will see Philip again. And I have that peace that passes all understanding.”

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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