April 9th, 2008
04:36 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Things that make you go “huh?!”

I’m not someone who freaks out about flying. Yes, every now and then – and especially now that I am a Mom – I have the fleeting “what if…” thoughts, but I believe if it’s my time to go, there isn’t much I can do. Still, the details emerging about the shape of the planes we all travel aboard makes me wonder if at some point engineering – or lack thereof –could mess with the universe’s plans for me.

This is sick on so many levels. A British mother is charged in connection with the alleged abduction of her daughter. Nine year old daughter Shannon Matthews disappeared in February. She was found three weeks later at the home of a family friend, under a bed. There are other sketchy details emerging – the mother’s boyfriend has been charged in an unrelated case with possessing child porn, and more familiy members have been brought in for questioning. If she is involved, I am ill. Who fakes their child’s abduction?

In India, a baby girl born with two faces is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess. Lali was born with a single head but four eyes, two mouths, two noses… and everything appears to be working fine. It’s almost unbelievable, were it not for the pictures.
And a reminder – we need your Webby votes!

We want to use one of those five word speeches you are all working on so vote early and vote often.

– Erica Hill, 360° Correspondent

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kristie

    Hey Erica,

    I agree with Bill, Judith, and everyone....why haven't you subbed yet when Anderson is away...I mean they gave everyone a chance to do it but you. We all thought when you would move to New York you would be sub-anchoring or reporting from the field, so far they haven't let you do anything!

    We keep waiting...maybe next time you will do it...and we are always surprised with a new sub anchor first it was Soledad, and now Campbell Brown. I mean why are they making Campbell work overtime when you are RIGHT THERE.

    We love Campbell and Soledad as well....but they already are doing other things. And its time they gave you a CHANCE!

    We think you are great!!!! They need to give you a chance to show your talent...hopefully next time!

    April 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  2. Bill B

    Your examples make me smile... and that's a compliment. Life is sometimes stranger than fiction.

    What really makes me go "huh?" is what I've been researching on Pastor John Hagee and his followers and going through what they have set out to do all these years in their attempt to hasten up Armageddon, and their drive to take over Jerusalem, and to control the minds of the Israelis. Hey, the word "Armageddon" merely came in one single verse from the New Covenant (known also as the Greek Testament). And Armageddon is oft spelt out as Har Megido (הר מגידו), in Hebrew, meaning "Hill of Megiddo" Besides, there is no full proof that John of Patmos. who authored the Book of Revelation (with its apostolic origin), is the same person as John, the Apostle. John of Patmos was an exile, and people who had lived in exile, have been known to resort to hate and revenge. Take Ahmed Chalibis, for example. If anything, the promotion of paranoid fear of Armageddon is a manipulated ploy to intimidate people into submission to their power of control. Oh yes, the very word "Armageddon" makes me go "huh??".

    April 10, 2008 at 4:05 am |
  3. Jacqui Chan

    Hey Erica, I agree with you. That story was extremely disturbing. With stories of such extreme abuse becoming more and more common with time, It's hard to figure out, does the world get crazier with time or is it that media is more willing to cover stories and people speak out more. I feel that with a growing population and the fact that society in general is becoming more desensitized it is not media spin but indeed society is becoming more corrupt. It is unfortunately true that the world is becoming more chaotic with time but there is still a lot of good. You seem like a wonderful person and it's good to know your baby was a wonderful, intelligent Mom and that's a lot more stability than many children have.
    Take care, Jacqui Chan

    April 10, 2008 at 3:32 am |
  4. Sophia Tupolev

    As an American, I want to be proud of every aspect of my country, including the aircraft we fly on daily. Disenchanting, so far. Those airlines with debilitating mechanical failures should have bought Russian aircraft for longevity of their fleets, not these hulking, splintering fabrications that masquerade as safe aircraft. All credit to the dexterous pilots that avert mid-air disasters caused by inexcusable mechanical failure.

    Sophia G. Tupolev

    Elliott School of International Affairs
    George Washington University
    Washington, D.C.

    April 10, 2008 at 2:34 am |
  5. Liv, ct

    I send the airplanes my daughters are on angel's wings to hold and protect, it calms me , sill maybe....

    It is so good that people worship this little girlie with two faces, instead of being scared ......

    April 9, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  6. Ratna, New York, NY

    Hi Erica,

    Did you know that ancient Hindu scriptures, Upanisads actually condemn this type of worship and calls it speculated concocted practice. And also the way the caste system is practiced in India is condemned in their very own religious scriptures.

    Yes, really something the go "huh" about.

    April 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Liv, ct

    flying...my daughters fly a lot. I get nervous, so I am calling or tracing the flight on computer, and send thee airplane angels wings to hold it, protect it...silly, but calms down... 😉

    the little two faced girl....it is amazing, unbelievable what nature can do. Good for people that they worship her instead of being scared.....

    the British woman – people like this should not be able to have children – the molesters, abusers....no child in the world should suffer.

    April 9, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  8. Chuck in Alabama


    If you want to feel better flying commercial, try flying into "hot zone" in Iraq one time and hearing bullets hit the side of your aircraft.

    April 9, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  9. Sebbe - Mystic, Connecticut

    I try to avoid all domestic airlines whenever possibly. The quality between most domestic flights and international carriers is appalling. Lucky for me not so much a problem since most of my travel is to Europe. Even when flying to West Coast I try to fly a European airline from New York. If your in Atlanta probably unavoidable though.

    THe British woman – crazy.

    The India girl – unbelievable.

    April 9, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  10. CJ Smith

    Not so many years ago, airline mission statements focused on safety and comfort for their customers. Now they focus on profitability. Given the shift in stated objectives and in the American business culture, these safety problems should not be a surprise. Decisions are now made mostly on the basis of profitability. They calculate the costs of a crash with a defined number of deaths. If those costs exceed the costs of a change in practice, then they make the change.

    We need a shift in business culture, but I fear it won't come without good leadership in all governmental and business entities. Investors should have less say in business decisions.

    April 9, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  11. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Erica, since you work in the news I bet you are like "Oh my ..." everyday with some of the things people do now..then again it's not all bad. Erica it would be cool to see a picture of your baby, Anderson has shown yours as a teen..just a thought. see u tonight.

    April 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  12. Megan Dresslar

    That will good program tonight. Yes, I did fly to Houston with my friend few years ago. It was so awesome to fly! that was first time to fly. Someday I wlll fly again anytime. I can't wait fly to somewhere or any island. I will see you soon on AC360. Hope Anderson will come back to work........ Thanks Campbell for subbing Anderson this week... Campbell is most important anchor in Election Center. I am blasted to join AC360 blog tonight. See you tonight!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa.

    April 9, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  13. Sandy Jay, Newfoundland, Canada

    I have always had a fear of flying, and I think that it was instilled in me by my mother, who has a crippling fear of flying. I finally got over it in my late teens by going up in a single engine plane with my friend, who is a pilot. Once we were up there, he did basically everything he could to try to scare me, including over 15 pushovers (a pushover is basically where the plane nosedives towards the ground, so the plane is falling faster than you are, and you get lifted off your seat....it's not an experience I recommend for the faint of heart). After surviving that as my first flight, I rarely get nervous on flights anymore.

    April 9, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  14. McGee, The OC

    Since when has " just doing the minimum required ' ever been good business policy in the US ? Erica, I sure hope that the next minimums do not involve fuel loads or pilot sleep time.

    April 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  15. Tammy

    I also subscribe to the you don't go before it's your time theory. And I, too, am wondering now if this lack of maintenance issue isn't speeding up the process potentially. I really might need the Xanbars and Scotch on the plane just in case I need to go down in a state of numb. Good grief! Seriously, I do need to fly for travel and mission multiple times a year. And I can't worry about the what if's. Life is too short to not experience it all because of a statistical blip or two.

    As for this "mom" in Britain, does the term psych eval have any meaning? She needs to seriously see how the mental health system over their can benefit her. And as result, her kid will need to see this, too.

    I do hope that baby in India has a wonderful life. She is beautiful. And a blessing.

    April 9, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  16. Michael, NC

    Not to follow the tracks of others here, BUT, I too wish you were second in command when Anderson is gone. I can see why everyone loves him, but I like you just as much and wish sometimes it was just you up there! I love when you and Campbell or Soledad host. Thats always great. Just my way of saying thanks for the stories, you brighten the newsroom! 🙂

    April 9, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  17. Bill in Nebraska


    About flying, I hear what you are saying. I have over 10,000 hours in commercial flights. In all of that time I was on one flight that was bad. We lost out #2 engine on take off from LAX. Our pilot, who was the one that ran the throttles in the Sioux City crash, did a fantastic job. He got us out and looped around and got us down safely. It was kind of scary but I never thought I would die. The pilot was really good in how he handled all the passengers.

    So like you say, when it is your time it is your time. My thing has always been that if "God" punches your ticket then he punches your ticket and there are no refunds.


    April 9, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  18. Judith, Cologne Germany

    Hi Erica,
    those are interesting stories. I wonder what they are going to do with the baby with the two faces. Are they planning a surgery to remove one face or are they keeping it this way?
    I never think about the risks of flying, once I'm ON the plane, only before and after...
    By the way I totally second "Bill in Nebraska". I thought when you came to New York, it meant that you would fill in for Anderson whenever he has the day off. But I enjoy your behind the scenes videos, and I'd love to hear Anderson sing backstage, but somehow I doubt that we ever get to hear that....
    See you tonight

    April 9, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  19. Alexander

    Erica, flying has always been a dangerous affair. People take flying for granted because companies spend their time and money making sure that their planes are operating at sufficient levels of performance so as to minimize accidents and other unwanted incidents. The main problem arises out of lack of maintenance, as, in order for planes to be able to fly successfully, a significant amount of maintenance work needs to be conducted in order to provide safety in the air, in flight. Basically, flying itself is a risk. But, flying in under-performing aircrafts is a greater risk. I just hope you stay safe when you fly, Erica. As a news anchor, you probably have to fly frequently.

    April 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  20. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    I always try to not think about the plane itself i am getting on but I ALWAYS place my hand on the outside of the plane and say a quick prayer and I have never had any issues flying. I always try to remember that I am much safe in the air then I am on the road and I agree with you Erica, when it is your time, it is your time.

    April 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  21. stephanie h, brooklyn, ny usa

    The flying debacle is such a mess, but operates like everything elsoe on the "if it ain't broke..." theory; similar to bridges, railways, barges and the like, the U.S. does not seem to be a great believe in infrastructure support until tragedy strikes. What's truly amazing seems to be the lack of oversight or the shoddy oversight practices. Nothing like having companies police themselves.

    Hmm, why would someone fake the abduction of their child? Can you say 15 minutes of fame and a story on CNN?

    It's great to have you on the AC 360 hour.

    April 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  22. Bill in Nebraska


    You always bring some of the strangest and most interesting stories to light in your blogging. I just wish that the powers that be there would let you take over for AC when he is away. I mean sheesh! everybody other than you gets a crack at the wheel, even CB. Now don't get me wrong here, I like most of them and have watched them for years, but I would really rather see you more in that case than less, you know.

    SO I say they let you take the helm sometimes when AC is out of the office. I also really like your behind the scenes video's. Someday you need to sneak up on AC when he is just chilling and singing show tunes or something. You need some really good dirt on him... LOL...

    Thanks for all that you do Erica,

    April 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  23. Lilibeth

    Funny you blogged about flying...I was just talking to a friend who said she hates it. I’ve never been afraid of flying, but all the recent news about unsafe planes is very disconcerting. I’m actually flying in a few weeks. I wish I could drive, but I don’t have the extra time.

    The baby with 2 faces is unreal. I hope she grows up to live a normal life.

    I voted for you guys on the Webby awards and submitted my 5-word speech to David R. Do you think AC360 can somehow reward its regular bloggers? How about a party for us?

    See you tonight!

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  24. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    We take our chances on everything in life, guess flying is just one more chance. Nothing is guaranteed, absolutely nothing.
    Things that make you go huh? Everything, Everyday...But in all the doom and gloom, I still believe we have a great country and world, great people in it and wonderful things going on. Yes, a little Pollyanna for a Wednesday. The glass half full day...Not always a bad thing..Cheers.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    April 9, 2008 at 5:04 pm |

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