Closure may be at hand

Could this be it?

A Chinese warship that has joined the intensive search for Malaysian Air Flight MH 370 has detected a signal from the floor of the Indian Ocean. Authorities say the signal is being broadcast on a frequency used by flight data recorders.

There might be — quite possibly — a good chance that the end of a gripping mystery is about to arrive.

The vessel has detected the “pinger” signal about 1,000 west of Perth, Australia. The idea now is to locate the precise origin of the signal, which the ships gathered across the ocean are able to do.

Meanwhile, the families of those lost aboard the flight await word.

I can vouch for their anxiety in the month since the plane disappeared after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. My family and I went through something like this once ourselves many years ago. The family members’ minds and hearts have been playing cruel tricks on them as they wait for any word at all about the fate of the 239 people on board the Boeing 777.

As cruel as one’s mind can become in times like these, perhaps the worst cruelty has been perpetrated by those who have suggested out loud that the plane didn’t crash at all, that it was hijacked and spirited away somewhere.

Let us hope that — finally — searchers can find the precise source of the signal they’ve heard, can retrieve that recorder and reveal to the world precisely what happened aboard that doomed airplane.