BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been more than three weeks since a jumbo jet took off from Malaysia and vanished. Within days, the phone rang in Pasadena, sending a former employee here at WJZ into the middle of the search.

Mike Schuh explains.

It’s the mystery gripping the planet: what caused a state-of-the-art airplane to vanish? Now 10 high-tech aircraft and even more surface ships are combing the waters off Australia.

At WJZ, we know him as OJ. He’s an Emmy-winning photographer who now travels the world, working with world leaders and bringing us news through our partner, CNN…which brings us to his current location.

“If you’d have told me three weeks ago I’d be in Perth, Australia, covering this story, I’d have told you you were crazy,” said Oliver Janney.

He was there when family members confronted Malaysian authorities in a hotel hallway.

“This is certainly a tough one,” he said. “There’s nothing like the sound of a mother’s wail who’s lost her child. So it is, it is tough.”

In this setting, he quickly realized the international media operates by different–and rougher–rules.

“I’d also never seen police react to the media that way. I would compare it to a riot situation where you didn’t quite know what was going to happen next,” he said.

He’s moved to Perth, where the U.S. Navy is operating from an Australian airbase. He’s the only U.S.-based CNN photographer there.

“I don’t know if any of us know when this story will come to an end and what will that end look like,” he said. “I said I really don’t want to miss the first Ravens game.”

The Malaysian airline disappeared over three weeks ago when it took off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

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