The Malaysia Airlines plane missing since Friday evening U.S. Eastern Time was carrying one adult American, the man’s family confirmed Saturday. Philip Wood, 50, of Keller, Texas was an employee of IBM, working in the corporation’s Kuala Lumpur office, and a father of two, and was a passenger on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to Beijing.
There were two other passengers traveling on American passports on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Both are children. They have been identified as four-year-old Nicole Meng and Yan Zheng, who was only two years old.
“Philip Wood was a wonderful man,” wrote Elanie Wood, the missing passenger’s former wife, in a Facebook post. “Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now.”
Philip Wood’s two sons both live in Texas. One currently attends Texas A&M University while the older son is a graduate of that school.
Though the family of Philip Wood have confirmed that he was aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane they told media outlets that they don’t know anything else.
“We’re relying on our Lord,” said Aubrey Wood, father of the missing passenger. “He’s the one who carries the load. We’re all sticking together. What can you do? What can you say?”
Philip Wood was back in Keller on a visit just last week, a friend of the Wood family told The Dallas Morning News.
Before relocating to IBM’s Malaysia office, Wood — who sold technical storage solutions for the global technology firm — worked out the Beijing, a job he took when the company was offering overseas positions to employees who “wanted to experience the world,” said a 25-year friend of Philip Wood, retired IBM employee Craig Dahl.
“That’s the kind of spirit that Philip had, an adventuresome person who wouldn’t mind experiencing another culture and getting immersed in it,” Dahl, 51, recalled. “He was a very encouraging person and a lot of fun to be with.”
The flight from Malaysia to the Chinese capital was a routine trip for Wood, said Dahl, who also traveled regularly in his job at IBM. Dahl said that he has been hit hard by imagining what his friend must have gone through on the Malaysia Airlines plane.
“That’s what really strikes hard with me, knowing that a friend of mine went through that. I know that the odds are not in his favor but miracles do occur, so maybe there will be something that will be found,” Dahl said.
Wood’s family released a statement describing him as “a man of God, a man of honor and integrity.”
The missing Malaysia Airlines plane has another Texas connection. The Austin firm Freescale Semiconductor said that 20 of its employees, 12 Malaysians and eight Chinese nationals, were on board Flight MH370.