Thursday, March 20, 2014

MH370 mystery: Radar hits of significant size indicate something lurking below water's surface

MH370 mystery: Radar hits of significant size indicate something lurking below water's surface
Posted on 20 March 2014 
Update 3.45pm
A flight crew scouring the southern Indian Ocean for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane says they are getting radar hits of "significant size", indicating something lurking below the water's surface.

According to a report in The Star, ABC News' David Wright said the crew told him the radar indicated "there is something down there" on board the US Navy P-8 Poseidon.

It is still too early to tell if the radar hits are related to the missing plane, which was carrying 239 people when it disappeared on March 8.

The P-8 is among four aircraft and one merchant ship heading to a region off the coast of Australia after two objects that may be related to the plane were spotted by satellite, officials said Thursday.

Update 2.30pm:
Australian Maritime Safety Authority official John Young has said that the largest 'object' spotted in the Southern Indian Ocean was 24-metres wide, and a second object spotted was smaller.

This newest satellite imagery in which AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia received is what officials believe might be related to the search for the missing MH370, and is what they are calling the "best lead" they have.

Young said in a media statement:

"Four aircraft have been reoriented to the area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth as a result of this information.

"A further three aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area later today, including a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft.

"The focus for AMSA is to continue the search operation, with all available assets. The assets are searching for any signs of the missing aircraft.

Weather conditions are moderate in the southern Indian Ocean where the search is taking place. Poor visibility has been reported.

"AMSA continues to hold grave concerns for the passengers and crew on board."

Original article: 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today, Mar 20, that two objects possibly related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been sighted.

According to The Star, Abbott told parliament "new and credible information" had come to light nearly two weeks after the plane vanished.

He did not specify where they were but Australia has taken charge of the search in the southern Indian Ocean.

"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite information of objects possibly related to the search," Abbott said, adding that he had informed Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said an Australian air force Orion had already been diverted to look into the objects with three more surveillance planes to follow.

However, he warned against drawing any premature conclusions.

"We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult, and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370," he said.

The AMSA was due to hold a news conference with more details.

Previously, pieces of debris that were thought to be from MH370 were found, but investigators were unable to confirm if it was from the plane. The Malaysian Airlines plane that was headed to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am on Saturday (Mar 8).

Australian, US and New Zealand long-range surveillance planes have been scouring a vast tract of the southern Indian Ocean since Tuesday, with the search focused on an area of 305,000 square kilometres (122,000 square miles), some 2,600 kilometres southeast of Perth.
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