a reply to: 3n19m470
THE final resting place of MH370 is no closer to being known after Australian authorities today discounted an area that had been considered the most
The triangle of water in the Indian Ocean was seen as the prime area largely as a result of acoustic pings picked up last month,and thought to be from
the plane’s black box.
But the Australian Transport Safety Bureau today advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and
that the area can be discounted as the final resting place of MH370.
The official word came after a US Navy official told CNN this morning that the pings are now universally believed to have come from a man-made source
unrelated to the missing jetliner, and not from the plane’s data or cockpit voice recorders.
Michael Dean, the Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering, said that if the pings had come from the recorders, searchers would have found
“Our best theory at this point is that (the pings were) likely some sound produced by the ship ... or within the electronics of the Towed Pinger
Locator,” Dean said.
“Always your fear any time you put electronic equipment in the water is that if any water gets in and grounds or shorts something out, that you
could start producing sound.”
When asked if the other nations involved in the search effort also believed the pings were unrelated to MH370, Dean answered “yes”.
He went on to tell CNN that it is not possible to categorically rule out that the pings came from the black boxes but that there is no evidence to
suggest they did.
The US Navy later dismissed Mr Dean’s comments as “speculative and premature” — but that was before the ATSB’s announcement this
“The US has been working cooperatively with our Malaysian, Australian and international partners for more than two months in an effort to locate
MH370,” US Navy spokesman Chris Johnson said in a statement.
“Mike Dean’s comments today were speculative and premature, as we continue to work with our partners to more thoroughly understand the data
acquired by the Towed Pinger Locator.
“As such, we would defer to the Australians, as the lead in the search effort, to make additional information known at the appropriate time.”
The ATSB said Bluefin-21 completed its last mission yesterday afternoon searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals which
were detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from ADV Ocean Shield.
“The data collected on yesterday’s mission has been analysed. As a result, the JACC can advise that no signs of aircraft debris have been found by
the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle since it joined the search effort,” it said in a statement.
This comes after News Corp Australia last week revealed that underwater scientists have labelled the search for MH370 a “debacle” and say Prime
Minister Tony Abbott was playing politics when he prematurely announced the black box pingers had been found.
The acoustic experts, who do not wish to be identified, said the four crucial signals detected by a US pinger locator were almost certainly not from
the missing Malaysian Airlines plane’s black boxes, but from another man-made source.
They insisted that the signals were in the wrong frequency and detected too far apart to be from the boxes.
“As soon as I saw the frequency and the distance between the pings I knew it couldn’t be the aircraft pinger,” one scientist said.
That conclusion is supported by the lack of success from a detailed search of the area conducted by the US deep sea drone Bluefin 21.
In answer to questions from News Corp Australia the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said that the signals were “likely” sourced from
electronic equipment and were “believed to be” consistent with the Flight Data Recorder.
However the scientists said the 33.3 kilohertz frequency of the signal was very different to the 37.5 kilohertz generated by underwater acoustic
beacons. The signals were also detected some 30km and four days apart.
The JACC has refused a request to release recordings of the signals for independent analysis and it did not release the exact location or precise
depth of the signals.
Agency head retired defence chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the signals were still being analysed to ensure nothing was overlooked.
Meanwhile the families of passengers aboard missing flight MH370 accuse Malaysia of a cover-up over newly released satellite data, saying it is
incomplete and does not prove that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
This comes as the first stage of the search off the west coast of Australia concludes without finding any debris from the missing Boeing 777.
The Malaysian Airlines flight, with 239 passengers and crew on board, disappeared in the early hours of March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to
Beijing. Since then no trace of the jetliner has been found, despite a multi-million dollar search effort.