New satellite images have possibly found something significant in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. 122 pieces of debris found in the Indian Ocean could be a new clue toward the discovery of what happened to the plane. The objects are located about 1,500 miles southwest of Australia. U.S. search teams will need to fly 1300 to 1400 miles to get to the area of the possible wreckage.
French-based satellite communication operators took the images Sunday, and the objects appear to be anywhere between 1 to 23 meters in size. These objects are the most “credible lead we have,” said one top Malaysian official.
There are currently a dozen airplanes and ships originating from China, the United States, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia at the same search site. Commander William Marks, on the site with his team aboard the U.S.S. Blue Ridge, spoke with the CBC early this morning to discuss the matter. “It is a layered approach, a multi-center approach and I can tell you something, if we fly over something, we’re going to see it,” he said.
The Malaysia Airlines missing flight is being called one of the largest mysteries in aviation. Officials in Australia are taking the role as the lead agency for the search effort in the southern sector.
The desperate search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been ongoing since March 8th. If the objects do in fact turn out to be pieces of the missing jet, a team would then be able to begin a deep sea surveillance search. The search field remains quite large, with an area of estimated 600 thousand miles.
Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian acting transport minister, gave a press conference where he held up images of the 122 objects found, which appeared as little white dots in the satellite images. “As you can see, it was an incredible feat, it was covered all by clouds,” he said. Time is ticking for the battery-powered black boxes aboard the flight that were only designed to last for about a month. Flight MH370’s black boxes would likely stop sending signals from the Indian Ocean within about two weeks, if that is where they are located.
Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has said they are “throwing everything we have at this search,” which should help to ease the minds of some of the families of the 239 people presumed dead in the crash, who are still demanding answers. Two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese and their relatives were furious to hear Malaysian officials declaring their loved ones dead without any evidence. Abbott calls the area the “most inaccessible spot imaginable,” yet he vowed to do all he can to solve the mystery.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is organizing the southern search operation on Malaysia’s behalf. There are plans to deploy the Bluefin-21 underwater drone along with a U.S. Pinger Locator, which will be fitted to the Australian ship, the Ocean Shield.
Search efforts located in the Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight could prove to be difficult again considering the bad weather expected this Wednesday and Thursday. Australian meteorologists are expecting strong winds, precipitation from a cold front and reduced visibility through the rain. They are also expecting the seas to pick up as well, which may further scatter the 122 objects found on the satellite images.
By Katie Sevigny