An Australian company claims to have found the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Fight MH370 on the seafloor in the Bay of Bengal by using a completely different approach from those employed by military search teams, according to the Malaysian government. The firm, GeoResonance Technology, a land and sea mineral survey company, uses magnetic resonance systems to identify mineral deposits on land and at sea, but the company has also been employed to find the wreckage of World War II vintage naval vessels and aircraft.
First reports indicate that GeoResonance has found the wreckage of a commercial aircraft approximately 100 miles from the shores of Bangladesh, one of several nations originally considered a potential destination for a hijacked aircraft. Since Flight MH370 is the only commercial jet aircraft ever lost without a trace, there is a high probability that the material on the seafloor is, in fact, the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft.
Space Age Techniques Used in Location Effort
Using locations plotted from “multispectral images” taken from space on March 10, two days after MH370 went missing, GeoResonance was able to identify an anomaly on the sea floor in the general configuration of a large commercial aircraft. Comparisons with a previously taken set of images from the same area disclosed that the anomaly had appeared on the sea floor between March 5, 2014, when the first set of images were taken, and March 10, 2014, when the second set of images were collected.
A subsequent analysis indicated the presence of materials associated with the type of aircraft in question, a Boeing 777, in the water at the location where purported aircraft was found. The combination of a large aircraft and the specific mixture of materials in the area, indicates the presence of the missing 777.
GeoResonance has pinpointed a crash area more than 6,500 miles from the area in the South Indian Ocean that has been the focus of the search effort since the aircraft went missing on the basis of fragmentary electronic communications traces. Experts connected with the official search efforts are skeptical about the GeoResonance report, despite the fact that the Bay of Bengal was one of two locations that the electronic data indicated as possible crash sites.
Search Continues in South Indian Ocean
Inmarsat, the British company whose satellites helped to identify and locate the final seven pings received from the missing aircraft, gave the Malaysian government two potential locations based on the fragmentary data. One was in the South Indian Ocean, 1,500 miles South of Perth, Australia. The other was in the Bay of Bengal, precisely where GeoResonance claims to have found the missing aircraft.
Based on Inmarsat’s information, Malaysian authorities drew the conclusion that the missing aircraft was in the South Indian Ocean, and focused the search in that region. However, Inmarsat executives have claimed that the decision to search only in the South Indian Ocean was made by the government of Malaysia and the other nations involved in the search effort and not by them.
GeoResonance claims that it first alerted the Malaysian Airlines, the Malaysian government and the Chinese governments to its findings on March 31, well before the black box batteries had run out. The Australian government was informed of the findings on April 4th, 2014. According to informed reports, GeoResonance Technology was not looking for Flight MH370 when it conducted its sea floor survey on March 5, 2014 because the ill-fated plane had not gone missing yet, nor was it specifically looking for the missing aircraft when it conducted a followup study on March 10 but, in the immediate aftermath of disappearance of the aircraft, it was hard for the geological research company to miss the telltale signs on the sea floor.
GeoResonance uses, satellite imagery together with more than 20 different technologies to examine surface and sub-surface areas down to 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) below the surface of the earth, or under the sea. With more than 50 projects under their belts, the company has worked in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Mauritania, Turkey, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Iran.
Frustration Mounts Among Families As Cost of Search Soars
After almost two months of intense, fruitless searching,amid continuing frustration among the families of the aircraft’s passengers, the official search effort has failed to identity any debris or other artifacts from the missing aircraft. The announcement from GeoResonance pours gasoline on that frustration by suggesting the official searchers have been searching in the wrong place all along.
CNN reports that the search is moving into a new phase as the search moves from an official government project to one in which private contractors will be retained to conduct underwater searches. The officials have estimated the cost of the private search effort at more than $56 million.
Other theories have surfaced recently putting the missing aircraft in the Gulf of Thailand, where an American pilot, working from images posted on the Tomnod.com crowd sourcing website, has located what looks like a large, intact aircraft in the waters off the coast of Thailand. Other, less credible reports have also been posted in various places.
GeoResonance, however, does not claim that the wreckage on the sea floor in the Bay of Bengal is the missing aircraft. They do, however, believe the anomaly on the sea floor is a large, commercial aircraft….and no other such aircraft have gone missing during the time frame in question.
By Alan M. Milner
Look for me on Twitter:@alanmilner