Malaysian Plane FOUND? Satellite Spots Objects Possibly From Flight MH370 In Indian...

Malaysian Plane FOUND? Satellite Spots Objects Possibly From Flight MH370 In Indian Ocean (VIDEO)

By Daily Mail Online on March 20, 2014
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A woman, center, believed to be the relative of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing International Airport in Beijing on Saturday.

Two objects that may be wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been spotted floating in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.

The Australian government released pictures taken by satellite on March 16 of possible plane debris seen around 2,500km (1,500miles) southwest of Perth.

For all the latest on the disappearance of flight MH370 follow coverage of the story

One of the objects is estimated to be 78ft (24m) in size and the sighting of the objects was said by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to be ‘credible and potentially important’. 

U.S and Australian search aircraft and naval vessels have been dispatched to the area, with significant radar pings reportedly being returned to one U.S surveillance plane from the area the objects were see in.

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Two pieces of wreckage that are possibly from the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 - one estimated to be 78ft in size - have been found to the west of Australia, it was announced today. Pictured: Satellite pictures released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority of the object thought to be related to the search for MH370

Two pieces of wreckage that are possibly from the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 – one estimated to be 78ft in size – have been found to the west of Australia, it was announced today. Pictured: Satellite pictures released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority of the object thought to be related to the search for MH370. 

The debris was spotted on satellite imagery and a total of four aircraft have been sent to investigate the sighting, some 1553 miles off the coast of Perth

The debris was spotted on satellite imagery and a total of four aircraft have been sent to investigate the sighting, some 1553 miles off the coast of Perth.

Map: Four aircraft have been sent to the area, pictured, where the objects were spotted

Map: Four aircraft have been sent to the area, pictured, where the objects were spotted.

Narrowed the search: Investigators have halved the scope of the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 to an area roughly the size of Arizona, off the coast of Australia

Narrowed the search: Investigators have halved the scope of the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 to an area roughly the size of Arizona, off the coast of Australia. 

One surveillance aircraft is already in the area, with others en route. However, the area is so far away that they can only spend a limited amount of time there before needing to return to base to refuel.

John Young of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said at an afternoon press conference that one aircraft was already on scene searching the area, and three others were due to meet it into Thursday evening. A merchant ship dispatched in the search operation was also due to arrive around 6p.m. Canberra time.

The imagery was progressively captured by satellites passing over the area and analysed by the Australian Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation.

Commercial satellites have been tasked with collecting higher resolution images of the floating objects.

Mr Young said visibility was poor in the area, hampering both air and satellite efforts and he estimated the water in the location where the debris was spotted to be several thousand feet deep.

‘I must emphasize that these objects may be very difficult to locate,’ he told reporters.

Commercial satellites have been tasked with collecting higher resolution images of the floating objects

Commercial satellites have been tasked with collecting higher resolution images of the floating objects.

Recovery mission begins: John Young, pictured, of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said at an afternoon press conference that one aircraft is already on scene searching the area, and three others were on their way to help with the search

Recovery mission begins: John Young, pictured, of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said at an afternoon press conference that one aircraft is already on scene searching the area, and three others were on their way to help with the search.

Mr Young reiterated that it was too early to tell whether the objects spotted on satellite were from MH370.

‘The images captured by satellite may not be related to the aircraft,’ he said. ‘The objects are relatively indistinct. They may not be related to the search.’

It is not uncommon for cargo to fall off a container ship into the water, Mr Young said.

However, he said the fact the objects were in the designated search area and there were two of them of varying sizes ‘really makes it worth looking at.’

The aircraft sent to the site include two Royal Australian Air Force Orion planes, a Royal New Zealand Orion and a U.S. Navy Posiedon.

A New Zealand C130 Hercules has also been deployed. It is tasked to drop data marker buoys, which provide information about water movement. That information will be useful if the search becomes protracted, Mr Young said.

If one of the planes spots the objects, it will report back an accurate GPS coordinate. The object would be then recovered and transported back to shore by the HMAS Success, which is, according to Mr Young, ‘equipped to recover any object that might be found.’

The HMAS Success, an Australian supply and logistics ship, is currently en route to the area, though is not due to arrive for several days.

When asked if the objects were the size of ‘a basketball or seat cushion,’ Mr Young said one was 24 meters in size – or 78ft – and another was smaller. 

He said there were a number of additional objects in the vicinity of the larger piece of wreckage but he added the current imagery was not clear enough to make out whether the pieces appeared to be from a plane.

Aircraft: The above Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft from 10 Squadron is to join the Australian Maritime Safety Authority-led search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean today

Aircraft: The above Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft from 10 Squadron is to join the Australian Maritime Safety Authority-led search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean today.

Debris spotted: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott pictured today in Canberra, said two pieces of debris had been spotted on satellite imagery and aircraft were being sent to investigate

Debris spotted: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott pictured today in Canberra, said two pieces of debris had been spotted on satellite imagery and aircraft were being sent to investigate.

The AMSA will now concentrate its efforts on finding the two bits of wreckage, and would not continue searching the rest of the southern zone until they had been found or officials were convinced that they could not be found, he said.

‘AMSA is doing its level best to find anyone who might have survived,’ Mr Young added.

‘If these objects are from the aircraft, that will put us in a more accurate search corridor to what we have at the moment.’

‘This is a lead, it is probably the best lead we have right now.’

Malaysia confirmed in a statement that Mr Abbott called Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur to inform him of the developments at around 10a.m local time.

The potentially huge breakthrough in the disappearance was announced after investigators halved the scope of the search for the passenger aircraft to an area roughly the size of Arizona late Wednesday.

‘New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean,’ Mr Abbott told the Australian House of Representatives.

‘The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search. Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified.’

But Mr Abbott cautioned that the task of locating the objects will be extremely difficult and ‘it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370.’

Malaysia’s Acting Transportation Secretary Hishammuddin Hussein said in a statement: ‘At this stage, Australian officials have yet to establish whether these objects are indeed related to the search for MH370.’

There have already been several false alarms of what were said to be pieces of the aircraft being seen in waters on both sides of the Malaysian peninsula.

He did not say where the objects were. But due to the distance of the search area from the Australian coast it takes the Orion aircraft four hours to reach the search zone, leaving them only two hours to search before they have to turn back to refuel.

At the Canberra press conference, Air Commodore John McGarry from the Australian Defence Force said other nations had offered to help in the search for the objects but, due to their extremely remote location, very few aircraft could access it.

The search had been drastically narrowed Wednesday to two possible flight paths after hourly satellite pings detected from the aircraft provided far more information than expected as to where a wreck may be found.

Military planes from Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand began covering a search region over the southern Indian Ocean stretching 117,000 sq miles down from 232,000 sq miles.

Both of the routes were heading toward the South Pole and ended in the Indian Ocean, some 1429 miles from Perth, ABC News reported Wednesday. The calculations were at that point handed over to Australian officials and the county’s search and rescue crews began combing the area.

Earlier Wednesday Malaysian officials confirmed they received ‘some radar data’ from other countries about the missing Flight MH370 – but claimed they were ‘not at liberty’ to release the information.

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