Satellite spots 300 objects in search for MH370

28-Mar-2014 Intellasia | Yahoo7 | 8:26 AM Print This Post

Japanese satellite images have shown around 10 floating objects off Australia, possibly from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, media reports quoted the government as saying Friday.

The objects were spotted yesterday in waters roughly 2500km southwest of Perth, Kyodo and Jiji news agencies said.

Japan’s Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center’s study showed objects up to 8m 26.4 feet) in length and 4m wide in images captured by a satellite between 9 am and 3 pm (0000 GMT and 0600 GMT) Wednesday, Kyodo said.

A Government source said they could be wreckage of the missing plane since they were found in an area overlapping the sites where debris had previously been spotted, according to the agency.

In this image taken by the Thaichote satellite on March 24, 2014 and released March 27, about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner. Source: Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency(Bloomberg Businessweek)

Jiji quoted a Government official as saying the floating objects were “highly likely” to be part of the plane.

Japan had handed the information to Malaysia, the reports said.

The Australian Maritime Safety authority said today the search had resumed.

Two planes have left Perth for the search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search yesterday but ships continued.

The Japanese discovery is the latest in a series of satellite pictures revealing what could be debris from MH370.

Yesterday, Thailand reported a satellite sighting of 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean.

The objects, ranging from two to 15m, were scattered over an area about 2,700 kilometres southwest of Perth, according to the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency.

“But we cannot — dare not — confirm they are debris from the plane,” the agency’s executive director, Anond Snidvongs, told AFP.

Images from a Thai satellite have found more objects possibly from missing flight MH370. Photo: Supplied

He said the information had been given to Malaysia.

Despite the development, relatives of those missing on board the Boeing 777 say the information is “useless” without real answers.

The pictures were taken by Thailand’s only earth observation satellite on Monday but needed several days to process, Anond added.

He said the objects were spotted about 200km away from an area where French satellite images earlier showed potential objects in the search for the Boeing 777 which vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

Thailand faced criticism after announcing more than a week after the jet’s disappearance that its radar had picked up an “unknown aircraft” minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location.

The satellite images dated 23 March that show 122 potential pieces of debris from the missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370. Photo: MRSA.

The Thai air force said it did not report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean after mysteriously diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path and apparently flying for hours in the opposite direction.

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage on Thursday.

- ‘I know my father better’ -

The son of one of the pilots at the helm of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken for the first time.

Ahmad Seth, the youngest son of Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has defended his father saying that the veteran pilot would not be involved in the plane’s disappearance.

“I’ve read everything online. But I’ve ignored all the speculation. I know my father better,” the the New Strait Times quoted him as saying.

“We may not be as close as he travels so much. But I understand him,” he said.

Capatain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was the main pilot on missing Malaysia AIrlines flight MH370. Photo: Supplied

Questions have been raised about Captain Zaharie after reports that the man had political connections with Malaysia’s opposition party, and that he had problems at home in the weeks before the flight disappeared.

The FBI was reportedly examining a flight simulator that Captain Zaharie kept at his home, in particular files that were deleted from the computer a month before MH370′s fateful flight.

He also said that, while he still held a glimmer of hope, he wasn’t surprised by the Malaysia prime minister’s announcement the plane was lost with no chance of survivors.

“Now, we are just waiting for the right confirmation (for the wreckage or bodies),” he was quoted as saying.

“I will believe it (that there are no survivors) when I see the proof in front of my eyes.”

The news comes after satellite images from China, Australia and France showed items floating in the southern Indian Ocean, where the plane is believed to have crashed, leaving no survivors.

“Yesterday, on the 25th of March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency, MRSA, received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France, and these images were taken on the 23rd of March,” he said on Wednesday evening.

“MRSA analysed the images and in one area of the ocean, measuring some 400 square kilometres, were able to identify 122 potential objects.

“Some objects were one metre in length, other objects were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid material.”

The minister said the objects were found about 2557 kilometres from Perth, Western Australia, from where search planes are flying.

“MRSA immediately forwarded the information to the Australian rescue coordination centre yesterday,” he said.

“It must be emphasised that we cannot tell if the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.

“Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast.

“As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane in order to bring closure to the families and explain what happened.”

A map released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency showing location of new objects found.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said that six military aircraft, five civil aircraft and five ships will take part in the search and recovery operation in the Australian Search and Rescue Region on Thursday.

Earlier it was reported the multi-national hunt for the missing flight is set to be hampered by the weather again, with predictions of gales and thunderstorms in the search zone.

The search for wreckage of the crashed Boeing 777 resumed on Wednesday after the weather improved, with Chinese ships and Korean planes joining the mission over a vast stretch of the Indian Ocean, about 2000km southwest of Perth.

AMSA released a statement indicating that three objects were spotted on Wednesday by two aircraft but were not able to be relocated despite several passes.

Six countries are now involved in the operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and South Korea – after Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, with 239 passengers on board, including six Australians.

The US Navy has sent a device to Perth to help find the jet’s black box of flight and cockpit voice data, along with a robotic underwater vehicle.

But its deployment may have to be delayed, with warnings of potentially damaging weather conditions in the southern Indian Ocean on Thursday.

“We’ve mentioned the possibility of gale force winds and thunderstorms. These conditions are markedly worse than those of today,” a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told AAP.

“At the moment, the forecast is suggesting poor conditions tomorrow.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will make a determination on the search activity later on Wednesday.

Searchers racing to find flight MH370′s “black box” face daunting hurdles ranging from undersea volcanoes to mountainous seas as they operate in one of Earth’s most remote locations, experts said.

They warned there was no guarantee that an unprecedented international search operation involving the militaries of six nations would succeed in retrieving wreckage of the doomed Malaysian Airlines plane which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday said the search zone — in the southern Indian Ocean some 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth — was “as close to nowhere as it’s possible to be”.

University of New South Wales oceanographer Erik van Sebille said the crash site was in an area known as “the Roaring Forties”, notorious among mariners for its hostile seas.

“In general, this is the windiest and waviest part of the ocean,” he said. “In winter, if a storm passes by you can expect waves of 10-15 metres.”

The Soufan Group, a US-based strategic security intelligence consultancy, likened searching for debris in such conditions to “finding a drifting needle in a chaotic, colour-changing, perception-shifting, motion-sickness-inducing haystack”.

“A random wave might obscure the object when the eyes pass over it; sun glare off the water may blind momentarily; a look two degrees to the left when the object is most visible may cause the moment to pass,” it said.

Even if the search does find verifiable wreckage from MH370 on the surface, geologist Robin Beaman said underwater volcanoes would probably hamper efforts to recover the black box flight recorder from the depths.

Captain Zaharie with the flight simulator he had set up at home. Photo: Supplied

- Pilot ‘not in state of mind to fly’ -

A friend of the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said he was going through marriage problems at the time the plane went missing.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was reportedly going through a separation with his wife, and problems with another woman he was seeing at the time, in the days leading up to the disappearance.

The friend told the New Zealand Herald that Captain Zaharie was “terribly upset” and may have been taking the flight to a place he’d never been before.

“He’s one of the finest pilots around and I’m no medical expert, but with all that was happening in his life Zaharie was probably in no state of mind to be flying,” the friend said.

Captain Zaharie was known to be a big fan of flying, and investigators were still examining a home-made flight simulator set up in his house.

Several files were reportedly deleted from the simulator a month before the plane disappeared on March 8.

The friend told the New Zealand Herald he had spoken several times with Captain Zaharie, and that they had talked about him simulating situations such as flying at very high or very low altitudes.

“It is very possible that neither the passengers nor the other crew on-board knew what was happening until it was too late,” the man said.

The new suspicion comes on the back of claims from an official that the incident was a deliberate attempt at suicide.

“This has been a deliberate act by someone on-board who had to have the detailed knowledge to do what was done,” the newspaper’s source said.

Search resumes for wreckage

Meanwhile, the search for wreckage of crashed Flight MH370 resumed Wednesday after the weather improved, with Chinese ships and Korean planes joining the hunt over a vast stretch of the Indian Ocean.

Gale force winds, rain and big waves prevented any sorties being flown on Tuesday but 12 aircraft will be in the air Wednesday while Australia’s HMAS Success plans to conduct a surface sweep of an area where two objects were spotted this week.

China’s polar supply ship Xue Long was also due in the area, with other Chinese vessels on their way, as the search intensifies for the Malaysian Airlines jet that crashed into the sea after vanishing on March 8 with 239 passengers on board.

“Today’s search is split into three areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres,” said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the search.

“AMSA has tasked a total of 12 aircraft today to search for possible objects in the search area.”

Seven of them are military planes and five civilian.

The enormity of the search was laid bare yesterday with Vice-Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin saying teams were not searching for a needle in a haystack but rather still trying to find the haystack.

“We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack,” said Binskin.

“We’re still trying to define where the haystack is.”

Two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s aircraft sit on the tarmac at RAAF Pearce base ready to join the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Perth. Photo: AP.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the search would continue until there was no hope of finding anything.

“We are just going to keep on looking because we owe it to people to do everything we can to resolve this riddle,” he said.

“It is not absolutely open-ended but it is not something we will lightly abandon.”

New details of the final minutes of flight MH370

The Malaysian authorities at the forefront of the missing MH370 investigation have revealed that the flight most probably plunged into the southern Indian Ocean between 8:11am and 9:15am on Saturday March 8.

Malaysia’s Defence and acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said the new details were the result of never-before-used technology that has helped traced the Boeing 777′s final moments on a deadly flight path.

MH370′s last complete “handshake” was last captured on an Inmarsat satellite that was covering two massive southern and northern corridors at 8:11am.

Just eight minutes later, there is evidence of a partial handshake with the ground station.

Sometime between 8:19am and 9:15am, all communication was lost.

Investigating authorities have concluded that the Malaysia Airlines flight crashed into a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean during that final 56 minutes because the jet would have been out of fuel.

It could have been a last transmission signalling a “catastrophic” event was about to occur.

“There is evidence of a partial ‘handshake’ (ping) between the aircraft and ground station at 00:19 GMT,” said acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

“This transmission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work”

Thomas Withington, a defence electronics analyst, told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper: “It sounds like the aircraft began to squawk a message and for some reason this was curtailed.”

“It could be because the aircraft was at a catastrophic phase of flight — that something was causing it to crash — or there could be some atmospheric disturbance.”

Search for Malaysian plane to resume

Blustery conditions in the southern Indian Ocean are expected to ease on Wednesday allowing authorities to resume the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Gale force winds and heavy swells disrupted search and recovery efforts on Tuesday.

A crew member of an RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft looks out from an window during the search for potential MH370 debris. Photo: Getty.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the visual search will resume with weather conditions expected to improve.

Twelve aircraft, seven military and the rest civilian will take to the skies over the search zone.

HMAS Success will be conducting a surface sweep, looking for objects of interest.

A ground controller guides a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion to rest upon its return from a search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at RAAF Pearce air base in Perth. Photo: AAP

Six countries are assisting the search – Australia, New Zealand, United States, Japan, China and South Korea.

India has offered to join the efforts.

China’s polar supply ship Snow Dragon and three other ships are expected to arrive in the search area on Wednesday.

Families set to arrive in Perth

The grief-stricken families of passengers aboard missing Flight MH370 are expected to begin arriving in Perth within days as search teams race to locate the plane’s black box before it stops emitting a locator signal.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia would waive visa fees for the families, telling Parliament that those who come “will be in the arms of a decent country”.

The Malaysian Government said on Monday night the plane had been lost in the southern Indian Ocean.

US officials said the Pentagon had rushed a special undersea “pinger” locator to Perth to hopefully find the black box flight recorder. The locator, which will likely be towed behind a warship, is the best hope of finding the black box before it runs out of batteries in 12 days.

Planes from South Korea arrived yesterday but the search lost valuable time when it was abandoned in bad weather.

Defence Minister David Johnston said the search would be put on hold for at least 24 hours, warning the area of the Indian Ocean where the plane is thought to have gone down was dangerous and remote.

It was expected to resume today with up to 12 planes as Chinese ships were likely to reach the search area.

The family of Perth man Paul Weeks, who was onboard MH370, were comforting one another yesterday at the home he shared with wife Danica and their two sons at The Vines.

Mr Weeks, who moved to Perth from New Zealand more than two years ago, was en route to his first shift as an engineering supervisor in Mongolia.

Prayers are said for the passengers of flight MH370 at a religious center in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: AAP

Mrs Weeks said she was trying to come to terms with the unbelievable situation and was focusing on her boys, Lincoln, 3, and Jack, 11 months.

Her mother, Kay Thompson, said everyone had hoped for something better. “You can imagine how we feel,” she said.

“We have been waiting for two weeks but that is the way it is and we are all dreadfully sad.”

Malaysia Airlines is examining options to fly relatives of the passengers to Perth.

It has said it would pay for relatives to fly to Perth if and when debris was found.



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