News / Asia

Australia Checking Possible Debris From Missing Malaysia Jet

  • Mike Barton, rescue coordination chief, right, shows Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, the map of the Indian Ocean search areas during a tour of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's rescue coordination center in Canberra, March 23, 2014.
  • Royal Australian Air Force pilot Capt. Russell Adams, left, speaks to the media after returning from a search mission in an AP-3C Orion at Pearce Base, Perth, Australia, March 23, 2014.
  • Ground crew members wave to a Japanese Maritime Defense Force P3C patrol plane as it leaves the Royal Malaysian Air Force base heading for Australia to join a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Subang, Malaysia, March 23, 2014.
  • Royal Australian Air Force commander Craig Heap speaks to the media after Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's P-3C Orion arrived to help with search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, at Pearce Base in Perth, Australia, March 23, 2014.
  • Royal Australian Air Force Loadmasters prepare to launch a Self Locating Data Marker Buoy from a C-130J Hercules aircraft over the southern Indian Ocean, March 20, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / AUSTRALIAN DEFENSE/LEADING SEAMAN JUSTIN BROWN)
  • John Young, general manager of the emergency response division of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, answers a question as he stands in front of a diagram showing the search area for flight MH370 during a briefing in Canberra, March 20, 2014.
  • A Royal Australian Air Force pilot steers his AP-3C Orion over the southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defense Force, March 20, 2014.
  • A Chinese family member of a passenger onboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 screams as she is being brought into a room outside the media conference area at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport, March 19, 2014.
  • An image in support of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is seen on the United Malays National Organisation building in Kuala Lumpur, March 19, 2014.
  • Students watch as a group of artists finish a piece based on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that was painted on a school ground in Makati city, metro Manila, Philippines, March 17, 2014.
The Search for MH 370
Ron Corben
An apparent breakthrough in the 12-day search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 came Thursday when Australian authorities said satellite imagery had located unidentified debris some 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth, in the Indian Ocean. Australia sent search planes and ships to the region to try to confirm the finding.

FILE - Undated file photo of Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg at sea.FILE - Undated file photo of Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg at sea.
x
FILE - Undated file photo of Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg at sea.
FILE - Undated file photo of Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg at sea.
Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg was the first to reach the area in the southern Indian Ocean at 0800 GMT the Norwegian shipping association told Reuters. 

The car carrier was on its way from Madagascar to Melbourne when it got a request from Australian authorities to assist in investigating the objects spotted by satellite four days ago in one of the remotest parts of the globe, around 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth.
       
The second of the two objects spotted by the Australian satellite.The second of the two objects spotted by the Australian satellite.
x
The second of the two objects spotted by the Australian satellite.
The second of the two objects spotted by the Australian satellite.
Earlier Thursday Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the parliament "new and credible" information had come to light in the search for the Malaysian Boeing 777 that disappeared on March 9 bound for Beijing with 239 passengers and crew.
 
"The Australian maritime safety authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search. Following analysis of this satellite imagery two possible objects related to the search have been identified," said Abbott.
 
Abbott told Parliament a Royal Australian Air Force Orion aircraft had been diverted in an attempt to locate other objects.

Flight MH370 Timeline

  • Mar. 8: Departs Kuala Lumpur at 12:41am local time for Beijing
    Air traffic controllers lose contact with the plane around 1:30am
    Vietnam launches search operation, two oil slicks are spotted but are not related to plane

  • Mar. 9: Malaysia suggests plane may have strayed off course
    Debris spotted off Vietnam, but it is not from the airplane

  • Mar. 10: Search radius expanded, as China urges Malaysia to speed up investigation
     
  • Mar. 11: Search extended to western side of Malaysian peninsula
     
  • Mar. 12: Chinese satellite images of possible debris are released and determined not to be related to the plane
     
  • Mar. 13: Malaysia rejects Wall Street Journal report that MH370 flew for four hours after its last known contact
     
  • Mar. 14: Search now includes South China Sea, Malacca Strait and Indian Ocean
    Media reports say MH370 communications system continued to ping a satellite hours after plane disappeared
     
  • Mar. 15:  Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says someone on MH370 likely turned off its communications systems
     
  • Mar. 17: 26 countries now involved in the search
     
  • Mar. 19: FBI analyzes flight simulator data from the home of the MH370 pilot
     
  • Mar. 20: Australian aircraft investigate possible debris in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean
In a news conference a short while later, John Young, the general manager of Australia's maritime authority, said the larger of the objects is roughly 24 meters long.
 
“The objects are relatively indistinct on the imagery. I don't profess to be an expert in assessing the imagery. But those who are expert indicate they are credible sightings. The indication to me is of objects that are a reasonable size and probably awash with water bobbing up and down under the surface,” said Young.
 
​Young said the satellite imagery is not clear enough to determine if there are markings or features that would confirm if they are from the missing passenger jet. The objects were spotted in a part of the ocean that authorities estimate is several thousand meters deep.

Authorities are scrambling four search aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and the United States that have maritime radar appropriate for locating the objects spotted by the satellites.
 
​Although the weather in the area is moderate, officials say visibility is not ideal, which could hamper search efforts. Authorities are also sending a C130 Hercules plane that will drop data marker buoys to track water currents and trace where the debris could be moving.
 
Young was cautious not to raise expectations until the findings can be confirmed.
 
“We have been in this business of doing search and rescue and using satellite images before and they do not always turn out to be related to the search even if they look good. So we will hold our views on that until they have been sighted close up,” said Young.
 
Authorities were noncommittal about when that confirmation could come, but said the first of the four search planes are already on the scene and others are expected to arrive in the coming hours. More than 25 countries have been involved in the search for the missing aircraft.

Investigators believe someone with advanced knowledge of aircraft deliberately diverted the plane either south toward the Indian Ocean or north toward Central Asia.  They have refused to rule out any possibility, including terrorism, pilot suicide, or a mechanical malfunction.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday said the search is a "top priority" for the United States.  He told an American television station that he has put every available resource into the effort.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mya from: USA
March 20, 2014 8:17 PM
Im praying these poor people get closure. I cant even imagine what it must be like having family members missing on a plane. Lets hope if it is they can locate the wreckage site and recover the missing and bring them home.

by: Peter from: USA
March 20, 2014 5:54 PM
What I find astounding about this whole situation is that the news stations like CNN continue to lie to the American people and the entire world pretending this has nothing to do with terrorism. I'm pretty sure that there's military satellite that can track the heat signatures this plane out of space and they know exactly where and when this plane went and are still pretending that its lost. I especially love watching the plastic faced propagandist named Anderson Cooper sit there with his concerned look and to these so called experts testify about whether or not you could easily misplace a 777. If you turn the volume down he actually has the ability to hold his face so still that it looks like you pause the TV. I hope they replace Piers Morgan with Rosie O'Donnell so their credibility as a news organization can continue to grow.

by: Spy Master from: Canada
March 20, 2014 3:36 PM
You will not find something that is not there, nor will you find something by looking in the wrong place, but you will find what you are looking for in the last place that you look. Legerdemain, Sophistry and Speciousness played a key roll in the disappearance of this aircraft! If I wanted to lie to you, I would tell you the truth, because the truth is always less believable!

by: cody from: knoville
March 20, 2014 2:39 PM
I thank some one stole the plane for a terist attack

by: Tim from: USA
March 20, 2014 3:53 AM
I wonder if a computer/electronics package in the luggage compartment could have spoofed the GPS-based navigation system in the same way that the Iranians took over control of and re-directed the American stealth drone awhile back. Perhaps such an arrangement could be set up to cause violent maneuvers if activated while the auto-pilot is engaged, incapacitating all occupants, including pilots. Also, another dedicated radio in luggage could jam the transponder's receiver so it would stop giving echos.


Why? Perhaps this was a proof-of-concept test for a future terrorist plot to be conducted on a wider scale, with more planes, simultaneously sabotaged in a similar manner, but not, however, destined for the Indian Ocean.

by: Bafana from: South africa
March 20, 2014 3:25 AM
Lets pray and hope this sighting turns out to be the missing plane. The pain of not knowing what hapened to your loved ones is unbearable.
In Response

by: Lou from: Atlanta
March 20, 2014 7:58 AM
You would think that here in the 21st century planes would be tracked from start to finish.
But maybe the technology just isn't quite here yet.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More