The Australian government held a press conference around 1am Eastern time (1pm Australian time) Thursday, announcing that satellite images have identified two possible pieces of debris in the ocean that may belong to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
The debris was found in the region of the ocean that investigators believe most likely to contain the plane’s wreckage. The area is around 1,550 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.
The Australians say one piece of debris is around 24 meters long, or around 79 feet. And while investigators say that would tend to be larger than you’d expect to find in a plane crash – CNN’s Anderson Cooper said the largest piece found from the Air France crash off of Brazil was no larger than a desk – it is possible that several individual pieces of debris are hanging together loosely by wires and therefore look like one piece from a satellite (it’s happened before with plane crashes in water).
They have not yet actually found the debris.
Planes and ships are descending on the area, including a US ship that reportedly should already be there. In fact, a US P-8 surveillance plane is already in the area as well, and ABC’s David Wright, who is on the plane, says the crew is “getting radar hits of significant size,” and are currently trying to get a visual.
Once someone is able to see some debris, they will then tag the area with a beacon so that they don’t lose it, and I believe I heard this also permits them to test the currents.
On CNN, they said that while the object(s) the Australians spotted have not been confirmed to be Flight 370, the Australians would not have held the press conference if they did not believe this was a newsworthy find. In fact, the Australians said that the lead is “credible enough to divert resources to this area.” They added, “This is a lead, it is probably the best lead we have right now.”
CNN’s Don Lemon says that satellites are now being repositioned to cover the area.
A meteorologist on CNN, Pedram Javaheri, says that the region in which the search area is located tends to college garbage because the currents go in a very large circle, that ends up trapping trash. That means this could just be garbage.
Daniel Sutton, a senior journalist with Network Ten Australia, has tweeted out the statement from the Australian government regarding the debris: