Australian satellite spots debris in ocean, may be Flight 370

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.

p-8-plane

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:

australian-maritime-authority-statement-flight-370


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • BillFromDover

    I also understand that there is another one floating around in Washington DC called the republican bagger caucus?

  • nicho

    In case you haven’t been following the news, there are tons and tons of debris floating around in the ocean. It’s called “The Pacific Garbage Patch.” It’s massive.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

  • HeartlandLiberal

    FWIW,found an article just posted on Blomberg, linked to via news.google, that says the American P-8 flight shown above has already returned, and reports finding nothing. Search was hampered by clouds and rain. I thought the plane looked familiar, so I looked it up. It is a modification of a Boeing 737-800 model, specifically crafted for the Navy for anti-submarine and naval interdiction.

  • Sarah Brunner

    Thanks for the updates John! Watching keenly…….

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