Flight 370 update: Unknown debris field spotted by satellite

I’ve been avoiding updates on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight, #370, since there really haven’t been any substantial updates in about a week or so.  Today things potentially got more interesting.

French satellites have spotted a debris field that includes 122 floating objects, some as small as a “seat” (three feet), and others as large as a “wing” (75 feet), according to press reports.

The objects were spotted in an area that already was being searched by ships, about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that they found debris in this area simply because this is the area in which they are searching.  Meaning, no matter where you look, if you look hard enough, you might just find garbage in the ocean.

Unidentified adult man writes messages and prayers for Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER MH370 on March 19, 2014 in IIUM Library, Kuantan Pahang, Malaysia. (Shahrul Azman / Shutterstock.com)

Unidentified adult man writes messages and prayers for Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER MH370 on March 19, 2014 in IIUM Library, Kuantan Pahang, Malaysia. (Shahrul Azman / Shutterstock.com)

The satellite images were taken this past Sunday. Since that time, I believe I heard the debris could have moved around 150 miles.

In other Flight 370 -related news, William Dermody of USA Today, appearing on CNN, says Malaysian police have found nothing suspicious in looking into the background of the pilot and copilot.  Still, USA Today says the Malaysian authorities still think the captain is to blame.

Michael Schmidt of the NYT wonders whether the Malaysians are simply just making stuff up in order to cover their behinds.

Schmidt also raised the question of why the pilot, if he were to blame, would take the blame all the way down to Australia to ditch it in the water.  Why not just ditch it along its original path.  I’d also add, why make so many turns – and why wait seven more hours to ditch the plane, what was gained by waiting so long?

The NYT has a number of interesting graphics that are worth checking out as well.


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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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  • cole3244

    i believe they have been seeing the same debris but in different locations because of the currents.

  • AnitaMann

    The big question for me is, why do we depend on a black box that will be 13K feet down to tell us what happened? This is 2014. The NSA is probably recording this email. But all the info on a plane goes down with it?

  • Bookbinder

    So we are to believe that all the ping data & photo data come from “private” sources despite the fact that the NSA and the US military have better listening devices (TIA) and spy satellite resources. Methinks that’ s bit curious. Betcha they are in the search up to their eyeballs & just don’t want to divulge their capabilities. Doppler, my ass.. On a side, it’s just a guess but it seems to me that those twin dotted line plots to the west of Perth don’t exactly line up with the ping arcs. And why would the plane travel in an arc anyway. Yes, Yes, it just means a point. But there would have been a half dozen points; why can’t we see that? And doesn’t Australia have an over the horizon radar system with a range of , uh, was it 2000 miles? Some clever reporters need to start doping this out.

  • BillFromDover

    And if suicide was the motive, would it not be easier with two wet suits, one banana, one noose and one closet?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    We still don’t know whether it ‘turned off’ vs ‘shorted out’.

    A fire in the avionics bay would explain a great deal.

  • emjayay

    But then there’s the weird timeline of turning things off and later getting on the radio, making a U Turn, going on for hours, etc.

    Anyway, hope they found the real debris, and can eventually find the thing. Unfortunately, the ocean tends to be kind of deep. Also big.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That outcome wouldn’t be merely suicide, but “suicide + mass murder.”

    From the beginning, I’ve harped on the need, in any investigation where there may be wrongdoing, to identify means, opportunity, and motive. As has been discussed already, the two most obvious individuals on that Trip-7 who had both means and opportunity to do something nefarious would be the pilot and/or co-pilot.

    But nowhere has there been any indication of motive. There is yet no indication of mental illness or anything else that would motivate these professional pilots to commit mass murder.

    Absent that sort of evidence, all along my money has been on “catastrophic aircraft failure resulting in incapacitation of flight crew and passengers.”

  • AlexanderHamiltonsGhost

    If your aim is to hide the fact that it was a suicide (or at least cast doubt upon it, forever), you’d want to ditch the plane in the remotest part of the ocean your plane could reach.

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