Video: China, Australia spot debris in Flight 370 search area

posted at 8:41 am on March 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Reports from both China and Australia show debris floating in the general vicinity of the potential “southern arc” of Malaysia Air Flight 370, now lost for more than two weeks as the Eastern Hemisphere searches frantically for any clues to its disappearance. China spotted a number of “suspicious objects” floating in a different area of the southern arc than where satellite data suggested debris might be found, and Australia’s search planes spotted other signs of debris as well:

Observers on a Chinese search plane on Monday spotted some “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean — two large floating objects and many smaller white ones — as the search for the missing Malaysian Airline flight entered its third week.

Separately, crew on an Australian plane were able to see two objects, one circular and one rectangular, in another section of the 42,500-square-mile stretch of the southern Indian Ocean where observers have tried for days to find some sign of the vanished passenger jet.

Until now, possible plane debris has only been seen on satellite images, making Monday’s developments a potentially significant breakthrough for the massive search-and-rescue operation, one of the largest in aviation history.

CNN has some remarks from Malaysia official reacting to these finds, as well as reporting that no trace of the airplane has yet been found on the theoretical “northern arc,” which would have taken Flight 370 into central Asia:

The US Navy was unable to find the objects that the Chinese search team reported. However, the Austrialian find was separate from the Chinese report, and everyone will return to the search after the weather clears. The US team will bring a black-box locator out in case they are near an impact point:

Speaking to the Reuters news agency several hours later, an AMSA spokesperson said a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft was sent to investigate the Chinese reports, but the “P-8 was unable to relocate the reported objects.”

According to AMSA, the items seen by the Australian flight crew were “separate to the objects reported by the Chinese Ilyushin.” …

Rain was expected to hamper the hunt Monday for debris suspected of being from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, as the United States prepared to move a specialized device that can locate black boxes into the south Indian Ocean region.

The U.S. Pacific command said it was sending a black box locator in case a debris field is located. The Towed Pinger Locator, which is pulled behind a vessel at slow speeds, has highly sensitive listening capability so that if the wreck site is located, it can hear the black box pinger down to a depth of about 20,000 feet, Cmdr. Chris Budde, a U.S. Seventh Fleet operations officer, said in a statement.

Until the objects can be retrieved, it’s impossible to know whether any of this exists, and whether it relates to Flight 370 or some other debris. The Australian PM took care yesterday to remind people that even if the debris exists, it could be from “anything.” Hopefully, search teams will soon catch up to enough of it in order to certify it or rule it out of the investigation.


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They are all grasping at straws now. We lost an A-6 off the MIDWAY in the Northern IO one night and never found a single piece of anything using the entire resources of a complete Carrier Battle Group and stuff from the mainland. They disappeared off radar and the first search plane went out less than 15 minutes later.

We never found a single piece of that plane and we searching a very tiny area compared to what these guys are doing now. We had 5 ships and 50 aircraft on their last know position within 4 hours.

Johnnyreb on March 24, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I’m so sick of hearing and reading the word debris. And used in such a way it is as if finding any physical trace of the 777 will unlock all the questions about what happened. Even the black boxes only would record the last two hours or so of information. So after the massive effort involved in recovering them could well only determine that there was no communication between the pilots and that the plane was on a level course.

Nevertheless, could we shake things up with the occasional use of the word detrius or something?

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 8:54 AM

What is CNN going to do once they find this damn plane?

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2014 at 8:56 AM

The oceans are full of floating collections of trash; I suspect that if you subject any area to an intense search such as this, you’ll have a good chance of finding a “debris field”. My money says this is just more of the same. How do I know? My cat told me. As good a source as any…

bofh on March 24, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I saw it described as flotsam in an article earlier.

Though it does seem the newsies are getting breathless over these latest finds.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Every time they spot anything we are getting breathless breaking news reports. A pallet ooohhh, a water bottle ahhh, they are desperate to confirm it was a zombie aircraft.

jpmn on March 24, 2014 at 9:04 AM

What is CNN going to do once they find this damn plane?

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Jeff Zucker’s going to sent Piers Morgan out incognito to hijack another one (Piers’ show ends next week, so he’ll have plenty of time for some CNN special assignments…)

jon1979 on March 24, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I’m so tired of this story. Tell me when you’ve found a piece of the wreckage, or I’ll just expect to see it crashing into my office high-rise at some point.

crrr6 on March 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Johnnyreb on March 24, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Enroute from Hawaii to Seattle, our battle group came across a sailboat floating adrift in a (relatively) busy shipping area. It was determined that the guy who was sailing solo around the world must have somehow gone overboard. We relayed the location and were told to continue on. The authorities sent out to recover the boat never were able to find it again.

So, I suspect that there will not be a successful location of much of anything. Certainly not enough evidence to determine what happened other than the plane is not sitting on some tarmac being prepped for a terrorist attack.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

What is CNN going to do once they find this damn plane?

ConstantineXI on March 24, 2014 at 8:56 AM

It wouldn’t surprise me if they brought out a Ouija board at this point.

dogsoldier on March 24, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I saw it described as flotsam in an article earlier.

Though it does seem the newsies are getting breathless over these latest finds.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Flotsam works as an alternative too! Though I’m shocked that any journalist has enough of a vocabulary to use it (and properly also).

As I posted above, the newsies are making it sound as if finding any physical trace of this plane will be the Rosetta Stone that unlocks all the mysteries about what happened. You won’t get that from recovering random bits of a Boeing 777.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 9:12 AM

It wouldn’t surprise me if they brought out a Ouija board at this point.

dogsoldier on March 24, 2014 at 9:08 AM

They’ve already had a psychic on.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Happy, you have to remember for those of us that don’t have a dog in this fight it is getting monotonous. For those that have missing family members they need some kind of closure whether we find out what actually happened to the flight or not.

Deano1952 on March 24, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Happy, you have to remember for those of us that don’t have a dog in this fight it is getting monotonous.
Deano1952 on March 24, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Until the cause of this is discovered, everybody who flies has a dog in this hunt. It is possible (not likely, but possible) for there to be an inherent flaw in the 777 just there was in the De Havilland Comet.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 9:28 AM

….there is no debris floating in the ocean/

KOOLAID2 on March 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

China spotted a number of “suspicious objects” floating in a different area of the southern arc

Suspicious objects in the ocean? I though Moochelle and her bossy momma were in China.

But on a serious note, why are Chinese, Australian and Froggy satellites the only ones picking up this ocean debris? It’s almost amusing that the talking heads on TV are shocked that there is debris in the ocean. I guess they’ve never been to the Jersey shore. Where are the U.S. satellites? Hopefully they’re snapping images of Tolebon controlled airfields in western Pokeston.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Where are the U.S. satellites?
RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

They have high enough resolution to know what those objects are. And the ability to quietly steer the search craft to the area.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 9:36 AM

The Australian PM took care yesterday to remind people that even if the debris exists, it could be from “anything.”

That’s right. Let me know when someone in this Chinese fire drill confirms a piece of debris as being part of the plane. Otherwise, I’m not interested.

RadClown on March 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM

They have high enough resolution to know what those objects are. And the ability to quietly steer the search craft to the area.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I have a strong suspicion that the search in the southern Indian Ocean is going to turn up nothing more than debris from things other than this aircraft. At what point does someone come out and say this aircraft didn’t crash, nor did it head in a southerly direction?

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM

For those that have missing family members they need some kind of closure whether we find out what actually happened to the flight or not.

Deano1952 on March 24, 2014 at 9:19 AM

I’m not so sure that even finding physical evidence of a crash would provide closure. Anymore than the 9/11/01 families needed some physical proof that their loved ones had been killed.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

It would truly be even sadder if one or more of these objects are occupied life rafts.

Tenwheeler on March 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

The Malaysian PM has concluded the plane went down in the Indian Ocean. He has no way of knowing that. I think he just wants to stop the story and the looking. There are boats going there and eventually they will pick something up if it’s there but they can’t know that at this point.

crankyoldlady on March 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Malaysian PM says 370 ended in the Indian Ocean….No blackhole or alien abductions.

workingclass artist on March 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM

But on a serious note, why are Chinese, Australian and Froggy satellites the only ones picking up this ocean debris? It’s almost amusing that the talking heads on TV are shocked that there is debris in the ocean. I guess they’ve never been to the Jersey shore. Where are the U.S. satellites? Hopefully they’re snapping images of Tolebon controlled airfields in western Pokeston.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM

The Jersey Shore or the Monongahela River. I remember going to the river edge for an event and watching dead rats among other things floating by.

crankyoldlady on March 24, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Malaysian PM says 370 ended in the Indian Ocean….No blackhole or alien abductions.

workingclass artist on March 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Also no conclusive proof. They just want this thing to end.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 10:25 AM

The Malaysian PM has concluded the plane went down in the Indian Ocean. He has no way of knowing that. I think he just wants to stop the story and the looking. There are boats going there and eventually they will pick something up if it’s there but they can’t know that at this point.

crankyoldlady on March 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM

I think this is a feeble attempt to put an end to this and help to sweep under the rug underlying problems with increasingly radical muzzies in Malaysia when the PM knows this search was a wild goose chase. If they pick up a used Big Mac wrapper, they will determine it was from a passenger on MH370. Pathetic.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Malaysian PM says 370 ended in the Indian Ocean….No blackhole or alien abductions.

workingclass artist on March 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Well, there goes CNN’s credibility.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:27 AM

…the PM knows this search was a wild goose chase.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM

How is it that you know this?

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

How is it that you know this?

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

It came to me in a dream

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM

It came to me in a dream

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Well, that puts you in the same league as CNN.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Well, that puts you in the same league as CNN.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 10:42 AM

All my sarcasm aside, seriously, where is the evidence that this plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean? I am not ruling it out, but there is absolutly no evidence to support this theory.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:49 AM

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 10:49 AM

There is none that i wouldn’t take without a large grain of salt.

This is however the only theory that doesn’t need lots of Hollyweird help to float.

As for the satellite data, this has made the most sense to me.

From several days ago.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 10:54 AM

As for the satellite data, this has made the most sense to me.

From several days ago.

Yes, I saw this, but, the southern (only) search area is right in the flow of the Indian Ocean gyre, so what is found needs to be given extra scrutiny. With the way it flows, anything they are seeing could have come from the east coast of Africa for all we know. Also, the Detected by Radar track shows the plane turning west, then turning northwest before, at 2:11 am the track is towards the northwest. Why would it again turn due south? If it stayed 200+ miles off the coast of any country, such as India, radar would likely have not picked it up, nor would shadowing the Singapore Airlines 777 that was in the same area at the same time as last radar contact, which is why the information on the pilot’s flight simulator is important. Then, what exactly was it that multiple eyewitnesses saw, which they claim resembled a Malaysia Airlines aircraft, flying unusually low over the Maldives? Two things I take away from this: 1. The actions of the Malaysian Govt. and the PM leave them with absolutly no credibility with anything they say, and 2. the northwest track and what it likely means scares to many people and nobody wants to discuss it.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Too many things have to go right for the plane to be on the northern track. Yes, there is plenty of crap in the water. And nothing there has been positively identified. But it is still more credible than the plane being parked in Pakistan.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 11:35 AM