S. Martin Shelton

Retired U.S.Navy Captain, Novelist

Malaysia Flight 370 New Information?

Perhaps, maybe, possibly, if the “kreek don’t rise,” the searchers might have enough apocryphal evidence to conclude tentatively that Flight 370 is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.  Searchers estimate is position is located within 16,000 square nautical miles.  This center of this area is about 1,500 nautical miles west of Perth “down under.”

Last Thursday (10 April), the US Navy’s TPL-25 (Towed Ping Locator) device, towed by the Royal Australian Navy ship Ocean Shield, detected two black-box type ping signals.  That is the last signal reception made that has any credibility, however slight.  For example, last Thursday a Royal Australian Air Force Orion P3 aircraft detected ping type signals from one of it dropped sonar buoys.  However, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston said that scientific analysis of the signals confirmed that they were not black-box type.

Flight 370 has been missing since 8 March—thirty-five days ago.  The battery powering the black box is either exhausted or nearly so.    U S Navy Captain Mark Mathews, on- site coordinator of Navy equipment, said that if they do not receive any more credible ping signals within the next two days, they will abandon using acoustic search equipment.  Then they’ll use the Navy’s Bluefin-21, an underwater towed autonomous vehicle that maps the ocean floor.  It can map about twelve square nautical miles a day. Accordingly, it will take the Bluefin vehicle 1,333 days to map this area—all factors considered.

On Saturday, Saturday 12 April, ten aircraft and fourteen ships are searching for the missing flight 370.  Significantly, we’ve had no report from the Chinese ship Haixum 01 since 4 April.

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