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PERTH, Australia (AP) - A ship searching for the missing Malaysian jet has detected two more underwater signals, raising hopes the wreckage of the plane will be spotted soon, the Australian official in charge of the search said Wednesday.
Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search for the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean, said that the Australian navy's Ocean Shield picked up the two signals in a sweep on Tuesday.
"I think we are looking in the right area but I am not prepared to confirm anything until such time someone lays eyes on the wreckage," he said.
The Ocean Shield first detected the sounds late Saturday and early Sunday before losing them, but managed to find them again on Tuesday, Houston said. The ship is equipped with a U.S. Navy towed pinger locator that is designed to pick up signals from a plane's black boxes - the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
"Hopefully in a matter of days, we will be able to find something on the bottom that might confirm that this is the last resting place of MH370," Houston said at a news conference in Perth, the starting point for the search in the southern Indian Ocean.
"I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future - but we haven't found it yet, because this is a very challenging business," he said.
"And I would just like to have that hard evidence ... photograph evidence (before saying). that this is the final resting place of MH370," Houston said.
Finding the sound again is crucial to narrowing the search area so a small submarine can be deployed to chart a potential debris field on the seafloor, which is about 4,500 meters (14,800 feet) deep. If the autonomous sub was used now with the sparse data collected so far, covering all the potential places from which the pings might have come would take many days.
"The better Ocean Shield can define the area, the easier it will be for the autonomous underwater vehicle to subsequently search for aircraft wreckage," Houston said.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 carrying 239 people went missing March 8 on a trip from Kuala Lumpur, setting off one of aviation's biggest mysteries. The search has shifted from waters off of Vietnam, to the Strait of Malacca and then finally to waters in the southern Indian Ocean as data from radar and satellites was further analyzed.
The locator beacons on the black boxes have a battery life of only about a month - and Tuesday marked exactly one month since the plane vanished. Once the beacons blink off, locating the black boxes in such deep water would be an immensely difficult, if not impossible, task.
Associated Press writers Kristen Gelineau in Sydney, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.
Florida Boating Mystery at INDIEGOGO also a vanishing mystery - check it out !
Oh man! Has this gone beyond the ridiculous or what!
Well i hope that if it is the plane, it brings closure to the family's of the departed ones.With all the guessing people are doing, just pray for the families!!!!
I hope they finally give us some information about what happen with these poor people and inform their families for better understanding.
Some seem to think that China stole the plane and landed it somewhere. For those people, please consider:1) The 777-200 is 219' long with a 199' wingspan, and stands 60" tall at the tail.2) It can take 1700 - 5200 feet of dry runway to land the aircraft in dry conditions3) Assuming those who stole it wanted to fly it again the runway needs to be 1 -2 miles long.We have satellites that can read a licence plate number from space. Do you really think we can not locate a huge aircraft and runway?
Don't forget the thing weights about 650,000 pounds and carries up to 31,000 gallons or 207,700 pounds of fuel.
really, this aircraft was invisible for 5 to 7 hrs in flight...anything is possible
I really, really hope and pray they find the wreckage for the families sakes.
Melanie, you put the importance where it should be We can all speculate on what happened, where the plane is, spend hours and hours trying to locate it, but what about the families? They said in the article above that wherever they find the plane, that will be it's final resting place. "No good-byes", no "I love yous".. just buried in the ocean. I must admit that we all would like to know what happened and why.... but if I had a loved one on that plane, I would probably be going crazy with just the thought of them being down there.
Cant believe how many of you are crying conspiracy. You guys need to get a grip on life.The under water locating beacons do not turn on and off. Once water hits them they send the signals until they are dead. If they heard pings they probably are close to the wreckage. At 14,500 even if they narrow they search area that is still an enormous undertaking. Aircraft wreckage does NOT have to float indefinitely. Also they will not produce "fake" wreckage to appease the families or the media.
I couldn't believe how many were crying , hoping the plane wasn't hi-jacked. I guess those lunatics thought the passengers had a better chance of surviving under 14,500 feet of water!
In that regard I do agree. I hope it was hi jacked and found as opposed to crashing in the ocean.
"conspiracy" The very idea of "on a need to know basis" is conspiratorial by any form of syllogistic reasoning. Lets be honest, Lady Liberty's middle name should be conspiracy, the fact that you don't believe people are "crying conspiracy" does not detract from what people are saying. Perhaps, these people who are crying do not suffer from cognitive dissidence, or a herd mentality, and may have good reasons to cry. How many people have been sexually assaulted while serving in the U. S. Military and how long has this type of behavior been tolerated?
Conspiracy theorists are always a great source of hilarity. Anything happens and it's a government cover-up. They don't need evidence or even a rational thought. They just need to concoct a cool plot with shady villains in their head and off they go.
If they ever find the plane, what's CNN going to do for programming?
"Hopefully in a matter of days, we will be able to find something..."Saying something doesn't make it so.
Yes, just like posting these asinine theories involving coverups and fake pings, etc. does not make them true. Be careful of the posts that begin with "I feel..."
You are right, the plane's black box recovery would make it all come together. But the comments are just the human tendency to assume. That happens when there is a lack of knowledge/evidence in any and all situations. Hope the families and loved ones will have some semblance of closure soon. Must be so hard on them. Wishing them Divine guidance and comfort.