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Underwater pings relocated in search for missing jet

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.

MH370 Search: 2 New Ping Signals Detected

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.

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ralphhume April 09 2014 at 1:16 AM

Why don't they use active sonar instead of passive sonar?

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1 reply
cact25 ralphhume April 09 2014 at 2:21 AM

They never said that they wer not using it.

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ksosa1 April 09 2014 at 1:37 AM

HUMMMM...just not sure what to think about this tragedy anymore. Can some shed some light on this, or are you all just SURE you know the answer to why this plane went down...or not. Sure seems to be alot of experts on this subject. We may never know, but I would like too. So would the families of the missing.

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2 replies
hagglkdave ksosa1 April 09 2014 at 1:48 AM

The only thing I know for sure is that it w3nt down because of cavity. Gauranted.

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hagglkdave hagglkdave April 09 2014 at 1:51 AM

Let's try this again. The only thing I know for sure is that it went down because of gravity. Gauranted

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cqdeed ksosa1 April 09 2014 at 1:52 AM

No one is sure about anything except that the plane is missing. Everything else is suposition.

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Paul FIQUET April 09 2014 at 7:41 AM

Lots of comments....but no one has come up with realistic story of the purpose of the missing plane being diverted from course...by whom

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3 replies
antquehntr April 09 2014 at 7:41 AM

Just a thought there are submarines out that still do manuvers that could be at this area by now from different countries that could be helping with the PING SOUNDS that are found from on top of the ocean.
If any are there no one is talking about it, how about it Navy what are your nuclear subs doing now plus Japan?

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3 replies
ron April 09 2014 at 10:00 AM

weakminded......the name say's it all.....enough said

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itzfatcat April 09 2014 at 7:34 AM

I hope this is resolved soon. However, for some time now, there has been too much speculation and the media just keeps feeding the speculation and hype. The talking heads should just shut up; stop speculation; stop feeding unproven leads. Yes, the searchers should follow up the on lead but I get the feeling they have been sent on wild goose chases to often for whatever reasons. The searchers should only report that the search is ongoing and we will let folks know when and if the plane is found.

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hamcallk5co April 09 2014 at 1:47 AM

It's going to go on almost forever if they don't at least come up with a flotation device or some such. It will be quite a trick if they can actually find and retrieve the cockpit recorder. Won't that be a story.

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1 reply
nlrhoads hamcallk5co April 09 2014 at 1:50 AM

the cvr likely won't reveal much. only records last 2 hrs. fdr much more important.

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SkinDoc April 09 2014 at 1:55 AM

Consider: Tehran Iran is 3,907 miles from Kuala Lumpur.
Maximum range of the Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) is 7,225 nautical miles
and...Kateoyler....the book will be on smashwords.com this weekend as an Epublication called"Malysian MH370, where are you?"

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1 reply
animalloveinc SkinDoc April 09 2014 at 2:13 AM

Brushing up on our conspiracy theories again? Please take a break and check out your image in a mirror. Your tin foil hat is crooked.

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dickn2000b April 09 2014 at 12:03 PM

It's about time for some fundamental changes in the deign of these "black box" transmitters. Instead of audible pings, a much better solution would be to incorporate a GPS locator and use pulse code modulated very low frequency (vlf) radio waves to transmit the box's position.

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1 reply
HI BEAUTIFUL dickn2000b April 09 2014 at 12:21 PM

Maybe, but then air fares will go up a few hundred dollars more. Someone knows where that plane is and we are just not being told. with all those eyes in the sky and how we are led to believe nothing goes undected with the satillites up there and the sharp pictures they can show, it is very strange that nothing has been picked up by any of them. Sorry, I just don't buy it. By now someone could have dropped another black box in the area to throw the search off too. Just saying...........25 countries in this massive search and nothing is found and not one shred of anything from the plane. No way. Looking in the wrong area people and they know it.

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Lene April 09 2014 at 12:20 PM

May God Bless the efforts of the Crew that is working tirelessly to give hope to us all, on behalf of
the families of those that has lost their loved ones.

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1 reply
paulaflyhigh Lene April 09 2014 at 1:54 PM


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