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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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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
? April 09 2014 at 8:02 AM

My heart goes out to all the families effected. And I would also like to add how impressed I am with the whole country of Australia. Angus Houston (love the name too btw, lol) is a very considerate and intelligent man. It seems the whole county is doing their very best to help these families. I will be visiting Australia one day.

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Jo Burnette April 09 2014 at 3:01 AM

My heart goes to all the loved ones of the passengers aboard the Airlines flight 370; may they find peace and news of the fate of the passengers finally be determined. I would go mad not knowing what happened to my mom, daughter, son, etc. I would not rest until I knew that they were not lying somewhere hurt and unable to go for help. There will no peace, just continuing grief and pain for the relatives until they know the truth.

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loydargonzalez@a April 09 2014 at 1:24 AM

I hope the plane is found for the sake of the families and friends of all those on board. I pray for them

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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
vips85 April 09 2014 at 9:36 AM

To me the most likely explanation of what happened to this plain is the Paine Stewart
scenario. Likely something happen to the plane that caused the pilot to turn it around to
go to home base. Then they were overcome by something like CO 2 poisoning and the
plane just flew itself until it ran out of fuel. Its a simple explanation, but often the simplest
is the closest to the truth. I hope they find those flight data recorders, but don't they only
record the last hour or so before recording over what was recorded before? It would be
sad if they find the voice recorder and there is nothing on it.

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1 reply
Mark vips85 April 09 2014 at 9:58 AM

I think that may be the answer to...but stayed tuned for more useless information from the media!

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drrntod April 09 2014 at 8:29 AM

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.

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LKFeinberg April 09 2014 at 12:29 PM

There was a large load of flammable batteries in the hold. What if there was a fire that knocked out the communication equiptment and it had nothing to do with the pilot? What if the sharp turn inland was the pilot's desperate plan to land and then he passed out from the fumes as did everyone else? Then the plane would continue to fly on auto pilot until it ran out of gas.

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2 replies
Joe LKFeinberg April 09 2014 at 1:07 PM

What if the world came to an end tomorrow? What if I won the lottery? I could go on here but perhaps you get my point.

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Bill LKFeinberg April 09 2014 at 9:13 PM

your's is best guess. Or maybe someone on board thought a landing in the ocean would be a gateway to heaven. Hope the boxes will tell the tale.

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mxvin April 09 2014 at 8:32 AM

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.

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2 replies
useruser1903 mxvin April 09 2014 at 8:43 AM

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!

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1 reply
mxvin useruser1903 April 09 2014 at 9:08 AM

In that regard I do agree. I hope it was hi jacked and found as opposed to crashing in the ocean.

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Lil' Lil' Dot mxvin April 09 2014 at 9:28 AM

"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?

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leftydap52 April 09 2014 at 3:20 AM

With all due respect to the passengers on the plane.....I understand Malaysia is offering to pay the families of each of the passengers $5,000.00 which is utterly ridiculous when you think about it.....but when you consider that the possible resting place of this plane is so far off it's original intended course, the questions that need to be eventually answered are: why was this plane so far off course and who is going to reimburse the various governments the millions of dollars being spent searching for it? I feel the Malaysian govt should pick up the tab for this since it was their country's airline and they're being cheap with the money they're offering the victims families. They're obviously looking to low-ball their way out of this and I wonder if they will repay the various govt's who are raking up bills looking for their plane.

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2 replies
M leftydap52 April 09 2014 at 3:42 AM

Take a reality check, and READ the conditions of liability on things like lost luggage, injury, death that appear on your FOREIGN carriers, including aircraft and cruise ships.
If you don't have curly hair after reading that, you must not have actually read the disclaimers.

"We aren't in Kansas anymore..." or protected by familiar USA laws.

USA laws do NOT apply to foreign carriers, or foreign flagged ships, and those are reasons the companies use to their advantage...

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DAVID leftydap52 April 09 2014 at 3:54 AM

nobody has or ever will pay the US back for anything we do for them.
check Germany after ww1 and ww2. they were supposed to but they didnt.

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tjgreen857 April 09 2014 at 3:49 AM

Oh man! Has this gone beyond the ridiculous or what!

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