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Submarines scour the seas for missing Malaysian jet

Search For Missing Flight MH370 Shifts To Underwater Mission

PERTH, Australia (AP) - A robotic submarine headed back down into the depths of the Indian Ocean on Friday to scour the seafloor for any trace of the missing Malaysian jet, as data from the sub's previous missions turned up no evidence of the plane.

It was the fifth attempt by the Bluefin-21 unmanned sub to find wreckage or the black boxes from Flight 370 in a distant patch of seabed off Australia's west coast. The sub, which can create sonar maps of the ocean bottom, has now covered 110 square kilometers (42 square miles) of the silt-covered seabed, but has thus far found nothing, the search coordination center said.

Officials are desperate to find some physical evidence that they are searching in the right spot for the Boeing 777, which vanished March 8 with 239 on board on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. A weeks-long search of the ocean surface hasn't turned up a single piece of debris, and officials on Thursday determined that an oil slick found in the search zone did not come from the plane.

The Bluefin is searching a remote stretch of ocean floor about 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) deep in an area where sound-locating equipment picked up a series of underwater sounds consistent with an airplane's black box. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said officials are "very confident" the sounds came from the Malaysian jet's cockpit voice and flight data recorders, but finding the devices in such deep water is an incredibly difficult task.

Radar and satellite data show the plane flew far off-course and would have run out of fuel in a remote section of the Indian Ocean. Planes and ships have been scouring the ocean surface for a month, to no avail.

On Friday, 11 planes and 12 ships were continuing the surface search across a 52,000 square kilometer (20,000 square mile) patch of ocean.

Angus Houston, who is heading up the search effort, said earlier this week that the hunt for floating debris would be ending within days, because it is unlikely that anything will be found. But the search coordination center said the effort would continue into next week.

Malaysia's defense minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, confirmed that the search would continue through the Easter weekend, but acknowledged that officials would have to rethink their strategy at some point if nothing is found.

"There will come a time when we need to regroup and reconsider, but in any event, the search will always continue. It's just a matter of approach," he said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The U.S. Navy's unmanned sub cut short its first mission on Monday because it exceeded its maximum operating depth of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet). Searchers moved it away from the deepest waters before redeploying the sub to scan the seabed with sonar to map a potential debris field.

But the search coordination center said Thursday that officials are now confident the sub can safely go deeper than was thought, allowing it to cover the entire search area, which has been narrowed based on further analysis of the four underwater signals previously detected.


Associated Press writers Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.

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tntlimited April 18 2014 at 10:09 AM

I believe the search is located in the wrong area completely. There is
compelling evidence that the plane is in the waters of the gulf of

First, the last communication with this aircraft occurred in the gulf
of Thailand. Second, there were two oil slicks spotted in the gulf
of Thailand. Third, there was a seismic event near where the plane
was last confirmed in the gulf of Thailand. Fourth, there is an oil
rig worker named Mike Mckay, who spotted a burning aircraft
near the same flight path as MH370, in the gulf of Thailand.

This evidence warrants a determined search of that area, and
it should be initiated immediately...

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2 replies
jim tntlimited April 18 2014 at 10:23 AM

I agree, I think the plane was shot down when it did not check in with Vietnam controller. When it was later found out that it was a legit flight, with the majority passengers Chinese. A cover up initiated to keep China in the dark. False info,false search locations etc.

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1 reply
hway395 jim April 18 2014 at 11:01 AM

jim, who do you *think* shot down the plane? It was Vietnam who was attempting to make contact w/MH370 while it was*apparently* between Vietnam & another airplane. That's what gives Mike McKay's supposed spotting some credance, hmmmmm.

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hway395 tntlimited April 18 2014 at 10:58 AM

tnthouser4, you *could* be correct. I haven't read anything that discredits Mike McKay's information. But, McKay's possibility would mean Inmarsat's *running* engine equipment/satellite(s) information has put the searchers way off base, curiouser & curiouser.

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1 reply
Ge Jacs hway395 April 18 2014 at 12:00 PM

A while back I read when the other plane attempted to contact MH370, on behalf of Vietnam tower, all the pilot received was some static &/or background sound. Was that verified? What was the location of that attempt at transmission in comparison to Mike McKay's sighting, anyone know?

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akairaion1 April 18 2014 at 5:37 AM

Is it true that American and Australian technological support came after three weeks has elapsed when the plane went missing? What took so long? Was the Malayasian government unwilling or unable to finance this support? It's too little too late now to say the least.

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1 reply
bambi4318.barbara akairaion1 April 18 2014 at 9:36 AM

The Malaysian government has been shady, at best.

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la231 April 18 2014 at 12:56 PM

The bluefin has found nothing but a boat and cars, wow. If the plane is down there the bluefin will need many trips before it finds any possible wreckage. Maybe more equipment will be deployed to assist in this search. The waiting game on for some proof of the wreckage.

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totalstudentsvcs April 18 2014 at 5:57 AM

MH370 'hijacked and in Afghanistan': Russian intelligence source claims all passengers and crew are alive but held hostage

Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

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1 reply
Kurtcobainskyblueyes totalstudentsvcs April 18 2014 at 6:20 AM

4really???????? I wonder why the experts don't know about this one!!!! Get real!

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2 replies
kmcc895370 Kurtcobainskyblueyes April 18 2014 at 6:56 AM

Because they are in on it.

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totalstudentsvcs Kurtcobainskyblueyes April 18 2014 at 8:07 AM

RELAX --- OMG --- I just posted it the title and the link for more info from other countries. My friend mentioned this to me yesterday so I found the article and posted it. You can get real.

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ralphshark April 18 2014 at 12:39 AM

Why don't you just give up and everybody go home because the plane did not crash.........it is on dry land, in a hanger, waiting to be used for only God knows what.....but isn't in interesting that a Rothchild is the only suvivor of the partners that had a patent on a 'super micro-chip' the other 20 were on that plane..........think they'll ever be found.........might as well get used to these types of events until it is finally 'the new world order' which is akin to a communist state.....our only hope is ET will see what's going on and come down and put all humans out of existence so that Earth can move forward with another dominant species......

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2 replies
Kurtcobainskyblueyes ralphshark April 18 2014 at 6:19 AM


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bambi4318.barbara ralphshark April 18 2014 at 9:34 AM


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kmcc895370 April 18 2014 at 6:58 AM

It's on land. End of story until it's used to destroy something.

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RockNHula April 18 2014 at 10:41 AM

The United States has a spy satellite that can illuminate the bottom of the ocean, but it is positioned over a different part of the world, and cannot move on it's own. We can't send a Shuttle up to reposition it, because they are out of service, and we don't want to ask the Russians to do it, because then they would know about it. The only method available is to do what they're doing, slowly search the bottom with the remote sub. Too bad we don't have ten subs out there doing the same thing.

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2 replies
firemanw99 RockNHula April 18 2014 at 12:00 PM

can you read my comment Firemanw99. give me your input?????????????

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rabraham10 RockNHula April 18 2014 at 1:27 PM

I suspect if you know about the spy satellite, then the Russians know too.
Now we all know.

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firemanw99 April 18 2014 at 11:57 AM

is it possible that it never crashed in the ocean but was diverted to a unknown location on land then dismantled and black box removed and dropped in the ocean and that was the pings that were picked up????????

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1 reply
bambi4318.barbara firemanw99 April 18 2014 at 12:08 PM

At this point I think anything is possible except for UFOs and little green men.

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bdonate764 April 18 2014 at 12:01 PM

Think linguistically.....MalAsia.....malady, malicious, malnourished, malnutrition, malpractice, malinger,
malignant, malice, malign, (ad infinitum) mal is bad news especially in an
area of the world that lies to its poor people and supresses (TRUTH)

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bniel77644 April 18 2014 at 12:35 AM


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