March 20, 2014

MH370? Australian and other Aircraft Checking Pieces of Debris in Indian Ocean

There are initial reports on March 21, 2014 of a possible find of parts of MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, far off the Australian coast. The suspected debris point is yellow with diagonal stripy lines (on the map above). There is poor visibility due to weather conditions. One piece of suspected debris could be 24 metres long.

[Connect with a later March 23, 2014 sighting by Chinese satellite (Gaofeng-1) of similar sized objects in the same area ]

[DigitalGlobe Inc , a Colorado-based company that collects satellite imagery for the U.S. government and other countries as well as private companies, confirmed it had collected the images on March 16. It did not say when the images were provided to Australian authorities. ]

On March 21, 2014 John Young, of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said about the March, 2014 US satellite (DigitalGlobe) sighting “This is a lead. Probably the best lead we have right now...But we need to get there, find them, see them.” 

He warned that nothing could be assumed: the spot where the objects were spotted was located 2,500 km (1,600 miles south-west from Perth, Western Australia, and that finding anything would be a major challenge.

Officials said the debris had been spotted on March 16, 2014 by DigitalGlobe satellite imagery that was then presumably passed to the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) then passed to the Australian Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO).

In addition to 4 Australian military aircraft and two Australian ships, one New Zealand P3 Orion and two US P8 Poseidon aircraft will be travelling to the area.

A US P8 Poseidon actually arrived in the area about 3 hours ago - its imagery is now being analysed in Canberra and Washington DC.
An Australian Hercules C130 had been dispatched to drop electronic marker buoys on any major debris found to assist in drift modelling. “They will provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted,” said AMSA.

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