Australian scientists have pinpointed three locations in the southern Indian Ocean as potential resting places of Malaysian Airline flight 370, which disappeared in 2014 en route from Malaysia to Beijing.
The scientists, who work for the Australian science agency CSIRO, utilized French satellite images, which were taken in March two weeks after the crash, to perform new drift analysis, the Associated Press reports. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau qualified the findings, pointing out that the French satellite images show “probably man-made” floating objects, with no evidence that the objects are related to the missing plane.
Nonetheless, the new drift analysis could provide useful starting points to search the 9,700-square-mile area identified by experts in November as the probable location of the Boeing 770 and the 239 people aboard.
“So that is a way of potentially narrowing down the search area with the very important caveat that, of course, we can’t be totally sure that those objects seen in the images are actual pieces of plane,” CSIRO oceanographer David Griffin told the AP.
Australia, China and Malaysia collectively suspended the deep-sea sonar search in January after a 46,000 square mile search proved futile. The three states have agreed not to reinstate the search unless new evidence emerges pinpointing the flight’s wreckage.
The private seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity, based in Houston, TX, has offered to continue the search for free, expecting payment only in the event they find the wreckage, according to victim advocacy organization Voice370. The Malaysian government is currently in negotiation over the terms of the contract.
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