An Australian company is claiming that it has found debris that could have potentially come from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, nearly two months since the plane initially disappeared. The Malaysian government confirmed that it is investigating the report.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that GeoResonance, an Australian exploration company, used satellite images to find debris in the Bay of Bengal, about 3,000 miles from the official intergovernmental search area off the coast of Perth, Australia. The satellite search led to a search of the ocean floor, which the company says shows signs of hiding debris consistent with the wreckage of a plane. Pavel Kursa, a company spokesman, said their teams have found “chemical elements and materials that make up a Boeing 777. … These are aluminium, titanium, copper, steel alloys and other materials.”
The announcement is not without some controversy: According to the Herald, the initial report on the findings claimed that the company sent their discovery to the proper authorities weeks ago, when the plane’s black box should have still had about two weeks of battery life. Should the report reveal the true resting place of MH370, the lack of followup on such a report could prompt significant outrage on the part of the relatives of those on board. The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), the multinational group led by Australia, is conducting the search, and it has dismissed GeoResonance’s claims. “The joint international team is satisfied that the final resting place of the missing aircraft is in the southerly portion of the search arc,” a spokesperson said, adding that “the location specified by the GeoResonance report is not within the search arc derived from this data.”
The Malaysian government did not entirely discount the claims, however. Acting Transportation Minister and current Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a press conference Tuesday that the government was “aware” that the report places the Boeing 777 in the Bay of Bengal, and “Malaysia is working with its international partners to assess the credibility of this information.”
Continued searches of a large area situated several hundred miles from Perth have yet to yield any material information as to where the plane may be, and no new clues exist that would place the plane anywhere else, save the GeoResonance claim. The search was recently called off following a number of rounds of searching the ocean floor using the American underwater drone Bluefin-21. Last week, investigators announced that they had begun to reconsider the possibility that their search area did not contain the missing plane, and that it might have landed, rather than crashed into the ocean. Wednesday also marked a milestone for the families of those on board; the Malaysian government revealed the final audio from the flight before it disappeared as it entered Vietnamese airspace.