Satellites Spot Objects Possibly from Malaysian Jet in Indian Ocean

Four military search planes were sent to the Indian Ocean to determine whether two large objects bobbing near Australian shores.

After twelve days of intense searches for the missing plane militaries claim they found two floating objects. Photo: John Smitherman/Flickr

Search aircraft and ships were sent to the region in the Indian Ocean where two objectswere found floating that are believed to be debris from a Malaysian jetliner missing for 12 days with 239 people on board, officials said on Thursday.

Australian officials revealed that the unidentified objects were spotted by satellite in one of the remotest parts of the globe, around 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth in the vast oceans between Australia, southern Africa and Antarctica.

The largest piece of the found ones was measured up to 24 meters (79 ft), long and appeared to be floating on water several thousand meters deep, authorities claim.

“It’s credible enough to divert the research to this area on the basis it provides a promising lead to what might be wreckage from the debris field,” Royal Australian Air Force Air Commodore John McGarry told a news conference in Canberra.

No confirmed wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 since it vanished from radars near Malaysia’s east coast early on March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.

“I can confirm we have a new lead,” Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, where the investigation into the missing airliner is based.

Another official in Malaysia revealed to reporters that investigators were “hopeful but cautious” about the Australian discovery.

“The huge potential breakthrough in an investigation that had appeared to be running out of leads was revealed by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who told parliament the objects had been located with satellite imagery,” Reuters writes.

“New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean,” Abbott said.

He went onm adding that he had already contacted with his Malaysian colleague, Najib Razak, and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified.

“The task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out they are not related to the search for MH370,” Abbott said.

According to Young, it could take several days to get some information to report and added that poor visibility reported in the area could hamper the search.

“It’s probably the best lead we have right now but we have to get there, find them, see them, assess them, to know whether it’s really meaningful or not,” he said.

Young said visibility was poor and may hamper efforts to find the objects. He said they “are relatively indistinct on the imagery … but those who are experts indicate they are credible sightings. The indication to me is of objects that are a reasonable size and probably awash with water, moving up and down over the surface.”

The Boeing 777, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, mysteriously disappeared after it had taken off from Kuala Lumpur and was expected to land Beijing.  As the plane reached the 35,000ft and 120 nautical miles off the coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, it vanished from radar screens, even though the pilots had reported no problems.

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