More than three years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, Australian scientists are claiming they can find it.
In a report out Wednesday, released to the public by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization said, “It is possible to identify a most-likely location of the aircraft with unprecedented precision and certainty.” Drumroll, please: The bureau said that location is 35.6°S, 92.8°E. And if it’s not there, MH370 may be at 34.7°S, 92.6°E. Or 35.3°S, 91.8°E, according to a news release.
All are off the western coast of Australia in the Indian Ocean, which is where the Boeing 777 is thought to have crashed on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. The plane’s vanishing launched an exhaustive formal search of the seafloor—which didn’t turn up anything—and an international hunt for debris, which did.
The giant quest for wreckage is actually what informed the organization’s recent conclusion. Researchers with Geoscience Australia, another agency, examined satellite images of the ocean captured two weeks after the plane’s disappearance and found 12 “probably man-made” items. The organization couldn’t confirm any of the objects were from MH370, but it could use drift modeling to pinpoint a probable location for the plane.
As Reuters pointed out, however, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau wasn’t quite ready to restart the $150 million MH370 search, which was suspended in January in the absence of better clues as to where the aircraft might be. Greg Hood, the bureau’s chief commissioner, said in a Wednesday news release that the items in the images could very well be random pieces of debris just floating in the ocean.
“Clearly, we must be cautious,” Hood said. “These objects have not been definitely identified as MH370 debris.”
It’s been a busy month for MH370 news. Last week, an American company called Ocean Infinity revealed that it had offered to keep looking for the plane, saying it was willing “to take on the economic risk” and didn’t need to be paid unless it found something, according to CNN. The proposal caught the attention of Voice370, a group of victims’ relatives.
“Why hasn’t Malaysia accepted this win-win offer?” Voice370 asked in a statement shared on Facebook.
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