The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 search took a potentially dramatic turn Sunday when the Australian-led searchers using high tech equipment announced that they have located what they called 58 “hard objects” on the floor of the Indian Ocean, right in the newly designated area where they now believe the missing plane went down.
The searchers said that the 58 objects were “inconsistent” with other geological objects found in that area. But they have not yet retrieved the objects to figure out exactly what they are — wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, or just strange rocks.
“We have found 58 hard objects in the ocean floor, but have yet to identify if they are from flight MH370,” said Malaysia’s transportation chief Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. “Now, we have to deploy our assets to the sea floor to verify whether the objects are from MH370’s wreckage, any other ship’s wreckage or hard rocks before coming to any conclusion.”
The March 8 flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, went missing without a trace about an hour into the flight. More than six months since Flight MH370 disappeared, the missing plane has posed one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
But the objects on the ocean floor mark what could be the first real breakthrough in the quest to find any evidence at all of what happened to the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200.
Investigators arrived at their belief that the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean — one of the world’s most remote and unexplored aquatic regions — by analyzing and re-analyzing transmissions between the errant plane — which apparently took a mysterious westward turn off of its planned flight path — and an Inmarsat satellite.
The data shows that the plane went down with its 239 passengers and crew somewhere in the ocean west of Perth, Australia. But why it flew thousands of miles off of its planned course is a complete mystery that may never be solved — and certainly has no hope of a definitive solution without locating evidence from the plane itself.
Earlier this month, searchers said they had turned up some strange-looking objects on the ocean floor inside the 23,000 square-mile search area, but assumed they were simply geological formations that had previously been undiscovered.
There have been numerous theories as to the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, but with zero hard evidence to support any of them. Investigators hope that the 58 objects on the Indian Ocean floor will finally yield useful clues.