The fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, and it’s 239 passengers, may never be known as a private United States search firm said it would be giving up its quest to find the missing plane Tuesday.
According to CBS News, private search firm, Ocean Infinity, of Texas, said Tuesday it would stop looking for the plane, which vanished off of radar during a March 8, 2014 flight between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Bejing, China.
For more than four years, several nations have been hunting the missing flight in a vast, 46,000-square mile search grid, in the southern Indian Ocean, but only a few definite traces were found.
According to CBS, three confirmed “fragments,” including a two-meter piece of wing, known as a “flaperon,” washed up on western Indian Ocean shores as teams used the latest technology to try and solve the mystery.
Searchers from Australia led a group of nations looking for the plane in what was the largest search in aviation history, but called it off last year, according to the report.
The Texas company, which uses underwater equipment primarily to map the seabed, joined the search in January when it signed a contract with Malaysia and stood to gain some $70 million if it found the fuselage or the black boxes from the apparent crash, CBS reported.
According to the company, the vessel, Seabed Constructor, and its crew of 65 covered more than its target of almost 15,000-square miles in the first three months.
After going over a total of almost 70,000-square miles, however, that search has also come up empty, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
“I would firstly like to extend the thoughts of everyone at Ocean Infinity to the families of those who have lost loved ones on MH370,” CEO Oliver Plunkett said in the statement Tuesday. “Part of our motivation for renewing the search was to try to provide some answers to those affected. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we end our current search without having achieved that aim.”
The fruitless search has stymied aviation experts and fascinated people throughout the world, fueling speculation and theories about what happened to the airliner, raising the specters of a hijacking or terrorist attack, CBS reported.
Some published reports speculated that the pilot, or co-pilot, of the ill-fated flight may have intentionally ditched in the ocean for an unknown reason.
The only thing that is certain, at this point, is that the longer the plane is missing, the greater its mystery and legend grows.