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Two separate searches claim to have found flight MH370

May 1, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Two separate searches for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 claim to have found the plane. The only problem is that the two disagree on where it is.

That means one of them is definitely wrong. Possibly both are. Then again, one could be right. One search places the wreckage of the plane in the Gulf of Thailand, the other in the Bay of Bengal – both are well outside the area now being searched.

American pilot Michael Hoebel believes he has identified wreckage of the aircraft sitting beneath the waves in the Gulf of Thailand, apparently largely in one piece.

His new claim, dynamite if proved correct, comes as searchers abandon the air search for wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean and are now organising an extensive search of the seabed.

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Hoebel’s image. Could it be MH370?

The other search that may have found the plane is an Australian effort, Adelaide-based GeoResonance, which says it has used images from satellites and aircraft to survey an area of more than two million square kilometres. The company says it has found elements on the ocean floor consistent with material from a plane.

“We identified chemical elements and materials that make up a Boeing 777 … these are aluminium, titanium, copper, steel alloys and other materials,” company representative Pavel Kursa told the Sydney Morning Herald. The team believes its find to be the wreckage of a commercial airliner consistent with a B777 – lying in the Bay of Bengal, thousands of kilometres from the official search area.

The other searcher, pilot Michael Hoebel, 60, of New York, has trawled through thousands of images released to the public on crowd-sourcing website Tomnod. Tomnod is a US computer-based application designed for search and rescue operations during natural disasters. It uses civilians, volunteers, to search thousands of high-resolution images made available online.

While searching through these, Hoebel came across a shape, which he interpreted as a piece of debris floating under the water off the northeast coast of Malaysia and west of Songkhla in Thailand, Britain’s Daily Mirror reported. Hoebel says it perfectly matches the dimensions of the missing B777.

If Hoebel is correct, the plane was apparently in one piece when the image was taken, just days after it vanished. That was about the time when Tomnod made available online high-resolution satellite images of the area where flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, was originally believed to have hit the water. Later theories, however, said the plane changed course and flew south towards the southern Indian Ocean off Australia’s west coast.

“I was taken aback because I couldn’t believe I would find this.” Hoebel told WIVB, a CBS-affiliated television channel located in Buffalo, New York.

Hoebel said he has contacted the US National Transportation Safety Board and FBI, but not received a response, the Mirror reported.

Likewise, GeoResonance said it started its search on 10 March and sent a report to search authorities not long afterwards – back when the missing plane’s black box still had two weeks of battery power, Channel 7 stated.

GeoResonance (georesonance.com) uses airborne imaging spectroscopy to cover vast territories within weeks, including offshore, often in connection with oil and gas exploration. The company says it combines over 20 technologies and patented know-hows into one methodology.

“Our typical project involves 47 scientists and nuclear physicists, including 5 professors and 12 PhDs,” its website states.

The Australian-led official search has reportedly discounted GeoResonance’s claims about locating chemical elements and materials that make up a Boeing 777  – and the search authorities don’t yet seem to have commented on Hoebel’s finding.

Written by : Peter Needham

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