Newly-discovered satellite photos may have given scientists a fresh clue as to the location of Malaysian Airlines 370, one of the world’s most famous aviation mysteries.
The four satellite photos, shot less than a month after MH370 disappeared in 2014, show 70 objects drifting on the ocean in the vicinity of the predicted crash zone, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said Wednesday.
“(Geoscience Australia) analysis classified 12 objects as ‘probably man-made’ … but cannot determine whether they are aircraft debris,” the report said.
The photos were taken by the French military over the Indian Ocean on 23rd March 2014, just over two weeks after the plane vanished.
The ATSB, which received the images in March this year, said the satellite images were re-analyzed as “part of a systemic process of review that commenced in 2016.”
David Griffin, a physical oceanographer at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) who helped analyze the pictures, said the photos could help pinpoint MH370’s location to an “unprecedented” degree — if they’re actually showing plane debris.
“It hangs on the impossible thing to know which is whether these were actual pieces of the plane,” he said in a statement.
Malaysian Airline 370 departed from Kuala Lumpur in the early morning of March 8th, heading towards Beijing on a routine journey.
Within hours it had stopped communicating, then vanished from radar after it made an unexpected turn to the west.
There were 227 passengers and 12 crew on board when it disappeared.
Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments called off the search for MH370 in January 2017.
Despite that, relatives of the missing passengers, who were mainly Chinese, have refused to give up on the missing airliner and have said they are planning to continue the search through a private company.