Experts study underwater sounds that may belong to missing jet


Sydney, Australia (IANS/EFE): A team of experts from an Australian university are studying the recordings of a low-frequency underwater sound that could be linked to the Malaysian plane which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board, local media reported Wednesday.

The investigators from the Curtin University said that the cadence of the sound could be of interest in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, local agency AAP said.

The sound signals are believed to be originating several thousand kilometres northwest from the search zone situated in the Indian Ocean.

One of the investigators, Alec Duncan, said that this sound, captured by hydrophones near the Australian island of Rottnest March 8, may be a part of natural phenomenon, such as small earthquake and this fact has not been discarded.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), in charge of the plane search operation off the western shores of Australia, said that the signals were organised by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

However, “Curtin University concluded and ATSB agrees that the current results are not compatible with the analysis of the international team with regard to the point of entry of MH370”, according to the co-ordinating organisation.

The new data coincides with the media disclosure of another alleged sighting of the plane in flames by a British woman who was sailing from India to Thailand.

Since the plane went missing, there have been various theories about its disappearance, alleged sightings, published satellite images and reports of receiving apparent sound signals from the black boxes. Till date, there has been no trace of the aircraft.

The Malaysian Airlines plane took off from Kuala Lumpur in early hours of March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board and was scheduled to reach Beijing six hours later.

The airplane disappeared from radar screen after 40 minutes of leaving the ground and “deliberately” changed its course, according to the Malaysian authorities.

The change in route was made in order to cross the Strait of Malacca, a direction opposite to its original trajectory and the plane is believed to have crashed in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.

Among the passengers were two Canadians: Muktesh Mukherjee, 47, and his wife Xiaomao Bai, 37 (see photo).  Mukherjee is vice-president of operations in China for the Pennsylvania-based XCoal Energy and Resources. He is the grandson of the late Indian minister Mohan Kumaramangalam.