The Australians have reported that a Chinese ship has reported hearing a ping, a pulse signal for a second time, just hours after they reported hearing a pulse that could have come from the black box recorders,.
Jon Donnison from the BBC says:
Given that not a single piece of debris from the missing plane has been found, it would be remarkable if the Chinese ship had managed to stumble across signals from the black box flight recorder without any real idea of where the plane crashed.
Some will ask whether the Chinese know more than they are letting on.
After thousands of man-hours spent searching the ocean he has a point, could a Chinese vessel just have gotten lucky and happened upon the site? The Haixun 01 picked up the first 'ping' at 25° south latitude and 101° east longitude, about 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, Australia, on the same frequency used by the black box recorders, 37.5Hz. They were using a hand-held device called a hydrophone. Mounted on the end of a pole it was held over the side of a very small Chinese boat.
Experts have said that discovering the wreckage with this method is not entirely impossible but is extremely unlikely.
Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of AirlineRatings.com said:
"If the Chinese have discovered this, they have found a new way of finding a needle in a haystack," said aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com. "Because this is amazing. And if it proves to be correct, it's an extraordinarily lucky break."
There are many clicks, buzzes and other sounds in the ocean from animals, but the 37.5 kilohertz pulse was selected for underwater locator beacons because there is nothing else in the sea that would naturally make that sound, said William Waldock, an expert on search and rescue who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.
"They picked that (frequency) so there wouldn't be false alarms from other things in the ocean," he said. (source)
The Australians have also reported getting a signal, but it was over 300 miles from the area in the Chinese report and the feeling is that there is no connection between the two…yet we have an expert saying there is nothing else in the sea that would be picked up at 37.5Hz.
We live in a time when we can track a $500 cell phone to within inches of its location, yet half the nations on Earth can't find a jumbo jet, even though they supposedly know where it was at roughly the time it ran out of fuel.
There have been some comparisons to the Air France flight that crashed in June 2009. AF 447 fell out of the sky on a routine flight from Rio de Janiero to Paris. Even though it took more than a month to find the first pieces of wreckage there were no accusations of foul play. No Insinuations that the plane had been stashed somewhere, no questions regarding the complicity of any government.
What makes 370 different? Once it was established early on that the two 'stolen passport' passengers were not terrorists, the fate of 370 could have reverted to being nothing more than a terrible air crash, but it didn't. Why didn't it?
What secrets about a passenger, or passengers, or cargo, or flight crew are not being released? Why are so many people, in so many different countries implying that the disappearance of 370 was not 'just' another plane crash?
We have to accept that we may never have the answers to these questions. Having said that, how remarkable it would if the Chinese, using outdated and unsophisticated equipment have found something just before the batteries powering the locator on the black boxes fail.
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