Mysterious Underwater Sound Linked to Missing Malaysia Jet

Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 02:00 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took a new twist on Wednesday after a mysterious underwater sound caught on an audio tape was revealed.

The five-second clip, on the same day the plane vanished, was recorded by ocean floor monitoring devices that are normally used to detect earthquakes, movement of whales, and underwater nuclear tests, NBC News reported.

Researchers at Curtin University, in Perth, Australia, have said that the strange rumbling noise is consistent with the type of sound that would be emitted by a large passenger plane hitting the ocean at high speed.

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The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing and it is believed that it crashed into the south Indian Ocean.

"I wouldn't rule out the possibility that these sounds came from the plane," Alec Duncan, a senior fellow at Curtin University, told NBC News. "But there’s about a 90 percent chance they are from another source."

Duncan said his university’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology have listening devices in several Indian Ocean locations. But he noted that the audio data does not match up with the so-called "satellite handshakes” transmitted by the plane in its final hours before going off radar.

"The crash of a large aircraft in the ocean would be a high energy event and expected to generate intense underwater sounds," he said.

"If we didn't have the handshakes, it would be certainly worth investigating. But because we know the satellite data has come from the plane, it conflicts with the area we believe these sounds have come from."

The recording would place the plane in the central Indian Ocean, around 3,000 miles from the original southern Indian Ocean search zone, the Daily Mail reported.

The low-frequency noise, which was picked up by two devices near the Perth coast, was detected 10 minutes after MH370 lost contact with air traffic control.

NBC News added that the hunt for the aircraft has been put on hold temporarily while special equipment can be brought in to scour a 430-mile long segment of the South Indian Ocean.

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