China Satellite Malaysia Plane: Are Images Connected to Missing Aircraft?

Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 02:17 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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A Chinese science agency that is exploring the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has released satellite images of a "suspected crash area at sea" that were captured on March 9, the day after the plane went missing.

"Three suspected floating objects" are included in the photos, which come after several days of fruitless searches across multiple countries. China's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced the discovery on Wednesday, according to CNN.

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Peter Goelz, a former National Transportation Safety Board managing director, said that the coordinates depict the potential plane debris "where it's supposed to be" — northeast of where the plane took off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The images come to light a few days after Vietnam's air force spotted two large oil slicks near the southern shore of the country. The oil slicks were later found to be unrelated to the missing plane. Other dead-end leads include a "wooden raft and the lid of a large crate," according to The New York Times.

But an unnamed American military official "discounted the Chinese images, saying that United States satellites would have seen the object and did not. It was unlikely, the official added, that a large piece of the aircraft would be floating, and in any case, its location was in a high-traffic area near the many ships and aircrafts searching for the missing jetliner."

"I cannot possibly believe that image is a valid image," the official said, according to the Times.

The Associated Press reported that Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman on Thursday said that the area had already been investigated.

"There is nothing. We went there, there is nothing," he said.

Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu also told AP the area had been "searched thoroughly."

A Chinese official confirmed that China had not made any progress linking the photos to the missing plane, while Malaysia and Singapore were likely to revisit the area once more on Thursday.

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