The missing jet, Malaysian Flight MH370, could possibly be closer to being found after a third “ping” was detected on Sunday that could possibly be signals from the plane’s black box, according to AP.
The first of these pings was heard on Friday, then another on Saturday. All three have been heard in a small precinct in a very large (88,000 square mile) search area.
The second was heard only about 1.5 miles from the first and heard for about 90 seconds. There were also sightings of white debris floating in the ocean in that same area.
When the first ping, and even the second, were heard, enthusiasm was cautiously curbed. The pings did have the correct frequency to be a black box signal, which was created to stand out from all ocean marine life, but optimism has been discouraged.
“This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to treat carefully,” stated “retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search from Perth, Australia.
“We have an acoustic event. The job now is to determine the significance of that event. It does not confirm or deny the presence of the aircraft locator on the bottom of the ocean,” Houston said. He was referring to all three transmissions.
“We are dealing with very deep water, we are dealing with an environment where sometimes you can get false indications. There are lots of noises in the ocean, and sometimes the acoustic equipment can rebound, echo if you like.”
However, this new signal brings hope to many in the frantic search for the black box as the batteries only last for about a month.
“We are hopeful but by no means certain,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said of the detection of the signals. He added, “This is the most difficult search in human history. We need to be very careful about coming to hard and fast conclusions too soon.”
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