The search for the Malaysian Airlines B-777 operating on flight MH370, which vanished without a trace on March 8th, hasn't received a lot of media attention lately. The reason? Because there hasn't been anything to tell. Until today.
A robot submarine was searching the floor of the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia, in an area where acoustic signals thought linked to the missing plane's black box had been detected. Today, Australian officials in charge of the search said that the little sub had found nothing. Rien. Nada. No wreckage, no debris, no bodies -- nothing...at...all.
Bluefin-21 swept over 850 square kilometres of the seabed, but came up empty. The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) stated, "Bluefin-21 completed its last mission searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the towed pinger locator. The data collected on yesterday's mission has been analysed. As a result, the JACC can advise that no signs of aircraft debris have been found by the autonomous underwater vehicle since it joined the search effort.
"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete," the statement continued, "and in its professional judgement, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370."
That's hardly surprising, since (IWHO) [In Walt's Humble Opinion. Ed.] they're looking in the wrong place! Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the search had been based on "the best information available at the time". [Did he say, "Truss me?" Ed.
Evidently the JACC failed to read WWW, wherein I stated quite clearly (as always) that the place to look was in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, west of the Kra Isthmus -- somewhere between the Malaysian peninsula and Diego Garcia. See:
"MH370: 1 + 3 = ??? Walt puts two possibilities together"
"For the second time: Diego Garcia is a key piece of the MH370 puzzle"
"MH370: Suppose it was a test..."
You think this is just another crackpot conspiracy theory? You think there's no reason to suspect the US military? Think about this. The governments and JACC officials doing most of the talking about the mysterious disappearance of MH370 have been Australian and Malaysian. Americans have been all but invisible. Today, however, Michael Dean, the US Navy's deputy director of ocean engineering, told CNN (according to a BBC report) that the acoustic signals probably came from some man-made source other than the aircraft's black boxes.
"Our best theory at this point is that [the pings were] likely some sound produced by the ship...or within the electronics of the towed pinger locator," was how he explained it. "Always your fear any time you put electronic equipment in the water is that if any water gets in and grounds or shorts something out, that you could start producing sound." In other words, the electronic search device might well have been listening to itself!
Why, then, did the US Navy describe Dean's comments as "speculative and premature"? Did Dean know all along that looking for the wreckage in the area where the pings were heard was pointless? Did the US Navy mean that Dean should STFU? What does the US Navy know that the JACC should know, but apparently doesn't? Stay tuned.