The search for Flight 370 has finally revealed something – though it’s not the lost Malaysia Airline Flight 370 that has been missing since March of 2014. Instead, a 100-year-old shipwreck has been uncovered – one of many that search crews say they likely will find as they dredge the Indian Ocean seabed searching for the missing Boeing 777.
Writes The Associated Press: “Search crews hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the desolate waters off Western Australia have discovered a shipwreck, officials said today. The unexpected finding came when sonar equipment on board a search vessel scouring the Indian Ocean for the missing jetliner detected a cluster of objects nearly 4 kilometers below the surface, according to a statement from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is heading up the hunt.”
Even though searchers thought that the objects showing up on sonar reports were unlikely to be that of the missing Malaysian plane, an unmanned sub was sent to the ocean floor to investigate. Photos sent back revealed a previously uncharted shipwreck, thought to be over a hundred years old.
Marine archaeologists are examining pictures of debris, the anchor, and the fact that the wreck contained mounds of coal, in an attempt to identify the ship and its cargo and crew.
“It’s a fascinating find, but it’s not what we’re looking for,” commented Peter Foley, the ATSB’s Director of the Operational Search for Flight 370. “We’re not pausing in the search for MH370, in fact the vessels have already moved on to continue the mission.”
Michael McCarthy, a senior maritime archaeologist at the West Australian Maritime Museum, believes the ship to be a mid-to-late 19th century vessel. One of many that are sitting on the Indian Ocean floor.
“We’ve got quite a lot of stories about ships that sank in the Indian Ocean mid-voyage and you would be struggling to tell which is which unless you had a complete catalogue of all the ones lost,” McCarthy said. “Being a fairly common type of cargo ship from the 19th century with no obvious cargo remains there, I doubt that anyone would pay the enormous cost of going down to look at it.”
Adds the Inquistr: “The Malaysia Flight 370 search will continue its mission, and they have already covered 75 percent of the original search zone. If they still have not found Malaysia Flight MH370 by the end of May, they plan on expanding the search area to include 23,000 more square miles.”
Do you think the missing Malaysian plane and its 239-member crew will ever be found? As the search enters its second year, what do you think happened to Flight 370?