In the final days of the search for MH370, the search vessel searching the depths of the Indian Ocean has suddenly moved at high speed to a new location more than 200 miles north.
A Dutch-owned vessel Equator has been using an autonomous underwater vehicle in a pattern of maneuvers near the seabed similar to that used on two previous occasions when significantly large objects were identified. Both of these turned out to be shipwrecks.
This change of mission was detected by Dr. Richard Cole, of University College, London, who has been following the search operation for many months via satellite tracking.
The Australians determined, after an intense scientific effort(see below), that the most likely site was further north, between latitudes 32 to 36 degrees south. The Equator is now operating close to latitude 32 degrees south.
Cole said: “Equator has re-centered the search to the north, away from the area originally identified in late 2014 by the Australian Defense Science and Technology Group. Using a sonar system, it is now checking sea floor not previously scanned. The search has only limited time left, but they are investing this remaining time in scanning the area they now believe is the most likely location of MH370.”
Although this part of the sea floor had not previously been scanned for wreckage it had been mapped, using bathymetric technology that would not detect debris or wreckage.
Just as the money runs out to scientists say they know where MH370 is?
Scientists working on the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are more confident than they have ever been that they know where the airplane went down. And yet after looking in the wrong place for 27 months, the search is about to end for want of funds.
Two weeks ago the Australian Transport Safety Bureau admitted that an area of 46,000 square miles in the southern Indian Ocean where the search has been conducted “is unlikely to contain the missing aircraft.”
At the same time they said “the most likely location” of the Boeing 777 was in an area of 9,600 square miles north of the original search area.