It’s being described as an “acoustic event” but officials leading the search for a missing Malaysian airliner in the Indian Ocean are repeating their cautions that it’s not a confirmed sound from a black box.
Still, three separate but fleeting sounds from deep in the ocean, including one today, offer new hope in the hunt for the missing airliner.
The head of the multinational search being conducted off Australia’s west coast confirmed that a Chinese ship had picked up electronic pulsing signals twice in a small patch of the search zone, once on Friday and again yesterday.
Today, an Australian ship carrying sophisticated deep-sea sound equipment picked up a third signal in in a different part of the massive search area.
Retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search, says the next step “is to determine the significance” of the sounds. Houston said that electronic pulses reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship are an encouraging sign but stresses they are not yet verified.
Houston told reporters in Perth that two naval ships with high-technology equipment are being sent to the area where the signals were reported to try to confirm or rule out whether they were from the missing plane’s flight recorders.
He says that the Australian vessel Ocean Shield also is investigating a separate acoustic detection.