So what have they been searching for? Scientists claim 'pings' were NOT from MH370 - as they label the operation a 'debacle'
> Underwater scientists claim the search of MH370 has been a debacle
> They believe signals picked up by a pinger locator were not from the black boxes
> The scientists also say Prime Minister Tony Abbott's April announcement on locating black
box was premature
> The search of the Western Australia coast has been unsuccessful so far
By RYAN LIPMAN
Published: 12:30 GMT, 23 May 2014 | Updated: 18:13 GMT, 23 May 2014
Underwater scientists have called the search for MH370 a debacle and claim that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's announcement that black box pingers had been found was premature and lacked detailed analysis.Acoustic experts, who do not wish to be identified, said four critical signals picked up by a U.S. pinger locator where almost definitely not from the MH370 black boxes, but likely from a different man-made source.The experts believe the signals were detected too far apart to be from the black boxes and were also the wrong frequency, reported The Courier Mail.
'As soon as I saw the frequency and the distance between the pings I knew it couldn’t be the aircraft pinger,' one of the scientists said.
Deep sea drone Bluefin 21's failure to find anything in the search area supports the scientist's claims.
The unmanned submarine will be replaced by a commercial deep water search vehicle when it returns to Perth this weekend.
A mystery signal was also detected earlier in the search by an RAAF aircraft, proving there were other signals being transmitted.
This backs up claims by an expert who believes there were other man-made signals, which went undetected.
But the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said the signals were likely sourced from electronic equipment believed to be consistent with the Flight Data Recorder.
Yet the scientists claim the 33.3 kilohertz frequency of the signal was significantly different to the 37.5 kilohertz generated by underwater acoustic beacons and say the signals were detected 30 kilometres and four days apart.The Joint Agency Coordination Centre has refused to release recordings of the signals for independent analysis or any information on the location or depth of the signals.
We continue to pursue this lead to either discount or confirm the area of the detections as the final resting place of MH370,' a spokesman told the Herald Sun on Monday.This has added to the scientist's speculation that the signals are not being released because they are yet to be determined.
'Signals do pass through water in complicated ways and you can get unusual "sound ducts" but at those distances it is very unlikely,' one scientist said.
To guarantee nothing was missed further analysis on the signals is ongoing, confirmed agency head retired defence chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.
But it has also come as a blow to the families of some of the MH370 passengers who issued a plea earlier this month to make the recordings public.A group of families called Voice370 released a statement saying: 'We implore the Malaysian Government to share and release the raw Inmarsat satellite engine ping data for 9MMRO (every ping from Friday, March 7 12.00 until the final signal was received globally) so that it can be subject to broader analysis by relevant experts.
The scientists also claim the necessary detailed analysis of the signals was not completed when Prime Minister Abbott went public with the news in China on April 11.
In his announcement from Shanghai, Mr Abbott said: 'We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres.'
But this was immediately contradicted by Mr Houston, who said nothing had changed and that based on the information available to him, there had been no major breakthrough in the search.As part of the search, 17 ships and 23 aircraft from eight countries have been involved and with RAAF P-3C Orion aircraft deploying 1416 sonobuoys costing $1018 each and totaling $1.4 million, with the search off the Western Australia coast proving unsuccessful so far.
The Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared on March 8 after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.