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MH370: Reports of Debris in Malacca Strait by Elka Athina Oil Tanker

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
http://www.bigbreakingnews.com/2014/03/luggage-found-floating-at-sea-possibly.html

Crew on a Greek flagged oil tanker are responding to radio reports of suit cases found floating in the Straits of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia, Greek media reported.

The Oil and chemical tanker, the Elka Athina, reported to media that it was steaming toward a zone identified as a field of debris, including what appeared to be aircraft passenger's luggage.

The crew was responding to a report from an Indonesian source, according to the translation of the report.
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Original Greek report: Google Translated:

According to exclusive information of the Greek ship iefimerida «ELKA Athina» interests of the shipowner Karnezi received information about the existence of objects at sea in the Straits of Malacca with evidence that these are the first findings from the extinct Boeing.

Specifically, a few hours ago got a message from a coastal station of Indonesia with position: width 0551 length 09657.5 northern and eastern that found in suitcases that may belong to the passengers of the fateful flight of Malaysia Airlines. Master of ELKA Athina is Dimitris Zampelis and second officer Dimitris Karagiannis. To iefimerida contacted shortly before the second officer Mr Karagiannis, who confirmed the message there the luggage area . As stated, the signal was point which is about 4 hours from the place and everyone is awake by that time.



Πηγή: Ελληνικό πλοίο έλαβε μήνυμα για αντικείμενα από το χαμένο Boeing στη θάλασσα | Ειδήσεις και νέα με άποψη http://www.iefimerida.gr/node/147254#ixzz2w9KyHzXE
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This is in a very busy area of the Malacca Strait, with lots of other ships:


http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:95.87773/centery:6.1093/zoom:10/mmsi:240277000


 
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Mark Barrington

Active Member
I've read speculation that luggage was dumped in order to increase range. As far as I know, that doesn't seem possible to do from the air.

If any luggage is recovered, it should be pretty easy to tell if it's from the missing flight.

This also isn't along the arc from the satellite tracking, but since it's had 8 days to drift, it could have started much closer. This is also very close to the final radar contact.

In any case, until we get more information, this is an interesting lead.
 
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WeedWhacker

Senior Member
As far as I know, that doesn't seem possible to do from the air.

You are entirely correct. Not plausible.

(ETA: Unless of course a cargo door opened in flight, and either an LD container fell out...or if the Bulk hold [Bin 5] door opened)




If any luggage is recovered, it should be pretty easy to tell if it's from the missing flight.

Also highly likely, from the normal baggage ID tags.
 
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Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
I've read speculation that luggage was dumped in order to increase range. As far as I know, that doesn't seem possible to do from the air.

If any luggage is recovered, it should be pretty easy to tell if it's from the missing flight.

This also isn't along the arc from the satellite tracking, but since it's had 8 days to drift, it could have started much closer. This is also very close to the final radar contact.

In any case, until we get more information, this is an interesting lead.

I believe that arc was a momentary distance measured, somehow, from the satellite - not that the plane was following that arc.
 

Mark Barrington

Active Member
I believe that arc was a momentary distance measured, somehow, from the satellite - not that the plane was following that arc.
Understood, but it has been posited that the plane would have gone down somewhere along that arc, since that was the last 'ping' that was received. The line is the 40 degrees from the vertical from the satellite's perspective, combined with information about the range of the jet. Unanswered questions about the plotted arc are: what's the uncertainty in the measurement, and why is there a gap in the middle? And why isn't it symmetrical?
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Understood, but it has been posited that the plane would have gone down somewhere along that arc, since that was the last 'ping' that was received. The line is the 40 degrees from the vertical from the satellite's perspective, combined with information about the range of the jet. Unanswered questions about the plotted arc are: what's the uncertainty in the measurement, and why is there a gap in the middle? And why isn't it symmetrical?

Good question. I didn't remember claims that the signal stopped being received on that arc, just that one got received from there.
 

Mark Barrington

Active Member
Understood, but it has been posited that the plane would have gone down somewhere along that arc, since that was the last 'ping' that was received. The line is the 40 degrees from the vertical from the satellite's perspective, combined with information about the range of the jet. Unanswered questions about the plotted arc are: what's the uncertainty in the measurement, and why is there a gap in the middle? And why isn't it symmetrical?
I suppose the asymmetry can be explained by combining the range information with wind data, but it still seems large.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Good question. I didn't remember claims that the signal stopped being received on that arc, just that one got received from there.

This article may help:
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/understanding-satellite-pings-tim-farrar

My understanding is these SATs are geo-stationary, and can only measure the distance of the radio signal, not direction.

http://www.inmarsat.com/about-us/our-satellites/

Today we own and operate three constellations of 10 satellites flying in geostationary orbit 35,786km (22,236 miles) above the Earth.
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AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
From the article:


The area is also about the same point where Malaysia last lost verifiable data on the location of MH370 on Saturday, March 8 2014.

More to come.

Image from Reddit via satellite firm of same area
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The satellite images originated from the Tomnod Project.



I took a screenshot of the area in question and I made an attempt to enhance the object that some speculate might be MH370.





And determined the approximate location in Google Maps.




If it had crashed in that area; it would most likely have been witnessed by someone given all of that sea traffic. I am rather skeptical that the above images are the plane though it appears that it could be one. According to Tomnod, these images were captured on Wednesday, March 12th which was already 4 days after the disappearance and probable crash. I seriously doubt an object this large would stay afloat for all that time.
 

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
What does a whale look like on a satellite image?


Don't know. I was wondering that myself so I tried to find some satellite images of whales and I didn't find anything.

Given the fact that there would already have been search efforts going on at the time. I suppose that it could be a submarine.
 

Mark Barrington

Active Member
Don't know. I was wondering that myself so I tried to find some satellite images of whales and I didn't find anything.

Given the fact that there would already have been search efforts going on at the time. I suppose that it could be a submarine.
Yeah, I wasn't trying to be funny. I was trying to think of things that large that would be in the water and I only thought of ships, whales, and crashed airliners. A submarine at periscope depth was one I didn't consider.
 

Ross Marsden

Senior Member.
Understood, but it has been posited that the plane would have gone down somewhere along that arc, since that was the last 'ping' that was received. The line is the 40 degrees from the vertical from the satellite's perspective, combined with information about the range of the jet. Unanswered questions about the plotted arc are: what's the uncertainty in the measurement, and why is there a gap in the middle? And why isn't it symmetrical?

There are good questions, and I asked similar ones in the "Speculations" thread...
Hmmm These maps pose (to me) a lot more questions than they answer.
1) The locus of possible locations are exactly along the 40° lines (90° is at the satellite's nadir on the Earth's surface). Is there a margin of error, or is it 40° +/- 0.0°?
2) Why is the spacing of these lines linear from the nadir, and not at wider spacing further away from that point?
3) Why is there a gap between Southern Sumatra and Northern Thailand?
4) Why is the northern arc longer than the southern one?
5) Are all points in the red arcs equally likely as being the last contact, or does the probability vary along that locus?
6) Has other data and considerations been used to filter this satellite data?

And, absolutely yes, the locus of the previous pings (and their probability density functions) would be very interesting, and probably very revealing.

OK, so reading through the Tim Farrar article, these questions can be answered.
1) The margin of error is likely 100 (nautical?) miles (185 km).
2) The circles are labeled in degrees of latitude from the nadir of the satellite - I deduced that from inspection of the map and knowing the geography a bit.
3 4 6) The arcs have been trimmed after consideration of other data.
5) The remaining points on those loci are probably equally likely.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
What I've picked up is that the greek tanker was only told to watch for possible debris, and the translation made it appear more certain than it actually was, plus it's no longer anywhere near that position and nothing has come of it.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
What does a whale look like on a satellite image?
To be more precise, what does a dead whale look like on a satellite image? :eek:
http://live.china.org.cn/2014/03/24/chinese-aircraft-spots-suspicious-objects/
Chinese ship “Zhonghai Shaohua” arrived in the search area based on French satellite images at 15:25 today. One of the suspicious objects was identified as a 15-meter long dead whale, China Communications News reported.
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