Jet Searchers Finding ... Fishing Gear, Jellyfish

Nonetheless, 'if this mystery is solvable, we will solve it,' says Australian PM
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2014 8:26 AM CDT
Jet Searchers Finding ... Fishing Gear, Jellyfish
In this Saturday, March 29, 2014 file photo, an object floats in the southern Indian Ocean in this picture taken from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool, File)

The last week has seen a cascade of "possible objects" in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but the debris keeps failing to live up to expectations. Four orange objects pulled from the Indian Ocean this weekend—Flight Lt. Russell Adams called them the "most promising leads"—have been confirmed as "fishing equipment and other flotsam," reports the New York Times; CNN adds that other items have turned out to be dead jellyfish and trash. Nonetheless, Australia began today's search undaunted, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying "We can keep searching for quite some time to come. ... If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it."

As for Abbott's statement that "the magnitude of our operations is increasing, not decreasing," the most vessels yet are on the hunt today, with some 10 ships and at least 10 planes out searching a nearly 100,000-square-mile search area roughly the size of Poland. An Australian ship outfitted with a US ping detector is expected to join the search on Thursday, but few sound optimistic about its chances of finding the black boxes: The boxes' batteries, which power the pings, will likely die next week, and the device will set out without much in the way of specific information on where to look; it'll be towed at a speed of about 3mph. (More Malaysia stories.)

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