- 'Search for MH370 may have to turn to underwater probe now'Searchers fail to find any confirmed clues about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370Long hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 looms as pings go silentOfficial says 'Bluefin 21' will be used in search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
If the signals detected deep in the Indian Ocean are truly from the wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, they ultimately will close the book on a frustrating long list of false leads in the effort to find the jet. Here are the most prominent moments in which hopes of solving the tragic aviation mystery were dashed:
March 8: Around 9:00 a.m., more than an hour after Malaysia Airlines reported the Boeing 777 missing, rumors spread on the Internet that the plane had safely landed at an airport in southern China. These quickly turn out to be baseless. Later in the day, search planes spot two long oil slicks in the South China Sea, but tests later show the oil was not from an aircraft.
March 9: Vietnam says a search plane spots objects in the South China Sea suspected to be from the plane, but they turn out to be unrelated. Malaysia's air force chief says there were indications on military radar that the jet may have turned back from its flight path and crossed the Malay peninsula after its communications systems went off. Authorities intensify their search on the western side of the country and in the northern part of the Strait of Malacca.
March 10: Searchers spot a floating yellow object, spurring speculation it could be a life raft, but it is found to be moss-covered piece of sea trash.
March 11: News early on that two of the 239 passengers on board used stolen passports fueled speculation of terrorism. Malaysian police determined that two men who boarded the plane with stolen passports were Iranians seeking to illegally migrate to Europe and not terrorists.
March 12: A Chinese state agency releases images of three white objects floating in the sea close to the plane's last confirmed position in the South China Sea, but Vietnamese and Malaysian searchers find nothing at the spot. Three days later, Malaysia's prime minister says satellite data showed the plane could be anywhere on two huge arcs: a northern one stretching from Thailand up to southern Kazakhstan, and a southern one from the western tip of Indonesia's Java Island to the southern stretches of the Indian Ocean.
March 19: Australia's prime minister says satellite images show two large objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean. They were never found.
March 22: A search plane spots a floating wooden pallet that appeared to