Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: False leads

Apr 14 2014, 13:06 IST
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In this March 11, 2014 file photo, members of the media scramble with their smartphones and cameras to photograph pictures of the two men, a 19-year-old Iranian identified by Malaysian police as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, left, and the man on the right, his identity still not released, who boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 with a stolen passports, held up by a Malaysian policewoman during a press conference,  in Sepang, Malaysia. News early on that two of the 239 passengers on board used stolen passports fueled speculation of terrorism. However, Malaysian police determined that the men were Iranians seeking to illegally migrate to Europe and not terrorists. (AP) In this March 11, 2014 file photo, members of the media scramble with their smartphones and cameras to photograph pictures of the two men, a 19-year-old Iranian identified by Malaysian police as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, left, and the man on the right, his identity still not released, who boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 with a stolen passports, held up by a Malaysian policewoman during a press conference, in Sepang, Malaysia. News early on that two of the 239 passengers on board used stolen passports fueled speculation of terrorism. However, Malaysian police determined that the men were Iranians seeking to illegally migrate to Europe and not terrorists. (AP)
SummaryIf 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.

be surrounded by straps of different lengths and colors, but spotters were unable to photograph it. A New Zealand military aircraft tried to find the objects for closer inspection, but found only clumps of seaweed.

March 23: A French satellite detects 122 floating objects, but search planes were unable to locate them. A day later, Malaysia's prime minister says new analysis of the satellite data shows the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, somewhere west of the city of Perth.

March 27: A Thai satellite detects about 300 objects floating in the India Ocean. They were never verified to be from the plane.

March 28: The Australian agency coordinating the search shifts the search area about 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) to the northeast after analysis of radar data suggested that the plane flew faster than thought and used up more fuel, thereby reducing the distance it traveled.

March 30: Malaysia's defense minister says investigations of a flight simulator in the pilot's home, including a check by the FBI, turned up ``nothing sinister.''

April 10: An Australian aircraft picks up another possible underwater signal, but this is later found to be unrelated. The false lead came days after the Ocean Shield, an Australian ship, detected underwater ``pings'' on two days that were consistent with signals emitted from an aircraft's black boxes _ the first major breakthrough in the search for Flight 370.

April 11: Australia's prime minister says authorities are now confident underwater signals are coming from the missing planes jet's flight data recorders in an area about 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) deep. He cautions that retrieving them from the ocean floor will be very challenging.

April 14: With no signals detected for six days amid speculation the black boxes' batteries have expired, the head of the joint search mission says an underwater submersible will be launched to scan the seafloor for remains of the plane.

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