An Australian geophysical survey company has claimed to have detected an object that could be a commercial aircraft wreckage in the Bay of Bengal.
GeoResonance, a company using satellite imagery to detect extremely weak electromagnetic fields, looked for chemical elements of which a Boeing 777 is made of in the Bay of Bengal in the weeks following the disappearance of Flight Mh370.
The company said its technology, previously successfully deployed to locate sunk ships half submerged in silt, had detected an anomaly resembling an aircraft wreckage.
The information was passed to Malaysia Airlines, Malaysian and Chinese embassies in Canberra and Australia’s joint agency coordination centre, but failed to raise any interest.
"The company and its directors are surprised by the lack of response from the various authorities," GeoResonance said in a statement. "This may be due to a lack of understanding of the company's technological capabilities, or the JACC is extremely busy, or the belief that the current search in the Southern Indian Ocean is the only plausible location of the wreckage."
The search coordinators said they continue to believe the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean, as shown by satellite data analysis of UK telecommunications provider Inmarsat. Several pings believed to have originated in the plane’s black boxes have also been detected in the current zone of interest prior to the expiry of the flight data recorder batteries. However, no firm evidence about the plane’s fate has so far been recovered, no debris has been found and an unmanned submarine search in the area considered to be the most likely resting place of the aircraft failed to produce any hints.
"In line with Malaysia's consistent stand of verifying and corroborating any new lead since Day 1 of the search operations, we are aware of a report citing the detection of potential aircraft wreckage in the Bay of Bengal," said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
"Malaysia is working with its international partners to assess the credibility of this information."
Australian authorities added: "The joint international team is satisfied that the final resting place of the missing aircraft is in the southerly portion of the search arc."
The current search zone is thousands of kilometres away from the Bay of Bengal, where GeoResonance data pointed.
"The company is not declaring this is MH370, however it should be investigated," GeoResonance said in a statement, describing an object consisting of aluminium, titanium, copper, steel alloys and jet fuel residue which appears to be resting on the seabed some 190km south of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal.
The object is sitting on the seabed about 1,000 to 1,100m below the surface. Comparing satellite data from before and after the Flight MH370 disappearance, GeoResonance concluded the aircraft-resembling anomaly appeared in the waters sometime between 5 and 10 March.
GeoResonance said it carried out the investigation using its own resources as it wished to help bring closure to the grieving families of the missing passengers.
The company’s technology has previously been used to locate submersed structures including ships, munition and aircraft that in many cases were not detectable using other methods. The technology is also being used in the mining exploration industry.
Beijing-bound Flight MH370 operated by Malaysia Airlines disappeared on 8 March about one hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, triggering a massive international search operation believed to be the biggest and most expensive ever. 227 passenger and 12 crew members are believed to have perished aboard the ill-fated aircraft.