ATSB’s Final Search Area Completed. Once Again, MH370 Isn’t There.

Earlier today Malaysia released its latest weekly report into the progress of Ocean Infinity’s seabed search in the Southern Indian Ocean for the wreckage of MH370. Included was the chart above, which shows the area currently being scanned in red. The southernmost portion of this “T” shape is that last part of the 25,000 square kilometer designed by the ATSB as the final search area. Once it is scanned and the data assessed, the search will be over.

Or rather, the statement above should be in the past tense, because the last weekly report showed this small area as already having been scanned. Thus, the ATSB’s final 25,000 square kilometers has already been finished.

You’ll recall that this area was described in the ATSB report “MH370–First Principles Report” as

 a remaining area of high probability between latitudes 32.5°S and 36°S along the 7th arc. 4. The participants of the First Principles Review were in agreement on the need to search an additional area representing approximately 25,000 km² (the orange bordered area in Figure 14) [I’ve added this figure to the bottom of this post–JW]. Based on the analysis to date, completion of this area would exhaust all prospective areas for the presence of MH370. 

If anyone thinks I am hasty in saying that Seabed Constructor has finished its scan of this area, note that as I write, the ship continues to work northwards well beyond this area. If MH370 had already been found, it would not be doing so.

The designation of the 25,000 square kilometers marked the fourth time that the ATSB has assured the public that it had identified the area where the plane had come to rest. Each of the last three times, it was proven wrong and been forced to designate a new place to look. Today, that game ends. The ATSB has admitted that has no further analytical basis on which to recommend any further search. It’s out of ideas. It has thrown in the towel. It is out of ideas.

To be sure, there are some bitter enders among the “MHiste” community who have come up with reasons for searching further beyond the ATSB’s final 25,000 square kilometers, but their theories now lack any official backing, and to my eye are nothing more than hand-waving based on an inability to admit to being wrong. Seabed Constructor sails on like a headless chicken, with no rational basis for continuing to search.

The ATSB’s search areas were defined using data exchanged between the plane and Inmarsat in the hours after the plane disappeared from radar. Their analysis was quite sophisticated; if the data had been authentic, the odds were tremendously in favor of the plane being found.

But the plane was not found. Was this because of an incredible coincidence/bad luck on the part of the ATSB? Or is the case rather that whoever took the plane played them for suckers?

The bitter enders believe that they and the ATSB were the victims of bad luck. The pilot (most likely) took the plane and flew south, but happened to fly in some weird way that by chance produced data that looked very much like what a normally flown plane would produce. This being the case, the plane must be somewhere in the vicinity.

The other explanation is that they weren’t unlucky. They were fooled. By perpetrators who, based on their behavior before disappearing from radar, were both sophisticated and had every intention of misleading and deceiving. Who went electronically dark and pulled a 180 just six seconds after passing the last waypoint in Malaysian airspace, and had the electrical engineering chops to first turn off, then turn back on the satellite data unit that ultimately produced the clues that the seabed search would be based on.

The ATSB, however, has proven themselves constitutionally incapable of grokking that they have been hoodwinked. Time and again, I’ve asked members of the team how they could be so sure that their data wasn’t tampered with. Time and again, they told me that they hadn’t taken the idea seriously. Most recently, a spokesperson for the Joint Agency Coordination Centre emailed me to explain:

The Inmarsat satellite data unit logs were made publicly available at a very early stage of the investigation and the data has been reviewed frequently by the Joint Investigation Team convened by the Malaysian Government comprising experts from the People’s Republic of China, France, Malaysia, United Kingdom, United States and Malaysian Government officials.

Does this explanation justify confidence in the data? I don’t see it.

Over on other blogs, self-appointed experts will continue to spin out elaborate theories and crunch the numbers to generate new convoluted flight paths. They will tell you that the mystery is incredibly complicated and only the truly erudite come hope to plumb its complexities. Actually, the truth looks quite simple to me. The perpetrators of MH370 set out to baffle and confuse, and they succeeded beyond measure. They have played the ATSB and its fan boys for chumps, and will continue to do so. Game, set, match.

UPDATE: Within minutes of my tweeting about this post, Mike Exner laid into me, calling me all sorts of bad names, and saying that Seabed Constructor had lots of high-probability square kilometerage ahead of it. I responded that if he is so confident of the high quality of the area left to search, then he should be willing to make a bet with me: If Seabed Constructor finds MH370’s wreckage in the months to come, I will publicly acknowledge that he was right all along and I was wrong. And if it does not, he will do the same for me.



162 thoughts on “ATSB’s Final Search Area Completed. Once Again, MH370 Isn’t There.”

  1. A bit strident Jeff !!

    I am not yet convinced that the first search was thorough enough to say with sufficient certainty that it was not missed.

    I think you should look at the 2017 Esri Ocean GIS Forum Proceedings at

    In it, you will find this presentation:-
    “Operational Search for MH370 2014-2017” by Megan McCabe (ATSB/Geosciences Australia).
    Video: (or use

    Can anyone be “certain” ehat it was not missed ?

  2. MH370 data given by Inmarstat is technically wrong,regarding 6&7,pointed by me,after studying data over 6 months.It should be studied in depth.It is on land only,could not be in sea water.I can show fuselage after July 2018 if all goes well.

  3. @ventus45, Maybe I’m a bit strident, but how could I not be frustrated. We keep playing the same game over and over again, with the same results. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, four times??

  4. My first thought regarding Jeff’s (excellent, timely) post was, “well, maybe this latest failure will finally set in motion a process of waking up by the “MH370 authorities”, so to speak complete the Kübler-Ross cycle of the death of “MH370 in SIO” hypothesis. Ventus’ above post nullifies that hope – when the current, umpteenth search is declared officially over, the ‘Authorities’ will produce more papers, and I guess the line will be, “the initial search was too imprecise, it’s probably there and was missed “.

    In a year’s time, they will send yet another ship to the SIO, with yet more ROVs, AUVs, or whatever, and they will map the absolute last grain of sand at the bottom of this part of the ocean. It’s ridiculous but I guess it’s human nature – once a group of people are deeply enough entrenched in an idea, there is no hope.

    As far as I understand, this is what Buddhism refers to as Upadana, an aspect of Dukkha.

  5. I know Mike & the rest of the IG & their supporters read this blog which is quite amusing as they claim a disdain for it. Tally ho chaps if you have something to say come & say it…

    My beef with the ISAT concept is that it is not proven. At least not in the realms of Mh370 anyway. So I feel it is wrong for people to claim that it is a proven model. Besides I don’t think I have seen any of this alleged proof yet. As far as I am aware the model has been stacked up against aircraft in normal flight mode. That is aircraft flying in a single direction without interference.

    The assumption seems to be that Mh370 was indeed in perfect flight mode. Although this is baffling to me as evidence would suggest that Mh370 was anything but a normal flight. I am told there is no reason to suspect that the data could be dodgy. I contend that as we have no way of validating that data & indeed it appears the data unit WAS tampered with then there is every reson to suspect that the data is dodgy.

    It’s a none of contention for me. In the early days I was assured that if & when debris washed assure or other evidence came to light the search for Mh370 would be reassesed. What in fact happened was the weaker the case became for the ISAT Data concept the more weight it’s promoters through behind the idea. Let’s completely ignore the fact that drift could have come from anywhere in the Indian Ocean & focus where according to the ISAT Data concept on the 7th Arc it could have originated from… Those areas were checked. Nothing found. Now I’m sensing a mutiny for the drift analysis…

    Your fighting a losing battle Jeff. Mh370 could float to the surface in the English channel & still the IG would swear blind the aircraft is in the SIO.

  6. (Just a quick foot note. I don’t believe that Mh370 will float to the surface anywhere let alone the English channel)

  7. @David
    You are correct that it was “never obvious”, as Victor did it ‘on the sly’
    – that is to say, without any public announcement & without the courtesy
    of informing me (not until he had received several attempts from me for
    explanation as to what had occured did I get confirmation from him).

    In relation about drift studies, it seems passing strange to me that
    people on his site discuss them and irk Victor with requests for him
    to perform them, yet forget the (Victor stated) agreement from Dr Griffin
    to perform one for debris in about the area that SC is working its way
    north towards.

    @Jeff Wise said
    …”If Seabed Constructor finds MH370’s wreckage in the months to come,
    I will publicly acknowledge that he was right all along and I was wrong.
    And if it does not, he will do the same for me.”

    I’m uncertain Jeff – is the meaning of the sentence above that: ‘he was
    right all along’ about the “high-probability” of the search along the
    arc? and if MH370 is not found along the arc, then presumably the meaning
    is that you were right about it not being “high probability”?

    It can’t be about being wrong or right about causal factors for MH370’s
    loss, as ALSM has made it clear that he regards available information as
    not sufficient to decide cause for the loss of MH370 (so he can never be
    said to have been wrong about MH370 cause, & can never be said to have
    been right about MH370 cause either).

  8. @buyerninety. Thanks. I think the search die are cast now.

    Should the search prove unsuccessful, the one remaining prospect would be the final report calling for a deeper inquiry into the possibility of malfeasance, including by a pilot.

    Even though some might anticipate that such a recommendation is unlikely and that nothing would be allowed to come of it anyway, better to have a prospect than nothing.

    The search will stop IMO because spot searching will have low prospects and area searching of vast low probability areas will be too expensive pending another technological advance, which will be an indefinite time away.

    For now though there is some search area still to go.

  9. @David said elsewhere;
    “Should it prove that OI needs to reduce the search area which lies beyond the ATSB’s
    25,000 sq km hopefully they will not hold off until, necessarily, it is arc length
    which then is sacrificed. The highest probability is in general closest to the arc so
    reducing width early, if necessary, would maximise remaining success probability.”

    I agree. (To rephase from something Nederland said;
    “RE:(IFE)..the lack of such a connection at ~00:19 minutes UTC could indicate the
    aircraft had crashed within 90 seconds – the time it takes to set up the connection”)

  10. @Micheal John
    It’s good to know that you don’t think MH370 will float back to the surface,
    unlike the ship that sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Thailand in ’96 and
    floated back to the surface more than four years later.

  11. @JeffW
    I would say the hypothesis of a passive flight is on “life support” but not yet “down for the count”. Clearly the flight path to NZPG fits the BTO rings quite well. NZPG would be a passive-but-intentional flight path. I personally favor active pilot cases and feel the big conflict is that the search has avoided studying those cases in any meaningful way.

    We have 4 MH370 possibilities:
    (1) Passive unintented flight to SIO (eg; hypoxia caused a wild flight path)
    (2) Passive intended flight to SIO
    (3) Active flight to SIO
    (4) Active flight, not to SIO

    90% of proposed flight paths have been Case 1. A few proposed flight paths have been Case 2 (NZPG etc.), and by the way, we do not even know if the search will check that path very thoroughly.

    Jean-Luc with MH370-Captio is getting onto Case-3, give him credit. I do not feel active pilot cases are so impossible to study as a possibility.

  12. @TBill, The point I was trying to get across is that the ATSB has done a very detailed analysis of the Inmarsat data which also takes into consideration weather, aerodynamics, drift modeling, etc. They have concluded, and stated very clearly, that there is no basis for searching north of 32.5S. Needless to say a small army of independent researchers have decided to reject this conclusion and describe a number of scenarios that they believe could be possible. However, as I’ve said, there are multiple layers of reasons why these proposed routes are not possible.

    There is no meaningful distincion between “active” and “passive” flight, either in the plane’s flight path between 18:25 and 00:19 (probabilistic considerations make it very unlikely that the plane turned arbitrarily between 18:40 and 00:19) or in the distance between its resting place and the 7th arc (the BFO values at 00:19 indicate a steep and accelerating descent).

    Not to beat a dead horse, but I think you are missing the central point of my post, which is that for any of the scenarios you mention to be true, a series of extraordinary coincidences must have occurred. The ATSB, in other words, was very, very unlucky. Given the aggressive maneover to avoid surveillance at the start of the diversion, it seems a vastly more likely proposition that searchers’ befuddlement was a goal of the perps.

    In fact, I find the authorities’ refusal to engage with the possibility that they were deceived to be both dismaying and alarming.

  13. @buyerninety

    I see you copy-paste part of my reaction to @Nederland without duplicating the rest of my comment. Would have been nice you’d done this also. Kind of confirmation biased selective use of information imo.
    And this is essentially the big problem with this search also.

    Like @TBill points out above 90% of proposed flight paths are based on passive unintended flights. With a high speed impact close to the 7th arc.
    Nothing has been found still close to the 7th arc and still most hold on to this ‘believe’. Completely ignoring the conflicting and contradicting debris evidence and the ‘Blue Panel’ with associated debris field spotted 28-3-2014 including the CSIRO drift pattern at 8-3-2014.

    Building on ‘evidence’ where there is no evidence to build on. Only two BFO values spanning eight seconds and a missing IFE-log-on. Very small indirect basis to build a 70 million dollar search on imo while ignoring the far more direct evidence the found debris show it could not have been a high speed nose down impact. It must have been a relatively slow, nose up, ditch impact. Which implies the plane must have glided for some distance probably outside the +/-25Nm area.

    I still think best chances are in the Broken Ridge trenches around 32.26’S/97E and even farther east. Or south till 33S/~97E.
    Maybe even at @VictorI’s spot around 30S beyond the +/-25Nm zone.

    As long OI (or someone else) has not searched this areas the search will not be finished if they do not find the plane in this effort.

    Spoofing then even becomes an option again but this won’t help us finding the plane.

  14. So the ‘official’ search is finished. I wonder if, against all odds, Ocean Infinity/ Swire et al will continue the search as privateers, using some of the less conventional data / alternative ideas? If by good luck or foresight they should manage to find and recover significant bits of MH370 they will instantly become the lauded hero’s of this sorry affair.

    Stranger things have been known to happen and then the backers of OI would become even more filthy rich than they already are. The film rights alone would be worth a fortune – think Titanic and it’s various spin-offs.

  15. @Jeff Wise:

    “There is no meaningful distincion between “active” and “passive” flight, either in the plane’s flight path between 18:25 and 00:19 (probabilistic considerations make it very unlikely that the plane turned arbitrarily between 18:40 and 00:19) or in the distance between its resting place and the 7th arc (the BFO values at 00:19 indicate a steep and accelerating descent).”

    Is there any basis for those statements?

  16. Gysbreght said:

    “… extraordinary coincidence” that Windows autonomously created a shadow volume on 3 February 2014, the day Captain ZS was piloting flights from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar, Indonesia and back.”

    Are you saying that the home computer was running creating the shadow whilst he was in a cockpit at 30k feet, or that the shadow was created later that day when he was home?

    “… and the .FLT files, and deleted and wiped those files?”

    Did the deletion/wiping occur on the same day as the shadow was created? Was Z still in a cockpit at 30k feet at the recorded time?

  17. @PS9: The facts are that the file fragment TimeDateSeason fields indicated February 2, the Shadow Volume was dated February 3, and Captain ZS was scheduled to fly KL – Denpasar and back on February 3. When I queried that coincidence, a member of the IG explained that Windows creates a Shadow Volume when the computer is not being used.

  18. @Gysbreght
    Shahs flight times are known from the RMP report sections. Are you sure that
    during the timeframes that Shah did those flights , that there couldn’t(?) have
    been enough time for Shah to also fit in some flight simulator hobby time?

  19. @PS9: “Did the deletion/wiping occur on the same day as the shadow was created? Was Z still in a cockpit at 30k feet at the recorded time?”

    Good questions.

  20. @Jeff: under what circumstances might you be persuaded to join my 4-year long call for a rigorous public audit of MH370 search leadership?

  21. @Gysbreght
    Yeah, I barely remember that comment to you back then – the person couldn’t be
    bothered checking and was merely giving you their opinion represented as a ‘fact’.

    Here’s where you can check (what they aparently didn’t):
    Reference, (from Nihonmama), RMP Folder 1 Pilot, about pdf page 50 of 208;
    1st Feb 2014 Not on duty
    2nd Feb 2014 Not on duty
    3rd feb 2014 Duty start 07:50, Operational
    Dep KUL 09:05, Arr DPS 12:06, (3 hours 01 minutes flying time)
    Dep DPS 13:10, Arr KUL 16:06, (2 hours 56 minutes flying time)
    3rd Feb 2014 Duty end 16:51, total Duty hours, 9 hours 01 minutes

    So the math all works out, & no reason why Shah couldn’t have managed to fit
    in some ‘computer/flight simulator hobby time’ around his KUL/DPS actual flights.

  22. @Jeff Wise
    I would just point out when you claim:-

    “the ATSB has assured the public that it had identified the area where the plane had come to rest”

    when they actually said it was :-

    “an area of high probability”

    ATSB make the basis of their decision clear and what the implications for the future when they say in their final report:-

    “The significant challenge in finding MH370 has been defining the search area based on only limited SATCOM metadata for the final six hours of flight, and later, very long term drift studies when debris from the aircraft have been found.

    The total possible search area was in the order of 1,200,000 km2 along the 7th arc when all possible flight paths and the potential glide range of the aircraft at the end-of-flight after fuel exhaustion are considered.”

  23. @buyerninety. I have put your question about David Griffin’s intended extra drift study to @Victor on his site since it might be useful to have any outcome on the record, even if unlikely to affect search plans now.

  24. @Gysbreght, 1) Whether or not a conscious pilot is at the controls, planes fly straight. Also, the Bayesian analysis shows that routes with turns are highly unlikely. So, from 19:40 onward the plane would have been flying the same way regardless.
    2) At the end the plane was in a steep descent. Was it put in a steep descent by a human at the controls? Probably. Did it get there by falling off into a spiral dive when the autopilot went off? Probably not. But it doesn’t really matter–at the end, it was engaging in the kind of behavior that would put it close to the 7th arc.

  25. @buyerninety

    Thank you for that clarification of Shah’s work day on the 3rd February 2014. There is clearly room at the end of the day for all that windows file work.

  26. Was MH17 shot down by mistake? And was an Aeroflot flight filled with Russians the real target?
    Jeff Wise has made extensive use of the argument that the chances of MH370 and MH17 being brought down as a result of human actions in the span of a few months as highly unlikely, and the most plausible explanation for both is the involvement of Russia.
    He has also pointed out that both incidents occurred a day or so after fresh sanctions were imposed on Russia by the US/West, and that the Russian president had warned of retaliation against these sanctions.
    However, there was always this nagging feeling that there was something disproportionate about these actions.
    Reading through some articles about MH17 I discovered the following story:
    Ukraine Officials: Rebels Were Trying To Down A Russian Passenger Plane, To Create Pretext For Invading Ukraine

    The Ukrainian government has presented evidence that Russian-trained missile operators in east Ukraine intended to shoot down an Aeroflot A320 bound for Cyprus on July 17, but blame Ukraine for the tragedy. The rebels downed instead the Malaysian Boeing 777—flight MH 17—by accident, instead of Aeroflot flight AFL 2074. “This cynical terrorist attack was planned for the day when the [Malaysia Airlines] plane happened to fly by, planned by war criminals as a pretext for the further military invasion by the Russian Federation; that is, there would be a casus belli,” said Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the head of Ukraine’s Security Service, to Ukraine Interfax News.

    What may have happened is 2 BUK launchers may have been designated to be sent over to Ukraine, but only one came through.
    It went west as far as Donetsk before moving eastwards again to Pervomaiske near Snizhne where it launched the missile that hit MH17.
    However, there was another Pervomaiske even further west of Donetsk which lay closer to the flight path of Aeroflot SU2074 (Moscow – Larnaca).
    It was suggested by the post-Maidan Ukrainian SBU that this was the real target, but MH17 was hit by mistake.

    There is some good analysis at the link below as well:

    By floating this conspiracy, was Ukraine desperately trying to disassociate itself from being linked to yet another Malaysian airline being brought down? Perhaps.
    But, the fact that Russia was ready for an invasion of Ukraine on July 18, 2014 can’t be doubted.
    Whatever the case maybe, the simplistic version that Jeff Wise put forward of 2 Malaysian airlines being brought down as a result of ‘boomerang’ effect of US sanctions on Russia make less sense than ever before.
    It also further puts in doubt the technically sophisticated ‘spoofing’ theory for MH370.

  27. @Jeff Wise:

    1. Planes normally don’t fly straight for five hours. They fly according to a flight plan along a route defined by waypoints. This flight ceased to be a normal flight the moment ATC lost the transponder signal. In the next 42 minutes while the plane was tracked by primary radars it didn’t fly at constant speed, altitude and heading. A conscious pilot is very unlikely to have flown the airplane in a straight line during five hours. He would have been thinking, changing his mind about what he intended to do, making adjustments to his plan. Heading changes would not have been ‘arbitrary’ as you put it. We just don’t know the logic behind those changes. The fact that seafloor searches in area’s perceived as ‘high probability’ have not found the wreckage proves that the Bayesian analysis was based on wrong assumptions. It is strongly biased towards straight flight at constant speed.

    2. In the absence of another explanation, the last two logged BFO values indicate that the airplane was in a steep descent in the 8 seconds required to complete the SATCOM logon process. Despite dedicated efforts, no passive pilot simulation has been able to reproduce those rates of descent anywhere near that time. Therefore those high and accelerating rates of descent can only be explained by assuming an active pilot. One of many possibilities is that the pilot intended to maintain those rates of descent until impact. However, that possibility is highly unlikely. Why would a pilot, having spent five hours flying south, south, and only south, waste the last 20 minutes of flight available to him to get further south? If he had wanted to kill himself in a crash, a dive starting at 1000 ft altitude would have been sufficient. It is more likely that those rates of descent resulted from a short manoeuvre and had negligible effect on the total glide distance of about 100 nautical miles. I have given two examples of such manoeuvres, a recovery from a stall and a phugoid.

    Ignoring all that just shows your bias.

  28. @Gysbreght, The Bayesian Method’s bias towards straight-line flight is an output, not an input. If one allows random course changes, than a very large population of possible flights could be generated, only a tiny percentage of which would match the observed BTO values. This is what I mean when I write that an SIO terminus outside the search area requires extraordinary bad luck on the part of the ATSB.

    Likewise, the idea that someone was at the controls, and either decided to plunge the plane into the ocean, or didn’t know what they were doing and stalled the plane, in such a way that they just happened to be plummeting at the exact moment the Inmarsat transmissions were being made, but then recovered and flew the plane a long distance, requires an incredible stroke of luck.

    Again, you are contorting yourself into knots of improbability in order to avoid contemplating the possibility that you have been deceived. When the first minute of the diversion is highly consistent with sneaky perps.

  29. @Gysbreght
    Yes that is my vision also, that a live pilot would be reacting to situation. After 2241 we have nautical twilight starting, sunrise, high winds aloft, sat telcon 2314, cloud cover aloft starting about 22S, fuel supply ending and perhaps other events.

    Changes in speed/heading at this distance to the satellite start looking like a straight flight in BFO. Furthermore, BFO is a complex calc, not a linear relationship which distance. We really ought to be plotting normalized BFO of some kind.

    The passive flight assumption struggles with the distance between Arc5 and Arc6 being too close, and Arc7 being too far from Arc6. Not to mention as you say the final 8 secs.

  30. @CliffG, I’m unclear why a conspiracy theory promoted by a government at war with another state and its proxies and propogated in the summer of 2014 makes Jeff Wise’s theory any less valid now than it may have been nearly four years ago. Additionally, and not wishing to speak for Jeff, I don’t believe he has limited motive to sanction retaliation.

  31. @CliffG

    In addition to @Scott O’s comment.

    What documention from your recent post,
    “further puts in doubt the technically sophisticated ‘spoofing’ theory for MH370”?

  32. Serious question….

    Could Inmarsat or the SWG “adjusted” the final 2 Arc calculations to suit an end point from Fuel exhaustion in the belief that Mh370 was on a Ghost flight path?

    Could be a more easier explanation than spoofing for the aircraft not being where the data suggests it should be & would also explain the reluctance to release the raw data.

  33. @Dan Richter

    9M-MRO by definition is not in the SCS because that’s where the MAG said to look for it early in the disappearance.

  34. @SteveBarratt
    Mike McKay to me on September 22, 2014:
    I wrote what I thought might help the search but within two days of my email being leaked the search in the South China Sea was called-off. On the basis of the (belated) primary military radar readings coming to light, the search was then moved to the Andaman Sea. I think the South China Sea search was called-off prematurely and as such I would agree with your assessment. Acting on my sighting, the Vietnamese sent out one flight only (six days after MH370 disappeared) and then were told to stop looking.
    I have been hoping for some evidence to prove that is was not MH370 I saw, but unfortunately there has been no proof yet.

  35. @Dan Richter

    Thanks. I wasn’t having a go at you but more the high level deception involved in this case. The search was continued in the SCS when it was known 9M-MRO had crossed the Malaysian Peninsula;

    “Malaysia was continuing to encourage its then aerial and maritime search partners to look further into the South China Sea at a time when cabinet knew about the military radar traces putting the ‘dark’ jet westbound into the Straits of Malacca area” (Crikey – Plane Talking 4th Oct 2017)

  36. @Dan Richter

    Thanx. It seems to confirm East to West flow through the Sunda straits.

  37. @Steve Barratt@Dan Richter

    RE;”It seems to confirm East to West flow through the Sunda straits.”

    Yes. And it’s the only thing this reverse GEOMAR-study confirms. Just like it confirms hundreds of other East to West flows and a million possible crash points all over this part of the IO.
    It’s completely useless in defining a specific trajectory of specific debris.

    GEOMAR did another reverse drift study later with better input. They ended up further south but this still covered an immense area not usefull to pinpoint a usefull search area.

    Reverse drift studies using beached debris as a starting point over such a lenght of time are just not usefull in predicting a specific origin. If you would combine them all (based on all found debris) they would give predictions covering almost the complete Indian Ocean. This just not sinks in with some people.

    Here a link to the second GEOMAR study which refutes their previous study completely:

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