MH370 China going its own way, and getting results?
Standing in front of RAAF Pearce, ABC News reporter Philippa McDonald has just put into words something that has occurred to some other watchers of the MH370 search.
Ms McDonald made the case, in laying out the facts as they are known, that China has been following its own intelligence concerning the death of a large number of its nationals on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which crashed off the WA coast (but exactly where is the question) on 8 March, four weeks and one day ago.
She said citing her information, that China had three ships active in an area near, but apparently not within the various NW search areas that were being examined by a multinational assembly of aircraft and shipping yesterday.
A map of those areas, and the coordinates China’s news agency Xinhau gave for the detection of a ping or pulse with a frequency matching that which would have be emitted by the missing Boeing 777-200ER’s black box recorders, is at the top of this page.
Ms McDonald said China’s searchers were understood to be first relaying what they found to China, for onpassing to the Australian led and coordinated search as it saw fit.
She also pointed out that China media is claiming to have photos, not yet released, of ‘white objects’ and large pieces of debris found floating on the surface of the ocean some 90 kilometres from the location as the ‘pulse’ which may have come from the sea floor location of the main wreckage.
China’s search vessels also have helicopters.
Her report needs to be kept in mind beside the restrained reaction of Air Chief Marshal (retired) Angus Houston, the head of the search’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre in Perth, who said the origins of the electronic pulse signals detected by the Chinese ship were yet to be verified.
Houston’s original statement can be read here in full.
China’s official news reports and public statements by its government have been pointedly critical of Malaysia’s alleged bungling or mismanagement of the earlier stage of the search for MH370, which had 239 people on board, with around two thirds of the passenger manifest Chinese nationals, most of them having been booked under a China Southern code share arrangement with Malaysia Airlines on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Keep in mind that what Houston is saying in his role heading the JACC and what the ABC is reporting can both be simultaneously correct.
The ABC doesn’t have to manage the expectations and sensibilities of the agencies involved in the MH370. While the JACC’s role is to find a missing jet, the ABC’s role is to find out what is going on and report it.