The vastness of the Southern Indian Ocean, one of the most remote places on Earth, might prove to be too much for search crews trying to find Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared a year ago on March 8.
As of this week, more than 26,000 square kilometers have been searched in the southern Indian Ocean, or about 40 percent of the priority search area. The search area is located hundreds of miles off the coast of Perth, Australia, and is about the size of the state of West Virginia and can be as deep as three miles. Bad weather and extreme ocean currents are a feature.
A year ago, FlightGlobal, an aviation analysis website, noted that “if the aircraft went north it will be found one day. If it went south there is no guarantee it will ever be found in the vastness of the southern Indian Ocean,” which certainly still appears true. Meanwhile, another post on the site on Friday says that of the more than 100 points of interest in the search, “none has been classified as worthy of immediate investigation” to date.
On Thursday, the seemingly futile search for the plane was touched upon by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“I can’t promise that the search will go on at this intensity forever, but we will continue our very best efforts to resolve this mystery and provide some answers,” he said, according to a transcript. “All of the men and women who have striven – from the sky and on the ocean – to unravel the fate of MH370 deserve our deepest thanks,” he added.
The author of “Flight MH370: The Mystery,” Nigel Cawthorne, said he believes the plane will “never be found.”
“There’s no sensible theory to where it is,” he said in December, per the Express newspaper. “The most likely theory is that it is down there in the southern Indian Ocean.
“The current there is the worst in the world, the weather there is the worst in the world and the sea floor there is less well-known than the surface of the Moon. It is the most remote part of this planet.”
About a month after the plane went missing, pilot Robert Goyer also made a claim that the plane may never be discovered.
“Even if the search is in the right neighborhood, remember that they are scouring this enormous area in aircraft and in boats looking for debris that could be no larger than about 60 feet long and 20 feet wide; more likely, such debris will be even smaller,” he wrote for CNN. “The searchers are seeking these physical clues mostly with the naked eye and within an area littered with many millions of pieces of floating debris, much of it not much different looking than the pieces of wreckage that we would expect in the crash of a large transport airplane in the open ocean.”
He added that “if searchers in the disappearance of Flight 370 were to find a clue, they still would be facing steep odds of ever finding its wreckage, which at this point might be the only way that this mystery will be solved.”
There have been plenty of theories about what happened to the plane and where it might be located.
The most plausible one to date is that Flight MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah or co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid went “rogue” and directed the plane to crash land in the ocean, killing all 239 people on board.
A friend of Shah for 30 years, Nik Huzlan, who is a retired Malaysia Airlines pilot, told The New York Times that “based on logic, when you throw emotion away, it seems to point in a certain direction which you can’t ignore. Your best friend can harbor the darkest secrets.”
However, Huzlan said he never saw signs would lead him to believe Shah would do such a thing
“Despite the trail of logic, [it] would, on his own accord, for whatever reason, lead 238 others whose lives he was entrusted to hold in his hand to their doom in the depths of the world’s loneliest place, the South Indian Ocean,” he told the paper.