Missing Plane Found? Inmarsat Says Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 Located Elsewhere

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 has been missing more than 100 days, and a report is saying that officials have yet to search the area in the Indian Ocean that Inmarsat pinpointed.

A BBC2 documentary investigated the search for the missing jet, which had 239 people on board.

Inmarsat, a satellite company, said the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane was distracted by a “bogus” signal. The firm told the BBC “Horizon” program that they calculated the jet’s likely flight path and determined there was a “hotspot” in the southern Indian Ocean. This “hotspot,” they said, was where the plane likely came down, reported News.com.au.

Before it went down March 8, the plane sent pings to Inmarsat’s satellite, leading them to calculate a likely path.

An Australian vessel was then sent out to investigate a signal. Later, officials spent several weeks investigating an area several hundred miles northwest of Perth in Western Australia.

“It was by no means an unrealistic location, but it was further to the northeast than our area of highest probability,” Chris Ashton, with Inmarsat, was quoted as saying in the program.

“We can identify a path that matches exactly with all those frequency measurements and with the timing measurements and lands on the final arc at a particular location, which then gives us a sort of a hotspot area on the final arc where we believe the most likely area is,” he added.

The news comes as an outside group of experts told authorities that it believes it knows the exact location of the missing plane. The location to search is pinpointed hundreds of miles southwest of the previous search area.

“We recommend that the search for MH370 be focused in this area,” the group said in a statement obtained by CNN on Tuesday. “While there remain a number of uncertainties and some disagreements as to the interpretation of aspects of the data, our best estimates of a location of the aircraft (is) near 36.02 South 88.57 East,” the statement reads.

American Mobile Satellite Corp. co-founder Mike Exner told the network that “we wanted to get our best estimate out.”

As the search efforts continue, the absence of proof of death has made closure elusive for all relatives, said Lawrence Palinkas, professor of social work at the University of Southern California.

“When there is no physical proof of death, it is easier to remain in (denial) for a much longer period of time,” he said. “At this point, those who have not accepted the possibility that the plane crashed and all aboard were lost are relying on extended family and friends to maintain the belief that family members are still alive, or that hope is still viable until the remains are found.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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