Back to square 1? Underwater pings no longer thought to be from MH370’s ‘black box’

Back to square 1? Underwater pings no longer thought to be from MH370’s ‘black box’

[Ed. – Yeah: those old things.  The pings from weeks and weeks ago that kept the whole search going.  Learn from me, Grasshoppers.  All slam-dunk sources are misleading at one time or another.  Never fall in love with your analytical narrative.]

The four acoustic pings at the center of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 for the past seven weeks are no longer believed to have come from the plane’s black boxes, a U.S. Navy official told CNN.

The acknowledgment came Wednesday as searchers wrapped up the first phase of their effort, having scanned 329 square miles of southern Indian Ocean floor without finding any wreckage from the Boeing 777-200.

Authorities now almost universally believe the pings did not come from the onboard data or cockpit voice recorders, but instead came from some other man-made source unrelated to the jetliner that disappeared on March 8, according to Michael Dean, the Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering. …

Dean said “yes” when asked if other countries involved in the search had reached the same conclusions. …

He said it is not possible to absolutely exclude that the pings came from the black boxes, but there is no evidence now to suggest they did.

However, a U.S. Navy spokesman called Dean’s statement to CNN “speculative and premature.” …

[C]aution stemmed from the ping’s 33.3 kHz frequency, slightly lower than 37.5 kHz design frequency. There were also concerns because the four ping detection sites were miles apart. …

Dean said Wednesday officials were also concerned because, after twice detecting pings on April 5, searchers had difficulty reacquiring the pings the next day.

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