MH370 would have crashed with force of 'small earthquake' as researchers believe underwater sounds could solve mystery

11 June 2024, 19:34 | Updated: 11 June 2024, 19:54

Frankfurt, Germany - June 19, 2013: A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 with the registration 9M-MRG takes off from Frankfurt Air
Flight MH370 vanished while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Picture: Alamy

By Flaminia Luck

New research has suggested that hydrophones - underwater microphones - could be used to solve the mystery behind the doomed aircraft MH370 which went missing over ten years ago.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Boeing 777 plane carrying 239 people, mostly Chinese nationals, from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished from radar shortly after taking off on March 8, 2014.

Satellite data showed the plane deviated from its flight path and is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Despite multinational search efforts, including extensive underwater searches along and near the so-called “seventh arc”, the main wreckage has not been found.

Only a few pieces of debris washed ashore on islands in the western Indian Ocean have been confirmed as those of MH370.

New research claims that it explores the possibility of detecting underwater acoustic signals generated by aircraft crashes, which could provide insight into what happened to the aircraft and those on board.

Pieces of the aircraft were confirmed to have washed up on some islands in the Indian Ocean
Pieces of the aircraft were confirmed to have washed up on some islands in the Indian Ocean. Picture: Alamy

The new research focuses on the use of hydrophones, underwater microphones which capture sound waves and pressure changes in the ocean.

They say the technology has shown promise in detecting pressure signals - can travel thousands of kilometres - from various events, including aircraft crashes.

Data from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) hydroacoustic stations were used in the stud and ficused on stations at Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia and Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean.

Both locations were operational around the time MH370 is believed to have disappeared.

These stations are located within tens of minutes’ signal travel time from the seventh arc.

The CTBTO stations have previously detected distinctive pressure signals from aircraft crashes, as well as earthquakes of various sizes at distances of more than 5,000 kilometres away.

"By examining these signals, we hoped to identify any potential acoustic evidence of MH370’s crash," the research stated.

Read more: MH370 investigator makes shock claim about hunt for doomed plane’s wreckage

Read more: ‘I am the President, but I am also a Dad’: Joe Biden breaks silence after son found guilty of buying gun illegally

The Boeing 777 aircraft disappeared from radars while carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew
The Boeing 777 aircraft disappeared from radars while carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew. Picture: Alamy

Data for signals along MH370’s initial flight path was examined but found no corresponding acoustic signatures.

"But a 200-tonne aircraft crashing at a speed of 200 metres per second would release the kinetic energy equivalent to a small earthquake. It would be large enough to be recorded by hydrophones thousands of kilometres away.

"Given the sensitivity of the hydrophones, it’s highly unlikely that a large aircraft impacting the ocean surface wouldn’t leave a detectable pressure signature, particularly on nearby hydrophones."

However, the research added "unfavourable ocean conditions" could potentially dampen or obscure such a signal.

"So, while our research does not pinpoint MH370’s exact crash location, it highlights the potential of hydroacoustic technology in solving this aviation mystery.

"By refining our methods and conducting further experiments, we could provide new insights into MH370’s fate and improve our response to future maritime incidents.

"The ongoing efforts to locate MH370 not only seek to bring closure to the families affected but also to enhance our ability to track and understand aviation accidents over vast oceanic expanses," the research added.

Earlier this year, an expert claimed to have found the plane's wreckage on Google Maps.

Technology expert Ian Wilson believes he identified the wreckage of the ill-fated flight in the Cambodian jungle.

Mr Wilson said: "Measuring the Google sighting, you're looking at around 69 metres, but there looks to be a gap between the tail and the back of the plane. It's just slightly bigger, but there's a gap that would probably account for that."

Read more: Expert claims to have found Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 wreckage on Google Maps

Technology expert Ian Wilson has alleged he found the site wreckage on Google Earth
Technology expert Ian Wilson has alleged he found the site wreckage on Google Earth. Picture: Google Maps

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Kate's big comeback: Princess and William share tender moment as she re-joins royals at Trooping the Colour

Kate's big comeback: Princess and William share tender moment as she re-joins royals at Trooping the Colour

The attack, which took place in a garden east Germany on Friday night, saw the knifeman stab four people before police arrived at the scene.

German police shoot dead knifeman at Euro 2024 party after rampage leaves one dead and three injured

Businessman sues Apple after wife finds ‘deleted’ iPhone messages to prostitute

Businessman sues Apple after wife finds ‘deleted’ iPhone messages to prostitute

Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is bankrupt, homeless and has "lost absolutely everything", according to his lawyer.

Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has 'lost absolutely everything' as star faces selling medals following bankruptcy

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer promises no capital gains tax on sales of homes as he dismisses tax hike claims

Home Secretary calls for 'urgent investigation' after shock footage emerges of police ramming escaped cow

Home Secretary calls for 'urgent investigation' after shock footage emerges of police ramming escaped cow

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Prince Louis steals the show as he dances along to bagpipes at Trooping the Colour

Prince Louis steals the show as he dances along to bagpipes on Buckingham Palace balcony

Coventry's Radford Road, where the schoolboy was killed

Schoolboy killed in hit and run as police urgently look for driver

Police rammed the cow

Shock as police ram escaped cow on the street, as officers say it 'was hurt while being moved to safety'

Exclusive
c

Angela Rayner condemns 'intimidation' of Labour's Rosie Duffield after she cancels hustings amid 'trolling and spite'

Kate and the royals came out on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the flypast

Kate joins King Charles and other royals on Buckingham Palace balcony for RAF flypast after Trooping the Colour

Exclusive
Ben Habib has hit back at suggestions Nigel Farage could join the Conservative party

Reform deputy hits back at suggestion Nigel Farage could join Tories, after leader tells LBC he could lead merged party

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

David Cameron and Nigel Farage

David Cameron says Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative Party through Reform UK