Scientists say 'pings' were NOT from missing plane and slam search as a 'debacle'
The frantic search for missing plane MH370 has been hampered by a premature announcement that a black box had been found, it has been claimed.
Underwater scientists say 'pings' picked up by a US locater were not from the missing Malaysian Airlines craft as announced by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Acoustic experts told The Courier Mail they were likely from a man-made source because they were too far apart and at the wrong frequency.
"As soon as I saw the frequency and the distance between the pings I knew it couldn't be the aircraft pinger," one of the scientists, who did not wish to be named, said.
The underwater drone Bleufin-21 will continue scouring the Indian Ocean next week near to where the pings were detected over a month ago.
The experts said a failure so far to find any trace of the jetliner supports their claims.
They also said the 33.3 kilohertz frequency of the signal was very different to the 37.5 kilohertz generated by underwater acoustic beacons. The signals were also detected days apart.
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Scientists said detailed analysis of the signals had not been undertaken when Mr Abbott made the announcement in China on April 11.
The Australian Prime Minister said at the time: "We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres."
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre said the signals were "believed to be" consistent with the Flight Data Recorder.
Agency head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the signals were still being looked at to ensure nothing had been missed.
An archaeologist earlier claimed the pings may have come from satellite tracking devices on marine animals.
The Malaysian Airlines flight was carrying 239 passengers and crews when it disappeared on March 8.
Since then, no trace of the jet liner has been found despite a massive search operation.
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MH370 Malaysian Airlines Missing flight pings