March 29, 2014 - 11:21 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Fresh objects spotted by planes searching for a missing Malaysian passenger jet in a new area of the southern Indian Ocean have again raised hopes of unraveling the three-week old mystery, Reuters reported.
Australian authorities coordinating the operation moved the air and sea search 1,100 km (685 miles) north on Friday, March 29 after new analysis of radar and satellite data concluded Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 travelled faster and for a shorter distance after vanishing from civilian radar screens on March 8.
Five international aircraft spotted "multiple objects of various colors" in the new search area some 1,850 km (1,150 miles) west of Perth, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said on Saturday. Some looked like they were from fishing boats and nothing could be confirmed until they were recovered by ships, it added.
One Chinese ship was in the area while another five Chinese vessels and one from Australia were on the way but would not arrive until late in the day.
"We are trying to find small bits of wreckage in a vast ocean, and while we are throwing everything at this, the search goes on," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Sydney.
Malaysia says the Boeing 777, which vanished less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was likely diverted deliberately but investigators have turned up no apparent motive or other red flags among the 227 passengers or the 12 crew.
U.S. officials close to the investigation said the FBI found nothing illuminating in data it had received from computer equipment used by MH370's pilots, including a home-made flight simulator.
The search has involved more than two dozen countries and 60 aircraft and ships but has been bedeviled by regional rivalries and an apparent reluctance to share potentially crucial information due to security concerns.
Malaysian officials said the new search area was the result of a painstaking analysis of Malaysian military radar data and satellite readings from British company Inmarsat carried out by U.S., Chinese, British and Malaysian investigators.
"Information which had already been examined by the investigation was re-examined in light of new evidence drawn from the Inmarsat data analysis," Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference on Friday.
Engine performance analysis by the plane's manufacturer Boeing helped investigators determine how long the plane could have flown before it ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean thousands of miles off course, they said.