A private Australian company says it has found what it believes is wreckage of a plane in the ocean. But leaders of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are dismissing the claim.
"This is probably the most difficult search in human history," said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He also admitted the chance of finding debris on the ocean surface is slim to none. He says efforts will now focus on the ocean floor.
But Adelaide-based exploration company, GeoResonance, believes authorities have been looking in the wrong place. It started its own search for the missing aircraft on March 10.
"The technology we use was originally designed to find nuclear warheads, submarines. Our team in the ukraine decided we should try and help," said David Pope of GeoResonance.
The company surveyed over 2 million square kilometers of the possible crash zone, using images obtained from satellites and aircraft. Scientists focused their efforts north of the flight's last known location, using over 20 technologies to analyze data, including a nuclear reactor.
They couldn't believe what they found in the Bay of Bengal.
"Our team was very excited when we found what we believe to be the wreckage of a commercial airliner," Pope said.
"We identified chemical elements and materials that make up a Boeing 777," said Pavel Kursa, of GeoResonance.
They sent an initial report to authorities while the black box still had two weeks of battery power.
And then verified their findings by analyzing images from the same area on March 5, three days before the plane disappeared.
"The wreckage wasn't there prior to the disappearance," Pope said.
The full report was delivered on April 15.
"We're not trying to say that it definitely is MH 370 but it's a lead that should be followed up," Pope said.
Carl Dorsch, of Tellus Resources, has used the company's technology for oil and gas exploration.
He believes they could be onto something.
"I just thought they had a moral duty," Dorsch said.
Seven News tried to contact the office of search coordinator Angus Houston today. But there was no response.