The search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane could change course again as nothing has turned up in weeks of searching the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.
According to the Malaysian newspaper the New Strait Times, investigators are revisiting the possibility that MH370, which carried 239 people and went missing on March 8, crash landed elsewhere.
Malaysia Airline flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and carrying 239 onboard was reported missing after the crew failed to check in as scheduled while flying over waters between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
The search initially focused on the eastern coast of Malaysian and Vietnam, where the plane was last tracked by aviation authorities. As more information came to light, the search centered on the southern Indian Ocean. Despite turning up any debris, the search in this area, which includes up to 11 aircraft, 12 ships and an underwater robotic submarine, will continue for now. Poor weather conditions this week could limit these efforts.
But New Strait Times reported that the investigation team for the case based in Kuala Lumpur is looking into other possibilities as well.
“We may have to regroup soon to look into this possibility if no positive results come back in the next few days ... but at the same time, the search mission in the Indian Ocean must go on," a source on the investigation team told the newspaper. “The thought of it landing somewhere else is not impossible, as we have not found a single debris that could be linked to MH370."
In this handout image provided by Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence, Phoenix Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Bluefin-21 is craned over the side of Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 on April 14, 2014. Twenty-six nations have been involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 since it disappeared more than a month ago. (Image source: Getty Images)
The source added that the thought that it landed in a specific country where it is being hidden and has not been found by one of the more than 20 nations searching for it "seems absurd." This source said that it is more plausible that it would have crashed in a remote location.
Though it has been well over a month since the Boeing 777 vanished without a trace, Americans are still particularly interested in the case.
According to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center conducted April 3-6, the missing plane remained the top news story in the U.S., with 33 percent of people saying they followed it over a deadly shooting at Fort Hood Army base, developments related to Ukraine and President Obama's health care overhaul. That is down from 39 percent in the previous March questionnaire, when nearly half of those asked said they thought the hunt for MH370 was being given the right amount of coverage.
"I find myself drawn into watching or reading about it because it has taken on seemingly mythic worldwide importance," Paul Mones, an attorney from Portland, Oregon wrote in an email. "In this modern world we simply refuse to accept that something so concrete can get so out of our physical reach and understanding. ... People just refuse to concede that the cause of the disaster will likely forever remain unknown."
(H/T: Daily Mail)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.