MH370: New Zealand Scientist Urges Search Efforts to Include Remote Kyrgyzstan Besh-Tash Valley

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By Reissa Su | June 4, 2014 11:30 AM EST

New Zealand scientist Duncan Steel suggested the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 should be expanded to Kyrgyzstan's Besh-Tash Valley. Previous reports said a cloud of smoke was spotted during the time the Boeing aircraft carrying 239 people could have crashed.

REUTERS/Jason Lee
A family member cries as she and other relatives pray during a candlelight vigil for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the early morning, at Lido Hotel, in Beijing April 8, 2014, after a month of searching for the missing aircraft.

Steel, who is a physicist and NASA scientist based in Wellington, said the ongoing search operations in the Indian Ocean appeared to be missing the mark. He believes authorities should be searching for MH370 in a valley of Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia. In an interview with Bernama, Steel said suggested that authorities should consider the "northern corridor" of the missing plane's possible flight path until all theories can be ruled out.

According to Steel, searchers should take a look at the possible crash site in Besh-Tash Valley which was pinpointed as the location of the smoke plume. He said even if it's a "one-in-1,000 possibility", it would be better if someone took the chance.

Steel said his own conclusions "matched" what authorities have established so far. Previously, reports have surfaced that the sonic pings first detected in the Indian Ocean did not come from the MH370 black box.

Steel based his conclusions on available information and the raw data presented to media. He said it was most likely that the aircraft originally heading south at almost 500 knots had ended up "further south" than the current search location.

The scientist commended the British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat for "doing a great job" in analysing data. However, Steel said it doesn't mean he believes the analysis is correct since the company has not revealed vital information about Burst Frequency Offsets (BFO) and the modelling Inmarsat used.

He said if information was available, scientists could check what has been done to verify its accuracy and find possible errors.

He said Inmarsat engineers may be right in their deduction that MH370 went south but "true scientists are always skeptical."

Steel also told MailOnline that Dr Yaoqui Kuang, a Chinese professor who examined the last definite arc of potential MH370 locations, had considered various crash locations in remote places including the Kyrgyzstan valley where the plume of smoke was seen. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee / )
A family member cries as she and other relatives pray during a candlelight vigil for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the early morning, at Lido Hotel, in Beijing April 8, 2014, after a month of searching for the missing aircraft.
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