Chinese Ship Hears 'Ping'

Frequency detected in Indian Ocean is the same used by black boxes

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 5, 2014 7:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Could it be? A Chinese ship searching for Flight 370 has picked up a ping in the southern Indian Ocean, reports CNN and the BBC. Both cite a report in China's Xinhua news agency. The pulse is 37.5 kHz, the frequency for the Malaysian plane's black-box data recorders, says the president of the beacon's manufacturer. All the reports caution that it could turn out to be yet another false hope, however. "This could be a variety of things," says one oceanographer, noting that the frequency is used by lots of instruments.

For the record, the Chinese ship detected the signal at 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, says the state-run Xinhua. "It is yet to be established whether it is related to the missing jet," the report says. The development comes as dozens of ships and planes intensify their sweeps in the search zone, given the finite battery life of the data recorders.

An Australian officer uses binoculars onboard a Royal Australian Air Force plane during the search.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
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