Satellite Firm: MH370 'Hotspot' Was Never Searched

Families still in limbo after more than 100 days

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2014 4:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than 100 days have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with no trace of wreckage—but the most likely spot has yet to be searched, according to the satellite firm that tracked the flight's route through satellite "pings." Inmarsat says that after signals that turned out to be a false lead were detected, the search was diverted away from the area in the southern Indian Ocean its scientists say is the "hotspot" where the aircraft probably went down.

"It was by no means an unrealistic location, but it was further to the northeast than our area of highest probability," an Inmarsat exec tells the BBC. The search is currently on hold while ships map the Indian Ocean floor, but Inmarsat's "hotspot" will be a priority when it resumes. With no trace of the plane, many relatives of the 239 people on board are finding it impossible to move on and still cling to hopes that their loved ones will somehow be found alive, the AP finds. "It may be my fantasy, but what if one day he sends some distress signals and he gets saved, and that will be the end of this?" says a 28-year-old woman in Beijing who quit her job and rarely leaves her home after her husband disappeared on the flight.

Hu Xiufang, front center, whose only child, daughter-in-law, and grandson are missing along with other passengers on board Flight 370, burns incense as she prays in Beijing.
Hu Xiufang, front center, whose only child, daughter-in-law, and grandson are missing along with other passengers on board Flight 370, burns incense as she prays in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
A woman with her face painted poses in front of the wall of hope at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A woman with her face painted poses in front of the "wall of hope" at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.   (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
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