If you’re following along on Twitter, you know by now imaging specialists at Satellite Imaging Corporation in Houston have confirmed that an object that appears to be about half of a 777’s left wing is indeed “aircraft debris”. The spectral signature is nearly identical to that for Boeing 747 wing surfaces. Since the metallic composition of 777 wings is a more recent aluminum alloy, we expected a close but not exact match. Spectral results rule out “shiny” objects like fiberglass used in the construction of sailing and fishing vessels; they also rule out wood construction, any number of non-metallic materials used in the construction of boats and planes, and non-buoyant materials that could not have drifted to the island without aid of people. (St. Brandon Island is closed to tourist traffic. Getting on the island is difficult, expensive, and requires permits.)
Looking ahead, I do not personally have an interest in physically recovering the St. Brandon wing, others may feel differently. Others may want tangible confirmation that it is indeed part of MH370. I understand the interest, and fully support such efforts as long as done in accordance with the wishes and requirements of the government of Mauritius, which has administrative responsibility for the island.
However, for me, the focus remains on finding the rest of the aircraft. Today’s confirmation helps us enormously. It tells us MH370 debris was on St. Brandon sometime prior to September 9, 2014: six (6) months or less after the plane is believed to have crashed in the southeastern Indian Ocean. There are two immediate implications from that. First, the debris could not possibly have drifted from the original search area south of Broken Ridge, a belief now held by most of those who still follow efforts to find the Malaysian Airliner.
Second, it strongly suggests Cyclone Gillian was instrumental in putting MH370 debris where it was in September 2014. We know that because NOAA Satellite-tracked buoy #101655 suffered a similar fate. The buoy was on the “Seventh Arc” on March 8, 2014. Gillian hit it directly on March 25, catapulting it across the Indian Ocean to -10.023, 63.178, north of St. Brandon by July 26, 2014: a mere 4 months.
In fact, comparing the track of NOAA buoy #101655 to a hypothetical track from the same origin to St. Brandon during the same time frame is quite reasonable.
I will expand this article as time and events dictate. There is much more to be told, but I need to spend more time reviewing lab results provided by Satellite Imaging Corporation.