Mystery Material Washes Ashore in Southwest Australia

Investigators are studying the unidentified item to see if it is part of Flight 370, but admit they are not getting excited.
6:21 | 04/23/14

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Transcript for Mystery Material Washes Ashore in Southwest Australia
This is a special room. Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York could be an unidentified material washed ashore. In southwest Australia. Near the city of Augusta that could be. Debris from missing Malaysia airlines flight 37047. Days. After the jet disappeared a long piece of metal washed up onshore now investigators are studying it to see if it really is from the plane. ABC's Karen Travers has more on the object of interest from Washington. It's been nearly seven weeks -- Malaysian airlines flight 370 disappeared and today a potential clue. Searchers have found a long piece of metal with rivets on an Australian beach south of Perth. Officials have called it in object of interest here. But according to the Associated Press top Australian officials said they don't consider this to be relevant to the search for the missing -- And said their quote not getting excited. After weeks of sweeping -- is nothing not a single piece of debris has been found at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. The search is focused on -- twelve mile diameter circle where the second black box he was first detected so far 80% of that search area has been covered. But nothing -- or not. Other objects have been found in the coast of Australia but so far none of them had turned out to be from flight 370. We cannot dying to abandon the search. We might well rethink the so much. But we will not rest until we have done everything. We can. To solve this mystery. Underwater search will likely end later this week but then the big question is what's the next stage what new equipment is -- and who will pay for it. Karen Travers ABC news Washington. For more on this development I want to bring in former NTSB investigator Tom powder in Washington. Tom thanks for joining us from from what you've heard about this debris that's been found. Does that sound promising TO. Well everything's -- -- -- it'll work from but I think it's unlikely apart from the aircraft based on the current data and I've seen. But you've got to take a look at it and see what it is if it is indeed apart from the aircraft we may have to rethink the search location. And our investigators going to retrace their steps to speak when it comes to use the ocean currents. Exactly if this is apart from the airplane then you have to go back and tried to determine where was this piece seven weeks ago. There won't be easy but. -- -- better clue where to look we think for looking in the right area but this part could give this governor and look. That's what I was going to ask you -- the fact that it was found so far away from the current search area. Does that just show you the challenges that they're up against I mean not only the terrain beneath the surface but also the currents that they're dealing -- It's a huge area and obviously we've had seven weeks for their currents and winds to move parts around. -- the parts you would think by the currents will be heading more toward -- them back to Australia but. Who knows and I think this thing is that you have to take a look at anything that's potential -- -- -- counts more. And what about visiting is it surprising that the submersible covering 80% of the area that they think they -- most likely to find the wreckage does that surprise you at all that they haven't found anything yet. With all at high tech equipment. Well they've been looked -- 80% of the area and they may be it's in the last 20% you don't know or maybe just slightly beyond the area. That's always the probably get him -- You start where you think it may be your work your way out and we have 3% more ago and -- -- -- Happens how long should it take for them to analyze this piece of debris this object of interest that they found. They shouldn't take long. Hopefully when somebody gets there remediation backgrounds -- a piece that large. You'll have stamps from Boeing on board -- serial numbers of part numbers so they could narrow down quickly. But -- we've seen parts travel long distances there was a navy aircraft that crashed. Off Key West and the -- from a washed ashore -- NORTHERN IRELAND. I just takes time. Do you think investigators. -- also take a look at any other of the court -- that northern quarter that they left a while back that offers a different flight path. -- -- -- I don't think so based on the analysis of the data we have by some very good people it appears that everything shows it went to the south. And clearly if we keep going on and find nothing I would reduce and an analysis but right now. All the data we have shows to look for the southern quarter. We've also heard from Malaysian officials they say they'll bring more submersible -- In what they call the next phase of this search is that likely now. I think -- very close to it it may -- we have here is we've run into the limitations of the bluefin 21. It was very good at finding the wreckage of Air France for force up in the south Atlantic around 141000 feet. But that was also very smooth bottom here are working much deeper water much more mountainous bottom. Other issues may be we've just are taxing that vehicle beyond his capabilities. -- trying to bring in something bigger unfortunately something bigger. It's not an autonomous ROV it has to be cable to the surface. The benefit is it's got a lot more power is you can look at data instantaneously. Or nearly instantaneously the bad thing is -- lots more. -- investigators of course will be checked checking out that object of interest. Former NTSB investigator Tom -- thank you for joining us. You can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news happened starring this story for exclusive updates on the -- For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York with -- ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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