Satellite Images Could Provide Clues to Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Chinese satellites may have captured images that may be wreckage from the missing plane.
3:00 | 03/12/14

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Transcript for Satellite Images Could Provide Clues to Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
air, experts around the world are studying satellite images from Asia. New images that show something floating in the ocean five days after that passenger jet vanished. 239 people onboard. So, are these images part of the answer? Are will they just deepen the mystery? ABC's bob woodruff walks us through the new twist of the disappearance of that plane. Reporter: Tonight, intriguing, new clues. Those images captured by a Chinese satellite. One, after the other. Three in all. One nearly 80 feet long, found in the search zone, reportedly closer to the original path of the flight. But are they from the missing plane? To answer that, the search is growing. The zone, now the size of Indiana, spanning a distance greater than Chicago to Atlanta. Finally, American experts have been let in to help pore over the clues. After five, long days, all we know for sure is this. Flight 370 took off at 12:21 A.M. And fell off civilian radars by 1:30 A.M. Saturday morning. Right here. The pilots' last words to the tower, all right. Good night. But still a mystery, claims by the Malaysian military that their radar picked up a signal 45 minutes later that might have been the missing plane, soaring way off course, all the way over here. Added to this, a worker aboard this oil rig saying he thinks he spotted something. E-mailing that he saw what looked like the plane burning at high altitude, in the night sky, here, in the waters off Vietnam. The Vietnamese searched the area but say they found nothing. For the families of the 239 missing, face after face, fathers, high school sweethearts, grandparents, it is agony. It's just disappeared off the face of the Earth. And if we could just find wreckage or something, it would be a help, probably. But nothing. Reporter: So, now, the eyes are really focused on those images taken by the Chinese on Sunday. And now, finally released. The question, are these pictures of that plane on the water? That, hopefully, we'll find out soon enough. Diane? ABC's David Kerley covers aviation for us. He is standing by right now. Show us where they found these objects. The Chinese say they took these pictures on Sunday. Let's take a look. We know where this plane ended up. This last radar hit was over the south China sea. They're saying they got these pictures is in the southeast area. About 25-mile circle, where they saw the three different items. They see the large pieces of floating debris. The pictures are not supersharp. But these are big pieces, 30 feet to 80 feet across. Experts will say it's not possible to identify objects with a satellite picture. One expert told us, these pieces might be too big to be part of this plane. But this could help concentrate a search. Also, the debris field. Could answer big questions for us. We have an aerial photo from the air France crash in the atlantic. It hit on the water. Its debris field was more concentrated. A wide debris field could mean that the jet broke apart at altitude. So, these pictures are being analyzed. We asked U.S. Officials. The first they heard about it today. We asked, have you moved satellites to look at this area? They would not comment or tell us anything about that, Diane. Again, David, we're talking about something fairly close to the regularly scheduled route. It is -- we're hearing anywhere from 100 to 200 miles to the southeast. So, that could be -- here's part of the problem, Diane. The last ping we saw, and the plane apparently stayed in the air for a little bit longer. Did it fly that way? Or has debris floated that way? Is it even debris from the aircraft? Thank you, David. I'm going to turn to one of the leading experts, a pilot, colonel Steve ganyard. You're looking at these pictures. Can they be made clearer? They are tantalizing. I don't know if they're clues yet. I wish we could blow them up. They're a little too fuzzy we're going to get any clarity. We have to get ships out there and make sure these aren't parts of the airport. But David raises the possibility they could be too big. They're longer than the wingspan of a 777 or the fuselage. Maybe they are too big. But at this point, we know so little that we have to investigate every potential clue. And they certainly are tantalizing. You have been reminding us, even if it is debris from that plane, it could be a long time before we know what happened. Exactly. We found debris after five days. But two years underneath that debris before we found the black boxes that held the secrets. And we will not find out what happened in this mishap until we get those black boxes. All right. Thank you, Steve, for joining in tonight. This really is an intriguing night. Thank you.

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