MH370 Black Box Rumors Unfounded: Search Leader

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An Australian search official dismissed reports Friday that the location of the data-recording black boxes on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had been found.

"On the information I have available to me, there has been no major breakthrough in the search for MH370," the search leader, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said in a statement as rumors swirled about the jet, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on their way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a speech Friday in Shanghai that searchers were confident that they knew the relative position of the black boxes, Reuters reported.

But Abbott cautioned that "confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost 4½ kilometers beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on the flight."

Search leaders had said Thursday that a new possible signal had been located underwater by an Australian navy aircraft. Houston said early Friday that signal was unlikely to be from the missing Boeing 777.

"The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre has analysed the acoustic data and confirmed that the signal reported in the vicinity of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield is unlikely to be related to the aircraft black boxes," Houston said.

— M. Alex Johnson