Cloudy
59°
Cloudy
Hi 66° | Lo 50°

Plane Mystery Baffles Experts

Satellite Signals Suggest It Flew For Hours After It Went Missing

  • An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight pattern flown earlier in a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, during a post-mission briefing at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight pattern flown earlier in a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, during a post-mission briefing at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

  • An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight pattern flown earlier in a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, during a post-mission briefing at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight pattern flown earlier in a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, during a post-mission briefing at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

  • Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)

    Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)

  • Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)

    Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)

  • Boys join in prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Boys join in prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • 10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • 10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • AP10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    AP10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • AP10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    AP10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, a Royal Malaysian Navy Fennec helicopter prepares to depart to aid in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

    In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, a Royal Malaysian Navy Fennec helicopter prepares to depart to aid in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, a Royal Malaysian Navy Fennec helicopter prepares to depart to aid in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

    In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, a Royal Malaysian Navy Fennec helicopter prepares to depart to aid in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

  • Muslim women offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Muslim women offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Muslim women offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Muslim women offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Indonesian Air Force officers stand against a map that shows a part of the South China Sea during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    Indonesian Air Force officers stand against a map that shows a part of the South China Sea during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

  • Indonesian Air Force officers stand against a map that shows a part of the South China Sea during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    Indonesian Air Force officers stand against a map that shows a part of the South China Sea during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin, front, and Royal Malaysian Navy's offshore patrol vessel KD Selangor are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

    In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin, front, and Royal Malaysian Navy's offshore patrol vessel KD Selangor are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin, front, and Royal Malaysian Navy's offshore patrol vessel KD Selangor are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

    In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin, front, and Royal Malaysian Navy's offshore patrol vessel KD Selangor are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)

  • Candles are lit next to messages as students express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Candles are lit next to messages as students express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Candles are lit next to messages as students express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Candles are lit next to messages as students express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

    A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

    A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

    A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • A pilot of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft shows a map during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the waters at Malacca straits, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

    A pilot of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft shows a map during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the waters at Malacca straits, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • A pilot of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft shows a map during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the waters at Malacca straits, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

    A pilot of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft shows a map during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the waters at Malacca straits, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • Children run past dedication messages and well wishes displayed for passengers and others involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014,  in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Children run past dedication messages and well wishes displayed for passengers and others involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Children run past dedication messages and well wishes displayed for passengers and others involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014,  in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Children run past dedication messages and well wishes displayed for passengers and others involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, while on a level down, travellers queue up at immigration checkpoints, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, while on a level down, travellers queue up at immigration checkpoints, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, while on a level down, travellers queue up at immigration checkpoints, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, while on a level down, travellers queue up at immigration checkpoints, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight pattern flown earlier in a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, during a post-mission briefing at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
  • An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight pattern flown earlier in a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, during a post-mission briefing at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
  • Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)
  • Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)
  • Boys join in prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • 10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
  • 10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
  • AP10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
  • AP10ThingsToSee - Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, a Royal Malaysian Navy Fennec helicopter prepares to depart to aid in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)
  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, a Royal Malaysian Navy Fennec helicopter prepares to depart to aid in the search and rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)
  • Muslim women offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Muslim women offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishamuddin Hussein takes questions from the media during a press conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Indonesian Air Force officers stand against a map that shows a part of the South China Sea during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
  • Indonesian Air Force officers stand against a map that shows a part of the South China Sea during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The hunt for the missing jetliner has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin, front, and Royal Malaysian Navy's offshore patrol vessel KD Selangor are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)
  • In this photo released by The Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette KD Laksamana Muhammad Amin, front, and Royal Malaysian Navy's offshore patrol vessel KD Selangor are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/The Royal Malaysian Navy)
  • Candles are lit next to messages as students express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
  • Candles are lit next to messages as students express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
  • A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
  • A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
  • A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out the window during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the Straits of Malacca, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
  • A pilot of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft shows a map during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the waters at Malacca straits, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
  • A pilot of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft shows a map during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane over the waters at Malacca straits, Malaysia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
  • Children run past dedication messages and well wishes displayed for passengers and others involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014,  in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Children run past dedication messages and well wishes displayed for passengers and others involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014,  in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, while on a level down, travellers queue up at immigration checkpoints, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
  • Muslim men offer prayers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, while on a level down, travellers queue up at immigration checkpoints, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said, deflating the latest lead in the six-day hunt. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — A Malaysia Airlines plane sent signals to a satellite for four hours after the aircraft went missing, an indication that it was still flying for hundreds of miles or more, a U.S. official briefed on the search said Thursday.

Six days after the plane with 239 people aboard disappeared, Malaysian authorities expanded their search westward toward India, saying the aircraft may have flown for several hours after its last contact with the ground shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.

A string of previous clues about Flight MH370 have led nowhere.

“This situation is unprecedented. MH370 went completely silent over the open ocean,” said Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. “This is a crisis situation.

“It is a very complex operation, and it is not obviously easy. We are devoting all our energies to the task at hand.”

The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation by name, said the Boeing 777-200 wasn’t transmitting data to the satellite, but was instead sending out a signal to establish contact.

Boeing offers a satellite service that can receive a stream of data during flight on how the aircraft is functioning and relay the information to the plane’s home base.

The idea is to provide information before the plane lands on whether maintenance work or repairs are needed.

Malaysia Airlines didn’t subscribe to that service, but the plane still had the capability to connect with the satellite and was automatically sending pings, the official said.

“It’s like when your cellphone is off but it still sends out a little ‘I’m here’ message to the cellphone network,” the official said. “That’s how sometimes they can triangulate your position even though you’re not calling because the phone every so often sends out a little bleep. That’s sort of what this thing was doing.”

The plane had enough fuel to fly about four more hours, the U.S. official said.

Boeing did not comment.

Messages involving a different, more rudimentary data service also were received from the airliner for a short time after the plane’s transponder — a device used to identify the plane to radar — went silent, the official said.

If the plane had disintegrated during flight or had suffered some other catastrophic failure, all signals — the pings to the satellite, the data messages and the transponder — would be expected to stop at the same time.

One part of the hunt is in the South China Sea, where the aircraft was seen on civilian radar flying northeast before vanishing without any indication of technical problems. A similar-sized search is also being conducted in the Strait of Malacca because of military radar sightings that might indicate the plane turned in that direction after its last contact, passing over the Malay Peninsula.

The total search area being covered is about 35,800 square miles — about the size of Portugal.

Asked if it were possible that the plane kept flying for several hours, Hishammuddin said: “Of course. We can’t rule anything out. This is why we have extended the search. We are expanding our search into the Andaman Sea.” The sea is northwest of the Malay Peninsula.

He said Malaysia was asking for radar data from India and other neighboring countries to see if they can trace it flying northwest. India says its navy, air force and coast guard will search for the plane in the south Andaman Sea.

The U.S. Navy 7th Fleet said it is moving one of its ships, the USS Kidd, into the Strait of Malacca, west of Malaysia.

In the latest disappointment, search planes failed to find any debris from the plane after they were sent Thursday to an area of the South China Sea off the southern tip of Vietnam.