In search for QZ8501, shipwrecks are also found

Even as the black box has just been recovered, the search efforts to find the wreckage of QZ8501 has been hampered by the large numbers of shipwrecks in the Java Sea, resulting in many false positives.

QZ8501: Search area graveyard for WWII naval war
AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 02 January 2015

The Java Sea where a massive search operation is underway for AirAsia Flight QZ8501 is also the graveyard for one of the largest naval engagements of World War II. Old wrecks, whether from battles or peacetime disasters, have occasionally given false leads to modern searches.

Indonesian search and rescue agency official S B Supriyadi said on Friday (Jan 2) the hunt for the AirAsia plane had detected a metal structure but it proved to be a false lead, “possibly a ship which sank”.

While it is unlikely to have been an old warship, the Java Sea was the scene of a disastrous defeat for the Allied navies by invading Imperial Japanese forces as they swept through the Dutch East Indies.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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