Paul and Danica Weeks
A Chinese ship has detected a "pulse signal" in the
southern Indian Ocean where Malaysia Airlines MH370 is believed
The vessel, Haixun 01, part of the multinational search
effort, picked up a signal at 37.5Hz per second - meaning it
could be the missing plane, China's official news agency
"That is the standard beacon frequency" for both so-called
black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder and flight data
recorder, pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom said early today.
The signal was detected around 25 degrees south latitude and
101 degrees east longitude.
The Australian-led joint agency coordinating the search for
the missing Malaysian jetliner said the electronic signals
were consistent with those of an aircraft black box.
However, the agency could not verify any connection between
the signals and the missing Malaysia Airlines plane,
Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston told the
New Zealander Danica Weeks and her two young sons have been
waiting a month for news of her husband Paul, who was on
flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur.
Early this morning (NZ time), at her home in Perth, Mrs Weeks
was on the phone to friends and family trying to find out
A friend said she had been contacted by authorities.
"They have been in touch with her," she said. "She is aware
of the fact that this is happening."
She will decide in the next two weeks when to return home to
Christchurch to hold a memorial for her husband.
"I can't really leave here until such time as they find
something," she told the Herald on Sunday a few hours
earlier. "I would hate to be there and they find something
and be so far away."
The Chinese report said it was not established whether the
signal was related to the missing jet, and experts cautioned
that no confirmation had been made that the signal was linked
to the missing plane.
"This could be a variety of things," oceanographer Simon
Boxall told CNN, saying the frequency was used by a variety
"We've had a lot of red herrings, hyperbole on this whole
search," said the University of Southampton lecturer.
"I'd really like to see this data confirmed. It could be a
But if this proves what investigators have been searching
for, "then the possibility of recovering the plane - or at
least the black boxes - goes from being one in a million to
The announcement came nearly a month after the Malaysia
Airlines flight disappeared, and on the same day the nation's
acting transportation minister said three committees were
being formed to tackle the disappearance of the flight.
It has been 31 days since Mrs Weeks kissed her husband
She is now preparing to say a final farewell to the father of
their two young sons, who was on the missing flight.
Mrs Weeks said she would hold a public memorial in
Christchurch, and the airline would pay to fly her and sons
Lincoln and Jack to the city.
Kiwi Paul Weeks, 38, an engineer living in Perth, and
Aucklander Ximin Wang are among the 239 presumed dead after
the flight bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur went missing
on March 8.
In a cruel twist, the search for the missing plane is
happening off the coast of their home.
"Paul always said if anything should happen to him, he would
be taken back to Christchurch because that's his home," said
On Friday, she met retired Australian defence chief Air Chief
Marshal Angus Houston, who is leading the new joint agency
co-ordination centre in Perth.
"From talking to them and going to the air base and seeing
what was there and what's going on, if it's where they've
calculated it to be, they will find it."
- By Amy Maas of the Herald on Sunday and Patrice Dougan