China Spots Object via Satellite as Missing Jet Hunt Continues, But It Looks Like Yet Another Dead Lead

It's becoming a race against time in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but each new lead continues to be dashed almost as soon as it's found. On Saturday, China released a satellite image of a large object in the Indian Ocean that, it was hoped, would mean some concrete evidence that the jet had indeed gone down in the region — but only hours after the image was released, Australian searchers confirmed they'd found nothing there.

The Chinese satellite image, which was taken on Tuesday but not released until today, showed a huge object — roughly 74 by 43 feet — floating about 75 miles south of where debris had been previously spotted via an Australian satellite. Almost as soon as the image was released, Australian searchers stated that they'd in fact scoured the area on Saturday and not found signs of any objects. Regardless, China will send in a search team, while the global hunt "will resume tomorrow and further attempts will be made" to verify whether there's any way the debris could have missed.

"It is a very remote area, but we intend to continue the search until we're absolutely satisfied that further searching would be futile — and that day is not in sight," said Warren Truss, Australian acting prime minister. "If there's something there to be found, I'm confident that this search effort will locate it."

Time is of the essence, right now. The more time goes by, the more likely it is that the debris will have changed location in the rough seas — and there's some majorly bad weather on the horizon, to boot. Not only that, but the jet's black box — which has yet to be found — has a battery life of 30 days; and we're nearly three weeks into the search. The box, which sends out data pings periodically and contains a recording of the cockpit, could be the key to the mysterious disappearance. And that's not even considering the unbearable limbo that the friends and family members of the missing passengers must be in.