Plane crash, whale tail, rock, underwater volcano or Optical Illusion?


Interactive Map:

A plane Crash Captured in Google Maps? Show on large map with menu
Location coordinates: 44 12′ 16.11″ S, 176 34′ 37.99″ W


March 22 2014
In the search of Malaysian Airplane MH370 i found the above image in Google maps south of Chatham Island (formerly alternatively known as Rekohu or Wharekauri), New Zealand in the South Pacific Sea.Im trying to find more info and the exact imagery date of the image.
The google map is copyrighted 2014 by NASA TerraMetrics and DigitalGlobal. The watermarks on the image subject area say © 2013 Google.

Browse DigitalGlobal Image Finder:
archive shows no imagery captured at that site
TerraMetrics Imagery Data
Let’s get some answers

How do you find the date of a google image?

  • If you enable the ‘Status Bar’ option under View menu then imagery dates (if available) will appear in status bar that shows at bottom of the map window in Google Earth. Dates are approximate. Sometimes dates are when the imagery was processed as opposed to when it was captured so you could have an image with Earth imagery see related link below to article.
  • How Google Earth displays dates on their imagery

Google forums: (for answers) I need the exact date of an aerial photo. The time bar and the picture date differ. How can I know the exact date? Is there any way to tell the exact date of the current Google Map for a given location? Dates on Historical Imagery

How often are Google Earth Images Updated?

  • The images in Google Earth (and Google Maps) are updated on a continuous basis.
    It’s hard to say exactly when an area will be updated because some areas may be updated more frequently than others (just because that data is more readily available). While most images are no more than 3 years old in high resolution areas, low resolution imagery in some areas may be older. When high-res or newer imagery is not available, the base map used in Google Earth is a circa 2000 TerraMetrics/NASA 15 meter resolution base imagery. It takes months of post processing new imagery before they go online so bulk updates usually happen about every 2-3 weeks. Google Earth and Google Maps share the same backend satellite image database and are updated together.
  • Why are newer images sometimes found in Historical Imagery? Newer imagery is sometimes available in ‘Historical Imagery’, which can be enabled from the View menu option in Google Earth. Sometimes older images are actually of better quality than new images (i.e. there might be a huge cloud over a certain area which encourages using theolder, clearer image). This feature is not available in Google Maps.
The Date and Time of the Image
Click the image to enlarge
The date and time of the image: 29-08-2005 / 00:00 UTC (as displayed in google earth)
Taken in notice the Standard time zone (in aug) and UTC +12:45 the date and time then would be:29-08-2005 at 12:45 p.m. CHADT (Chatham Island Daylight Time)

Timezone Chatham Islands CHADT
UTC/GMT Offset Daylight Saving Time

Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +12:45 hours (Quarter-hour time zone)
Daylight saving time: +1 hour
Current time zone offset: UTC/GMT +13:45 hours
Time zone abbreviation: CHADT – Chatham Island Daylight Time
DST ends on zondag, 6 april 2014, 03:45 local daylight time.
DST starts on zondag, 28 september 2014, 02:45 local standard time.
Australia & New Zealand end DST on April 6, 2014
See time changes/daylight saving time in other years
Time difference between Chatham Islands time and other time zones
How the image is build up
Mosaic of image location Mosaic of Chatham Islands area
Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

* So far there seem to be only 1 image taken of the subject

Ocean Currents

Near realtime map for ocean surface currents  http://www.oscar.noaa.gov/
Oceanweather current marine data  http://www.oceanweather.com/data/

Near Realtime Currents for South Pacific:

Ocean surface currents around the world during the period June 2005 – December 2007 | More info
Perpetual Ocean: This visualization (change quality to at least 720p for HD! ) shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period June 2005 – December 2007. Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

* The ocean surface currents between June 2005 – December 2007 in that area were South-East to North-West
* The trail behind the subject goes from North-East to South-West

Exploring Possibillities
Plane Crash?
Aviation Accident Databases
Plane Crash Info Aviation Accident Database
AviationSafety Database
Aviation Accident Database & Synopses (gov)
FAA Aviation Database | FAA Accident/Incident Data
AirDisaster Database
List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft
Plane Crash Sites – Waymark2005
Database 2005
Plane Crash Info 2005
Missing airplanes without a trace
ASN records over 80 aircraft missing since 1948

Aviation Safety Network records indicate that at least 88 passenger, corporate, cargo, and military transport aircraft went missing without a trace since 1948.
From the extensive ASN accident database, a list was compiled detailing 88 cases in which a passenger, corporate, cargo or military transport airplane went missing without a trace. In these cases not a single piece of wreckage, oil slick or body has been found.Other numbers have been circulating in the media, also based on ASN data. These numbers are based on the same data but may have used different selection criteria like including or excluding corporate jets or certain military flights.The numbers presented here may change as it is difficult to determine in what cases actual debris has been located, sometimes even after many years. For instance, a BSAA Avro Lancastrian that went missing between Montevideo, Uruguay and Santiago, Chile in 1947 was located in January 2000. Also, the wreckage of an Indian Air Force An-12 transport plane was located in August 2013, forty-five years after it went missing with 102 on board.Update March 18:  added DC-3 that went missing over Mediterranean Sea in 1981, changing total from 87 to 88.SourceMore information:

* The above data is integrated in the google map
Chatham Island
Media Releases 2005

* So far no known or unknown plane crashes in that area, or in 2005

Other possibilities
a Whale Tail, an underwater Volcano, a Rock, an Optical Illusion?
Whale Tail?

Whale Tail Span

Humpback whales migrate each year to winter breeding grounds near islands and shallow banks in the tropical waters of Oceania (South Pacific) after feeding during summer in waters near the Antarctic.
Whale Research South Pacific

The long black and white tail fin, which can be up to a third of body length.
Newborn calves are roughly the length of their mother’s head. At birth, calves measure 6 metres (20 ft) at 2 short tons(1.8  t ) The mother, by comparison, is about 15 metres (49 ft). Humpback whale lifespans range from 45–100 years. Fully grown, the males average 13–14 m (43–46 ft). Females are slightly larger at 15–16 m (49–52 ft); the largest recorded specimen was 19 metres (62 ft) long and had pectoral fins measuring 6 metres (20 ft) each. Body mass typically is in the range of 25–30 metric tons (28–33 short tons), with large specimens weighing over 40 metric tons (44 short tons)
Source

* A whale does not fit the scale on the map

Rock?

A rock creating an optical illusion seems possible (see close-up below), tho does it explain the trail of about 4515.4 ft (1.3763km) from North-East to South-West and the far stretching ripples?

* The ocean surface currents between June 2005 – December 2007 in that area were South-East to North-West
* The trail behind the subject goes from North-East to South-West.
* The water wave appears to come from behind (North-East to South-West) instead of from the front side (South-East to North-West), which is the opposit of the ocean surface currents.
* South-East of Chatham Island is Pitt Island, surrounded by many rocks to take for example. Non of them has a trail like the subject in the image.
* The above makes it unlikely to be a rock.

CloseUp Click image to enlarge Trail & Ripples Click image to enlarge
Underwater Volcano ?

Also read and watch the creation of a new island by a submarine volcano:
Tongan volcano, new island created by underwater eruption (17 Jan 2015)
New Zealand
New Zealand consists of two large islands, North Island (113729km 2) and South Island (150437km 2), and two smaller islands, Stewart Island (1680km 2) and the Chatham Islands (970km 2). There are approximately 700 other small islands and islets, mostly within 50km of the main islands. The islands extend across 1500km of ocean from 34° to 47° south. The highest point is Mt Cook (Aoraki) in the South Island at 3754m. These islands developed on part of an extensive submarine plateau composed of continental crust (collectively named Zealandia) totalling 1.7 million km 2 , an extension of the islands stretching from the Campbell Plateau to the southeast, and the Chatham Rise in the east, to the Challenger Plateau to the west and New Caledonia in the north.
Source
Multibeam bathymetric surveys of submarine volcanoes and mega-pockmarks on the Chatham Rise, New ZealandMultibeam bathymetric surveys east of the South Island of New Zealand yield images of submarine volcanoes and pockmarks west of Urry Knolls on the Chatham Rise, and evidence of submarine erosion on the southern margin of the Chatham Rise. Among numerous volcanic cones, diameters of the largest reach c. 2000 m, and some stand as high as 400 m above the surrounding seafloor. The tops of most of thevolcanic cones are flat, with hints of craters, and some with asymmetric shapes may show flank collapses. There are hints of both northeast–southwest and northwest–southeast alignments of volcanoes, but no associated faulting is apparent. Near and to the west of these volcanoes, huge pockmarks, some more than c. 1 km in diameter, disrupt bottom topography. Pockmarks in this region seem to be confined to seafloor shallower than c. 1200 m, but we see evidence of deeper pockmarks at water depths of up to 2100 m on profiles crossing the Bounty Trough. The pockmark field on the Chatham Rise seems to be bounded on the south by a trough at almost 1200 m depth; like others, we assume that contour currents have eroded the margin and created the trough.
Source

Also Read
Earth-Ocean Interactions Program (Chatham Rise related)
Submarine Volcanoes
Submarine Volcanoes, Ridges, and Vents

* Pockmarks are craters in the seabed caused by fluids (gas and liquids) erupting and streaming through the sediments* Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic formations. They are built by ejecta from avolcanic vent , piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption. Types typically differentiated are spatter cones , ash cones , tuff cones , and cinder cones .

Chatham Island TopoMap
Oceana – South Pacific Seafloor | Map
– New Zealand’s Seafloor in stunning detail | map
Ocean Floor NZ
Quake Search

* The ocean surface currents between June 2005 – December 2007 in that area were South-East to North-West
* The trail behind the subject goes from North-East to South-West.
* The water wave appears to come from behind (North-East to South-West) instead of from the front side (South-East to North-West).
* Pockmarks are craters in the seabed caused by fluids (gas and liquids) erupting and streaming through the sediments.* Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic formations. They are built by ejecta from avolcanic vent , piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption. Types typically differentiated are spatter cones , ash cones , tuff cones , and cinder cones .* These can create rippels and can create a trail due to the ocean surface currents
* The size fits the scale
Could this explain what we see in the google image and the trail of about 4515.4 ft (1.3763km) from North-East to South-West and the far stretching ripples?


Volcano Map of Chatham Island Area
Source
And there it is, the dot at the bottom in the middle of the volcano map is our subject

CONCLUSION: Not everything is always what it seems to be …

References
Google Map
Timezones
Timezone Map
CHADT – Chatham Island Daylight Time
Chatham Islands – Time and Date
Image Browsing
Browse DigitalGlobal Image Finder
MapMart TerraMetrics Imagery Data
Earth Sciences & Map Library
Earth Sciences & Map Library (new website)
Satellite Photo Image Viewer
NASA Earth Observatory Global Maps
NASA Earth Observatory Images related to Chatham Islands
Google
Google Earth Frequently Asked Questions
Google’s ‘Follow Your World’ Notification
About Google Earth Imagery
Google Earth Imagery Updates – KML file for Google Earth
About Google Earth Imagery
How often are Google Earth Images Updated?
Aviation Accident Databases
Plane Crash Info Aviation Accident Database
AviationSafety Database
Aviation Accident Database & Synopses (gov)
FAA Aviation Database | FAA Accident/Incident Data
AirDisaster Database
List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft
Plane Crash Sites – Waymark
ASN records over 80 aircraft missing since 1948
AviationSafetyNet
Google Earth (KML) file  with all known flight routes of missing flights
Google Spreadsheet with missing aircraft
Currents
Near realtime map for ocean surface currents
Oceanweather current marine data
Currents in realtime for: 
Indian Ocean(Northern)
   Australia
New Zealand/Pacific
History
Chatham Island
Geology (info)
Geological History of the Chatham Islands
Chatham Island
Chatham Island TopoMap
Chatham Islands
Chatham Rise
Oceana – South Pacific Seafloor | Map
New Zealand’s Seafloor in stunning detail | map
Ocean Floor NZ
Quake Search
Submarine Volcano
Submarine Eruption
Pillow Lava
Pillar Lava Formation (video)
Ocean Ridge
Seamount
Volcano Eruption Types
Subduction Zone
Plate Tectonics
Volcanic cones
pockmarks
Studies/Research
volcanic nature of much of the geology
Multibeam bathymetric surveys of submarine volcanoes and mega-pockmarks on the Chatham Rise, New Zealand
Submarine Volcanoes
Submarine Volcanoes, Ridges, and Vents
Earth-Ocean Interactions Program(Chatham Rise related)
Conversions
OnlineConversions
News/Media
Media Releases 2005
2012
Source of Mysterious Pumice ‘Raft’ in Pacific Found, NASA Says
Pumice raft bigger than area of Israel
Huge Pumice ‘Island’ Floats in Pacific
2013
Scientists find mysterious giant pockmarks on chatham rise – 02/04/2013By Bookofresearch ©
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2 thoughts on “Plane crash, whale tail, rock, underwater volcano or Optical Illusion?

  1. Pingback: What was the unknown orange/red glow over the Pacific Ocean? | Book of Research

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