No, Courtney Love Didn’t Find Malaysia Flight 370 — But Tomnod Might

It’s been over a week since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing, an unfathomable amount of time to completely lose a 100-ton Boeing 777 and 239 people.

Despite 26 countries helping with the search (and, perhaps, rescue), not much is known for certain, other than the flight’s last transmission was an hour after takeoff. And so, the conspiracy theories run rampant: Did the plane disintegrate mid-air? Was it hijacked by terrorists? Did it sneak past radar and land somewhere? Is this Lost come to life?!

Radar suggests that the airplane could have left its flight plan, banked west over Malaysia, and traveled as far north as the Kazakh–Turkmen border or as far south as the southern Indian Ocean. Flight 370 could be anywhere within 2 million square nautical miles, according to CNN. In other words, they need help looking.

Yesterday’s trending story was that Hole lead singer Courtney Love, a reliably loose cannon, thought she might have found Flight 370 while examining satellite imagery. She posted her findings on Facebook, with some handy arrows to illustrate:Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.22.26 PM
We’re all so desperate for news about Flight 370 — good or bad — that this finding exploded across the Twittersphere, with snarky asides cloaking an overwhelming desire for Courtney Love to be right.

Sadly, she wasn’t. Tomnod, the crowdsourcing site Love used to examine satellite imagery in Southeast Asia, looked into her claim and discounted it on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 1.43.49 PM
What’s more interesting than Love’s detective work is that millions of people are also using Tomnod to search for oil slicks, wreckage, rafts, or any other clues that will reveal the location of Flight 370. You can help. Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, a satellite imagery firm that has supplied Google Maps and Google Earth, bought Tomnod in 2013 and now uses it as its crowdsourcing arm, notably during an international crisis. (Read more about DigitalGlobe in this excellent Fast Company brief.)

With 2 million+ people searching 2 million square nautical miles, the wreckage territory seems slightly more manageable. Think you can handle 1 square mile? Visit Tomnod.com now.

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