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updated: 3/13/2014 9:11 AM

Suburban man finds image resembling missing Malaysia Airlines jet

Wayne man spots object in satellite images

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  • This is a screenshot of what Wayne resident Mike Seberger saw while searching through satellite images for the missing Malaysia Airline jet.

      This is a screenshot of what Wayne resident Mike Seberger saw while searching through satellite images for the missing Malaysia Airline jet.
    courtesy of Mike Seberger

  • Mike Seberger

      Mike Seberger

  • Mike Seberger of Wayne posted the jet-shaped satellite image he found from the Gulf of Thailand online, and it has received more than 629,000 views.

      Mike Seberger of Wayne posted the jet-shaped satellite image he found from the Gulf of Thailand online, and it has received more than 629,000 views.
    courtesy of Mike Seberger

 
 

Scrolling through satellite images of water and clouds in the Gulf of Thailand, Mike Seberger saw something that made him lean in and take a closer look at his computer screen.

It looked like an airplane in the water, possibly the missing Malaysia Airlines jet he was searching for.

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"It'd be cool to say, 'Wow, I found it.' But from the start, I thought it was a low-odds proposition," said the 43-year-old Wayne resident, who said a national news reporter told him Wednesday officials had determined the image is a boat.

"What are the odds that I capture the thing floating? Maybe if it was in 10 feet of water. If the plane hit the water ... it would not float. If it was submerged, I don't think you'd see it. But, dang it, the shape and the length of it was so close. So close."

Seberger was intrigued by the mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet, which vanished Saturday with 239 people aboard. So when he saw a Facebook post saying Digital Globe was crowdsourcing -- asking for the public's help to look through satellite images of 27,000 square miles of ocean -- he thought he'd take a look.

After only 10 minutes of clicking through the images Tuesday, he spotted the jet-shaped object. He tagged it as suspicious so Digital Globe would take a look. But because the website had been running slowly due to heavy traffic from fellow searchers, he wanted to call attention to it. So Seberger wrote a short iReport for CNN.com.

It immediately went viral and had more than 629,000 views as of Wednesday afternoon.

Seberger, an information technology project manager, was reluctant to do media interviews about what he saw because he wants the focus to be on finding the plane.

"I don't want to distract ... there is still a plane that needs to be found. And there are hundreds of families affected," said Seberger, a married father of two. "This is not about me getting my 15 minutes. I don't want to be a sideshow. Me being on TV doesn't find the plane."

But he plans to keep on looking through images. He's also staying tuned to the news and an active Tomnod Facebook group.

"It's just a mysterious thing," he said. "From Chicago, how is anybody supposed to help with that? Maybe there's a way."

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