According to search-and-recovery experts, the fact that nothing has been found in the area represents not a failure, but a valuable piece of data: we’ve managed to whittle down the universe of possibilities. “Negative information is information,” says Colleen Keller, a senior analyst at Metron Inc. (Keller and I met at CNN, where we’ve both been on-air to discuss MH370.)

Metron uses mathematical tools such as Bayesian probability to help clients model the outcomes of decisions. In 2011, the company was asked to re-evaluate the search parameters for the Air France 447 investigation.