A sign of hope from Argentina's vanished submarine: Seven mysterious signals

ALEJANDRO MORTIZ  AFP  Getty Images

On Monday, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi confirmed that "the seven attempted calls did not come from the submarine's satellite phone".

The communication attempts "indicate that the crew is trying to re-establish contact, so we are working to locate the source of the emissions", the Navy said on its Twitter account, adding that the calls lasted between four and 36 seconds.

Doubts also surfaced over the origin of satellite signals that were initially thought to have come from the vessel.

"We are processing this information", Balbi said.

"Right now, we have waves of six to eight metres high with west to southwest winds of 40 knots, and unfortunately it appears that these conditions will remain for the next 48 hours", he said.

The families of the ARA San Juan's crew are deeply distressed, and urged the government to clarify the situation.

A search team was deployed to scour some 35 square miles about 330 miles off the coast of Argentina.

One P-8A Navy aircraft is already in Argentina, where it joined a NASA P-3 research aircraft that supports search efforts on the submarine's last known location. "We are analyzing more closely to reliably determine that they weren't calls coming from the submarine", said Adm. Gabriel Gonzalez, chief of Mar del Plata Naval Base, in a statement to press this morning.

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The revelations of Monday, have been severely felt by the relatives of the sailors gathered in the naval base of Mar del Plata, the home port of San Juan. "That is why we are now giving priority to the search for the sunken submarine".

Argentine-born Pope Francis mentioned the missing vessel in his Sunday noon prayer. "I also pray for the men of the crew of the Argentinian military submarine which is missing", the pontiff said.

In 1982, the United Kingdom and Argentina fought a bitter war over the Falkland Islands - known by the latter as Las Malvinas. Britain and Argentina fought a war in 1982 over the Falklands Islands, which are called the Malvinas in Argentina. "The Falkland Islands government extends its honest hope that the submarine is found swiftly", the statement said. A Navy inquiry said the cause could not be definitively determined.

Over the weekend, IARU Region 2 News Editor JoaquĆ­n Solana, XE1R, issued a list of marine frequencies, suggesting that radio amateurs and SWLs listen for any signals that could be related to the missing San Juan.

The missing submarine - ARA San Juan - has a crew of 44.

The US official said that the waters of the Atlantic Ocean where the sounds originated are extremely deep.

"We don't know anything".

Argentina's president, Mauricio Macri, has travelled to the coastal city of Chapadmalal, near Mar del Plata, because of the situation.

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