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The Australian prime minister has been criticised for prematurely stating the signals detected were from MH370

Underwater scientists have accused Australian prime minister Tony Abbott of playing politics by prematurely announcing that "ping" signals came from the missing Malaysian plane's black boxes.

Speaking anonymously, the acoustic experts told said the four signals picked up by US technology were not from flight MH370's flight data recorders, but were likely from a different, man-made source.

The scientists also criticised the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which is leading the search, for not completing a critical and detailed analysis of the signals before Mr Abbott went public in China on 11 April.

According to the group, the signals were in the wrong frequency and detected too far apart to be from the aircraft. The 33.3 kilohertz frequency of the signals transmitted differed from the 37.5 kilohertz frequency generated by underwater acoustic beacons. The signals were also detected four days and around 30km apart.

"As soon as I saw the frequency and the distance between the pings I knew it couldn't be the aircraft pinger," one scientist told News Corp Australia.

Earlier in the search, a Royal Australian Air Force jet detected another mystery signal, which revealed other signals were being transmitted from the search area.

"It is clear there were other man made signals out there," one of the scientists added.

In response to questions from News Corp Australia, the JACC said the signals were believed to be consistent with MH370's flight data recorder.

The JACC has not yet released recordings of the signals for independent analysis and has kept the exact location and depth of the signals under wraps.

Angus Houston, who is co-ordinating the search, said the signals were still being analysed. "The data and technique used by Inmarsat has been independently peer reviewed by a number of organisations outside of Inmarsat, in both the UK and USA," he said.

The scientists said their conclusion is supported by the lack of success in the underwater search being conducted by the submerged US drone Bluefin-21.

The autonomous mini-submarine, which is currently scouring the sea bed for debris, has resumed its search in the remote area of the southern Indian Ocean, where several signal transmissions were detected.

The equipment is currently in its last week and will return to Perth at the weekend, where it will be replaced by a commercial deep water search vehicle.

"The autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 was deployed from the vessel around 2:00 am this morning. It remains underwater on its search mission," the JACC said.