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Friday 19 September 2014

Relatives angry as book says MH370 was shot down

Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney

Published 19/05/2014 | 02:30

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A woman takes part in a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2014. International search planes and ships are heading to an area where a Chinese ship twice heard what could be signals from MH370's black box locators, Australian search authorities said on Sunday. REUTERS/Samsul Said (MALAYSIA - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT RELIGION)
A woman takes part in a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2014. International search planes and ships are heading to an area where a Chinese ship twice heard what could be signals from MH370's black box locators, Australian search authorities said on Sunday. REUTERS/Samsul Said (
People place candles on a banner reading, "Pray for MH370" after a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2014. International search planes and ships are heading to an area where a Chinese ship twice heard what could be signals from MH370's black box locators, Australian search authorities said on Sunday. REUTERS/Samsul Said (MALAYSIA - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT RELIGION)
People place candles on a banner reading, "Pray for MH370" after a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2014. International search planes and ships are heading to an area where a Chinese ship twice heard what could be signals from MH370's black box locators, Australian search authorities said on Sunday. REUTERS/Samsul Said
Flight MH370 vigil
Flight MH370 vigil

The families of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have criticised the release of the first book about the subject, saying it was premature and its claims the plane was accidentally shot down were speculation.

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The book by the London-based author Nigel Cawthorne, 'Flight MH370 The Mystery', reportedly claims that the plane may have been shot down accidentally during joint United States-Thai military exercises in the South China Sea and that the search may have been led astray as part of a cover-up.

The book, published this month by John Blake Publishing, is being released less than 11 weeks after the disappearance of the Boeing 777, which was carrying 239 crew and passengers. No wreckage from the plane has been found despite a continuing international search, which is focused on the southern Indian Ocean.

"The drill was to involve mock warfare on land, in water and in the air, and would include live-fire exercises," says the book. "Say a participant accidentally shot down flight MH370. Such things do happen. No one wants another Lockerbie, so those involved would have every reason to keep quiet about it."

The book says the failure to find wreckage "in itself is suspicious" and that even if the plane's black box is found, it may not be the original. "Another black box could have been dropped in the sea 1,000 miles from Perth while the search was going on in the South China Sea," the book says.

The book was criticised as premature by Irene Burrows, an Australian whose son and daughter-in-law were on the flight. "Nobody knows what happened so why would anyone want to put out a book at this stage?" she said.

"There's absolutely no answers. It's devastating for the families. There are so many theories that I only want to believe one, that they were all unconscious and didn't know what was going on."

Christine Negroni, an aviation author, is also writing a book about the flight. A film loosely based on the missing jet, 'The Vanishing Act', is also reportedly being produced. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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