Asia-Pacific

Tuesday 29 July 2014

'Sightings' of missing Malaysian jet fuel conspiracy theories

Jonathan Pearlman

Published 06/06/2014|02:30

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A South Korean P3 Orion aircraft takes off from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pearce Airbase, near Perth, as it participates in the continuing search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean April 17, 2014. The "Bluefin-21" deep-sea drone had completed its much-anticipated first full scan of the seabed in the remote Indian Ocean, the team looking for the missing Malaysian jetliner said on Thursday, as an air and surface search became less likely to yield results. Footage from the U.S. Navy deep-sea drone is fast becoming the most important tool for a multinational team still searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared from radar screens on March 8 with 239 people aboard.   REUTERS/Greg Wood/Pool   (AUSTRALIA - Tags: MILITARY TRANSPORT DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A South Korean P3 Orion aircraft takes off from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pearce Airbase, near Perth

The failure to find wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the slow release of official information has left the troubled hunt mired in uncertainty and continues to spawn a growing range of sightings and conspiracy theories.

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Almost three months since the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers went missing, the search has found no debris and criminal investigators have found no evidence of terrorism or a motivation behind the apparently deliberate sabotage of the plane.

The search has focused for months on a stretch of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia, but the entire operation is relying on satellite data that was never intended to chart the course of the plane.

Meanwhile, distraught families across the world hold hope that their loved ones may have survived and have led a push for the release of all information about the flight.

Authorities in Australia continue to believe the plane is somewhere in the south Indian Ocean and have pledged to press ahead with the underwater operation. Perhaps not surprisingly, the lack of evidence of the plane's final resting point and the failure to find debris has led to conspiracy theories and possible sightings.

In recent days, a British woman claimed to have seen the plane while sailing from India to Thailand.

Others have speculated that military authorities must have access to radar data which has not been disclosed. Some have gone further, claiming the plane may have landed on an airfield in troubled or overlooked parts of the world. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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