MH370: Expert says the official narrative is a ‘fabrication’
The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8, 2014, during a routine trip to Beijing, China, with 239 people on board. Captain Zaharie Shah last communicated with air traffic control at 1:19am while travelling over the South China Sea, before vanishing. Over the years there have been many claims that pieces of debris have been found – most recently a three-foot panel found in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, by wreck hunter Blaine Gibson.
But the first piece to be positively identified as coming from MH370 was a flaperon, which formed part of the plane's wing, when it washed up on a beach in Saint-Andre, Reunion - an island in the western Indian Ocean.
And investigative journalist Florence de Changy detailed in her book ‘The Disappearing Act,’ why it piqued her interest.
She wrote: “Reunion is around 2,160 miles from the seventh arc (an area the plane is believed to have crashed).
“For the debris to have landed on Saint-Andre Beach on July 29, 2015, it must have travelled over seven kilometres (4.4 miles) a day in a straight line from the assumed crash area.
MH370 went missing in 2014
A part of the plane's wing was found
“The vagaries of sea currents and winds, the impact of the waves and, at times, crashing swell aside, it would have had to survive numerous storms.”
And she said she was not alone in her questioning.
She added that French aerospace engineer Jean-Paul Troadec told her it was “astounding” that debris “could float for as long after the crash”.
According to Ms de Changy, he was “among those who, right at the start of the flaperon episode, said that it was unlikely to solve the case, although it could put it to rest”.
She explained: “It might provide a precise idea of the flight’s final moments, the type of final impact – kiss landing, nosedive or explosion.
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The debris washed up on Reunion Island
“The size and excellent condition of the flaperon could, in fact, be used to support two virtually opposing scenarios, the first one much more realistic than the second.
“If the plane had nosedived at very high speed, its appendages might have snapped off in the fall and hit the water with far less force than if they’d remained attached to the fuselage at the time of impact.”
After the discovery, French police conducted a search of the waters around Reunion for additional debris, and found a damaged suitcase that they said could be linked to Flight 370.
A Chinese water bottle and an Indonesian cleaning product were also found in the same area.
Countless theories have been put forward to explain MH370's disappearance, but analysis of the jet's automated communications with an Inmarsat satellite indicates it likely crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
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The search for MH370
The plane is still yet to be located
After a three-year search across 46,000 square miles of ocean failed to locate the aircraft, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre heading the operation suspended their activities in January 2017.
A second search launched in January 2018 by the private contractor Ocean Infinity, but that also ended without success.
Relying mostly on analysis of data from the Inmarsat satellite with which the aircraft last communicated, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) proposed initially that a hypoxia event was the most likely cause given the available evidence.
But investigators still fail to agree on one theory.
'The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370' is published by Mudlark and available to buy here.