Over a year after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with its 239 passengers, nothing has been found of he missing aircraft – not even a speck of debris. But despite fruitless searches, Maldives islanders still insist they saw the doomed aircraft pass overhead.
A recent article in the Huffington Post asked whether investigators dismissed critical information in the crucial first days after the Boeing 777 aircraft vanished.
It was was reported at the time that several Maldives islanders witnessed a “low-flying jumbo jet” on the day the aircraft disappeared, with some commenting on its distinctive red and blue livery – the Malaysia Airlines colours.
One resident told the local Haveeru news website: “I’ve never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We’ve seen seaplanes, but I’m sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly.”
The West Australian newspaper has revisited the small Indian Ocean island of Kuda Huvadhoo to gather new testimony from people who say they saw something very unusual on the morning of 8 March 2014.
If they are right, the B777 may lie over 5000 kilometres from where the official search is being conducted.
The Huffington Post has quoted some of the testimony.
Abdu Rasheed Ibrahim, 47, a court official:
“I watched this very large plane bank slightly and I saw its colours — the red and blue lines — below the windows, then I heard the loud noise.
“It was unusual, very unusual. It was big and it was flying low. It was a holiday (Saturday) and most people had gone to bed after praying.
“First, I saw the plane flying towards me over water. When it was over my head I saw it starting to turn away. At first glance, I did not know it was a missing plane. I didn’t know that a plane was missing. I went straight home and told my wife about it. I told my family, ‘I saw this strange plane’. This is the biggest plane I have ever seen from this island. My family says, ‘It might be the Malaysian plane’. I have seen pictures of the missing plane — I believe that I saw that plane. At the time it was lost, I strongly felt those people who were searching should come here.”
Humaam Dhonmamk, 16, student:
“I saw the blue and red on a bit of the side. I heard the loud noise of it after it went over. I told the police this too.”
Ahmed Shiyaam, 34, IT manager at the local medical clinic:
“I’m very sure of what I saw on a very clear and bright day, and what I saw was not normal – the plane was very big, and low. I did not know until later that other people saw it too.”
Ahmed Ibrahim, 40:
“This was not a normal sight – the plane was different. It was very big, very noisy, flying low. Later that afternoon on the beach I was told the news about the missing plane. I think this is the same flight.”
Six of the key witnesses they spoke to were interviewed by police and their accounts were regarded as truthful and consistent, the Western Australian writes.
Former Proteus Airlines boss Marc Dugain has suggested the plane was shot down by the United States after being remotely hacked – and he cites some of the islanders’ accounts in his findings.
The core of his claim runs contrary to US statements. The US has always denied that flight MH370 came anywhere near Diego Garcia.
Dugain travelled to the Maldives where residents told local media at the time of MH370’s disappearance that they had seen an airliner fly in the direction of Diego Garcia. Authorities investigated but dismissed the claims.
Dugain spoke to a fisherman on Kudahuvadhoo island in the Maldives who says a “huge plane” flew over at low altitude.
“I saw red and blue stripes on a white background”, the magazine article claims, according to a précis published by France24.
Written by : William Sykes