Island locals may have seen MH370
Residents from Kudahuvadhoo, a small island in the Maldives, say they saw a low flying passenger jet on the morning flight MH370 disappeared.
Kudahuvadhoo, in the southern part of the Dhaalu Atoll, is more than 5000 kilometres away from the area currently being searched for signs of the plane.
On the morning of March 8, a number of island locals reported seeing a ‘jumbo jet’ passing suspiciously low overhead.
IT manager Ahmed Shiyaam says he knew instantly that there was something unusual about the plane.
'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.’
Abdu Rasheed Ibrahim also saw a low flying plane on March 8, but had no idea at the time that flight MH370 was missing.
'I didn't know that a plane was missing. I went straight home and told my wife about it.’
Mr Ibrahim said he was later shown pictures of the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that looked very similar to the plane he had seen.
‘I have seen pictures of the missing plane. I believe I saw the plane’, he said.
Several other locals also claim to have seen a low flying plane on March 8, with a number of residents providing signed statements to the Kudahuvadhoo police.
The statements allegedly included accurate descriptions of the Malaysia Airlines colours on the plane’s doors.
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Recordings made by acoustic scientists from Curtin University appear to support the eye-witness accounts of Kudahuvadhoo locals. The scientists say they recorded ‘distinctive data’ that could be consistent with a plane crashing into the ocean in that area.
However, the Maldvies National Defence Force released a statement at time of the disappearance officially denying the presence of aircraft in the area. Incredulous locals have criticised this, suggesting it was an attempt by the military to cover-up their inadequate radar facilities.
Australia is currently leading the search operation, which is focused on a 60,000 square kilometre area ocean off the coast of Perth.
Mr. Ibrahim is eager for the search area to be expanded to include water around Kudahuvadhoo.
‘I strongly believe the search should come here’, he said.
MH370, which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was carrying 239 people when it disappeared over a year ago. So far there have been no confirmed sightings of the crashed plane or debris.