MH370: seven years on, next of kin call for the search to resume

It’s been seven years since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board and the next of kin say they are no closer to knowing what happened to the plane than they were when it went missing.

This year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the next of kin gathered via Zoom to mark the anniversary of the plane’s disappearance and remind the press and public that they still lack answers.

Flight MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014. It was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

While some debris has been found that the authorities say is from the missing plane, neither MH370 nor its voice and data recorders have been located.

The MH370 family support group Voice370 said it had been three years since the search for the plane was discontinued and the status of the 239 people on board has remained the same, i.e. ‘Missing’.

“We have dealt with the ambiguous loss of our loved ones and the absence of any information on the whereabouts of the still missing flight, with immense forbearance,” the next of kin said.

“While we continue with our attempts to rebuild our lives and look to a future, we retain the expectation that the search for MH370 will be revived, and that all facts surrounding its disappearance will be made public.”

The next of kin added: “We are encouraged by the positive view of the Malaysian government, which has reiterated its commitment towards the search for MH370 by reaffirming that the Malaysian Ministry of Transport is open to reviewing future proposals from qualified and capable entities who wish to search for MH370 on a ‘no cure no fee’ basis as long as there is credible evidence that can lead to locating the aircraft.”

Grace Subathirai Nathan (pictured above), whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on board MH370, said at the start of the annual remembrance event on Zoom today (Sunday): “For me personally, and I believe for many of the next of kin, it is now so much more about finding out what happened so that we can prevent it from happening again, and also about accountability and setting the right standards for future incidences of this sort.

“We want governments to understand that you’re not supposed to throw the towel in so easily when there has been a loss of this magnitude, of this much mystery … the effort that goes into searching for the plane has to be equal in magnitude.

“We hope for the people involved to be accountable and be responsible and we hope to prevent this from happening again.”

Grace Subathirai Nathan said the families hoped that companies such as Ocean Infinity, which conducted the last search in the southern Indian Ocean, come forward with proposals for a new search.

The families are asking that the Malaysian government release all military radar records from March 7 and 8, 2014, that relate to the track of MH370 to a credible, independent international team of experts (with a non-disclosure caveat) “to validate the claims pertaining to MH370’s path that night, and to eliminate all doubts amongst the public about the veracity of this information and its interpretation”.

They also urge all other individuals, institutions, and governments “that have any information, including intelligence reports and records that have a bearing on what happened to MH370 and where it might be located” to come forward and cooperate.

They also request that the Malaysian Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), “as the agency entrusted to take over the duties of the disbanded ICAO Annex 13 Investigation Team”, issue updates on any new development involving MH370.

The next of kin in China, whose compensation claims are still under legal process, request that Malaysia Airlines and their insurers provide, as an interim measure, some advance compensation “to help the needy tide over difficult times whilst awaiting the settlement of their cases in courts”.

The Chinese next of kin also request that, as agreed previously, Malaysia Airlines reconvenes regular liaison meetings with the aged and elderly next of kin in China “to keep them updated on developments as well as to provide psychological support”.

The Chinese next of kin will be going to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 8 to remind officials there of their compensation claims and the need for the search to go on.

Some elderly Chinese relatives have been going to the Malaysia Airlines office every day for seven years, demanding answers.

Jiang Hui, who represents the Chinese next of kin, said during the Zoom gathering that the anniversary events embodied a kind of unity for the families. He said the Chinese families hoped that a ‘no find, no fee’ search could be resumed as soon as possible.

To date, Jiang Hui says, the Chinese next of kin only have access to a Chinese translation of part of the full report into the MH370’s disappearance.

He said he was one of several next of kin who have not received any money at all in advance compensation. This, Jiang Hui says, is inhumane.

Grace Subathirai Nathan spoke about the fact that some next of kin have still not accepted that their loved ones may not be coming home.

“Some of us maybe accepted the fact after a few months, some a few years, and some are still waiting.

“And even for those of us who did accept that maybe our loved ones may not come home, there was still this dire need or this desire to know what happened to them so that we could understand why they were not coming home anymore.”

This need to know had to be balanced against the guilt of letting go and moving on, Grace Subathirai Nathan said, and it was not an easy thing to balance.

She said that, after seven years, the Malaysian government cannot keep citing national security as a reason for not making the military radar data available. The radar records could be released to an expert in the field who could analyse them on a non-disclosure basis.

Grace Subathirai Nathan’s father, V.P.R Nathan, said he had previously been given permission, as an aviation professional, to view the radar data on a non-disclosure basis.

However, V.P.R Nathan said, the whole exchange took place at about the time that there was a change of government in Malaysia, and it was the previous defence minister who agreed to allow him to view the data. There were other administrative issues, plus the Covid-19 pandemic, and V.P.R Nathan has still not seen the data. He’s now pursuing the issue again.

“I’m hoping that it will be available for me to view in the near future,” he said.

Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Wee Ka Siong, recorded three videos – in Bahasa Malasia, English, and Mandarin – for today’s event.

“The fateful flight of Malaysia Airlines 370 on 8th March 2014 can never be forgotten,” the minister said. “For many, the passage of time these seven years has not softened the painful memory of this tragedy … We aspire towards closure as much as the families and friends whom we respectfully address as the next of kin of those who were on MH370.”

The minister said it was with a heavy heart that the governments of Malaysia, Australia, and China reached the difficult decision on January, 17, 2017, to suspend search and recovery operations until “new credible evidence” was obtained.

“I again express our solemn remembrance of this event for the memory of those on MH370. Once again, we wish to reassure that any reasonable efforts will be made to continue this search in cooperation with China and Australia, and keep the next of kin informed of any future developments,” Wee Ka Siong said.

K.S. Narendran from Chennai in India, whose wife Chandrika was on board MH370, said today that the term “new credible evidence” was “very smart phraseology” that appears to say something, but, in reality, says nothing at all.

“It doesn’t shed any light on what we should be looking for and yet asks for a certain level of specificity and information that can never be matched in a scenario that we are confronted with.”

Narendran says he has asked Malaysian officials several times what “new credible evidence” means and never received a specific answer that threw any light on the matter.

In a blog post Narendran says he welcomes Malaysia’s willingness to examine proposals for a new search on a ‘no find, no fee’ basis, but notes that it is Malaysia that bears the responsibility for the loss of the plane, and for finding it.

Malaysia, he says, deigns to be “receptive” to the families’ entreaties for the search to resume and “open” to reviewing commercial proposals from private entities in line with its intent to put in “reasonable” efforts towards the search. “Am I the only one who finds it somewhat strange and patronising?” he asks. “How have we come to this?”

What is different this year, Narendran says, “is a palpable collective resolve to not let the unfinished business of the search and investigation for MH370 hijack our sense of repair, restoration and wellbeing as we rebuild our lives, forge new relationships, become forward looking, cherish loved ones and celebrate memories”.

He continues: “We may not all agree on what we believe happened and who the villains were – man and/or machine – but the MH families are together as one in seeking the truth and their shared history of trauma and tears.

“It is cricket season in India, and I can’t help borrowing from the game – we have taken some serious blows. But we are back at the crease taking fresh guard and looking forward to hearing the sweet sound of timber striking the ball as we start off a new day, a fresh innings.”

K.S. Narendran at the 2019 remembrance event with Jacquita Gonzales and her granddaughter Alessandra Faith.  Gonzales’ husband Patrick Gomes was an in-flight supervisor on MH370,

Ghyslain Wattrelos, a French senior executive with Lafarge in Beijing whose wife was on board MH370 with two of their children, said during today’s event that investigations were ongoing in France.

Wattrelos said that the “big fight” the next of kin had in France was to try to see what the FBI did in Malaysia the day after MH370 disappeared.

“The FBI was there the next day and they never issued any report to the official investigation … so the key issue now is we have been negotiating with the FBI and with the US embassy in France to try to see those guys who were in Malaysia the next day and did some investigation with the Malaysian team.

“The big issue now is we fight to make sure that the French judge one day will see the FBI.”

Debris found in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

Mike Exner and Don Thompson from the Independent Group of investigators talked today about the debris discovered in late August 2020 in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, which they have concluded is a fragment of a spoiler from a Boeing 777.

Exner and Thompson have published an analysis about the debris in which they state: “The recovered article does present sufficient detail to conclude, without ambiguity, that it is a fragment of a right wing inboard spoiler originating from a Boeing 777.

“9M-MRO [MH370] remains the only Boeing 777 from which detached and damaged components would be freely circulating in the Indian Ocean.”

Exner and Thompson say the spoiler provides important clues about MH370’s final descent. They suggest that there was an uncontrolled descent after the plane ran out of fuel.

Mike Exner {left) and Don Thompson

Investigators from the Independent Group consider that any new search for MH370 should be carried out near to a 7th arc, which was defined early on in the search for MH370 and is based on calculations by the British company Inmarsat that were based on satellite pings – or handshakes – from MH370. Inmarsat said that MH370 was most likely to be found along this 7th arc.

There are other investigators who doubt the validity of the Inmarsat data and believe that MH370 never reached the southern Indian Ocean. Others continue to have faith in the data, but question the deductions that have been made.

(Click through to the end of this article for information about the new book by investigative journalist Florence de Changy, The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370.

De Changy says there is no tangible foundation for the official narrative about what happened to MH370: that it made a turn back across Malaysia and then flew on for more than seven hours until it finally crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. There is no proof to back up this version of events, De Changy says.)

Exner and Thompson would like the AAIB and Boeing to run simulations to test their theory that the main pieces of debris that the authorities say are from MH370 separated off while the plane was in flight.

This, Exner says, would allow the IG investigators to be much more confident that the debris fields are very close to the 7th arc, probably within ten to twenty nautical miles.

“But they may also be in more than one location,” Exner said. “We may see some debris on the ocean floor a mile or two from where the primary impact took place.”

Exner and Thompson say that, to date, four fragments of adjacent right-side wing structures have been found (the spoiler, the flaperon found on Reunion island, the inboard segment of a right-side wing outboard flap, and a segment of an upper fixed panel.

The spoiler, the flap, and the flaperon each separated from the mounting attachments fixing the structures to the rear spar of the right wing, the investigators say.

They state in their analysis: “The damage exhibited by these three structures is consistent with a span-wise, destructive, flex of the right wing. It is feasible that subsequent to fuel exhaustion, an uncontrolled descent would involve aircraft attitudes that present loads beyond the design limits of the aircraft.”

The nature of the fractures to the spoiler, the metal hinge structures of the flaperon, and the carrier of the outboard flap, together with the visual evidence of damage within the outboard flap ‘seal pan’ “all suggest that the forces leading to the detachment of these structures initiated in the core torsion box of the wing and not from forces due to external contact applied at the trailing edge of the control surfaces”, Exner and Thompson say.

The segment on which the nameplate containing the part’s serial number is normally located is absent from the recovered piece of debris.

At the time Exner and Thompson wrote their report, the South African Civil Aviation Authority and the Malaysian AAIB were liaising via diplomatic channels to have the debris delivered to Kuala Lumpur, the two investigators say.

Blaine Gibson calls for new search

Blaine Gibson in front of the wing flap found in Tanzania. Pictured at the 5th annual remembrance event, in 2019.

American amateur investigator Blaine Alan Gibson, who has found numerous pieces of plane debris, has issued a statement in which he calls for a new search for MH370 to be conducted. He specified the area he considers should now be scoured.

“I still have hope that the search will resume, the crash site will be found, and the truth will be known for the families and the flying public,” Gibson said.

“My search recommendation is based solely on the only actual physical evidence of MH370 that exists: the debris that I and many other private citizens have found spread over six different countries, and the oceanographic drift analysis.”

In his own searches for debris, Gibson has been guided by oceanographer Charitha Pattiaratchi from the University of Western Australia in Perth.

“Professor Pattiaratchi’s drift analysis accurately predicted where MH370 debris would wash ashore and when,” Gibson said. “He advised me where to go search, and with the help of locals and fishermen I found some pieces of the plane.

“Both Professor Pattiaratchi and I think the most likely crash site lies between 32°S and 34° S latitude, most likely at the foot of Broken Ridge at about 32.5 °S.

“This is based on the fact that all the recovered debris was found in East Africa, and none in Australia, and the timing of the arrival of the early found debris.”

Pattiaratchi and Gibson say these latitudes should be searched about seventy nautical miles wide on either side of the 7th arc.

“The search should include the centerline area searched in the ATSB search, but not yet by Ocean Infinity with its improved technological capacity,” Gibson added.

“The underwater topography at the foot of Broken Ridge is rough, with many trenches, where debris could have been missed.”

The American seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity spent just over three months searching for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean and ended its mission in June 2018.

The previous Australian-led underwater search was suspended on January 17, 2017, after an area spanning 120,000 square kilometres was scoured.

During its operation, Ocean Infinity searched and collected data from more than 112,000 square kilometres. The initial target had been 25,000 square kilometres.

Gibson also says the Malaysian authorities should release the raw military radar data from the night MH370 disappeared so it can also be analysed.

“They need to release that raw radar data because the analysts can use it to determine the altitude and speed of the plane and it may be able to give them a better idea of where the plane actually made that final turn south and an idea of how it was being flown,” Gibson told Changing Times previously.

Gibson says that civilian radar data that came to light enabled the Independent Group investigators to tell how fast and high MH370 was flying.

“The plane was flying pretty high,” Gibson said. “That’s useful information. The military radar data would also provide some very useful information to independent analysts, and it needs to be released.”

Gibson also says that Malaysia should examine and investigate the debris recovered recently in Jeffreys Bay and a vortex generator baseplate found in Madagascar. Both may shed light on how the plane impacted the water, Gibson says.

Blaine Gibson (right) and Nick Connite with the vortex generator baseplate and cabin debris found in Madagascar.

The fragment of the vortex generator baseplate was delivered to the Malaysian authorities in September 2019.

The baseplate fragment was found washed ashore, along with other debris, in September 2016 by two local fishermen in Madagascar. It was found at Antongil Bay, Maroantsetra Beach, and was handed over to the authorities in Madagascar on August 16, 2017.

The then honorary Malaysian consul in Madagascar, Zahid Raza, had been due to collect the debris and deliver it to the Malaysian government by DHL, but he was gunned down in the centre of the island nation’s capital, Antananarivo, in an apparent assassination on August 24, 2017, just before he was due to pick up the debris.

The two pieces of debris were held in Madagascar for two years during the investigation into Zahid Raza’s murder.

“One of the pieces is just some cabin debris, which doesn’t really tell us anything new,” Gibson previously told Changing Times. “But an in-depth analysis of the vortex generator baseplate is important. If it is analysed thoroughly, and it is from MH370, we can learn a lot about how the plane and the engine impacted the water.

“The Independent Group analysed it from photos and identified it as being a baseplate on the fin on a Boeing 777 engine.

“The piece shattered and split off so it would be additional evidence that the plane impacted the water very hard, and it could tell us something about the angle that the plane hit the water, and how fast it was moving.”

Malaysia should also analyse personal items discovered in Madagascar in June 2016 (e.g. bags, shoes, a computer case, phone cases, and some clothing) and publish the results, Gibson says. He says some of these items appeared to match bags and shoes seen on CCTV footage of people boarding MH370 in Kuala Lumpur.

He added: “I don’t want history to record my contribution to MH370 as having found, collected from local people, and handed in half of the recovered pieces of the plane. I want it to be that the debris that I and other private citizens found helped locate the crash site of MH370 and find the truth.”

Drift analysis

In January this year, founding member of the Independent Group Richard Godfrey published a 126-page study entitled MH370 Floating Debris – Drift Analysis that he describes as “credible new evidence”.

In his latest drift analysis Godfrey points to an area 1,960 km due west of Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia.

It’s a location that has been partially searched before, Godfrey says, but is in very difficult terrain with the sea bed up to 5,000 metres deep with high mountains, deep ravines, and volcanoes.

Godfrey says the drift analysis, along with an updated flight path analysis, create a compelling case for resuming the search for MH370.

Godfrey, who was helped with drift modelling by David Griffin at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) says that, “of the 33 pieces of debris found which are confirmed or likely from MH370, 18 are statistically relevant for the drift modelling and those pieces confirm a common point of origin of 34.13°S ± 1.06° near the 7th arc”.

This, Godfrey says, implies a crash location within 65 nautical miles (120 km) of the last estimated position of MH370.

There have been nine drift analyses done on debris from MH370 by various teams in Australia, Germany, Italy, the US, and China, Godfrey says, and all point to a common location of between 28°S and 40°S, with almost all having 34 to 35°S as the centre point.

Those who doubt the wisdom of again searching along the 7th arc in the southern Indian Ocean say that there are insufficient precise clues and any proposed search in that area will again be based only on good guesswork and unproven assumptions.

Total debris finds

In all, more than thirty pieces of debris have been examined by the Malaysian authorities and three of them have been confirmed in official reports to be from MH370. Five pieces were handed over to Anthony Loke in November 2018 and the investigating team concluded that one of them – a piece of floor panelling from a from a passenger cabin – was “likely” to be from MH370.

The team concluded that the other four pieces handed in in November were “not identifiable”.

Grace Subathirai Nathan handing a piece of debris over to Malaysia’s transport minister, Anthony Loke, in November 2018.

The only debris that is said to be from MH370 has been retrieved on the African mainland and on islands off the African coast.

The full investigation team report states that items of debris possibly from MH370 have been found as far north as the eastern coast of Tanzania and as far south as the eastern coast of South Africa.

It says that this is “in addition to several islands and island nations off the east coast of the African continent”.

Of these items of debris, the flaperon that was found on Reunion island, and is still in the possession of the French authorities, a part of the right outboard flap, and a section of the left outboard flap were confirmed to be from MH370, the report states.

The report states that 27 significant pieces of debris had been recovered and examined at the time the report was produced.

In addition to the three pieces confirmed to be from MH370, seven pieces, including some cabin interior items, had been determined to be “almost certainly” from the plane. The report says that eight pieces of debris are “highly likely” to be from MH370 and one piece is “likely” to be from the plane. Eight pieces of debris were not identifiable.

The flaperon found on Reunion island in July 2015, which the French authorities say is from MH370.

The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370.

Hong Kong-based investigative journalist Florence de Changy, who covers the Asia-Pacific region for Le Monde, has spent years delving into the disappearance of MH370. She recently published her second book on the subject, The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370.

De Changy says there is no tangible foundation for the official narrative about what happened to MH370: that it made a turn back across Malaysia and then flew on for more than seven hours until it finally crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. There is no proof to back up this version of events, De Changy says.

“Many more clues point to a covert interception attempt that went terribly wrong, with a fatal accident happening around 2.40 a.m. between Vietnam and China,” she writes.

De Changy has always said that, in 2014, a Boeing 777 does not simply disappear.

The main hypothesis De Changy puts forward is that MH370 crashed in the Gulf of Thailand north of Vietnam about an hour after it disappeared after being shot down, possibly by American Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

She says her hypothesis is a logical deduction made on the basis of a large number of facts. The theory that MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean – and the massive search operations that were carried out on the basis of that theory – may well have been a diversion, she says.

MH370 is supposed to have flown over or near to Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia, De Changy says, yet none of these countries have provided any evidence, not even a statement, that MH370 was in their airspace at any point.

De Changy suggests that MH370 was carrying illicit cargo that was not X-rayed before being taken on board and was taken to the airport under escort.

She dismisses, as have many other people, the idea that the plane was carrying 4,566 kilogrammes of mangosteens. “This quantity seems even more staggering given that it was not even mangosteen season,” she writes.

“In December 2015, I attended a press conference at Hong Kong University on the trafficking of ivory and wild animals in Asia. One of the slides showed the region’s various hubs for this illegal trade, and Kuala Lumpur International Airport was by far the biggest circle on the whole map.

“Could it have been that the ‘fresh mangosteens’ were merely a cover for cargos of pangolin scales, elephant tusks, or rhinoceros horns?”

De Changy hypothesises that there may have been cargo on MH370 that was of interest to the Chinese, which the Americans wanted to intercept. She says a “cargo confiscation operation” may be why the plane was being forced to make an emergency landing.

Ghyslain Wattrelos had earlier written in his book about MH370’s disappearance, Une vie détournée, that US AWACS aircraft played a role.

De Changy was told by one of her military contacts that AWACS’ jamming capabilities were “phenomenal”.

All this, De Changy says, led her to the hypothesis that two AWACS cloaked MH370 for about an hour.

She says that the strange way that the plane’s transponder signal took more than 30 seconds to fade from the air traffic control screens in Vietnam, rather than disappearing instantly, hinted at a progressive disconnection of the systems, “some kind of jamming”.

Contrary to what was asserted by the Malaysian prime minister, De Changy says, “there is no proof that either the ACARS system or the transponder was actually turned off”. There was therefore, she says, “virtually no evidence that any kind of ‘deliberate act’ took place”.

She adds: “Given that the two air traffic control centres responsible for tracking MH370 that night, namely the ATCs from Malaysia and from Vietnam, had both said or acknowledged that MH370 was still at [waypoint] BITOD at around 1.30 a.m., it could not have turned left to initiate its near U-turn just after [waypoint] IGARI ten minutes earlier.”

De Changy says that, according to one of her sources from the Middle East, MH370 was eventually targeted and hit by a laser weapons system (LaWS). The LaWS was being tested by the US military at the time, De Changy says.

She also says the same contact told her that the plane seen crossing Malaysia on the night MH370 disappeared, was not MH370, as claimed by the authorities, but a Singaporean AWACS, an Israeli-made IAI EL/W-2085.

“The shooting down could have been a blunder, but it could also have been a last resort to stop the plane and its special cargo from falling into China’s hands,” De Changy writes.

She imagines a scenario in which the chief pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, “a man who fully understood his mission, who had a high sense of responsibility towards his company and, more importantly, towards his passengers”, refused to comply with an order from a foreign military command to change course.

She writes: “Having constructed this hypothetical scenario, based on hundreds of clues, I have no reasons to completely eliminate the possibility that it was in fact China, seeing this imposing deployment of several planes arriving unannounced right into its airspace, and in this highly sensitive region, that just shot at MH370, with no time to establish that a civilian plane was unwittingly part of the threateningly tight formation.

“One way or another, the two world superpowers were both probably involved in the loss of MH370, most likely up to their necks. Hence they would have had no choice but to somehow agree that it was in their best common interest to erase all possible traces. But as we saw, even erasing traces leaves traces.”

In the official narrative, De Changy says, there is no explanation for the fact that MH370’S SATCOM logs on again at 2.25 a.m. It makes sense, she say, to assume that the two US AWACS had no choice but to back off because MH370 was about to enter Chinese airspace.

She writes that, at 2.43 a.m., there was an SOS message from MH370 indicating that the aircraft cabin was disintegrating and requesting emergency landing facilities. The Mayday message was heard by a Vietnam Airlines pilot who was flying nearby, she adds.

According to the official reports into the plane’s disappearance, the last message from the cockpit of MH370 to Malaysian air control was sent at 1.19 a.m.

One of the extraordinary things De Changy writes about is the testimony of a Canadian citizen, Christian Courcelles, who worked for many years in the aviation industry, initially as an electrical technician with Bombardier and then with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

On the night of March 8, 2014, De Changy says, Courcelles stumbled across photos on a Vietnamese TV channel that have haunted him ever since. The short report featured about five images that Courcelles is adamant were of MH370 debris, then some film of a search and rescue plane taking off.

De Changy writes: “According to Courcelles: ‘The first thing I saw was the front undercarriage. It was half submerged, just lying on the beach. I have enough experience to know exactly what I was looking at. Then I saw the vertical stabiliser with the Malaysia Airlines logo on it being pulled up from the surface.

“I also saw two people stepping onshore holding one of the black boxes that was in some kind of a see-through casing full of water’.”

De Changy says Courcelles has told her he would happily submit to a lie detector test, “but for now he could only swear on the life of his children that he had seen what he saw”.

Courcelles can’t be the only one to have seen the images, De Changy says. “Needless to say, if accurate, his testimony is crucial. It means that the plane crashed in Vietnamese waters, close to shore. And that a clean-up operation started on the spot.”

De Changy casts doubt on the conclusion that the flaperon found on Reunion island is from MH370 and writes: “Despite the months and years that have gone by, the French experts have not published a single detail on the results of their analyses. We still do not even know the flaperon’s precise size and weight, which many MHists would have liked to know so they could include these details in their own reverse-drift models.

“France has not held a single press conference about the flaperon. The experts involved have never been named or made available to answer all the intriguing questions that everyone is justifiably asking about this fascinating piece of plane debris, almost as mysterious as the plane it was said to come from.”

The flaperon’s ID plate was missing, De Changy notes, and this should have been an enormous red flag.

She also raises questions about other debris said to be from the missing plane. She writes about debris found on a beach in southern Thailand and, further south on the same stretch of coastline, on Benting Lintang Beach near the Malaysian town of Besut in Terengganu, and notes that any possible links between this debris and the missing plane were rapidly dismissed.

In his review of De Changy’s book, K.S. Narendran writes: “In the shadowy world that is invoked, surely questions will be asked whether Florence is being played by the very intelligence community that she has relied on in part. I think not. I hope not.”

Narendran says the book makes a valuable contribution in inviting a reappraisal of what has hitherto been held to be true.

“After reading the book, I came away feeling that Florence has vigorously attempted to turn every little detail, work every source – big or small, and pursue every potential lead however minor, to prise apart the now accepted storyline that we know leads us nowhere. She defers to experts where necessary rather than pretend to be one …,” Narendran writes.

The best outcome that one could wish for, Narendran says, is an international call to Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and other countries who have allegedly played a role in MH370’s disappearance and subsequent search to come clean, and for the constitution of an international team, under the superintendence of the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court, that would launch its own investigation.

“Back in 2017, when the search for MH370 was terminated for good, Malaysia (along with China and Australia) sought ‘credible new evidence’ that could pinpoint the precise location of the fallen aircraft as a precondition to restart the search,” Narendran writes.

“It conveniently ignored its own responsibility in coming up with such evidence. It sat at its high table, giving itself a role as an arbiter of competing commercial bids for a new search and a results-based reward. This shifted the burden of finding MH370 and figuring what really happened to other non-specific entities.

“What the book does is expose several loose ends, each of which may be a trail to ‘credible new evidence’ and a new search area – but it will not be what the cohort of nations, led by Malaysia, would ever have hoped for.”


1= 5 euro, x 2 = 10 euro, X 3 =15 euro, etc.