MH370: nine years on, next of kin urge the Malaysian government to accept a new search proposal

This article has been updated.

It’s been nine years since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board. The next of kin have again highlighted the global implications of the tragedy and have called on the Malaysian government to accept a new search proposal.

On March 5, the relatives of those on board MH370 gathered online via Zoom for a virtual remembrance event. They said it was their “fervent hope” that a new search for the plane would begin this year.

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 Malaysian authorities say is from the missing plane, neither MH370 nor its voice and data recorders have been located.

“As long as we remain in the dark about what happened to MH370 we will never be able to prevent a similar tragedy,” the MH370 family support group Voice370 said in a statement.

“Accordingly, we believe that it is a matter of paramount importance that the search for MH370 be carried out to its completion.

“While the next of kin of the passengers and crew on board attempt to rebuild our lives the threat to global aviation safety remains a live issue.”

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a statement posted on social media on March 8: “I pray and hope we can continue to search for the plane.

“But if we cannot find the plane over the years, we have to accept that we have lost them, we have lost the plane and we have lost members of our family who were flying in that plane. That is something we need to accept, difficult though it may be.”

Mahathir said there was no real evidence to show that MH370 crashed into the sea or that it landed somewhere or crashed on land. Not knowing what happened to their relatives was very disturbing for the next of kin, Mahathir added.

Oliver Plunkett, who is the CEO of the American seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity, which spent more than three months searching for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean in 2018, said it was his sincere hope that the company would be able to agree payment terms with Malaysia’s transport minister, Anthony Loke, and be in a position to take one of its new robotic ships to the southern Indian Ocean in the summer of 2023 or 2024.

Statements by Plunkett and Anthony Loke were read out by one of the next of kin, V.P.R Nathan.

“I am painfully aware of the desire for closure,” Loke said. “Since 2014, Malaysia and its international partners have searched millions of square kilometres through air, ship and undersea operations.

As transport minister, I will not summarily close the book on this tragedy.”

Loke reiterated the Malaysian government’s position that “due consideration will be given to future search operations should there be new and credible information on the potential location of the aircraft’s final resting place”.

Voice370 urged Malaysia’s new prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, “to renew the support he showed families in the early days by being open to accepting any forthcoming proposal by Ocean Infinity”.

Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother Anne Daisy was on board MH370, said: “So much has happened in these nine years. There was a baby who wasn’t born yet. One of the next of kin was expecting when the plane disappeared. And that baby who wasn’t born yet is now in school … that’s how much time has passed.

“There’s me, who was a student at the time, and now a mother. So much has changed. There are people here who have become grandparents, who have become wives, who have become husbands. Nine years is a really long time.”

Subathirai Nathan said MH370 was not history, it was the future, because, she said, “if we don’t know what happened to MH370 we cannot prevent it from happening again”.

“Today it’s us,” she said, “but tomorrow, it could be anyone who boards a plane. And that is something that should be prevented at all costs. This is not a mystery that should be left a mystery forever. It’s just not acceptable.”

Oliver Plunkett said that, as before, a new search would be conducted on a no cure, no fee basis. He said Ocean Infinity had been working on presenting material the company believes would meet the Malaysian government’s requirement for “credible new evidence”.

He said Ocean Infinity had prepared a draft proposal, which sets out the bases upon which the company would proceed and its view of the new evidence and analyses that are available.

He said he would review the proposal and hoped to send the document to Anthony Loke within the coming weeks.

At last year’s remembrance event Plunkett (pictured left) said Ocean Infinity was getting ready to bring new robotic ships into operation.

He said: “For the first time since early 2020, we’ve got clarity on the plan for where we’d search, we’ve got clarity for the availability of our assets and therefore we’re in a position to sensibly reengage in the conversation and say to the Malaysian government ‘Look we’re ready to go back and carry on’.”

Plunkett said two 78-metre robotic vessels, which could be operated completely remotely, with no crew on board, were being built in Vietnam.

Ocean Infinity has now taken the delivery of the first ship, which is expected to go into service on offshore data acquisition tasks in the coming months.

In its previous search for MH370, Ocean Infinity used a leased Norwegian vessel, Seabed Constructor, and its own Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), capable of operating in depths up to 6,000 metres.

One of Ocean Infinity’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.

In three months of searching, the company scoured, and collected data from, more than 112,000 square kilometres of ocean floor, which is far in excess of the initial 25,000-square-kilometre target and almost the same area as was examined in the previous search over a period of two and a half years.

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

Plunkett said in his statement to this year’s remembrance event: “Over the last 12 months we have made real progress, working with many people to further understand what happened, to enhance our knowledge of the events in 2014, and ultimately improve our chances of conducting a successful search.”

Investigation continues in France

Ghyslain Wattrelos, whose wife Laurence and two of their three children were on board MH370, said at the March 5 event that a French team investigating the disappearance of MH370 had found evidence that completely discredited the official version of events.

He said the investigators would be trying to organise a second trip to Malaysia.

Wattrelos, who wrote a book about MH370’s disappearance, Vol MH370 – Une vie détournée (Flight MH370 – A life hijacked), says it can take a long time to make discoveries. He said it took the French investigators three years to organise their last trip to Malaysia, five years to see the British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat, six years to see Boeing, and seven years to finally meet the FBI.

The original decision to search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean was based on calculations by Inmarsat that were based on satellite pings – or handshakes – from MH370.

Wattrelos also pointed to the difficulty of getting to the truth without the cooperation of Malaysia, the US, the UK, and Australia.

The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370

French investigative journalist Florence de Changy, whose book, ‘The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370’, was published in hardback in February 2021 and (updated) in paperback in 2022, 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 simply 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 (pictured left) says that she will, in a few months, release new evidence that will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 did not crash in the southern Indian Ocean.

“I hope the media will not treat this as another theory because this one will be scientific and it will not be another theory. It will be the scientific proof that there was no crash in the southern Indian Ocean,” De Changy told Changing Times.

De Changy says she’s never seen any convincing rebuttal of her doubts about the official narrative. People may have picked up on small technical details that may not fit with her suggested scenario, but this “final scenario” , she says, is not the key point of her work.

“Most of my work for nine years has been to look at the official narrative and I think that, by now, I’ve completely dismantled and disproved it,” De Changy said.

“The most important thing to understand, including for the families, would be that what they have been told, and what public opinion has been told from day four or five, is a massive fabrication.

“People want me to be right with my story, but it’s not my duty to know the entire truth. It’s not for me to come up with a perfect final scenario.”

De Changy says that neither the Inmarsat data nor what she describes as the “untraceable debris and trash found on the African coast of the southern Indian Ocean” should count as tangible or credible evidence to back up the southern Indian Ocean scenario.

She says the narrative of the crash in the southern Indian Ocean is a “heavy-handed fabrication” that has been passively promoted by most mainstream media who, she says, failed to question its “nonsense and lack of evidence”.

The main hypothesis De Changy puts forward is that MH370 crashed northeast of Vietnam about an hour after it disappeared from air traffic control at 1.21 a.m.

“When it ‘disappeared’, it was just being jammed and rendered stealthy by American Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircrafts that were on site,” she said.

“Despite being unable to communicate, MH370 continued to fly and, when it approached Chinese airspace, its satcom suddenly was reconnected and its position could be downloaded by the Malaysian operations centre, as reported in the annex of the full technical report.”

De Changy told Changing Times: “If the plane had crossed over Malaysia, and if it had done the route that we’ve been told it did, there would be loads of traces of it. There are none.

“Why have we not seen it above Malaysia? Why were jets not scrambled? Why did the US not provide a single radar image.”

De Changy, who is based in Hong Kong and covers the Asia-Pacific region for Le Monde, notes in her book (referring again to the Malaysian safety investigation team’s full report) that the plane was carrying 2.5 tonnes of electronic cargo that was not X-rayed before being taken on board and was taken to the airport under escort.

She hypothesises that this suspicious cargo may have triggered a “cargo confiscation operation” that the chief pilot on MH370, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, may have refused to execute.

De Changy is convinced that the flaperon that is in the possession of the French authorities did not come from MH370. It would never have floated all the way to Reunion island, she says.

“If the plane crashed where they say it crashed, on the 7th arc, there is no way a piece of debris would have floated for 5,000 or 4,000 kilometres and ended up on a beach 15 months later. That’s simply impossible,” she said.

De Changy further notes that there is no identification plate on the flaperon. “Identification plates are either riveted or glued on with a special mastic so that they don’t come off easily. The only instance in which an identification plate is taken off a piece of an aircraft is when a plane is decommissioned.

“This major matter of the missing plate has never been addressed or explained. It should have been a major red flag leading to questions about the real provenance of the flaperon.”

The flaperon retrieved on Reunion island in July 2015.

Chinese next of kin express their frustrations

Jiang Hui, whose mother was a passenger on MH370, said, via a translator, at the March 5 event that the Chinese next of kin were angry because they had received no information from the Malaysian government for four years.

He said the Chinese next of kin were frustrated because only a small part of the Malaysian investigation team’s full report had been translated into Chinese.

“Thousand of pages of reports have been published by the Malaysian International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370,” Jiang Hui said. “Only 500 pages have been translated into Chinese.”

He added: “Many of us didn’t get even one percent of the upfront compensation that was due.

“We hope that the new Malaysian government can assume its obligations and be a responsible government, together with China and Australia, and make practical efforts to find our loved ones soon.”

Jiang Hui also called on the Malaysian government to restore family support centres in China.

Jiang Hui with Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke (right) at the 2019 remembrance event in Kuala Lumpur.

K.S. Narendran from Chennai in India, whose wife Chandrika was on board the missing plane, said at this year’s remembrance event: “We are very much in the same place as we were on the 8th of March 2014, which is we don’t know what happened, where the plane is, and what the minutes and hours that preceded its end were all about.”

He said the annual remembrance events were important for two reasons.

“One, it’s an occasion to collectively remember people who were very dear to us, who are no longer with us, and to both invoke their memory and be inspired by who they were and what they lived for and what they lived by … and to bring back to our active consciousness the lives that they led, the times that we lived together, and what we carry forward into the future along with us.”

Secondly, and equally important, Narendran said, the events served not only to remember what happened “but also to remind ourselves of the unfinished business, which is finding out what really happened”.

K.S. Narendran at the 2019 remembrance event with Jacquita Gonzales and her granddaughter Alessandra Faith.

Narendran, who has written a book entitled Life After MH370, told Changing Times that the science, and pointing to various possible locations for the plane, were not enough.

“It’s equally important that people who have a responsibility, like the government of Malaysia, people who have the resources and the mandate, persist with the search and take it to its logical conclusion,” he said.

For Narendran the argument for searching MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean is the only one that can be substantiated. Arguments for other locations are conjecture and speculation, he says; “conclusions without evidence that can stand up to scrutiny”.

This circumstantial evidence, Narendran says, isn’t enough to commit millions of dollars or to condemn X or Y.

“The only set of data that we have thus far that is actionable has to do with a search in the southern Indian Ocean, as far as I know.” he said.

Narendran notes that it has been primarily the next of kin of those on board MH370 who have been calling for action, for the search to go on. “They need a much wider support base. The disappearance of MH370 needs to be seen as something that impacts the wider community.”

The next of kin have long argued that finding MH370 and knowing what happened to the plane is not just of importance for them but also for the future of aviation safety.

The disappearance of MH370 is everybody’s business, Narendran says.

“It’s not just the Malaysian government; it is its responsibility, but it’s everybody’s business because everybody’s life is in some way, to a lesser or greater extent, at stake because there is a loophole somewhere, and we don’t know what it is, that has caused a plane to disappear.”

The next of kin and others have long called on the Malaysian government to release all military radar records from March 7 and 8, 2014, that relate to the track of MH370.

They say the records should be released 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”.

Narendran says in a blog post: “In the interests of transparency and commitment to find answers, the prime minister may like to consider the release of raw military radar data tracking MH370 for independent experts’ scrutiny; it is hardly likely that national security in the present will be compromised by the release of nine-year old data.

“Routine excuses tossed and collusively swallowed cannot be acceptable when dealing with an unprecedented tragedy.”

Jacquita Gonzales,  whose husband Patrick Gomes was an in-flight supervisor on MH370, said at the March 5 event that the next of kin needed to continue to “push and push and push” for a new search for the plane.

“I just pray and hope that everyone out there will also help us continue to push for this to go on and not forget MH370,” Gonzales said. Those on board should not, she said, be considered as collateral damage.

“We had babies on board who had the future ahead of them, that was taken away from them just like that. We had grandparents who wanted to see their loved ones, their grandchildren, grow up and get married, and they are not able to do that,” she said.

In his blog post, Narendran says: “I have come to make peace with not knowing and am not any longer so overwhelmed as to be incapable of functioning or paying attention to other facets of life. I have come to accept that things are likely to move forward decisively only when the science, the political will and public perception/opinion are in accord.

“I believe the time has come to treat the MH370 matter primarily as one of public interest – a matter in which all nations, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, regulators, service providers and the flying public the world over have a stake …

“Indeed, without it becoming a matter of serious public scrutiny/enquiry, I have my doubts about the search for the truth going very far. A plane went missing and we yet don’t know why, how or where. There may be a lurking danger that we could be ignoring.  I think there has been an institutional/regulatory failure.”

Narendran shares his very personal feelings. “I don’t experience sadness and I don’t any longer mourn or grieve the loss of a relationship of over 25 years that I had with Chandrika. The void I felt, much like a black hole that drained my aliveness, now feels transformed to an open airy space, capable of receiving and cherishing love and compassion and in turn offering it in good measure,” he writes.

He  writes movingly about Chandrika, saying that he can now celebrate her life – “the good and the difficult times, her exemplary ways, and her idiosyncrasies”.

Chandrika, he says, was more than just his partner, a mother, a daughter, or a sister. “She was a dear friend to many, a champion of women’s rights, a strong voice that spoke for artisanal fisherfolk around the world, an embodiment of simple living, and an advocate of sustainability and non-violence,” he writes.

“My wish is that we invoke her memory to share stories of association with her over the years – stories of fondness, mischief, reservations, disappointments and gratitude.”


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

There has been much discussion on social media about a piece of debris that has been analysed by Independent Group investigator Richard Godfrey and American amateur investigator Blaine Alan Gibson, who has found numerous pieces of debris that the authorities in Malaysia say are definitely from MH370.

Godfrey and Gibson rapidly came to the conclusion that the debris item, which washed ashore in Madagascar in 2017 and was later spotted in a fisherman’s back yard on the Antsiraka Peninsula by one of Gibson’s friends, was likely to be the remnant of the left main landing gear trunnion door, and was almost certain to be from MH370. Godfrey now agrees that this conclusion may well be wrong.

Senior British Boeing 777 airline captain Tim Hickmott has analysed the debris item and believes it may possibly be a remnant of a plane’s outboard flap.

Godfrey  says Hickmott may be right and the debris item could be the remnant of a centre panel on the outboard section of the outboard flap.

“We still need to explain the four almost parallel puncture damage slices that occurred to the debris item,” Godfrey said. “We also need to explain the remnants of an adhesive band along one edge of the debris item.”

He added: “The experts at Boeing will hopefully be able to give a definitive answer to the AAIB [Air Accident Investigation Bureau] in Malaysia and the ATSB [the transport safety bureau] in Australia in due course,” Godfrey wrote on Facebook.

Godfrey has dismissed suggestions that the debris item is from a yacht, not MH370.

Godfrey and Gibson published a report on the debris in December 2022. That same month Gibson handed the item to the aviation authorities in Madagascar.

After completing an analysis of the debris that he and Gibson reported about in December 2022 Godfrey said the item was from a Boeing aircraft and could not be from marine provenance.

Godfrey said: “The key difference is the lightning protection system used on Boeing aircraft with composite materials, which is fundamentally different to the lightning protection system used in marine applications with composite materials. Boeing components made with composite materials which are exposed to lightning strikes incorporate a layer of MicroGrid wire mesh manufactured by Dexmet Corporation. This is the case in the latest item of debris found in Madagascar.”

He added: “A significant proportion of the airplane structure of a Boeing 777 is made of composite materials to reduce weight and improve resistance to corrosion. Composite materials are layers (or plies) of high-strength fibres (carbon fibre or fibreglass) in a mixture of plastic resin. Aircraft components made of composite materials use laminations or combine layers of the composite materials with a honeycomb core to form a sandwich construction.

“The recent debris item has an aluminium wire mesh embedded in the composite material between the black surface and the honeycomb core.”

Godfrey says the fact that the piece of debris was found on Antsiraka Beach, where other pieces of debris stated to be from MH370 were discovered, confirmed the likelihood that the new item was also from the missing plane.

At last year’s remembrance event Godfrey spoke about an analysis of data he conducted using the Global Detection and Tracking of Any Aircraft Anywhere (GDTAAA) software based on WSPR data, which is publicly available on WSPRnet.

He monitored radio signals sent out by radio amateurs around the world. Hundreds of these signals are sent out every two minutes. Godfrey explains that, when the radio signals crossed the path of an aircraft, it is possible to detect changes in the signal level and in the frequency.

Godfrey’s WSPR analysis was dismissed by several experts when it was first published. Opinion remains divided, with some experts considering that Godfrey may be onto something significant and some commentators still dismissing his analysis out of hand.

Godfrey originally placed the location of MH370 at about 33.2 degrees south, 95.3 degrees east in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean, about 2,000 kilometres west of Perth, Australia, but, on September 8, 2022, he published a new paper in which he presented new calculations that he says indicate that MH370 took a different route to the one he suggested earlier.

He now says the crash location is further north than previously thought and up to 42 nautical miles southeast of what has been labelled the 7th arc.

Godfrey says that MH370 crashed between 00:22 UTC and 00:27 UTC. At 00:22 UTC the position from the WSPRnet analysis was estimated to be 30.00°S 98.70°E. At 00:26 UTC the position from the WSPRnet analysis was estimated to be 30.57°S 98.75°E.”

His most recent calculations indicate a flight path after Penang that does not go up the Malacca strait as was suggested in the full safety investigation report released by the Malaysian International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370 on July 30, 2018.

One pilot who has studied the disappearance of MH370 in great detail but prefers not to be named says Godfrey’s most recent calculations fit perfectly with the theory that the pilot of MH370 was incapacitated and no one was in control after Penang.

He says the turns every eight minutes looked to him more like uncontrolled meandering than pilot disorientation.

“The meandering flight path that Godfrey is now suggesting would be better explained by a ghost flight scenario than an active pilot being in control,” he said.

The pilot also dismissed Godfrey’s claims that MH370’s landing gear was lowered to ensure the plane sank as fast as possible.

“That claim doesn’t make sense,” the pilot explained. “Lowering the landing gear will slow the aircraft down due to drag. Furthermore, when the plane hits the water, it would immediately break up into many smaller pieces, including the landing gear.

“Having the landing gear extended to ensure the plane sank as fast as possible doesn’t make sense as the aircraft would not be intact to sink; it would be in many small pieces.”

Godfrey is one of numerous people who have made the unsupported allegation that the pilot of MH370 purposely brought down the plane and was responsible for the deaths of those on board.

He later made the following statement:

“I am on the record publicly as stating that my private opinion is that the pilot was Captain Zaharie Shah. I have always made it clear that this is based only on circumstantial evidence and is not proven.

“This is not my public opinion, where I have always talked about the pilot without naming anyone.

“I am also on the record publicly as stating that the circumstantial evidence against Captain Zaharie Shah would not hold up in a court of law.

“To be clear the home flight simulator of Captain Zaharie Shah shows an accelerated simulation to fuel exhaustion in the southern Indian Ocean based on the fuel available for a flight to Jeddah and not to Beijing. The simulation is not a flight route, but only a fuel check.

“This cannot be used as evidence in court of a planned flight to fuel exhaustion in the southern Indian Ocean. This is not evidence of a premeditated hijacking and murder suicide. This is like someone being handed a smoking gun and then being accused of being the murderer.

“To solve the mystery of the disappearance of MH370 we need to find the aircraft and recover the FDR and other evidence from the wreckage.”

There is no evidence to prove that Captain Zaharie purposely brought down MH370 and the full report released in July 2018 does not apportion blame.

Lead investigator Kok Soo Chon said when releasing the Malaysian investigation team’s full report that the team was not of the opinion that Captain Zaharie caused the plane’s disappearance.

The investigation team reported that there was no evidence to suggest that MH370 was flown by anyone other than the designated Malaysia Airlines pilots, but Kok Soo Chon said the team could not rule out the possibility that there was “unlawful interference” by a third party.

“But at the same time we cannot deny the fact that there was an air turn back. We cannot deny the fact that, as we have analysed, the systems were manually turned off, with intent or otherwise,” he added.

On March 8, the New Straits Times in Malaysia published an interview with Khalil Kader Mohd, who led the 25-person team that conducted the MH370 criminal investigation.

Khalil, who is now retired, talked about the reports that data retrieved from Captain Zaharie’s personal flight simulator showed a similar flight path to the one that, according to the official narrative, was flown by MH370.

Khalil said their forensic investigations indicated that the similarity was irrelevant.

“We checked his background. We questioned his friends, none of whom gave negative (statements),” Khalil is quoted as saying.

“It meant that he was very friendly, humble, a family man, and jovial, that was what we recorded.”

Khalil said the investigators scrutinised numerous CCTV recordings of Captain Zaharie’s movements at the airport and at his workplace, engaged psychologists, and even examined the books the pilot read.

“Basically, there was no ground to support the (pilot suicide) theory. All I can say is that this remains inconclusive until we find the aircraft,” Khalil is quoted as saying.

Blaine Gibson says the fact that the wing flap found in Tanzania was in a retracted position goes against the theory that there was a controlled intact ditching, a “pilot murder–suicide”.

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

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”.

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, 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 it 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.

At the start of the 2023 remembrance event, there was a look back at previous events. This image is from the first event, in 2015.

The 2023 online gathering.


Statement by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad:

“Today is the anniversary of the loss of #MH370 and since then we have not discovered any evidence as to what happened to the plane. There may be talk about the plane crashing to the sea.

But we have no real evidence to show that they crash into the sea. We also don’t have any evidence that they landed anywhere or crash on land. So, this is very disturbing for the relatives because knowing something happened to them is a relief. But not knowing what happened to them is very disturbing because you don’t know whether they are alive or they are being captured.

So, we have to be patient. We have to accept that this thing has happened. We don’t want it to happen but it has happened and we have to accept that this plane has been lost along with the passengers and the crews.

Most probably they are no longer alive because when the plane is taken over by somebody else and flown to some other destination the fate of the passengers is certainly going to be that of the plane. What happens to the plane, happens to the passenger.

I pray and hope we can continue to search for the plane. But if we cannot find the plane over the years, we have to accept that we have lost them, we have lost the plane and we have lost members of our family who were flying in that plane. That is something we need to accept, difficult though it may be.”


March 8, 2023


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