MH370 shot down by US, says former airline CEO
American military feared hijacked MH370 would be used to attack Diego Garcia base, Proteus Airlines boss says
The former director of French airline Proteus has suggested that a US military jet shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean to prevent it being used to attack an airbase on Diego Garcia.
Marc Dugain also said that he had been warned off delving too deeply into the fate of flight MH370 by a British intelligence officer who told him that he was taking "risks", according to France Inter.
The Independent reports that Dugain had travelled to the Maldives and interviewed witnesses "who reportedly told him they had seen a 'huge plane flying at a really low altitude' towards the island bearing the Malaysia Airlines colours".
According to the official account of MH370's final hours, the missing plane probably did make a sharp left turn to fly west towards the American base on the British territory of Diego Garcia soon after it lost radio contact with air traffic controllers.
However, it is believed to have made another left turn thousands of miles before it reached the base, which is about halfway between Indonesia and East Africa. MH370 then flew south before running out of fuel and crashing into the ocean about 1,000 miles off the Australian coast, according to an analysis based on satellite tracking data.
In an article for Paris Match, Dugain rejects this theory and says the plane will not be found in the search zone.
Instead he argues that in order to cover up evidence of its actions the US sent air accident investigators on a wild goose chase. He said it was not possible that an object the size of a Boeing 777 could disappear without trace unless someone was deliberately concealing its whereabouts.
Since Malaysia Airlines lost contact with the plane in March last year, MH370 conspiracy theories have proliferated. Meanwhile investigators continue their search in the southern Indian Ocean.
Hackers post 'plane not found' message on Malaysia Airlines website
Malaysia Airlines' website has been hacked by a group describing itself as the "Lizard Squad - Official Cyber Caliphate" and claiming links with Islamic State.
Airline officials confirmed that the website has been 'compromised' but assured customers that bookings and other personal data were still safe and undamaged, the BBC reports. The website was back to normal soon after the attack.
The hackers chose to replace the front page of the website with an image of a tuxedo-wearing lizard and the message "404 - Plane Not Found", a reference to the missing flight MH370 which is believed to have crashed off the coast of Australia last March.
The Lizard Squad previously claimed a cyber attack on Sony and Microsoft online networks.
It is unclear why the IS-linked hackers chose to attack a Malaysian company. However, The Guardian says that Malaysia has recently joined the debate about the recruitment of foreign fighters for the terrorist organisation.
Last week Malaysian authorities said they detained 120 people suspected of having sympathies with IS or planning to travel to Syria to join the extremist group.
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is not expected to finish as early as previously thought, due to a technical fault on board one of the vessels scouring the Indian Ocean.
The Fugro Discovery, one of three ships involved in the operation developed a "system issue" with a component of its search equipment, according to investigators from Australia's Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (Jacc), who have been leading the mission.
As a result, its "search activities have been suspended while the issue is remedied", they told Sky News Australia. However, the search efforts conducted by two other vessels will continue throughout the Christmas period and into the New Year.
This means the search of the priority zone, a 23,000 square smile arc in the Indian Ocean, will be not be finished by May, as had previously been predicted.
Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March this year with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane or its passengers has been discovered since, despite an extensive £57m search operation off the western coast of Australia.
Nine months later, relatives of those on board the plane say they still believe that their loved ones will be found, The Guardian reports. "I still have hope. Maybe 1 per cent – maybe half a per cent – but I still keep the hope," said one family member.
MH370: search for missing plane could be over by May
Search crews scouring the remote area of the Indian Ocean in which the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is believed to have crashed say they could have completed their work by May next year.
The priority zone, a 23,000 square smile arc off the coast of Western Australia, was drawn up using analysis of electronic "pings" - bursts of data transmitted by the missing aircraft and detected by satellites.
Investigators from Australia's Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (Jacc), who have been leading the search, say they have now covered two thirds of the priority zone. As long as there are no delays with the vessel, equipment or weather, they say, the search will be finished within the next five months.
Flight MH370 was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished on 8 March this year with 239 people on board. No trace of the Boeing 777 or its passengers has been seen since, despite a £57m search operation.
Last week, families of the victims gave investigators DNA samples in order to help identify victims if any wreckage is found, the Australian Associated Press reports.
Danica Weeks, whose husband, Paul, was on the flight told the Australian Sunday Times that his disappearance continues to haunt her and that she will not be able to rest until the wreckage is discovered.
"You are searching the news constantly for any small piece of information that may give you a clue to their whereabouts,"she said, "and your heart pounds every time the phone rings. Is this it? Have they found something?"
More about Flight MH370:
Details of who was on missing plane are being withheld, says airline chief
Details of who was on MH370 are being withheld, says airline chiefMH370: Indian Ocean crash theory in doubtFlight MH370: official report claims plane 'spiralled' into seaGhost flight theory 'most likely' explanationPilot had rehearsed landing on island runwayMystery cargo continues to raise questionsRelatives to offer $3m reward for informationBook claims missing plane was shot downFlight MH370: flight path suggests plane went 'rogue'Former PM accuses Malaysia of cover-up Plane 'has crashed with no survivors' Pilot of missing plane deleted simulator data'Deliberate action' diverted Malaysian airlinerPhantom phone calls cause upset for families