The missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane did not, in fact, crash into the Bay of Bengal — or at any other location named by independent researchers who doubt the official story of the flight's fate, after almost 14 months has gone by since the plane's disappearance without yielding a single piece of evidence that the Boeing 777-200 is actually anywhere.
Since last fall, a meticulous and expensive search effort has been underway in a remote area of the Indian Ocean about 1,200 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia — one of the world's most brutal and remote environments. Much of the region had never been mapper or explored until an effort to map the ocean floor there before the current search effort began.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished on March 8 of 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Using satellite "ping" data, searchers determined that the plane took an inexplicable sharp westward turn midway through its flight — and stayed in the air for another seven hours.
Searchers believe that the plane then ran out of fuel and spiraled down into the southern Indian Ocean somewhere in the current, remote search area.
But several independent aviation experts have raised doubts that the plane actually ended up in the area that the official search team calls the "Seventh Arc," instead proposing various theories, including the possibility that the satellite data was "spoofed" by high-tech hijackers who flew the plane north instead of south, ending up at an isolated airfield in Kazakhstan.
More recently, independent researcher Andre Milne claimed that he had identified possible wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines plane in satellite images of the Bay of Bengal, well outside of the official search area.
Milne has now undertaken an online crowdfunding effort to finance a privately run search of the area there — at a cost of $2.5 million.
But Australian officials on Wednesday spoke out, blasting Milne's theory, calling it impossible.
Milne's theory — as well as other ideas about the location of the missing plane, "were not supported by known facts or careful analysis," according to a statement issued by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
"It is for this reason the aircraft cannot be in Kazakhstan, Diego Garcia, the Maldives or indeed the Bay of Bengal."In December, a former French airline chief claimed that Flight MH370 was likely shot down by the United State military as it approached the remote Indian Ocean island known as Diego Garcia, which is the location of a secretive American military outpost. The U.S. military flatly denied the claim.
Just days after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, residents of another Indian Ocean archipelago, the Republic of Maldives, claimed that they saw a "low flying jumbo jet" making a deafening noise in the skies above the island nation. But officials dismissed that claim as well.
[Image: Stewart's Law]