New potential clues about what really happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 were discovered this week, when three more pieces of debris that appear to be fragments of the lost Boeing 777 were found in the western Indian Ocean — the same region where five pieces identified as coming from Flight MH370 were found earlier.
Two of the newly discovered possible Malaysia Airlines debris pieces were picked up by tourists in the tiny island nation of Mauritias, also the location where a debris fragment now determined by the Malaysian government to be "almost certainly" from Flight MH370 was discovered in early April.
A Gris-Gris: un débris qui proviendrait du MH370 retrouvé par la NCG - https://t.co/YVXItI6YTi bellaafrica pic.twitter.com/dcuXmux0e1A third debris piece was discovered on the coast of Mozambique. An earlier piece of Flight MH370 debris was found in Mozambique, a country on the southeast coast of the African continent, just north of South Africa, in April as well.
— Bella Africa (@thebellaafrica) May 26, 2016
First look: debris found by tourist in southern Mozambique to be tested for possible #MH370 tie pic.twitter.com/MK41WS6HRQMalaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was making a routine overnight flight between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Beijing, China, on March 8, 2014, when it suddenly cut off communication with the ground and took a dramatic turn to the west, flying for an estimated seven hours. But exactly where the plane ended up and what, exactly, caused it to suddenly veer thousands of miles of course and vanish remains unknown.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 26, 2016
If the three new debris pieces are confirmed to have been parts of the missing plane, those eight pieces of debris would be the only known evidence that the plane is anywhere at all.
The following video from the Malaysian news outlet The Star contains more information on the discovery of the three new, possible Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 debris pieces.
The Australian and Malaysian governments have been searching for wreckage of the plane in the southern Indian Ocean, a remote region about 1,200 miles off the west coast of Australia.
But two separate, independent analysis of ocean drift patterns in the region place the likely final resting place of Flight MH370 hundreds of miles to the north in the Indian Ocean. The new debris locations would appear to fit those same drift patterns.
Drift patterns indicate #mh370 most probably crashed in NIO not SIO! They're lying again! https://t.co/99PODxYnoc pic.twitter.com/2kEz2gyNTA"The Malaysian Government is yet to take custody of the items, however as with previous items, Malaysian officials are arranging collection and it is expected the items will be brought to Australia for examination," Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said in a written statement on Thursday.
— Ken S (@kstaubin) April 21, 2016
"These items of debris are of interest and will be examined by experts," Chester added.
The first, and largest, confirmed piece of Flight MH370 debris — a wing segment known as a "flaperon" — was found in July of last year on French-owned Reunion Island, which is also located in the same general area of the western Indian Ocean as the four confirmed pieces found this year, and the three possible debris fragments uncovered this week.
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Jeff Wise, a journalist and aviation expert who has written frequently on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 mystery, believes that the discovery of eight confirmed or possible debris pieces in the same region off the southeast Africa coast merits a more organized search effort in those areas.
"All of the objects discovered so far were found by tourists, with the exception of the flaperon," Wise wrote on his blog Wednesday. "Drift models predict that a lot of the debris should have come ashore on the east coast of Madagascar, but this is not a place that tourists generally frequent. There are also large stretches of the southern African coast that probably see little tourism. All of which is to say that a concerted effort to sweep remote beaches should turn up a lot of MH370 debris."
Malaysia Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said on Thursday that the new debris discoveries would be "helpful" in figuring out what caused Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 to disappear.
"We need more information to find out what happened to the plane," Liow said. "We want to know how the plane had lost contact."
[Featured Photo By Joshua Paul/Associated Press]