The picture of where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have ended its mysterious flight more than two years ago grew even murkier this week, when an Australian aviation expert told the media there that based on his experience, the pilots of the missing plane must have become somehow incapacitated before the plane crashed — and as a result, searchers looking for the vanished Boeing 777-200 have been looking in the wrong place.
In fact, former pilot Desmond Ross told Australia's Fairfax Media, the multinational search team that has spent well over $100 million in the last two years looking for Flight MH370 wreckage in the eastern Indian Ocean, only to find no trace of the plane, has been looking hundreds, maybe upwards of a thousand miles from where the plane actually went down.
Asia: Malaysia to host meeting on MH370 search plans,So far 105,000 square kilometres of the... pic.twitter.com/BiK1FRKgXKRoss believes that the plane was flying at a much lower altitude than generally believed, when it suddenly cut off all communication systems and veered sharply off course to the west on March 8, 2014 — due to some on-board crisis that caused the plane's pilots to become incapacitated, the Australian expert says.
— Ghananewsline (@Ghananewsline1) June 19, 2016
As a result, according to Ross who now works in the defense industry, the Malaysia Airlines plane would have crashed in the north Indian Ocean, west of Malaysia — rather than in the southern area referred to by searchers as the Seventh Arc, about 1,200 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia.
While at least five pieces of debris confirmed to have come from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have been found in the western Indian Ocean on several beaches on or near the southeast coast of Africa, which the Australian government has said would be consistent with a Seventh Arc crash location.
#MH370 Updated Debris Overview (10 June) https://t.co/aGpojPIBaY | Gmap https://t.co/wBflBCAmMD via @Bookofresearch pic.twitter.com/VdjRN9O33m
— WLP (@Bookofresearch) June 11, 2016
"Isn't it also true that these same parts may have come from somewhere much closer?" Ross asked, according to the Fairfax Media report. "How about a crash site to the west of Malaysia?"Watch a video detailing how some of those debris pieces were discovered by an American lawyer and traveler, below.
Because the current search has produced no results, the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments — which have been cooperating in the search — were scheduled to hold a meeting on Monday to discuss whether to give up looking for Flight MH370 altogether.
But Ross called the calculation that led to placing the search area in the Seventh Arc "relatively flimsy science" based solely on "pings" from the planes received by a satellite operated by a private British firm, Inmarsat.
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The location where Ross believes that Flight MH370 went down is near to where two separate computer analyses have placed the wreckage based on the location of the confirmed debris pieces.
A computer model of oceanic drift patterns carried out last year by German scientists at the GEOMAR-Helmholtz Institute for Ocean Research placed the crash site in the northern Indian ocean, west of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Another study by statistician Brock McEwen conducted in April of this year reached a similar conclusion, saying that while the location of the known debris could be consistent with a crash site in The Seventh Arc, if the missing Malaysia Airlines plane did, in fact, go down there, more debris would have turned up on the shores of Western Australia.
But no such debris has been discovered in the more than 27 months since Flight MH370 went missing.
The Malaysian government has confirmed it wants plane debris found on Kangaroo Island sent overseas.#7News https://t.co/DNqmuUzHJPHowever, a piece of airline debris was found by an Australian man collecting driftwood on a beach on Kangaroo Island on June 9. Kangraood Island is loacted of the southern coast of Australia, around the center of the country.
— 7 News Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) June 16, 2016
But the Kangaroo Island discovery has not been confirmed to be debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
[Featured Photo By Jordan Vuong / Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License]