Calls for the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have increased after a fisherman’s shocking claims of finding one of the doomed aircraft’s wings resurfaced last month.
Peter Waring, an expert in underwater surveying and mapping sea floors, heard Kit Olver’s claims of him fishing up a dismembered aircraft wing, became intrigued and rehashed his desire to reinvestigate the mysterious missing plane.
Waring, a former Australian Naval officer, served as the deputy operations manager with the Australian Transport Safety Board during the initial search in 2014.
He was also apart of the team in 2015 when the first set of debris, a wing flaperon, was discovered after it washed ashore on the French Island of Reunion.
The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared while flying over the Indian Ocean after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia heading for Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
“Even at the time of the search, we had conversations about it, and we were certainly not closed off to the possibility of things washing up in Australia,” Waring told The Sydney Morning Herald. “And if it did wash up somewhere in Australia, it was more likely to be in Tasmania, or if it circled back around, somewhere off South Australia.”
Waring told the newspaper, that if the fisherman could pinpoint the location of his discovery, a search could be both started and completed within days.
Luckily for Waring, Olver knows where he pulled up the wing, approximately 34 miles west of the coastal town of Robe in South Australia, and approximately 5,000 miles east of Reunion.
Olver described his discovery as a “bloody great wing of a big jet airliner,” when his deep-sea trawler pulled up the white plane part between Sept. and Oct. 2014, in a location he called a secret fishing trove of his.
The original search expanded an area of 1,700,000 square miles in the South Indian Sea, according to the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, the Australian Government Agency formed with the Malaysian and Chinese authorities following the plane’s disappearance.
Unfortunately for Olver and his crew, the wing was too large for their vessel and they were forced to cut their catch before watching it vanish back underwater.
The now-retired fisherman said he reported his finding to the authorities once his ship had returned to port, but was largely ignored.
He again reported it three years later, only to be met with the same results: nothing.
Waring blamed the lack of discovery of the plane on officials relying too heavily on a drift modeling theory that is an “inexact science.”
“Something as big as a wing would have had a distinctly different drift pattern to smaller bits of debris,” Waring said, adding it isn’t unreasonable to assume some of the wreckage could have floated east following strong storms that went through the area after the crash.
Aviation experts joined Waring’s assessment that a reopened investigation could be completed in a short time thanks to new technology.
Aerospace expert Jean-Luc Marchand and retired Pilot Patrick Blelly, two men who believe the doomed plane was highjacked by an experienced pilot, called for the search to be reopened during a lecture to the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.
“We have done our homework. We have a proposal … the area is small and considering new capabilities it will take 10 days,” Marchand said.
“It could be a quick thing. Until the wreck of MH370 is found, nobody knows (what happened). But, this is a plausible trajectory.”
Marchand and Blelly also urged the Australian Transport Safety Authority and the Malaysian government to join US-based marine robotics company Ocean Infinity in the search, using new sub-nautical search technology.
With Post wires