Did missing flight 370 land in the Maldives or at Diego Garcia?

Well over a week after the disappearance of flight MH370 – which now is the longest official disappearance of a modern jet in aviation history

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge

With no official trace of the missing plane yet revealed, the investigation, which as we reported over the weekend has focused on the pilots and specifically on Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, earlier today revealed that on his home-made flight simulator had been loaded five Indian Ocean practice runways, among which those of Male in the Maldives, that of the US owned base at Sergio Garcia, as well as other runways in India and Sri Lanka – all notable runways as all are possible landing spots based on the flight’s potential trajectories. The Malay Mail Online reported, “The simulation programmes are based on runways at the Male International Airport in Maldives, an airport owned by the United States (Diego Garcia), and three other runways in India and Sri Lanka, all have runway lengths of 1,000 metres.”

“We are not discounting the possibility that the plane landed on a runway that might not be heavily monitored, in addition to the theories that the plane landed on sea, in the hills, or in an open space,” the source was quoted as saying.

At this point the facts in the case are about as sketchy as any “data” on US Treasury holdings, but here is what was said on the record:

“Although Malay Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein denied yesterday that the plane had landed at US military base Diego Garcia, the source told the daily that this possibility will still be investigated based on the data found in Zaharie’s flight simulator software. The police had seized the flight simulator from the 53-year-old pilot’s house in Shah Alam on Saturday and reassembled it at the police headquarters where experts are conducting checks.”
Previous reports indicated that the plane flew towards Checkpoint Gival, south of the Thai island of Phuket, and was last plotted heading northwest towards another checkpoint, Igrex, used for route P628 that would take it over the Andaman Islands and which carriers use to fly towards Europe.


Still, the Maldives news is of particular note since earlier today, Haaveru Online, quoted locals who said they had seen a “low flying jet” whose description is approximate to what flight MH370 looked like. From the source:

Whilst the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet, carrying 239 passengers has left the whole world in bewilderment, several residents of Kuda Huvadhoo told Haveeru on Tuesday that they saw a “low flying jumbo jet” at around 6:15am on March 8.

They said that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it – which is what the Malaysia Airlines flights typically look like.

Eyewitnesses from the Kuda Huvadhoo concurred that the aeroplane was travelling North to South-East, towards the Southern tip of the Maldives – Addu. They also noted the incredibly loud noise that the flight made when it flew over the island.

“I’ve never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We’ve seen seaplanes, but I’m sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly,” said an eyewitness.

“It’s not just me either, several other residents have reported seeing the exact same thing. Some people got out of their houses to see what was causing the tremendous noise too.” […] A local aviation expert told Haveeru that it is “likely” for MH370 to have flown over the Maldives. The possibility of any aircraft flying over the island at the reported time is extremely low, the expert added.

So did the pilot hijack the plane, reprogram the flight path, turn off the transponder, and fly low above the surface and below radar all the way to the Maldives, or alternatively, US airbase, Diego Garcia, where Captain Shah promptly offloaded 20+ tons of still unknown cargo? Some experts opine on just this, by way of the Telegraph:

If the Maldive lead turns out to be a strong one, then the next question is: could the plane conceivably have flown to Somalia? Or somewhere in the southern Arabian peninsula or Iran? Somalia seems a much more likely destination for a hijacker with its known al-Qaeda connections.
And this:

Kaminski Morrow adds:

  • The plane, a Boeing 777-200, was capable of traveling as far as the Maldives
  • Male is the main airport but the sighting appears to have come from an atoll a long way south
  • Commercial aircraft-tracking software, while not always reliable, doesn’t seem to show any other nearby traffic with which a sighting might have been confused

It is all hugely, hugely tentative – and I wouldn’t want to vouch for the newspaper which is the source of this information.

But theoretically it could be possible.

The vital detail is the fuel; Malaysia Airlines has not said how much fuel was on board, other than to say “enough for the trip to Beijing”.

Therefore we can’t tell if that was enough to loop around and make it back to the Maldives.
So far there have been few firm theories about MH370 having landed on the US airbase in the middle of the Indian Ocean, some 800 miles south of Male in the Maldives.

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(Photo: Wikimedia commons)

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  • oregonstu

    So how can the Malay defense minister deny that the plane landed at Diego Garcia if, as they say, it disappeared from their radar for some mysterious reason, and they claim not to know where it went? If that were the case, then of course he could not say whether or not it had landed at Diego Garcia. If he knows it did not land at Diego Garcia, HOW does he know that? This denial is in and of itself further proof that he is not telling the truth.

  • anonymously posted

    For sure, this jet is not where the “british” satellite company says, and by quotation I definitely mean US funded (again, do your homework. It took me less than 10 minutes to google the info), which is to say that if they keep looking 1200 miles off Perth, they’ll never find the plane. There is no logical reason that anyone should believe the news. Just by rough grid coordinate calculation, the distance from Kuala Lumpur Intl. to Beijing Intl. is approx. 2400 NM’s (nautical miles). Based on the info on wikipedia about how much extra fuel jets carry, the Intl standard of either 5% of the total fuel amount loaded or 10% of the flight time and reasonable inference that a business which is trying to make profits wouldn’t buy or use more fuel than necessary, now it becomes entirely sensible to believe there is no way that jet could have gone the 3400 NM the news is trying to claim it did. It is only possible if the event was pre-planned lol. Based on best known info and logical inference, for that jet to reach the Perth crash site, it would hace had to glide for approx. 700-800 NM. OTOH, Diego Garcia is a shorter distance (even with the turn around in the South China Sea) than this jet was originally scheduled to fly. In conclusion, I cannot make any definitive claims as to where this jet ended up, but I can point out plausible possibilities and poke holes in the official story. My heart and prayers go out to all the people on this flight and to all their loved ones who will probably never know what really happened…

  • sleat

    It is impossible to fly a 777 “low under the radar” for thousands of miles. Airliners cruise at high altitude for a good reason. Efficiency. Modern jets are very inefficient at low altidude. If they were not, they would regularly cruise below 10,000 feet. But they don’t, because it would cost too much and shorten their range (and profits!).

    Another possible piece of disinfo in this post is that the DEFAULT installation for both Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and X-plane, two separate products, includes those runways mentioned. You would specifically have to customize the installation to AVOID having Maldives, or Diego Garcia runways installed on your computer, with most whole-world flight simulators intended for flight training or home use.

  • Freddie

    This “news” is old, old, old and no longer relevant. Shame on Intellihub for re-posting this March 18th article from Zero Hedge as “current”! Worse than that, it’s very misleading because, in the *THREE WEEKS* since that flight simulator was picked up (March 15) by Malaysian police and later analyzed by the FBI, all the effort on finding the plane has been centred on the area of the South Indian Ocean where the authorities believe the plane *WENT DOWN*! That’s a lot of manpower and hardware for several countries to waste on a false search if they had even the slightest suspicion that the plane might have actually landed somewhere. A full month later, it’s clear it did not and re-posting out-of-date articles like this is irresponsible in the extreme!

  • spirittoo

    A plane that doesn’t want to be found … won’t be found.

  • Gazza

    As mentioned in a previous comment, this is an old story. And being old you would think they would read the text and make appropriate corrections to data given. For example:
    Male International Airport is 3200 metres long.
    Diego Garcia Airport is 3690 metres (Wiki).
    1000 metres is not enough to land a 737 Boeing or a A-300 Airbus.
    I consider the length of the runway (1000m) as a crucial FACT. 2000 metres short is not good enough.

  • escapefromobamastan

    It makes you wonder what really happened to all those people on the 9/11 planes (and the planes themselves).

  • Kelly Clover

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a psychic to know there has been a full-scale cover-up as to what really happened. Malaysia won’t release the audio of the cockpit communications, only transcripts which could be doctored or bogus. They won’t release their satellite images either. We can all rest assured there is something they don’t want us to find out.
    We should stop wasting time and money on this wild goose chase in the Indian ocean. The idea that the plane crashed into the ocean is based on phony information obtained from Malaysia and other countries that don’t want the truth to come out. The hearing of pings by a few ships means little. The cover-up could well include the planting of devices into the ocean to insure that we keep wasting time and money searching for a plane that isn’t over there.