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Page added on March 19, 2014

MH370 sightings in Maldives are not true, reports Malaysian Defence Minister

MH370 sightings in Maldives are not true, reports Malaysian Defence Minister thumbnail

Malaysian Minister of Defence Hishamuddin Hussein has been informed by Maldivian authorities that rumoured sightings of Malaysian flight MH370 over Kudahuvadhoo are false.

“Regarding reports that the plane was sighted in the Maldives, I can confirm that the Malaysian Chief of the Defence Force has contacted his counterpart in the Maldives, who has confirmed that these reports are not true,” Hishamuddin told the press today.

The defence minister’s comments come after eyewitness reports emerged yesterday of a low-flying aircraft in Dhaal atoll just hours after the Malaysian jet’s disappearance on March 8.

“I saw a flight flying very low and it had a red straight line in the middle of it. The flight was traveling north-west to south-east,” Adam Saeed, a teacher at Kudahuvadhoo school, told Minivan News.

Maldivian authorities have acknowledged the reports, with police taking the lead in investigating the sightings – though both the Maldives Airports Company (MACL) and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) have maintained that no irregular radar activity has been noted.

“The Maldives National Defence Force has been monitoring Maldivian territory with special attention since the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines’ MH370 airplane,” read an MNDF press release last night.

“In the search so far, no military radar has seen the flight. And the MH370 airplane has not been seen from the photos and information of radars established in Maldivian airports.”

“The Maldives National Defence Force has been providing all necessary cooperation to the efforts of the Maldives Police Service as well as international agencies concerning [the disappearance of the flight],” concluded the statement.

Police have announced the start of their investigations, with Kudahuvadhoo officer Mohamed Imad confirming that a team of investigators was being dispatched from the capital Malé to assist with the ongoing local investigations.

A spokesman for the MACL yesterday said that there had been no “credible” sightings or radar evidence of the missing flight, while some witnesses interviews by Minivan News expressed skepticism over the veracity of their neighbours claims.

Local news outlet Haveeru – which broke the story yesterday – said that similar reports had been received as early as March 9, but had been dismissed as lacking credibility.

Regarding communications with Malaysian authorities, Minivan News was unable to obtain a response from either the MNDF or the Ministry of Defence at the time of press.

Yesterday’s reports all described a low-flying plane, heading in a south-easterly direction between 6:15am and 8am (Maldives time).

Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin has today confirmed, however, that the search will continue to focus on the two previously identified corridors.

The two arcs – one stretching between Thailand and Kazakhstan, the other south between Indonesia and the southern Indian Ocean – have been determined by locational ‘pings’ detected by a satellite revealing the flight’s last known location at 8:11am Malaysian time (5:11am Maldives time).

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6 Comments on "MH370 sightings in Maldives are not true, reports Malaysian Defence Minister"

  1. guerilla marketing? on Wed, 19th Mar 2014 10:06 PM 

    Looks like some one is trying to get Maldives on headlines using a story – but not a smart move.

  2. Jim Walsh on Thu, 20th Mar 2014 12:40 AM 

    I smell a rat. I say Diego Garcia. This is going to get really interesting.

  3. Rod on Thu, 20th Mar 2014 6:42 AM 

    We know that the plane’s radar transponder was not functioning, which means the civilian radars would not have picked it up. It was also said to have been flying very low, which may have affected military radar’s ability to spot it. There are some situations where human eyes work better than technology!

    What do the witnesses themselves say about the denial? If it is claimed to have been a different plane, what steps have the authorities, or the media, taken to establish its identity?

  4. Mohamed Rasheed on Thu, 20th Mar 2014 6:54 AM 

    Has the Government of Maldives been able to confirm what the residents of Kudahivadhoo had apparently seen?

  5. Raj on Thu, 20th Mar 2014 11:44 AM 

    @ Rod on Thu, 20th Mar 2014 6:42 AM

    & what was the identity and markings of the plane that was sighted…or was it a Zeppelin ?

  6. Private Tourist on Mon, 24th Mar 2014 12:18 AM 

    Well there seems to be a spill of wreckage in South Indian Ocean which I suspect will not be there when they arrive. I rather suspected it would be on a remote Somalian airport after arriving with barely fumes in the tanks. The passengers and crew dispersed by pirates and in due course 3rd party negotiations via embassies for a $50 milion plane and 239 people at 5 million a pop.


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