Widow of passenger ‘lost’ on-board missing flight MH370 drops bombshell theory about what REALLY happened to the plane – after insisting the pilot couldn’t be involved
- Danica Weeks lost her husband Paul when MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014
- The Malaysian Airlines flight dropped out of contact with operators after take off
- Ms Weeks for years thought the plane likely crashed due to a mechanical failure
- New satellite data has found the Beijing-bound plane crashed west of Australia
- The mother-of-two now believes the flight’s disappearance was an act of murder
An Australian widow whose husband disappeared on ill-fated MH370 believes the plane was deliberately crashed into the ocean.
Danica Weeks spent years insisting the Malaysian Airlines flight, which vanished on March 8, 2014.
Her then-husband Paul was one of 239 people on board the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, which lost contact with operators shortly after take off and has never been found.
But after new expert analysis of satellite data by British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey found the plane likely crashed in the Indian Ocean, west of Australia, the mother-of-two now believes the crash was an act of murder.
Danica Weeks lost her husband Paul (pictured together) when he vanished along with Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in March 2014
‘I was so staunch about saying it wasn’t the pilot,’ she told Sky News.
‘But now I have to throw all of that out after nearly eight years (since the disappearance) and three years of searching (for the plane, by the authorities).
‘I never believed it was the pilot. Unfortunately, Richard Godfrey has said that he believes with this point that the pilot was in control. And look, it makes sense that we’ve searched for a ghost plane, haven’t found it. So maybe we have to step forward and … search on that basis now.’
Some 26 countries were involved in the four-year $200million international search effort, which covered more than 120,000sqm.
With the wreckage still yet to be located, the fate of the passenger plane and the cause of its downfall remains one of the biggest aviation mysteries.
According to Mr Godfrey’s analysis, MH370 hit the ocean 1933 km due west of Perth, and lies 4,000m under the water, along a line known as the ‘seventh arc’.
Mr Godfrey claims radio technology that he outlines in his report, Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR), can be used to accurately detect and track the aircraft.
However, experts have expressed doubts over the reliability of the WSPR data, which places the plane in a mountainous region of the Southern Indian Ocean.
Mr Godfrey claims it was missed in previous searches.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau described Mr Godfrey as ‘credible’ but said it would not launch a fresh investigation.
British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey has written a report outlining his belief that the remains of MH370 are 4000m under the water 1933km due west of Perth
‘The ATSB is aware of the work of Mr Richard Godfrey and acknowledges that he is a credible expert on the subject of MH370,’ ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said in a statement.
‘But the ATSB does not have the technical expertise to, and has not been requested to, review his “MH370 Flight Path” paper and workings. As such the ATSB cannot offer an assessment of the validity of Mr Godfrey’s work using WSPR data.’
Mr Mitchell said Mr Godfrey’s findings would be passed on to Geoscience Australia for review to ensure no items of interest were missed during the initial search.
‘The ATSB does acknowledge that Mr Godfrey’s work recommends a search zone for MH370, a significant portion of which covers an area searched during the ATSB-led underwater search,’ he said.
‘Out of due diligence the ATSB requested Geoscience Australia review the data it held from the search to re-validate that no items of interest were detected in that area.’
The ATSB expects that review to be finalised in coming weeks, the results from which will be made public on the ATSB’s website.
Mr Godfrey’s work looked at the plane’s movements across the Indian Ocean after turning around Indonesia, with the aircraft reportedly spending 22 minutes flying around in circles.
The Malaysian Airlines plane disappeared in March of 2014 with 239 people on board (stock image)
Mr Godfrey claims the plane is located on the ocean floor in an area at the base of the Broken Ridge underwater plateau (pictured)
While a formal conclusion over MH370’s fate is yet to be reached, many believe the pilot may have been responsible.
‘The pilot of MH370 generally avoided official flight routes from 18.00 UTC (2.00am AWST) onwards but used waypoints to navigate on unofficial flight paths in the Malacca Strait, around Sumatra and across the Southern Indian Ocean,’ Mr Godfrey said.
‘The flight path follows the coast of Sumatra and flies close to Banda Aceh Airport.
‘The pilot appears to have had knowledge of the operating hours of Sabang and Lhokseumawe radar and that on a weekend night, in times of little international tension the radar systems would not be up and running.
Mr Godfrey said flight data appears to show the plane was intentionally trying to avoid detection as it went off course.
‘The pilot also avoided giving a clear idea where he was heading by using a fight path with a number of changes of direction,’ he said.
A popular theory from respected aviation journalist Christine Negroni is that the plane’s cabin pressure system rapidly decompressed, sucking out all the oxygen.
With Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah in the bathroom, First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid is believed to have taken over.
Pictured: MH370 captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who was flying the plane alongside First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid
Negroni surmises that co-pilot Hamid was left with a major problem with zero access to oxygen – and even with a mask, he would have been in trouble and not able to think clearly.
His arms also would have started to jerk spasmodically.
This is why Negroni believes the plane was switched to ‘standby’ instead of putting out a mayday call – explaining why the transponder signal stopped and controllers could still see the airplane on radar but couldn’t determine its altitude.
Additionally, someone was still flying the plane – and flying it on a bizarre course, turning southwest, then north and then south.
Negroni is adamant co-pilot Hamid, 27, quickly overcome with oxygen deprivation, was at the controls.
‘I think he was no longer doing much reasoning, because his ability to do that was long gone,’ she said.
‘When you consider how muddled Fariq’s mind must have been, you can see many ways in which MH-370’s bizarre flight path can be explained.’
The plane then flew hours more, likely on autopilot, and vanished.
Queensland couples Catherine and Robert Lawton as well as Mary and Rodney Burrows were also on the doomed flight, along with Sydney-based Gu Naijun and Li Yuan.
It left a total of six Australians dead.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MH370? SOME OF THE THEORIES INTO THE MYSTERY EXAMINED
Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pictured) was the pilot of the doomed flight
DID THE PILOT HIJACK HIS OWN PLANE?
Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah planned mass murder because of personal problems, locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, closing down all communications, depressurising the main cabin and then disabling the aircraft so that it continued flying on auto-pilot until it ran out of fuel.
That was the popular theory in the weeks after the plane’s disappearance.
His personal problems, rumours in Kuala Lumpur said, included a split with his wife Fizah Khan, and his fury that a relative, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, had been given a five-year jail sentence for sodomy shortly before he boarded the plane for the flight to Beijing.
But the pilot’s wife angrily denied any personal problems and other family members and his friends said he was a devoted family man and loved his job.
This theory was also the conclusion of the first independent study into the disaster by the New Zealand-based air accident investigator, Ewan Wilson.
Wilson, the founder of Kiwi Airlines and a commercial pilot himself, arrived at the shocking conclusion after considering ‘every conceivable alternative scenario’.
However, he has not been able to provide any conclusive evidence to support his theory.
The claims are made in the book ‘Goodnight Malaysian 370’, which Wilson co-wrote with the New Zealand broadsheet journalist, Geoff Taylor.
It’s also been rumoured that Zaharie used a flight simulator at his home to plot a path to a remote island.
However, officials in Kuala Lumpur declared that Malaysian police and the FBI’s technical experts had found nothing to suggest he was planning to hijack the flight after closely examining his flight simulator.
And there are also theories that the tragic disappearance may have been a heroic act of sacrifice by the pilot.
Australian aviation enthusiast Michael Gilbert believes the doomed plane caught fire mid-flight, forcing the pilot to plot a course away from heavily populated areas.
IF NOT THE PILOT, WAS THE CO-PILOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MYSTERY?
Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, again for personal problems, was suspected by rumour-spreaders to have overpowered the pilot and disabled the aircraft, flying it to its doom with crew and passengers unable to get through the locked cockpit door.
Theorists have put forward the suggestion that he was having relationship problems and this was his dramatic way of taking his own life.
But he was engaged to be married to Captain Nadira Ramli, 26, a fellow pilot from another airline, and loved his job. There are no known reasons for him to have taken any fatal action.
There have been a series of outlandish theories about the disappearance of the plane
Others have suggested that because he was known to have occasionally invited young women into the cockpit during a flight, he had done so this time and something had gone wrong.
Young Jonti Roos said in March that she spent an entire flight in 2011 in the cockpit being entertained by Hamid, who was smoking.
Interest in the co-pilot was renewed when it was revealed he was the last person to communicate from the cockpit after the communication system was cut off.
DID THE RUSSIANS STEAL MH370 AND FLY THE JET TO KAZAKHSTAN
An expert has claimed the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was hijacked on the orders of Vladimir Putin and secretly landed in Kazakhstan.
Jeff Wise, a U.S. science writer who spearheaded CNN’s coverage of the Boeing 777-200E, has based his outlandish theory on pings that the plane gave off for seven hours after it went missing, that were recorded by British telecommunications company Inmarsat.
Wise believes that hijackers ‘spoofed’ the plane’s navigation data to make it seem like it went in another direction, but flew it to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is leased from Kazakhstan by Russia.
However, Wise admits in New York Magazine that he does not know why Vladimir Putin would want to steal a plane full of people and that his idea is somewhat ‘crazy’.
Wise also noted there were three Russian men onboard the flight, two of them Ukrainian passport holders.
Aviation disaster experts analysed satellite data and discovered – like the data recorded by Inmarsat – that the plane flew on for hours after losing contact.
Careful examination of the evidence has revealed that MH370 made three turns after the last radio call, first a turn to the left, then two more, taking the plane west, then south towards Antarctica.
MH370 WAS USED BY TERRORISTS FOR A SUICIDE ATTACK ON THE CHINESE NAVY
This extraordinary claim came from 41-year-old British yachtsman Katherine Tee, from Liverpool, whose initial account of seeing what she thought was a burning plane in the night sky made headlines around the world.
On arrival in Thailand’s Phuket after sailing across the Indian Ocean from Cochin, southern India with her husband, she said: ‘I could see the outline of the plane – it looked longer than planes usually do.There was what appeared to be black smoke streaming from behind.’
Ms Tee’s general description of the time and place was vague and she lost all credibility when she later stated on her blog that she believed MH370 was a kamikaze plane that was aimed at a flotilla of Chinese ships and it was shot down before it could smash into the vessels.
Without solid proof of the satellite data, she wrote on her blog, Saucy Sailoress, the plane she saw was flying at low altitude towards the military convoy she and her husband had seen on recent nights. She added that internet research showed a Chinese flotilla was in the area at the time.
While the debris proved the plane went down in the Indian Ocean, the location of the main underwater wreckage — and its crucial black box data recorders — remains stubbornly elusive.
THE JET LANDED ON THE WATER AND WAS SEEN FLOATING ON THE ANDAMAN SEA
On a flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur that crossed over the Andaman Sea on March 8, Malaysian woman Raja Dalelah, 53, saw what she believed was a plane sitting on the water’s surface.
She didn’t know about the search that had been started for MH370. She alerted a stewardess who told her to go back to sleep.
‘I was shocked to see what looked like the tail and wing of an aircraft on the water,’ she said.
It was only when she told her friends on landing in Kuala Lumpur what she had seen that she learned of the missing jet. She had seen the object at about 2.30pm Malaysian time.
She said she had been able to identify several ships and islands before noticing the silver object that she said was a plane.
But her story was laughed off by pilots who said it would have been impossible to have seen part of an aircraft in the water from 35,000ft or seven miles.
Ms Raja filed an official report with police the same day and has kept to her story.
‘I know what I saw,’ she said.
THE AIRCRAFT SUFFERED A CATASTROPHIC SYSTEMS FAILURE AND CRASH-LANDED ON THE OCEAN
A catastrophic event such as a fire disabling much of the equipment resulted in the pilots turning the plane back towards the Malaysian peninsula in the hope of landing at the nearest airport.
Satellite data, believable or not, suggests the aircraft did make a turn and theorists say there would be no reason for the pilots to change course unless confronted with an emergency.
A fire in a similar Boeing 777 jet parked at Cairo airport in 2011 was found to have been caused by a problem with the first officer’s oxygen mask supply tubing.
Stewarts Law, which has litigated in a series of recent air disasters, believes the plane crashed after a fire – similar to the blaze on the Cairo airport runway – broke out in the cockpit.
After an investigation into the Cairo blaze, Egypt’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Central Directorate (EAAICD) released their final report which revealed that the fire originated near the first officer’s oxygen mask supply tubing.
The cause of the fire could not be conclusively determined, but investigators pinpointed a problem with the cockpit hose used to provide oxygen for the crew in the event of decompression.
Following the 2011 fire, US aircraft owners were instructed to replace the system – it was estimated to cost $2,596 (£1,573) per aircraft. It was not known whether Malaysia Airlines had carried out the change.
If either pilot wanted to crash the plane, why turn it around? So the turn-around suggests they were trying to land as soon as possible because of an emergency.
THE US SHOT DOWN THE AIRCRAFT FEARING A TERROR ATTACK ON DIEGO GARCIA
The Boeing 777 was shot down by the Americans who feared the aircraft had been hijacked and was about to be used to attack the U.S. military base on Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean. So conspiracy theorists claim.
And former French airline director Marc Dugain said he had been warned by British intelligence that he was taking risks by investigating this angle.
There is no way of checking whether Dugain received such a warning or why he believes the Americans shot down the plane.
But adding to the theory that the aircraft was flown to Diego Garcia, either by the pilot Zaharie or a hijacker, was the claim that on the pilot’s home flight simulator was a ‘practice’ flight to the island.
Professor Glees said: ‘The Americans would have no interest in doing anything of the kind and not telling the world.
‘In theory, they might wish to shoot down a plane they thought was attacking them but they wouldn’t just fire missiles, they’d investigate it first with fighters and would quickly realise that even if it had to be shot down, the world would need to know.’
Mr Rosenschein said: ‘The U.S. would not have been able to hide this fact and in any event, if it were true, they would have admitted their action as it would have prevented a successful terrorist action on this occasion and acted as a deterrent for future terrorist attacks.’
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