KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 ― Another former airline boss has alleged of conspiracy in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, with the latest claiming that the jetliner was possibly shot down by US military after it was “hacked”.
Marc Dugain, an author and the former head of the now-defunct French-based Proteus Airlines, said he had travelled to Maldives, which is situated near Diego Garcia, a British island in the Indian Ocean that the US allegedly uses as an intelligence and air force base.
According to French news outlet France24 yesterday, Dugain said he met with locals who claimed to have seen a plane flying in the direction of the island, whose stories told to local media were allegedly dismissed by the authorities.
“I saw a huge plane fly over us at low altitude,” a fisherman on Kudahuvadhoo island reportedly told Dugain, as related in his six-page article in French weekly magazine Paris Match.
“I saw red and blue stripes on a white background,” the fisherman added, referring to the MAS livery, and Dugain said his account was supported by several other locals.
Dugain also said he met the mayor of neighbouring Baarah island, who showed him photos of a device seized by Maldives military after it was found a beach two weeks after the tragedy.
He claimed that the device was a fire extinguisher, citing two aviation experts and a local military officer, and pointed out that the extinguisher must have been empty to have floated.
This, Dugain claimed, was due to it being automatically triggered by a fire, even as all passengers and crew might have died from asphyxiation.
The author also suspected that a hacker had hijacked the plane and remotely piloted it before it was shot down by US air force from Diego Garcia, which feared an attack similar to the 9/11 attacks.
He also said in a separate radio interview that a British intelligence officer had cautioned him of the “risks” in investigating MH370’s disappearance, while suggesting instead that he “let time do its work”.
In October, the head of Emirates Airline cast doubt on the official stance that the missing Flight MH370 is in the Indian Ocean even as an international search for the Malaysia Airlines plane yields no evidence or clues.
Sir Tim Clark, head of the world's largest commercial carrier since 1985, also told German weekly Der Spiegel he disagrees with the hypothesis shared by Australian investigators that the Beijing-bound jet with 239 people on board that disappeared under mysterious circumstances on March 8 had flown on autopilot for five hours and crashed into the ocean after running out of fuel.