The focus of the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet has now moved several hundred miles west of the course it should have been following.
Four days after flight MH370 and its 239 passengers and crew vanished without trace, Malaysian military sources said there was evidence the Beijing-bound plane made a U-turn – a theory that was suspected early in the investigation.
The plane was last detected by civilian authorities off Malaysia’s east coast, but military data suggested the jet was on the other side of the country.
In a puzzling turn, Malaysian military officials, citing radar data, reportedly say the jet changed course over the sea, crossed Malaysia and reached the Strait of Malacca.
It comes as Malaysia Airlines investigates a report that the co-pilot on the missing flight had invited two women to stay in the cockpit for the duration of a trip two years ago .
Fariq Abdul Hamid and the other pilot talked to the women, smoked and posed for photos during the flight, an Australian woman has claimed. The second pilot was not identified.
Meanwhile, CIA director John Brennan has said there had been “some claims of responsibility” over the missing jet that had “not been confirmed or corroborated,” and that he could not exclude the possibility of a terror link.
“We are looking at it very carefully. Clearly this is still a mystery,” he said.
There were a host of unanswered questions including why the plane’s transponder stopped emitting signals and what was the role of passengers carrying stolen passports, Mr Brennan said.
But officials say the two men who boarded the flight using stolen European passports appear to have been young Iranian migrants seeking a new life overseas.
Interpol confirmed the identities of the two men, and based on growing information, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said he was “inclined to conclude” the plane’s disappearance was not the result of a terror attack.
One of the men, Pouria Nourmohammadi, 18, who was travelling on a stolen Austrian passport, was thought to be an asylum seeker trying to reach Germany.
The other man named as Seyed Mohammed Reza Delavar, 29, was using an Italian passport.
Iran offered its assistance with the Malaysian investigation into two of its nationals.
Police also said they were investigating whether any passengers or crew had “personal or psychological problems” as a possible cause of the aircraft’s disappearance, along with hijacking, sabotage, or mechanical failure.
Investigators are baffled by the lack of any wreckage and cannot understand why the black box flight recorders are not transmitting a signal. They are designed to transmit signals on contact with water.
Paul Charles, who has acted as an adviser to Malaysia Airlines, told Sky News: “It does seem likely that the aircraft disintegrated in some way at 35,000 feet. But what’s most baffling about this is that the aircraft itself did not any signals.
“That’s why there is no information about where this aircraft has vanished to.”
He added: “Malaysian Airlines has a great safety record, the aircraft has a great safety record, and this is why its adding to the confusion as to exactly what happened.”
Source : Yahoo