Some terrible possibilities that evidence that could help solve the MH370 mystery have inadvertently been burned in beach cleaning operations on La Reunion island in the Indian Ocean have been raised in media reports.
One of the most detailed of these appeared overnight on the UK Telegraph newspaper site.
The 777 flaperon wing part that has now been taken to a laboratory in Toulouse for examination may even have been used as a table on a beach on the island, close to better known Mauritius, as far back as May this year.
The Australian managed Malaysia directed sea bed search for the wreckage of MH370 is focused on finding the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder on the Boeing 777-200ER which disappeared with 239 people on board on a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on 8 March 2014.
The need to have a high profile program alerting locations well outside the jurisdictional limits of the sea bed search of the need to diligently look for and preserve possible debris washed up from the crash appears with hindsight to have been overlooked.
Elsewhere on specialist forums there are concerns that the two data recorders on MH370 may have been tampered with, and various ways of working around the safeguards built into those black boxes have been canvassed.
The voice recorder on its own would have in normal operations only retained the last few hours of cockpit sounds if it was working at all, but even if there was as has been suggested, no-one alive in the cockpit in those final hours such a recording should have captured automated audible alerts in turn helping to determine what might have happened on board.
Passenger possessions such as iPads and mobile phones could also have preserved images of what happened in the cabin, including whether the oxygen masks dropped, and perhaps even recorded messages from their owners.
It’s reasonable to conclude that a major beach combing exercise along the often rocky and difficult to access coastline of La Reunion is imminent.