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Mar 18, 2016

Are claimed Mozambique MH370 fragments too clean to be true?

Some extremely serious doubts about the origins of two pieces of suspected debris from MH370 have been raised by US science writer Jeff Wise. The fragments in question

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The Dropbox album of Blaine Gibson's Mozambique find
The Dropbox album of Blaine Gibson’s find on a Mozambique sandbar

Some extremely serious doubts about the origins of two pieces of suspected debris from MH370 have been raised by US science writer Jeff Wise.

The fragments in question, found on the Indian ocean shores of Mozambique in December and February, appeared to be genuine Boeing 777 parts, but always stood out as being remarkably clear of marine fouling.

Jeff Wise has published a detailed review of the forensic implications of prolonged water immersion on such debris and concluded that it is possible that “one or both of the Mozambique objects were never in the ocean at all.”

His amply illustrated critique compares these objects to the flaperon found on the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion last July which was after long study, declared by the public prosecutor’s office in Paris to have come from MH370.

The Malaysia Airlines jet was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board when it vanished as a transponder identified object on air traffic control screens.

The reluctance of authorities, in Malaysia, to release some of the radar data they claim to hold on the subsequent movements of MH370 has caused widespread concerns of a cover up concerning the events that occurred on that night.

That data has been critical to the management of an ocean floor search for the sunk remains of the flight and its occupants in a priority zone in the southern Indian Ocean by the Australia’s air accident investigator, the ATSB.

These frustrations have been compounded by the silence of the French prosecutor’s office as to what if any additional clues as to the nature of the crash of MH370 after its fuel was exhausted have been revealed by the studies it had made on the flaperon.

In his conclusion Jeff Wise says:

The absence of biofouling on a piece of suspected aircraft debris recovered in Mozambique in December, 2015 suggests that it entered the water no earlier than October of that year. The absence of biofouling on a piece of suspected aircraft debris recovered in Mozambique in February, 2016 suggests that it entered the water no earlier than January, 2016. It is entirely possible that one or both of the Mozambique objects were never in the ocean at all.

All of these results counterindicate a scenario in which these pieces of debris were generated by a crash on March 8, 2014 near the area currently being searched by the ATSB. It is incumbent on all the relevant authorities to make public the details of a close examination of the parts, in order to determine how these objects could have arrived in the western Indian Ocean.

In blunt terms Mr Wise is suggesting that the Mozambique fragments may just possibly be a deception.

His study is far more compelling than an earlier effort that discussed the possibility MH370 had been flown to part of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and buried in a field.

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