American adventurer says it would be 'very lucky' if debris belongs to MH370

SEPANG, Malaysia -- An American adventurer said Saturday that it would be a "very lucky discovery" if the piece of aircraft he found on a sandbank off the coast of Mozambique is confirmed to be from the Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished two years ago.

See Full Article

Blaine Gibson, who said he's been searching for Flight 370 over the last year, flew to Malaysia to attend a commemorative ceremony to be held Sunday by families of the 239 people who were on board the plane to mark the second anniversary of its disappearance.

Speaking to The Associated Press upon his arrival at the airport outside of Kuala Lumpur, Gibson said that he had wanted no publicity about his Feb. 27 discovery until after the piece was assessed by investigators, but that news of the finding leaked.

The 58-year-old lawyer from Seattle said he was cautious about the possibility that the part is from the missing Boeing 777 because three large jets had crashed in the area before.

"I'd say it was a very lucky discovery if it turns out to be from Malaysia 370," said Gibson, who was wearing a black T-shirt that read "MH370 Search On."

Even if the piece does not turn out to be from the jet that disappeared on March 8, 2014, Gibson said his discovery could still be useful, perhaps providing clues to another air disaster or raising the public's awareness that the mystery of Flight 370 still has not been solved.

Gibson said he hopes his finding will encourage more people in the area to comb beaches for clues and to hand over any items they think could be passenger belongings or plane debris to authorities to be assessed.

An ongoing search in the southern Indian Ocean has found no trace of the missing plane, though a wing part from the jet washed ashore on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean in July.

The new piece of debris is now in the hands of Mozambique civil aviation authorities and is expected to be sent to Australia this coming week to be examined. Australia is leading the search for the jet.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has said there is a "high" probability that the part is from a Boeing 777. Flight 370 is the only missing 777.

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said the location of the debris matches investigators' drift modeling and would therefore confirm that search crews are looking in the right place for the main underwater wreckage.

Gibson said he didn't travel to Mozambique specifically to search for the plane. He said he loves travelling and picked Mozambique -- the 177th country he has visited -- because he had never been there before.

He arrived in Mozambique on Feb. 20 and spent his time sightseeing before deciding to look for possible plane debris a week later, when he hired a boat to go to the sandbank. He said the sandbank was suggested by a local tour guide because it was where fishermen would go to scour for ropes and other items that are washed in from the open sea.

Gibson said half an hour after they started searching the sandbank, the tour guide spotted the piece lying on top of the sand and quickly called him over.

"The odds are very, very small" of finding plane debris, Gibson said, adding that he has "combed a lot of beaches in the world and found absolutely nothing."

"I did not bring this public and wanted this to stay quiet until it was in the hands of investigators and they were able to make a determination, but the story got ahead of itself," he said.

Gibson said he started actively searching for the plane in the past year, taking him to beaches in the Maldives, Mauritius, Cambodia, Myanmar and the French island of Reunion.

He said he attended a service in Malaysia last year on the first anniversary of the plane's disappearance, and that his trip back here for the second anniversary was planned before his discovery of the plane part in Mozambique. He said he has been in touch with some relatives of Flight 370 passengers via Facebook.

Gibson said he has funded his search out of his own pocket and has not sought or received any money. He has no plans to write a book, saying his focus is on "finding clues and finding the plane."

What has driven Gibson's search for Flight 370? "The combination of two things: my love of travel, adventure and solving mysteries, together with a very deep concern for the families of all those on board are driving me in this search," he said.

Gibson said he has previously travelled to Siberia to investigate a meteor crash and Central America as a volunteer in archaeological expeditions to find out why the Mayan civilization collapsed.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Reality TV, porn jobs all that's been offered to ex-NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal

    World News Toronto Sun
    The former Spokane, Wash., NAACP leader who resigned in 2015 amid criticism that she was passing herself off as black says she is near homelessness. Rachel Dolezal tells Britain’s The Guardian newspaper that she cannot find a job and the only work she has been offered is in reality TV and porn. Source
  • CSIS saw 'no high privacy risks' with metadata crunching: internal report

    Canada News CBC News
    The national spy service saw little risk to the personal privacy of Canadians in a self-penned evaluation of its secret data-crunching centre — a shadowy program now at the centre of intense controversy, newly released documents show. Source
  • German man held in Rome jail after wife vanishes during Mediterranean cruise

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- An Italian lawyer says his German client is being held for investigation of murder after his wife vanished during a Mediterranean cruise. Preliminary investigative Judge Maria Paola Tomaselli questioned Daniel Belling in Regina Coeli jail in Rome on Friday and ordered him held while investigators probe the disappearance of Li Yinglei, who is Chinese. Source
  • Dylann Roof's jurors worship at church where he massacred 9

    World News CTV News
    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The jurors who sentenced Dylann Roof to death for the racist massacre of nine black church members quietly visited the Charleston house of worship weeks later for a Sunday service. In a newspaper opinion piece, the 18 jurors and alternates said Emanuel AME pastor the Rev. Source
  • Doctors 'should interact with kids and their families about smoking,' Canadian task force says

    Canada News CBC News
    Primary-care doctors need to take a more active role in preventing young Canadians from starting smoking and helping those who have already taken up the habit to butt out for good, says a group of experts that develops clinical practice guidelines. Source
  • 'Always opt for stuffed crust': Couple caught having sex in pizza shop

    World News Toronto Sun
    A hungry — and horny — couple made the most of some down time while waiting for their Domino’s pizza to be made. The British pair were caught on closed circuit video having sex inside the Domino’s store, just inches from the counter, as they waited for their pie. Source
  • Trump warns health care system will 'implode' unless fixed

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump warned Monday that the nation's health care system was in danger of imploding and said Congress must make fundamental changes to the sweeping health law passed by his predecessor. Source
  • Police find 3 dismembered bodies in southern Mexico

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Police in Mexico's southern state of Guerrero have found three dismembered bodies on the side of a highway. Pieces of the hacked-up, decapitated bodies were found in bags alongside the main highway in the state capital, Chilpancingo. Source
  • Two pilots killed: No recorders on aircraft that crashed near Calgary

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON - An accident investigator says it will be challenging to determine exactly what caused a plane crash that killed two flight instructors from Calgary's Mount Royal University. Fred Burow, with the Transportation Safety Board, says the aircraft wasn't carrying -- nor was it required to carry -- a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. Source
  • Town that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump backs detained immigrant

    World News Toronto Sun
    WEST FRANKFORT, ILL. - A southern Illinois community that solidly backed President Donald Trump is rallying behind a Mexican restaurant manager who doesn’t have legal permission to live in the U.S. and has been detained. Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco has been the manager of La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in roughly 8,000-person West Frankfort for a decade. Source