Flight MH370 news updates are travelling quickly around the globe after a new witness has come forward saying that she saw Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 go down in flames. Last weekend, the new witness, 41-year-old Liverpool resident Katherine Tee reported her observations and supporting data to the Joint Agency Coordination Center, the Australian organization which is coordinating the search for Flight MH370, reported the New York Post on June 3.
According to the British woman’s report, she saw the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in flames and smoke. On March 8, the fateful day for the passengers of Flight MH370, Tee and her husband, 50-year-old Marc Horn, were sailing across the Indian Ocean from Cochin in India to Phuket in Thailand. At the time, she and her husband had been at sea for 13 months.
When the couple arrived in Phuket on March 10 and heard about the Flight MH370 tragedy, Katherine Tee told other local yacht owners what she had seen on March 8:
“I was on a night watch. My husband was asleep below deck and our one other crew member was asleep on deck. I saw something that looked like a plane on fire. That’s what I thought it was. Then, I thought I must be mad… It caught my attention because I had never seen a plane with orange lights before, so I wondered what they were. I could see the outline of the plane, it looked longer than planes usually do. There was what appeared to be black smoke streaming from behind it.”
Eventually, that orange object with black smoke streaming from behind it vanished into the southern Indian Ocean. Tee’s husband has posted the specific data maps from their journey to the Cruisers Forum which Katherine moderates. Based on the data, many forum members believe that Katherine might be one of the last people to see the plane before it disappeared.
After sharing her unusual sighting with other yacht members in Phuket, some said that Katherine should share her observation. However, the British woman sailor decided not to for one major reason – there were two other aircrafts visible near the orange object.
“There were two other planes passing well above it – moving the other way – at that time. They had normal navigation lights. I remember thinking that if it was a plane on fire that I was seeing, the other aircraft would report it,” Katherine said. “I did think that what I saw would add little, and be dismissed with the thousands of other sightings that I assumed were being reported. I thought that the authorities would be able to track [the plane’s] GPS log, which I assumed was automatically transmitted, or something like that.”
Having seen two planes near the apparently burning object, Katherine considered herself to be “an idiot” to report it. Wouldn’t those other two planes have already done that? Last Saturday, Katherine and her husband heard the news that the survey ship looking for the missing plane had to return to port due to technical problems. Prompted by the ship’s failure to find Flight 370, Katherine and her husband rechecked their own GPS log, and after posting it to the forum, Cruisers Forum member “europaflyer” showed that the missing plane “would have passed the yacht astern from port to starboard, just as Katherine remembered it.”
When Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, Katherine Tee was filled with doubts about herself, her marriage, and her observations. Being with her husband on the ocean for 13 months had taken a toll on their marriage and the couple was on non-speaking terms. As she says, “Will this help the authorities of the families get closure? I have no idea. All I can confirm is that I have since learnt that we were in the right place at the right time, so it seems possible, but I chose to sweep it under the carpet and now I feel really bad. Maybe I should have had a little more confidence in myself. I am sorry I didn’t take action sooner.”
If Flight MH370 was the object that Katherine Tee saw, who were the other two planes that turned away from it? Emirates president Tim Clark just recently talked about the fact that any Boeing straying from its path would normally be pursued by fighter jets. “If you were to fly from London to Oslo and then over the North Sea you turned off and then went west to Ireland, within two minutes you’d have Tornadoes, Eurofighters everything up around you. Even if you did that over Australia and the US, there would be something up.”