A veteran fisherman claims he found a large piece of missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 off the coast of South Australia before being ignored by authorities.
The plane disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board, with no sign of the missing wreckage despite the most expensive ocean search in history.
Retired Australian fisherman Kit Olver has come forward with claims that he discovered what he believes is a wing of the commercial liner when his deep-sea trawler pulled it up in September or October of 2014, just months after the flight disappeared.
He described it as a “bloody great wing of a big jet airliner” that was bigger than a private plane.
“I’ve questioned myself; I’ve looked for a way out of this,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I wish to Christ I’d never seen the thing … but there it is. It was a jet’s wing.”
George Currie, the only other surviving member of the trawler crew present on the day of the discovery, said that they went to great trouble to pull up the wing.
“It was incredibly heavy and awkward. It stretched out the net and ripped it. It was too big to get up on the deck,” he said.
“As soon as I saw it I knew what it was. It was obviously a wing, or a big part of it, from a commercial plane. It was white, and obviously not from a military jet or a little plane.”
The crew was forced to cut the $20,000 net after they were unable to get the plane piece onto their vessel, making the day all the more memorable.
Olver says he can give authorities the coordinates of where he discovered the wing more than nine years after he found it.
The discovery was made about 55km west of the town of Robe in South Australia, with Olver describing the area as his secret trawling area for fish.
The 77-year-old says he contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as soon as he returned to port, but that authorities were less than interested in his discovery.
He says that an official said he had likely found part of a shipping container that had fallen from a Russian ship in the area.
Now retired and getting older, Olver says he was motivated to come forward with his story by a desire to help the families of those who were on board MH370.
Searches for the missing plane in the Southern Indian Ocean, where it’s believed to have gone down, have come up fruitless.
A joint underwater search by Australia, Malaysia, and China worth $200 million over two years ended in January 2017 after they found no sign for the plane.