New ‘piece of MH370′ found by Blaine Gibson after advice from WA academics
Debris found in Mozambique could belong to MH370
Days before a debris find on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, officials began analysing debris that washed up on a beach in Mozambique.
The man responsible for finding what could be the second piece of the doomed flight MH370 aircraft headed to Mozambique on the advice of West Australian academics.
Blaine Gibson found a piece of horizontal stabiliser skin, a part of an aircraft’s tail, while scouring the coast of the African country on the weekend.
Last year he also spent time beach combing in Western Australia in search of debris from the plane and while here spoke with oceanography experts, whose information helped him to determine where to focus his search efforts.
Blaine Gibson Photo
Mr Gibson is an American lawyer who has been travelling to remote islands around the Indian Ocean for the past year at his own expense in a quest to solve the mystery of what happened to the flight, which vanished almost two years ago with 239 people on board.
His Perth-based friend Sher Keen spoke to WAtoday.com.au about his ongoing efforts to find evidence of the plane, which involved a trip to Australia in September 2015.
Mrs Keen, who is the chairperson of Air-crash Support Group Australia described Mr Gibson as being “like a modern day Indiana Jones”.
Blaine Gibson has been funding his own search for MH370. Photo
“He goes on these quests and he has this intense focus,” she said.
The group hosted Mr Gibson during his visit to Australia last year.
Mrs Keen said Mr Gibson spent time scouring the coast near Cervantes, about 200 kilometres north of Perth, sparked by the discovery of a Malaysia Airlines moist towelette earlier in the year.
She said he also met with ocean drift and current analysis experts in Perth to help determine where else could be worth searching.
“It was partially from information gleaned at those meetings that saw Blaine heading to where this debris was found,” Mrs Keen said.
University of WA Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi said he was happy to see Mr Gibson may have had some success in his search efforts.
He said he had discussed with Mr Gibson where debris could wash up.
“I said it was unlikely to wash up north of the equator, that it would either be along the southern part of the West Australian coast or around the eastern Indian Ocean,” Professor Pattiaratchi said.
He said while it was “a long shot” to be in the “right place at the right time” to find debris from the aircraft, Mr Gibson had been “very keen”.
As well as Mozambique, Mr Gibson has travelled to Myanmar and the Maldives as part of his search efforts.
He also went to Reunion Island following the discovery of the first confirmed piece of the MH370 aircraft.
Ms Keen said while in Australia last year Mr Gibson had also met with family members of passengers who had been on flight MH370, representatives from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre and then-Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.