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Hot on the heels of two news films about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 the first book written about the mystery will go on sale in some countries today.
The book has been named simply ‘Flight MH 370: The Mystery’ and was written by American author Nigel Cawthorne. In his publication he puts forward the theory that the Boeing 777-200ER that has been missing for over two months was accidentally shot down during joint war games between the UK and Thailand in the South China Sea, and that the search now concentrating in an area in the southern Indian Ocean west of Australia was intentionally sent the wrong way to mask the incident.
‘In an age where a stolen smart phone can be pinpointed to any location on earth, the vanishing of this aircraft and 227 passengers is the greatest mystery since the Mary Celeste,” according to publicity material for the book reproduced by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The “Mary Celeste” is a British merchant ship that was found abandoned by its crew for no apparent reason in 1872, which led to it being viewed as a ghost ship. It is also considered as one of the more perplexing mysteries in maritime history.
In the book, Cawthorne pieces together a myriad of pieces of information, reported sightings and other anomalies to support his theory that the Beijing-bound plane was unintentionally destroyed during the military exercise. H wrote “The drill was to involve mock warfare on land, in water and in the air, and would include live-fire exercises, Say a participant accidentally shot down Flight MH370. Such things do happen. No one wants another Lockerbie, so those involved would have every reason to keep quiet about it.”
It is unclear how Cawthorne connected the Lockerbie bombing in which a Pan Am flight was brought down by a terrorist bombing in 1988 with his proposed theory of an accidental military airstrike.
The author also sought to explain away the discrepancies in the information he collates for his book as a possible campaign of misinformation to obscure the truth, even going so far as to introduce the hypothesis that black boxes may have been planted in the Indian Ocean, to provide for the possibility of their discovery soon.
Cawthorne is an author of both fiction and non-fiction books, and has penned such seminal series as the “Sex Lives series” that recounts the liaisons of famous leaders and celebrities, and novels such as “Jack the Ripper’s Secret Confession” and “Shipwrecks”.
It is unclear if “Flight 370” that is published by John Blake Publishing Ltd is categorised as fiction or non-fiction.
Across the weekend, news also surfaced that two films on MH370 — including one based on a Malaysian journalist’s theory — will be touted to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.
“The Vanishing Act” is directed by India’s Rupesh Paul — of “Kamasutra 3D” fame — and made ostensibly in collaboration with an anonymous Malaysian reporter.
Another is “A Dark Reflection” by Fact Not Fiction Films, which is scheduled to screen in Cannes today.
MH370 disappeared after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.
After two months of intensive search, the hunt has now been scaled back to an undersea operation in the southern Indian Ocean west of Australia that is expected to take between eight to 12 months.