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Sightings from three fishing boats of a plane flying low and emitting smoke in the Malacca Strait

23 Jan 2019

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In March 2014 the crews of each of these 3 fishing boats reportedly saw a plane flying low and emitting smoke. This article maps the estimated positions of the 3 boats at the times of their respective sightings.

The aim here is solely to identify the positions of the 3 boats. For descriptions of what the crews of each of these 3 boats actually saw, please read the many available press reports, which can be found by searching online using search words including a crew name. The reports from press sources located in Indonesia are especially useful.

K marks the position of the boat crewed by Rusli Kusmin, Eri, Beko, and Kadapi. This position is where they estimated the plane entered the water (about 1.5 km to 2 km south of their boat's position when they saw the plane). These coordinates originate from their boat's GPS device, and are reliably sourced from a photo in [1]:
4°58.741'N, 98°41.741'E

H marks the position of the boat crewed by Hendra, Fadli, Agus, and Sahroni, when they sighted a low-flying plane. The coordinates originate from their boat's GPS device, but come to us indirectly via early press reports. Sources [2] and [3] give coordinates which differ by about 6 km. Because [2] in my opinion uses slightly garbled language, I use the coordinates from [3], converted here into degrees-minutes format:
5°22.566'N, 98°15.524'E

M marks an extended area, within which the boat crewed by Irham Manyak, Muhammad Adam, and Sulaiman Yakob was possibly located, when they sighted a low-flying plane. For this boat no GPS coordinates have been published. The extended arc-shaped area in the map below is derived from "about 30 miles off Perlak" [4]. Perlak is an alternate spelling of Peureulak, and "miles" is assumed to mean nautical miles. It is estimated that the boat was approximately somewere within or near the yellow area. Here I give example coordinates, but please note that these are not the coordinates of the boat, these are the coordinates of just one example of the many possible positions of the boat within or near the yellow area:
4°57.990'N, 98°24.564'E

Sightings from three fishing boats of a plane flying low and emitting smoke in the Malacca Strait

The positions and the arc area plotted on the map are approximate. It is recommended that other researchers should independently source the coordinates and location descriptions, and independently map them, to check that no mistakes have been made here. Also there is the possibility that one or more of the sources for positions may contain inaccuracies, therefore further research to verify them would be advisable.

The K sighting is about 65 km south-east of the H sighting.

The estimated positions of all 3 sightings can be enclosed by a rectangle approximately 70 x 70 km.

Sources:

[1] https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1073015/mh370-news-flight-malaysia-airlines-found-latest-map-fishermen

[2] https://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/basarnas-periksa-nelayan-yang-lihat-pesawat-jatuh-di-laut-aceh.html

[3] https://www.ajnn.net/news/beredar-kabar-nelayan-aceh-timur-lihat-pesawat-malaysia-airlines/index.html

[4] http://news.metrotvnews.com/read/2014/03/19/220667/nelayan-di-aceh-akui-lihat-pesawat-jatuh

Copyright 2019 www.orbsi.uk


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