New Wave Media

May 8, 2023

Fact Check: Underwater Photograph Shows Diving Site, Not MH370 Wreckage

A photograph of an aircraft sunk in the Red Sea, off the coast of Jordan, to create an artificial diving site has been mislabeled by users as showing the submerged remains of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared in 2014.

However, the photo is a screenshot from a video posted by scuba diving company Deep Blue Dive Center in Aqaba, Jordan (here) showing a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar aircraft with the caption: "Tristar Airplane Wreck Red Sea, Aqaba JO”.

The fate of the lost Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER (here) remains unknown, although debris believed to be from the aircraft has been found along the coast of Africa and on islands in the Indian Ocean.

On Facebook (here), (here) and Twitter (here), the miscaptioned image of a dilapidated aircraft on the ocean floor appears alongside text claiming that it is: “Malaysia Airplane MH370 that disappeared 9 years ago has been found under ocean with no human skeleton. The plane had 239 passengers on board”.

But according to Aqaba’s tourism website, the plane is a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar which had been out-of-use and parked at a nearby airport, so it was intentionally sunk to create a “stop for diving enthusiasts and a home for the fish schools, corals and marine organisms” (here).

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), which owns the aircraft, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Malaysian Airlines flight en route to Beijing went missing over the Indian Ocean after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014. Multiple search operations over the past nine years to find the flight’s remains have been unsuccessful (here), (here).

In March 2023, families of those onboard the aircraft made calls for a fresh search (here).

Verdict
Miscaptioned. The photograph shows an airplane hull in the Red Sea used as a diving spot, not the wreckage of the lost flight MH370 aircraft


(Reuters)

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