THE pilot of doomed jet MH370 that mysteriously vanished over the Indian Ocean may have taken the whole aircraft hostage, a Brit engineer has claimed.
Richard Godfrey, 71, has been using new tracking technology in a bid to solve one of the greatest aviation mysteries in history.
The engineer believes he has pinpointed the Boeing 777’s exact resting place – on the sea bed some 1,200 miles west of Perth, Australia.
But the question remains why the flight from Malaysia to China veered so wildly off course?
Mr Godfrey, who lives in Germany, believes the pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah had a political motive, he told The Times.
And he believes some information is still being covered up by the Malaysia government some seven years on.
Mr Godfrey said: “My current view is that the captain hijacked and diverted his own plane.”
He explained that Zaharie was a supporter of the Malaysia opposition and was actually an acquaintance of its leader, Anwar Ibrahim.
Just one day before MH370 took off – Ibrahim was sentenced to five years in prison on sodomy charges.
Many of his supporters have claimed these charges were politically motivated and bogus.
Mr Godfrey speculates that this may have been enough to spark the pilot into action and attempt to take his own passengers hostage.
And while he acknowledges he has “no evidence” and discussions of the pilots motive are at this point “speculation”, he makes a compelling case.
Maybe somehow that negotiation went wrong and he ends up flying to the remotest part of the southern Indian Ocean
Mr Godfrey suggested the mystery 22 minutes of circling may have been an attempt by Zaharie to negotiate the release of Ibrahim.
“Maybe somehow that negotiation went wrong and he ends up flying to the remotest part of the southern Indian Ocean,” he said.
Malaysian military authorities only fuel such theories as they refuse to release military radar data.
Mr Godfrey said: “To me, it is clear there is still certain information being withheld, principally by the Malaysian government.”
Zaharie is known to have preplanned his strange route on a flight simulator found at his home – fueling the theory the vanishing was premeditated.
The world may never know what drove Zaharie, but thanks to Mr Godfrey’s work the wreckage of the plane may yet be found.
Mr Godfrey has used radio signals acting like “tripwires” to help him locate the jet which he says lies 13,000ft below the surface of the ocean.
He believes it is at the base of what is known as the Broken Ridge – an underwater plateau with a volcano and ravines in the south-eastern Indian Ocean.
The engineer said the new tracking system called Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) is like having a “bunch of tripwires that work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe.”
Godfrey combined the new technology with satellite communications system data from the plane.
He said: “Together the two systems can be used to detect, identify and localise MH370 during its flight path into the Southern Indian Ocean.”
The Brit says he is “very confident” he has found the missing plane which he claims crashed at 8.19am.
“We have quite a lot of data from the satellite, we have oceanography, drift analysis, we have the performance data from Boeing, and now this new technology,” he added.
“All four align with one particular point in the Indian Ocean.”
The Broken Ridge location was not in the original 2015 search area and was missed by just 28km by Ocean Infinity in 2018, reports say.
However, according to 7News, the area was part of the 2016 search.
Since 2014, 33 pieces of debris have been found in six countries – including South Africa and Madagascar – which experts believe proves the plane plunged into the Indian Ocean.
The last full-scale search for MH370 in 2018 by US robotics company Ocean Infinity – using unmanned underwater vehicles – covered nearly 50,000 square miles yet nothing was recovered.