The authors of a book on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, who had suggested that pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah committed murder-suicide, have defended their work and said that they had carried out a “robust analysis”, a report in The New Zealand Herald said.
Hitting back at Malaysia Airlines (MAS) which had accused them of seeking to profit from the tragedy, one of the authors, New Zealander Ewan Wilson said the criticism was “unbelievable in light of the fact that a number of families still have not been compensated by Malaysia Airlines for the tragic death of their loved ones…”
Wilson and fellow New Zealander Geoff Taylor had written the book titled “Goodnight Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind the Loss of Flight 370” which had caused a stir with its allegations that, among others, suggested that Capt Zaharie had committed murder-suicide by deliberately depressurising the cabin and locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, giving passengers only 20 minutes’ oxygen supply.
“The findings in our book… are the result of a robust analysis of the known facts,” Wilson said in a statement, according to the report which cited APNZ.
“Malaysia Airlines’s assertions that there is no evidence to support those conclusions, while advancing no explanation of their own evidence of what happened to MH370 after nearly seven months, is self-serving,” he added.
Last week, MAS had slammed the authors for their “inside” scoop, saying it was appalled at the claims made.
MAS had noted that Wilson, the disgraced former chief executive officer of the short-lived and defunct Kiwi Travel International Airlines, had previously been convicted of fraud.
“There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the book, which is a product of pure conjecture for the purposes of profit by the authors and publishers.
“Neither Wilson nor Taylor were involved in the investigation into the disappearance of MH370, yet they have offered an analysis beyond their knowledge and abilities.
“They should both be ashamed of themselves for what is nothing more than a cheap and maligned publicity stunt,” MAS had said.
Wilson’s company, Wilson Aviation, published the book.
The book said MH370 was at least the sixth commercial flight to crash because of suicidal or mentally ill pilots.
The NZ Herald report said Taylor also criticised others involved in dealing with the tragedy.
“We’ve always been critical of the actions of many of the air traffic controllers on duty that night, the Malaysian military for its failure to act on primary radar sightings on the night and indeed for many days after and the Malaysian Government for its shambolic handling of the tragedy,” he said.
“Our book looks dispassionately and in depth at every possible alternative for what could have happened to MH370 on March 8,” he said.
“We analysed the possibilities of slow depressurisation and hijacking and found that these were extremely unlikely.”
The report quoted Taylor as saying that it was “impossible” the plane was shot down or suffered fire, electrical or catastrophic structural failure, or rapid depressurisation.
He added that several issues reinforced the book’s claims, including the route MH370 took before disappearing, with its eight deliberate changes of course.
He said murder-suicide was tragic and unthinkable but “sadly we think that is exactly what happened.”
“Malaysia Airlines should direct its efforts to communicating with passengers’ loved ones rather than lashing out at a constructive effort to piece together what occurred.” – September 24, 2014.