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March 8 2014: Sighting Claim Sailoress - I think I saw Flight MH370 while crossing the Indian Ocean from Cochin, India to Phuket, Thailand, saw a burning plane with a trail of black smoke behind it going North to South
Published 31 May 2014 | Forum Discussion
 

Where is Flight MH370? << show on enlarged map with menu
 

Witness name: Katherine Tee, British, 41

Sighting Claim

Between February 20th and March 10th we were crossing the Indian Ocean the wrong way from Cochin, India to Phuket, Thailand .

On the night in question (7th-8th March), I was standing a night watch alone. Well, sitting, really. Watching the stars, since I had been spending the passage identifying and learning a new constellation every night. And I thought I saw a burning plane cross behind our stern from port to starboard; which would have been approximately North to South. It was about half the height of other flights which I had been gazing at during that part of the passage .

Since that's not something you see every day, I questioned my mind. I was looking at what appeared to be an elongated plane glowing bright orange, with a trail of black smoke behind it. It did occur to me it might be a meteorite. But I thought it was more likely I was going insane.

At the time we were at the tail end of a very, very harsh passage into the weather which was mountainous, having been flooded badly from the anchor locker and swamped from the companionway so EVERYTHING was soaked, and stays breaking amongst other stuff which just piled up to make me flip. By this time my rucksack was packed, and the divorce planned.

When we hit land everyone was talking about the missing plane and asking if we'd seen anything. Since I had doubted what I saw and was emotionally in a bad way, I brushed over what I thought I'd seen, and focused instead on the stories of Boatie who was 'missing' on the Atlantic, and Eric and Charlotte who'd scuppered in the Pacific.

Besides, I thought, they'll find it.

But tonight I heard that they were looking in the wrong place, so HWMO and I looked back through our GPS log, and lo and behold, what we saw was consistent with the confirmed contact which authorities had from MH370.

My questions are:

1 - Who should I tell? And should I bother?
2 - If it was a plane on fire that I saw, how long would it maintain its flight and where would it be likely to end up.

Attached are screenshots of where we were at that time (the highlighted portion of our track).

click image to enlarge
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The red highlighted part is the track from midnight to 4am on the morning in question. Sighting approx. at the last part of the track, the red line indicates progress from around 2am till 6am (local time) North West (ish) of Bandar Aceh.


GPS Track log: Track 8th March 2014 2am to 6am.xls (24.5 KB)

08/03/2014 02:00 00:05:00 5 kt 347° true N6 37.075 E94 26.577
08/03/2014 02:05 00:05:00 3 kt 343° true N6 37.454 E94 26.488
08/03/2014 02:10 00:05:00 2 kt 258° true N6 37.720 E94 26.408
08/03/2014 02:15 00:05:00 1.4 kt 117° true N6 37.690 E94 26.264
08/03/2014 02:20 00:05:00 1.4 kt 88° true N6 37.638 E94 26.366
08/03/2014 02:25 00:05:00 2 kt 78° true N6 37.643 E94 26.483
08/03/2014 02:30 00:05:00 3 kt 72° true N6 37.678 E94 26.657
08/03/2014 02:35 00:05:00 3 kt 71° true N6 37.759 E94 26.906
08/03/2014 02:40 00:05:00 3 kt 72° true N6 37.840 E94 27.147
08/03/2014 02:45 00:05:00 3 kt 70° true N6 37.920 E94 27.391
08/03/2014 02:50 00:05:00 3 kt 69° true N6 38.007 E94 27.629
08/03/2014 02:55 00:05:00 3 kt 69° true N6 38.103 E94 27.887
08/03/2014 03:00 00:05:00 3 kt 68° true N6 38.206 E94 28.152
08/03/2014 03:05 00:05:00 3 kt 70° true N6 38.302 E94 28.398
08/03/2014 03:10 00:05:00 3 kt 71° true N6 38.401 E94 28.668
08/03/2014 03:15 00:05:00 3 kt 69° true N6 38.495 E94 28.937
08/03/2014 03:20 00:05:00 3 kt 69° true N6 38.594 E94 29.198
08/03/2014 03:25 00:05:00 3 kt 70° true N6 38.698 E94 29.465
08/03/2014 03:30 00:05:00 3 kt 69° true N6 38.796 E94 29.732
08/03/2014 03:35 00:05:00 3 kt 70° true N6 38.889 E94 29.980
08/03/2014 03:40 00:05:00 3 kt 72° true N6 38.986 E94 30.250
08/03/2014 03:45 00:05:00 3 kt 74° true N6 39.071 E94 30.517
08/03/2014 03:50 00:05:00 4 kt 75° true N6 39.151 E94 30.789
08/03/2014 03:55 00:05:00 3 kt 77° true N6 39.225 E94 31.075
08/03/2014 04:00 00:04:31 3 kt 77° true N6 39.286 E94 31.343
08/03/2014 04:05 00:05:01 4 kt 75° true N6 39.341 E94 31.584
08/03/2014 04:10 00:05:00 3 kt 77° true N6 39.422 E94 31.883
08/03/2014 04:15 00:05:00 3 kt 76° true N6 39.489 E94 32.165
08/03/2014 04:20 00:05:00 3 kt 77° true N6 39.554 E94 32.432
08/03/2014 04:25 00:05:00 3 kt 78° true N6 39.616 E94 32.698
08/03/2014 04:30 00:05:00 3 kt 73° true N6 39.675 E94 32.967
08/03/2014 04:35 00:05:00 3 kt 73° true N6 39.748 E94 33.209
08/03/2014 04:40 00:05:00 3 kt 73° true N6 39.826 E94 33.470
08/03/2014 04:45 00:05:00 3 kt 72° true N6 39.911 E94 33.745
08/03/2014 04:50 00:05:00 3 kt 76° true N6 39.994 E94 34.013
08/03/2014 04:55 00:05:00 3 kt 79° true N6 40.059 E94 34.280
08/03/2014 05:00 00:05:00 3 kt 77° true N6 40.110 E94 34.547
08/03/2014 05:05 00:05:00 3 kt 77° true N6 40.169 E94 34.807
08/03/2014 05:10 00:05:00 3 kt 76° true N6 40.234 E94 35.084
08/03/2014 05:15 00:05:00 3 kt 75° true N6 40.303 E94 35.360
08/03/2014 05:20 00:05:00 3 kt 77° true N6 40.378 E94 35.637
08/03/2014 05:25 00:05:00 4 kt 76° true N6 40.443 E94 35.918
08/03/2014 05:30 00:05:00 4 kt 78° true N6 40.513 E94 36.203
08/03/2014 05:35 00:05:00 3 kt 85° true N6 40.583 E94 36.542
08/03/2014 05:40 00:05:00 3 kt 78° true N6 40.605 E94 36.777
08/03/2014 05:45 00:05:00 2 kt 84° true N6 40.650 E94 37.001
08/03/2014 05:50 00:05:00 2 kt 76° true N6 40.667 E94 37.174
08/03/2014 05:55 00:05:00 3 kt 88° true N6 40.717 E94 37.374
08/03/2014 06:00 00:05:00 3 kt 92° true N6 40.725 E94 37.584
08/03/2014 06:05 00:05:00 3 kt 91° true N6 40.714 E94 37.866
08/03/2014 06:10 00:05:00 4 kt 92° true N6 40.709 E94 38.146
08/03/2014 06:15 00:05:00 3 kt 98° true N6 40.700 E94 38.462
08/03/2014 06:20 00:05:00 2 kt 107° true N6 40.664 E94 38.713
08/03/2014 06:25 00:05:00 2 kt 108° true N6 40.606 E94 38.906
08/03/2014 06:30 00:05:00 3 kt 105° true N6 40.548 E94 39.089
08/03/2014 06:35 00:05:00 3 kt 111° true N6 40.477 E94 39.358
08/03/2014 06:40 00:05:00 3 kt 105° true N6 40.380 E94 39.613
08/03/2014 06:45 00:05:00 4 kt 103° true N6 40.304 E94 39.893
08/03/2014 06:50 00:05:00 4 kt 107° true N6 40.233 E94 40.204
08/03/2014 06:55 00:05:00 3 kt 112° true N6 40.140 E94 40.503
08/03/2014 07:00 00:05:00 3 kt 112° true N6 40.040 E94 40.758

 

Comparing data (click image to enlarge)
 
Known Flight path mh370
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Tracking log boat
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UPDATE JUNE 1 2014: Maybe I was right about MH370, after all… JUNE 1, 2014

OK, so I have been contacted by a freelance journalist, who asked to interview me.  I answered her questions, but posted them on Cruisers Forum where I work.  She is freelance and has submitted her article to a Sydney based newspaper. It remains to be seen if they will run it, but they might just decide that I am making it all up for a bit of media attention.  Not that it matters.  Having buried my head in the sand regarding what I saw, my fellow members have done an awesome job of asking the right questions to draw out what I can remember.  I have, of course, been googling it obsessively today, since before last night I know pretty much nothing…  The last I heard of the matter, back in mid March, was that people thought it was hiding somewhere in Vietnam… another reason I thought I must have been mistaken.  Since admitting what I think I saw last night (and only since then) I have found out that the plane could well have been where I saw that strange strange glowing orange plane.

I have reported the issue to the relevant authority, and who knows they might believe me.  But I didn't believe what I saw, so why should they?  But I do hope that perhaps what I saw helps clarify what happened.   We also posted our complete track data for the period of time in question, since Marc and I decided that complete disclosure was the best way to go; despite a few warnings from concerned members who suggested I pull the blog post and request that the thread be deleted since they thought I might face a media barrage.  The CF members have been awesome in finding evidence that would support my sighting, so maybe it will help someone somewhere to know that it was burning.  Not a big fireball, or anything dramatic, just a glowing orange plane moving across the horizon.  You should check out the full thread on CF if you're interested.  But this was the image that convinced me, posted by europaflyer:

Detail of the boat track and CPA. Shows the flightpath passing astern from port to starboard. (boat track-up not north-up) Swap the lower two boat track labels round, for some reason they are flipped at larger scales.

Detail of the boat track and CPA. Shows the flightpath passing astern from port to starboard. (boat track-up not north-up) Swap the lower two boat track labels round, for some reason they are flipped at larger scales.

Now, one thing I have to say is that I feel shit about this.  Because I doubted my sanity at the time, I didn't report it when I got to land and heard about the missing plane.  Because I assumed I was wrong and the plane had gone the other way to Vietnam I didn't report it. Because I assumed the other two aircraft I could see at the time would report it if I was seeing was real, I didn't even consider putting out a Mayday at the time.  Imagine what an idiot I would have looked if I was mistaken, and I believed I was.  Now I feel shit.  Will this help either the authorities get closure?  I have no idea; but I chose to sweep it under the carpet, and now I feel really bad.

The moral of the story?  I don't know.  Maybe I should have a little more confidence in myself.  But I am sorry I didn't take action sooner.

 

 

Interview with witness: Katherine Tee (source)
 

What is your full name?
Katherine Tee, British, 41

What is your husband's name?
Marc Horn, 50, German

What is your home town?
Liverpool, UK

How long have you and your husband been at sea?
13 months

What type of yacht do you have?
Kalik 40. That is, a sloop rigged monohull, built 1982.

In as much detail as possible, could you outline what happened on the night in question... How long had it been from when you had dinner?
Many hours. I ate porridge in the morning, a main meal in the afternoon, and after that would snack regularly on dried fruit and nuts.

What was the weather like?
Fairly low winds at that point with residual waves. Can't remember how high they were at that time.

Was your husband sleeping or awake at the time?
My husband was asleep below deck, and a crew member was asleep on deck.

Did you hear any noises?
No.

How far away did the object appear?
I wouldn't know.

What did it look like - colour, shape, sound, travelling fast, slow, high/low to the horizon?
It looked like a plane! It caught my attention because I had never seen a plane with orange lights before, so wondered what they were. I could see the outline of the plane, it looked longer than planes usually do. There was what appeared to be a tail of black smoke coming from behind it.

Anything at all you can remember from that night. There were two other planes passing higher than it - moving the other way - at that time. They had normal nav lights. I recall thinking that if it was a plane on fire that I was seeing, the other aircraft would report it. And then I wondered again why it had such bright orange lights. They put me in mind of sodium lights. Or perhaps it was a UFO. Or a meteorite.

How did the plane/object disappear from view?
I don't know, I stopped watching. As I first observed it, it was approaching to cross behind our stern from the North. When I checked again later it had moved across the stern and was moving away to the South.

Did you tell your husband about what you saw - if so, when?
No. As I said, we were having difficulties, and we hadn't spoken for about a week. The first time I told him was last night after hearing the radio report. That is when we checked our GPS log and realised that perhaps I really did see it.

How long after did you learn about the missing plane?
The evening of the 10th March when we arrived in Phuket.

Why didn't you say anything at that time?
I did, to the cruisers in the local bar who told us. Some suggested I should say something, that might have been it. Most said that the flight was heading towards Vietnam. I wasn't sure of the date or time. I am still not. I did think that what I saw would add little, and be dismissed with the thousands of other sightings I assumed were being reported; I thought that the authorities would be able to track it's GPS log which I assumed was automatically transmitted, etc...

And most of all, I wasn't sure of what I saw. I couldn't believe it myself. I even doubted my sanity, and didn't think anyone would believe me when I was having trouble believing my own eyes. So I dismissed it, and got on with the business of fixing me and my marriage.

All I can confirm is that I learnt last night that we were in the right place at the right time, so it seems possible.

How sure were/are you that what you saw was a plane on fire?
Not at all sure. I am only sure that that is the first thought that came into my head when I saw it, and then I started looking for more believable explanations.

Have you informed the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), ATSB or any other authority about what you saw and forwarded them a copy of your boat's GPS data? (I will need to contact the authorities for a response, so I just need to know that they'll know what I'm talking about). If you could forward me a copy of any emails to the authorities and the original GPS log data that would be ideal.
I sent JACC an email repeating a few of my observations (but not of my opinions) exactly as written in Post 1 here. I followed up this morning with a second email including our track info as my husband pasted into post #31.

Where are you located now?
Phuket

Why have you come forward with this information now?
Because I was listening to Thai news yesterday on the radio, interested in the political progress here, and I heard an item saying that a vessel preparing to search near Australia was returning for technical repairs. It piqued my interest, and I started to wonder if I wasn't nuts after all.

What do you hope revealing this information will achieve?
Well, obviously it would be nice if the authorities find the plane a little sooner, give the families some closure and donate what they save in search costs to buy the schools in Cambodia some laptops. But like I say, I have some insane ideas.

What do you remember about the relative positions of the two other aircraft you saw? IE. in front of each other, to the side, diagonal... Just to cross-check with radar logs. If we do have the two aircraft in the correct orientation at the correct time then things get real...
Higher in the sky, I'd guess at the regular 30000 - 35000 ft. A higher trajectory than them, more than 50ish degrees from me. One looked as though it was directly behind the orange plane from me (at this time this was about 7'clock on my boat's heading, and we can presume we were heading pretty much on course, cos we were using autopilot) and one was more to the North. Both travelling to the North.
But I meant less than 50ish degrees. But higher than the orange one, above it in my field of vision, and in the same part of my vision.

Sources: Wordpress user Saucysailoress & Cruisers forum

 

Related:

May 29 2014: I think I saw Flight MH370 (Saucy Sailoress)
June 1 2014: Maybe I was right about MH370, after all… (Saucy Sailoress) Update
June 2 2014: Interview with the Phuket Gazette - I think i saw MH370 on fire says Phuket yachtie
June 5 2014: Andamans sighting adds new angle to MH370 search


Wordpress user Saucysailoress Sighting Claim
 
 
 
Cruisers forum Discussion Saucy Sailoress on Sighting Claim
 

 

 

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