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Old 01-06-2014, 02:55   #61
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

OK, the media barrage hasn't appeared! Thank God. But I did have one very polite email from a freelance journalist who wrote a very tight account of what I have said here, and I appreciate her clarity. She did seek some further info from me, which I have told her I will answer on this forum. My answers in red:


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


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

What is your home town in the US? 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.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:13   #62
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
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.
The two other planes are very important: if logs show two aircraft heading north at your position at the correct time (approx 0250 MYT) then that very much corroborates your claim. I'll see if I can get hold of the data.

Of course, it's a pretty busy airway...
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:26   #63
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

If the aircraft was lost due to cargo fire, how long it could fly would depend on the location and severity of the fire. The behavior of the aircraft as it turned south shortly after the final communication suggests at least one live crew member. The behavior after initially crossing the shore southbound suggests at least one FMS operating with auto pilot engaged. Someone must have loaded a route with the subsequent way points either through the scratch pad or canned route. The southerly turn after the final waypoint may or may not be part of a longer canned route. The airline would know. In any event continued flight southbound indicates either no live crew or foul play. Saucy's sighting of an aircraft on fire augers for no live crew. The difficulty for the searchers is in the location and length of the track. Continued flight until fuel exhaustion while on fire is possible but not likely. They found Air France because they had the track, they will find this one if the track can be established. It will take time however. No more pallets of batteries on any aircraft!!!!!! What a disaster.!!!
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:39   #64
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Quote:
Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
The two other planes are very important: if logs show two aircraft heading north at your position at the correct time (approx 0250 MYT) then that very much corroborates your claim. I'll see if I can get hold of the data.

Of course, it's a pretty busy airway...
The two other aircraft are the strongest reason I doubted what I saw. I have also been told that a pilot doesn't have downward vision - but if this was what I saw, then they MUST have seen it whilst it was ahead of them, even if it was lower down, and thought something of it afterwards. Or at least, their radar would surely have shown the aircraft.

And that's a large part of the reason I thought I must have been mistaken. I don't know what I think now!
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:14   #65
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
The two other aircraft are the strongest reason I doubted what I saw. I have also been told that a pilot doesn't have downward vision - but if this was what I saw, then they MUST have seen it whilst it was ahead of them, even if it was lower down, and thought something of it afterwards. Or at least, their radar would surely have shown the aircraft.

And that's a large part of the reason I thought I must have been mistaken. I don't know what I think now!
Well, there are blind spots. And aircraft 'radar' wouldn't have shown it at this point.

However, the chances of the plane flying on for hours after a fire serious enough to be visible from several miles away is slim. Only you know how serious it looked though.

What do you remember about the relative positions of the two other aircraft? 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...
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:23   #66
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:25   #67
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
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 it from me (and this was about 7 oclock on my boat's heading) and one was more to the North. Both travelling to the North.
Great. I'll cross check that then.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:46   #68
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Cool. 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.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:51   #69
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Well, honestly, the two planes you saw doesn't detract that it could very well have been true. There were planes all over, and you weren't too far off the track of where they knew of the position, course etc.

You had a sighting. They were glued to their instruments and perhaps only saw a dot.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:38   #70
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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This will give you a better idea of glide performance:
An immediate response to the Inmarsat information now released | Duncan Steel
I've done a bit more internet research and it looks like a maximum glide ratio of 19:1 is common of most modern jet liners, including the 777.

I have no way of verifying if your quote about the RAT is true. A system that automatically dives the aircraft seems a bit odd to me (controlling to a 10:1 "glide slope" is a dive. The aircraft could descend at half that). Also, the commenter on that blog indicated that previous aircraft would "fall out of the sky" when their engines quit. That is laughable. Any aircraft just becomes a glider when the engine quits. Jet liners are very good gliders. Google Gimli Glider for the most famous example.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:43   #71
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
Well, there are blind spots. And aircraft 'radar' wouldn't have shown it at this point.

...
To expand on europaflyer's point: Pilots aren't always looking out the window and doing a thorough scan when they are at cruise at altitude. There's really no need. Their traffic avoidance system will tell them if there was a screw up at air traffic control and they're going to get too close to another aircraft, and that really almost never happens anyways.

The problem is that the traffic avoidance system relies on all other aircraft having working transponders, and MH370's was turned off.

The only radar on a modern civilian aircraft is the weather radar and maybe a radar altimeter. The chances of the other two aircraft seeing MH370 would have been very slim.
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Old 01-06-2014, 13:10   #72
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

SS A story without a happy ending for all concerned, belive what you see. In the 80s I was serving in the RN, I happened to be loafing around the bridge of a mine hunter on passage between Duncansby Head and Rattray head in the Moray firth north Scotland.i caught in my peripheral vision a shooting fireball in the sky grabbed a pair of bridge binoculars and seen said fireball hit the sea 30 degrees off the starboard bow. I immediately reported this to the OOW neither he or an other person seen it. What had I seen was the question, I replied the only thing that could travel that fast that low would be a fighter jet. I was subsequently lambasted by the bridge crew for fifteen minutes plus,deriding my report until the Captain happened on the bridge, he asked what was going on against the word of the OOW I told the CO what I saw he ordered an immediate change of course to my indicated area. We arrived on that that glassy flat carm to a huge area of stinking aviation fuel on the surface.The CO contacted command to ask if any of our fighters were missing as we had a sighting and debris in the moray firth their reply was wait.One hour and twenty minutes later the came back to us saying it could not be one of ours"nothing in that area" I was at the time recovering the pilots head still within his helmet part of his seat and a section of canopy from the sea. His number two was recovered the next morning in 90 feet of water close by the aircraft was a buccaneer fighter and according to command more than 400 miles away at the time. From that day I have always belived if you seen it then it happened. I think you seen it scouse sailor girl.
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Old 01-06-2014, 15:43   #73
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Hi,SS
I am one of the victims of MH370 families. I saw your post on Cruisers Forum. I am very excited. I am hope to get more information from you.
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Old 01-06-2014, 16:38   #74
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

I have gone over the logs of the night on FlightRadar24, which is the leading source of 'open' data in this regard. Unfortunately, their coverage doesn't extend in to the area SS was in at the time in question NW of Banda Aceh, but a fairly good idea of aircraft movements can be gained by observing nearby coverage. I attach a screenshot of a candidate flight for one of the two north-bound aircraft seen by SS at the same time as the 'burning aircraft' after a brief look. A proper check will take time - lots of it.

Note that it is unlikely there will be aircraft heading due north in that area as airway P574 runs approximately WNW/ESE. This would leave the aircraft crossing the stern from starboard to port, assuming the boat was heading NE at the time, ie. after they tacked on to port. On that point I am not sure - SS, are the times in the log you gave us UTC+8 (malaysian time) or other?

Here is the link:

Flightradar24.com - Live flight tracker!

and for coverage of airway charts:

SkyVector: Flight Planning / Aeronautical Charts

(use 'World Hi' charts)
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:07   #75
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Quote:
Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
- SS, are the times in the log you gave us UTC+8 (malaysian time) or other?


I thought it was +7 Indonesian time.
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