Death threats, intimidation, stalking, and an assassination are preventing more MH370 debris from being handed into authorities, claims US wreck hunter Blaine Gibson.
Speaking to AirlineRatings.com, Mr Gibson, who has found almost half the 30 pieces so far discovered, urged the Malaysia Government to offer a reward to locals in the western Indian Ocean to find debris.
“This should have been done a long time ago,” said Mr Gibson.
“There is so much more out there and pieces I have handed into local authorities have not been collected by the Malaysians. A reward would galvanize many villagers to collect pieces that are just lying on beaches.
“Some of these could be critical to the investigation.”
Mr Gibson says he has received death threats and has faced intimidation while being been ridiculed on blog sites for his hunt for HM370 debris.
Last August, Mr Gibson handed over two pieces to Madagascar authorities that were due to be collected and delivered to Malaysia by Zahid Raza, the Honorary Malaysian Consul in Madagascar. The consul was allegedly assassinated before he could do so.
One of those pieces, the baseplate of an aerodynamic fin from the top of one of the Boeing’s engines, would not normally break away.
“It should not have broken away and according to aerodynamic experts this could only happen in an extreme event,” said Mr. Gibson.
And Mr. Gibson’s accusations of stalking are not hollow.
Last year The West Australian and Channel 7 interviewed Mr. Gibson for an exclusive story yet details of the meeting at City Beach were on a Malaysian blog site that continually attacks and ridicules Mr Gibson’s efforts, within hours of the interview and before it aired.
“For whatever reasons, some people are very upset that I and other private citizens are finding pieces of the plane.”
Mr. Gibson also said that there was no report yet on numerous pieces of personal effects that were washed up and handed to the Royal Malaysian Police.
“In at least six cases these pieces have been matched to CCTV vision of passengers boarding MH370,” by volunteers, said Mr. Gibson.
“And one relative told us they believe that a bag found in La Reunion belonged to their loved one.
“However, they do not wish to be identified.”