Snapshot of the location where Antonio Bongiovanni saw the possible plane (Photo: Antonio Bongiovanni)
An Australian man now claims he might have spotted the missing Malaysia Airlnes MH370 flight sinking in the Indian Ocean, south of Bali, from a plane he was travelling on March 12, four days after the mysterious disappearance of the aircraft.
In an exclusive e-mail conversation with International Business Times (India), Antonio Bongiovanni, who is the owner of 'A Bongiovanni & Son Pty Ltd', a food store located in 176-178 Victoria St, Seddon, Melbourne, said that while travelling from Melbourne to Bali, he noticed what appeared like a "white shadow of a plane".
"During my travel from Melbourne to Bali on the 12th of March just flying low towards Denpasar (approx ½ hour out), I noticed a large white object under the water which appeared to me as a white shadow of a plane," Bongiovanni stressed.
"I could see a plane like shape including a wing etc," he added. "I had no time to inform anyone as we were traveling quite fast, but I quickly snapped a pic of the location on my iPhone".
See the picture below.
Asked why he did not reveal this earlier, he said: "The reason why I have not mentioned it earlier is simply because every time I intended to email, there seemed to be another breakthrough to the whereabouts (of the plane). Eg. From the Maldives to the Indian Ocean.
"I have discussed this with some very close friends and family," the 34-year-old, father of two, said.
Antonio Bongiovanni (Facebook picture)
However, it is difficult to independently verify if he actually saw an aircraft in the ocean, or whether it was another aircraft flying just above the surface of water. And even if he had seen a plane, it cannot be confirmed whether it was the missing MH370.
(Disclaimer: International Business Times (India) does not claim to have a definitive answer to the mystery surrounding the bizarre disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370).
Nevertheless, based on the information provided by Bongiovanni, the possibility of the object spotted being an aircraft cannot be entirely ruled out. His information, corroborated by the snapshot of the exact location where he saw the "white shadow" under water, confirms the fact that he was indeed travelling by Virgin Australia flight 4153 (VA 4153) at the time.
When Bongiovanni saw the possible plane shadow in the water, the VA 4153 was flying at a ground speed of 470 km/h at an altitude of 1572 meters - which is low enough for people onboard to spot large objects in the ocean below. It appears that the aircraft was about to reach its destination and was hence travelling low, before the landing.
Further research found out that flight VA 4153 is not a fake number, and that the aircraft from Melbourne to Denpasar-Bali did fly on March 12. According to Flightmapper.net, the Melbourne-Denpasar flight departed at 9:20 am (Melbourne time) and landed at 12:25 (Denpasar-Bali Time) daily till 29 March. Flightaware.com, a website that provides information about flight schedules, also notes that Virgin Australia 4153 is a genuine flight, and the airline's journey between Melbourne and Bali did take place several times, including 12 March.