Residents of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll in the Maldives reportedly saw what has been described as a "low-flying jumbo jet" over their houses early in the morning on 8 March, the same morning the Malaysia Airlnes flight MH370 was reported as missing. (Read Latest Update: Australia Sees Possible Objects from Plane in Indian Ocean)
Maldivian daily Haaveeru has reported residents describing the aircraft, which flew over their houses at around 6:15am (local time), as white in colour, with red stripes across it. This color scheme is typically the livery used in Malaysian Airlines flights, least to mention, the one that went missing.
Eyewitnesses have reportedly agreed that the aeroplane was travelling north to south-east, towards the Southern tip of the Malvides - Addu. They also noted the incredibly loud noise the flight made when it flew over the island. "I've never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We've seen seaplanes, but I'm sure this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clear," one witness was quoted as saying.
The witness added that several other residents had to come out of their houses to see what was causing the tremendous noise.
The development comes as the newly discussed theory that the airplane could have used the 'Terrain Masking' technique to avoid being detected by the radar, is gaining credibility.
The newly explored theory points towards the possibility that whoever was in control of the plane when it veered off its course deliberately flew the jet closer to the ground, in order to avoid detection.
The so-called "terrain masking" could potentially explain why flight MH370 was apparently able to evade being detected, after reaching the area which was reported to have been the last point of contact.
The New Straits Times reported that shortly after the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur and then veered off course towards the west, the plane was flying at an altitude as low as 5,000 feet, during most of the eight hours it was missing from the radar. The plane managed to elude the radars of at least three countries.
"The person who had control of the aircraft has solid knowledge of avionics and navigation and left a clean track," an official told the paper.The terrain masking technique is a clever means to avoid active radar, by positioning the airplane in such a way that there is natural earth hiding the aircraft from the radio waves sent by the radar system.
Meanwhile a local aviation expert told Haveeru that it is "likely" for MH370 to have flown over the Maldives adding that the possibility of any other aircraft flying over the island at the reported time was extremely unlikely.
Nearly 11 days after the Malaysian Airlines jet disappeared with its 239 passengers and crew, an international team of investigators probing the issue has not been able to come up with any tangible results. The fact that a jumbo jet which looked exactly like the missing airplane was flying in Maldives during exactly the same time when it went missing is likely to give investigators some possible leads to pursue.