Dispelling weeks of speculations that the missing Malaysian Airlines plane MH370 would have used the technique of 'terrain masking' by flying low to remain undetected, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has now stated that an unidentified aircraft was in fact detected by the military radar on the day the flight mysteriously vanished.
The comment comes as a sharp U-turn from the Malaysia government, after earlier claiming that its civilian radar had not detected any aircraft, and that MH370 had mysteriously disappeared in the wee hours of 8 March, carrying 239 people onboard, on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
"The military radar, the primary radar, has some capability," Razak told CNN in an interview.
"It tracked an aircraft which did a turn back but they were not sure, exactly sure, whether it was MH370... What they were sure of was that the aircraft was not deemed to be hostile."
The surprise announcement, which seems to be completely inconsistent with the earlier claims by the Malaysian government, is only likely to raise more staunch questions on whether Malaysia is hiding something from the public. Family members of the missing jet stormed the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing on Friday, demanding answers.
Various theories had surfaced online, each trying to explain the mysterious and bizarre disappearance of the wide-bodied aircraft, after Malaysia repeatedly and consistently claimed that the MH370 had disappeared, and that the military radar did not pick up any definite radar information. This led to the speculations that the Boeing 777 had been flown deliberately low, after being possibly hijacked, in order to avoid radar interception.
The question that the family members of the missing passengers is now likely to ask is why did it take more than 47 days for the Malaysian government to finally concede that their military radar had actually detected the possible plane.
Adding to Malaysia's troubles is the fact that the government has continued to be besieged by angry families, many of whom refuse to accept the that plane has crashed. Family members and the public alike have remained extremely suspicious of Malaysia, ever since the Prime Minister announced - without any hard evidence - that the plane 'crashed into Indian Ocean', and that all passengers and crew members aboard perished with it.
The Prime Minister also revealed that the government's preliminary report on the disappearance of MH370 would be released next week.