Two New Zealand writers Geoff Taylor and Ewan Wilson, who have authored a comprehensive and speculative book on what might have happened to the missing Malaysian airlines plane MH370, have claimed that they may have achieved a breakthrough of sorts in the mystery surrounding the aircraft's disappearance.
They claim that the widow of the plane's pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has confirmed for the first time that it was he who controlled the Boeing 777, just before it veered off-course during a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.
The ill-fated airplane simply vanished into thin air with 239 passengers and crew members onboard. No trace of plane has been found ever since, even as a massive team of international searchers have scaled through thousands of miles in the southern Indian Ocean.
However, using a process of selective elimination, intense research and rare access to pilot Shah's widow as well his brother in law, the authors of the book "Good Night Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind the Loss of Flight 370" have claimed that the finger of blame squarely points towards the captain.
"Shah was the man who said, 'Goodnight Malaysian 370', the last words anyone heard from the aircraft," Widow Faisa Shad told the two men, the Waikato Times reported. The last words heard from the aircraft's cockpit were thought to have been spoken by the captain but authorities were still confused if the voice belonged to the co-pilot instead.
The confusion has now been sufficiently dispelled as the widow of the pilot, as well as his brother-in-law and his son have all identified the voice as definitely captain Shah's, Taylor and Wilson say in their book.
This comes only a day after the Sunday Times reported citing circumstantial evidences that the veteran captain of the doomed flight 370 was the 'prime suspect' in the disappearance of the jet.
Having conducted more than 170 interviews, the Malaysian police found that the 53-year-old pilot had made no plans or commitments for after the flight, which was so unlike the man known to be "jovial, outgoing," and someone with a "penchant for gadgetry and postings on social media," the newspaper said.
The police also found that Shah had programmed a flight simulator at his computer, in which he practiced flying situations far out at sea in the Indian Ocean and landing on a remote Island runway, the New York Daily News reported.
These simulators were deleted on 3 February, but recovered by investigators.
Investigators have also concluded Tuesday that the aircraft was probably not seriously damaged and that it remained in 'controlled flight' mode for hours after its initial disappearance.
The conclusion was reached after a reexamination of military radar data and detailed analysis of the "handshakes" or pings the aircraft inadvertently exchanged with an Inmarsat satellite.