Times of Oman
Nov 28, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 11:27 PM GMT
Book claiming MH370 was shot in military drill set to go on sale
May 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Nigel Cawthorne introduces his book by claiming that the families of MH370’s passengers will ‘almost certainly’ never be sure what happened to their loved ones. — The Independent

Sydney: Today, just 71 days after the Boeing 777 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Flight MH370: The Mystery will go on sale in Australia, the Sun-Herald reported.

It has been written by the Anglo-American journalist and author Nigel Cawthorne, who describes his London-based home as a "book-writing factory".

Cawthorne introduces his book by claiming that the families of MH370's passengers will "almost certainly" never be sure what happened to their loved ones.

But he goes on to support one theory, based on the eyewitness testimony of New Zealand oil rig worker Mike McKay, that the plane was shot down shortly after it stopped communicating with air traffic controllers.

At the time there was a series of war games taking place in the South China Sea involving Thailand, US and personnel from China, Japan and others, and Cawthorne has linked this to McKay's claims to have seen a burning plane going down in the Gulf of Thailand.

"The drill was to involve mock warfare on land, in water and in the air, and would include live-fire exercises,'' Cawthorne said.

"Say a participant accidentally shot down Flight MH370. Such things do happen. No one wants another Lockerbie (Pan Am flight 103 shot down by terrorists in 1988 allegedly in retaliation for a US Navy strike on an Iranian commercial jet six months earlier), so those involved would have every reason to keep quiet about it."

Cawthorne then suggests that "another black box" could have been dropped off the coast of Australia to divert the efforts of search teams.

"After all, no wreckage has been found in the south Indian Ocean, which in itself is suspicious," he further wrote.

The release of Cawthorne's book came even as Rupesh Paul was promoting a film to be made about the missing plane, entitled The Vanishing Act, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Reveals untold story
Though associate director Sritama Dutta said the film had "no similarities" to MH370 because the "true facts keep changing every day",  a trailer posted to YouTube yesterday and promotional posters suggest it reveals "the untold story" of the Malaysia Airlines flight.

Paul told Variety he plans to release the film worldwide in September.

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