FMT, June 9, 2014
The companies that hired the oil rigger say they became so inundated with inquiries after the email was leaked that their communications became blocked.
Mike McKay made international headlines when he said he saw what he believed was the missing jet on fire while he was working on an oil rig off the Vietnamese coast.
But now the email he sent out has cost him his job, a newspaper in New Zealand reported.
At the time, he wrote to his employers in an email: “‘I believe I saw the Malaysian Airlines plane come down. The timing is right.”
McKay said the plane, which he believed was about 50-70km from where he was, burned for 10-15 seconds until the flames went out.
The plane was southwest of and at a lower altitude than the normal flight paths, he said.
The email was leaked to the media, and identified the worker’s name, place of work, his employer and rig owner Songa Offshore, and the rig operator Idemitsu.
The companies became so inundated with inquiries after the email was leaked that their communications became blocked.
“This became intolerable for them and I was removed from the rig and not invited back,” he told the newspaper.
McKay had been interviewed by investigators as the search for the jet turned to the South China Sea, but the search was called off two days later.
At the time, authorities believed the plane had possibly crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Searchers are looking along the “7th” arc, a route calculated based on pings sent by the missing jet as it continued to fly south after veering off course on March 9.
Families raise funds for reward
Several families of those aboard Flight MH370 launched a drive to raise $5 million to reward any insider who comes forward and resolves the mystery of the plane’s disappearance exactly three months ago.
The “Reward MH370″ campaign launches on fundraising website Indiegogo and aims to raise at least $5 million “to encourage a whistleblower to come forward with information”, the families said in a press release.
The Malaysia Airlines jet lost contact on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard — about two-thirds of them Chinese.
The Boeing 777 is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, but an extensive search has turned up no sign of wreckage so far, leaving frustrated and anguished families of those aboard suspecting a cover-up.
“We are convinced that somewhere, someone knows something, and we hope this reward will entice him or her to come forward,” said Ethan Hunt, a technology company chief who is heading the “Reward MH370″.