British marine archaeologist claims to have found flight MH370 3,000 miles from the search zone after spotting debris painted in the colours of Malaysia Airlines
- Tim Akers believes he has discovered MH370 debris off the coast of Vietnam
- He says satellite images appear to show tail, wings and other debris
- Claims it is more likely plane crashed in South China Sea than Indian ocean
- Authorities have been searching for aircraft off coast of Western Australia
- Mr Akers had previously been studying Australian waters off Perth for years in search for remains of lost WWII ship - the HMAS Sydney
- It comes as airline boss tells relatives of passengers onboard MH370 to go home and wait for further news
A British marine archaeologist claims to have found the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 more than 3,000 miles from where authorities are currently searching.
Tim Akers, 56, had been studying Australian waters off Perth for years in a search for the remains of the country's lost WWII ship - the HMAS Sydney.
The search for the vessel was in the same waters that are believed to contain the missing flight MH370 off the coast of Western Australia.
British marine archaeologist Tim Akers believes he has discovered debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 more than 3,000 miles from where everyone has been looking
Satellite image shows an oil rig next to a piece of debris which Mr Akers believes could have come from the missing flight MH370
A boat and oil rig are pictured where Mr Akers believes NASA pictures showed debris of the plane
A massive search operation involving satellites, aircraft, ships and sophisticated underwater equipment capable of scouring the ocean floor has failed to turn up any trace of the Boeing 777, which disappeared on March 8.
But Mr Akers, of North Yorkshire now thinks he might have discovered where the flight, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went down after it went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
He claims to have identified what he believes is part of the tail of the jet off the coast of Vietnam - just around 1,000 miles from where the plane took off.
His findings appear to support reports this week from a US former pilot Michael Hoebel, from New York, who believes he found the wreckage of the flight off the coast of Thailand.
Mr Akers - who is referenced as an independent researcher with the National Maritime Museum - said he has now identified sections of the aircraft close to where Vietnam authorities received a report from oil workers who saw a plane burning coming out of the sky.
He said it was more plausible the jet crashed in the South China Sea than making it to the south Indian Ocean.
Mr Akers believes he spotted debris off the coast of Vietnam - thousands of miles from the official search area and where Australian company GeoResonance also claimed it had found possible wreckage in the Bay of Bengal this week
Mr Akers has studied Australian waters off Perth for years in a search for the remains of the country's lost WWII ship - the HMAS Sydney. It has been claimed the colours visible on the debris (right) match the red and blue curved stripe on the Malaysian plane
The arrow is believed to show two plane windows in aeroplane debris, which Mr Akers said could be from flight MH370
Mr Akers said he has identified sections of the aircraft close to where Vietnam authorities received a report from oil workers who saw a plane burning coming out of the sky. Pictured is debris believed to be from flight MH370
Images taken by Mr Akers from satellite scans appear to show what he claims are a 'tail', 'wings' and other debris.
He said: 'The problem with the debris field in the southern Indian Ocean is that it has to be considered - what other material could be mimicking the debris?
'The only material that could be giving off signals randomly and persistently and multi-coloured debris is remnants from the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 which is still trapped in currents.
Mr Akers (pictured at his graduation) is referenced as an independent researcher with the National Maritime Museum
'The Japanese earthquake was the same magnitude and its debris is still travelling across the Pacific Ocean - it too will have things which are making noise on scans in the sea.
'The very fact that no debris from a crashed aircraft has been seen or found at sea or on land or beach in Australia so far gives good reason to doubt there's any truth in it ever having been there.
'Reports from the pilot in the US that the plane is seen off Thailand would back up my findings because the plane would break up soon afterwards and the currents in that region are strong.'
Mr Aker said he believes in the South China Sea there have been witnesses, debris, aviation fuel and what he believes are jet aircraft parts.
He said it also appeared on his images that ships registered to Vietnam have been in contact with the wreckage.
He said: 'There's no question it could be anything else, because aircraft parts are very distinctive.
'Having seen the oil rig worker's report of the crash and NASA's satellite images of the area it would seem strange the Malaysian authorities have dismissed the area out of hand.
'Logically they should have checked it out by aircraft at low altitude and by a surface warship, but it looks like they chose not to. That in itself is very odd.
'Fortunately the water there is shallow as it's on the continental shelf and there will be debris all over the sea floor.'
Earlier this week, Australian tech firm GeoResonance said it had found what it believed was wreckage of a plane in the Bay of Bengal that should be investigated as potential debris from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, but the possibility was dismissed by search coordinators.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) managing the multinational search for the missing plane said it believed that the plane came down in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.
Australian geophysical survey company GeoResonance said it had been conducting its own search for the plane and had found what appeared to be plane wreckage in the Bay of Bengal, thousands of miles from the current search area.
PREVIOUS 'SIGHTINGS' BY INVESTIGATORS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD
Mr Akers said it was more plausible the jet crashed in the South China Sea rather than making it to the southern Indian Ocean
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (left) and Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston announced on Monday that the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 would move to a new phase as it is now 'highly unlikely' that wreckage will be found on the ocean's surface
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Monday the chance of finding floating debris was now remote, and a new phase of the search would focus on the seabed northwest of the Australian city of Perth.
Mr Akers has been searching for the missing aircraft by processing data from satellite images from Landsat 7 - NASA's primary photographic satellite and the basis for Google Earth
In August 2006 Mr Akers claimed to the local press in Wetherby, North Yorkshire, to have found HMAS Sydney - despite 60 years of government and international searches.
His claim was then seemingly verified in March 2008 when the wreck was discovered by American marine scientist David Mearns near the same location Mr Akers had predicted off the coast of Australia.
Mr Akers said he uses a method of combining images from different parts of the light spectrum. Using software he developed he said he is able to look underground 75ft under the Earth and 10,000 feet under the sea.
Mr Akers has published his claims on his site australias-titanic.com.