Death threats, defamation, intimidation, stalking and an assassination have prevented more MH370 debris from being handed in to authorities, US wreck hunter Blaine Gibson claims.
Mr Gibson, who has found almost half the 30 pieces that have been discovered, urged the Malaysian Government to offer a reward to locals in the western Indian Ocean to find debris.
“This should have been done a long time ago,” Mr Gibson said.
“There is so much more out there and pieces I have handed in to local authorities have not been collected by the Malaysians. A reward would galvanise many villagers to collect pieces that are just lying on beaches. Some of these could be critical to the investigation.”
The search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared in 2014 ends tomorrow.
In August, Mr Gibson handed over two pieces to authorities in Madagascar that were due to be collected and delivered to Malaysia by Zahid Raza, the nation’s honorary consul in Madagascar. But he was killed before he could do so. One of those pieces, the baseplate of an aerodynamic fin, from the top of one of the Boeing’s engines, would not normally break away. “It should not have broken away and, according to aerodynamic experts, this could only happen in an extreme event,” Mr Gibson said.
His accusations of stalking are not hollow. Last year, The West Australian and Channel 7 interviewed Mr Gibson for an exclusive story, yet details of the meeting at City Beach were on a Malaysian blog site, which continually attacks and ridicules his efforts, within hours of the interview and before it aired.
“For whatever reasons, some people are very upset that I and other private citizens are finding pieces of the plane,” he said.
Mr Gibson also said that there was no report yet on numerous pieces of personal effects that were washed up and handed in.