Just as Malaysian officials are meeting with their Australian and Chinese counterparts to discuss the future of the search for MH 370, a man dubbed the ‘real-life Indiana Jones’ may have found personal items that belonged to the passengers of the plane.
To be clear, American adventurer (and lawyer by day) Blaine Gibson is not claiming that the stuff he found—luggage, a camera case, a shoe sole, a prayer cap, a mobile phone case, and an Angry Birds bag—definitely washed up with the wreckage.
But he did find them on the island of Nosy Baraha, Madagascar, in close proximity to an in-flight TV monitor earlier this month, which he does believe is from MH 370.
As Gibson told NBC News, “There's nothing that ties any of these objects to the plane or its passengers other than they were found on the same beach as the other aircraft debris.” According to a spokesperson from the search team, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), it is up to Malaysian authorities to determine if the personal items were indeed from MH 370.
If the name Blaine Gibson sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the guy who found actual MH 370 debris in Mozambique last March, which analysts say is “almost definitely” part of the ill-fated plane.
Gibson isn’t just coincidentally stumbling upon these items on his beach holidays. After being moved by the plight of the MH 370 victims’ families, he has spent the past year on a self-funded mission to find the plane—which has taken him from Malaysia to Madagascar, by way of Mauritius, the Maldives and Mozambique.
The initial chunk of the plane that Gibson found in Mozambique was his first big find, but is isn’t his first search. He earned the ‘Indiana Jones’ moniker after looking for the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia, and the Tunguska meteorite in Russia (spoiler alert: he didn’t succeed).