Google said not to rely on Google Maps to search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the plane that disappeared leaving Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
A large number of people indicated that they were trying to search for the missing plane via Google Maps or its Street View feature, but a spokesperson with Google said not to do that.
“Yes, the images may be there, but it is not real time satellite images as the images may have provided to us several weeks or months ago,” a Google Malaysia spokesperson was quoted by The Star as saying.
Officials were searching for the plane on Tuesday and have found little in terms of clues.
Some people told the Star as well as the Inquirer newspaper that they found the plane’s wreckage. On Twitter, some users also indicated that they found it.
Pictures sent to the paper show planes above the ocean.
“These images which are captured would sometimes contain images of airplanes usually on its flight path and cannot be presumed as a possible crash site,” the spokesperson told the Inquirer.
A concerned caller told the Inquirer that a location on a Vietnamese island located southwest of Ho Chi Minh City was where the airplane crashed, using Google Map as the source.
According to the Malaysian Digest, the people sending in the images are “attention seeker[s].”
“One of the most outrageous hoax is an image of a plane located about a kilometre from Cau Ma Thien Lanh on Google Maps,” the paper said in an editorial. “A simple search for Cau Ma Thien Lanh on Google Maps will give the result of an image of a plane complete with its trail.”
A former Malaysia Airlines cabin crew member told the digest that it’s ludicrous to think that Google Maps could find the plane when rescue officials and government’s can’t
“If one can simply search for the missing plane on Google Maps, what is the use of various countries deploying their most sophisticated military assets in the search and rescue mission?” the crew member was quoted as saying. “Now everyone wants to believe in conspiracy theories because the truth is not ‘sexy’ enough for them to hear and it is lame to accept what is aired on the news.”
“The world is watching how we are reacting to this tragedy. They are not only scrutinising the authorities but also ordinary citizens and a wrong move can reflect badly on the industry and the nation,” he said.