Fact Check: Viral image of a submerged plane is not Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared in 2014
An image of a completely damaged plane underneath water is going viral with the claim that it shows the Malaysian Airplane MH370 that disappeared 9 years ago.
An image of a completely damaged plane underneath water is going viral with the claim that it shows the Malaysian Airplane MH370 that disappeared 9 years ago. The claim also shared that there were 239 passengers on board when the plane collapsed, but no human skeletons were found on board the plane.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was an international passenger flight and it went missing on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. There was multi-nation extensive search for the missing flight but could not be traced. Even the black box of the flight was never recovered.
Now, the claim shared along with the image of a submerged plane goes, “Malaysia Airplane MH370 that disappeared 9 years ago has been found under the ocean with no human skeleton. The plane had 239 passengers on board.”
The claim is viral on all social media platforms for the past few days.
The claim that the image shows the disappeared Malaysian airplane MH370 is false. The image shows the Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar plane submerged in the Red Sea.
When we searched for the image using Google reverse image search, we found a video shared by an Instagram account named deepbluedivecenter. It is an account of a Deep Blue Dive Center based in Jordan. The video was posted on April 7, 2023, with the title ‘Tristar Airplane Wreck, Red Sea, Aqaba JO’
According to their website, it is an Aqaba Scuba Diving center located at Tala Bay Resort in South Beach in Jordan.
Upon further research, we found articles about this submerged plane.
According to scubadiving.com, the Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar airplane was intentionally sunk in 2019 and it has become an artificial reef and a world-class dive site. The wreck is almost intact with all three engines still mounted on its wings and tail fin, cockpit seats, and toilets. This plane is accessible to divers in the area.
According to CNN Travel, the plane was photographed by American underwater photographer Brett Hoelzer in a series of images that capture the eerie spectacle created by this aquatic airliner.
First registered in the 1980s and doing service for several airlines including Royal Jordanian, Portugal TAP Air, and Sweden’s Novair, etc, it was abandoned in the early 2000. After being parked and apparently forgotten for years at King Hussein International Airport near the shores of the Red Sea, the plane was sunk into Jordan’s Gulf of Aqaba with the aim of encouraging dive tourism and coral growth.
Here is the Instagram account of the photographer who shared several underwater images of the marine world.
Hence, the viral image of the submerged plane is not Malaysian Airplane MH370 but Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar that was sunk in the Red Sea to encourage diving.
The claim is false.