The photo shows an unrelated underwater plane in Jordan, not missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

By: Praveen Kumar
May 4 2023

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The photo shows an unrelated underwater plane in Jordan, not missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370


The Verdict False

An image of a Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar airplane in the Red Sea is incorrectly attributed to the still-missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Claim ID 9fc24ea9


An image of the nose of an airplane underwater is being shared on Twitter with the claim it is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing with 239 people aboard in 2014. The caption accompanying the viral image also claims the plane “has been found under ocean with no human skeleton.” The image and claim have gone viral among social media users within the first couple of days of May 2023.

In Fact

We found a report by CNN titled “Eerie abandoned passenger plane sits on floor of Red Sea” published on July 22, 2022. It includes several images of a sunken airplane and scuba divers photographed from different angles. We noticed that the damage to the nose of the airplane resembled the viral image. The article talks about an old abandoned Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar airplane that was sunk in Jordan's Gulf of Aqaba, a part of the Red Sea, in 2019. Citing the Jordan News Agency Petra, CNN adds that it was done to encourage “dive tourism and coral growth.”

With these location references, we looked into the websites of local diving centers and came across one named Deep Blue Dive Center in Jordan. We found an exact match for the viral image among their Instagram posts, a video posted on April 7, 2023. We also reviewed several videos of the sunken Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar airplane by divers found on YouTube and other platforms, which include the same distinct feature - the damage to the airplane nose.

The official Aqaba tourism website explains how the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) repurposed the old airplane as an underwater tourist attraction. “The TriStar plane is a non-Jordanian commercial that has been out of service and parked at King Hussein International Airport for several years. ASEZA recently purchased it to sink it and was transferred to the main port in preparation for that purpose to join its military aircraft companion; Hercules C130 which was sunken November 2017. Today the C130 became a stop for diving enthusiasts and a home for the fish schools, corals and marine organisms," the website states.

There have been no official news reports stating that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight was found. To date, it is still missing and its mystery has spawned documentaries and many unsubstantiated claims. According to a March 2023 article by The Guardian, Malaysia, China, and Australia ended their coordinated search of MH370 in January 2017 because “no conclusion was drawn about what happened” to the flight. Some relatives of the people onboard the missing flight have been urging Malaysian authorities to support another search by Ocean Infinity. However, the Malaysian government has refused to support another search without fresh evidence.

The Verdict

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is still missing. An image of an abandoned Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar airplane, a tourist attraction for scuba divers in the Gulf of Aqaba, Jordan, has been incorrectly attributed as the remains of the missing flight. Therefore, we have marked this claim false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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