I am beginning to see why Bakistan is now involved. The action seems to have shifted from the Bangladesh Ocean to the Pakistan Ocean. The Maldives location is due south of Mali, but way north of DG. Lo-flying may have indicated a landing further south on one of the islands. Easy transfer to a container ship headed for Somalia - or north to Pakistan!!! Shiv, check that Google map for houris sunning themselves in the Maldives, immediately S-SE of the KudaHuvadhoo FahiMart. Wonder where they can hide a 777 though - there are few buildings, and the islands look pretty flat, located on a big semi-circular ridge that comes almost to sea-level. Strange flowing patterns on the ocean in Googlemaps, almost like water flowing off to either side of a rock.
It is within each patrol range of DG, but who was looking there that Sunday morning? And a container ship bound for Africa would raise no comment around those parts.
Extremely interesting place, the Mala Dveep. Each atoll is like the crater rim of a blown-out volcano, full of sea-water nearly to the brim, so encloses a nice shallow lagoon. The place is as big as South India in total area! Maybe some of those lagoons are not very shallow but extend half-way through the core of Earth? Must be tons of lava tube caves all round. I wonder if the Faithful have taken over an atoll and constructed an entire base like Tora Bora directly north of DG??
Landing site mostly like in (proceeding south from Kudahuvadhoo)
a) Thaa Atoll
b) Laamu Atoll
c) Gaafu Alifu Atoll
That's like 200+ miles total, so my vote is for northside Thaa if the villagers were disturbed by the noise of the airliner. That was not 5000 feet, may have been like 1000 feet. Final approach, flaps down, 12 miles or so from touchdown. They should ask them to describe the noise to determine if flaps and landing gear were down. Big town/island of Vilufushi
is on north-east side of the atoll and smaller island village of Buruni
at northmost, they would not have come near those. Which means focus on north/northwest side of Thaa: which is most direct for a container express to Somalia as well. Island of Kandufushi?
Google satellite map resolution vanishes at that level.
Absolutely no features seen on Kandufushi
map. Buruni if quite far to the west/northeast, larger islands to the south/sw. I think they should try flying over Kandufushi
, and pay a land visit, checking for any signs of activity or ppl playing in the sand recently.