MH370 Families Set Up Crowdfunding Campaign to Raise $5 Million Whistleblower Fund

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 8 2014 1:22 PM

MH370 Families Set Up Crowdfunding Campaign to Raise $5 Million Whistleblower Fund

477833603-students-from-an-international-school-in-east-china
Students from an international school in the east China city of Zhuji pray for the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by lighting candles on March 10, 2014

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Three months after a Malaysia Airlines plane suddenly vanished, relatives of some of the passengers who were on flight MH370 have set up a fund-raising campaign to encourage a whistleblower to “come forward” and reveal what he or she knows about the mysterious disappearance. “This mystery has too many unknowns, false leads, unconfirmed facts and missing details,” notes the Indiegogo campaign. “Yet, someone somewhere knows what happened to flight MH370.  We hope to encourage them to come forward.” The campaign is being coordinated by Ethan Hunt, an Australian who lives in Hong Kong and has no connection with any passengers on the flight. "It took me eight weeks to contact family members,” Hunt told the BBC. “In the beginning, no one was interested, but then a couple of them did come on board.”

The campaign illustrates how many of the families believe they aren’t getting the full story, notes USA Today. The disappearance of the plane is not "a simple aviation disaster. It must involve politics," Steve Wang, whose mother was on the plane, says. He's hardly alone in feeling that way. "I am certain there's been a cover-up,” Sara Bajc, whose partner was on the plane, told Sky News. "I'm not sure who is doing it or why they're doing it, whether it was an intentional act that's being obscured or whether there was a genuine bad thing that happened and people are trying not to let that come to life. But we do honestly believe that somewhere there is a person who knows something that will allow us to find the plane and find our loved ones.” Bajc is one of the five family members organizing the fund-raising drive along with two other people who apparently have expertise in raising funds and carrying out private investigations.

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Although the goal of the campaign is to first get enough money for a reward, it will also seek to “engage a professional, licensed private investigation company to follow up” on any credible leads they obtain. The next stage in the underwater search for the plane is not expected to begin until July or August, reports CNN

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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