SAGBAY ISLAND, PHILIPPINES — Plane wreckage reportedly found in early September on Sugbay Island in the southern Philippines could be missing U.S. military charter Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 from 53 years ago, instead of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
According to an article on Air Facts Journal, on March 14, 1962, Flight 739 was carrying 107 passengers, and 93 of them were jungle-trained Army Rangers en route to South Vietnam. The flight was headed to Clark field in the Philippines from Guam.
Flight 739 radioed in a routine position report 80 minutes after take-off. Another report scheduled an hour later never came. A crew of a tanker along the route reported seeing an in-flight explosion from Flight 739. No wreckage or debris was ever recovered. Over the course of eight days, ships and airplanes from four branches of the service searched more than 200,000 square miles, the largest sea and air search recorded in the Pacific until the search of MH370.
The supposed wreckage was found by a teen and his friends while bird hunting in Ubian Island early September. They reportedly came upon the wreckage and saw "many" skeletal remains and a tattered Malaysian flag, Free Malaysia Today reports.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the Philippine military has deployed a gunboat to the island, but no wreck has been found, and locals have no knowledge of any plane crashing in the area.
"I sent people to the site where it (the plane wreck) was supposedly seen and the results were negative," the deputy police director of Tawi-Tawi, Superintendent Glenn Roy Gabor, told AFP by phone.