MH370: families raise reward money
Families of passengers onboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 launch a campaign to raise money as reward for information about the missing aircraft. Nine News.PT0M44S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39rqj 620 349 June 9, 2014
The wife of a New Zealander who was aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is "disgusted" at the release of a fictional account of the mystery.
Three months after the jet vanished on a flight to Beijing with 239 people on board, New Zealand author Scott Maka has released the thriller novella MH370, an e-book.
Danica Weeks' husband Paul Weeks was on board the Malaysia Airlines flight. Photo: 60 Minutes
Danica Weeks, the wife of missing New Zealander Paul Weeks, said releasing a book so soon after the tragedy and without information on what happened made her angry.
It was hurtful to the families of the people on board the flight, Ms Weeks said.
"I'd rather they'd put their efforts to helping them find the truth, to be honest," she said. "We're going to be spending the rest of our lives doing that."
Paul and Danica Weeks on their wedding day in 2007.
Ms Weeks said people wanting to write books and make movies about the mystery should wait until they had all the information.
The author, with the pen name Scott Maka, said he never intended for the relatives of the missing families to be the book's audience or even find out about it.
"I wasn't writing it for the families," he said.
Mr Maka, who is based in Malaysia, said he wanted to apologise to Ms Weeks.
"I'm saddened to hear that she's reacted like that, I'm upset that she's upset."
The author acknowledged the book's publication came amid controversy sparked by US and Indian studios working on MH370 films.
He said he decided to write the novella after a "hair-raising" Air Asia flight between Malaysia and Vietnam just a week after the aircraft's disappearance.
"I was damn scared. Flying doesn't usually bother me, but knowing that another aircraft had just vanished on the same flight-path made me very, very jittery."
During his flight the communications consultant and former journalist turned his thoughts to possible causes for the MH370 disappearance, he said. Before his flight landed he came up with a "fascinating scenario", which he decided to turn into a book, which was released today.
The book, Maka's first to be published, has already had hundreds of downloads.
The 45-year-old described the novella as "a twist-type thriller" focusing on a female passenger's involvement in international intrigue.
Meanwhile, Ms Weeks is supporting a crowd-funding campaign to pay for private investigators and reward whistleblower information about the disappearance of MH370 with more than $5 million cash.
Ms Weeks said the families of the missing passengers had received little information from Malaysian Authorities and they were sick of waiting on the official investigation.
"We've lost trust so we've thought outside the box."
Ms Weeks said she hoped someone came forward with a positive lead on what happened to the plane. Finding the plane and finding out what happened would give families the closure they needed, she said.
"We're desperate, we need to try anything."