According to FelineNut, who I generally regard as extremely unreliable, Thai media are reporting that a piece of debris has been found off the coast of southern Thailand, not from from the Malaysian border, the Gulf of Thailand. I have no idea how debris from a single crash could wind up in both Réunion Island and the Gulf of Thailand; I certainly have not seen any drift models with endpoints in both places. (Apparently the current through the Malacca Strait runs from southeast to northwest, so it couldn’t have come via that route from the Indian Ocean; maybe through the Sunda Strait?) On the other hand, the piece does look aircraft-like (though perhaps a bit more like a section of rocket casing, as was recently recovered off the UK coast), and the marine life on it is strikingly reminiscent of that on the Réunion flaperon, with scattered clumps of goose barnacles and patchy brown algal film. I’ve spent a short while doing Bing and Google image searches but haven’t found any shots of a Rolls-Royce Trent engine that match what we’re seeing here. Any thoughts?
UPDATE: Reader Gysbreght has just pointed out that AirAsia 8501, and A320, crashed about 800 nautical miles on December 28, 2014. If this is indeed a piece of jet-engine cowling, that would seem a more likely source. Debris from that crash had previously been discovered at a distance of several hundred miles. (Gerry Soejatman points out that the currents in the vicinity of the QZ8501 crash site flow to the southeast, meaning that if this piece did come from that plane it must have taken a rather circuitous journey–not impossible, given that more than a year has passed.)
UPDATE #2: Thanks to some excellent detective work by the Wall Street Journal’s Jon Ostrower, it now appears clear that the debris is from a Japanese rocket. Gerry Soejatman has a nice blog post about it here.