Malaysia Looks Set to Restart MH370 Search – UPDATED

Many thanks to reader @David who provided the link to the following statement issued today, October 19, 2017, by Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester:

I acknowledge the announcement that the Malaysian Government is entering into an agreement with Ocean Infinity, to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Malaysian Government has accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity to search for the missing plane, entering into a ‘no find no fee’ arrangement.

Malaysia’s decision to proceed with the search shows the commitment to find MH370.

While I am hopeful of a successful search, I’m conscious of not raising hopes for the loved ones of those on board.

Ocean Infinity will focus on searching the seafloor in an area that has previously been identified by experts as the next most likely location to find MH370.
Australia, at Malaysia’s request, will provide technical assistance to the Malaysian Government and Ocean Infinity.

No new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft, however data collected during the previous search will be provided.

As always our thoughts are with the families and friends. I hope that this new search will bring answers, both for the next of kin and for the rest of the world.

From the language it seems that Australia is at an arm’s length from this deal. It sounds like, despite having been put in charge of the original seabed search, they are not party to this deal. What’s more, in being “conscious of not raising hopes for the loved ones of those on board” he sounds rather skeptical of the odds of success. I find this a little surprising given the tone of recent Australian pronouncements, such as the statement in the CSIRO’s “The search for MH370 and ocean surface drift – Part II” report that “we are now even more confident that the aircraft is within the new search area identified and recommended in the MH370 First Principles Review.”

Worth noting that Malaysia has not finalized a deal. Several news outlets are reporting that “the Malaysian Government has confirmed it has chosen a company [Ocean Infinity] to begin a new search for MH370 and is now negotiating the terms of the deal.”

So what, you ask, is Ocean Infinity? The Houston-based company seems to have sprung into existence recently; the oldest article I could find about the company was from last October. It owns a fleet of AUVs but leases its support ship from Swire Seabed, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong conglomerate. According to one source,

Swire Seabed already has a six-year contract in place for its new vessel with UK-based mapping company Ocean Infinity, the owner of the AUVs and USVs. The vessel will serve as the host for the multiple AUV operations in a combined venture between Ocean Infinity, with Swire Seabed providing survey processing and project management, and SeaTrepid DeepSea of Louisiana conducting operations of the AUVs.

Looks like somebody’s looking to gamble a lot of money on long odds. But whose money, exactly, is at stake?

UPDATE 10/21/17: I just received an email from Ocean Infinity’s media relations rep, Mark Antelme of Celicourt Communications. He says:

Thanks for getting in touch with the team.  At this stage, all we can really say (as a company spokesperson) is:

“Ocean Infinity are not yet able to confirm the final award of a contract to help in the search for MH370, but good progress has been made.  We remain optimistic that we will be able to try and help provide some answers to those who have been affected by this tragedy.”

There is a fair amount of info on the company here:

Otherwise, we hope to be able to update people on the contract award over the coming days and we will make sure you receive any communication from us.

I wonder what the sticking points are.

197 thoughts on “Malaysia Looks Set to Restart MH370 Search – UPDATED”

  1. Whether you allow this comment or not is irrelevant but:

    OI is according to Julie on Twitter registered in the Caymans. The 4 main members of the team & company brief can be found on LinkedIn.

    It’s CEO is Oliver Plunkett & he is also director of a company called Prosperity which is registered at the same address as OIs London HQ. He became according to Company House records Secretary then Director at Prosperity over a 5 day period from 15th to the 19th of January 2017. He left his previous Employer in December 2016. He has also been at the Helm of OI since January 2017. I can see nothing in his personal blog on LinkedIn that links him to Prosperity. So the connection between Prosperity & OI apart from having the same UK address & Oliver himself is a mystery.

    Just FYI 75% of Prosperity is apparently owned by Sir Paul Marshall. His background is well documented & he is well known for his Hedge Fund Investments.

  2. @Jeff Wise
    Your Twitter feed promoted THE TAKING OF K-129.
    – did you get a chance to read it?
    – any similarities between that incident and MH370 and OI?

  3. To follow up on my previous comment Prosperity has different arms attached to it. Prosperity 2017 which Oliver is a Director of appears to be a company looking at the best way forward for the UK after Brexit.

    The only other person named on company House records for this company is Sir Paul Marshall. It appears that OI isn’t actually present at the address in London but it is more than likely a address where Oliver Plunkett can be contacted.

    My curiosity lies with whether Marshall through his company MarshallWace or MWAM for short could be the money men behind OI.

  4. @Mick, thanks for clarifying the process

    In my previous post i was implying that perhaps the inmarsat data is not well understood after all and the clues that were discarded on the grounds of understanding the inmarsat data may need a revisit. Malaysia should be able to do that i hope. Againt many thinking the contrary, i am more inclined to think now that malaysia was misled by information of foreign origins of apparent reliable source. They have a chance now to clear their reputation. Hopefully no need of an independent investigation but if required who can really be trusted now? This event has already erroded trust.

  5. @PS9:
    “…How can a company with no apparent industry history, a Cayman Islands registration, and only 4 employees persuade a very big company like Swire Seabed to buy a ship of that size especially for them, then afford (and commit) to lease it for 6 years, buy several very costly AUV’s and surface vessels and give a $3m contract to Kraken? Then go off on a speculative (without Icelandic permission) hunt for treasure off Iceland? Strange behaviour…”

    Easy, if the shell company was setup by Swire who want deniability in the form of a few individuals who can be thrown to the wolves. I’m having a dig around on Swire Seabed and finding some interesting bits of info which I’ll post when done. This was an excellent piece of work, please let us know if you dig up anything else.

    BTW, I’ve had no luck trying to find any info on Advanced Marine Services UK, although there is a similarly names company based near Lake Tahoe in the USA. This whole affair is becoming surreal, with nothing reported being exactly what is portrayed in the press.

    For some reason the name Sir Paul Marshall rings a bell with me, but I don’t know the context of why?

  6. @Boris – maybe we need to dig a bit more, and wouldn’t surprise me if .O.I./et al is somehow related to the ..1.m.d.b…

  7. @Boris

    I can get you some info on Advanced Marine in the UK. A quick bit of digging throws up a few different possible. Are you looking at the subsea company?

    If so:

    Company number 03788327

    Follow this company
    File for this company
    Officers Persons with significant control
    Filter officers
    Filter officersCurrent officers
    5 officers / 2 resignations

    MARTIN, Deborah Anne

    Correspondence address
    17 Solent Way, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 2NR
    Role ACTIVE
    Appointed on
    8 June 1999
    MARTIN, Deborah Anne

    Correspondence address
    17 Solent Way, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 2NR
    Role ACTIVE
    Date of birth
    December 1953
    Appointed on
    8 June 1999
    Country of residence
    United Kingdom
    MARTIN, Ramsey Quayle

    Correspondence address
    17 Solent Way, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 2NR
    Role ACTIVE
    Date of birth
    June 1949
    Appointed on
    8 June 1999
    Country of residence
    United Kingdom
    Chartered Engineer

    Correspondence address
    6-8 Underwood Street, London, N1 7JQ
    Nominee Secretary
    Appointed on
    8 June 1999
    Resigned on
    8 June 1999

    Correspondence address
    6-8 Underwood Street, London, N1 7JQ
    Nominee Director
    Appointed on
    8 June 1999
    Resigned on
    8 June 1999

  8. @Boris

    Sir Paul Marshall:

    Prosperity UK & Marshall Wace LLP

    Sir Paul Marshall is Chairman of Prosperity UK and co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Marshall Wace LLP, a global hedge fund headquartered in London. Marshall Wace manages $27bn in a combination of fundamental long/short alpha capture and credit strategies.

    Paul served as Lead-Non-Executive Director at the Department for Education from 2013 to 2016. He is a founding Trustee of Ark, the children’s charity, and Chairman of Ark Schools.

    Paul was knighted in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ list in June 2016 for services to education and philanthropy.

    He holds an MBA from INSEAD Business School and a BA (Hons) from St John’s College, Oxford University.

  9. @Michael John / All

    Thanks, I saw Advance Marine Subsea, but no references to a UK business listed as Advance Marine Services. AMSubsea are doing most of their work on systems for submarines for military customers and I don’t think they would want to become involved with anything dodgy. I’ll keep looking.

    Thanks too for the info about Sir Paul Marshall, he would certainly have the resources to fund a search for MH370 and would, I suspect, know all about setting up off-shore shell companies. This could easily be attached to Prosperity, which seems to be a legitimate, but small, registered company.

    Good find that Sir Paul’s “Prosperity2017” has Oliver Plunkett looking at the best way forward for the UK after Brexit. This fits in with Sir Paul’s long-standing involvement with the Liberal party. He was a major donor to the Liberals and helped them setup a policy think-tank, but fell out with the Libs over their policies on the EU and their support for the stay campaign. He is a Brexiteer and publicly declared that Britain would do better by leaving the EU.

    None of this explains why is keen to find MH370, unless he had a personal connection to one of the passengers?

  10. @MH:
    “Maybe we need to dig a bit more, and wouldn’t surprise me if .O.I./et al is somehow related to the ..1.m.d.b…”

    Certainly possible through Swire connection…

    John Swire & Sons Limited is a British business set up 1866 to capitalise on trading with China and is still a private business conglomerate doing much the same today, although with 130,000 employees on a much larger scale. Swire today is rather opaque and has evolved into a vast and complex company trading mainly in Asia, but with assets straddling the globe, all of which are linked by a spider’s web of cross-holdings and off-shore shell companies. J Swire & Sons Ltd also has stakes in Swire Pacific Ltd, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering (HAECO HK) and Steamships Trading Company.

    Interesting that Cathay Pacific have a large number of Boeing 777s in their fleet and have placed orders for the new version, and that HEACO is a Hong Kong based commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company.

  11. @Boris

    There are a number of things about OI that are interesting. The company has allegedly been around for years but most of the front line staff have been there for less than 2 years. They have rebranded this year & if you take a look at their blog on LinkedIn (Which I’m sure you have) then you will note their post history only seems to go back 7 months.

    On Oliver & Prosperity what I find odd is that despite being a Director, which is proven by Company House records there is no mention of Prosperity On Oliver’s blog & no mention of him on the Prosperity website.

    Moving back to Paul Marshall it seems to me that OI is using the basic Hedge Fund principles of taking on a major financial risk now with the hope of reaping major rewards later. Not only financial but it will put the company on the World stage. A massive coup for a company that currently little is known about.

  12. @Jeff Wise
    Are you referring to the portable oxygen bottle?
    Apparently it’s stowed with the rest of the emergency equipment in special storage cabins.

  13. @Jeff Wise. Attendants’ oxygen. Not exactly what you are asking but FI Appendix 1.6E.15.3 p25/28 says, “15 cylinders are located throughout the passenger cabin. Each cylinder is of 11 cubic feet (301 litres) capacity”.

  14. @David, @Jeff and others on the subject.
    My reflections on the 87% area searched and not found anything:
    Accepting how we did get to that area, we need to realize that no “technical” i.e mechanical, electronic etc, has a failure rate of absolute zero. Not in its execution of task nor in time.
    Meaning, it could be drifting in its readings to a point the crew decides to (have to) adjust it. That could be a certain timeframe it was not functioning optimum. We could have passed over targets, not found it important enough to repeat the pass and missed it?
    The measuring/sensing area of the buoy could be fouled by kelp, plastic bags and that sort of stuff, giving “filtered readings” While did the crew did not notice this. How much of an area of the seabed was covered during above two probable cases?
    Just making the case that we did cover the 87% area, but we should not expect to have had during all those days 100% errorless readings.
    In my (previous as I am retired) line of work, taking critical readings in oil and gas wells, we always ran 100 or sometime even 300% redundancy in downhole tools to read data. I have seen 50% failure rate frequently and even the odd 100% failure. Sometimes data did not match, i.e. difference in readings from one tool to the other. What is the correct data than?

    So how much should we quantify this uncertainty of data in this case? Maybe 2% of the time, 5% don’t know? But certainly not zero.
    Hence we have no certainty that we did cover the full area with 100% optimum tools, nor do we have certainty readings are 100% correct interpreted. Impossible.

    Not finding anything in the 87% area, shifts the probability of it being in the remaining 13% area. If it is not in the 78% area, and we are certain it has to be in this 100% area, it can only be in the 13% area. (if I know for 100% a tool has to be in my tool shed and I cannot find it, it has to be elsewhere. Although I was certain it was not there) 🙂

    Now they start with a different tool in a new area. To be correct and calibrate the tool, they have to redo the previous area to benchmark/calibrate the tool such that it also does not find any targets.
    Makes sense, but they are never going to do that.

    So why are they interested in doing it and on a no cure no pay contract?

    What is the objective of the Operation? To find a target and be able to say “ it crashed there”, to recover debris? or what?
    What will be the deliverable for the Malaysian Government? All of the above, just a picture of debris?
    The question was asked: How would they negotiate the contract, noting there are “sticking points”.
    Yes, not easy to write such a contract certainly not with a Government.
    What is the scope of work? I.e what do they need to do under the contract and where? Very important and not easy to define.
    You cannot write search the SIO and find the crash location.
    When is it agreed completed? (end of contract)
    What is agreed to be the mutually accepted data, with which they have sufficient proof (of the deliverables) that they get paid?
    Very important decision point. It starts as no cure no pay, but they are so certain to find something, that they offer this option. Hence they clearly want to have it written in the contract when they provide the Deliverable(s) and get paid.

    One could even think of multiple interested parties, whereby no cure no pay could be very lucrative.
    Would parties be interested to recover something of great value? Maybe the reason why MH370 had to disappear?
    That is an interesting scenario, recover the items of “great value” and get paid by those interested parties, whilst reporting back to the Malay Govt they have the Deliverables and get paid again. The latter not being aware of the first contract; the main drive to go and search?

    The company construction of this new search party, certainly does not make it a regularly registered mainstreet one, making one think of such conspiracy theory as sketched above.

    But why and how come they are so sure it is indeed in the SIO? Jeff and most of us on the forum would have great doubts about that. So should we now take this new development as a previously not known conformation it is in the SIO and they have further evidence the rest does not have?
    Time will tell. Will be very interesting for sure.

  15. This Not-for-Profit foundation was brought to my attention in recent days.

    Interesting, it was established Feb/March 2017 by Oliver Plunkett and Melanie Smith of Ocean Infinity. Flotilla is registered in the Netherlands as a NFP.

    Stichting The Flotilla Charitable Foundation,
    Address: Naritawag 165, 1043 BW Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
    RSIN: 857437719

    Let me remind all that this was at the very same time OI made its search offer to the MYG (as confirmed by some NOK at a briefing given to them by MY authorities several days before the 3rd Anniversary).

    On its website, Flotilla also outline its Policy Plan:

    I note two areas that raised my eyebrows:

    “An initial area of focus for the Foundation will be the acquisition and donation of seabed and ocean maps and data to organisations enabling them to utilize such maps and data for scientific research.”

    Am I rights in recalling that the ATSB stated earlier this year that it would release much of its gathered seabed data from the search into the public domain for further study by third parties and scientific institutes to use?

    And also this:

    “It is very difficult to forecast with certainty the amounts of contributions that the Foundation will receive. In 2017, the Foundation expects to receive a
    substantial initial gift. In years thereafter the Foundation expects to receive further material sums by way of donation and investment returns. It
    anticipates generating up to EUR2million per annum in investment income and

    What gift, and from whom?

    Flotilla also state that they may also award support grants:

    “By way of example, and without limitation, the Foundation may make grants to support:

    Creation and promotion of protected marine areas ;
    Cleaning of the marine environment ;
    Prevention of marine pollution
    Development of sustainable acquaculture techniques and technologies
    Improved integration of conservation factors into livelihood development for
    coastal/fishing communities
    Development of technologies that further the protection, preservation and
    understanding of the marine environment
    Research that furthers the public understanding of the marine environment
    Dissemination of such research, including education of the public around issues relating to the marine environment”

    I’m all for conservation foundations, but I do think before embarking on a search, Ocean Infinity itself needs to be somewhat more transparent on who/what partner companies are financing the upfront costs of the search, and if that is Swire Seabed or some other significant donor, then fine. But state that clearly when and if a deal is struck with MYG.

  16. March 2017 was certainly a busy month for foundations.

    The Elba Foundation…

    The same foundation board – Oliver Plunkett (Chairman), Melanie Smith (Secretary and Treasurer)and Anneka Treon – the same three named on the board of Flotilla.

    “In 2017, the Foundation expects to receive a significant initial gift, made conditional upon retention of the initial capital.”

    “During 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Foundation will specifically, but not exclusively, focus on supporting education related projects. In particular it has identified a UK based charity – Absolute Return for Kids – which operates a number of schools and education related projects around the world with which it envisages making a medium term (5 years) funding commitment.”

    @Michael John. Sir Paul Marshall is co-founder of ARK.

  17. @MH:

    Not many declared Swire offshoots in Malasia, but plenty in Singapore and Shanghai. Looks unlikely any connection to 1 MDB, from this part of the MH370 new search team. It is interesting that Swire are heavily involved in Aircraft MRO engineering operations.

    Swire Motors Sales and Services, Selangor

    Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte.) Ltd
    HAECO (Pte.) Ltd
    Swire Shipping (The China Navigation Co Ltd.)
    Swire Emergency Response Division
    Swire Pacific Ship Management Ltd. (CNCo)
    Swire Pacific Ship Management Ltd. (SPO)

    Shanghai Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Services Co. Ltd.
    Swire Cold Chain Logistics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
    Swire Pacific Cold Storage Ltd.
    Swire Resources (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd

    {Plus lots other assorted businesses throughout China, Taiwan and Hongkong.)

  18. Just found a reference to ADVANCED MARINE SERVICES LTD, based at Ilkley in the UK on Linkedin. No other info listed.

  19. @Rein
    The BTO distance is considered accurate to +- 5.3 nM. Note also that the BTO (Arc7) location shifts about 8-10 nM depending on what altitude you believe the signal was sent.

    The 87% certainty assumes that you agree with the simplifying assumptions of the ATSB calcs: Simplifying somewhat, the assumptions are Final Turn South to SIO at 18:40 and no maneuvers after that. So either (1) ATSM assumptions were wrong or (2) the ATSB assumptions were correct and they missed it. Most of us are probably in the Option#1 category, differing mainly in how far off the assumptions were.

  20. TBill:

    Re: “… location shifts about 8-10 nM depending on what altitude …”

    The 7th arc at 0ft altitude is 5.0 nm closer to the arc center than the 35k foot 7th arc projected to the surface.

  21. ADVANCED MARINE SERVICES LTD, based at Ilkley links to a named director, John Gawthrope, appointed 3 Apr 2012.

    He is also director MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY CONSULTANTS LIMITED appointed 18 Apr 2012, and director of PACIFIC OCEAN RECOVERY LIMITED on the same date.

    He has connections to Ross Kevin HYETT, who is director of ARGENTUM EXPLORATION LIMITED, appointed on 26 March 2012. The address to this business is 6 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 4PZ, which neatly joins us back to Oliver Plunkett and his boss/backer?? Sir Paul Marshall and, because of the Iceland caper, back to Swire.

    Another address that crops up often and is seemingly connected with this mob is:

    WC1R 4GB

    More digging needs to be done on this one – what the hell is going on?

  22. @Boris

    LS29 6AY
    Other professional, scientific and technical activities not elsewhere classified

    Legal Information

    Company Registration No.:
    Incorporation Date:
    3 Apr 2012 (5 Years old)
    Financial Year End:
    30 Apr
    £2.00 on 27 Apr 2016

    Directors and Secretaries

    John Gawthrope
    3 Apr 2012 ⇒ Present ( 5 Years ) Director
    Previous Addresses

    LS29 6AY
    Changed 25 Oct 2016

    W1U 1PF
    Changed 3 Oct 2016

    WC1R 4GB
    Changed 17 May 2016

  23. @boris – good digging. Something will hit the fan from that these connections and expose 1 -mdb maybe the money was transferred Some time ago.

  24. @Mick

    Yes I believe that is in his blog. Trust me despite what people want to believe I have nothing against Sir Paul Marshall or OI but like everyone else I want to understand who they are & what their aims are. I too want the search to continue in the SIO ASAP.

  25. @ALSM
    OK ALSM thank you 5 nm it is for altitude. I did a quick calc so I need to check my math. I probably had a slanty line in my quick calc.

  26. A few more companies linked to Ross Kevin Hyatt and 6 Grosvenor St or Lion House…


    I’ll have a look and see if any of these have been up to something newsworthy.

  27. @Rein. Some perambulations.
    Search quality was given a deal of attention. See pages 83-97 of:

    That might not have the level of redundancy of your experience but the area to be covered would have caused lines to be drawn on that as it did on the 87%. I should add that IMO the possibility of debris having escaped attention in the air and surface searches would have been higher. Not just were there some very high search widths, there were the limits to searcher concentration over long periods, and also the sea and air radar capabilities in picking up items floating flat on the surface at a distance, particularly with any seas running.

    Moreover that search quality also depends on the initial testing of the system to prove it will pick up what is being sought. See pages 60-62 of the above.

    As you can see the test targets were quite large, flat and sonar-reflecting compared to what might be a part of an engine: blades and bits hanging off may not count for much as reflective surfaces. The test items were not placed on a muddy bottom yet there is evidence some was encountered: perhaps not much by some of the photos, yet there can be circularity in that. Mud would reduce reflectivity, yet one would hope that the bathymetric survey would have detected and warned of that. Also the test items were not placed in natural projections and lumps.

    Still, there was this accent on search quality and as described in the report a 44 imperial gallon drum on its side was detected at around the extreme distance of the search path. No mud there but nevertheless not a bad test since the drum had curvature which would have reduced its effective reflective surface.

    The contract negotiations are taking some time, presumably this covering the sorts of points you and others make. You can read a more about this and a most useful disclosure about the search area on the VI site. Apparently Australia and China have been involved in ‘due diligence’ though it looks like the contract itself is just being handled by Malaysia, with Australia and China being presented with the outcome. However a cast of many, needing international co-ordination would be cumbersome (more delay).

  28. I have been looking at if Jho Low of .1.m.d.b. fame who was investing those funds in Texas energy and also Hong Kong based might be with the Hong Kong B777 parts company and further into any connection with …0..I/etc If this has already chased this down please advise further.

  29. Another address that keeps popping up is that of John Gawthrope director of ADVANCED MARINE SERVICES LTD…

    25 Oakdale Glen
    HG1 2JY

    The 2015 Abbreviated Accounts of Argentum Exploration Ltd (nice puny name on gold theme) lists ADK Chartered Accountants as the auditors and they are based at the above address!

    Link to report here…

  30. @MH

    Jho Low has gone missing apparently. I wonder why. The real question is not the relationship between OI and 1MDB but 9M-MRO and 1MDB.

  31. @SteveBarratt

    Jho Low has gone missing apparently. I wonder why. The real question is not the relationship between OI and 1MDB but 9M-MRO and 1MDB.

    Excellent point IMO.

  32. Just found that MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY CONSULTANTS LIMITED, one of the Sir Paul outfits, was also registered as a company in Switzerland – Maritime Archaeology Consultants Holdings Switzerland AG. Names of directors Nicholas Hyett and Ross Kevin Hyett (again). Wonder why they wanted a Swiss company?

  33. Just found an article that mentions Ocean Infinity. Despite media reports this States that Ocean Infinity is a UK based company. It also mentions that it is in partnership with an American Company called Sea Trepid.

    Swire Seabed takes on fourth vessel, secures contract
    Written by OE Staff Thursday, 08 December 2016 03:25
    Print Email
    Norway-based subsea operations specialist Swire Seabed has taken delivery of its fourth subsea vessel, Seabed Constructor.
    Swire Seabed has secured a six-year contract for Seabed Constructor with UK based firm Ocean Infinity, which is part of US-based SeaTrepid International. The vessel will be carrying out AUV based survey and construction support operations on a global basis.

  34. @Michael John:

    SeaTrepid Press Release July 19, 2017

    “Ocean Infinity has received the first six of their unmanned surface vehicles, SEAWORKER. The link to the video below shows the sea trials for SEAWORKER being conducted. The crew that will operate and maintain the USV’s will be supplied by SeaTrepid.”

    The SeaWorker USVs are built at SeaTrepid’s Porchester facility near Portsmouth UK. The other company involved is Kraken Robotics Inc. who will fit the AUVs with their AquaPix® INSAS synthetic aperture sonar sensors. This is going to be an expensive undertaking, but Ocean Infiniy’s backer is not short of a Bob or two.

  35. @Boris: Remind me … what is the relevance of AMS again? I was looking into them a few days ago but can’t recall why now.

    Argentum Exploration: did you miss that Melanie Smith was also one of the shareholders along with Paul Marshall?

    There’s a Melanie Smith as OI’s Operations Director, small world … :


    The third board member on the Flotilla Organisation webpage is listed as Tijn Van Hooven, a new name to look into:

    On his Prosperity directorship details, Oliver Plunkett gives his correspondence address as:

    ‘C/o Wpo Limited, First Floor, 6 Grosvenor Street, London, United Kingdom, W1K 4PZ’

    Which seems a bit odd because WPO Limited says it’s involved in wind energy asset management:

    Oliver Plunkett is also a director of Speldhurst Services Limited (occupation listed as ‘Tax Adviser’) perhaps named after what appears to be a residential address in Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells:,0.2176675,3a,75y,41.08h,69.04t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s99_iK7EP855ZoQLNcsE2FA!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en


    The 6 Grosvenor Road, Mayfair, WK1K 4PZ address seems to be a (prestigious) virtual office/serviced office address (or registered office address) – there’s a shedload of companies all using that address on their contact pages, more than you could fit in the building if they all arrived together:

    Same goes for the Lion House, WC1R 4GB address – lots of companies using that registered office address, including pharmacies like this Plc:

    Here’s some of them – 163 total, some dissolved, some active still:

    (Apply filter for the postcode if it doesn’t show you just the Lion House address companies)

    Difficult to know with 25 Oakdale Glen since that’s residential:,-1.5538334,3a,75y,78.07h,79.62t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfjxXrKxeUZM4jx_jzgOLgQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    But there’s quite a few companies listed on Endole at that address but not the ones you mention, interestingly:


    Paul Marshall’s business involvements as a director:


  36. OI seems to be spending a great deal more here than just buying UAVs and USVs off the shelf. It seems it’s also paying for the design/building of the USVs, and for custom launching & recovery systems (LARS) to be manufactured for Seabed Constructor as well as the software contracts to controls several USVs and process the multiple streams of incoming data:

    SeaTrepid also partners with Deep Ocean Search. DOS bid for the MH370 search back in 2014, was accepted by the MYG as their preferred contractor and went through sea trials, but were refused later by the ATSB. DOS says ATSB wouldn’t explain why or discuss the matter. DOS claims the DOS systems were 100% more efficient than Fugro’s. There’s an interesting section on DOS’s website that tells the story here:

    And a downloadable FAQ as a PDF here:

    (‘JLB’ = SV John Lethbridge, the survey ship DOS uses)

    “The Malaysian Asset Committee report to BHIC on 25th June 14 concluded that the best commercial and technical offer seen by the ATSB was that of DOS/Ixblue. DOS’s ship SV John Lethbridge (JLB) was made available in July for the MH370 project

    DOS/Ixblue are retained by the Malaysian Asset Committee on 6th July 2014 pending contract award. DOS’s ship SV John Lethbridge put on 1 week notice for a transit to Perth from Cape Town”

    “DOS/Ixblue were informed, verbally, in late August by the ATSB that the JLB was “not efficient” enough. The reasons given were sketchy, inaccurate and frankly incomprehensible.

    DOS/Ixblue demonstrated through letters written to the ATSB that the JLB and systems are approximately 100% more efficient than the assets currently being employed. Any discussion has been refused by the ATSB.

    Similar letters and responses were sent to and received from the JACC and the Australian deputy prime minister’s office. DOS/Ixblue remain perplexed as to why the most experienced team in the world, equipped with the most sophisticated and dedicated wreckage search and location system in the world have been excluded from this important project – to find this plane.”

    So the MYG was happy with DOS, DOS passed the sea trials but the ATSB had other ideas but wouldn’t explain why, and told the MYG to contract with Fugro instead?

    Metron (who did the analysis that found AF447) and Woods Hole (who found AF447) also bid.

    It seems Woods Hole Institute also tried to help earlier (in April, before the bidding process started) but were ignored by the MYG:

    “Although Malaysian authorities have appealed for help with the underwater search, they have not responded to offers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, which found Air France Flight 447.

    “We’ve tried every way we can at Woods Hole just to have a conversation with someone in Malaysia,” said Dave Gallo of Woods Hole. “We offered through our State Department, and then we tried to go directly to the Malaysians and to Boeing. Nothing.”

  37. @SteveBarratt said:

    “The real question is not the relationship between OI and 1MDB but 9M-MRO and 1MDB.”

    So … the MYG was shipping something valuable to the Chinese bought with 1MDB money (or was it the money itself?) and someone else objected and took it back?

    I think you had the idea (many moons ago) that it was inside knowledge of the 1MDB scam that was being used as a bargaining chip with the MYG during the turn back, but how would that play out – if you don’t give us what we demand we’ll tell the world? Why would you need to be on an aircraft to make that demand?

    Or how else could 1MDB be connected?

  38. Sometimes it all comes down to the search terms you use…

    Here’s another piece of the story which starts to bring the whole thing together:

    “Then in 2015, SeaTrepid was approached by a British entrepreneur with a passion for ocean exploration and a simple question: “Why does no one operate more than one AUV per host vessel?”

    Underlying his question was a desire to transform the industry based on the concept that if you could double, triple, or even quadruple the work product unit of vessel time costs would be lowered and results delivered faster than ever thought possible.

    The quality of SeaTrepid’s people and experience led to an invitation to join the Briton, and his company Ocean Infinity, in his quest and thus SeaTrepid DeepSea was born. With the addition to his team of Swire Seabed from Bergen, Norway, who provide Ocean Infinity with its service vessel as well as survey services, SeaTrepid’s newest business unit became part of a world-class global operation.”

    (Click on fullscreen on the reader/player and see the LH page)

    I think we can now guess who the British entrepreneur was/is.

    Where Ocean Infinity’s financing is coming from.

    And also where the (philanthropic) investment income/donations to the Flotilla Organisation will be from.

    A real feather-in-the-cap if successful, but they still need to know the right place to search.

  39. I’m not even going to quote some of the above. This is where stuff gets wacky and I will make an exit from the convo. I respect the input, but this is where I don’t do rabbit holes and this gets closer to stoking egos. I hope Jeff appreciates that I am always happy to return on point and that his post was about the potential restart of the search.

    We are just moving away from OI, getting into speculative theories, which I appreciate is a natural progression on any MH370 thread.

  40. @PS9

    I think you had the idea (many moons ago) that it was inside knowledge of the 1MDB scam that was being used as a bargaining chip with the MYG during the turn back, but how would that play out

    My theory was that a money transfer was being demanded to recover funds embezzled from 1MDB. A money transfer can be done quickly (at that level) and is difficult to reverse. It would require going to court to accomplish a reversal. That in and of itself would expose the details of the 1MDB shenanigans.

  41. Hi DennisW

    I’ve read your comments often on this line of reasoning. Makes sense on just as many levels as any other theory frankly. So I am cool with it.

    anyways – is there a piece of reasonably attainable evidence you would like to have that would prove the theory?

    Simply curious as to how you would go about proving it if you were in charge. thanks 🙂

  42. @Billy

    Short of a whistleblower, I cannot think of anything. There is ample anecdotal and physical evidence to show the Najib and others (Jho Low) were splashing a lot of money around, and it was well-known inside Malaysia where this money was coming from. BTW, as mentioned above, Jho Low has gone missing.

    The Malay response in the first hours after the diversion also suggests that people at the top knew what was going on. S&R was started very late relative to what any reasonable person would expect.

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