Operators aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 vehicle in the Indian Ocean to search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in this 2014 photo. File Photo by /Peter D. Blair/U.S. Navy/UPI | License Photo
March 19 (UPI) -- Australian investigators have rejected an engineer's theory that Malaysia Airlines Flight Flight 370 -- missing for four years -- is visible in Google Earth photos.
Engineer Peter McMahon said over the weekend the missing Boeing 777 is visible on Google's mapping program in water 10 miles south of Mauritius island in the Indian Ocean -- where debris turned up months after the plane went missing in March 2014.
The image identified by McMahon depicts the outline of a plane, which the engineer also said appears to be riddled with bullet holes.
The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau reacted strongly to the theory -- saying the Google Earth images were taken in 2009, long before the flight disappeared.
"Spurious claims such as these must be particularly upsetting for the family and friends of those lost on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370," the ATSB said.
The unexplained loss of the aircraft have spawned various conspiracy theories -- that say the plane was hijacked and flown to Afghanistan, overtaken by terrorists and crashed, or shot down by military forces.
A second search for the plane by Ocean Infinity, U.S. company operating on a "no find, no fee" basis, is underway. No progress in finding the plane has been reported.
The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carrying 239 people when it vanished on March 8, 2014. Although some parts of the Boeing 777 have been found, the bulk of the aircraft has not been located. A search effort by Australia and Malaysia was undertaken, but ultimately abandoned last year.