3 fishermen insist they saw ‘flying object’ crash into sea, say cops

Firemen and onlookers gather at the Tanjung Bungah beach after a plane was reported as having crashed there. (Bomba pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Police today continued a search for a mysterious flying object said to have “crashed” near an islet in the northern waters of Penang after witnesses insisted they had seen it happen.

Northeast district police chief Soffian Santong said three inshore fishermen in their early 50s saw the flying object, which they said resembled a matchbox when viewed from afar.

“They said it looked like a black matchbox and it fell into the water. Then a balloon-like object popped up and sank.

“They could not positively say that it resembled an aircraft. As of now, we think this report is fake, but we will continue investigating,” he told reporters.

Soffian said the object appeared to be small as the fishermen were about 2km from the Pulau Tikus islet from the shores of Tanjung Bungah.

He said a search continued this morning but nothing was found.

“There is not even a single piece of debris. The other witnesses we interviewed, who were beach sports operators, did not see anything,” he said.

Soffian said the search operations were called off at 11am and would resume until there was positive identification of the aircraft.

Yesterday, a search team comprising police, the fire department and the maritime authorities scoured the islets for a couple of hours, after a 999 call was made at 2.26pm.

The emergency caller had claimed that a plane had crashed into the waters off Tanjung Bungah.