The flaperon that was discovered on a beach on Reunion Island has been confirmed to have come from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. This has just been announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The debris has been under analysis at a specialized lab in Toulouse, France. Air crash investigators should also shortly confirm what attitude the plane was in when it struck water, but the appearance of the flaperon, with a ragged trailing edge, suggests that Flight 370 was ditched. The flaperons would have been the first part of the wings to touch the water, and most likely the first parts to become detached from the plane, meaning that they would have been among intact debris.
US intelligence authorities have released a report suggesting that the plane might have been deliberately flown off course, but if this is true, then it would seem odd that it was ditched instead of simply being allowed to fall into the sea. Ditching a large aircraft like a 777 at sea during the night is virtually impossible, and the plane would almost certainly have broken up.
Where it is remains a question, but now that the flaperon has been positively identified, an effort to retrace its movements through the ocean and to analyze barnacles and other debris found on it will help investigators make a better determination about the location of the main body of the plane’s ruins.
A comment from Whitley Strieber: "Evidence is building that the plane crashed. Sad as this is, it is also a relief because, had it been hijacked and hidden, it would have been one of the most potentially dangerous of all weapons. With minor modifications, a Boeing 777 could fly nonstop from one point on Earth to most others, and could easily carry the sort of massive, primitive but very lethal atomic weapon that terrorist groups might be able to assemble."