Bomohs or witch doctors have offered their assistance in the hunt for missing Flight QZ8501, claiming that they have managed to track down the Indonesia AirAsia plane’s location in the “supernatural” waters of Belitung.
Mukhti Maarif, the leader of shamans in Indonesia’s Belitung, said the bomohs are merely waiting for the official invitation to start their “supernatural” search, confirming that no one has sought their assistance.
“Have to wait for official request to prevent biased opinions about dukun (shamans),” Mukhti was quoted telling Indonesian news site Tempo today.
“Until this moment, we have yet to be involved. We are ready to help,” the bomoh said.
Mukhti claimed that a supernatural scouting by a number of bomohs has revealed the final resting place of the plane that went missing yesterday lies in the east Belitung area, but said specific rituals have to be performed to verify their discovery.
“The aircraft fell because there was mechanical failure. At this moment, the aircraft is in the ocean near the corals, in the eastern waters of Pulau Nangka,” Mukhti was quoted saying by Tempo, reiterating that they were willing to work together with those equipped with advanced technology.
“The district of Belitung, whether it is on land, in the sea or air, is filled with supernatural matters,” the bomoh added.
In a separate report by Tempo, however, the Indonesian agency tasked with heading search operations turned down the offer.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) communications director Sutono had received the offer for help, but said that that was not the standard method used by the search team.
This is not the first time that bomohs have jumped in to help locate a missing aircraft.
Shortly after Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 mysteriously disappeared on March 8 this year, a local bomoh, Ibrahim Mat Zin led three other witch doctors to perform rituals using coconuts, among other things, to find the plane.
Claiming to be “raja bomoh” or the king of witch doctors, Ibrahim had also said the jet carrying 239 people had purportedly travelled into the “alam bunian”, a Malay description for a spiritual realm inherited by supernatural beings.
The event drew immediate ridicule from observers as well as Internet users who took to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to deride the witch doctors searching for MH370, with some posting spoof pictures of them sitting on a supposed flying carpet that had gone viral.
To date, no traces of MH370 have been found, with search efforts still continuing in the southern Indian Ocean.
Search teams looking out for Flight QZ8501 have also yet to find the Airbus A320 plane, which was carrying 162 people on a Surabaya-Singapore flight.