article-2582595-1C5CEEAA00000578-854_634x292Claims today that the missing Malaysian Airlines jet dropped to an altitude of 5,000ft to avoid radar lends credibility to reports by villagers that they saw bright lights and loud noises at about the time the aircraft is thought to have made a ‘U-turn’. Investigators told a Malaysian newspaper that the Boeing 777 had dropped to a lower altitude to avoid ground radar, using the surrounding terrain as a sonar barrier. This type of flying is considered to be dangerous and risky, because it places tremendous pressure on the frame of the aircraft – and flying low at night without radar assistance could lead to the plane crashing into trees or mountains. Investigators told the New Straits Times that they were now convinced the aircraft flow low over Kelantan, which is in the north east – exactly the same area where the villagers and fishermen who saw bright lights in the sky on the night the jet vanished are living. At least nine people – fishermen, farmers and villagers – have made reports to police about seeing lights in the sky and some said they heard the loud noise of an engine. These accounts appear to match the conclusions of investigators who say the jet flew low after making a sharp turn and heading west from its course over the South China Sea. MORE