partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf.
Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) that she had replied an email from Darlene Tipton, vice-president of Fox's standards and practices department, who offered to raise millions of dollars to help her.
Tipton then responded by saying that her husband had visions that the 239 passengers were alive, and said they would reveal their whereabouts and go ahead with a fundraiser for the affected families if Bajc agreed to waive any future compensation claims.
It was then that a shocked Bajc alerted Fox, who promptly gave Tipton the sack after 24 years of service with the network.
Tipton had defended her action, saying she had offered to help in good faith.
“I’ve lost my job, I can’t collect unemployment. I have no insurance. What is wrong with trying to help people?” the 61-year-old was quoted by SMH as saying, adding that her husband's claims were medically induced.
Her sacking had evoked sympathies, with some criticising Fox for the action.
SMH also reported of a four-minute YouTube video showing her husband speaking from a hospital where he was recovering from spinal injury.
“I’m seeing the hallucinations about the people on the plane. I’ve been in contact with this girl called Ree,” he said in the four-minute clip.
Tipton had since said she planned to continue with her plan and will utilise crowd-sourcing website GoFundMe to solicit contributions on behalf of the families.
"We want to raise money for families, to give them immediate relief. Otherwise, they could be in court for years," she had told the Associated Press.
Flight MH370 has been missing for 46 days, and a massive search effort in the southern Indian Ocean is increasingly losing hope with no sign of wreckage discovered so far.
This has prompted Bajc to question the credibility of the analysis by British satellite firm Inmarsat, which concluded that the plane ended its journey in the southern ocean.
In an email criticising the absence of any scientific scrutiny to the calculation, Bajc said families of the passengers must be shown concrete evidence in the form of wreckage before the Malaysian government proceeds to issue death certificates and compensation. – April 22, 2014.