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The girlfriend of an American passenger aboard Flight MH370 said Thursday that families of the missing have “zero confidence” the newly announced search area will bring them closer to finding the jet. Sarah Bajc, whose boyfriend Philip Wood was on the plane, described the new zone as “another wild goose chase.”

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In a statement emailed on behalf of the families, she questioned why investigators had not followed up on the findings of independent experts suggesting that MH370 is hundreds of miles from where current searches are being conducted. “This is the fourth location the experts have divined from the data, and it is different still from what the [independent experts] came up with. We honestly cannot understand why the authorities disregard independent expert input, yet fail to justify their own conclusions.” Bajc is among 350 family members of passengers aboard the missing jet who have demanded raw data be released for independent analysis amid questions about how the investigation has been conducted. She is also campaigning to raise $5 million for a reward and private investigation into the flight's disappearance. About $75,000 has been contributed so far.

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- Alastair Jamieson