Debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have washed up on an island in Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, according to local newspaper reports.
Police have yet to confirm the reports, but plane debris is said to have been found in Baa Atoll Fehendhoo and Fulhahdhoo, both in the Southern Maalhosmadulhu Atoll.
The island of Noonu Atoll, in Miladhunmadulu Atoll, is also said to have yielded a discovery, according to the news website Haveeru.
A photograph of one of the large pieces of metal found near the Banyan Tree resort on Vabbinfaru island bears a striking resemblance to the barnacle-covered wing part that washed up on Reunion island in July, a distance of 2,000 miles (3,218 km) from the Maldives.
Maldives resident Mohamed Wafir, who posted the original photographs to Facebook, claimed that they were found on May 31.
One airline employee, James Hardy, insisted that the potential find is more significant than the wreckage found on Reunion Island, and "changes everything" about the investigation.
"I and my friends who also work in aviation who have seen these photos all believe they appear to be aircraft parts, due to the honeycomb construction," Mr Hardy told the Before It's News website.
He added that, if the find can be verified, "it would rule out the current search area off Perth as I am certain that the tides and currents could never have pushed it that far".
Mr Hardy is reported to have added that the location of the debris matches the calculations that he and Quantas pilots had done in relation to fuel endurance.
"If flown low and slow there was more than enough fuel to reach the Maldives."
One of the pieces carried, in red, the letters IC. The rest of the letters or numbers have been eroded.
Police are reported to have removed the parts for further analysis.
Further plane debris was reported to have washed up on a beach on the North Male Atoll resort a month ago.
If it is confirmed to belong to the missing Boeing 777, the debris would help the investigation pinpoint exactly where the plane went down.
Residents on the island of Kudahuvadhoo, in the southern area of the Dhaalu Atoll, reported that they had spotted a "low-flying jumbo jet" on the day that the MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board.
But the investigation dismissed the reports, insisting it would have been impossible for the plane to have been anywhere near the islands.
In a stinging article published today, the news site Haveeru has questioned whether the reports should have been dismissed so completely by the authorities.
"The discovery of a wing fragment on a beach in Reunion last week has prompted aviation experts to now incline towards the claims made by the Kudahuvadhoo residents," said the news site.
"But the way the claims were dismissed by the Maldivian authorities made them the laughing stock of the nation and the last possible sighting of one of the biggest mysteries of aviation history has been reduced to nothing but a joke."
The alleged eye-witnesses stuck to their story, despite Maldivian authorities quickly dismissing them.
The site concludes: "To this day, no plausible explanation has been given as to what the residents of Kudahuvadhoo could have seen."
Malaysia issued a call to the Maldives today for assistance in the search for the missing flight.
As well as the Maldives, Malaysia has sought help from Madagascar and Mauritius.
The hunt for more wreckage from the missing plane has resumed today on France's Reunion island, after being suspended due to bad weather on Friday evening.
A search plane circled overhead while foot patrols combed the eastern coastline of the island.
But the local government office said navy vessels would only be mobilised if debris was spotted at sea.
The search is currently focusing on an estimated 2,000 square mile area.
The hunt continues to draw locals and amateur investigators to the beach.
"There's a sort of treasure hunt mentality that is spreading, and which we want to remind everyone often leads nowhere," a source close to the investigation told AFP.
A special mass was held for the 239 victims of the flight, and the local mayor issued a statement saying they were ready to welcome their families if they wanted to come to Reunion.
A monument to the victims is also planned.
The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared on March 8 last year, when it veered off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
- Daily Mail