Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 traced to the Straits of Malacca, hundreds of miles off course

The Malaysian Air Force has traced the last known location of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 to a spot above Pulau Perak, a very small island in the Straits of Malacca and hundreds of miles from the usual Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight path, according to a senior Malaysian Air Force official.

The official declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

If the Malaysian Air Force data cited by the source is correct, the aircraft was flying the opposite direction from its scheduled destination and on the opposite side of the Malay Peninsula from its scheduled route.

Previous accounts had the aircraft losing touch with air traffic control near the coast of Vietnam.

Peter Goelz, former NTSB managing director, reacted to news Tuesday that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 might have been flying awhile with its transponder off: "You have to have a very deliberative process to turn the transponder off. If someone did that in the cockpit, they were doing it to disguise the route of the plane," he told CNN"s Wolf Blitzer. "There might still be mechanical explanations on what was going on, but those mechanical explanations are narrowing quickly."