mh370 update
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing in 2014, wears a hat that reads "Pray for MH370" during a protest outside the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing, July 29, 2016. Reuters

Another piece of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may have surfaced last week in South Africa — and caught the notice of authorities.

A senior investigator with Malaysia's transportation safety bureau confirmed to Free Malaysia Today he had begun looking into a post on AvCom, an aviation forum with a South African domain, that showed what appeared to be aircraft parts encrusted with barnacles. User Steve posted the photos Friday on the forum, writing that they were "some items that washed up on a beach on the Transkei coast near East London" in southeastern South Africa.

The investigator, Aslam Basha Khan, chimed in within hours to say he thought the piece was a wing-to-body fairing or flap-track fairing. He said he would like to examine it in detail in case it was linked to MH370, a Boeing 777 that mysteriously vanished in 2014 on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Crikey reported.

"The part was found in a remote location, and we were not able to get in touch directly with the person who is said to have found it," Khan later told FMT. "Through the forum, we contacted a friend of the said person and have given the contact details to the South African [Civil Aviation Authority] for further action."

Khan added that Malaysia didn't yet plan to send a representative to South Africa because it was "still too premature in the course of this discovery."

The forum post came just weeks after Malaysia, China and Australia decided to suspend an exhaustive search of the Indian Ocean for the missing plane. After scouring 120,000 square kilometers, they turned up nothing, and, upon re-evaluation, announced they should have been looking in a different area.

Amateurs have discovered the only confirmed wreckage from MH370, including a flaperon that turned up on Reunion Island in July 2015, an edge of an outboard flap found in Mauritius in May 2016 and a right outboard flap discovered in Tanzania on June 2016, according to BBC News.