Five family members of passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 are trying to crowdsource $5 million US in reward money to lure a potential whistleblower with information on what happened to the plane, which disappeared in early March.

"The official investigation being run by governments and agencies has failed to find the plane, due to either incompetence or obfuscation," the campaign's Indiegogo page reads. "We must work together to ensure the truth is found.

"We believe there is a person or persons who know the truth about what happened and know where the plane is. We want to encourage the truth to come out by offering a substantial reward."

The group of five, along with two professionals described as fundraisers and private investigators, launched the Indiegogo campaign over the weekend. As of Monday morning, more than $5,000 has been donated.

The group says the funds will be used for three purposes:

  • As reward to encourage anyone with knowledge of the disappearance to provide information.
  • To hire a private investigation company to follow-up on the whistleblower's information.
  • To start a campaign to lobby governments for change in "air safety, aviation procedures, aircraft tracking [and] passport security."

The hopeful relatives include Ghislain Wattrelos, whose wife and two teenage children were aboard the Boeing 777 flight from Malaysia to China.

"How could this happen? In this age of constant connection and pervasive surveillance, a giant plane has been allowed to just disappear.  That cannot be an accident," said Wattrelos on the campaign site. "My family deserves to be found."

A team of experts says satellite transmissions from the plane show the flight ended somewhere in a large patch of the southern Indian Ocean. Searchers have found nothing there, leading to continuing speculation over its fate.

With files from the Associated Press