An Air France pilot has declared it "highly likely" that flight AF447 may have been blown up by a terrorist bomb.
The long-haul captain, speaking on condition of anonymity, dismissed the theory the doomed jet suffered catastrophic electrical failure. He also ruled out suggestions that the pilot of the Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight had tried to land on the sea.
The captain spoke as naval teams from Brazil and France scoured three miles of debris in the Atlantic, 750 miles north east of the Brazilian coast.
It also emerged Air France received a telephone threat against a flight from Argentina to Paris just four days before AF447 vanished without sending a May Day message.
Talking of Monday's tragedy, in which 228 died, the Air France pilot said: "If there was an explosion on board, the wreckage would have been spread over a very wide area, as it was.
"So in my opinion there is no other option than the highly likely theory that a bomb went off on the plane - perhaps even a large bomb that destroyed it in mid-air leaving no chance to send a message."