Fisherman Azid Ibrahim, 66, in Kota Baru, told the New Strait Times that an airplane appeared to fly low below the clouds which he followed for about five minutes before it disappeared. He was out at the sea with six other fishermen about 14.4 km (8.9 miles) from Kuala Besar in Pantai Cahaya Bulan.
Ibrahim said the plane was flying so low that he could see its lights "as big as coconuts". He had spotted the plane with his friend at about 1:30am local time, while all his fellow fishermen were fast asleep in the boat.
"I only heard about the plane yesterday. My friend, Pak Da asked me where the plane was heading to at this time of night," Ibrahim said, adding it was flying lower than usual.
The fisherman reported the incident to the police the next morning after he heard the news of the missing plane around the coast, and his account was telecast by a local broadcaster RTM.
About 30 km (18.6 miles) away from Kota Baru, businessman Alif Fathi Abdul Hadi, 29, lodged a report with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) that he saw "bright white lights", descending fast into the sea at about 1:45am the same day.
He was going towards the backyard of his house when he saw the "white lights" as used in planes during night flights, heading towards Bachok, which was unusual, according to him.
"I was walking towards the rear of my house when I saw the lights, and wondered where it was heading to," he said.
"The airspace here is like a highway for aircraft and they usually travel in route patterns, but this one went completely towards the other way.
"..It was going towards the sea, near Bachok."
But, he admitted, he was not sure if the white lights were actually from a plane, adding there were no blinking red lights, and that the "white lights" vanished behind a line of coconut trees.
Alif did not consider this unusual and did not think much about it, until he too heard about the missing jetliner the next day, and filed the report with the authorities.
The "eyewitnesses", however, did not describe any accompanying sound of the plane's impact with the sea upon the claimed crash.
The lack of debris found so far leads to the assumption that the plane went into the water intact, for the most part at least. If the plane broke apart at altitude there would be pieces and parts scattered for miles.