Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014. The world waited, with baited breath as oceans were searched and hourly updates were given out in press conferences. Families and loved ones waited and prayed. Many of them may still be waiting, seeking closure.
When MH370 flew out from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people aboard, little did anyone guess that this would soon become the world’s biggest mystery and gateway to plenty of conspiracy theories.
Here are some of the weirdest and most popular theories:
1. Vladimir Putin hijacked the plane
Jeff Wise, a US science writer who was central to CNN’s coverage of the MH370 last year has come up with the surprising theory based on the so-called “pings” that the plane emitted for seven hours after it went missing. According to Wise, the plane’s hijackers “spoofed” the plane’s navigation data to give off the impression that it flew south, but in fact took the Boeing 777 north and landed it in the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is leased from Kazakhstan by Russia.
2. The pilot hijacked the plane
Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah planned mass murder because of personal problems, locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, closing down all communications, depressurising the main cabin and then disabling the aircraft so that it continued flying on auto-pilot until it ran out of fuel. That was the popular theory in the weeks after the plane’s disappearance.
It has also been rumoured that Zaharie used a flight simulator at his home to plot a path to a remote island. However, officials in Kuala Lumpur declared that Malysian police and the FBI’s technical experts had found nothing to suggest he was planning to hijack the flight after closely examining his flight simulator.
3. Shot down by the U.S. who feared terror attack on Diego Garcia
The Boeing 777 was shot down by the Americans who feared the aircraft had been hijacked and was about to be used to attack the U.S. military base on Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean. So conspiracy theorists claim.
4. The flight was kidnapped by aliens
Aliens abducted the plane – or so five per cent of Americans surveyed by Reason.com believe. There were a number of recent UFO sightings in Malaysia around the time of the aircraft’s disappearance, it was claimed, and one of these ‘lifted it away’.
5. Espionage between China and the U.S.
Internet writer ‘Dark Spectre’ has put forward a theory on Reddit.com that the presence on the aircraft of 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor – a company which manufactures sophisticated surveillance technology – could be the reason for the plane disappearing. Dark Spectre said China could have been determined to capture a group of private contractors who helped the National Security Agency to conduct spy operations against Beijing.
6. The jet landed on water and was seen floating on Andaman Sea
On a flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur that crossed over the Andaman Sea on March 8, Malaysian woman Raja Dalelah, 53, saw what she believed was a plane sitting on the water’s surface. She didn’t know about the search that had been started for MH370. She alerted a stewardess who told her to go back to sleep.
7. The CIA know, says Malaysia’s former Prime Minister
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad claimed on his blog that there has been a cover up and the CIA and Malaysia know exactly what happened to the plane. ‘Airplanes don’t just disappear. Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems, radio and satellite tracking and film-less cameras which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities,’ he wrote.
8. MH370 ‘hid’ from radar by shadowing a Singapore Airlines flight
MH370 flew in the ‘shadow’ of another jet – a Singapore Airlines flight – through Indian and Afghanistan airspace, using that aircraft as a shield to avoid radar. It could have done this successfully, according to blogger Keith Ledgerwood, because its own transponder was switched off.
9. MH17 plane switch
The “plane switch” is among the most outlandish theories to have surfaced. One of its main backers is Jim Stone, a self-described “independent journalist” who proposes the theory that it was Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and not Flight 17 that was shot down over the Ukraine in July last year. He offers little in the way of explanation about who might benefit from switching the planes, or how they might have achieved it. Nor does he say what happened to the real MH17.
According to a CNN report , the world possesses the required technology that could have avoided a flight tragedy. The nature of the tragedy/reason for disappearance remains unknown and therefore there is no way to know whether MH370 could have been tracked, located or saved.