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The Many Theories About What Exactly Happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

Updated on June 13, 2014
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Malaysian airlines flight MH370 has now been missing for over a month, and as of yet, there have been no solid leads as to just what happened to the flight, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew. In this day and age, with surveillance and technology ingrained into nearly every aspect of life, especially in the aviation industry post 9/11, it is hard to understand just how a commercial airliner can simply disappear. The entire world has been focused on trying to figure out exactly what happened, and still the answer remains a mystery. Was foul play involved? Was it an act of terrorism? Or did the plane simply just drop out of the sky and vanish into the ocean without a trace? There are many theories going around that claim to explain what happened, and while some could hold some credibility, the vast majority are plain speculation with no strong evidence or ideas to back them up.

I have compiled a list of the 6 most ridiculous, crackpot theories about what might have happened to the ill-fated jet liner and its passengers.

Aliens:

There have been a few claims that aliens managed to get their hands (tentacles?) on the Boeing 777-200, and abducted both the plane and everyone on board. A survey taken by reason.com found that 5% of Americans believed that this was the cause for the missing plane, along with numerous blogs claiming that UFO sightings over Malaysia and its surrounding countries have increased. Now, while the idea of an alien abduction may seem ridiculous, it’s still an entertaining theory. Aliens and abductions in particular have been of interest to many people around the world for a long time, and it’s not surprising to see a theory like this pop up in the event of an unexplained situation. But no one has so far disproved the theory. So, are we really alone? Or are aliens starting to come after us with a more noticeable approach?

The Plane was hijacked with a mobile phone:

Another theory that sprung up, not long after the initial disappearance, was that the plane was hijacked by someone on board through the simple use of their mobile phone. This theory that was presented by ‘The Sunday Express’, supposedly comes from anti-terror experts, and a former home-office advisor, who seemingly misunderstand they way that these technologies work. The claim is that a phone can be used to wirelessly hack into the plane’s systems and, “change the plane’s speed, altitude and direction by sending radio signals to its flight management system. It could then be landed or made to crash by remote control.” This is apparently possible because MH370 is one of the first iterations of what is known as a ‘smart plane’ a fly-by-wire aircraft controlled by electronic signals. Not only does the claim state that this kind of hijacking can be done through the use of a simple mobile phone, but also through the use of a USB stick. In this day and age, post 9/11, high level security surrounding basically every aspect of the aviation industry, this seems like a very unlikely situation as the claims say that hijacking a plane is so easy that pretty much anyone can do it.

Cloaking Technology:

On board MH370 was 20 employees of the Texas based technology firm Freescale Semiconducter, who are believed to have been working on some form of cloaking technology. The theory involving this technology implies that the cloaking device was installed on the plane before take-off and turned on once in the air. There are claims that this technology has the ability to make an aircraft completely invisible to radar technology and almost invisible to the naked eye. Two main theories that are based off of this cloaking device idea is that the Chinese may have found out about the technology that was on board and diverted the plane themselves for their own gain. The other is that the US realised that the Chinese may get hold of it and shot the plane down as quickly and discreetly as they could. In the paranoid, untrusting world of today, it’s easy to see why this kind of claim might catch on, but until there is any proven validity behind the claims, this theory will still be seen as ‘out there’ and just a little bit silly.

Lost:

Remember the TV show ‘Lost’? Well if you do, it’s pretty difficult to separate the plot of the TV show and what has happened to MH370. Although the likelihood of the plane actually crash landing on an island inhabited by polar bears and a smoke monster is pretty low, it’s very hard to pass up just how spooky the coincidence is. Especially seeing as this year marks the 10 year anniversary of the program.

Terrorists:

One of the very first theories that came to fruition about the missing plane was that terrorism was involved. Not surprising these days as seemingly every major tragic event is somehow linked to a terrorist organisation. As you would expect, one of the first things that officials did once the plane was declared missing was to check out the backgrounds of everyone on board the plane, crew included. It was found that 3 passengers who were on board were travelling on false passports, which naturally sparked an investigation into their background and who they are affiliated with. Alas, nothing came of these investigations except for findings that the people travelling on the stolen passports were just trying to escape some terrible conditions from their native regions. A number of terrorist organisers have been questioned, and all of them have denied any sort of involvement.

A similar claim about terrorist activity came from Rupert Murdoch, who claimed that the plane had been hijacked and somehow flown, completely undetected to the mountains of Northern Pakistan where it is now being held onto by an unknown terrorist organisation who plan to use it to carry out yet another mass act of terrorism. The problem with this theory is fundamental. For the plane to have reached Northern Pakistan completely undetected, it would have had to have flown from Southern Vietnam to Northern Pakistan without a single person noticing it. That’s a long way for a jumbo jet to fly over South East Asia without a sighting!

It’s on Mars:

One last theory that out crackpots them all, is a theory that was posted to reddit.com by a user under the guise of /u/unitedairforce1. This person wrote a brilliant fantasy story about how the ill-fated flight somehow made its way out of Earth’s atmosphere and ended up travelling further than any other jet plane before it, all the way to the surface of Mars. The fantasised story tells of a future voyage to the red planet in the year 2040 by people intending to colonise the small planet, who come across the crash landed plane on the surface of the alien planet. While incredibly unlikely, the story is a fascinating read, and invokes the readers imagination, encouraging them to ask ‘what if?’.

We may never know exactly what happened to MH370, so speculation is all that we have to go on for now. These theories are both entertaining and thought provoking. Who are we to dismiss what we may think as being ridiculous and unrealistic? After all, none of us have any solid evidence to go on, so for all we know, one of these theories could be completely correct. So until the truth is uncovered, conspiracy theorists everywhere will keep on doing what they do best. Imagining the unimaginable.

© 2014 Grant Bowker-Bell

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