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Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Fact-check and Theories
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Current Status

  • Flight MH 370, of Malaysian Airlines that flew from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on 8th March has still not been traced
  • The missing aircraft is a large Boeing 777-2H6ER powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines – the model is regarded by aviation experts as having an almost flawless safety record
  • 26 countries are taking part in the search operation but nothing has been found yet

What is known of passengers and crew members


  • There were 12 crew members and 227 passengers on board
  • There was a group of 20 passengers who were part of a team of artists returning from a Calligraphy exhibition
  • There was a group of 20 passengers who were employees of Freescale Semiconductors a Texas-based technology firm
  • Two Iranian men were on board with stolen passports, even though they entered Malaysia with valid Iranian passports, but the head of the Interpol said the Interpol believed the two men were asylum seekers and not terrorists
  • Govt. authorities have rigorously checked the backgrounds of each passenger and crew member and China and Malaysia has said none of the passengers could be suspect of possessing hi-tech aviation knowledge or terrorist backgrounds
  • Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, one of the passengers was an aviation engineer flying to Beijing to work. He would have had knowledge of aviation and other technicalities, but would not have had knowledge specific to the Boeing 777 according to Malaysian authorities

The Disappearance:

  • Disappearance of an airplane is difficult, but possible: In 2003, a Boeing 727-223 was driven off a runway in Angola by an aircraft mechanic Ben Charles Padilla and his employee John Mikel Mutantu. The plane was never found and the FBI closed the case in 2005
  • The last automated transmission from the plane’s ACARS was at 1.07 a.m., the next transmission scheduled and expected at 1.37 did not take place and from that point of time it was noticed the ACARS was not working as expected
  • The plane’s co-pilot sent his last voice message at 1.19, saying “All right, good night” before leaving Malaysian airspace
  • The transponder went off at 1.21 a.m.
  • The plane changed course soon after it passed beyond the control of Malaysian authorities
  • The flight took turns that were deliberate – it turned sharply in a westward hook over the Malaysian peninsula and then took a turn towards the Straits of Malacca as shown by radar and other tracking traces till 2.15 a.m.
  • According to military radar, shortly after taking the westward turn the aircraft went up to a height of 45,000 ft, while the certified maximum altitude for the Boeing model is 43,100 feet
  • Later, when flying over Peninsular Malaysia, the plane descended to 23,000 ft, and then moved up again to 29,500 ft
  • A person can remain conscious only from nine to fifteen seconds at an altitude of 45,000 feet without oxygen supplement – mass death is possible if oxygen mask equipment failed
  • There have not been any cell phone contact from any crew member or passenger
  • Hijacking would be difficult with the problem of sheltering, feeding and caring for hundreds of people
  • A satellite ping shows the plane’s systems operated at least until 8.11 a.m. – that the plane was flying almost seven hours after its transponders went dead
  • Neither the crew nor the aircraft’s onboard communication systems relayed a distress signal or signaled any indication of bad weather or other technical problems before disappearing from radar screens
  • The plane overflew two Malaysian Air Force radar stations – leading some to theorize that bereft of other means, a pilot was trying to scramble jets to intercept
  • No terrorist organization has come forward to make claims regarding the disappearance of the plane, which may or may not mean anything

Disappearance theories

Most disappearance theories are failing to cover the situation, however, here they are

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  • Terrorist strike: Terrorists are known to be fond of blowing up things in crowded areas – they would not have headed into the wilderness if they had control of the situation – no terrorist organization has yet come forward to make the claim
  • Terrorist hijacking: Until now one of the most plausible explanations as simple hijackers would have come forward with demands, if they survived, while, if terrorists have been able to hijack the plane, they could have gone into hiding
  • Pilot error: Ruled out by all concerned, as both pilots were extremely competent
  • Pilot suicide: Cannot be ruled out, but the continuing flight of the plane for seven hours after disappearing from radar remains unexplained
  • Pilot conspiracy: Possible, but until now, everything says, it is improbable
  • Rogue passenger: Not entirely ruled out, though improbable, again because the plane continued to fly for a long time and the change of course was done by someone possessing required technical knowledge
  • Mechanical failure: Possible, though it seems the transponder and the ACARS went dead at different times. Since the aircraft went above safe altitudes, depressurization concerns remain. But, the plane went to high altitude after it took the westward turn, which would need to be deliberate, and difficult to visualize as a consequence of mechanical failure. Also the plane did not send out any distress signal. However, mechanical failure leading to catastrophe remains plausible
  • Rogue weather: Rogue weather leading to mechanical failure cannot be ruled out
  • Meteor: Some people are theorizing that a meteor strike on the plane led to mechanical failure – improbable, but not impossible
  • Whoever is in control of the plane flew low to avoid radars: Possible, but extremely difficult with a Boeing 777. Also, the fuel consumption would have doubled effectively halving the distance the aircraft would be able to travel
  • Shadowing another plane to avoid detection: Some people have theorized that the Boeing, after shutting down all its communication systems closely shadowed a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 flight so that the two planes showed only a single blip on the radar. Terribly difficult, according to most experts.

What we think is that, at least there is a possibility that the turning of the plane soon after the communications systems failed was deliberate and either made to survive by reaching Malaysia or caused by human intervention and threat. Once the plane went up to too high altitudes, decompression occurred and at the same time the people flying the plane lost control, by becoming unconscious or dead. A survivor, or one of the pilots may have returned to sense and tried to lift the plane, but then again lost consciousness. Then the plane flew too low for some time so that radars could not trace it before it ceased flying. At least that seems to be a better explanation than alien abduction.



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