From Terror Plot to Mass Hypoxia: Five Theories on MH370's Disappearance

© East News / Xinhua/Rouelle UmaliStudents watch a three-dimensional graffiti as a way of sympathizing to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at a school in Makati City, the Philippines
Students watch a three-dimensional graffiti as a way of sympathizing to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at a school in Makati City, the Philippines - Sputnik International
Friday commemorates the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board on 8 March 2014 but never landed. Sputnik looks into a spate of theories surrounding the MH370 mystery.

Mechanical Failure, Mass Hypoxia 

Some experts put forward a theory on the possibility of a mechanical or structural failure which they claimed finally led to the crash of the Boeing 777 on 8 March 2014.

The theory suggests that a blaze might have broken out in the plane’s electronic components, which caused smoke filling the plane and leading to mass hypoxia (lack of oxygen) on board.

READ MORE: Malaysian PM Vows to Continue Search for Vanished MH370 to Solve Mystery

The hypoxia theory concludes that the pilot, captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was unconscious at the end of the journey as the plane continued on autopilot over the Indian Ocean, where search efforts have been focused, before running out of fuel and crashing.

The hypoxia case remains the current official theory of the Malaysian government and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

Rogue Pilot

Another theory directly pertains to MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who some experts argue could have intentionally taken the plane off-course and crashed it.

Shortly after the aircraft disappeared, Shah’s political beliefs and mental health were scrutinised by the media in an effort to get closer to the point.

Unconfirmed reports said he may have been unhappy over marital woes and deliberately crashed the airliner to elope with his mistress and start a new life.

READ MORE: MH370 Witnesses Can Pinpoint Exact Location of Crash Site, Writer Claims

Speculations is also rife that Shah was devastated over the controversial conviction of Malaysia's then opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges just hours before the plane took off.

Shah’s family and friends, however, vehemently rejected such claims as groundless, saying that he “loved life”, had a flawless flying record and would never crash the plane

Terrorist Plot

Additionally, unsubstantiated theories are circulating that the jet liner was hijacked as part of a terrorist plot, something that was specifically supported by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Writing in a tweet shortly after the aircraft disappeared, Murdoch suggested it has been “stolen” and “effectively hidden, perhaps in Northern Pakistan, like Bin Laden”.

READ MORE: MH370 Hunt: Locals Saw Plane With 'Dragon-Like' Logo Descend in Cambodian Jungle

He apparently nodded to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was tracked and then killed in Pakistan in 2011 in a US Navy Seal raid.

Another suggestion is that the plane could have been used as a "flying bomb" to destroy US military facilities on the Diego Garcia atoll in the central Indian Ocean, but it was finally downed by the US military. The White House has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Remote Seizure

Some have speculated the plane may have been taken over remotely in order to foil a hijacking.

Media reports said that in 2006, Boeing was awarded a US patent for a system which is capable of taking control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who remains one of the leading supporters of the idea, said in last year’s interview with The Australian newspaper, “The capacity to do that is there. The technology is there”.

Priority Zone

This theory is related to developments in 2017, when the ATSB released its most comprehensive report into the MH370 mystery after the Australian government body covered 120,000 square kilometres in a bid to find the plane. 

The report suggested that a small new area – the so-called “priority zone” located just north of their failed search — was probably the final location of the plane.

A girl writes a condolence message during the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. - Sputnik International
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After the 25,000-square-kilometre “priority zone” was unsuccessfully searched in 2018, some experts suggested that the plane did not sharply fell into the sea, as this theory goes, but instead was guided by the pilot in a long glide or “controlled ditching” once it ran out of fuel.

It only remains to admit that with the five-year anniversary of MH370’s disappearance commemorated on Friday, there is still no conclusive evidence of where the plane could crash, not to mention evidence about what caused the tragedy.

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