Malaysia Airlines Theories Run Rampant. What’s Yours?By: Erika Watts - March 19, 2014
Ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing on March 8, we’ve seen one idea after another trying to explain what happened as the search for the missing airplane continues. From alien abductions to terrorist schemes, there are a lot of interesting theories out there. Check out some of the missing Malaysia airline theories below.
Cockpit Fire Theory
Chris Goodfellow, a former pilot from Florida, has one of the more reasonable (and probably less interesting) theories on what happened to Malaysia Flight 370. Goodfellow made a detailed post on his Google+ account suggesting that a fire is to blame for the missing flight.
As you may remember from other reports, Flight 370 took a sharp turn west before losing radio communication. Goodfellow believes this turn indicates that there was a fire on board and that the pilot was trying to get to the nearest airport as quickly as possible:
We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don’t want to be thinking what are you going to do – you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles.
Goodfellow says that a similar sequence of events has been seen before, but with a more positive outcome.
Flight 370 Hid Behind Another Plane Theory
This theory–aside from the alien abduction and Bermuda Triangle theories–is probably one of the more far-fetched that we’ve seen, but it is certainly interesting. According to self-described hobby pilot Keith Ledgerwood, he thinks it is possible that Flight 370 hid beneath the shadow of another plane while flying “dark.”
It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 (Singapore Airlines flight number 68) through India and Afghanistan airspace. As MH370 was flying “dark” without transponder / ADS-B output, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens.
The purpose of “hiding” behind another plane, according to Ledgerwood? To get past military radar and go to one of many countries, including the Xingjian province, Kyrgyzstan, or Turkmenistan. Ledgerwood doesn’t speculate on why we haven’t heard from any passengers or the reason Flight 370 would hide behind another plane.
Military Shot Plane Down Theory
This theory may not involve an elaborate plan where Flight 370 uses another flight to go into stealth mode, but writer Charlie Martin suggests that the plane could have been hijacked and subsequently shot down in Chinese airspace. Martin believes that the Chinese military picked up the plane on its radar and, being unable to communicate with the plane, eventually decided to shoot it down.
In the U.S., we’d intercept and have a look. I’ve got no idea what the terms of engagement might be in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, but I’m betting they are a little sensitive about unidentified aircraft coming in from the whole Vietnam/Myanmar/South China Sea area. It think it’s entirely possible that COL Wang on his own authority says “so shoot it down.” PLAAF intercepts it and shoots it down, leaving debris and bodies scattered over the terrain.
Instead of admitting what happened after news of the missing flight made headlines, Martin says that the Chinese military possibly covered up the incident to avoid embarrassment.
Do you buy any of the above theories that try to explain away the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370? Add your comments–and theories–in the comments section below.
Image via Wikimedia Commons