Was Flight MH370 captured by aliens? Stolen by Israeli agents? Or did it crash in Ukraine? A round-up of the best conspiracy theories
A poll conducted by CNN in the summer found that one in ten Americans believe that “space aliens, time travellers or beings from another dimension” were involved in the plane’s disappearance.
The claim that investigators still can’t rule out the possibility that Flight MH370 landed rather than crashed has also reignited the debate: according to the CNN poll, 21 per cent of people believe that at least some people from the flight survived.
The Australian-led search operation is now looking for the plane along the so-called “seventh arc”, a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.
But far away from the scene of the search, on the internet’s more excitable fringes, individuals have been working on theories of their own to plug the information gaps. Here are some of the best (and weirdest):
Life insurance scam
In March last year, Malaysian police refused to rule out the possibility that the entire incident may have been a complicated insurance scam.
“Maybe somebody on the flight has bought a huge sum of insurance, who wants family to gain from it or somebody who has owed somebody so much money, you know, we are looking at all possibilities,” said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police.
Authorities said that they would consider all possible motives, no matter how unlikely they seemed, and would investigate all passengers and crew for any sign of unusual behaviour.
“We are looking very closely at the video footage taken at the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport),” he added. “We are studying the behavioural pattern of all the passengers.”
China and Edward Snowden
Reddit user Dark_Spectre has a theory that links the disappearance of MH370 with Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of US surveillance.
The theory is based on the fact that the flight was carrying 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor – a company which may have worked with the NSA to develop surveillance technology, according to Snowden’s documents.
Dark_Spectre writes: “We have the American IBM Technical Storage Executive for Malaysia, a man working in mass storage aggregation for the company implicated by the Snowden papers for providing their services to assist the National Security Agency in surveilling the Chinese. And now this bunch of US chip guys working for a global leader in embedded processing solutions (embedded smart phone tech and defence contracting) all together… on a plane… and disappeared. Coincidence?”
The Reddit sleuth suggests that the apparent disappearance of flight MH370 may actually have been the result of an audacious attempt by China to capture a group of private contractors who helped the NSA to conduct spy operations against them. “Honestly, what would 200 lives be to the Chinese intelligence community for the opportunity to find out exactly the depth and scope of our intrusion,” Dark_Spectre concludes.
Hijacked by Afghans
The missing Boeing 777 was hijacked and flown to a small village in Afghanistan, according to a Russian newspaper.
A military source reportedly told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper: “Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines missing on March 8 with 239 passengers was hijacked.
“Pilots are not guilty; the plane was hijacked by unknown terrorists. We know that the name of the terrorist who gave instructions to pilots is ‘Hitch’. The plane is in Afghanistan not far from Kandahar near the border with Pakistan.”
Others have elaborated on the theory, suggesting that passengers have been divided into seven groups and are living in mud huts with almost no food.
MH370 and MH17 were in fact the same plane
One theory that has gained traction over the summer is the suggestion that the airliner that crashed in a field in Ukraine was in fact the lost flight MH370, not the scheduled flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.