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From the outlandish to the plausible: MH370 conspiracy theories

The recent phase of search in the desolate waters of the Indian Ocean has failed to produce any clues.

FILE - In this March 31, 2014 file photo, a ghostly shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion is cast on low level cloud while the aircraft searches for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File) FILE – In this March 31, 2014 file photo, a ghostly shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion is cast on low level cloud while the aircraft searches for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

This month marks the first anniversary of the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight 370 on March 8, 2014. Nearly a year has elapsed since it vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing but still no conclusive evidence has emerged. Search crews from different countries have undertaken numerous search and rescue operations but the efforts have largely been fruitless in the hunt for the plane and the 239 people who disappeared with it.

The recent phase of search in the desolate waters of the Indian Ocean has failed to produce any clues about the plane’s mysterious disappearance. However, the first comprehensive report that has emerged revealed that the battery of the locator beacon for the plane’s data recorder had expired more than a year before the jet vanished on March 8, 2014.

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The report came on the back of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s statement reiterating that the hunt for the plane would not end even if the scouring of the current search area off Australia’s west coast comes up empty. But despite any solid leads, officials spearheading the search still remain optimistic. Unfortunately, the lack of any evidence has spurred countless conspiracy theories. Here are some of them:

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There was an explosion or fire on board the aircraft

The first and possibly the most plausible theory is that a fire broke out inside the cockpit or a mechanical problem in the plane might have led the captain to turn west toward Palau Langkawi, a nearby airstrip. This was also one of the reasons offered for the downing of AirAsia flight in Indonesia. The pilots could have possibly succumbed to smoke inhalation and the plane allegedly ran out of fuel and crashed. Experts also say that the plane took a distinct turn towards the Indian Ocean which was away from the intended flight path. This coupled with the fact that the plane’s radar tracking system appeared to be turned off suggests that an insider or someone with knowledge of flying a plane took control of the jet. Then again there’s no evidence to support the fact.

FILE - In this March 31, 2014 file photo, HMAS Success is viewed from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion while both search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File) FILE – In this March 31, 2014 file photo, HMAS Success is viewed from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion while both search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

MH370 could have ‘shadowed’ another plane, flying either below or above

Experts are of the opinion that MH370 could have ‘shadowed’ another aircraft flying either above or below another airliner to avoid radar detection or to confuse air traffic controllers. This theory may be unlikely because only pilots trained on military planes can do such a maneuverings and receive training for this purpose. This move can’t be done with ordinary aircrafts as it requires specialised tools to perform the action.

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An unidentified man walks past MH370 related street art under a flyover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, March 6, 2015. (Source: AP) An unidentified man walks past MH370 related street art under a flyover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, March 6, 2015. (Source: AP)

The plane was hijacked

Although experts rule out this theory, but many still believe that the plane was hijacked. The only thing that we don’t have an answer to is that whether it was done by the pilot or a third party. Some even go to the extent of saying that a male would not have been able to get access to the cockpit easily but an attractive female could have. As with passengers’ background, investigators did a thorough search into their history but found nothing alarming. However, the possibility can’t be ruled out entirely.

MH370, Malaysia Chinese relatives of passengers onboard the Malaysia Airlines MH370 cry during a protest at the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, China.(Source :AP)

Accidentally shot down

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The first published book on the incident, ‘Flight MH370 The Mystery’ by a London-based author Nigel Cawthorne alleges that the aircraft may have been accidentally shot down during a joint US-Thai military exercise in the South China Sea. South China Sea is a disputed chain of islands rich in natural resources for whom China, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam are fighting to take control of (in part or fully).

The Boeing 777 aircraft disappeared on March 8 last year, carrying 239 passengers and crew. The Boeing 777 aircraft disappeared on March 8 last year, carrying 239 passengers and crew.

The plane was taken down near Diego Garcia

The plane may have been shot down purposely on the remote Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia by the US military fearing a September 11 style attack on the US Navy base. Another theory says that MH370 was near the atoll of Diego Garcia on some crazy mission and it was covertly shot down by US military before it could reach its target. The Americans may have cleaned up every bit of debris to keep the fate of the plane and passengers a well-kept secret. This is highly unlikely since the whole clean up operations would have demanded too many many people to be on the job to keep things low-key.

FILE - In this Saturday, March 22, 2014, file photo, flight officer Rayan Gharazeddine on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion, scans for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in southern Indian Ocean, Australia. Airlines and regulators have spent the past year since the disappearance of Flight MH370 debating how much flight tracking is necessary, balancing the economic costs against reassuring passengers another plane won’t disappear. Now a plan is moving forward that would require airlines, by the end of 2016, to know their jets’ positions every 15 minutes. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool) FILE – In this Saturday, March 22, 2014, file photo, flight officer Rayan Gharazeddine on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion, scans for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in southern Indian Ocean, Australia. Airlines and regulators have spent the past year since the disappearance of Flight MH370 debating how much flight tracking is necessary, balancing the economic costs against reassuring passengers another plane won’t disappear. Now a plan is moving forward that would require airlines, by the end of 2016, to know their jets’ positions every 15 minutes. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)

It is in Russia

It was a carefully-crafted Russian plot. Experts speculate that the plane flew north along national borders into Asia to avoid radar detection before landing in Kazakhstan. CNN’s aviation expert Jeff Wise claims that maybe somebody on board the plane tampered with the satellite transmission data to mislead authorities into believing it flew south. The runaways and buildings in Kazakhstan are big enough to hide a Boeing, he claimed. It might be a well-researched piece but doesn’t prove anything.

Supernatural forces took control…

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Aliens snatched it from the sky or it went inside some wormhole that sent the plane back in time. Or maybe a meteor hit it?

First published on: 11-03-2015 at 01:35:21 pm
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