• #MH370 four years on: until the plane is found, theories run wild | World news | The Guardian

    In the vacuum of information, theories – some more likely than others – have sprung up. These are the four main contenders:

    Mass hypoxia event
    The official theory, adopted by both the Malaysian government and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, is that the passengers and crew of MH370 were incapacitated by an unknown “unresponsive crew/ hypoxia event”. Hypoxia is a deficiency of oxygen.
    Fire or accident
    In the immediate aftermath of the disappearance, former pilot Christopher Goodfellow speculated that an electrical fire broke out on board. He said this explained the first turn towards Malaysia as Shah was searching for an emergency landing strip. He believes the fire then incapacitated Shah and the cabin crew, leaving the plane to fly south on autopilot.

    Patrick Smith, another pilot, has cast doubt on the fire theory, saying it was unlikely MH370 could have continued for six hours on autopilot after a major fire. Officials believe Shah was unconcious, but have not offered any theories as to why or when this occurred.
    The rogue pilot
    Byron Bailey, a former RAAF trainer and captain with Emirates, believes the plane was under the control of its captain as part of a deliberate descent into the Indian Ocean.

    This would radically alter the current search operation – and potentially explain why the plane has not been found. Current and previous searches assumed the plane dived steeply and suddenly, with nobody at the helm, near the location of the seventh handshake.

    But if Shah was conscious, he could have manoeuvred the plane in a long, slow glide, travelling almost 200km further south. This also would have kept the plane more intact, with less debris.
    A northern landing
    Yet another theory says the plane is not near Australia at all, but rather to the north of Malaysia.

    This theory stems from the way satellite data is calculated. After MH370 turned back towards Malaysia, its last known military radar point showed it travelling slightly north-west towards India.


    Photo evidence
    Other armchair investigators have claimed to have discovered photo evidence of debris that places MH370 in various other locations, but all have been discredited.

    On Monday, Peter McMahon, an Australian investigator, told the Daily Star he had discovered the plane on Google Maps near Mauritius and submitted photo evidence to the ATSB.

    But the ATSB pointed out his images were more than 10 years old and predated the plane’s disappearance.

    The images sent to ATSB by Mr McMahon were captured on 6 November 2009, more than four years before the flight disappeared,” a spokesperson for the ATSB said.

    • L’ancien premier ministre malaisien y rajoute sa propre hypothèse… Prise de contrôle à distance

      Possible that MH370 was taken over remotely, says #Mahathir, SE Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

      Missing flight MH370 might have been taken over remotely in a bid to foil a hijack, Malaysia’s former leader Mahathir Mohamad said, reviving one of the many conspiracy theories surrounding its disappearance.
      Tun Dr Mahathir, 92, who is leading an opposition bid to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak in elections due this year, said he did not believe Kuala Lumpur was involved in any cover-up.

      But he told The Australian newspaper in an interview that it was possible the plane might have been taken over remotely.

      It was reported in 2006 that Boeing was given a licence to operate the takeover of a hijacked plane while it is flying so I wonder whether that’s what happened,” said Dr Mahathir.

      The capacity to do that is there. The technology is there,” he added of his theory.

      Reports say Boeing in 2006 was awarded a US patent for a system that, once activated, could take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking.

      There is no evidence it has ever been used in airliners due to safety concerns.