The alternate theories about disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370

From a mid-air emergency to terrorists STEALING the plane: The complete list of conspiracy theories surrounding Malaysia Airlines flight MH370’s mysterious disappearance

  • Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost without a trace mid-flight in March 2014 
  • The last known position of the Boeing 777 aircraft was in middle of Indian Ocean
  • Crews have been searching for any remains of the aircraft off Australian coast
  • Several pieces of debris, believed to have come from the plane, have been found
  • Alternate theories including the plane being stolen or hijacked have been raised

The discovery of two huge structures on the bottom of the Indian Ocean this week  had some hoping Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had finally been found.

But more than four years after the aircraft vanished on March 8, 2014, investigators have had little luck in finding the wreckage of the plane that vanished with 227 passengers on-board.

This week’s discovery – eventually identified as two 19th century merchant vessels – is just the latest twist in one of the modern world’s biggest mysteries.

With no clear answers about what happened to MH370 the internet is full of alternate views and theories which vary from the possible, to the flat out ridiculous.

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (similar to the plane pictured) disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean March 8, 2014

The Boeing 777 aircraft took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, headed for Beijing, China


Australian engineer Peter McMahon claimed in mid-March he’d found what appeared to be a plane wreckage on Google Earth, in the MH370 search area.

After spending years combing an online map of the Indian Ocean, the amateur crash investigator claimed to have found a plan wreckage ‘riddled with bullet holes’.

Sitting just off the coast of Round Island, north of Mauritius, in an area of ocean that has not been previously searched, Mr McMahon claimed investigators were refusing to dive in the area because they want to ‘hide’ crucial information.

‘They have made sure that all information received has been hidden from the public, even our government, but why?’ he said. 

‘… (They) do not want it found as it’s full of bullet holes, finding it will only open another inquiry.’


Prior to the plane’s disappearance, Captain Zaharie Shah had listed the small island of Diego Garcia – 4700km northwest of Australia – on his flight simulator.

Theorists suggested that Capt Shah may have been practicing landing the plane on the island’s airstrip, which is controlled by Britain but is home to a US naval base.

Suggestions have also been made that the plane may have been stolen by terrorists and hidden in North Pakistan, or even by North Korean dictator Kim Jong un.

In a 2014 poll on the MH370 disappearance, five per cent of American respondents said they believed it had been affected by ‘alien activities’. 

Australian engineer Peter McMahon claimed in mid-March he’d found what appeared to be a plane wreckage on Google earth (pictured), in the MH370 search area

Authorities combing through the Indian Ocean for remains of missing Malaysia Airlines flight discovered two huge structures (pictured) on the sea floor this week, which they believed may have been the doomed plane

The two shipwrecks discovered (pictured) were later identified as 19th century merchant sailing vessels which are believed to have been carrying cargoes of coal


In the wake of September 11, new technology was designed allowing planes to be controlled remotely in the event of a hijacking. 

British author Norman Davies claims Boeing’s ‘Honeywell Un-interruptible Autopilot on board computer’ – which was featured on MH370 – could have been hacked and the plane flown to a secret location.

‘There are reports that the cargo detailed in the manifest didn’t add up,’ he told The Sunday Times. 

‘I don’t know what it might have been carrying but it may have been carrying something somebody didn’t want to get to China.’

In his book Beneath Another Sky: A Global Journey into History, Mr Davis suggested one hacker could have ‘kidnapped’ the plane before another controlled it remotely.

‘The first kidnap was by the Americans, who wanted to stop the plane getting to Beijing and planned to divert it to Diego Garcia [a US naval base in the Indian Ocean], and then somebody hacked it to stop it from getting there,’ he claimed.

Sheryl Keen (pictured) from Perth, Western Australia, is in possession of 20 items she believes to be debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

The most exciting evidence Mrs Keen has come across is a brown slipper (pictured) which she believes is similar to that worn by a woman (right) on MH370 who she’s dubbed ‘Cinderella’


Some have claimed that one of the pilots may have deliberately crashed the aircraft in a well-planned suicide.

According to this theory, captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately chose to plunge the plane into an area of the ocean up to 25,000 feet deep, where it would be almost impossible to find.

There have been suggestions Shah circled an area of the Indian Ocean just moments before the crash. 

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is among those to support this theory, saying in the lead up to the third anniversary of the plane’s disappearance he found it ‘plausible’.

‘I have always said the most plausible scenario was murder-suicide and if this guy wanted to create the world’s greatest mystery why wouldn’t he have piloted the thing to the very end and gone further south?’ Mr Abbott said.

Just 12 months after the MH370 disaster a Germanwings flight from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany, crashed into the French Alps.

It was later revealed the crash was orchestrated by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had previously been deemed unfit to work by a doctor over ‘suicidal tendancies’.

On board the doomed MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing were six Australians. little has been found during the four year search (debris pictured) 

Thai soldiers carry a piece of debris found in January 2016, believed to have come from MH370

The Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments called off search in January 2017, almost three-years after MH370 disappeared but Ocean Infinity (pictured) continued the search


Earlier this year a search vessel involved in searching for MH370 disappeared for just under three days after turning off its tracking system, sparking conspiracy theories.

After more than 80 hours undetected, the vessel suddenly reappeared on the radar.

Keen followers of the mystery have suggested that during this time the search boats may have been involved in a cover up, after coming across the wreckage.


According to pilot Chris Goodfellow, a serious possibility is that an emergency – such as a fire – left the pilots unable to land the plane.

Writing on his Google Plus account, Mr Goodfellow claimed that in the event of a fire or other incident, pilots would have attempted to make it to their closest runway – a 13,000-foot strip on the Malaysian island of Pulau Langkawi – but never made it.

‘For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire,’ Mr Goodfellow wrote.

‘In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.

‘What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on the heading probably on (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed.’

No transmissions were received from the aircraft after the first 38 minutes of the flight but it is believed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean


The official manifest of MH370 listed 239 people as missing. 

But amateur investigator Andre Milne says the flight actually had 226 passengers (of which four did not board) and 12 crew – totaling 238 people.

He suggests that the unidentified passenger may have gained control of the plane and flown it to a secret location. 

‘The extra passenger likely acted in conjunction with larger external operational support to take full command and control of the cockpit of MH370,’ Mr Milne claims.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesman said a discrepancy on the ‘load sheet’ hours prior to the plan taking off had occurred, with the actual number onboard 227 people – a dozen less than initially listed.

‘The actual figures can differ from that transmitted on the load sheet due to last minute changes,’ the spokesperson said.

Crews have been searching for the Malaysia Airlines aircraft (stock image) since it vanished more than four years ago but have had little luck in finding any remains 

Six Australians were on board the doomed flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with any hope of finding survivors long gone.

No transmissions were received from the aircraft after the first 38 minutes of the flight but it is believed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean. 

Ocean Infinity, an American technology company, are the current search crew who have explored 1,300 square kilometres per day since January, hoping to find the plane.

The Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments called off the search in January 2017, almost three-years after MH370 disappeared.

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