Into thin air

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 06 Apr 2014

Suicide, new 9/11-style terrorism, aliens, parallel universes and exploding mangosteens. A month on, the theories spawned by the disappearance of flight MH370 are not getting any closer to resolving the mystery.

It is in Kandahar

WITH no sight of real debris in the Indian Ocean, the hijack theory has resurfaced – this time on Russian website The pro-Vladimir Putin website claims that the 250-tonne Boeing 777-200 is parked, with a broken wing, on a rural road in Kandahar, Afghanistan. And, oh, that all passengers are alive and divided to stay in “mud huts,” according to the Russian “special services” no less.

While the idea of a plane hidden under some well-arranged leaves or a sheet may be difficult to envisage, the theory builds on the earlier hijacking theory when it was discovered that two Iranian immigrants with stolen travel documents were onboard the flight.

According to, MH370 is hidden somewhere in Kandahar.

One retired US Air Force Lt Gen Thomas McInerney had earlier suggested on American TV show Hannity that it was in the region – in neighbouring Pakistan.

Further fanning the speculation was news that Israel had mobilised its air defences for a possible terrorist attack by a civilian aircraft.

As McInerney hinted: “When the US Navy quits their search, their ship search, they must know something in the Indian Ocean. When the Israeli defence forces, when they increase their defence alert, they must know something.”

The Americans have it

THE theory that MH370 is hidden in a hangar at US military base Diego Garcia (an atoll in the Indian Ocean) was re-sparked by a viral picture purportedly sent from the mobile phone of Phillip Wood, an American executive at IBM who was on MH370.

An aerial shot of the atoll of Diego Garcia.
Lost on Diego Garcia?

The dark, blurry picture dated March 18 came with this message:

“I have been held hostage by unknown military personnel after my flight was hijacked...I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone...I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell. My name is Philip Wood. I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly.”

And of course his phone’s GPS longitude and latitude coordinates have been traced - to inside a large building on the Diego Garcia Naval Base.

It is a corporate heist plot

THIS began as a blueprint/technical brain snatch over a cloaking device that reportedly was being developed by Texas-based Freescale Semiconductor which incidentally had 20 employees on board the ill-fated flight.

American billionaire Jacob Rothschild, looking for a new radar technology.

It was later revealed that four of the 20 were patent holders of an advanced semiconductor, whose demise would leave the fifth patent holder as the sole owner. That person only happens to be billionaire Jacob Rothschild, who is notoriously known as a ruthless plotter. According to, Freescale Semiconductor had launched a new electronic warfare device for military radar systems days before the plane disappeared. It also highlighted that its shareholders include the Carlyle Group which had “important” advisers such as former US President George Bush Senior and whose client list includes the Saudi Binladin Group, a construction company owned by the family of Osama bin Laden.

There was a fire

THIS speculation remains strong despite the lack of supporting evidence, mainly because the “startlingly simple theory” throws in a poignant heroic feat into the mix.

As Canadian pilot Chris Goodfellow surmised, the plane caught fire, forcing Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah to divert the plane back towards the nearest airport – Langkawi.

Did MH370 try to land at Langkawi International Airport?

“Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbour while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us, and airports ahead of us. They’re always in our head. Always. If something happens, you don’t want to be thinking about what are you going to do – you already know what you are going to do. When I saw that left turn with a direct heading, I instinctively knew he was heading for an airport,” he had said in his opinion piece that has been heavily shared online and published by technology magazine Wired.

He suggested that the plane’s transponder and ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) were shut off as the crew scrambled to tackle this blaze before passing out due to smoke, along with the passengers, while the aircraft continued to fly on auto-pilot.

The theory remains strong with the absence of red flags in the background checks of all onboard, and the initial reluctance of Malaysia Airlines to divulge the cargo manifest.

The pilot (s) did it

WHILE initial investigations have not unearthed anything murky in the backgrounds of pilot Captain Zaharie and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, the FBI say they will take a few more days to complete their investigations on Captain Zaharie’s flight simulator records.

This theory first emerged when investigators concluded that the flight’s communication cut-off was “deliberate” and the flight-path diversion was “most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems.”

Tenuous links were then made between Capt Zaharie and the Opposition – largely due to a photograph of him in a “Democracy is dead” T-shirt – to spark a possible political suicide theory.

Fuelling it further was the discovery that he had been practising landing at five airports in Sri Lanka and southern India on his simulator, while recent data has been erased.

Then came the broken marriage speculations, and son in Middle East rumours.

The lack of solid evidence has angered many Malaysians, not only the friends and relatives of Captain Zaharie, at how his reputation has been dragged through the mud. To quote Zaharie’s youngest son Ahmad Seth, “I’ve read everything online. But I’ve ignored all the speculation. I know my father better.”

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Nation

Smoked out: Cops cripple syndicate targeting car exhausts, 15 arrested
Cops to extend remand of TV personality held for alleged rape
Sheraton move happened because Azmin wanted to be PM, Dr M alleges
Diving activities allowed to resume in Sabah, says Masidi
Covid-19: Three new clusters identified, five ended, says Health Ministry
Illegal scrap metal factory in Simpang Pulai issued with stop work order
Limbawang river clean-up expected to reduce flood risk in the area, says Klias rep
Kota Baru 'Gold rush': Jewellery shop owners, patrons issued compounds for flouting CMCO
Salesman claims trial to drink-driving, causing factory operator's death
Road rage: Fight leaves one bloodied in Bangsar

Stories You'll Enjoy