The Truth About Malaysia Flight 370's Disappearance

We'd almost expect a ship to go missing, considering how often it's happened in our collective human past, but a commercial airplane full of passengers seems like a bit of a stretch. When one just up and disappears one day, seemingly into the blue, it's even more far fetched. A small private plane owned by the Russian mafia? Sure. A fighter jet in WWII? Most definitely. But a Boeing 777 fitted with all the high-end tracking and navigation technology the 21st Century has to offer, with a cabin full of passengers? Seems a little sketchy. And, as far as we know, the disappearance of Flight 370 actually was pretty sketchy, to say the least.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was carrying 239 people when it seemingly disappeared in March of 2014, taking the passengers with it. The flight left Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, and was supposed to land in Beijing, according to BBC. Within an hour, the plane lost contact without so much as a quick message about what was happening on board — not even a distress signal. The disappearance is considered the biggest aviation mystery to happen this millennium. How could one missing plane be so mysterious? That's the question that's been boggling investigators for the past six years, and one for which we might never have an answer.

A lot of theories, one missing plane

You'd think more than six years after the fact, we'd have at least one concrete theory concerning Malaysia Flight 370. We don't. Every time one pops up, something comes along and shoots it down. From the beginning, according to Bloomberg, Malaysian leadership has thought the incident to be a murder-suicide, but no one knows who perpetrated it. If it was a terrorist hijacking, you'd think an organization would come forward and claim it; otherwise, there's really no point. The pilot is a suspect, according to Express, because they found a flight simulator in his home with data points that might correlate to where Flight 370 went down, and he had mental health issues. But Bloomberg says the satellite data suggests the plane was on autopilot.

An attack by malicious hackers has been another theory that also falls short of credibility. According to the book The Plane That Wasn't There, the only option for hackers would be to take control of the plane through the satellite link, set the autopilot to take it off course, and somehow keep the pilots from resuming control. Without that, there wasn't much of a possibility to exploit the flight system. That satellite link went down before the plane disappeared. Basically, the person or people responsible for Flight 370's disappearance had to be on the plane at the time it went down.

The black box would definitely help

We won't know for sure what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 until the black box is recovered. The evidence held within that particular recording device could be invaluable to understanding what occurred. If it's ever located, the wreckage of the flight itself might conceivably point investigators in the right direction. But that's part of the problem: We can't even seem to find the plane. Satellite data provided a reasonable arc of where Flight 370 could have ended its journey, with a northern and southern point being the most probable, according to The Taking of MH370. But the plane couldn't have flown north, or the Boeing 777 surely would've been spotted by someone as it traveled over several countries on its way to, perhaps, Kazakstan. On the other hand, there's the possibility that an abandoned air field in the country could provide an adequate landing strip.

As for as the plane hypothetically going south, it probably did. At least, this is generally accepted as the most likely course for the plane to have taken. Searchers have explored the Indian Ocean several times, looking for clues, because that's where Flight 370's wreckage should've ended up. Unlikely as it seems, no one has found anything so far. Nor have any survivors (if there are any) come forward. No possible attackers have made their motives clear. For now, Malaysia Flight 370 remains a puzzling mystery. Where's the wreckage? Where are the bodies? Perhaps we will never know.