MH370 where is it

All the theories about what happened to missing MH370 plane – 10 years after disappearance

A new hunt for the vanished aircraft could be starting soon


It’s been ten years since the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared in 2014 with 239 people on board and was never found. Although seriously expensive government and private hunts for the plane were conducted, the aircraft was never recovered and families of the passengers continue to fight for further investigation.

Today Malaysia’s prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, has said he’s willing to launch a new search for MH370 if there’s compelling new evidence: “We have taken the position that if there is a compelling case, evidence that it needs to be re-opened, we’re certainly happy to reopen,” Anwar told a press conference in Melbourne. “Whatever needs to be done must be done.”

So, in case you’re curious, here are all of the biggest theories about what happened to MH370 – 10 years after its disappearance:

The most believed of all the theories is that MH370 crashed

Initially, it was simply thought the plane crashed. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau suggested there could have been a fatal drop in cabin pressure, and one of the most likely explanations with any plane disaster is that it was a terrible accident.

Other theories say MH370 may have been hijacked

One of the most talked-about theories is that MH370 was victim to a hijacking. Shortly after the plane disappeared, it was claimed it may have been an act of terrorism, possibly a jihadist attack. Rupert Murdoch fuelled this, when he tweeted MH370 “confirms jihadists [are] turning to make trouble for China”.

It’s also been considered hijackers may have taken the plane to a remote island. No group has ever claimed responsibility for the disappearance, and given there were no distress calls from the crew or pilot, this theory has been deemed unlikely.

One of the conspiracy theories says MH370 was captured by the United States

Conspiracy theorists have suggested MH370 was captured by the United States and then flown to the United States’ military base. One theory suggests Washington feared MH370 had been hijacked, and was about to be used to attack the US military base on Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean. Press secretary for The White House, Jay Carney, quickly shut this down, and said: “I’ll rule that one out.”

There are loads of theories surrounding the pilot of MH370

Since the plane’s disappearance, people have been talking about the idea the pilot was involved. According to reports, there was a lot going on in the private life of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah in the weeks prior to the plane going missing. Some reports say his wife and family had moved out of their home amid claims Zaharie Ahmad Shah was seeing another woman. A fellow pilot and long-time associate of Shah said the captain was “terribly upset” his marriage was falling apart.

Investigators are said to have been investigating “strange behaviour” of Shah, and he is said to have taken a phone call from an unidentified woman before the flight. Claims of domestic problems have always been denied by the family.

There were also some strange goings on with a flight simulator the pilot had at home. On it, investigators found a flight path into the Southern Ocean where a simulated landing was made on an island with a small runway. Did he take the flight there? The pilot’s family has always strongly denied the possibility it was a suicide.

Credit: Netflix

Was the MH370 crew involved?

There are theories surrounding the crew of MH370, too. The plane was fitted with anti-hijack doors to the cockpit, which in short meant if a crew member got in there the doors could be locked and nobody would be able to interfere. This has raised questions as to whether this could have been a suicide or hijack attempt, carried out by a crew member.

The phantom cellphone theory

On of the strange theories surrounding MH370 is about speculation passengers were still alive, but couldn’t answer their phones. The “phantom cellphone theory” states family members of the passengers recalled being able to hear ringing when they tried to phone their relatives, after the disappearance. However, a wireless analyst at the time said this is very much possible to still happen, and doesn’t mean anything.

A number of theories say there may have been a fire onboard the MH370 plane

Credit: Netflix

Some theories suggest the disappearance may have been the result of a fire in the cockpit, cargo compartment, landing gear, or another part of the plane.

Other people think the plane was shot down

There are also theories the plane may have been shot down. In the documentary on Netflix, the incident is referred to as an “unsolved mass-murder” and it’s questioned if it could have been an act of war. Debris which could be from the plane was found, but many think the debris was planted there.

Could it have been a cyber attack?

People have questioned if the plane’s disappearance could have been because of a cyber attack. This theory is primarily based on statements made by Sally Leivesley, a former scientific advisor to the UK government. Apparently “startling evidence” came forward that the plane could have been hijacked using a mobile phone or even a USB stick.

Leivesley claimed cyber terrorists could have used “codes” to hack the plane’s in-flight entertainment system and infiltrate the security software. She told the Sunday Express: “It might well be the world’s first cyber hijack.” Boeing dismissed these claims, with a spokesperson saying they were “confident” of the “inability for a hacker to gain access.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Phantom cell phone theory: Why MH370 passengers’ mobiles still rang after plane was lost 

• All the theories about what happened to MH370 plane that mysteriously disappeared 

Inside MH370’s cargo theory that links the United States Air Force to the missing plane

Featured image credit via Supian Ahmad/NurPhoto/Shutterstock