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From history: MH370 - the greatest mystery of modern aviation

Written by: Bruno Habus.

© AvioRadar
Malaysia Airlines B777

WARNING: The text contains sensitive and vivid information that some readers may find disturbing. Furthermore, the text contains theories that have not been confirmed and as such enter the realm of speculation. The aim of the text is to commemorate the probable death of 239 passengers and crew members in the greatest mystery of modern aviation, bringing together relevant data and proposed theories of relevant world researchers. 

On March 8, 2014, the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER disappeared. Flight MH370 took off that March night from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, along with 227 passengers and 12 crew members. The evening flight progressed according to plan until 1:21 a.m. when the plane disappeared from radar. Two minutes before the disappearance, the captain made the last contact with the Kuala Lumpur regional air traffic control, where he incorrectly responded to an ATC call to contact Hoch Chi Min's radar, now known as "Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero".

After disappearing from the radar, military radar determines the position of the aircraft and the military confirms that the aircraft veered off course and headed back towards the Malaysian Peninsula, making a sharp 180-degree turn. As the aircraft advanced toward the Indian Ocean, the range of the military radar no longer tracked it, and the aircraft disappeared from all radars. After air traffic control and emergency services calculated that the aircraft was running out of fuel, search operations turned into rescue operations. The search for the plane and passengers lasted, intermittently, until 2017, when it was officially suspended. It was the most expensive search ever conducted, and by 2017 alone it cost more than $ 160 million. However, the Malaysian authorities are trying to find the plane, so they decided to restart the search in case new "relevant evidence" emerges.

Following the suspension of the search in 2017, an official report was published with the participation of experts from Malaysia, Australia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, and France. Although the report cannot confirm and say unequivocally what happened to the plane, it is interesting that "illegal third party interference" is not ruled out. Despite this, investigators agree that the plane was not lost, but that their job was unfinished.

This text provides a timeline of events, the most famous theories of disappearance, and answers to questions that investigators were able to answer using minimal aircraft wreckage found on the African and Australian coasts. The sources by which the text was written are listed at the foot of the text. We kindly ask readers for understanding, since some information is about allegations and assumptions that cannot be confirmed.


Timeline of MH370

23:15 MYT (15:15 UTC) - Both pilots (Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid) have checked in for duty. Approximately 15 minutes later, the pre-flight briefing of the aircraft's flight and cabin crew begins.

00:00 MYT (16:00 UTC) - The aircraft's SDU system logs into the Inmarsat satellite communications network, indicating that the aircraft's APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) or GPU (Ground Power unit) is on. A few minutes later, the boarding of 227 passengers began.

12:27 AM MYT (16:27 UTC) - The aircraft door was closed and the pushback was approved. The plane starts the engines. During the pushback, a video starts showing passengers safety instructions.

00:40 MYT (16:40 UTC) - The aircraft has reached the holding point to enter the runway and the ATC approves the take-off.

00:42 MYT (16:42 UTC) - Boeing 777-200ER as flight MH370 takes off from the runway 32R of Kuala Lumpur Airport.

00:42:53 MYT (16:42:53 UTC) - ATC authorizes flight MH370 to climb the FL180 with direct flight directions to the IGARI navigation point.

00:46:39 MYT (16:46:39 UTC) - Tower control directs flight 370 to connect to Lumpur Radar.

00:46:58 MYT (16:46:58 UTC) - After initial contact with Lumpur Radar, the MH370 is instructed to continue climbing to the FL250.

00:50 MYT (16:50 UTC) - Lumpur Radar gives instructions for climbing to the planned flight altitude - FL350.

01:01 MYT (17:01 UTC) - The captain makes contact with Lumpur Radar, informing how the MH370 has reached cruising altitude, FL350.

01:07 MYT (17:07 UTC) - The last transmission of data from an aircraft using the ACARS protocol (a system for transmitting text messages via radio or satellite).

01:07 - 02:03 MYT (17:07 - 18:03 UTC) - The aircraft's connection to satellite communication systems was lost during this time frame.

01:07:56 MYT (17:07:56 UTC) - At the call of the flight control, the captain confirms that the MH370 is flying on the FL350.

01:19:30 MYT (17:19:30 UTC) - Lumpur Radar is calling MH370 to contact Ho Chi Minh Radar. At the moment of crossing the IGARI navigation point, the captain answers “Good night, Malaysian 370”. This is the aircraft's last contact with air traffic control.

01:21:13 MYT (17:21:13 UTC) - Flight MH370 disappears from radar. Since the location of the aircraft was spotted on military radar, the moment of disappearance from civilian radar marks the shutdown of the transponder in the aircraft. Immediately after shutting down the transponder, the aircraft deviates from the planned route, makes a 180-degree turn, and begins to fly southwest.

01:30 AM MYT (17:30 UTC) - As instructed by Ho Chi Minh Radar, another aircraft is attempting to make contact with MH370. In response to the call, the pilots of the other plane heard mumbling and radio interference. Since the MH370 was contacted via the emergency frequency (121,500), there is no flight control recording of the established contact, so it has not been officially confirmed that the response actually arrived from the MH370.

01:37 AM MYT (17:37 UTC) - The expected half-hour transmission via the ACARS protocol was not recorded.

01:39 MYT (17:39 UTC) - Ho Chi Minh (HCM) Radar is contacted by Lumpur Radar. The HCM confirms that no verbal communication has been established with the MH370 and that the MH370 has disappeared from radar near the BITOD navigation point. Lumpur Radar confirms that the MH370 did not attempt to make contact with their control after passing the IGARI navigation point.

01:46 AM MYT (17:46 UTC) - HCM radar confirms that radar contact has been established with the MH370 near the IGARI point, but it has been lost at the BITOD point.

01:52 MYT (17:52 UTC) - MH370 flies over the far south of Penang Island. The telecommunications tower records the establishment of contact with the mobile device of the first officer, Fairq Abdul Hamid. It was confirmed that there was no exchange of other data. The plane is now turning northwest.

01:57 MYT (17:57 UTC) - HCM Radar informs Lumpur Radar that despite numerous attempts, communication with the MH370 has still not been established.

02:03:41 MYT (18:03:41 UTC) - Malaysia Airlines Dispatch Center sends a text message to the aircraft via the ACARS system. The message was sent several times between 02:03 and 02:05 MYT, but the aircraft did not receive the message.

02:03:48 MYT (18:03:48 UTC) - Lumpur Radar forwards information from Malaysia Airlines operations center to HCM Radar that the aircraft is in Cambodian airspace.

02:15 MYT (18:15 UTC) - The Malaysia Airlines Operations Center confirms that it can establish ‘signals’ with the aircraft and that the MH370 is located in Cambodian airspace.

02:18 MYT (18:18 UTC) - Lumpur and HCM Radar determine that flight plan MH370 does not include a flight over Cambodia, and contact the Cambodian authorities who confirm that neither radio nor radar contact has been established with the aircraft.

02:22 MYT (18:22 UTC) - One hour and one minute after disappearing from civilian radar, the last radar contact with MH370 by the Malaysian military was recorded. The last recorded location is 370 kilometers northwest of Penang Island. After that, the aircraft flies out of range of all available radars.

02:25 MYT (18:25 UTC) - Automatic 'log on request’ has been resubmitted by the aircraft’s satellite communication to the Inmarsat satellite network. The connection was established after a loss of between 22 and 68 minutes.

02:34 AM MYT (18:34 UTC) - Lumpur Radar sends a request to the Malaysia Airlines Operations Center (OC) if they can get information about the MH370. The OC acknowledges that the message was sent but that they cannot acknowledge if it has been received.

02:35 MYT (18:35 UTC) - OC Malaysia Airlines informs Lumpur Radar that according to their information the aircraft is in ‘normal operating condition’, based on signals exchanged while the aircraft was in North Vietnamese airspace.

02:39 MYT (18:39 UTC) - A call made to the MH370 over a satellite communications network is not answered.

03:30 MYT (19:30 UTC) - OC Malaysia Airlines announces that tracking aircraft on their part is no longer reliable and that they have no further information on the condition or location of the aircraft.

03:41 MYT (19:41 UTC) - Automatic hourly handshake exchange of information between the aircraft and the Inmarsat satellite communications network.

04:41 MYT (20:41 UTC) - Automatic hourly handshake exchange of information between the aircraft and the Inmarsat satellite communications network.

05:09 AM MYT (21:09 UTC) - Singapore air traffic control is sending an inquiry related to MH370.

05:41 MYT (21:41 UTC) - Automatic handshake exchange of information between aircraft and Inmarsat satellite communications network.

6:30 AM MYT (22:30 UTC) - According to the flight schedule, the MH370 was supposed to land in Beijing. The families of the passengers were informed at the airport that the plane was late.

06:32 MYT (22:32 UTC) - The Kuala Lumpur Air Rescue Coordination Center has been activated.

06:41 MYT (22:41 UTC) - Automatic hourly handshake exchange of information between the aircraft and the Inmarsat satellite communications network.

07:13 MYT (23:13 UTC) - OC Malaysia Airlines is trying to re-establish a call with the aircraft via a satellite communications network. The call is not answered.

07:24 AM MYT (23:24 UTC) - Malaysia Airlines issues a press release announcing that flight MH370 has been declared missing.

08:11 MYT (00:11 UTC) - The last automatic hourly ‘handshake’ exchange of information between the aircraft and the Inmarsat satellite communications network has taken place.

08:19:29 MYT (00:19:29 UTC) - The aircraft sends a ‘logon request’ (‘partial handshake’) to the Inmarsat satellite network. Investigators believe that this request indicates the time when the engines were shut down, most likely due to fuel consumption.

08:19:37 MYT (00:19:37 UTC) - In response to a 'logon request' from the earth station, the aircraft responds with a 'log on acknowledgment' message, which is the last transmission from flight MH370, a total of 7 hours and 37 minutes from the time of departure of the aircraft from Kuala Lumpur Airport.

09:15 MYT (01:15 UTC) - The aircraft does not respond to automatic handshake attempts.


Flight MH370 was performed on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, registration number 9M-MRO. The serial number of the aircraft is 28420, official type 777-2H6ER. The aircraft was delivered to Malaysian Airlines in 2002, while the first flight was performed on May 14, 2002. The aircraft had a passenger configuration with 35 seats in business class and 239 seats in economy class, and at the time of disappearance, the aircraft was 11.8 years old. Officially, an aircraft is ‘written off’.

The entire flight of the MH370 is shrouded in secrecy. Official flight information is contradictory and based on it it is almost impossible to put together an unambiguous theory of what happened to the aircraft as well as what happened to the passengers. The data from the official report states that the number of dead is 239, but with the note ‘presumed', that is, it is assumed that all 239 passengers and crew members were ‘probably’ killed in the accident, whatever its nature. Note that the indication 'presumed' is placed in all accidents in which the bodies of the passengers were not found.

The investigation and search for the aircraft were initially conducted spontaneously, as the data of the Malaysian and Vietnamese flight control had to be harmonized first, and the data on satellite communication with the aircraft reached the investigator only a week after the disappearance. The continuation of the text brings information and the timing of the investigation, as well as search and rescue operations.

March 08, 2014

At 05:30 local time, the protocol of the Air Rescue Coordination Center (ARCC) in Kuala Lumpur Regional Air Traffic Control was activated. The first searches began in the South China Sea and in the Gulf of Thailand - in the vicinity of the place where the MH370 disappeared from radar. This is the first confusing information, considering that the search was carried out at the place where the aircraft transponder was turned off, but the military radar monitored and confirmed that it disappeared from the radar because it flew out of range of available radars, i.e. 370 km northwest of Penang Island.

At 7:24 a.m. MYT, Malaysian Airlines released a press release stating that flight MH370 had been declared missing at 2:40 a.m. MYT (from the moment Malaysian Airlines ’OC could no longer track the aircraft). This information was later changed, and the aircraft was reported missing at 1:30 (i.e. 9 minutes from the moment the aircraft disappeared from civilian radar).

Only around 7:30 MYT, i.e. exactly one hour after the expected time of landing in Beijing, Malaysian Airlines changes the status of the flight from a delay to an officially missing aircraft and informs the passenger's family about it. After the initial contact with the families, the airline publishes a manifest or list of passengers on the disputed flight. Most of the passengers were Chinese (153) and Malaysian (50), while other passengers originate from 12 different countries.

Below is a transcript of the first press release:

“Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight MH370 lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control today (March 8, 2014) at 2:40 p.m. Flight MH370, flying B777-200, took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 at 12:41 p.m. The MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day. There were a total of 227 passengers (including 2 infants) and 12 crew members on the flight. Malaysian Airlines is currently working with the authorities to activate a search and rescue team and locate the aircraft. ”

It was only after the official announcement of the disappearance that the Malaysian military publicly announced that an aircraft that had later been identified as MH370 had been identified on military radar. Whether the military notified air traffic control of the aircraft’s identification immediately after disappearing from the civilian radar is not known. The search and rescue services accepted the military data as relevant only a few days after the announcement. Herein lies the answer to the illogicality of the initial search - the military did not share the information in time, so the initial search was focused on the area where the aircraft disappeared from civilian radar.

Meanwhile, the embassies of the countries whose citizens were on the passenger list are updating the data: Austria and Italy confirm that 2 of their citizens are on the passenger list, but that they checked in with their own passports, which they reported as stolen two years ago. The information was later corrected - It was not these passengers who were on the flight, but other people who were using stolen passports.

Being an American-made aircraft, the NTSB (US National Transportation Safety Board) is sending a team of investigators to Malaysia.

Inmarsat sends the first data on the flight tracking of flight MH370. The data was kept secret for several days, while unofficial information says that the investigators received the data only a week after the disappearance of the plane.

March 09, 2014

A total of 40 aircraft and 24 vessels are involved in the search, and the focus of the investigation is shifting to the Andaman Sea at the request of the Malaysian authorities. During the day, the Malaysian Air Force announces that, according to military radar images, there is a possibility that the plane turned and flew over the Andaman Sea.

Malaysian Airlines is sending 150 senior managers to Beijing to set up a center to inform and pass on new information to passenger families. The same center was opened in Kuala Lumpur. At the same time, the airline announces that it is ready to provide financial assistance to the families of passengers and, if necessary, transfer them from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur.

Authorities are investigating surveillance camera footage of passengers before boarding the plane for possible links to terrorism, but it was later announced that no links between passengers and terrorist organizations were revealed.

09-11. March 2014

Inmarsat announces that, based on the information received, it can participate constructively in the investigation. By the morning of March 11, it was determined that the last contact of the aircraft was made somewhere in the range of ‘2 ports’, and the Malaysian authorities were informed about the information.

Malaysian police confirmed that 2 passengers on the flight used stolen passports. These are Iranian citizens who were probably trying to migrate to Germany. INTERPOL reports that "the more information they receive, the more certain they are that the aircraft is not involved in a terrorist attack." The mystery of the alleged Italian and Austrian passengers with their own passports reported as stolen has been solved here - the two Iranian citizens mentioned checked in for the flight and used the stolen passports of persons who were not on the flight.

Inmarsat only managed to get in touch with the Malaysian authorities on March 11th. The Malaysian authorities, in consultation with US investigators, agree to cooperate and authorize the NTSB to further investigate Inmarsat's satellite data.

March 12, 2014

It was not until March 12, four days after the disappearance, that Malaysian officials announced that the aircraft had been identified by a "probably MH370" military radar and that the aircraft had flown out of range of all radars, 320 km northwest of Penang Island.

March 13, 2014

A White House spokesman announces that based on Inmarsat data, the search could be extended to the Indian Ocean area.

March 14, 2014

Inmarsat publicly announces the collected and processed data. He announces that I can confirm "with almost one hundred percent certainty" that the plane continued to fly for several hours after disappearing from all radars.

Malaysian Airlines cancels flight number MH370 / 371 and replaces them with numbers MH318 / 319.


© Andrew Heneen

As stated, the investigation was conducted actively until 2017. 5 countries actively participated in the investigation, and citizens could be involved in the active investigation by analyzing satellite images of the search area. During the investigation, mostly in March 2014, many possible pieces of evidence were found. Among other things, orange ‘rectangular objects’, green or gray ‘circular objects’ were spotted, oil slicks, scattered parts, etc. were found, but none of the evidence was accepted as relevant and the findings are not linked to MH370.

At the end of the summer of 2014, the authorities gave up the ‘surface search’ and the focus shifted to underwater search, mainly by scanning the seabed. Again, no relevant evidence was found.

On July 29, 2015, parts that could be parts of an aircraft were found off the coast of the African island of La Reunion (French territory). The analysis confirmed that it was a Boeing 777-200 flaperon, and by inspecting the serial numbers, the authorities confirmed that it was a part of the aircraft from flight MH370. Immediately after, a detailed search of the coast was activated to find further evidence. The search bore fruit and a "sufficient" number of aircraft parts were found (a suitcase, water bottle, aircraft interior parts, engine formwork parts, etc.) were found, but investigators can confirm with certainty that only the flaperon comes from flight MH370. For the other parts, only a statement arrived that they "almost certainly" come from flight MH370, although there is no way to unambiguously confirm the same.

It was the flaperon that caused the most controversy among investigators - while some claim that it would not be in one piece in the event that the plane fell at high speed into the sea (which would indicate that the plane was out of control), or that someone was piloting the plane during landing at sea, others argue that the flaperon shows that either no one was piloting the plane in the crash, or it was being piloted by someone who was not a pilot. Evidence on the flaperon is cited as an argument indicating that the flaps (used in landing) were not pulled out.

On January 17, 2017, any further active search for the aircraft was suspended. After analyzing 120,000 km2 of the Indian Ocean floor, the authorities decided to suspend the search. The total search price was $ 160 million.



Based on the investigation, the team of investigators proposed a total of 5 ‘possible in-flight events’, but it is disturbing that each proposed event has a ‘hole’ or at least one detail that does not correspond to some of the evidence. This of course created fertile ground for numerous conspiracy theories, but we will not list them in the text. Below are the official 5 ‘possible events in flight’.

Disabled crew and hypoxia

Investigators wondered what could incapacitate all passengers and crew on the plane and direct the plane into the unknown. The MH370 case was compared to a 2005 Helios Airways 552 flight, in which the cabin was not pressurized due to a crew failure. As a result, passengers and crew were left without oxygen, and in their bodies, there was so-called hypoxia or a condition in which the body cannot function due to lack of oxygen, so the person falls unconscious. The crew was unaware of the phenomenon, and although oxygen masks fell in the cabin they kept the passengers conscious for only 12 minutes. Eventually, none of the crew and passengers remained awake conscious (except for one flight attendant), and when the plane ran out of fuel it crashed into the hills near Athens.

Investigators tried to map the case to MH370. Although hypoxia would be the explanation for why the crew stopped communicating with flight control, it is difficult to explain how unconscious pilots would cause the aircraft to be properly off the route, as well as shutting down the transponder. Also, after the fuel ran out, without anyone operating it, the plane would spiral into the sea, which does not support the discovery of flaperons on the island of La Reunion. Namely, the flaperon was found in one piece, for which Australian investigators claim that it would not be possible for the plane to crash into the sea at high speed (as in a spiral crash). On the other hand, such an unfolding of events would explain why none of the passengers and the cabin crew reacted in any way, i.e. tried to prevent the catastrophe. Was the pilot able to fly the aircraft thanks to his own oxygen mask? Yes, but not for long because pilot masks are also limited by the amount of oxygen. Did the passengers wake up after the plane landed at altitudes where there is oxygen? No, because after a few hours without oxygen, the human body is ‘brain dead.

Power outage

Investigators found that at 46 minutes during the flight, and before disappearing from the radar, the SATCOM aircraft’s satellite communications system was not working, which could indicate a fault in the electrical system. Such an error could explain the shutdown of the transponder, even a turn if the error caused the autopilot to malfunction (or the pilot's intention to return). Also, power outages, energy or any fault in the system could cause a fire. The problem with this theory is that the crew would react to an interruption or error in the electrical system, in the worst case by landing the aircraft at the first possible airport. Even if the plane caught fire (which could prevent the crew from reacting), it would not fly a few hours further in an unknown direction.

‘Dangerous cargo’

A total of 221 kg of lithium-ion batteries were loaded in the cargo area on flight MH370. Although they are flammable if handled improperly, they were packaged and loaded according to IATA regulations (in LD containers), making them an officially non-hazardous cargo.

In the past, lithium-ion batteries, or the fire that caused them, caused a fire on two aircraft (UPS Airlines Flight 6 and Asiana Airlines Flight 991), which investigators suggested as a possible cause of the MH370 crash. The fire could cause a break in communications, a malfunction or a failure of the transponder, and even a turn that could indicate the intention of the crew to return to the Malaysian peninsula for landing. But the MH370 did not land (which in the event of a fire could indicate crew disability), and a burning aircraft with a disabled crew would not fly for several more hours, thousands of miles away from the original route.

Passenger involvement

As it was discovered early in the investigation that two passengers were using stolen passports, investigators and police suspected possible involvement of passengers in terms of abduction with the aim of a terrorist act. It was also revealed that the passengers were Iranian citizens and that both passengers had purchased one-way tickets. This possibility was partially refuted because it was discovered that the travelers were probably migrants, with evidence (not presented to the public) indicating that they were trying to migrate to Germany.

But the suspicion of a potential kidnapper has been turned to a Chinese citizen, otherwise an engineer for a private charter airline. He was found to be the only passenger who would have aircraft management skills. Later, the suspect was assessed as "very unlikely".

The suspicions were soon partially removed as the abduction or terrorist attack would involve terrorist organizations taking responsibility for the attack, and the abductions would involve the conditions of the kidnappers and an attempted negotiation, which was not recorded.

Crew involvement

In its report, the American authorities express the belief that "someone in the cockpit" reprogrammed the flight computer with the aim of turning to the route along which the plane was flying. Police searched the homes of all 12 crew members and conducted over 150 interviews with family, friends, and other flight crew at Malaysian Airlines. As a result, Malaysian police announced that in the case of “human intervention that resulted in the disappearance of MH370”, the main suspect is Captain Zaharie.

The FBI reviewed the history of the flight simulator found at Captain Zaharie's home, but found "nothing malicious." Also, the Malaysian police announced that an insight into the financial situation of all crew members was made and that nothing was found that would indicate the planning of such an act. In addition, surveillance camera footage showing the crew boarding the aircraft was analyzed and it was determined that "no suspicious behavior was observed".

In 2016, a document leaked from the FBI showing how the FBI found a route on Captain Zaharie's simulator that was almost identical to the one the MH370 was flying. This information was later confirmed by the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau), but they point out that this does not indicate the captain's involvement in the disappearance of the aircraft. The same allegation was confirmed by the Malaysian police. In 2018, the document was further clarified, stating that 6 manually programmed navigation points were found in the captain's simulator which, when combined, create a route almost identical to the actual route (along with the disappearance point as the last route point). Also, it was confirmed that the points in the simulator were programmed on February 4, 2014 (a little over a month before the disappearance). Despite all this, forensic research claims that the events "from the video game" cannot be connected with the events on the night when the MH370 disappeared.


As the official possibilities cited by investigators did not satisfy the public, and especially the families of missing passengers, a number of theories began to emerge, many of which could be categorized as conspiracy theories. However, some of the theories could offer a relevant explanation, which was confirmed by the investigators, but they were not listed as possible due to lack of evidence. What is certain is that the proposed theories do not offer a quality explanation, but ask additional questions. The continuation of the text brings independent theories that have been accepted as relevant over time, as well as theories that the investigator community has unanimously rejected as unfounded.

Electronic hijacking

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad proposed a theory in which the FMS (Flight Management System) of a Boeing 777-200ER was hacked, and how the aircraft was remotely taken to the location where it disappeared. This theory was refuted by Boeing himself, claiming and presenting evidence that such a system is impossible to hack in a way that would allow someone in a remote location to operate an aircraft.

Misinterpreted satellite data

The fact is that the Inmarsat satellite did not have the exact location of the aircraft at each ‘handshake’ or data exchange, but only the data at what distance the aircraft is from the satellite. Thus, researchers and experts from Inmarsat managed to establish the so-called arc, i.e. a circle on the perimeter of which the aircraft could be located at that moment. So not the exact location, but a circle around its entire circumference. Of course, taking into account the last known location of the aircraft, the amount of fuel, and the maximum/minimum flight speed, the area where the aircraft could be located was isolated. The farther the aircraft was from the satellite, the wider the area. A total of 7 ‘handshakes’ were made, i.e. Inmarsat had information on 7 different distances of the aircraft from the satellite. Mathematical methods have isolated the area of ​​the 7th arch (as the area of ​​the last partial ‘handshake’), slightly southwest of the coast of Australia. However, the mentioned seventh arch (circle) also passes through South Asia, all the way to the area of ​​Kazakhstan. Many thought in a way that the plane could have been right there, but in that case, military radars could identify it. The fact that an aircraft could be in the area of ​​South Asia is mathematically correct, but in that case, it would be identified by other radars, which refutes this theory.

Hydrophone theory

Dr. Usama Kadri, a mathematician, and an expert in fluid dynamics proposes a theory in which the crash site is not somewhere in a 2,000-nautical-mile line along the 7th arc, but in a completely different location - somewhere between Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and Madagascar. Dr. Kadri explained that there are stations in the seabed with underwater microphones, i.e. hydrophones, which were originally intended for listening to possible secret underwater nuclear detonations. The hydrophones are arranged in such a way that they cover and can listen to the entire underwater world. Namely, the fall of the aircraft into the ocean would create the so-called gravitational pressure wave, i.e. a sudden change in pressure at the point of fall that the hydrophone could read, and based on the recording it would be possible to determine the sound source.

Dr. Kadri calculated that the strongest signal could be read from a hydrophone station on the island of Diego Garcia. After requesting and getting to use the footage from the night the MH370 disappeared, he realized that 25 minutes of footage, just at the time it was calculated that the MH370 had run out of fuel, was missing. As a cause, he found that the recordings were missing due to the intentionally turned off hydrophones. So someone deliberately turned off the hydrophones for 25 minutes, just at the time it was assumed the plane had fallen into the sea. When asked why the hydrophones were turned off, Dr. Kadri never received an answer.

Despite this, Usama Kadri analyzed the remaining footage and found a signal that could indicate an MH370 crash. The problem is that this signal was recorded about 30 minutes before the calculated time the aircraft ran out of fuel or about 30 minutes before the ‘partial handshake’ with the Inmarsat satellite. Also, the source of that signal is not near the 7th port at all, but somewhere on the stretch between the islands of Diego Garcia and Madagascar, exactly where the first parts of the aircraft were found. This evidence was not relevant enough for the investigators to direct the investigation to another area, and they treat the found signal as possible tectonic activities, and not the sound of the Boeing 777 falling into the sea.

Army involvement

Although this theory delves slightly into the field of conspiracy theories, it is worth mentioning because such possibilities have been dealt with by relevant political commentators around the world. They put forward the idea that the MH370 was actually shot down, and all the evidence was later staged to distract the public from the actual evidence. A theory has been proposed in which the MH370 was shot down either accidentally or intentionally after deviating from the route, to avoid a worse scenario (like the one on September 11, 2001). They note that this could explain why the military did not send fighter jets to intercept the aircraft.

The official response to this theory is that the prospects for such a thing are almost impossible, given that the military has provided radar images that are deemed credible. As a reason why fighters were not invited to intercept the aircraft, it was stated that the aircraft was flying along the Malaysian and Vietnamese borders, and that flight controls for a long time (as evidenced by the time course of the flight event) thought the aircraft was in contract with another flight control. By the time they agreed, the plane had already left their airspace.

Suicidal act

Perhaps the first theory to come to light was one in which a suicidal pilot/crew member/passenger hijacks a plane and intentionally commits mass murder. A team of psychologists and psychiatrists analyzed the mental states of all crew members and assessed that it was "very unlikely" that one of the crew, with the desire to commit suicide, took the plane to death. They also note that it is unlikely that any of the passengers did so, because even if he managed to enter the cockpit, disable the pilots without any resistance or call for help and take control, for such an act he should not have gone thousands of miles away, but could do on the spot, immediately after taking over the aircraft.


Again, all the above theories do not bring answers but impose new questions. There is another detail that confused the investigators, that made them think in the way in which the outcome of the situation imposes the answer that the flight MH370 was carefully planned - the so-called beacons in the aircraft, ie their batteries, were not replaced for 2 years from the expiration date. Namely, each aircraft has a certain number of beacons or devices that send radio waves in the event of an accident, with the aim of making it easier to find black boxes, aircraft, or rafts with surviving passengers. All of these devices have batteries that need to be replaced periodically. On the aircraft on which flight MH370 (9M-MRO) was performed, those batteries were not replaced for two years after the expiration date. Malaysian Airlines explained that such activities were recorded in the software that plans the maintenance of the aircraft and that during the transition to the new software, this information was omitted, ie the mechanics did not have information that the batteries had expired. A team of investigators commented on this information in one of the reports, and it was unofficially commented that if someone wanted the MH370 to disappear, they chose the right aircraft for it.

In early 2021, one of the ATSB investigators commented for The Guardian that "the MH370 will be found, wherever it is." But time does not work for anyone in this case, given that if the aircraft is under the sea, seawater and marine microorganisms destroy part of the evidence every day, and depending on the condition they were in after the crash, black box recordings may never be successfully analyzed, even if they were found.

The biggest motive for the potential continuation of the investigation is precisely the victims, ie passengers who were never found. Perhaps the saddest statement regarding passengers is the one from the ATSB report:

"We share your deep and long-lasting grief and deeply regret that we were unable to locate the aircraft, as well as the 239 souls onboard who remain missing."

However, a multinational team of investigators agreed on one thing - in the documentary show “60 Minutes Australia” broadcasted in 2017, they agreed that it is very unlikely that the disappearance of MH370 is the result of a technical failure of the aircraft.

Although the MH370 is only one of a total of 103 official cases of aircraft disappearances from 1940 onwards, it is the MH370 that is the biggest mystery. One of the investigators once commented that "it is almost unbelievable that with all the technology and all the technological advances we still can't find something as big as the Boeing 777".

In the end, we bring information that is a tragic coincidence with a mysterious disappearance. The Boeing 777-200 registration number 9M-MRO involved in the incident bears Boeing's serial production line number 404, the same as the well-known internet 'error': 404 - NOT FOUND.


Sources: ATSB, NTSB, Malaysia Airlines, Discovery Australia, Wikipedia