Mystery of MH370: Theories on what could have happened

A Malaysia Airline worker put a cone near the aircraft at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 17.
A Malaysia Airline worker put a cone near the aircraft at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 17.PHOTO: EPA

The mystery surrounding Flight MH370 has spawned an industry of theories about its fate, particularly on the Internet.

Here's a look at some, including one that is out of this world - really.

NORTH KOREA TOOK IT 


North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (centre) at a drill for a ballistic missile launch by the Hwasong artillery units of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army.  PHOTO: AFP

Some conspiracy theorists have asked if Pyongyang was the "missing link" in the investigation, saying the plane might have been hijacked at the order of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un so the country could access the Boeing 777's technology.

PUTIN STOLE IT


Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) in Moscow, Russia, on July 21.  PHOTO: EPA

Former pilot and aviation expert Jeff Wise speculated that MH370 might have landed in Kazakhstan as part of a Russian-engineered plot, reported Reuters.

But he admitted he had "no idea" why Russian President Vladimir Putin would want to steal the plane. His theory is dependent on somebody on board MH370 tampering with key satellite transmission data to give the impression it flew south.

SHOT DOWN BY US-THAI MILITARY 


An aerial photograph of Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba Island in the South China Sea, on March 23.  PHOTO: EPA

The book Flight MH370 - The Mystery suggested that MH370 had been shot down accidentally during a joint US-Thai military exercise in the South China Sea.

Such accidents have happened before: Korean Air flight 007 was shot down by the Soviet Union in 1983 and the US Navy downed an Iranian airliner in 1988.

The book also claims that search and rescue efforts were sent in the wrong direction as part of a cover-up.

INSURANCE SCAM


The wrecked cockpit of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 being presented to the press during a presentation of the final report on the cause of the its crash at the Gilze Rijen airbase.  PHOTO: AFP

In March 2014, Malaysian police refused to rule out the possibility that it may have been used in an elaborate insurance scam.

MH370 AND MH17 WERE SAME PLANE


Journalists looking at parts of the Malaysia Airlines plane Flight MH17 at the crash site near the Grabove village in eastern Ukraine.  PHOTO: AFP

This theory is based on photos of the MH17 crash site in Ukraine, which proponents argue show that the second crashed plane was in fact MH370, a later 777 model that had some small changes to its body.

How MH370 could have been hidden for six months before being substituted for MH17 - and what happened to the bodies - is not explained.

HIJACKED BY TERRORISTS 


Malaysia Airlines aircraft parked on the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on June 20.  PHOTO: AFP

A retired US lieutenant- general spread the theory that the plane was flown to Taleban-controlled Pakistan, to be used to carry weapons of mass destruction for an attack on Israel.

ALIEN ABDUCTION 


 Artist's view of planets transiting a red dwarf star in the TRAPPIST-1 system.  PHOTO: NASA

A poll conducted by CNN in 2014 found that 9 per cent of Americans believed that "space aliens or beings from another dimension were involved".

SUICIDE OR REVENGE ATTACK 


Next of kin of of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passenger during a special press conference ahead of MH370 Ministerial Tripartite Meeting on July 22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  PHOTO: EPA

Aviation expert David Learmount said: "There's only one thing it can be - a deliberate act by someone on board, probably the captain."