MH370 conspiracy theories: what happened to the missing plane?

Was Flight MH370 captured by aliens? Stolen by Israeli agents? Or did it crash in Ukraine? A round-up of the best conspiracy theories

LAST UPDATED AT 12:06 ON Thu 4 Dec 2014

In the ongoing absence of firm evidence about the fate of missing flight MH370, the world's conspiracy theorists have weighed in with explanations of their own for the disappearance of the Malaysia Airways plane.

The susbsequent crash of flight MH17, shot down over eastern Ukraine, added to speculation, while a lack of clarity from Malaysian officials about the earlier mystery  allowed rumours to flourish. Relatives of some passengers on board the flight have offered a $3m reward for information in the belief that details of the investigation are being withheld from them.

Even the Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has accused his country's government of holding back "missing bits of information", giving fuel to the conspiracy theories. He asked how a country with "one of the most sophisticated" radar systems in the world could simply lose track of an aeroplane. Similar doubts have been expressed by the chief executive of Emirates, Tim Clark.

Flight MH17 conspiracy theories

A poll conducted by CNN in the summer found that one in ten Americans believe that "space aliens, time travellers or beings from another dimension" were involved in the plane's disappearance. 

The claim that investigators still can't rule out the possibility that Flight MH370 landed rather than crashed has also reignited the debate: according to the CNN poll, 21 per cent of people believe that at least some people from the flight survived. 

The Australian-led search operation is now looking for the plane along the so-called "seventh arc", a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.

But far away from the scene of the search, on the internet's more excitable fringes, individuals have been working on theories of their own to plug the information gaps. Here are some of the best (and weirdest):

Hijacked by Afghans 

The missing Boeing 777 was hijacked and flown to a small village in Afghanistan, according to a Russian newspaper.

A military source reportedly told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper: "Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines missing on March 8 with 239 passengers was hijacked. 

"Pilots are not guilty; the plane was hijacked by unknown terrorists. We know that the name of the terrorist who gave instructions to pilots is 'Hitch'. The plane is in Afghanistan not far from Kandahar near the border with Pakistan."

Others have elaborated on the theory, suggesting that passengers have been divided into seven groups and are living in mud huts with almost no food.

MH370 and MH17 were in fact the same plane

One theory that has gained traction over the summer is the suggestion that the airliner that crashed in a field in Ukraine was in fact the lost flight MH370, not the scheduled flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. 

According to the theory, proposed by a number of sites, including, MH370 was hijacked and forced to land safely in an undisclosed location. Some believers say that the plane was taken to the US military base Diego Garcia – believed to be within range of where the MH370 disappeared – and then deliberately crashed near Donetsk by US agents months later in a "false flag" operation designed to discredit Russia. 

Subsequent world events have played into the theorists' hands, as a number of countries accused Russia of providing military support to Ukrainian separatists – including Buk missile launchers capable of shooting down planes at high altitudes. The EU and US subsequently tightened their sanctions on Moscow.

To support their argument, some commentators, such as Opob News, point to the fact that wreckage found in Ukraine seems to have a different configuration of windows to the actual MH17, and that a Malaysian flag on the side of the fuselage is not in the right place. Others have suggested that these pictures are fake.

Alien abduction 

Five per cent of Americans surveyed by believe that the plane was abducted by aliens. Some bloggers have pointed to a number of recent UFO sightings in Malaysia as evidence for extraterrestrial intervention. Alexandra Bruce, from Forbidden Knowledge TV, "proves" the involvement of aliens with her analysis of radar data. She claims that footage posted on YouTube shows the presence of something that "can only be termed a UFO" in the skies over Malaysia. Of course, that means something that is "unidentified" rather than aliens.

A 9/11-style false-flag hijack mission

No conspiracy is complete without Israeli involvement, and MH370 is no exception. According to this theory, Israeli agents planned to crash the Malaysia Airways plane into a building, as in the September 11 attacks, and then blame the atrocity on Iran. Proponents point to the quick identification of two Iranian nationals travelling on forged passports, and claims that CCTV images released of the pair had been doctored. More extravagantly, some have claimed that a Malaysia Airways Boeing 777 identical to the one that went missing “had been stored in a hangar in Tel Aviv since November 2013”

The plane was shot down

A new book, Flight MH370 – The Mystery, suggests that the missing Malaysian Airways plane may have been shot down accidentally by US-Thai joint strike fighters in a military exercise in the South China Sea. The book also claims that search and rescue efforts were deliberately sent in the wrong direction as part of a cover-up, the Daily Mail reports.

The CIA is behind it

In a blog post, Malaysia's former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, wrote that he believes the US Central Intelligence Agency must know something about the plane's fate. He also claimed that Boeing, the plane’s maker, and “certain” unnamed government agencies, are able to take control of commercial airliners such as the missing Boeing 777 remotely if necessary. "Airplanes don’t just disappear," he wrote on his blog. "Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems, radio and satellite tracking and filmless cameras which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities. ... For some reason, the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA." 

The Bermuda Triangle

Ok, so the plane didn't actually fly anywhere near Bermuda, but some people – including one Malaysian minister – pointed out that the area where MH370 vanished is on the exact opposite side of the globe to the Bermuda Triangle. Unfortunately those people are wrong; the exact opposite side of the globe is closer to the Caribbean than Bermuda, The Sunday Times notes.

High-tech hijacking

The disappearance of flight MH370 may be down to the world’s first cyber hijack, according to the Sunday Express. It says that hackers could have accessed the aircraft’s flight computer and reprogrammed the speed, altitude and direction. “It could then be landed or made to crash by remote control,” the paper suggests. It may be worth noting that the woman who came up with the theory “runs her own company training businesses and governments to counter terrorist attacks”.

HAARP caused flight MH370 to crash

Bringing together two favourite subjects of conspiracy theorists, some have suggested that the US government's recently closed HAARP research facility could have caused the Malaysian Airlines flight to crash. "Could HAARP be an explanation for the puzzlement that surrounds the mystery of what has happened to the plane?" asks one contributor to Godlike Productions – a self-described "conspiracy theorists and lunatic fringe" website. The plane may have gone off course because "HAARP was affecting radar systems". Pouring scorn on the theory, another reader counters: "it didn't crash so your theory is BS".


According to reports, 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor, a company that develops "cloaking" technology were onboard the MH370 when it went missing. Some, such as the writers of, have speculated that the plane may have been turned invisible and landed somewhere, possibly at the US Air Force base in Diego Garcia.

A weapon of unimaginable power

Writing for, Mike Adams says that the plane's disappearance shows that "some entirely new, mysterious and powerful force is at work on our planet which can pluck airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind even a shred of evidence". If a weapon capable of making a plane disappear without trace does exist, then "whoever controls it already has the ability to dominate all of Earth's nations with a fearsome military weapon of unimaginable power", Adams writes. Quite concerning.

MH370 itself could be used as a weapon

Some people have expressed concern that the aeroplane may have been hijacked by terrorists and landed somewhere, to be used as a weapon at a later date. The proponents of the theory suggest that the plane could have been flown to a safe place, landed and camouflaged and may, at some point, be used to commit a 9/11-style atrocity. Former RAF navigator Sean Maffett told the BBC that in his view this would be very hard to do, but that the possibility cannot be ruled out. "We are now at stage where very, very difficult things have to be considered as all sensible options seem to have dropped off," he said.

MH370 hid in shadow of another flight

Blogger Keith Ledgerwood argues that the MH370 may have hidden itself from radar detection by manoeuvring itself behind Singapore Airlines flight 68. "It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 through India and Afghanistan airspace. As MH370 was flying 'dark' without a transponder, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around, and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens", Ledgerwood wrote. Professor Hugh Griffiths, a radar expert at University College London, told the BBC that the theory was feasible, but estimates that to escape detection, the planes would have needed to have flown no more than 3,300 feet from one another. And even then military radar, which is more subtle, could possibly have detected one plane from the other. 

Rapper predicted disaster

Some YouTube viewers say that the rapper Pitbull predicted the loss of the MH370 in the lyrics to his track Get It Started. The song, which was released two years ago includes the lyrics: "Now it's off to Malaysia" and "Two passports, three cities, two countries, one day."

What drives conspiracy theories? 
David Aaronovitch author of Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy in Shaping Modern History, told the Sunday Times: "Given that people can make conspiracy theories out of something that is fully explained, like the moon landings, it's not surprising that they will fill the void in a genuine mystery with conspiracy theories. Essentially these people can't face the thought of chaos. They can't face the role of accident and contingency in life; they have to attribute agency."

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I think this has to do something with the srilankan president mahinda rajapaksha because hes working with the north koreans now for a private army with air support.

There is no missing plane , its all a hoax so the governments can promote putting tracking chips in humans

"A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation."

I don't see how the Bermuda triangle falls into that category. Furthermore, What about when they were 'filling the void" with all the hyping and milking to turn this incident into some kind of Al Qaeda terrorist plot in which the plane was being turned into a WMD against the "free world"? Surely, that too warrants the conspiracy theory title that falls within the nut job category.

Just because there are an excess of "nutty" theories about Secret Agencies, Aliens, Secret Power Sources and a whole range of fairytale monsters does not of itself prove that the consensus "normal" view is factually correct.
Perhaps, a more accurate term to describe what's in this article would be "bizarre theories", because conspiring is a part of human nature and to dismiss conspiracy theories offhand is just as much an irrational knee-jerk reaction as blindly embracing them at any cost. The negative connotation attached to the term only serves to set a precedent in which critical thinking is discouraged and any view contrary to establishment orthodoxy is silenced. It should also be noted that Richard Nixon, the first person to coin the term, in an ironic turn of events got his ass busted and impeached for taking part in a conspiracy.

Prelude to WW 3
33.3 kHz indicates that Free Masons are involved.

This is the 5th airliner to go missingin a similar manner. No relevant/valid wreckage was found of the 4 9/11 planes.

you really want to s under my bed...yeah the whole is.....straight up ..owl

lovely imaginative thinking

The plane was escorted to Chinese top secret military airbase, search China, the plane and the people on board will be found.

Good for just follow what your TV tells you to do.

You'll believe any wacko conspiracy theory that you find on the internet, and yet, everyone else is gullible? Oh, the irony!

Conspiracy theories: Making stupid people feel smart since the dawn of the internet.

I think that the flight 370 went into some kind of unknown dimension or a some kind of unknown black hole..If this is the case, It will never be found..

Covering ALL angles and not trusting one source and conspiracy theory are 2 completely different things.You have to learn to read between the fine lines.If that makes me to think different (not smarter and not paranoid), and to base my future decisions yes and yes. And if I ever have chance to get away from a harms way I would use my preconceived knowledge to react even if it considered wrong in your or someone else eyes.Again yes and yes I will use all sources to my own disposal and benefit.That is why I told you listen to your TV especially in US.Where all channels copy paste main source of news that is repeated on all channels...Canada is no better.Crappy news too.News are segregated to local and world news.World news are filtered to the point that you will know what is important to the media, not what is important to you.And we all have priorities in life.

Diego Garcia

everyone knows that

Diego Garcia is the American military airbase! So American should be awared of what was going on exactly with MH370 !

Calm down ...I've consulted the Archive..found the answer...

"Tomorrow Is Yesterday " Jan 26 1967 ...O. A .D

..When Spock , Kirk ,McCoy and Aye ..Scottie...end up in a low earth orbit while "accidentally"... time traveling with the ENTERPRISE .
The solution...was obvious ....

1)Read the operating Instructions ...DUH...
2)Use the Ole "Vulcan Mind Meld " and nobody remembers anything.?
3)Always Always use a private space craft ...flown by eunuch aliens.

Damn virgins...nothing but trouble .

You're listing theories. Not all of them are conspiracy theories.

Until it's found, it's a mystery.

I guess the author has no presonal theory on the subject for fear of sounding "conspiratorial".

Where is the theory of the US shooting it down. Lest not forget that one!

This is what we know. The flight disappeared at 1:21. Period! All the info that we heard later was all bogus. The investigation was quickly diverted. Why? To keep evetyone from the truth. It went down at that point. So what could have brought the aircraft down at that location? You dont have to dig deep! Why? Again, put 2 and 2 together!

It's on land somewhere is my belief. It was on a mission when it turned off course. Someone always sees and hears everything that is done. One day all will learn the truth. God bless all of them and their families. I'm waiting...................

Every day I click a major news site and mutter, when they start talking of some starlet's latest movie, 'Have we found that plane yet?' Everyday. In lieu of belief that it's lying in 'silt' in 15000 feet of 'unexplored' water (how convenient if you want to never find it: and how come there are unexplored places on earth? Not doable? Bring the rovers back from Mars, they need to appear before congress to disagree that the oceans are 'too deep'.), I hope the ocean search is a smokescreen while a military operation is planning a rescue at the real location.
And finally, Boeing should consider OnStar. And more AAA batteries in the black boxes. Better yet: 'D' batteries.

the article's author almost got it right but chickened out and could not accept 'aliens'.
google Larry King CNN. ufos shut down missile silos in US, UK and USSR.
check wikipedia Valentich, Cessna. Melbourne Australia, ufo adbduction. Recently Discovery Channel re-aired the Valentich case with the sound track from his open mike. Just before air traffic lost contact you can hear a metallic grinding sound. No Valentich or Cessna ever recovered.

it was either hijacked or shot down by USA. The only one can do that is USA. It is all the stealth technology carried by those scientists on the aircraft. Malaysia knew they won't be able to find aircraft. All the search in Australia is just a show putting up by USA, Australia and UK.

I agree 100% with your idea

We have thousands of drones patrolling our airspace protection our boarders. I think the plane has hit one of these computer operated drones, and I also believe America or China knows about this and is keeping it a secret because of this new technology industry that is worth 100's of Billions of dollars.
Something to think about??????

The fact that you quote David Aaronovitch betraying the level of your thinking and writing

swen You say you are "Covering all angles and not trusting one source." However, instead of believing all the non-conspiracy thinkers (which are a majority by far) you only believe a small group of conspiracy thinkers that call themselves "special" and all the other people "Sheeple, blindly following the government". Thinking from an angle is very good, however you still need a bit of proof. Speculation is okay too, but saying that your own speculations are true and the rest of the world is a lie seems a bit extreme to me. By the way, why the news is so the same on all the channels because channels buy articles from news agencies, and there are only so many of the in the world so the news seems a bit the same everytime. I know this won't change your viewpoint, but look at the wikipedia page for Bielefield conspiracy. It clarifies a lot of things. Have a nice day,

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