In Brief

Germanwings conspiracy theories: cover-up claims emerge

Supporters of pilot Andreas Lubitz suggest he is being framed as part of a ploy to hide plane faults

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Supporters of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz claim he has been framed as a killer as part of an elaborate cover-up.

Facebook page called "Andreas Lubitz A320, we are against the hunt" offers a range of alternative theories for why the Germanwings plane crashed, including the suggestions that Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, has sought to pin the blame on Lubitz to hide mechanical problems with the plane.

Prosecutors announced last week that Lubitz deliberately flew the plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. They said the black box voice recorder, found at the site of the crash, showed that Lubitz had locked the plane's captain out of the cockpit and intentionally crashed the aircraft.

But supporters of Lubitz insist he is innocent. More than 4,500 people have liked the Facebook page that claims he is being used as a "scapegoat" to cover up technical problems.

According to Vocativ, hundreds of these supporters are from Lubitz's hometown in Germany, Montabaur, and the surrounding area.

Here are some of the conspiracy theories to emerge so far:

Technical fault cover-up

Some commenters on the Facebook page suggest the cockpit voice recorder was tampered with to make Lubitz the "fall guy" and to hide mechanical problems with the plane. The fact that the flight data recorder has still not been found apparently plays into this suspicion. Others suggest that evidence has been planted. Bild and Paris Match claim to have seen a video of the final moments of the flight found on a memory chip, despite officials denying the report. Lubitz supporters question how the memory chip could have remained intact when the rest of the plane was said to be "pulverised".

Liquid lasers

A second theory posted on the Facebook page is that the plane crashed after a failed "liquid lasers" manoeuvre by the US armed forces. "The American Northern Fleet was experimenting with liquid lasers, the 'High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System'. But instead of an intercontinental test rocket, it accidentally hit the Germanwings plane," said the poster. They suggest the flight data recorder has been stolen as part of the cover-up.

CERN's energy field

Another theory that emerged elsewhere on the internet was that the cause of the crash was somehow related to the delay in restarting CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva. The restart was postponed indefinitely due to a short circuit in its electrical system, leading some conspiracy theorists to conclude that the electric fault generated a mysterious energy field that interfered with the aircraft's electronic system.

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