AirAsia QZ8501 conspiracy theories: what happened to the plane?
Some online theorists believe AirAsia crash was predicted last year, others say plane was shot down
As Indonesian search teams resume their hunt in the Java Sea for the black box flight recorders from AirAsia flight QZ8501, conspiracy theories about what may have caused the passenger plane to crash have begun surfacing on the internet.
Here are some of the more interesting and unusual explanations that have emerged so far:
The crash was predicted
A post last December on the online Chinese message board Tian YA by a user nicknamed Landlord has become the subject of intense interest among some internet users, who believe that it predicts the crash of the QZ8501.
On 15 December, Landlord wrote: "A sinister group that hijacked the Malaysia Airlines MH370 and shot down the MH17, has left the world's sixth-largest airline in a state of collapse. Now, the group has targeted AirAsia... Given the power and viciousness of this group, I would suggest that all Chinese passengers keep away from AirAsia. Do not become a victim of another MH370."
Some conspiracy theorists suggest that Landlord could be a member of the Chinese intelligence agency. Others say he may have been somehow involved in the incident.
QZ8501 was shot down
Alexandra Bruce, writing for conspiracy site Forbidden Knowledge TV is unconvinced by the suggestion that the QZ8501 simply crashed. She believes that the images of the wreckage suggest that the plane "was hit by a surface-to-air missile".
Others on the site agree. One commenter below her post suggests that if you believe that the truth has not been told about the two disasters involving Malaysia Airlines in 2014 then there is no way that the AirAsia incident can be regarded as an accident.
Remote control was used
According to IlluminatiWatcher, external controls may have brought the plane down. Both the MH370 and the QZ8501 were "fly-by-wires" planes, IlluminatiWatcher says, meaning "they have an electronic flight control system that can override the manual controls of the pilot... This means that flight controls can be programmed and/or perhaps controlled remotely."
It is therefore credible that both planes were taken down by a "nefarious group". IlluminatiWatcher points, unsurprisingly, to the Illuminati. Or perhaps terrorists.
The QZ8501 is still missing
Beforeitsnews.com suggests that the wreckage that has been discovered in the Java Sea is not that of the QZ8501. The site points out that the colours of the submerged wreckage are inconsistent with AirAsia's red and white paint scheme.
For a more qualified perspective, discussions on the various professional pilot forums can often be helpful. The professional pilots rumour network offers a range of plausible theories, mostly centred around the poor weather conditions over the Java Sea at the time the plane went missing.