Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was shot down by the United States as it approached a secretive U.S. military base on Diego Garcia Island in the remote Indian Ocean, according to French writer and former airline chief Marc Dugain. The writer proposed his new Flight 370 theory, which he says involves a massive cover-up involving the intelligence agencies of several countries, in the leading French magazine Paris Match last week.
Diego Garcia is a remote island of just 17 square miles owned by Great Britain, but leased by the United States for use as a military installation. The base has been shrouded in mystery, reportedly being used as a secret destination for Al Qaeda-linked prisoners interrogated by the U.S. under the so-called "extraordinary rendition" program.
The tiny island has also been used by the U.S. as a launching base for long-range missiles and B-2 and B-52 bomber planes in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Dugain, interviewed on French radio Thursday, said he was warned against investigating the links between Diego Garcia and Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 by a shadowy "Western intelligence officer," identified as British by the writer, who was formerly the head of Proteus Airlines, a small regional French carrier that operated from 1986 to 2001.
Dugain believes that the Malaysia Airlines plane was the victim of a high-tech hijack, with hijackers commandeering the plane's electronic communication and navigation systems electronically rather than simply by force. The electronic hijack theory is a widely held one, even proposed in a recent U.S. Public Broadcasting documentary.
Flight 370 then flew toward the Indian Ocean, as the multi-national search team now scouring that area also believes, according to Dugain. But he says that a U.S. base with the technological sophistication of Diego Garcia could not possibly have failed to sight the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 as it approached.
Fearing a 9/11-style suicide crash attack, the U.S. forces on Diego Garcia may have then shot the plane out of the sky, Dugain believes.
In the days immediately following the baffling March 8 disappearance of Flight MH370, reports that the plane had been sighted flying extremely low over the Indian Ocean island of Maldives surfaced in the press. Dugain said he interviewed the mayor of another nearby island where a piece of debris that, allegedly, was identified as a fire extinguisher of the type used in Boeing aircraft washed up two weeks after the disappearance.
But Maldives authorities seized the supposed fire extinguisher, according to Dugain.
In the early days of the MH370 investigation, Diego Garcia was speculated to be a secret landing place for the plane.
But Dugain stressed that his belief that Flight 370 was shot down over Diego Garcia is just that — a belief. The only fact of which Dugain says he is certain, "is that someone knows" what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 — but that "someone" isn't talking.