Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may soon resurface in a 9/11 style terrorist attack, conspiracy theorists fear.
With now more than nine months gone since the plane went missing over the Indian Ocean with still no trace of its final resting place, conspiracy theories are abounding about what could have happened to the plane. A growing number of people are theorizing that the plane may not have crashed at all, but instead was secretly landed and could be used in a terrorist attack.
This theory was one of the first ideas about where the plane could have landed, before evidence pointed toward a crash in the Indian Ocean. But a new claim that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have been shot down by the United States is drawing attention back to the hijacking theory.
This week, the former head of the now-defunct Proteus Airlines Mark Dugain claimed that the Boeing 777 was shot down by the U.S. Air Force over the Indian Ocean. Dugain interviewed locals in the Maldives who claimed to have seen the plane flying overhead at low altitude.
“I saw a huge plane fly over us at low altitude,” one fisherman reportedly told Dugain. “I saw red and blue stripes (the livery of Malaysia Airlines) on a white background.”
Dugain said several other locals backed up the account. He theorized that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was shot down by the United States, but others believe it may have been secretly brought to another location.
The theory isn’t just for crackpot theorists, either. The respected news program NOVA on PBS claimed that the plane could have fallen victim to a “cyber-hijacking” and taken over without using any force.
“What if the hijacker or hijackers seized control of the plane without ever setting foot inside the cockpit?” asked journalist Miles O’Brien. “It would not be easy, but it is possible.”
Though many experts say the “cyber-hijacking” theory is outlandish, as the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 drags on with no trace of its crash site, many of the proponents believe it is gaining credibility.