Malaysia government safety investigators on Monday released their long-awaited report on the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, and while the 495-page report fails to solve the mystery of what happened to the Boeing 777-200, and its 239 passengers and crew, the report reaches one startling conclusion. The plane was most likely steered of course deliberately, by an unknown "third party."
Also on Monday, an independent investigator and author of a book on the missing plane said he knew who that third party most likely was.
Flight MH370 took off on March 8, 2014, from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on a routine redeye commuter flight to Beijing, China. But as Inquisitr has extensively reported, the plane took a sudden and still unexplained westward turn about an hour into the flight, then continued flying for about seven hours before disappearing completely. Investigators believe the plane crashed into the remote waters of the southern Indian Ocean.
Several pieces of debris that have been authenticated as parts from the missing plane have washed up on shores off the coast of southern Africa, leading investigators to confirm their belief that the plane lies in the Indian Ocean, as Inquisitr has reported. But despite multiple prolonged and highly expensive search efforts, no other trace of the plane has been located, and no known signs of the bodies of passengers or crew members have turned up anywhere.
On Monday, safety investigators said in the report that they investigated the widely-held theory that the plane was downed by its own pilot, who for some reason wanted to commit suicide and take the aircraft and all of its passengers with him. But they found nothing to support that belief, according to a summary of the report by The Guardian newspaper.
The report also concluded that a massive system failure causing the plane to veer drastically off course was highly unlikely, according to Bloomberg News.
"It is more likely that such maneuvers are due to the systems being manipulated," the report said. "The change in flight path likely resulted from manual inputs."
The plane's sudden loss of communication with the ground almost certainly resulted from the systems "being manually turned off," the report said. And in a press conference Monday the chief investigator for the Malaysian team, Kok Soo Chon, said, "it has been established that the air turn back was done under manual control, not autopilot … we cannot rule out unlawful interference by a third party."
Neither Kok nor the report itself offer a guess about who that "third party" could be, though they point out that no terrorist group has made a credible claim of responsibility for causing the plane to vanish. But one longtime expert on the case and author of the book The Plane That Wasn't There: Why We Haven't Found Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said on Monday that he believes he knows who it is — Russia.
"They don't come right out and say it, but this 'third party' could really only be Russia," wrote science journalist and aviation expert Jeff Wise, on his Twitter account. "After today's report, which effectively torpedoes the consensus view that the pilot took the plane, authorities need to finally take seriously the evidence for a spoofing attack."
Wise, in a February, 2015, New York Magazine article wrote that the technical instruments aboard Flight MH370 were the victims of a "spoof," in other words, hackers or hijackers deliberately manipulating data to allow a "third party" to take control of the plane.
In February 2016, when an independent investigation showed that Russia was responsible for the shootdown of another Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, Flight MH17, just four months after the disappearance of Flight MH370 — a finding confirmed earlier this year by Dutch investigators, as Inquisitr reported — Wise said that he believed the two Malaysia Airlines disasters were connected.
"Within four months, two Malaysian Airlines 777s were taken out of the sky under suspicious circumstances," Wise wrote in a blog post. "If a spoof hijacking was perpetrated on MH370 then whoever carried it out possessed an extremely high level of technical sophistication. So high, in fact, that the attack must not only have been state-sponsored, but sponsored by a state with cutting-edge technology in aircraft systems and satellite communications."
Wise also pointed out, as Inquisitr reported, that on March 6, 2014, United States President Barack Obama announced news sanctions on Russia. The following day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that the sanctions would "boomerang." That day after that, March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished — and as Monday's report concluded the plane was likely "manipulated" by a "third party."
On July 16, 2014, Obama announced even more severe sanctions on Russia. This time, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened that the sanctions would "boomerang," according to The New York Times.
On July 17, 2014, as the BBC reported, a Russian military unit, blew Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 out of the sky, killing all 298 passengers and crew, including one American citizen.