Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: 5 Years Later, The One Essential Clue Investigators Missed, Researcher Says

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vanished on March 8, 2014. Five years later, no one knows what happened to the plane, and the 239 human beings on board.

Students hold a vigil for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
VCG / Getty Images

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vanished on March 8, 2014. Five years later, no one knows what happened to the plane, and the 239 human beings on board.

On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 passengers and crew on board, simply vanished out of the sky.

Based on a small sample of satellite data, investigators believed that the plane — which was on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China — took a sharp westerly turn and eventually crashed into the remote reaches of the southern Indian Ocean. But as CNN reported, after a four-year search that cost upwards of $150 million and covered an area of ocean floor the size of Louisiana, no trace of the plane was found.

Five years later, one expert who has authored two books about the disappearance of Flight MH370, and who has researched the extraordinary incident — one called “aviation’s greatest mystery,” according to The Independent — says that investigators failed to investigate the single most important clue to the plane’s disappearance.

If they had, says researcher and journalist Jeff Wise in his new book The Taking of MH370, they could have realized that the plane was never in the southern Indian Ocean at all. The searchers were looking in the wrong place.

Rather than heading south — as investigators concluded from satellite data, Wise wrote — Flight MH370 actually turned north. This means that the plane may have ended up thousands of miles away from where the search teams were scouring the ocean floor.

Malaysia Airlines 9M-MRO, later known as Flight MH370, takes off.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 numbered 9M-MRO, later known as Flight MH370, taking off on an earlier flight. Laurent Errera / Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

As Wise details in an article published Friday by The Drive, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared from all radar systems 1 hour and 20 minutes into its overnight flight. A system that sent “ping” signals to a satellite tracking the plane also suddenly shut down with no apparent cause or explanation.

But two minutes later, while the radar systems remained dead, “something happened — something that might rank as the strangest part of a very strange story,” Wise wrote. The satellite “ping” system turned back on.

For the next six hours, the Boeing 777 sent one “ping” signal each hour to a satellite operated by the British company Inmarsat — a satellite orbiting 22,000 miles above the Earth. Though the data contained no “navigational information,” it was this “ping” data that investigators used to track the plane to an area of the Indian Ocean — a zone about 1,500 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia.

“Five years later, we know they were wrong,” Wise wrote, in the article also published on JeffWise.net. “The plane wasn’t there.”

Wise says that the “central clue” missed by investigators from Malaysia and Australia, and others taking part in the international investigation, is the unexplained “reboot” of the satellite data system. This reboot came two minutes after all other data and communications systems on the plane shut down forever.

Family members of Flight MH370 passengers protest.
Family members of Flight MH370 passengers protest the lack of answers about the plane’s mysterious fate. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

As The Inquisitr reported last year, a nearly 500-page report issued by the Malaysian government in July of 2018 concluded that an unknown “third party” likely took over the plane.

But if that “third party” shut down all of the plane’s communications systems, making the plane essentially invisible to anyone trying to track it, why switch the satellite data system back on? According to Wise, the probable answer is that whoever took the plane tampered with the system, trying to deliberately throw investigators off track.

The system can be hacked, Wise found, “in such a way that some of the values it produces will imply that a plane is traveling one way when it’s really traveling another.”

Wise is not alone in his belief that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 actually turned north and ended up far from the search area. David Gallo, a lead investigator in the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447 — a plane which also seemed to disappear, though it was located within several days — took to his Twitter account to cast doubt on the prevailing theory.

“I think there is a good chance that MH370 never came south at all. Let’s put it this way, I don’t accept the evidence that the plane came south.”

In fact, Wise wrote back in 2015 — per The Inquisitr — that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 may never have crashed anywhere. Instead Flight MH370 may have been taken to a hidden airport somewhere in territory controlled by Russia.