WHEN Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished from radar screens in March 2014, conspiracy theorists went to town cooking up possible answers to solve the mystery.
Today, more than four years later, local and international authorities have yet to uncover conclusive evidence to explain how the Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 jetliner carrying 239 passengers suddenly vanished without a trace.
But the theories continue to come. The latest, it appears, is a claim by volunteer investigator Andre Milne that a fighter jet intercepted Flight MH370 before it disappeared.
Milne claims the jet, most likely from the Royal Malaysian Air Force, was scrambled to intercept the plane that deviated from its flight path, according to the Daily Star Online.
Milne also refuted official findings by investigators that the missing plane had hovered at 58,200 at one point.
“A jet fighter was deployed to intercept MH370… The discovery of this suppressed evidence raises serious issues on multiple levels ranging from total loss of credibility for the Malaysian government to the culpability factor that the Malaysian government is now subject to for the overall disappearance of the passengers and the crew,” Milne was quoted as saying.
Milne, the founder of military technology developer Unicorn Aerospace, added it was unlikely that a Boeing could reach past 44,000 feet.
“This also means that virtually every single MH370 disclosure made by the government is now suspect as being a fabrication,” he added.
“The fact a fighter jet was deployed in spite of repeated denials with the bizarre explanation that the mystery radar returns approaching Malaysian airspace were deemed as friendly strongly suggests that the radar returns were in fact deemed the opposite of friendly as now being deemed as hostile and or a threat.”
In late July, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry released a 495-page Safety Investigation Report on MH370 but the findings were ‘inconclusive’.
The report had vindicated the plane’s first officer Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, but official investigators, however, did not discount the involvement of a third party.
The report also said controls of the ill-fated aircraft were likely manipulated deliberately to take it off course.
The report said from previous discussions, there was no evidence to suggest a malfunction to divert the Boeing 777 aircraft from its flight path when it disappeared to become one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation.
The inability to locate MH370’s crash site has fuelled conspiracy theories and online debates over the last four years.
Theories range from mechanical error or a remote-controlled crash, to more bizarre explanations like alien abduction and a Russian plot.
Milne, however, believes there was a concerted effort among official investigators to cover up what transpired throughout the flight before it vanished in the Indian Ocean.
“This begs the question as to exactly when MH370 was deemed as now being a threat to Malaysian airspace… We now certainly all know the government did send up jet fighter aircraft which means the entire chain of command and control was put on high alert to deal with this hostile threat,” Milne said.
“That means multiple efforts to attempt direct communication with the pilots and or the hijackers would have been engaged by the Malaysian ATC to attempt a negotiated agreement for the safe return of the passengers and of the crew… Obviously, the discussions with the hijackers failed as the passengers were never recovered.”