The former head of a now-extinct French airline is suggesting that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was remotely hijacked and flown into the southern Pacific Ocean, before being shot down by the U.S. Air Force, who was supposedly fearing a 9/11 style attack on the military base at Diego Garcia.
If Diego Garcia sounds familiar, the island was brought up as a possible landing spot for the Boeing 777-200 shortly after the plane went missing on March 8th. U.S. officials have maintained that the plane never landed there, but could that be because they do know where it is, and don't want to share that information?
I don't think that's very likely, but Diego Garcia is a already place full of secrets. The island is actually a British territory, but has been on lease to the U.S. since 1971. Allegedly, it was or may still be used as a secret CIA terrorism interrogation site by the U.S. according to a former U.S. government official who spoke to Time, in 2008. The source said high-value prisoners were likely kept on ships within the territorial waters of Diego Garcia in 2002 and possibly 2003.
Former Proteus Airlines boss and author Marc Dugain is the latest to allege a cover-up in the MH370 disappearance. Emirates CEO Tim Clark accused investigators of the same thing back in October. In a far-fetched theory, Dugain told France24 he thinks the plane may have been hijacked remotely, using Boeing's remote autopilot technology, then flown toward Diego Garcia, only to be shot down by the Americans, who were fearing an attack.
More evidence suggests the plane's Captain, Zaharie Shah may have taken the plane off the grid himself before diverting its course away from Beijing, including a flight sim confiscated at his house, which showed he had practiced landing on a small island in the region.
Dugain also points out that the satellite data being used for the search was provided by Inmarsat, who not only works with airlines but within the intelligence community. He's convinced that someone, or a group of people knows what actually happened.
Dugain doesn't mention this, but why not take it one step further? If the U.S. did shoot down MH370 (and for the record, I'm not suggesting we did) maybe there was enough time for the military to collect and hide all of the evidence. It was several days between the disappearance and the time any search crews showed up to that part of the ocean. But then again, I don't know why we'd have any reason to hide it, if indeed the plane was targeting Diego Garcia. I'm just throwing darts here, but it's fascinating to think about.
Top image by Paul Rowbotham (Flickr / CC Commercial License)
Paul Thompson is a aviation journalist with over 13 years of experience working in the airline industry, who maintains the website Flight Club for Jalopnik.com. You can contact Paul to submit story ideas, your own "Plane Porn" photos, and comments regarding this or any other aviation topic via email at Paul@Jalopnik.com