It's been nearly a week since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, and we still have basically no idea where it went. Chatter about the missing plane (MISSING! AN ENTIRE GREAT BIG PLANE!!!) has grown more frantic and more bewildered by the day, and at this point a lot of people are just resorting to grimaces and LOST-themed gallows humor. Others, though, are getting...creative.
A quick search for "Flight 370 conspiracy" returns a slew of results—the conspiracy subreddit is buzzing—ranging from the bizarro to the fairly compelling. I'm not sure where the midpoint is between crackpot conspiracy theory and expert, gravitas-laden analysis, but these ideas run the gamut. Here's a list of the current theories on the truth behind this (probable) tragedy, from most plausible to absolutely kookooroo. Because there's nothing like using someone's raw personal tragedy to play jack-off armchair mystery detective.
Something Caused Everyone on Board to Die Instantaneously
Since there was no distress call from the pilots and there's been no cell phone contact from passengers, Clive Irving at the Daily Beast infers that whatever happened to Flight 370 was instantaneous and total:
This leaves five possible scenarios:
1. Bomb in the cabin.
2. Bomb in the cargo.
3. Accidental explosion in the cargo hold.
4. Explosion in one of the engines.
5. "Explosive decompression" where the fuselage breaks apart suddenly and catastrophically.
And It Probably Wasn't a Bomb
Irving goes on to explain that the U.S. military employs satellite surveillance equipment specifically dedicated to detecting the flashes of explosions and missile launches. No such flash was detected in the region of the South China Sea or Indian Ocean. That rules out his scenarios 1 through 3, above, and indicates a mechanical failure or "explosive decompression" as the most probable explanations.
But Mechanical Failure Is Extremely Rare
Engine failures of this kind are extremely rare. The captain of the Qantas A380 pointed out that an engine is not expected to fail during at least 50,000 operating hours and, in practice, they can operate for as many as 300,000 hours without failing. In fact, the reliability of the jet engine is the single most influential development behind the vast improvement in air safety.
So What About "Explosive Decompression"?
We do know that it vanished soon after it reached its cruise altitude of 36,000 feet. In that respect it accords with many previous experiences of cabin decompression, the moment when the pressure difference becomes most acute. That was when, for example, the cabin roof ripped off Southwest Airlines Flight 812. This could, however, just be coincidence.
Gaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh @ "the cabin roof ripped off."
Flight 370 Continued Flying for Several Hours After Its Last Known Location
According to a Wall Street Journal report, U.S. investigators suspect that the plane may have changed course and flown for as long as four hours after disappearing from civilian radar. That means that search efforts scouring the South China Sea could be digging in the wrong place.
U.S. counterterrorism officials are pursuing the possibility that a pilot or someone else on board the plane may have diverted it toward an undisclosed location after intentionally turning off the jetliner's transponders to avoid radar detection, according to one person tracking the probe.
At one briefing, according to this person, officials were told investigators are actively pursuing the notion that the plane was diverted "with the intention of using it later for another purpose."
But, again, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would be able to keep all 239 people on board from pulling out their cell phones and getting SOME sort of communication out.
Malaysian officials counter that there's "no evidence to back a newspaper report suggesting the plane may have kept flying for four hours after its last reported contact."
"I find this very, very difficult to believe," Tom Ballantyne, chief correspondent for the magazine Orient Aviation, told CNN. "That this aircraft could have flown on for four hours after it disappeared and not have been picked up by someone's radar and not have been seen by anyone, it's almost unbelievable."
Iranian Hijackers Stole the Plane and Flew It to East Timor So They Could Interrogate Some Engineers About Engineer Secrets
UFO Digest's Tony Elliott points to revelations that an Iranian national was responsible for buying plane tickets for two passengers with stolen passports as evidence that the country was involved, possibly to extract technological intelligence from Freescale Semiconductor employees.
But Basically Everyone Wanted to Kidnap Those Engineers, So Who Knows Even
Another theory is that the flight was taken down by whichever nefarious organization you'd like to fill in the blank with (e.g. various governments, corporation, terrorism, defense industry, or just the good ol' fashioned Illuminati who has tentacles in all of them). This comes from the fact that 20+ Freescale Semiconductor employees were on board.
..."Freescale is owned by Blackstone.
One founder of Blackstone is Jewish and member of Skulls and Bones and other one was Chairman of Council on Foreign Relationships."
Seems partially reasonable, one of the co-investors for Freescale is Carlyle Group… Another claim is that it was taken down for insurance money, similar to the Titanic conspiracy theory.
That just seems like a lot of work, you know?
Edward Snowden Did It, Because Planes Have Passengers
So we have the American IBM Technical Storage Executive for Malaysia, a man working in mass storage aggregation for the company implicated by the Snowden papers for providing their services to assist the National Security Agency in surveilling the Chinese.. And now this bunch of US chip guys working for a global leader in embedded processing solutions (embedded smart phone tech and defense contracting) with equal NSA ties all together..on a plane..And disappeared..
YEAH, MAYBE, MAN! ONE TIME MY MOM AND I INDEPENDENTLY BOUGHT THE EXACT SAME PURSE ON THE SAME DAY. IT WAS PRETTY WEIRD, BUT AT NO POINT DID I SUSPECT EDWARD SNOWDEN.
A Tiny Nuclear Bomb Sucked the Plane into a Miniature Black Hole
This one gets a semi-high ranking, because at least bombs are an actual thing, and a "miniature black hole" is somehow cute.
Bermuda Triangle: Back in the Habit
Again with the "coincidence" thing. You guys, you can turn anything into a "coincidence" if you draw it that way.
Or Just Some Sort of Magical Energy Field Vortex
A theory about the location of the aircraft when it went down claims that it was a vortex energy point on the Earth's secret' free energy' grid. Theorists claim that there are vortex points around the globe that harness energy and the Illuminati and/or ancient aliens know how to utilize it. The Ancient Astronaut Theory claims that aliens of the past used energy vortex points to travel around the globe, or potentially make mapping points (e.g. the Pyramids of Giza). This hidden energy grid is one way of getting off of traditional energy sources like oil and coal, so obviously the people in control of these Big Energy industries would want to keep it quiet. Some claim that the Bermuda Triangle has this vortex system and that is why things disappear over that way so often. Yet another claim is that this is some type of vortex being used in a Philadelphia Experiment of sorts.
Something Something Aliens
I feel like this is in another language.
(Via Boston.com again.)
Jay-Z Disappeared the Plane With the Power of Numerology
According to IlluminatiWatcher.com, some theorists find significance in the fact that the plane was a Boeing 777 and that was like Aleister Crowley's favorite number or something.
i want to talk about the 777 being a number important to the Illuminati and esoteric occult groups. The Qabalah book that Madonna, New Agers, and conspiracy theorists always refer to as a source of esoteric knowledge features a book called '777.' However, more importantly, occultist and magician Aleister Crowley referenced it in a document he wrote called Liber 777 Vel Prolegoma Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticae Viae Explicande, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicum Sanctissimorum Scientiae Summae. The '777′ is apparently important in the title of all of that, and it's used in some magic rituals that I won't pretend to understand.
Not to be outdone, Redditors are getting in on this Illuminati business too:
"Was looking at the Wikipedia page for the missing Malaysia Airlines, and noticed that it's was [sic] the 404th 777 Boeing produced," Redditor i-am-SHER-locked wrote.
"An HTTP 404 error mean [sic] not found, which in this case is oddly approiate [sic] for the status of the aircraft, or just a concidence [sic]. Coincidence, i think not!"
Why are people so afraid to believe that coincidences exist? Magic is SO MUCH MORE UNLIKELY to me than coincidences.
Image via Getty.