Authorities continue search for Malaysia Airline flight 370

As the investigation continues into the fate of Malaysian Airline flight 370, theories, both plausible and impossible, have arisen.

Here’s what we already know. On Saturday Mar. 8 a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing seemingly disappeared, losing contact with air control and failing to show up on radar. The number of passengers totaled 227, with the addition of 12 crew members. About 40 minutes into the flight, a crew member, presumably the co-pilot, was in radio communication with air-traffic controllers, ending his message with a fairly standard “All right, good night.” Two minutes after that message, the plane’s transponder was turned off, making it difficult for air-traffic control to identify the flight path and destination. The flight missed a planned check-in about 15 minutes later, and would not be identified for another hour, when it was detected by military radar, hundreds of miles off the planned course. That radar detection was the last anyone has seen of the plane.

Now, two weeks later, the plane is still missing. One of the notable theories is that the flight was commandeered or hijacked. The scant evidence investigators have found could indeed point to a takeover of the flight, but there is no hard evidence to prove that theory. Investigators are currently checking the background of every passenger and crew member, searching for any motive or past ties.

Another theory points to the mechanics of the plane failing, but recent news from the Thai military has found that the plane made an intentional turn off-course, suggesting that this maneuver would have to be made by someone operating the controls of the plane.

When something as large as a Boeing 777 seemingly disappears without a trace, there are those who are bound to make some rather odd suggestions. Aliens hijacked the plane, or the plane crashed on an unknown island, strikingly similar to the show “Lost.” One former pilot has put forth the idea that the pilot flew directly behind another aircraft of similar size, while cutting off communication, so that the two planes would show up as a single plane on radar. Even if the “where” questions are eventually answered, the “why” and “who” mysteries will likely still remain to be solved.

The latest development was initially promising, with satellites picking up images of two large pieces of debris which could have potentially matched sections of a plane. However, searches have found their progress hampered by the incredible amount of trash and waste that litter the oceans. Searching for a specific piece of debris among the mess could be close to impossible. You may have heard of the Great Pacific garbage patch, a collection of garbage which some estimate to be the size of the state of Texas. If you imagine such a large scale, you may understand why the search is taking this amount of time, and may take many more weeks, even months, to come to a conclusion.

Contributing to the lengthy nature of the search is the fact that the improvised route taken by the flight covers numerous countries and areas, including oceans. The search area is currently reported to be the size of Australia. But the more time passes without a conclusion, the more outlandish the theories may become.