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Australian authorities dismiss latest rumours that MH370 disappearance was "an intentional act"

Social media has abounded with conspiracy theories since the disappearance of MH370 with some claims gaining more attention due to their authors' credibility.


MH370 disappearance
Australian authorities dismiss latest rumours that MH370 disappearance was "an intentional act" (AFP Pix)
The latest allegation which have been given coverage by international media this week is the claim made by John Cox, a veteran pilot who runs an air safety consultancy in Washington DC that the plane was destroyed on purpose by Malaysian Airline Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.


The safety expert had put forward his reasons for arriving at this shocking conclusion in an interview with the Australian news daily, The Australian on 11 January.

"The most likely theory, in my opinion, is the MH370 [case] was an intentional act by the captain," he said, The Australian reports.

Captain Cox based his theory in part on the flight path of MH370 before it vanished, which he said clearly showed an attempt to hide the plane as it veered over Penang island near the Malaysian coast to avoid attention.

Earlier over the weekend, veteran fighter pilot and airline captain Byron Bailey had also told The Australian in a separate interview that the electronic satellite "handshake" data from the aircraft showed it was under pilot control well after communications were lost, as the autopilot would have continued the track to Beijing had the pilots lost consciousness through hypoxia.

Following these sensational allegations, the Air Transport Safety Bureau of the Australian government (ATSB) has come forward to debunk the allegations.

ATSB issued a public statement that refuted rumours that the pilot of the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 on its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing laden with 227 passengers and 12 crew onboard, has hijacked his own aircraft before it crashed.

Dan O’Malley, the spokesman for the ATSB, said that the claim that the plane was crashed on purpose is unfounded.

They are sticking by the official version of the pilot hypoxia theory, wherein the pilots lost consciousness due to lack of oxygen that resulted to the eventual crashing of the plane.

"The limited evidence available for MH370 was compared with three accident classes: an in-flight upset, an unresponsive crew/hypoxia event, and a glide event (generally characterised by a pilot-controlled glide).

"The final stages of the 'unresponsive crew/hypoxia' event-type appeared to best fit the available evidence for the final period of MH370’s flight when it was heading in a generally southerly direction," O'Malley stated, The Australian reports.

However since the Australian news daily ran its article, readers have found reason to dispute the ATSB official findings, citing their own reasons why the 'rouge pilot' theory refuses to go away while others came to the defence of Captain Zaharie.

K.Singh: Since the Australian authorities have rubbished "rouge pilot" claims perhaps they should explain how all the electronic equipment on the plane was suddenly switched off just before it changed course.


JungK: As for Zaharie's sister claims that her brother was not the cause, perhaps she should first tell the world as to who was in control of the plane.

Mervyn: I am extremely offended that, without any evidence, Captain Shah's reputation has been trashed in this way. How do we know a genuine hijacker was not on board that aircraft? We don't!

J.Wallace: Hypoxia does not explain all of the tracking devices being turned off. Sorry but with the flight simulator and the change in direction it had to be a rouge pilot that changed the course. - mD


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