There’s a wild new theory about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
It’s from a former airline executive, who also happens to be a novelist.
The theory is that the U.S. Navy shot down the plane to prevent a 9/11-like terrorist attack.
Marc Dugain, an author and former CEO of a now-defunct French regional airline, told a radio station and French magazine Paris Match that he thinks the plane might have been downed near a U.S. military base on an island in the Indian Ocean after the plane’s systems were hacked.
The Daily Mail reports that Dugain cited a fisherman near the island of Diego Garcia, where the U.S. operates a large naval base, who said he saw what looked like a Malaysia Airlines plane on March 8, the day the jet disappeared. Other residents on the Maldives islands reported similar sightings around the time the plane disappeared.
Dugain also said islanders found an empty fire extinguisher from the missing jet washed up on shore, but this report has not been confirmed, according to The Independent.
Dugain theorizes that hackers took control of the plane remotely and steered it off of its planned flight path and toward the U.S. military base for an attack, leading the military to shoot it down. He said a fire on board the plane (which would explain the empty extinguisher) could have forced the crew to shut down their devices and stop electronic communication to control towers and radar.
The disappearance of MH370 is one of the most bizarre and tragic aviation mysteries of all time.
This isn’t the first time that someone from within the aviation community has aired theories about what happened.
In October, Emirates airline CEO Sir Tim Clark told German newspaper Der Spiegel and the Sydney Morning Herald that the lack of wreckage from the plane and the pings the jet reportedly sent out over the Indian Ocean seemed suspicious and that he thought information was being withheld.
While aviation industry officials have warned of the possibility of cyber criminal and terrorists taking control of aeroplane systems through hacking, Dugain’s theory seems to be rooted more in conspiracy ideas than any solid evidence.
The U.S. government has denied that the plane flew anywhere near the military base in question, and experts have mapped the plane’s pings to place it in the southern Indian Ocean before it vanished, not the central part where the base is located.
Search parties have repeatedly failed to bring forth any wreckage from the missing plane, which vanished with 239 people on board. Investigators have not offered any conclusive explanation as to what happened to the plane after it vanished from radar.
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