British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey, a founding member of the non-government MH370 independent Group, said on Wednesday that he was “very confident” that by utilizing new mapping technology he has pinpointed the final resting place of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the New Zealand Herald reported.
MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014 after departing Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 227 passengers, two pilots and 10 cabin crew aboard sparking one of the most extensive aviation searches in history.
Godfrey, using software based on “weak signal propagation” data, says the craft should be resting approximately 4 km under sea in a mountainous region of the southern Indian Ocean, an area that had been missed by previous search efforts.
Godfrey writes in his report that “[The] data supports an overwhelming case for a renewed search in the prime crash location of 33.177°S 95.300°E,” adding that, “The proposed search area is defined by a circle with a radius of 40 nautical miles centered on the prime crash location.”
Over the years, various pieces of debris from the lost flight have washed ashore in southern Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean, leading many to believe that the plane crashed in the remote waters west of Australia.
MH370’s fate remains a mystery
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To date, the exact circumstances leading to the loss of the flight and all aboard remains shrouded in mystery with many competing theories.
Godfrey told the New Zealand Herald that he is convinced that “it was a hijacking. It was an act of terrorrism,” adding that, “But you know, I’m not a court of law. And I can only say that that’s my current theory. I’m still open if the authorities want to reveal more information that they may have.”
A theory involving electronic hijacking was popularized at the time by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. In 2014, he said, “Clearly Boeing and certain agencies have the capacity to take over uninterruptible control of commercial airliners of which MH370 B777 is one.”
The theory alleges that bad actors remotely sabotaged the flight by accessing the B777’s security system by exploiting purposely programmed access software.
At the time, media mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted that the flights disappearance, “confirms jihadists turning to make trouble for China,” later suggesting that the flight may have been hidden in northern Pakistan. None of his remarks were confirmed and were panned as conspiracy theories however, a month after Murdoch’s comments Russian newspaper, Moskovskij Komsomolets, published a similar theory claiming “unknown terrorists” hijacked the plane, flew it to Afghanistan, and then held the crew and passengers hostage.
Deceased American political commentator, Rush Limbaugh, speculated at the time that the aircraft may have been shot down, noting that there have been incidents in the past where civilian aircraft have been shot down by military forces. One widely referenced example is that of Iran Air Flight 655 which was shot down by the U.S. in 1988.
Theories, many considered absurd, flourished at the time in the absence of hard data. CNN’s Don Lemon famously floated the idea that the flight may have been consumed by a black hole.
Lemon was criticized by former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo who responded to Lemon’s comments stating, “…a small black hole would suck in our entire universe so we know it’s not that.” Many interpreted her remarks as being flippant.
A poll posted to CNN’s website reported that 9 percent of respondents thought it was either very or somewhat likely that the aircraft was abducted by aliens, time travelers, or beings from another dimension.
On March 9, 2014 journalists with a Chinese media agency received an open letter, claiming to be from the leader of an unknown group named the Chinese Martyrs Brigade. The letter claimed that the loss of flight MH370 was in retaliation for the Chinese government’s response to knife attacks at the Kunming railway station in March of 2014. The letter also listed grievances against the Malaysian government.
The letter’s claims were ultimately dismissed as fraudulent due to a lack of detail regarding the fate of the flight and the fact that the name “Chinese Martyrs Brigade” was “inconsistent with Uyghur separatist groups which describe themselves as ‘East Turkestan’ and ‘Islamic’ rather than ‘Chinese’” the IB Times reported at the time.