It states that the pair crash-landed in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands and proposed that the US government knew of Earhart's whereabouts and did nothing to rescue her.
The theory was somewhat disproved, however, after the new image was said to have appeared in a Japanese travel brochure published years before Earhart disappeared. The roughly triangular area bounded by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico is where dozens of aircraft and ships are said to have vanished in unusual circumstances, with the disappearances attributed to paranormal or extraterrestrial activity.
Notable incidents include the disappearance of Flight 19, a US Navy bomber, on December 5, , as well as the aircraft sent to search for it; that of a Douglas DC-3 aircraft with 32 people on board in ; and a mid-air collision between two US Air Force planes in No conclusive evidence has emerged confirming his true identity or subsequent whereabouts, but FBI investigatiors claimed he would not have survived the jump.
While many speculated that terrorists were to blame, no evidence of a criminal act was discovered by the FBI following a month investigation. Others suggested that a US Navy vessel blew up the plane with a missile strike, and that the US Government has since instigated a cover-up.
A report published on August 23, , however, concluded that a short circuit was the most likely cause of the explosion. On October 13, , a Uruguayan air force plane carrying 40 passengers and five crew members disappeared while crossing the Andes. Seventy-two days later, after everyone on board was presumed dead, 16 survivors emerged. The story of how starvation drove them to eat some of the dead passengers was made into the film "Alive".
In the early hours of June 1, , Air France Flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris went missing, along with passengers and 12 crew. The Airbus A disappeared in the middle of the ocean, beyond radar coverage and in darkness. It took a shocked and bewildered Air France six hours to concede its loss and for several days no trace of it was found. Even when wreckage was discovered, the tragedy was no less perplexing. The aircraft had flown through a thunderstorm, but there was no distress signal, and the jet was state-of-the-art, a type that had never before been involved in a fatal accident.
It later emerged that the pilot had only slept one hour the previous night after a romantic jaunt in Brazil with his girlfriend. On August 14, , air traffic controllers in Greece lost contact with Helios Airways Flight , but the plane remained in the holding pattern for Athens Airport for more than an hour. At one point, a Greek fighter jet was scrambled, and spotted the pilot slumped over the controls. Around half an hour later the plane started to descend, crashing into the hills near Grammatiko, killing all passengers and crew the deadliest air disaster in Greek history.
An investigation revealed that a gradual loss of cabin pressure had left the crew incapacitated. On March 16, , a Lockheed L Super Constellation propliner carrying 93 US soldiers and 3 South Vietnamese, disappeared in clear weather on its way to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, prompting an eight-day search of more than , square miles. Speaking ahead of the third anniversary of the plane's disappearance, he said: "I have always said the most plausible scenario was murder-suicide and if this guy wanted to create the world's greatest mystery why wouldn't he have piloted the thing to the very end and gone further south?
Search teams considered murder-suicide early on in their investigations, "but there was little to no evidence uncovered to support it", the Adelaide Advertiser says. However, investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas does support the idea and says the fragments of evidence so far discovered point to an intentional act by the pilot.
It didn't take long for the most secretive nation in the world to be dragged into the MH rumour mill. Shortly after the plane disappeared, several conspiracy theorists questioned whether North Korea might be the "missing link" in the mystery.
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They pointed to South Korea's claim that North Korea nearly took out a Chinese plane carrying passengers on 5 March , with Chinese Southern Airlines reportedly passing through the trajectory of a North Korean missile just seven minutes after it was fired. Three days later, MH disappeared. While some think Pyongyang shot down the plane, others think it might have hijacked it and diverted it to North Korea. One anonymous aviation worker told eTurboNews Group that somebody out there wanted "a really, really huge plane" and that they were most likely after the Boeing 's technology.
Would supreme leader Kim Jong-un go that far? One Reddit user claimed the "perfect place" to perform a hijack would be over the sea soon after take-off. A French former airline director who has been investigating the disappearance of flight MH has claimed that the missing plane was shot down by American fighter jets who feared that it had been hijacked and was about to be used to attack the US military base on the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia. Dugain had travelled to the Maldives and interviewed witnesses "who reportedly told him they had seen a 'huge plane flying at a really low altitude' towards the island bearing the Malaysia Airlines colours", The Independent reports.
The most recent addition to the ranks of MH conspiracy theories surrounds the death of a Malaysian diplomat who had spent years investigating the crash. Amateur US flight investigator Blaine Gibson, who worked with Raza in tracking down debris from the plane, told Malay Mail that the diplomat "appeared to have been specifically targeted" and claimed that he has also received death threats.
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Dr Victor Iannello, an original member of the independent group of specialists that helped Australian investigators try to pinpoint the plane's crash site in the southern Indian Ocean, said the timing of Raza's assassination just days before he was due to deliver several new pieces of debris to the Malaysian Ministry of Transport, "makes a possible link to MH even more suspicious". Yet others have sought to debunk and connection between Raza's death and his search for the missing plane.
French-language news website Zinfos has suggested the diplomat was a marked man long before meeting Gibson and speculated he was killed as payback for alleged involvement in the abduction of several residents of Indo-Pakistani descent known collectively as Karens. However, Dr Iannello has contested these claims saying no evidence of his involvement with Karens has been found.
Writing in his blog, he went on to say that this could be "disinformation" to distract attention away from the real motive behind the shooting. He went on to add that it was "surprising that the assassination of Mr Raza has been met with stony silence from both Malaysia and France, despite his ties to both countries".
In March , Malaysian police refused to rule out the possibility that the entire incident may have been a complicated insurance scam. At the time, authorities said they would consider all possible motives, no matter how unlikely they seemed, and would investigate all passengers and crew for any sign of unusual behaviour. Five per cent of Americans surveyed by Reason. Some bloggers have pointed to a number of recent UFO sightings in Malaysia as evidence for extraterrestrial intervention.
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Alexandra Bruce, from Forbidden Knowledge TV , "proves" the involvement of aliens with her analysis of radar data. She claims that footage posted on YouTube shows the presence of something that "can only be termed a UFO" in the skies over Malaysia. Of course, that means something that is "unidentified" rather than aliens. The idea that aliens were somehow involved in Flight MH's disappearance was dealt a blow when "UFO expert" Nigel Watson poured scorn on the theory with an article on the technology and science fiction site Omni Media.
Nevertheless, he adds, it is unlikely that aliens were responsible for any of the disappearances and "in the case of MH there is likely to be a more Earthly explanation for its disappearance". The great tragedy of the case "is that with the passage of time the facts are getting increasingly lost and distorted, making the burden for the grieving relatives heavier with each insubstantial clue or unproved theory", Watson says. No conspiracy is complete without Israeli involvement, and MH is no exception. According to this theory, Israeli agents planned to crash the Malaysia Airlines plane into a building, as in the September 11 attacks, and then blame the atrocity on Iran.
For some reason, the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA. The theory is based on the fact that the flight was carrying 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor — a company that may have worked with the NSA to develop surveillance technology, according to Snowden's documents.