Over three-day after the traceless disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the missing plane seems to be plunging deeper into mystery and different scenarios are being weighed in, including that of an involuntary act that may have brought down the aircraft.
The lack of concrete evidence and the confusion surrounding the disappearance are fuelling different hypotheses about the destiny of the Malaysia Boeing 777. Initial speculation about a terrorist hijacking seems to be losing ground, as some experts have pointed out that no terrorist group has so far claimed responsibility. According to some anti-terrorists experts, this weakens the terrorism hypothesis, although it does not rule it out altogether.
Malaysian authorities announced that the two men travelling with stolen passports were two Iranian nationals who flew from Doha to Kuala Lumpur with their Iranian passports, before using the stolen ones to board the missing plane. During a press conference on Tuesday in Paris, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said that as they gather more information about the identity of the two men, their involvement in a terrorist plot seems less and less likely.
A young Iranian living in Kuala Lumpur claimed to be a friend of Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, one of the Iranian on board of the plane, and told the investigators that his former classmate and the other Iranian man travelling with him stayed at his place before boarding the flight. He said the two men intended to reach Europe in order to ask for political asylum and try to settle there.
The lack of insufficient clues about a possible terrorist involvement is deepening the mystery surrounding the missing plane. On Tuesday Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said that, in addition to hijacking and sabotage, investigators were also focusing on psychological or personal problems of the crew or the passengers that may have brought down the flight MH370. A scenario of an involuntary act causing a crash emerged yesterday as France launched a probe for involuntary homicide, suggesting that some investigators overseas are starting to discard the possibility of hijacking or suicidal actions.
In an interview on Nbc news former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Greg Feith said that he found very curious the fact that Malaysian police was ruling out structural failure or mechanical problems as possible causes of the plane disappearance. In his view, this might suggest the investigators might know details about the disappearance that have not been disclosed yet.
While the identity of the crew and the passengers are being examined in search for leads, interesting details have emerged about the pilot of missing Malaysian Airlines flight, Mr. Fariq Abdul Hamid who, according to reports from NBC News and the Telegraph, is believed to have invited female passengers in the cockpit in various occasions during takeoff and landing operations and to have allowed them to smoke.
Malaysia Airlines representatives said to be shocked about the disclosure, but airlines executive said today that they had no reason to believe the crew was responsible for the disappearance of the flight MH370. However, the pilot’s tendency to breach the rules by allowing passengers into the cockpit is regarded by security experts as reckless in that it may have enabled hostile passengers to take control of the flight. Furthermore, the details also pose serious doubts about the seriousness of the cabin crew who failed to report the accident.
British air safety expert Davide Gleave, who investigated a number of air crashes, seems to put into serious question the hypothesis of an involuntary accident. In fact, he claimed that the plane disappeared exactly at “the point of maxim confusion,” in a spot located between the area controlled by the Malaysian traffic controllers and that controlled by Vietnamese authorities. The badly covered location and the lack of emergency signals of the Malaysia airliner allowed the plane to change direction without being detected. For the British expert such a series of coincidences indicates that the emergency beacons on board of the plane might have been turned off deliberately and that whoever did it knew exactly what they were doing.
Did the flight MH370 vanish following a hijacking? Was it brought down intentionally by a member of the crew or was it an involuntary act that made it crash? Four days on, the entire world is asking such questions but for now the destiny of the Malaysian Airlines missing plane is still shrouded in mystery.
By Stefano Salustri