“Nothing was supposed to go wrong.”
That’s how an aviation expert described the flight-path of the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370; unfortunately, something did go wrong – but more than three months later no one still knows what.
It has been one hundred days since MH370 disappeared from radar. One hundred days since the world was baffled how an advanced airplane from a reputable airline, manned by experienced pilots and was on course for a simple international route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing could just vanish into thin air.
To date, no wreckage has been found. No black box to give us even a simple understanding of what went wrong. No debris floating over the oceans to hint that the plane has even crashed.
Mysterious would be an understatement. There was only a handful of clues to scrutinize. Initially, the spotlight was on two Iranian passengers who traveled on stolen passports. Although now they have been dismissed as petty illegal immigrants rather than terrorist hijackers or anything as sinister.
Then the focus was brought on the pilot. A fanatic of former Malaysian strongman Anwar Ibrahim, and an avid fan on topics pertaining to atheism and politics.
Military radar would later point out that the flight path was indeed altered – deliberately at that – changing course from northwards to Beijing towards south-west of Malaysia before disappearing completely. A point north-west of Australia and deep south of the Indian Ocean was the last known location of the missing flight.
Along with Flight MH370 disappeared 239 people from fifteen different nations. One-third of them from China, tourists eager to return to their homeland after enjoying a trip to Malaysia. Twenty of the passengers were employees of a Texan semiconductor company, in Malaysia for a business function.
Also on the plane were a young couple from Malaysia, heading to China for their honeymoon. While a young dad from New Zealand left his wedding ring to his children in case he might not return.
While the rest of the world has now turned their attentions to the situation in Ukraine, the protests of Thailand and Venezuela and now the FIFA World Cup, it is indeed those who are still longing to see their relatives, friends and colleagues once more who are left tuning in to any new development in search of the airline.
While media may seem to have given way to other news at the cost of updates on the search, governments have been persistent.
The government of Australia has allocated almost AU$90M to fund the search. Other countries in the region have also put aside huge sums to aid the search, while the United States has lent vital hardware to boost search capabilities.
The nation with the biggest stake in all of this – Malaysia – have also reiterated it will persevere in its’ efforts to find the plane. This despite their Prime Minister Najib Razak initially stating that the “plane is lost” and “there were no survivors.”
This entire affair has been bungled by the Malaysian government, courting criticism from the international community in the process. Not only did the Prime Minister prematurely discourage early search efforts with his statements, but the press releases done by his cabinet have also been misleading to a point that we suspect if they are being deliberately deceitful.
It was then this confusion that became fodder for all the conspiracy theories to pop up. The most prominent being that the plane has been sent to a secret American air force facility to conduct experiments, while others gave a theory of a time warp that sucked in the doomed flight.
There were even a minority who pointed out parallels between the missing flight and the former TV series Lost – where the plotline was about a commercial airline that disappeared and crash landed on a mysterious island undetected by radar.
Those theories are far-fetched as some people may say, but then again in a scenario where there is little to nothing clues to draw a hypothesis from these conspiracy theories may be just as reputable.
If you think about it, how does a commercial plane equipped with advanced technology evade detection from the most modern of search parties? Even a small, two-seater private plane can be found even in a vast search area.
It has been a hundred days since all the mystery began, and we are nowhere near finding out the exact fate of Flight MH370. While many may find delight at that as their conspiracy theories can still be accommodated, let us not forget the very real grieving people who are eagerly waiting for news – and at this point, they couldn’t care less if they’re good or bad.
Closure is all they are looking for, and hopefully there wouldn’t be another hundred days for them to achieve that.