New book suggests MH370 was cyber-jacked

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have been the victim of cyber-jacking, a new book suggests, the most recent in the line-up of theories on the Boeing 777’s disappearance last year.

In the book, “Someone is Hiding Something”, authors Richard Belzer, David Wayne and George Noory said remote-control hijacking was the most likely scenario as the way in which MH370 vanished from radar “defies all logical explanation”.

“Cyber hijacking is about the only possibility that fits the above circumstances insofar as the known evidence regarding the actions of the plane,” the authors were quoted as saying in a report by The Australian.

“The notion perpetrated in the media that a plane ‘disappears’ from tracking when the transponder is turned off is patently false.

“It simply is not credible that the plane avoided radar after it flew off its route.”

The authors panned the prevailing belief that those on board MH370 had died of hypoxia, a deadly condition caused by low oxygen conditions. According to this theory, the pilots were incapacitated because of a lack of oxygen and the plane flew for hours on autopilot before running out of fuel and crashing in an unknown location.

“(There is) no evidence of this, or real motive for it,” they were quoted as saying.

However, they added that cyber-jacking, although the most likely scenario, was not necessarily the answer to the mystery surrounding MH370.

“We’re not saying that’s what happened,” they said in the report. “We are saying that the official version of ‘We lost the plane and it may never be found’ is an obvious ruse and a very weak one at that.”

US aviation safety expert Captain John Cox meanwhile when weighing in on the theory dismissed the possibility of a remote takeover, calling it “far-fetched”.

“Airplanes are shielded to prevent such acts,” he was quoted as saying.

Flight MH370 disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The Boeing 777 which was carrying 239 people last made contact with air traffic control less than an hour after takeoff, at a point over the South China Sea.

The theory that it may have been hijacked via remote control comes after news of a National Geographic documentary which quoted aviation experts as saying that MH370 had made three turns after its last contact with air traffic controllers.

According to the documentary, the aircraft first made a turn to the left followed by two more turns that took it westwards before it headed south towards Antarctica.

MH370 was declared officially missing on January 29, and all passengers and crew members are presumed dead. No trace of the plane has been found despite the largest search operations in aviation history.