MH370: Experts debunk ‘harmful’ conspiracy theories

Experts warn the latest MH370 theories are completely false.

Experts warn the latest MH370 theories are completely false. Photo: Getty

Aviation experts say the latest MH370 theories that claim the plane was shot down accidentally by the Malaysian government are completely untrue and hurtful to families.

For almost five years, the world has grappled with questions over how the Boeing 777 airliner carrying 239 passengers and crew, including six Australians, mysteriously vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

In the latest claims to emerge, Noel O’Gara, an Ireland-based private investigator, has told the Daily Star Online the plane was shot down accidentally by the government, and that the exact location could finally be pinpointed. 

Mr O’Gara also claimed the Malaysian government could have removed the wreckage of the plane from the seabed in secret and highlighted four key witnesses who could be used to pinpoint the plane’s final resting place.

Claims: ‘Absolute nonsense’

Colin Weir, chief executive at Flight Safety, which audits and inspects aircraft in Australia and overseas, said the latest claims were “absolute nonsense”. 

“These claims are completely false and harmful because there was GPS tracking of that aircraft showing positive proof of exactly where it headed.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that the transponder system was switched off manually by the crew – meaning it was a crew murder and suicide,” Mr Weir told The New Daily.

He said the public should tread with caution when they hear any new theories on the plane’s disappearance.

Experts warn that MH370 conspiracy theories hurt victims’ families. Photo: Getty

“All these people are trying to do is gain notoriety and boost their ego at the expense of families – it’s just terrible.”

Mr Weir said hope was fading for authorities to find the doomed aircraft.

“If the calculations of where the aircraft went down were done correctly to begin with, there would have had a better chance of finding it,” he said.

Airline Intelligence & Research managing director and former Qantas chief economist Dr Tony Webber agreed that the latest claims were “devastating” for families.

“I really do feel for the families when these theories emerge,” Dr Webber told The New Daily.

“I think eventually we will find the plane, but until then I think we will keep hearing these crazy theories pop up.”

‘Evidence is crucial’

According to Joseph Wheeler, principal lawyer at the International Aerospace Law and Policy Group, raising the spectre of conspiracies from a legal perspective was unhelpful and unwarranted.

Official aviation investigations are dependent upon evidence and have an important safety as well as legal outcome to secure,” Mr Wheeler told The New Daily

He said the main objective of airline investigations was to prevent similar disasters from occurring.

mh370 map

UWA research in 2017 claimed to have pinpointed MH370’s location. Photo: TND

“I’m not sure how sensationalist reporting by conspiracy theorists without proof assists to secure that outcome, particularly when so much time has elapsed allowing such witnesses to have come forward and have their opinions and contributions appraised when the formal search was under way.”

Hope fading

Families of passengers who died on board flight MH370 were left devastated last year after the investigators’ “final” report, which was delivered four years after the plane’s disappearance, was inconclusive.

Several pieces of debris that washed up on Africa’s east coast have shown the plane went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean, but the main wreckage had not been found when the search was wound up in May.

The original search focused on the South China Sea before analysis revealed the plane had made an unexpected turn west and then south.

Australia co-ordinated an official search on behalf of Malaysia in 2017 that scoured 120,000 square kilometres and cost about $200 million. 

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