Experts investigating the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which “vanished” into thin air in 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, now say they believe the 53-year-old pilot committed suicide, taking the plane on a bizarre journey which ended with a crash in the Indian Ocean.
According to NDTV, investigators now think the plane’s captain, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, depressurized the plane within minutes of takeoff, grabbing an oxygen mask for himself while his crew members and passengers passed out and then slowly suffocated.
Zaharie, they believe, then skirted the plane along the border between Malaysia and Thailand, preventing the plane from fully appearing on either country’s flight-tracking radar. After a brief jaunt over the Malaysian state of Penang, where Zaharie was from — a “long, emotional goodbye” — Zaharie, the experts say, put the plane into a “death dive,” and drove himself and all 239 aboard into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.
The expert panel, which included “aviation specialists, the former Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief in charge of investigating MH370’s crash, and an oceanographer,” presented their theory on Australia’s version of “60 Minutes.”
The suicide timeline is far from the first theory as to how MH370 disappeared off radar, if not entirely, but it is one of the few that explains why there was no mayday call from a co-pilot, and why several east Asian countries missed the flight’s descent entirely. Only a satellite, consulted later, showed the plane ending its journey in the southern Indian Ocean.
Although the plane’s disappearance was covered extensively — especially by CNN — when it first vanished, Malaysia, China, and Australia, the governments in charge of finding the plane’s crash site, gave up the search in 2017. One private company from the United States picked up the search, but gave up after spending $70 million and finding nothing.