The Greatest Aviation Mystery of all Time: What Happened to MH370?

by | May 13, 2024 | Crime Writing | 0 comments

April 5, 2024. The expectation of an airline passenger is that they will travel safely and in relative comfort, whether the ticket comes with champagne or water. For the 239 passengers and 12 flight attendants on Malaysian Airlines flight 370, a Boeing 777 jet on a routine red-eye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, they had no way of knowing the horror that awaited. The flight was scheduled to take off forty-two minutes after midnight.  

The pilot, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was a veteran and well-respected aviator. At 1:19 am, the aircraft was fast approaching Malaysian air traffic control. Shah was preparing to pass the flight to Ho Chi Minh traffic control, a normal procedural event. His last words to Vietnam traffic controllers were, “Good night. Malaysian three-seven-zero.” Seconds later, MH 370 disappeared from radar, from airspace, and from any contact with an air traffic control entity.   

Louise Malkinson, the director of MH 370: The Plane That Disappeared, wrote, “This is a world where we have mobile phones and radar and satellites and tracking, and so to be nearly nine years down the line…and still have so little is extraordinary.”

I’ve followed this story for years partly because never in the history of aviation has an aircraft simply disappeared – never to be discovered, never to be accounted for, never to find the cause. For those who lost loved ones to an aircraft disaster, recovery is a long, painful journey.

Another reason I am interested in this story is that there were times in my career as a flight attendant when I encountered passengers and a few crew members whose conversations or actions seemed suspicious. Keep your eyes wide open. Be an active listener. Watch their interaction with other passengers.     

Even after three years as an international stewardess, I was shocked to read an article by Christina Zhao, a senior editor for Newsweek, titled: MH370 Malaysia Airlines Captain ‘Deliberately Evaded Radar, ‘Crashed Plane in Murder-Suicide, Investigation Investors Say.”

She wrote, “The captain of the MH370 Airlines flight ‘deliberately evaded radar’ and crashed the plane in a murder-suicide that killed 239 passengers four years ago, according to aviation experts.” There was no other explanation for what happened to the aircraft other than the pilot intentionally severed communications with the ground and diverted the plane to the widest, deepest part of the Indian Ocean where recovery of the aircraft was next to impossible.

There is no other explanation for this mass murder. The plane wasn’t hijacked. It didn’t lose power. There was no loss of oxygen, no distress call, no ransom demand, bad weather or technical failure. After years of careful investigation that cleared all the passengers from “unlawful interference”. The Malaysian government stated, “someone intentionally severed communications with the ground and diverted the airplane.” That someone was Captain Shah.

Larry Vance, a Canadian air crash investigator said, “Shah was killing himself; unfortunately, he was killing everyone else on board, and he did it deliberately. There is no reason not to believe that the pilot depressurized the cabin to incapacitate the passengers.”

In 2017, Martin Dolan who led the seabed research said, “This was planned. This was deliberate, and it was extended over a period of time.”

Mass murder committed by a pilot who planned the crime with the precision of a brain surgeon.