MH370, which had been travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. The Boeing 777 aircraft last communicated with air traffic control at 1.19am when the plane was flying over the South China Sea, before vanishing from civilian radar screens. This week marks the fifth anniversary since the jet went missing and now a new theory has emerged.
Science journalist and aviation author Jeff Wise claimed during Channel 5’s “Flight MH370: Five Years On” documentary that Russia may be behind an elaborate plot to distract from the Crimea conflict – which was raging at the time.
Mr Wise believed hijackers may have taken control of the plane and flown it to Kazakhstan, a former Soviet country which borders Russia.
He said: “The plane was accelerating, it was climbing and that shows whoever was behind it knew how to fly a plane.
“Whoever was flying the aircraft knew about dead air space in air traffic control, which suggests they were deliberately hiding it from view.
“If this was an effort by Russia it could have put the plane directly on the path to Kazakhstan.
“This happened in the context just after Russia had annexed Crimea and was getting a lot of heat.”
Mr Wise, who graduated Harvard with a degree in evolutionary biology, claims Russia made it look as though the plane was flying above the Indian Ocean but it was actually on its way to Kazakhstan.
He added: “They wanted people to talk about something else and suddenly the world’s attention was shifted to this.
“I think the reboot of the flight systems is fishy and I can explain how it is possible to create data that looks like the plane is going into the Indian Ocean, but it is actually going in the opposite direction.
“There could have been a Russian on board who interfered with the systems and created a false trail of breadcrumbs.”
However, Mr Wise’s theory was not met with the same enthusiasm with the rest of the experts on the show.
Aviation journalist David Learmount said: “Theories like this are great for James Bond but they make no sense in the real world.
“But it was not an accident – it as carefully planned and then carried out by someone on board.
“If you are someone who wants to do something really clever and you really enjoy flying and the science of flying and you have the idea that the greatest thing would be to baffle the world and then die, then this could explain it.”
Three pieces of the wreckage, including a wing flaperon, the iconic “No Step” piece and at least one section of the interior cabin have all also been recovered.
However, integral parts such as the fuselage and the black box have never been found.