A new Netflix documentary series, MH370: The Plane That Disappeared, investigates possible theories in aviation's biggest mystery, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
"Planes go up. Planes go down. What planes don’t do is just vanish off the face of the Earth," aviation journalist Jeff Wise says in the three-part docuseries.
What happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a red eye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was set to arrive on the morning of March 8, 2014.
Shortly after 1:00 a.m., as the plane approached the end of Malaysian airspace, being handed over to the next air traffic controllers in Vietnam, the plane went dark, vanishing from the radar. There were 239 people on board the plane.
Evidence emerged in 2015 that the plane diverted its course, towards the remote southern Indian Ocean. Later that year, some debris was eventually found on Reunion Island. But any debris found did not bring investigators close enough to solve the case of this mysterious disappearance.
After more than four years of investigation, the search for the missing plane came to an end in 2018 without any concrete information on what happened to MH370, after U.S.-based Ocean Infinity surveyed the Indian Ocean.
In 2017, the official search from the governments of Australia, China and Malaysia suspended their investigation of the Indian Ocean.
'A living hell'
In MH370: The Plane That Disappeared, filmmaker Louise Malkinson features journalists, scientists, investigators and family members of individuals who were on MH370, nine years after the plane vanished.
Danica Weeks, whose husband was a passenger on the plane, recalls getting a phone call from a reporter from the New Zealand Harald, which is how she found out about the disappearance of MH370.
Intan Othman's husband was on the cabin crew for the flight, the last thing he said to her was, "I love you."
Ghyslain Wattrelos' wife and two children were on the flight, he had travelled to meet them in Beijing before the plane disappeared. When he arrived in Beijing he was told what happened and in MH370: The Plane That Disappeared, he remembers having to call his other son to tell him the tragic news, calling it the hardest moment of his whole life.
Jiang Hui is the son of a MH370 passenger, who categorizes the room he was in with other families of individuals on that plane, waiting for answers, "a living hell."
Three theories on what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370
MH370: The Plane That Disappeared also explores three theories about the plane's disappearance, told by journalists Jeff Wise and Florence De Change.
In the first episode of the docuseries, Wise walks the audience through the first theory, that the flight's captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah decided to commit mass murder-suicide.
A second theory comes after the tragedy of flight MH17, the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which was downed by a Russian missile over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. With many calling out how hard it is to believe that two Malaysian Airlines planes crashed in such a close timeline, this theory posits that the disappearance of MH370 is related to a targeted Russia operation. Russian passengers hijacked the flight and the plane was flown to Kazakhstan.
The third theory starts with the cargo of electronic devices that, as De Change explains, was "escorted" on the plane without being scanned. The claim is that two U.S. Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) "jammed" MH370, making it disappear from the radar. Maybe the captain received instruction from the AWACS to land nearby and did not take the order. Getting closer to Chinese airspace, the AWACS had to back off, but they need to stop the plane with the cargo set to arrive in Beijing. The theory claims that through a missile strike or collision it was downed.
But every theory lacks necessary concrete evidence, with many calling these possible theories completely far-fetched, which leaves us with this mysterious disappearance.
MH370: The Plane That Disappeared breaks down all the complex, intersecting details on the mystery. It takes you down the rabbit hole of different theories in a way that is dizzying and it's almost unbelievable that this is a real story.
As Wise says at the end of the docuseries, "we may never know" the truth in this mystery, "and we have to live with that," but it's still insane believe that an entire plane can just vanish.