Year after year, thousands of families are rocked by a sudden void in their lives when a loved one goes missing. Many are lucky when their loved one is found within a few hours or a few days, but many go weeks, months, often years without any answers. But for the families and loved ones of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared without a trace more than seven years ago in March of 2014, answers may never come.
It sounds like the plot of a television show—Manifest from NBC to be exact—in which the passengers and crew of a commercial airline completely vanish out of the sky. While the passengers on the plane in that show reappeared mysteriously after five years, the occupants of Flight 370 were never heard from again. More than 200 families are still waiting for an explanation as to how an entire commercial airliner could disappear without a trace in the real world.
227 passengers and 12 crew members onboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were the subject of what was called an “unprecedented” search by both sea and air when the plane vanished. Even more cryptic, there was no indication that the flight would not go as planned prior to take-off. The Boeing 777 bound for Beijing departed on time from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Following a change-over in air-traffic control systems, the plane appeared to divert from its planned route, flying back over the Malaysian Peninsula and headed towards the Indian Ocean. After passing over the Gulf of Thailand, Flight 370 completely vanished from radar screen. There was never any evidence of a crash, nor any communications of complications. Some believe that Flight 370 simply fell into the ocean and the debris fell into a trench, the same theory under which many suspect Amelia Earhart’s plane disappeared. However, this is highly unlikely, unless the plane hit the ocean at a verticle angle, which would prevent the plane from smashing into identifiable debris.
The plausible theories that have been put forward as an explanation for the disappearance of Flight 370 span from technical to hijacking. There are a myriad of theories under which the flight might have been hijacked, including remotely with the use of cyberattacks. Other theories include a fire in the cockpit, vertical entry into the sea, and being shot down. On March 9, 2014, Chinese news outlets got a letter from the Chinese Martyrs Brigade—previously unheard-of group—claiming responsibility for the loss of Flight 370. The letter was eventually dismissed as fraudulent.
Whatever the cause of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearing into thin air, one thing remains certain: Without answers to these troubling disappearances, there be families left twisting in the disappearance of their missing loved one.