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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014
Aliens? Suicidal pilot? Twitter turns into conspiracy potboiler over #MH370
Vishakha Saxena, Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, March 11, 2014
First Published: 21:18 IST(11/3/2014)
Last Updated: 21:34 IST(17/3/2014)

Got Hijacked. Entered Bermuda Triangle. Got hit by a meteor. Was manned by a suicidal pilot.

These are not the various probable plots for a sci-fi movie. These are some of the many conspiracy theories surrounding the jetliner MH370 that has been missing for the last three days, without a trace.

On March 8 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew lost contact with air traffic control while on its journey from Kuala Lampur to Beijing. Though a massive search is on to find the airplane and its passengers, investigations have not yielded any worthwhile results.

Initially, most users took to Twitter express their surprise about the mystery surrounding the missing airline. "It Amazing how they can track down smartphones but cant track down a boeing 777. #MH370," tweeted @OmarImranTweets to his over 27.7k followers.

But, the surprise soon took the face of viral speculations.

A user @NwoStop tweeted "#MH370 POSSIBILITY? Hijacked, diverted, political hostage standoff w/ hostile government, kept under wraps?" to his its 8k+ followers.

"My original probability projections in order of likelihood: Bomb, catastrophic failure, missile, space junk/meteor, cosmic event. #MH370" tweeted another user, @chilloutkitty.

And after a Reuters report that Malaysian military had tracked the plane by radar over Strait of Malacca, @WilsonWilsherLi tweeted, "It seems more like a conspiracy theory to me now if it is true.. from South China Sea to Malacca Straits!? No way.. #MH370"

Hinting at a political angle, @Sal_Ace tweeted, "Nothing simply disappears in this age of high advancements & technology, there is always a politically motivated conspiracy behind.. #MH370"

Sample some more tweets:

In the midst of all the uncertainty, Twitter has been on a course of its own - conspiracy theorists galore. From aliens and a 'new Bermuda triangle' to elves and meteors, Twitterati has been checking all boxes to leave no possibility out.


Aliens, because the truth is out there

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/aliens.jpg

Speculation over the existence of ET and little green men has an evergreen tinge to it. So, when aviation experts failed to account for the plane's disappearance, it was natural for the alien enthusiasts to do a bit of explaining.

In the words of @Dr_adelattia - "Will u be surprised if it turned out that the vanished airline has been taken by aliens from other planet? #MH370".

Another user @abhitwit tweeted "Was the flight #MH370 abducted by aliens?"

The theory, though, had many Twitter users shaking their heads. "Really? There are people who really think that #MH370 was taken over by aliens?" tweeted @missdesai. Another user @FilzaaaIzzaaati expressed their anger with the tweet - "Shut up about Bermuda Triangle/Devil's Sea, shut up about Aliens and shut up about the photo of the mh370 plated van NOT FUNNY #MH370"


Lost theories - from fiction to fact

Lost was an American television series that aired from 2004 to 2010, spread over six seasons and 121 episodes. It was a supernatural/sci-fi drama series following the survivors of a commercial passenger jet crash on a mysterious tropical island in the South Pacific Ocean.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/Lost.jpg

And the curious case of MH370 reminded many users of the TV series.

"Not to be insensitive or such but really hoping that the #MH370 hasn't just crashed & that there's a fantastic Lost-ique saga to be unfolded" tweeted @blahfamous. Another user @gauravsabnis tweeted, "Not to trivialize a tragedy by comparing it to fiction but the intractable hunt for #MH370 reminds me of Oceanic815 #LOST."

 
Bermuda Triangle? No, a second Bermuda triangle

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in western North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircrafts and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Though authorities reject its existence, popular culture says it's paranormal down there.

So do many on Twitter.

So, when Twitter went afire with Bermuda speculation, some users decided to enlighten fellow Twitterati. "For those people who keep on saying #MH370 went through Bermuda Triangle pls la.. Bermuda Triangle is near the cost of Miami not Vietnam FGS" tweeted @JewelHeartnet to her over 1800 followers.

Another user went on to share a map of the triangle:

 That's when Twitterati came up with something more priceless - possibility of a second Bermuda triangle.

"Is it possible that #MH370 entered a different time-warp due to a rupture in the continuum? Bermuda Triangle repeats in Asia?" tweeted @chiragh. Another user @MorenaZee tweeted, "Bermuda Triangle repeats in Asia? #MH370"

But, it was @KingLionsXII who took the cake with this tweet:


The Earhart connection?

Remember Amelia Earhart? The American aviation pioneer who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? During an attempt to make a flight around the globe in 1937, she disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean never to be found again.

She was remebered by many Twitter users while they referred to MH370. "I urge officials to start looking for Amelia Earhart. She is the key to finding the Boeing 777 #MH370" tweeted @LouisGiorgio. Another user @unfilteredx tweeted "#MH370 is clearly a government conspiracy. Just like Amelia Earhart..."

@RashadAlaiyan also tweeted, "How does a plane go missing? #MH370" ask Amelia Earhart, she might know".

Todd Schnitt of The Schnitt Show fame chipped in with his tweet "Unbelievable that in 2014 a #MalaysiaAirlines #Boeing777 can just disappear. This shouldn't be Amelia Earhart from July 1937. #MH370"


Hit by Meteor? Because anything is possible

One of the more seemingly ridiculous theories suggested that the flight was hit by a meteor and disappeared due to the impact.

"I still want #MalaysiaAirlines to check with @NASA about 1) a meteor and 2) space debris "junk" falling back to Earth and hitting #MH370." tweeted a user @interface7.

@moebaq asked on Twitter, "Can anyone tell me if meteor shower can block or affect radio communications? #MH370"

"#malasiaaircrash #MalasiaFlight #MH370 only thing that can destroy a plane & the black box is a burning meteor strike that attaches & burns" Another user @MattSoleyn asked "Is it possible space debris or a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere collided at high speed with #MH370 and vaporized the plane?" tweeted @imammahdi786.


Pyongyang's got it!

The isolated communist country, where an authoritarian regime is reported to have committed terrible crimes on its own people, was not above suspicion.

@rhaniffe tweeted "I have this conspiracy theory that the #MH370 is at North Korea." to her 700+ followers. But, it was @CAKarateDog who took it a step ahead.

@CAKarateDog went on to tweet this to various media organisations and some popular users.

Take a look at some more tweets pointing fingers at North Korea:


Other wild theories:

 The tweet refers to an article by a popular Malaysian daily the New Straits Times.

In the midst of all the mind boggling speculation, there were some whose theories were just positively determined to find the flight and its passengers. And thankfully, these weird theories and queries were fewer compared with those who positively prayed for a breakthrough.

Another user @GeraldKoh_ tweeted, "The stories coming out from #MH370 are now making me hope tt the plane is somewhere out there out of fuel. Nothing else.... I believe in God" (sic).

What actually happened to MH307 and how many of these theories are (or have a chance at being) valid can only be said once the flight is found. Until then, Twitter will probably continue to make people widen their eyes and sink into chairs in sheer amazement.


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