Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
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Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was a scheduled passenger flight which departed from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China on March 8th, 2014, before disappearing off radar with a total of 239 people on board, including 12 crew members, less than an hour after the take-off.
On March 8th, 2014, 12:41 a.m. local time, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport en route to Beijing, China, carrying 227 passengers of 13 nationalities, including 153 Chinese nationals, and 12 Malaysian crew members. At around 1:30 a.m., less than an hour into the flight, air traffic controllers in Kuala Lumpur reported that they lost contact with the plane after the transponder signal went offline over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.
image courtesy: CNN | Google Maps
According to the officials, there were no indications of bad weather, technical problems or a distress signal from the crew at the time of its disappearance. The trip was expected to last about six hours over the distance of 2,700 miles (4,350 kilometers).
Search and Rescue Mission
By 7:24 a.m., about an hour after the flight's scheduled arrival time at the Beijing International Airport, Malaysia Airlines had issued a statement confirming that the plane is considered lost and a search-and-rescue operation is underway. In responding to the crisis, the Malaysian government and fourteen other nations dispatched dozens ships and planes to the area. In the following days, numerous sightings of potential plane debris and oil slicks were reported, but upon examination, they were determined to be insubstantial.
Meanwhile on Twitter, people reacted to the news with messages of prayers and wishes for the passengers using hashtags #PrayForMH370 and #MH370, peaking at 800,000 and 1.2 million tweets per day on March 8th. On Reddit, Redditor Mrgandaw began compiling the latest updates and official announcements in a series of posts titled "Comprehensive timeline: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370" on /r/news.
On March 12th, Colorado-based commercial satellite firm DigitalGlobe launched an online crowd-search mission where anyone can scour through aerial photographs of the region covering 1,235 square miles to look for signs of potential survivors, rafts or plane debris that would lead to any clues surrounding the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370's disappearance. Shortly after its launch, the website reportedly became inaccessible as a result of a sudden and massive spike in traffic.
Hoaxes and Theories
As the search mission continued for several days with little result, online discussions about the flight ran amok with unfounded theories surrounding its whereabouts and fate, including references to the ABC drama series Lost and the Bermuda triangle, as well as conspiracy theories involving aliens, Edward Snowden, the Iranians and the North Koreans and even the Illuminati.
Safe Landing Rumor
Shortly after the search mission began, various rumors about the fate of the passengers began to spread online in China, including a news article saying the plane had made a safe emergency landing in Nanning and mass speculations that passengers may have survived as indicated by their active cell phone signal and online status on instant messaging services.
The Bermuda Triangle
As early as on March 14th, a photograph of a submerged aircraft began circulating on Facebook, falsely described as the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 found in the Bermuda Triangle, a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean that has garnered notoriety after a number of aircraft and ships disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Video of Malaysia MH370 Plane found in Bermuda Triangle! Passengers alive! insidevideo.net Breaking news video footage of this miracle just released on CNN!
Chris Goodfellow's Electrical Fire Theory
On March 14th, Canadian veteran commercial pilot Chris Goodfellow shared a relatively simple and plausible explanation as to why the missing plane took a sharp turn before going offline on his Google+ page. According to Goodfellow, MH370 may have turned in order to make an emergency landing at the Palau Kangkawi airport in the crisis of an irrecuperable electrical problem or a cabin fire, which would also explain the unusual shutdown of the plane's transponders and tracking equipments. Goodfellow's theory quickly gained favor on Google+, garnering more than 3,800 +1s and 2,400 shares, before getting picked up by numerous tech blogs and U.S. news outlets.
Courtney Love's Suspicion
On March 16th, Tomnod posted a Facebook status update showing a satellite image of an object that appears to be floating in the zone identified as #128148, along with a note that the analysis team has preliminarily concluded that it is more likely to be a boat than plane debris. On the next day, American singer-songwriter Courtney Love posted an annotated version of the same image with a link to the Tomnod map of the zone to her Facebook timeline, adding that she suspects this is where the plane may be. Love's Facebook post subsequently went viral in the blogosphere, racking up more than 15,000 likes and 13,000 shares, while even spawning a few parodies.
I'm no expert but up close this does look like a plane and an oil slick. link … prayers go out to the families #MH370 and its like a mile away Pulau Perak, where they "last" tracked it 5°39'08.5"N 98°50'38.0"E but what do I know?
Malaysia Airlines "Lose Yourself" Ad Hoax
On March 16th, an alleged full-page advertisement for Malaysia Airlines with foreshadowing tag lines like "lose yourself on a journey of epic proportions" and "where you go / no one will ever know" began circulating on Twitter.
Discovery of Debris
On July 29th, 2015, over one year and a half after the disappearance of the flight, a piece of aircraft debris was found on the beach of Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, which was subsequently identified as a right wing flaperon from a Boeing 777. The discovery of potential debris from the commercial jet made the headlines in the news around the world, while sparking similar buzz in the social media and reinvigorating public interest in the mystery of the Flight MH370.
The artifact was then sent to Toulouse, France for a closer inspection by the BEA (Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety), where it was positively identified as a fragment from the ill-fated flight. On August 6th, the origin of the debris was officially confirmed as the missing airplane by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during an emergency news conference.
On March 13th, 2018, Twitter user @StrayedAway posted a video of a strange voicemail he received to the site. The voicemail is of a robotic voice reading letters in the military alphabet which when spelled out read “S danger SOS it dire for you to evacuate be cautious they are not human SOS danger SOS,” along with a set of numbers. The video was reposted to Facebook by user James Bailey on March 16th (shown below).
The user then reported that he had received threatening messages in Indonesian. Twitter users responding to his messages found that the numbers were coordinates near where the Malaysian Airlines flight was last heard from, leading to speculation that perhaps the user had received a black box recording from the plane (a black box is a flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder) which was warning about "nonhuman" assailants.
The user also posted screenshots from strange accounts he had received giving him a list of numbers. When those numbers were applied to corresponding letters of the alphabet, one Twitter user discovered they read "They are taking over 4/18/18." This led to theories that the message was pointing to a rapture or apocalypse to happen on April 18th, 2018.
Other messages the user received were in morse code and ASCII, which when translated to “The message received is well related to Stephen Hawking’s death, you are not ready to face them.” Some users speculated that this was related to a quote from Hawking that stated something bad would happen in 2018.
The event was covered by Rearfront and The Sun. Twitter user @broblum summed up all the findings in a lengthy Twitter thread.
 Wikipedia – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
 Tomnod – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search
 CNN – Crowdsourcing volunteers comb satellite photos for Malaysia Airlines jet
 Reddit – Comprehensive timeline: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
 Topsy – Tweets Per Day – #PrayforMH370 and #MH370
 Twitter – Tweet results for #MH370
 Reddit – Malaysia Airlines Plane 'Loses Contact'
 New York Times – Theories Grow Without Facts on Lost Flight
 NBC News – Social Media Spread False Reports of Safe Landing
 Boston – 9 crazy conspiracy theories about Malaysia Airlines flight 370
 NBCNews – Social Media Spread False Reports of Safe Landing
 Snopes – Malaysia Flight MH370 Video
 Google+ – Chris Goodfellow's Post
 Facebook – Tomnod's Status Update
 Facebook – Courtney Love's Status Update
 Rearfront – CONSPIRACY THEORY THAT EXPLAINS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MALAYSIAN PLANE SAYS WORLD WILL END IN 4-18-18
 The Sun – 'THEY ARE TAKING OVER' Creepy military-coded voicemail message sent to random phones goes viral sparking MH370 alien theories and fears of an impending doomsday
Mar 18, 2014 at 03:17AM EDT
Mar 12, 2014 at 08:40PM EDT
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