New and controversial claims of the cause of MH370’s disappearance have been levelled on the eve of an investigative report.
The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 on its journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March 2014 is considered one of the biggest aviation mysteries in history.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), all available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean – disappearing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.
All were lost, and their loved ones remain without closure.
Three years on from the official suspension of the search for MH370, the case remains anything but closed in the public domain, with theories popping up left, right and centre at regular intervals. The dominant of these remains anything but concrete: that of a suicide by the aircraft’s captain and a mysterious cover-up.
But in 2020, fresh revelations found in a plethora of breakneck reports by News Corp Australia outlets have been levelled on the eve of a broadcast claimed to shed light on the case: Sky News Australia’s documentary MH370: The Untold Story.
Among the fresh claims said to be found in the upcoming broadcast, News Corp writes that Malaysia is engaged in “tacit negotiations” with a British-owned, Houston-based underwater search company on whether to undertake a new search for the aircraft. This, the publisher says, could involve Australia and China.
It is also suggested that more evidence points to the ATSB having relied on the “wrong theory” about MH370 in its $200 million failed attempt to find the aircraft.
Analysis of satellite data discovered MH370 continued to fly for over six hours after contact was lost, with the ATSB working to the theory that the aircraft crashed unpiloted.
According to News Corp, France remains the only country actively engaged in finding out what happened to the aircraft and how four of its citizens were killed in the course of its disappearance.
Queensland to consider coronial inquest
Meanwhile, News Corp has also reported Queensland’s Attorney-General, Yvette D’Ath, will consider whether to order a coronial inquest into the deaths of four people from the state on MH370.
A letter recently sent from D’Ath’s chief of staff to veteran pilot and MH370 campaigner Byron Bailey reportedly said that, under the state Coroner’s Act, she has the power to order an inquest – even if the deaths occurred outside of Australia.
The letter reportedly asks Bailey to provide new evidence about MH370 and said that, once received, D’Ath will consider his “request for an inquest”.
Ex-PM says “crystal clear” MH370 was a ‘mass murder-suicide’: News Corp
But perhaps the most controversial claim levelled by the publisher comes in an interview with ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who served as Australia’s parliamentary leader at the time of the crash.
According to Abbott, “it was crystal clear to me” as prime minister after MH370 disappeared that the Malaysian government believed Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah had deliberately taken the entire cabin and crew to their deaths.
“My very clear understanding, from the very top levels of the Malaysian government, is that from very, very early on here they thought it was a murder-suicide by the pilot,” he told the publisher.
“I’m not going to say who said what to whom. It was crystal clear to me they had a very clear understanding that this almost certainly was what had happened.”
The former prime minister believes the Malaysian government “never mentioned” alternative explanations for the loss of the aircraft, including a fire or a terrorist hijack.
The news comes as Sky News Australia prepares to broadcast MH370: The Untold Story, a two-part documentary claimed to shed new light on the “ongoing” investigation.
Ean Higgins, author of The Hunt for MH370, worked with the Sky News team on the project, with a trailer for your viewing available, below.