A report has shed new light on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of MH370, backing a dominating theory centred on a murder-suicide plot.
In a detailed report in the Atlantic, William Langewiesche, a former pilot and national correspondent for the magazine, revisits the theory of the lonely pilot seeking to end his life.
Langewiesche interviewed friends of captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah who confirmed the 53-year-old pilot was depressed and lonely, spending his free time pacing empty rooms in his house and engaging in unrequited flirting with young women on Facebook.
The reporter speaks with a lifelong friend of Shah, who believed the theory “a conclusion he had come to reluctantly”, Langewiesche wrote.
“Zaharie’s marriage was bad. In the past he slept with some of the flight attendants. And so what? We all do. You’re flying all over the world with these beautiful girls in the back. But his wife knew,” Shah’s friend, who asked not to be named, told Langewiesche.
“It doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to reconcile with the man I knew. But it’s the necessary conclusion.”
Langewiesche also points out evidence that Shah used a simulator to experiment with a similar flight pattern to that of the ill-fated plane, deviating from its planned route by heading westward across Malaysia rather than north to its final destination of Beijing. A deviation which would have been noticed by passengers.
Langewiesche concludes that Shah would have depressurized the cabin to prevent passengers from ruining his plans.
“An intentional depressurization would have been an obvious way – and probably the only way – to subdue a potentially unruly cabin in an aeroplane that was going to remain in flight for hours to come,” he wrote.
“The cabin occupants would have become incapacitated within a couple of minutes, lost consciousness, and gently died without any choking or gasping for air.”
Langewiesche also suggests Malaysian officials, including the air force, civil air traffic control and police, were engaged in a cover-up.
“The important answers probably don’t lie in the ocean but on land, in Malaysia. That should be the focus moving forward. Unless they are as incompetent as the air force and air traffic control, the Malaysian police know more than they have dared to say,” he wrote.
“The Malaysians just wish the whole subject would go away.”
You can read the full report here.