A ground staff member walks under a Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. The missing Malaysian jetliner may have attempted to turn back before it vanished from radar, but there is no evidence it reached the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia's air force chief said Wednesday, denying reported remarks he said otherwise. The statement suggested continued confusion over where the Boeing 777 might have ended up, more than four days after it disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) (AP)

Malaysia airlines mystery: Plane changed course before vanishing

More than four days since Flight 370 disappeared and still no firm trace of the flight

Natasha Lennard
March 12, 2014 3:27PM (UTC)

The idea that a plane full of passengers could disappear without a trace in our surveyed and mapped world continues to baffle more than four days since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 first vanished.

According to the latest reports, the mystery continues to thicken around the missing jet. Malaysia's aviation authorities now believe the plane may have changed course without explanation or warning before falling off the radar and disappearing without trace, wreckage or recorded explosion. No possible causes have been ruled out and every explanation, from accidental crash to sabotage, is still on the table. Via the AP:


Amid intensifying confusion and occasionally contradictory statements, the country's civil aviation authorities and the military both said the plane may have turned back from its last known position between Malaysian and Vietnam, possibly as far as the Strait of Malacca, a busy shipping lane on the western side of Malaysia.

How it might have done this without being clearly detected remains a mystery, raising questions over whether its electrical systems, including transponders allowing it to be spotted by radar, were either knocked out or turned off. If it did manage to fly on, it would challenge earlier theories that the plane may have suffered a catastrophic incident, initially thought reasonable because it didn't send out any distress signals.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Flight 370 Jet Malaysia Malaysia Airlines Missing Plane Mystery

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