On Wednesday, plane debris that could be from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 washed up on an island just east of Madagascar. MH370 disappeared more than a year ago in March 2014 after dropping from radar around Kuala Lumpur, which is 4,000 miles away from Reunion Island. Given the amount of time that's passed, it's not at all unreasonable to suspect that the plane parts are from the Malaysia Airlines aircraft. The discovery of these plane parts has thus given way to investigation and speculation. Ultimately, if proven to belong to MH370, a lot of conspiracy theories about MH370 would pretty much be disproved.
According to The Daily Telegraph, aviation experts have stated that what happened to the plane might never be known, and in January, the Malaysian government officially declared the plane's crash an accident. "One day, perhaps, some seat cushions will wash up on Australia's western coast or Antarctica's shore, but that won't help us find the wreck," David Learmount, a former Royal Air Force pilot, told The Daily Telegraph. "I said in the beginning that we're unlikely ever to find the aircraft and that remains true." Regardless of experts' doubts, the wild imaginations of people on the Internet will continue to result in crazy theories, and no matter how much evidence might run contrary to these theories, they're likely to remain.
It Was Hijacked By Terrorists
A member of a group known as Alternative Media Television (AMTV) released a video on YouTube soon after the plane's disappearance that argued the aircraft had been hijacked by terrorists. The video also suggested the plane was being "retrofitted" and armed with nuclear bombs to destroy the United States. If the debris that washed up on Reunion Island came from MH370, that would pretty much discredit this theory that is questionable to say the least.
It's In Diego Garcia
One theory following MH370's disappearance became so popular that it inspired an actual response from the United States government. Theorists claimed the plane had been directed to Diego Garcia, a British-owned island in the Indian Ocean where a U.S. military base is located. "There was no indication that MH370 flew anywhere near the Maldives or Diego Garcia. MH370 did not land in Diego Garcia," an American official at the Malaysian embassy told national newspaper The Star. If the official's statement wasn't enough to put conspiracy theories to rest, hopefully debris confirmed on Reunion Island will.
It Was "Some Entirely New, Mysterious And Powerful Force"
This is probably the most creative conspiracy theory regarding MH370, and it was released by a conspiracy theory veteran known as Mike Adams of Natural News just two days after the plane was declared missing. Adams claimed that the plane disappeared because of "some entirely new, mysterious and powerful force." Adams did not specify what his idea of a mystifying new weapon of mass destruction was, but he elaborated that this weapon was clearly capable of bringing down "airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind even a shred of evidence." However, if the recently discovered debris ends up being from MH370, then it's safe to say that this mysterious new weapon he's dreamed up is either doesn't exist or actually does leave a shred or two of evidence.
It Was An Alien Abduction
Of course. When has an inexplicable mystery not given way to theories regarding extraterrestrial life? Frankly, I don't doubt that even if the plane debris on Reunion Island is confirmed to belong to MH370, alien abduction theories will continue to be put forward. In my humble opinion, though, the theory will certainly have a lot less credence if and when this happens.
It Was Mr. Worldwide
Some theorists claim Pitbull predicted the mysterious disappearance of MH370 in his song "Get It Started." In the song, Pitbull briefly raps about going to Malaysia, and says, "Two passports, three cities, two countries, one day." According to The Mirror, some YouTubers interpreted the passports reference to be connected to the two passports that were stolen and used by two Iranians who were on board MH370. Others argued the countries Pitbull raps about were Vietnam and Malaysia, and the three cities he raps about are the capital cities of those countries and China.
Depending on cities and countries these theorists believe Pitbull is referring to, the plane debris washing up around Australia could be interpreted as evidence that proves or disproves their beliefs.
It Was A Technological Experiment
Rather similar to the theory by Mike Adams of Natural News, Beforeitsnews.com shared its own slightly less creative one about a new kind of weapon being employed. The website wrote the "new technology" that may have been involved in the plane's disappearance "is precisely the expertise of Freescale, that has 20 employees on board the missing flight," suggesting that passengers on the plane were responsible for its disappearance. The website ultimately alleged "hi-tech electronic warfare weaponry ... exists and [was] used" on the plane, and according to the Daily Mirror, this theory quickly picked up steam on Reddit.
However, the debris that has washed up on Reunion Island and may belong to MH370 does not give us any indicator that it is from a plane that it was destroyed by any remarkable, phenomenal new weapon.
It Was The "Asian Bermuda Triangle"
On Twitter, many users chimed in with theories that MH370 had been lost as a result of a natural phenomenon like the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. However, of all the vessels that have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle, few have heeded debris 4,000 miles away. Still, it's impossible to say whether or not confirmation that the debris belongs to MH370 will serve to silence this tantalizing conspiracy theory or amp it up.
Of all the many conspiracy theories MH370's initial disappearance resulted in more than a year ago, quite a few would effectually be disproved should it be confirmed that debris on Reunion Island belonged to the lost plane. However, some popular theories will probably persist even if it's somehow proven that the recently discovered debris belongs to the plane.
Many will undoubtedly cling to the popular theory that the plane was shot down by terrorists, and others will probably continue to assert the pilot's guilt. The Daily Telegraph reports that David Learmount claims the plane's disappearance could potentially be attributed to its pilot, claiming it was probably the result of "a carefully planned suicide and revenge attack." MH370's pilot is a suspicious figure to most theorists because his diary was cleared just prior to the flight. Ultimately, though, Learmount is right to say no matter how much suspect debris we discover, we will never be able to say with certainty what happened to MH370.
Images: Getty Images (3)