Flight 370 Landed?, A classified analysis of electronic and satellite data, conducted by the United States and Malaysian governments, calculates Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 likely crashed into the Indian Ocean on one of two possible flight paths, CNN has learned.
One flight path suggests the plane crashed into the Bay of Bengal off the coast of India, and the other has it traveling southeast and crashing in the Indian Ocean, according to the analysis.
Missing Malaysian plane: Could it have landed?
Yet another theory is taking shape about what might have happened to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Maybe it landed in a remote Indian Ocean island chain.
The suggestion — and it’s only that at this point — is based on analysis of radar data revealed Friday by Reuters suggesting that the plane wasn’t just blindly flying northwest from Malaysia. And it’s just one of untold theories floating around about what might have happened to the airliner, which disappeared a week ago without leaving much of a trace of where it had gone or why.
Reuters, citing unidentified sources familiar with the investigation, reported that whoever was piloting the vanished jet was following navigational waypoints that would have taken the plane over the Andaman Islands.
The radar data don’t show the plane over the Andaman Islands but only on a known route that would take it there, Reuters cited its sources as saying.
The theory builds on earlier revelations by U.S. officials that an automated reporting system on the airliner was pinging satellites for hours after its last reported contact with air traffic controllers. Inmarsat, a satellite communications company, confirmed to CNN that automated signals were registered on its network.
An aviation industry source tells CNN that the flight’s automated communications system appeared to be intact for up to five hours, because pings from the system were received after the transponder last emitted a signal.
Taken together, the data point toward speculation in a dark scenario in which someone took the plane for some unknown purpose, perhaps terrorism.
The movie-plot theory seems more complicated and unlikely than one in which the plane — its flight crew perhaps incapacitated — simply flew on until it ran out of fuel or faced some other problem. But it’s one that law enforcement has to check out, former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom said.
“You draw that arc, and you look at countries like Pakistan, you know, and you get into your ‘Superman’ novels, and you see the plane landing somewhere and (people) repurposing it for some dastardly deed down the road,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
Aviation experts say it’s possible, if highly unlikely, that someone could have hijacked and landed the giant Boeing 777 undetected.
The international airport in Port Blair, the regional capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, has a runway that is long enough to accommodate a 777, according to publicly available data.