In the days after the complete disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, conspiracy theories multiplied. Rush Limbaugh proposed that the flight was shot down by a hostile government. A former scientific advisor to the United Kingdom speculated that a cyber-attack was responsible. Rupert Murdoch blamed terrorists and wrote that the plane could have been hidden in northern Pakistan, “like Bin Laden.”
New images have cleared up part of the mystery as Japanese, English, Thai and French satellites have taken photos of what appears to be a debris field in the southern Indian Ocean. The area matches up with one of the two possible flight paths the plane could have followed after disappearing on March 7.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak delivered the news to grieving families on March 24. He praised the efforts of the U.K. Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) and Inmarsat, the company that provided the satellite data.
“Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth,” Razak said. “This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites.”
“It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” Razak concluded.
The satellite images show a debris field of approximately 300 objects, floating in a desolate stretch of water 1,150 miles west of Perth, Australia. The findings have been confirmed by several search planes, but ships have been unable to examine the debris closely due to the rough weather conditions in the area. Malaysia Airlines posted a statement on their website a short time after news of the debris field was announced.
“We are all deeply saddened by the news of MH730. Our sincerest condolences go out to the loved ones of the 239 passengers, friends and colleagues,” the statement reads.
“Words alone cannot express our sorrow and pain. They have left us too soon, but they will never be forgotten. They will forever remain in our thoughts and prayers.”
Information for this article was taken from the Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident Center and CNN.com