It is hard to say if there was anything as mysterious and perplexing in the news in recent times as the case of the missing Malaysian flight MH370.
While the bizarre circumstances in which the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines plane simply vanished into thin air have proved to be a breeding ground for all kinds of conspiracy theories, the so-called genuine details and developments surrounding the case has only led to more confusion than clarity.
Let's take a look at the top 10 confusing details which have emerged after the plane disappeared on 9 March. We will start from the latest:
1. System Shut Down Separately: The latest development that has come about as reported by CBC is that the communication systems inside the missing Malaysian jet were shut down separately, an indication suggesting the possibility that the systems were deliberately turned off. This could further bolster the most popular and realistic theory doing rounds on the internet that the missing plane is a case of an undisclosed hijack.
2. Man Saw Flight MH370 in Flames: A man has claimed that he saw the missing Malaysia Airlines flight burning and crashing off the south-eastern coast of Vietnam. While the sudden blast onboard could be a realistic theory, why has the international teams not found any wreckage till now?
3. Plane Continued Flying for Four Additional Hours: Although the Malaysian authorities later denied the reports, the US investigators revealed that the airplane continued to fly for four additional hours from the time of what was initially announced as the last point of contact. This raised more questions.
4. Secret Negotiation with Hijackers Theory: This is one of the most popular theories circulating online, and the Malaysian authorities themselves have given plenty of hints supporting this. The official who met the passengers' family members in Beijing on Wednesday reportedly said that he 'hoped' the passengers are safe and sound.
When family members pressed him if military-grade radar had picked up the plane, he reportedly said: "now is not the time to reveal it". What does this statement indicate?
5. The Curious Case of Ringing Phones: Adding to the ever-growing mystery was indeed the most curious case of some of the passengers' phones still ringing. Family members alleged that the phones rang but no one answered.
Malaysian authorities claim that when they tried to call the same numbers, the calls did not go through, while families continue to insist otherwise. What does it suggest? Is something fishy going on? Are the authorities deliberately hiding something? How on earth is it possible for the phones to ring? And if they did, why aren't their locations being traced?
6. Passengers with Stolen Passport: When it was initially reported that two passengers in the MH370 were using stolen passports, the development soon boomeranged the theory that it was a case of a hijack.
But it was revealed soon enough that they were Iranians, possibly seeking asylum and had no connections with terrorism. The theory of hijack seemed to lose its hold. Yet, what was intriguing was the case of the two Iranian passengers having 'same legs'. See below.
7. Iranian Passengers with Stolen Passports Have no Legs/Extra Legs: The photos circulated on Tuesday of the two Iranians showed two men with different bags, different T-shirts and the same pair of legs. The Malaysian police said that the photos were not purposefully doctored - one man's legs were spliced over the other man's legs in a photocopying error.
But what gives rise to suspicion is the number of times the Malaysian authorities have given contradicting information. Malaysia's Home Minister first said that the two men were 'Asian looking'. In a controversial statement, the aviation chief later said that man travelling on stolen passport looked like Italian footballer Mario Balotelli. Ultimately, the two men turned out to be Iranians.
8. Co-pilots Smoked, Flirted with Teen Girls: The behavior of the 27-year-old co-pilot of the Malaysian Alirlines flight MH370 also came under the scanner, after it emerged that the pilot had once invited teenage girls inside the cockpit and smoked during the flight.
9. China's Satellite Picture of 'Wreckage' an Error: China identified a supposed satellite picture of the wreckage. When search teams visited that area, they found nothing. China later said, much to the chagrin of people, that they had inadvertently sent the picture and it was an 'error'.
10. Alien Abduction? North Korea Hijack? or Bermuda Triangle 2?
All kinds of wild theories have come about. Each one looks more bizarre than the other while also seeming possible. The theory that the aircraft was abducted by aliens went viral while a relatively less viral theory stated the plane was hijacked and hidden in North Korea. Some have also gone to the extent of saying that the Bermuda Triangle has now shifted its location.
At a time when there is lack of genuine information, some fee it makes sense to come up with theories on what possibly might have happened to the plane that vanished mysteriously.