SYDNEY, Australia - Offering a shocking new claim about the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 - that experts believe offers an answer to one ofthe greatest aviation mysteries in modern history - a new possibility has emerged.
According to an investigation conducted by an Australian TV news program, the pilot of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 -which disappeared with 239 people aboard over four years ago - deliberately crashed into the Indian Ocean.
The new theory raises the possibility that the flight crashed and disappeared not because of an unexplainable catastrophic accident, but instead that the incident was a possible mass murder-suicide.
The claim was revealed on 60 Minutes Australia, which brought together an international group of aviation experts who said that the disappearance of MH370 was a criminal act by veteran pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
Larry Vance, former senior investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada reportedly stated, "He was killing himself; unfortunately, he was killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately.
Vance added, I think the general public can take comfort in the fact that there is a growing consensus on the planes final moments.
Meanwhile, the show also hosted Boeing 777 pilot and instructor Simon Hardy, who reconstructed the flight plan based on military radar and said that Captain Shah flew along the border of Malaysia and Thailand, crossing in and out of each country's airspace to avoid detection.
Further explaining, As the aircraft went across Thailand and Malaysia, it runs down the border, which is wiggling underneath, meaning it's going in and out of those two countries, which is where their jurisdictions are. So both of the controllers aren't bothered about this mysterious aircraft. Cause it's, 'Oh, it's gone. It's not in our space anymore'. If you were commissioning me to do this operation and try and make a 777 disappear, I would do exactly the same thing. As far as I'm concerned, it's very accurate flying because think it did the job and we know, as a fact, that the military did not come and intercept the aircraft.
Further, pointing at a strange discovery, Hardy said, Captain Shah likely dipped the plane's wing over Penang, his hometown, and suggested, "Somebody was looking out the window.
To which, the reporter questioned, "Why did he want to look outside Penang?"
Hardy said, "It might be a long, emotional goodbye - or a short, emotional goodbye.
Meanwhile, two experts that were part of the investigation disagreed with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's scenario of the "death dive" with no one in control.
Hardy said, "I think someone was controlling the aircraft until the end.
The experts argued that Captain Shah flew Flight MH370 another 115 miles than originally thought and added, "This was a mission by one of the crew to hide the aircraft as far away from civilization as possible. Which puts us way outside the search area that is currently being done."
The claims come at a time when, even four years later, investigators continue to search for the aircraft.
The wreckage uncovered so far, may be further evidence that the pilot actually had control and that it was not a high speed crash.
John Dawson, a lawyer who represented nine families from MH370 and MH17, recently said in an interview with News Corp Australia that the evidence pointed squarely to one of the aircrew being responsible.
Dawson said, In MH370, you have the pilot flying between Malaysia and Beijing who turns back the aircraft. The evidence is so heavily weighted to involvement by one of the aircrew taking this aircraft down. That aircraft has probably de-pressurised, the people died of asphyxiation, it was premeditated murder. It was highly planned. The bodies have never been found.
Vance meanwhile commented on one wing component recovered from the shore of Africa, and said, The front of it would be pressed in and hollow. The water would invade inside and it would just explode from the inside. So this piece would not even exist."
Commenting on the findings of the experts, aviation analyst Henry Harteveldt, who is president of the Atmosphere Research Group reportedly said, "They are very compelling. What I find very compelling is the hypothesis that the pilot did this deliberately, and did one of the most heinous acts in modern commercial aviation."
The plane is thought to have been diverted thousands of miles off course out over the southern Indian Ocean before crashing off the coast of Western Australia.
In January this year, despite protests by families of those onboard - Australia, Malaysia and China called off a $160 million, two-year search for the plane after finding nothing.