A Ship That Was Sent Out To Search For MH370 Vanished For 3 Days With No Explanation

New conspiracy theories have emerged as one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries remains unsolved.

Cover image via The Economist

The search vessel that was deployed to find the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared for three days without any explanation

The whereabouts of the Boeing 777, which had 239 people on board, has remained as an unsolved mystery ever since it went missing en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on 8 March 2014.

US-based company Ocean Infinity signed a deal with the Malaysian government to locate Flight MH370, with the primary mission of identifying the location of the wreckage and/or both of the flight recorders; the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR).

Using the sophisticated ship named 'Seabed Constructor', the 90-day mission search operation to scour the ocean in the Southern Indian Ocean began on 22 January.

However, Seabed Constructor, which is one of the world’s most advanced undersea search vessels, disappeared from radars for about 80 hours after just 10 days into the operation

On 1 February, the search vessel went offline and it continued travelling without a trace.

Three days later, on 3 February, it reappeared and was heading for a scheduled refuelling stop at the Australian port of Fremantle in Perth on 8 February.

It was learned that the ship had turned off its own satellite monitoring system, the Automatic Identification System (AIS), with no explanation.

The 80 hours that it went unaccounted for had piqued the interest of aviation watchers who have been invested in the case

Image via The Guardian

Many amateurs and experts began to offer their own theories on why the ship had disappeared for three days for reasons that are still unknown to the public.

There have also been claims that the ship had made a secret detour to a nearby shipwreck, which was discovered during a search operations in 2015, to retrieve a chest known to be on the sea floor.

Image via Daily Mail

In the midst of these speculations, some people also began to compare the incident with Flight MH370 itself, which had also vanished from radar systems.

Investigations on Flight MH370 case led authorities to believe that the aircraft went missing and diverted thousands of miles off course after the transponder, which communicates with the ground, was deliberately shut down by someone in flight an hour after take off.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that "Ocean Infinity has repeatedly declined media requests for interview, so it may never reveal why it turned its AIS system off, or whether it used the three to four 'silent' days to visit the shipwreck".

Family members of those on board MH370 are demanding for answers from authorities on the blackout

The Guardian quoted KS Narendran, whose wife Chandrika Sharma was onboard MH370, as saying: "I found the development quite odd, and worrying. If this silence and becoming invisible was intentional, to ward off suspicion, a satisfactory explanation is due. If it was for other reasons, then in the interests of transparency, we ought to be told what caused it."

"There are no journalists and no family members on board the search ship. I wish there were some ... We watch on in good faith. I hope ongoing official disclosure is of such a high order that there is little room for speculation, controversy or a whiff of conspiracy," he added.

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