It’s been five years since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished en route to Beijing, and the mystery is no closer to being solved.
Perhaps one of the greatest enigmas in aviation history, the plane disappeared on 8th March 2014, with 239 passengers onboard.
Although a Malaysia Airlines towel washed up on a beach in West Australia in July 2014, no definative evidence of the plane’s whereabouts has been discovered.
Still, that hasn’t stopped researchers and conspiracy theorists from coming up with their own suggestions, from supposed images of the wreckage on Google Maps, to pinning the blame of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Now, Jeff Wise, author of The Plane That Wasn’t There, has somehow made the mystery of missing flight MH370 even more compelling. According to his research, the plane’s SATCOM was turned back on, 40 minutes after it first disappeared.
He explained: “Looking at the fine print of the Inmarsat data log, we saw that in fact the system had been turned off and then back on again.
“At 18:03, 42 minutes after the plane disappeared from air traffic control, radar the satellite tried to put through a text message. MH370’s satcom hadn’t responded.
“Then 22 minutes later at 18:25 MH370 initiated a log-on with Inmarsat. It was coming back online.”
This leads Wise to believe that an electrical disaster – one of the theories posed – was not responsible for the plane “going dark.”
Speaking to the Daily Express, he said: “Another detail of the Inmarsat data seemed a curiosity at first but in time would be recognised as having great significance.
“We had always assumed that while the transponder and radios had gone dark shortly after ‘Goodnight Malaysia Airlines 370’ the satcom system had remained active.
“After all, whoever took the plane never used the satcom.
“They probably had no idea that its intermittent handshake exchanges could be used to track the plane, since the technique hadn’t been invented yet.”
After the satelite communications returned to life over the Malacca Strait, it is believed the plane continued on for roughly 15 minutes before making one last turn south, and is thought to have been on autopilot.
However, there are currently no theories as to why the person in charge of MH370 would turn the SATCOM back on again, especially as it was not used to communicate.