In March of 2014, one of the greatest mysteries in the world of aviation occurred with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The flight left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia traveling to Beijing, China, but never arrived! Now more than three years later, the airline is still missing and there are far more mysteries surrounding the flight. But beyond just this particular flight, Malaysia Airlines has even more controversy surrounding the company that they would prefer we simply not know. In July of 2014, mere months after losing Flight 370, another Malaysia Airlines aircraft had a fatal catastrophe. Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was devastatingly shot down!
Certainly both of these high profile incidents did not bode well for the company and they’ve been doing damage control and trying to rebrand itself ever since. But there is a lot more that goes into recreating an image than most people realize. There is plenty that the airline doesn’t want the world to know and they’ll do just about anything to keep these little tidbits of knowledge from surfacing. After much research and a lot of jaw dropping discoveries, here are 15 dark little secrets that Malaysia Airlines really doesn’t want any of us to know.
15. Last Words Heard By Pilot Of Flight 370
Any time you talk about a person’s last words, it is a bit chilling. Those that say things like “I wish I had more time” or “help me” are haunting reminders that the last moments of the person were filled with fear or uncertainty. But sometimes, last words are just as chilling because they are so ordinary. “Good night Malaysian three seven zero” were the last words spoken from the cockpit. What Malaysia Airlines would rather us all not know is that even this was scrutinized! Before clarifying this statement, it was released that the last words in the cockpit were “All right, good night.” In fact, that was later declared to be false information. This leads us all to believe that if investigators are getting such a minor detail wrong, what else are they getting wrong?
14. Assassinated Diplomat
At this point, years after the disaster, Malaysia Airlines would much rather us all move on and not look back to this horrific accident. They are trying desperately to rebuild their brand and establish trust once again with their passengers. Recently however, even more conspiracy theories have emerged as a Malaysian consul to Madagascar was murdered! Consul Zahid Raza was apparently tasked with transporting possible wreckage from the plane to Malaysian investigators. All of this raises more questions about why anyone would have a motive to assassinate this man. Many ask whether this is a mystery that architects of the disaster never wanted solved. Regardless, all this does is continue to stir the pot of questions and doubts about Malaysia Airlines that the company would very desperately like to avoid.
13. Some Debris Found
As mentioned before, there have been pieces of aircraft debris recovered in small pieces that have been believed to belong to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Certainly nothing as substantial as the black box recorder has been found and while it has not been definitively proven to be flight 370 wreckage, there is evidence that points in this direction. The individual primarily involved with finding and collecting this wreckage is an American named Blaine Gibson. Gibson is a Seattle native and describes himself as an adventurer. Not only has he found pieces of the plane, but on the same beach in Madagascar, he found luggage that he believes came from the flight. Gibson has an agreement with Malaysian investigators to provide them with all his findings. Time will tell what comes of these efforts.
12. Belief The Passengers Are Still Alive
With most plane crashes, there is a horrific accident and a definitive cause of the accident. This provides relatives and loved ones with a sense of closure, even though there is still extreme heartache and perhaps even anger. In the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, there is no known definitive cause. Furthermore, it is unclear if it was even an accident. This unknown has led several relatives of passengers and those following the story to believe that they may still be alive! They are of the opinion that they are alive and were taken to a secretive location for unknown reasons, perhaps political or perhaps financial. While this is not a widely accepted opinion, those that believe it are a loud enough minority to cause yet another headache for Malaysia Airlines.
11. Several Conspiracy Theories
When people are not given details, their imaginations have a tendency to fill in the blanks. This is no different in the case of missing flight 370 from Malaysia Airlines. Was the plane hijacked? Was it an inside job? Did the plane crash at all? These are all lingering questions on the minds of family, friends and interested observers. Some have claimed that there may have been a fire in the cockpit or somewhere on the plane. Others have said that it is possible that the plane was hijacked and taken to Afghanistan. One tongue-in-cheek theory is that is was abducted by aliens. Certainly the idea that it was sucked into a black hole is laughable, but completely believed by some. Some of these theories are certainly more probable than others, but they are all out there creating a lot of chatter more than three years after the flight.
10. One Extra Person on Flight 370?
When the hijacking theory fire begins to die down, another log gets thrown on. It is clear that one of the very first things any investigator will do in the event of an airline crash, is look at the crew and passenger manifest. Because airlines have quite a dance of adding and removing passengers from flights, it is almost impossible to determine who is exactly onboard a plane until it actually takes off. But in studying the final tallies, it appears that there was one extra passenger onboard. Andre Milne who claims to have done this math and even can produce the name of the passenger along with a fake passport, seems to have put quite the wrinkle in the investigation. Whether this is truth or just him trying to gain a little attention is somewhat questionable.
9. Flight 17 Passenger Bodies
The case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 came just months after the disappearance of flight 370. Just when they thought it could not get any worse, another horrific and very complicated disaster fell upon the airline. When flight 17 was shot out of the air by Ukrainian rebels, while traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, it was not as simple as crashing into an empty field. In fact, horrifying tales and even images of bodies falling upon houses and even into the kitchen of one woman’s home in a Ukrainian village immediately made their way into the news. While most bodies have been recovered and this was in no way the fault of the airline, it does nothing to ease the worries of travelers and instill confidence in air travel.
8. Prolonged The Donbass War
The conflict between the Ukraine government and the Donbass region of Ukraine is known as the Donbass War. The conflict was between the rebels of the Donbass region that were pro-Russian and against the Ukrainian government. The rebellion leaders acknowledged that they shot down a civilian aircraft, making it seem accidental. Nevertheless, the incident created more fuel for the argument between the rebellion and Ukraine, even bringing the Russian government into the issue further. Some have claimed that this was an intentional attack and that it was all orchestrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The tragic event did nothing more than continue the fighting in the region and causing more bloodshed and turmoil for years to come. For Malaysia Airlines…their name will always be mentioned along with this tragic flight.
7. The Flight 370 Crash Could Endanger All Similar Crafts
The cost to try and recover missing flight 370 has soared to hundreds of millions of dollars. It has been among the costliest search efforts in aviation history and has involved searching an insane amount of territory. This isn’t all just about finding answers for the purpose of closure for relatives of the passengers and crew. The importance of determining what happened is important for the sake of all Boeing 777 aircraft in use. Boeing has said that they are committed to finding out what happened so they can determine if there is a design or engineering flaw. Finding wreckage is important for correcting other planes so similar crashes don’t happen. There’s no telling how many lives have been saved over the years because of these investigations and corrections to equipment.
6. Searching Uncharted Territory
As it has been mentioned before, the search efforts for flight 370 are unprecedented… literally. Considering that the majority of the Earth’s oceans are uncharted because of their depth and the sheer amount of space it encompasses, the search for this flight has involved sweeping some areas never before researched. Because it involves doing sweeps of the bottom, there are underwater mountains and terrain that are completely unknown. While the task of finding the plane is priority number one, the scientific benefits from the search are also considerable. Oceanographers and other aquatic specialists are part of these efforts and have been collecting far more data than they had available before. With the finding of the wreckage in Madagascar however, that has narrowed the search somewhat to a more confined area.
5. Cut 6,000 Jobs
So what do you do when you are a newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of a company that has had two crashes making international headlines within just a few months of one another? Well first, you stop the bleeding! Christoph Mueller quickly cut 6,000 jobs from the total of 20,000 employees of Malaysia Airlines. This, in addition to selling a few of the fleet’s more costly jets was all designed to get control of massive losses within the company. Understandable of course to economists, but try to explain that to the 6,000 people that lost their jobs! Though I suppose the rationale was that 6,000 is better than all 20,000 if the company went completely belly-up. Of course, Malaysia Airlines doesn’t really want folks to look at the job cuts…that never seems to sit well with the public.
4. Big Financial Problems Well Before 2014 Disasters
Malaysia Airlines would rather you attribute job cuts of 6,000 employees and staggering financial losses to these two horrible accidents. After all, they could be explained away as a bit of bad luck (or perhaps more than just a bit). But the sad truth is that the company had been in serious financial trouble for a few years before the loss of flight 370. The situation was very bleak for Malaysia Airlines with higher and higher losses each quarter. Change for the company was inevitable, but in March of 2014, everything hit crisis mode! The tale of the financial woes of Malaysia Airlines ultimately surfaced and CEO Christoph Mueller had to step in and make some tough choices. Time will tell if they will pay off for the company and its owners.
3. Five And Ten Passenger Flights!
Looking back on the weeks following the flights 17 and 370 disasters, there were some very rough days. Not only was morale low amongst the entire staff, but consumer confidence in the airline was practically nonexistent. Current Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines Peter Bellew is all about looking forward and has done a pretty good job of turning the ship around. But sadly, there was a period of five and ten passenger flights on the airline. The planes looked more like ghost towns, with plenty of room to stretch out if you so chose. At least the beverage service didn’t take very long. The airline surely expected such dark days immediately following each disaster, but let’s just say that the picture would not make for a good advertising brochure!
2. Government Bailout: Malaysia Edition
Hey, do you remember when those gigantic banks were called ‘too big to fail’ and got bailed out by the United States government? Yeah, I do too and it didn’t sit very well with the majority of taxpayers in the United States. Well, the same kind of thing happened with Malaysia Airlines after these disasters. The Malaysian sovereign wealth fund had to come to the aid of the company and rescue it from total disaster. They even had to take the company off of the stock exchange! This is not a move that any company wants to have to make and it surely doesn’t help recreate the image of stability for consumers. Nevertheless, the company did make the move and has begun the long haul of coming back from the dead. So far, it looks like they may just make it, though they aren’t out of the woods just yet.
1. Three Chief Executive Officers in Three Years
It’s not really great when your company goes through CEOs like it is a bodily function. While changing out the Chief Executive Officer of a company is a strategic move that commonly occurs whenever a company needs to rebrand itself, overkill on this is a real thing. At the time of the loss of flight 370, Malaysia Airlines CEO was Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, who many believed was totally inadequate for dealing with the disaster. He was quickly replaced by Christoph Mueller, who came in to stop the bleeding and get the ship back on course. One year into a three year contract, he left leaving current CEO Peter Bellew to pick up the pieces. People are holding on to hope that Bellew continues to do the good work he has started, but stability is the name of the game at this point.
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