The Disappearance of Flight MH370 and the Development of Conspiracy Theories

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared from radar and everything else on March 8, 2014.  Based on the limited data available (some primary radar tracks, hourly satellite handshakes, and recovered debris), searches have concentrated on the so-called "7th arc" in the Southern Indian Ocean, just west of Perth, Australia.  The early searches used deep-water side-scan sonar vehicles towed behind a surface ship using a 6-mile cable.  Controlling sensor depth and making turns using such a scheme is slow and difficult.  The total area searched over the first three years was 46,000 square miles.

The 2018 search was conducted by Ocean Infinity, a Texas company who offered a "no-find, no-fee" plan that used eight autonomous underwater vehicles.  They searched new areas (over 43,000 square miles) with an efficiency many times higher than the earlier searches.  There was no find, and no fee.

Theories of the cause of the disappearance vary from accidental electrical equipment failure and hypoxia to a deliberate act by a member of the flight crew (murder-suicide).  Some theories involve plots by the Russians (who used remote control to fly the aircraft to Kazakhstan where it was dismantled), or the aircraft being shot down by the Malaysian government or flown to a remote Indian Ocean island.  Noticeably, as time has gone by with no search results, the conspiracy theories have become more complicated and harder to believe.

Recently, even some experts have gone off the rails and are proposing theories based on no or contrary facts.

Books have been written, blog posts/comments have been rampant, and detailed research papers have been published. There are many active twitter threads about the MH370, some involving heated conversations and name-calling.

1.  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 - Wikipedia

2.  Missing Flight MH370 Conspiracies Debunked - Video

1.  What are the ramifications for whoever resumes the search, now that major efforts have been made searching with no fee?
2.  Why do theories about the disappearance get wilder over time?
3.  Why do people even propose theories that conflict with known, reliable data?
4.  Why is there so much name calling -- or is it just the "twitter effect"?