As the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 drags on with seemingly no end in sight, another aviation expert has dismissed conspiracy theories that the plane could have been secretly landed by terrorists or foreign nationals.
In order for such theories to be true, the Boeing 777 – an airplane roughly the size of a football field – would have to have been flown through the airspaces and military radar fields of multiple nations, then landed and hidden from satellite visibility.
"When you put all that together, it seems to me the much higher likelihood is that it's in the water," Capt. John Cox, a pilot and CEO of aviation security firm Safety Operating Systems, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Several oddities surrounding the plane's disappearance have created the impression of foul play. These include the apparent facts that the flight crew apparently made no effort to communicate any distress, and that two communications devices – a transponder and the ACARS data transmission system – stopped sending out signals.
"To stop the data [from the ACARS system] was a deliberate act by a knowledgeable person," Cox said.
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That the plane made apparently pre-determined changes in its course has also deepened suspicions that the disappearance of MH370 was planned, Cox said.
But the overall picture of such disparate facts creates an incoherent picture of what exactly happened to the flight that continues to puzzle investigators and experts.
"I would only say that it appears that somebody with knowledge interacted with the computer system," Cox said. "Beyond that, we don't have evidence to draw up conclusions.
"In my view, everything's still on the table."
Cox said he is confident the plane will eventually be found, but that is impossible to say when that might happen – something the media would be wise to keep in mind.
"I don't know that anybody can give you an estimate, time-wise, of how long it's going to take. To put it simply, it's going to take as long as it takes," he said. "What evidence we have is very limited. So the hardest thing for everyone right now is to be patient and let these very professional search organizations do their job and when they find the debris field, then the recovery phase begins and once we have that, the accident investigation can begin in earnest."
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