A Malaysia airlines plane is being pulled at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.
A Malaysia airlines plane is being pulled at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. EPA - Ahmad Yusni

Conspiracy theorists suggest alien interference behind MH370

THE mystery of MH370 has intrigued the world - how did a Boeing 777 disappear after leaving Malaysia bound for China?

Mounting speculation has thrown weight behind every possibility from a pilot's complex suicide plot, the loss of cabin pressure or even the involvement of aliens.

As ships and planes from Australia, Japan, China and the United States comb vast expanses south-west of Perth, a lack of answers is leaving some to fill the gaps with far-out theories.

Conspiracy theorists suggest alien interference, time travelling or a nefarious plot by Malaysian authorities.

One of the more bizarre allegations is that the MH370 was diverted to the United States military outpost of Diego Garcia, an atoll halfway between Indonesia and Africa.

The US will apparently fly the plane into the ocean itself at some later date, although the theorist does not attempt to say why.

So what pushes someone to hold on to these theories, even when they make so little sense?

CQ University Psychology Professor Andrew Bridges said it was a response to feeling powerless in the face of a major event.

When they cannot explain an event or tragedy, Prof Bridges said, they feel that some unforseen force is somehow responsible.

But it's not the only reason.

"People are intuitively very bad at statistics," he said.

"It doesn't seem to make sense for a plane to go missing, but when you look at the size of the ocean, it's actually quite easy for it to go missing."

Prof Bridges said at its core, these believers - weather climate change deniers or alien-hunters - just want to make sense of the world.

"If there aren't any obvious reasons for a particular event, people will try to come up with a reason no matter how extreme it might seem."

A profitable partnership

A profitable partnership

East Ballina Lions and Ballina Fair partner to support farmers

Keeping the heart beating

Keeping the heart beating

Bike ride to raise AED awareness

Skatefest going ahead

Skatefest going ahead

Fair Go Skatefest to run again this year

Local Partners