New Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Theory: Was it Hijacked to Kazakhstan?

February 24, 2015 Updated: February 25, 2015

It’s been almost a year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared seemingly off the face of the Earth, and the theories about its disappearance keep pouring in.

The claims come as science author Jeff Wise, who has written frequently on MH370 in the past year for publications like Slate and appeared on CNN dozens of times, published a new piece for New York Magazine: “How crazy am I to think I actually know where that Malaysia Airlines plane is?”

At the same time, he posted a new blog update about his theory that MH370, which went missing March 8 with 239 people on board, was hijacked to Kazakhstan. He has posited the popular theory of MH370 turning south before flying to the southern Indian Ocean could merely be a false flag as a way to fake an investigation.

“I’m intrigued by the possibility that MH370 might have been hijacked and flown north to the Yubileyniy Aerodrome within the Baikonur Cosmodrome,” he writes. “If so, it would have come to rest on the specially-milled concrete at approximately an hour and a half before sunrise on Sunday, March 8. And then what? If it stayed where it was, it would have been easy to spot by land-imaging satellites overhead. To avoid detection, it would have to have either refueled and taken off again, or found some kind of shelter.”

He published satellite images of the desert landscape of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. “As you can see, the area is desert, where vehicle tracks persist for many years,” he says in the blog.

However, he added, “Suddenly, things are happening. A number of trucks are lined up in the parking lot in the upper-right part of the image. The six-story building is being disassembled. And what looks like a large rectangle of dirt has been bulldozed to the left of the building. The image resolution is so good that you can make out what I take to be the stripes left by the bulldozer blade as it worked back and forth horizontally.

(Google Maps)
A recent screenshot of the Baikonur Cosmodrome area. (Google Maps)

“At the northern end of the rectangle is a berm which casts a shadow to the north. At the far northeastern corner lies what appears to be a trench with a well-defined corner on the upper right, with treadmarks leading out of it toward the southeast. I’m not sure what this dirt rectangle represents — are they building a pile of dirt, or a hole? — but what really gets my attention is the size of the thing.”

He posted several images of the “structure” and noted “to the best of my knowledge, this airstrip is the only one in the world built specifically for self-landing airplanes. The 777, which was developed in the ’90s, has the ability to autoland. From a hijacking perspective, this feature allows people who don’t have commercial-piloting experience to abscond with an airplane and get it safely on the ground, so long as they know what autopilot settings to input.”

Wise then noted that between March 6 and March 16, there was a stark difference. “The two scenes, taken just before and after the disappearance, looked so different that I was certain that something significant had occurred in the interim. Perhaps what was a rectangular depression in the March 6 image has now been filled in with sand (along with maybe, oh, who knows, a plane?),” he writes. 

When he contacted construction experts and satellite imagery professionals, he said they didn’t offer much encouragement. “Most likely, they told me, the work being performed was site remediation: a building was torn down, and construction debris thrown in a trench and covered up. As successive trenches are dug and filled in, a rectangular shape is formed. Simple as that,” he said.

Meanwhile, a new documentary from National Geographic that attempts to find out what happened to the plane suggests the plane’s course was deliberately heading to Antarctica. The documentary will come out next month, coinciding with the March 8 disappearance date.

In the documentary, aviation disaster expert Malcolm Brenner says the three turns that Flight MH370 in the air “strongly suggest” that the co-pilot or pilot was trying to deliberately fly the plane to Antarctica.

“This accident has caught the attention of the world in a way I have not seen in a forty-year career in aviation,” he says, per

The search for the missing plane is centered around a section of the southern Indian Ocean hundreds of miles west of Perth, Australia.