Did Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 become what is called a Zombie flight? The Zombie plane chilling image of 239 dead or unconscious souls being on board the missing Malaysia 777 emerged yesterday after Australia’s most difficult recovery effort in aviation history turned out without any signs of debris from Flight MH370. According to a March 21, 2014, Huffington Post report, “so far, CNN has discussed whether the plane went missing due to ‘supernatural’ causes or perhaps even a black hole. Now, the network is wondering if the flight crashed after becoming a ‘zombie plane’."
The latest Zombie plane theory presented by CNN is a scenario in which fumes or smoke would have knocked out all passengers and the crew members on the plane, and the aircraft would have continued to fly on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed.
On Thursday, correspondent Suzanne Malveaux talked about the “chilling new theory" for the plane's disappearance and commented that “it sounds very ominous here, but this is a theory that could explain why and how this plane went down.” Malveaux said that this was the case in the crash of a charter plane carrying golfer Payne Stewart in 1999.
The 1999 Zombie plane incident occurred after a Learjet 35 lost pressurization, emergency backup systems failed, and the plane remained on autopilot. The loss of pressurization above 30,000 feet would have caused Stewart and the four other occupants in the aircraft to lose consciousness from oxygen deficiency in one to two minutes.
According to a 1999 Washington Post report, during some of the eerie, almost four-hour journey from Orlando to a swampy grassland in South Dakota, the Learjet was shadowed by Air Force and Air National Guard jet fighters, whose pilots reported that the aircraft's windows were frosted over, suggesting that it had lost pressurization. The Air Force pilots also reported that the Learjet meandered from as low as 22,000 feet to as high as 51,000 feet.
Reportedly, since the Learjet Zombie plane remained in a northwest direction and was heading into a sparsely populated area before plunging nose first into a field, “Pentagon officials said they never considered shooting down the Learjet.”
The Zombie plane theory in regard to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has sparked controversy among aviation experts with some dismissing it as an absurd theory. Others say that if the debris spotted by satellites 2500 km southwest of Perth in the southern Indian Ocean turns out to be from flight MH370, it would support the theory that the missing Malaysia 777 had suffered catastrophic decompression which had not given the 12 pilots and crew and the 227 passengers time to don oxygen masks.
Supporters of the Flight MH370 Zombie theory argue that the pilots may have tried to turn the aircraft before they were knocked out, leaving it to continue for seven hours before the fuel ran out and the jet crashed into the ocean. As reported by the Daily Telegraph, one senior Australian aviation expert stated that “hypoxia is the simple explanation. When the brain loses oxygen, you lose the ability to think and move properly. It is called the ‘zombie syndrome’, a long, silent flight of the dead.”