Many theories on how plane could have disappeared into thin air

Admiral Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish, Director General of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, looks at a radar screen while searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

PETALING JAYA - With little or no progress in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, many theories are being put forward over how it could have just disappeared.

There are suspicions that the Beijing-bound jet, with 239 people on board, may have been hijacked or bombed after the discovery that two passengers were found to be using stolen passports.

Reuters reported that it was possible that the plane disintegrated in mid-flight.

It quoted a source who is involved in the investigations in Malaysia as saying: "The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet."

"If the plane had plunged intact from such a height, breaking up only on impact with the water, search teams would have expected to find a fairly concentrated pattern of debris," said the source, who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak publicly on the investigation.

He shared this shortly before Vietnamese authorities said a military plane had spotted at sea objects suspected to be parts of the missing airliner.

Asked about the possibility of an explosion, such as a bomb, the source said there was no evidence yet of foul play and that the aircraft could have broken up due to mechanical issues.

The authority said it was too dark to be certain if the objects were part of the missing plane, and that more aircraft would be sent to the site, in the waters off southern Vietnam, today.

"We received information that our planes found two broken objects, which seem like those of an aircraft, about 50 miles (80km) to the south-west of Tho Chu Island," said a Vietnamese official.

Malaysian officials had earlier said no wreckage had yet been found.

A more sinister theory arose after a Chinese blogger claimed that a "Muslim minority group" which had been deported from Malaysia claimed responsibility for the disappearance of the plane.

Several Uighurs were deported to China from Malaysia in 2011 and 2012 for carrying fake passports. The claim comes a week after knife-wielding assailants killed at least 29 people at a train station in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming.

A Malaysian official said the authorities were not ruling out Uighur involvement.

"This is not being ruled out. We have sent back Uighurs who had false passports before. It is too early to say whether there is a link," the official said.