This means the 239 people on board the Malaysia Airlines jet were essentially declared dead without any physical evidence. According to Jeff Wise, author of The Plane That Wasn’t There, this was shocking. He said: “This was unprecedented!”
Mr Wise added: “Never before had hundreds of people essentially been declared dead without a shred of evidence apart from the outcome of an undisclosed numerical analysis of undisclosed data.”
To make matters worse, the Malaysian government decided to inform some next of kin by text.
When flight MH370 disappeared without a trace en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 2014, an investigation was launched into where it could possibly have ended up.
Based on satellite data, it was narrowed down to two possible paths – one for if it flew north and one for if it flew south.
The northern pathway would mean the plane ended up somewhere in Kazakhstan and the southern pathway would mean it crashed into the Indian Ocean.
The Malaysian government announced on March 25, just a few weeks after the disappearance, that data from British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK’s Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) ruled out the north corridor.
However, they did not explain how this was calculated.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said: “Based on their new analysis Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth.
“This is a remote region far from any possible landing sites.
“It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to this new data flight MH370 ended in the Indian Ocean.”
The government then came under pressure to explain their conclusion, after grieving families protested outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.
The next day, the acting transport minister held a press conference explaining the rough outline of the analysis along with charts and graphs to illustrate it.
However, whilst it was revealed a technique called the Burst Frequency Offset was used, no one outside the investigation could make head or tail of the document featuring the charts and graphs.