Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:8PM

With the mystery over the as-yet unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 deepening, myriad scenarios have so far emerged as to what might have actually happened when the jetliner vanished from radar screens.

Search and rescue teams from over two dozen countries have been scouring large swaths of sea and land in the hope of finding a trace of the supposedly doomed aircraft, but to no avail.

The fact that the airliner has vanished into thin air continues to flummox everybody, with none of the proposed theories yielding an answer to the baffling disappearance of the jet.

Nevertheless, a recent scenario suggests the missing plane might have veered off course after its last contact with the control tower, making the already perplexing cliffhanger even more convoluted.

“A missing Malaysian airliner appears to have been deliberately steered off course after someone on board shut down its communications,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

This brings a hijacking scenario within the realm of possibility. And bear in mind that shutting down an airplane’s communications systems is no mean feat as it requires expert knowledge.

The fact is lost to no one that accounts of UFO sightings as well as science-fictions and documentaries suggesting the existence of super-intelligent beings coming from outer space were the order of the day in the 80’s.

Folks who are old enough to remember movies such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) all acknowledge that “alien” stories were all the rage back then. Stargazers as well as the layman were at fever pitch in those days, gazing at the night sky in the hope of detecting a flying saucer or something.

The Bermuda Triangle enigma bamboozled everyone, and the best-seller book The Bermuda Triangle (1974) by Charles Berlitz which, later in 1979, was made into a film with the same name, raised eyebrows over the unexplained disappearances in the waters in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Ships and planes passing through that mysterious area were, according to a theory, taken by “aliens” flying in UFOs, and that’s why the aircraft vanished without a trace.

Now, fast-forward to today, there are suppositions that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might have been snatched by “aliens.” The motive? Unclear!

Those who have put forward the “alien” scenario contend that extra-terrestrial beings have so cutting-edge a technology that hijacking an aircraft plus cutting off its communication signals is a piece of cake for them.

Although this scenario seems far-fetched, we can put a more “terrestrial” spin on it to make the theory more plausible.

Let’s assume that the so-called “aliens” didn’t come from outer space, but rather they were earthly “aliens,” people like us, strangers who boarded the plane posing as passengers and hijacked the airliner at an opportune moment.

Some say the hijackers could have been the pilot(s) or crew. Well, it makes little difference. What counts is that some individual or individuals were on board with malice aforethought. Then they took control of the plane and made it steer off course, it is assumed.

The scenario suggests that the airliner could have been forced to fly low, over mountainous terrain where possible, to avoid being picked up by radars, and taken to an unknown location.

Should the theory prove to be true, the first question coming to mind would concern the motive behind the hijacking. So far, no demand has been made by the presumed hijackers, making the saga all the more complicated. On board could have been a person or persons of interest to the assumed hijackers. Or there could have been some other motive(s).

And how is it that no signal from the jetliner is being picked up on radar? There could be two possible explanations.

First, the earthly “aliens” had expert knowledge of the plane’s navigation and other technical systems, and hence, shut them down to cut off communications. Then they steered the aircraft off course toward their destination.

The second possible, yet mind-boggling theory is that the airliner could have been taken to a top-secret location heavily protected by state-of-the-art electronic systems which send out beams to create a digital shield, a protective dome which not only traps any outgoing signal, but holds back incoming ones, making the area impenetrable to any digital transmission.

If the plane has landed in such a location, then it can neither send out nor receive any signals.

And there is another point.

Note that the airliner was a Boeing 777-220ER, which is six stories high and 209 ft (64 meters) long, with a wingspan of 200 ft (61 meters).

Such a monster needs a colossal runway to land, which suggests the supposed location must be a massive structure. That would mean the location, which supposedly enjoys overarching digital protection, could be something of a gigantic military base.

If so, then the hijacking was an organized well-coordinated move, with no explicable motive as of yet.

Whatever has become of flight MH370, its disappearance is no doubt one of the most mysterious incidents in aviation history.

Where the plane has gone is anybody’s guess, and whether or not the mystery will ever be unraveled remains to be seen.

Will investigators come up with an answer, or will they be taken into uncharted waters as fresh developments unfold?

Only time will tell, or maybe not!