Russian state media floats bizarre “China did it” conspiracy theory about Flight 370

It’s a bizarre theory.  Twenty Chinese nationals working on a new super-secret stealth technology board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and the plane is never seen again.  Ermagod, did Chinese nationals hijack Flight 370?!

Now, sure, you’d expect such a theory from a conspiracy nut (we reported on some of the more popular theories the other day), you wouldn’t expect it to come from official Russian state media.

But there it was on The Voice Russia, a little over a week ago.

“Malaysian Airlines flight 370 was deliberately targeted for hijacking, according to Captain Field McConnell, a retired Delta Airlines pilot and a retired United States Air Force F4 and F16 fighter pilot,” The Voice of Russia breathlessly reported. “Capt. McConnell cites industrial espionage for a cutting edge military technology as the reason behind the airliner’s disappearance. ‘There were 20 Chinese software engineers in the aircraft, riding as passengers…”

Using seemingly-credible foreign sources to promote the preferred propaganda of the day, while Russian media simply “reports” what the foreigners are alleging, was a Soviet specialty back in the day.

“The technology they were working on was a way to make stealthy a non-stealth aircraft,” McConnell added. “In other words, they could take an aircraft that does not have a stealth capability [and make it stealth].”

Yes, like magic.

voice-of-russia-flight-370-conspiracy

The thing you have to remember about “state media” anywhere is that no story runs without a reason.  There is a political reason for every story: It either has to show Russia in a good light, or Russia’s adversaries in a bad one.  And it seems Russia has decided that China is now its adversary.

Interestingly, the story appeared on March 17, 2014.  Two days before, on March 15, the United Nations Security Council voted on a draft resolution about Crimea that Russia vetoed, and on which China abstained.  China’s abstention was considered a serious blow against Russia.

Two days later, the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin is suggesting that Chinese nationals basically hijacked Flight 370 on behalf of, not “terrorists,” but a “rogue state.”

You do the math.

The Voice of Russia was formerly Radio Moscow, the infamous Soviet propaganda organ.  This past December, Russian President Vladimir Putin folded Voice of Russia and print publication RIA Novosti into one entity, Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today).

Kremlin propaganda chief Dmitri Kisilev (aka Dmitry Kiselyov).

Kremlin propaganda chief Dmitri Kisilev (aka Dmitry Kiselyov).

Rossiya Segodnya is now run by the head of Kremlin propaganda, Dmitry Kiselyov, who recently spoke about Russia’s ability to turn the United States into “radioactive ash.”  Last year, Kiselyov also made headlines when he suggested that the hearts of gay car accident victims be burned in order to prevent gays from becoming organ donors.

The Malaysia Air “China did it!” conspiracy theory is particularly galling since two-thirds of the 227 passengers on the plane are (were) Chinese.  China has been increasingly incensed over Malaysia’s handling of the search for Flight 370.  So for the Russian government to, in essence, blame China for the likely deaths of 150 of its own citizens, is pretty cheeky.  And it suggests that tempers might be running hot of late in the Kremlin.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Unknown Soldier

    Dear Mr. Aravosis,

    Just one question….

    When did you get recruited to be a patsy of misinformation yourself.?

    Unknown Soldier

  • ApocalypseNightshade

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  • nick O’Brien

    Not to take a side but to say it is above china to kill 150 of its citizens for the gains or safety of the state is quite humerous.maybe u should take a look at how many millions of they’re own citizens they have slaughtered in the past 100 years.ull be astounded. Next it wouldn’t be the first or only country to take out a few citizens to safekeep secrets.no country is above that.ours included.and im not even talking conspiracy matters but factual events that governments tend to keep quiet for 50+ years because they think it be for the good of the people.what happened to flight 370 may never be known but It also wouldn’t be the only plane to dissapear without a trace.one more thing, truth is stranger than fiction.that is a fact. So I think that any and every idea until the plane is found should at least be investigated for the victims and their families sake.who knows, maybe it was abducted by aliens or drawn into a time warp.maybe it just crashed into the ocean or maybe they are all safe and sound somewhere.i think anything that eases the pain of the families or gives them hope they should be alowed to believe.I do however think there is quite a few sketchy details surrounding the matter, but until we find flight 370 , nobody knows exactly what happened.so I think it is our duty to be open minded and look into every aspect ourselves and not just misleading facts and propaganda that is fed to us by the media and corrupt governments.even if what we are told seems logical or easy to swallow it all should be deeply investigated and every detail checked for validation. Its not impossible for the flight to have gone missing to further the ends of anyone party.Good luck to the families of the passengers.and being that this isn’t over yet I hope the seemingly impossible happens and they are found to be ok.

  • Dan1959

    As I comment above, was it semiconductor research for stealth projects? I thought it was some kind of a semiconductor somapny.

  • Dan1959

    I understood that it was people from a semiconductor company. Does this company support stealth projects?

  • michael

    Lmao haha thats crazy. .. I think aliens aubducted them.

  • Rene

    what are talking about? What an unprofessional journalism.
    You used in your article such propaganda techniques as
    unstated assumptions, black-and-white thinking, confusion techniques, argument from fallacy etc. And yet you dare to blame russian media, you obviously aren’t better, are you.

    And also russian news agency didn’t make this conclusion, it is you distorted it.
    I feel sorry for english readers which you are feeding with your sklent writing due to your intentional false translation of the russian language.

  • God Knows Where They All Are

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  • chad

    Righto – now up to speed

  • FOXTROT ZULU

    All those stealth experts on board and all they had to do was turn off the transponder..

  • Canberra_Alex

    So you are not saying, did Captain Field McConnell say it, or did he not?
    That would be the news worth reporting, not the blubbering and speculating about Russian “State media” as you put it. You are “state media” too, of different state though.

  • AarOnTheBox

    Yeah because a nuke can take out a plane without being noticed. That’s just brilliant.
    And the fact Putin and his cronies are laughing at western sanctions? Have you not red the news? They are already crying afoul and whining about Obama’s sanctions that the GOP said would do NOTHING. Less than two weeks later, Russians are very upset. And all Obama did was sanction one bank (The one we know Putin and his friends use to launder money) and individuals and look at how they are freaking out.
    Obama did what he needed to and they are feeling it as is their economy which has lost 15% of its value. Just wait until the US and EU hit other banks and entire industries, particularly the energy industry should Putin try to push any further. Russia’s GDP will slip back below 2 trillion in FY2014 and fall to be the 11 or 12 economy in the world. On top of that, it gets 60% of its revenue from its energy. They sell 75% of that to Western and Eastern Europe. A European boycott of their energy in replace for oil from Canada (strong ties to UK and France) which has more oil reserves than any other nation other than Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and more than twice what Russia has, as well as the US who are now ranked 3rd in oil production annually. It might cost a little, but it wouldn’t take long. The Russian economy if dealt a death blow to their oil revenues (which the Oligarchs that Putin has to answer to won’t be pleased with) and other industries, and the Russian people start to feel it, Putin’s popularity will sink like a stone.
    Catch up man.

  • Chad

    What about this: Russia took out the plan to take media attention from the Crimea Crisis. What is actually happening in Ukraine is this: the pro-west leaders in Ukraine are actually pro-Russian. They carried out the coup a month ago to give Putin justification for taking Crimea and stirring up the region. The “pro-west” leaders are Ukraine are seeking and obtaining western financial aid which they will then simple give to Russia via the increased gas prices. No wonder Putin and his cronies are laughing at western sanctions. As for the actual hi-jacking of the plane, your theory is pretty good. I suspect there were some Russian nuclear submarines in the area where the plane vanished.

  • Wicrick

    I have said this since day one as these 20 contracted employees were working for a company out of Austin, TX and they were working on cloaking technology for the US Military….of course they are alive. Planes don’t just disappear unless they were testing the cloaking technology.

  • Alex Constantine

    “The thing you have to remember about ‘state media’ anywhere is that no story runs without a reason. There is a political reason for every story: It either has to show Russia in a good light, or Russia’s adversaries in a bad one. And it seems Russia has decided that China is now its adversary.” Quite the bizarre conspiracy theory you have there. In fact, you are bizarre in general. You have no idea what happened to the plane but viciously attack anyone with information to offer. The Russians have technical evidence that may not solve the mystery, but at least it’s a lead to check out. The search crews have pursued every piece of litter that turns up in satellite images. Why shouldn’t a clearly-defined motive related to actual technological development and geopolitical stresses be checked out as well? Why are you laughing at the probable deaths of hundreds of innocent passengers? Do you find that amusing?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, well… CNN and HLN managed to be even more ridiculous and irresponsible.

  • Badgerite

    Even Fox ‘News’ didn’t go there.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    OK, here’s my own nutcase theory. The Russian government has been cultivating hackers as being part of their national defense – wars will no longer be limited to the battlefield and many of the world’s expert hackers are Russian.

    Somehow the Russians hackers managed to plant code in the the airplane’s systems or were able to gain remote access to those systems, took 100% control and the pilots were powerless to do anything other than to sit back and watch. I don’t know or speculate where the flight ended-up.

    Russia conveyed this information to officials in NATO, to demonstrate what will come if there is any action against them because of Crimea.

  • Indigo

    I’m not convinced that tempers are running hot in the Kremlin so much as that stupidity is running rampant in the Kremlin. Angry leaders, greedy leaders, ignorant leaders. Where those are the three choices, Washington is awash with greed but apparently the Kremlin is awash with ignorance. Anger plays a part, naturally, but I think it’s just plain stupidity . . . okay, let’s be polite and call it ignorance.

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