London, Dec 23: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that mysteriously disappeared with 239 people on board may have been shot down by the US military fearing a hijack and a 9/11-style attack, a French ex-airline boss has claimed.
Marc Dugain -- the former head of Proteus Airlines and an established French author - has gone public with his theory that the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft did not go down anywhere near where authorities and rescue teams have been searching for a possible wreckage.
In a six-page article published in French glossy Paris Match, Dugain said he is convinced that the Boeing 777, which had 239 people -- mostly Chinese and five Indians -- on board crashed near the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. Dugain also suggested that the plane might have been hijacked by a hacker and that it was then brought down by the US which feared a September 11, 2001, style attack.
Britain has a military base on the tiny island which has been let to the Americans. "It's an extremely powerful military base. It's surprising that the Americans have lost all trace of this aircraft. Without getting into conspiracy theories, it is a possibility that the Americans stopped this plane," he told France Inter, according to a translation by The Local.
The US has denied that the aircraft, which mysteriously vanished from all radars on March 8, ever came close to Diego Garcia on its flight between Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Beijing in China.
Dugain said the downing of the plane may have come about for a range of different reasons, including the possibility that it may have been shot out of the sky by the US military, who were fearing a September 11-style attack on the base.
The official report on MH370 said its passengers most probably died from suffocation as the cabin ran out of oxygen, leaving it to continue on auto-pilot until it ran out of fuel and plunged into the Indian Ocean.