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Bizarre theories are emerging about the fate of Malaysia Airlines plane that seems to have vanished into thin air. Here is a small sample: shot down by a military jet; blown up by terrorists; hijacked by elves.
Ranging from the barely believable to the wildly absurd, popular theories about the fate of a missing Malaysian airliner circulate widely even as anguished relatives wait for news of its 239 passengers and crew.
Malaysia Airlines' Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished early on Saturday and a huge search by ships and aircraft from 10 nations has yet to find a trace of it. While they still cannot rule out a hijacking or bomb, officials seem increasingly sceptical that foul play caused its disappearance.
Such doubts have done little to halt conspiracy theories spreading through the media and Internet, especially in the countries from which most passengers hailed: China and Malaysia.
Users of China's popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo have discussed theories ranging from an attack by Uighur militants from the country's far western region of Xinjiang to stock market manipulation.
"Maybe it was hit by a meteor?" wrote a user called laxnic. "It would have been a more powerful impact than a missile and would have split the plane into tiny pieces. It would all have been over so fast."
In Malaysia's social media, much talk revolves around the Malaysia Airlines flight code, with users claiming "MH" stands for the Malay words "masih hilang" - still lost.
News that two passengers boarded the flight using passports stolen in Thailand fuelled hijacking theories in both China and Malaysia, although police have since said that they doubt a connection between the pair and the loss of the plane.
"The plane did not crash - at least we've not seen any pictures to suggest this, and no wreckage has been found. It's being held prisoner in some country for political reasons," suggested BoZ_ZiE on Sina Weibo.
Malaysia's pro-government and usually staid New Straits Times quoted a shaman who said the aircraft had been "hijacked by elves" and was suspended in mid-air.
For some, the speculation feeds an obsession or provides macabre diversion. "Terrorism? Accident? Supernatural?" asks a website called Common Sense Conspiracy, before running through its explanations for Malaysia Airlines MH370's disappearance.
Elsewhere, the website discusses the "imminent" eruption of Japan's Mount Fuji and the possibility that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose in February, was assassinated.