Relatives of passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane wait on a bus after picking up their Malaysian visas at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 11, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON)
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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.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.In Malaysia's social media, much talk revolves around the 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 fueled 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.In 1988, a U.S. warship mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner, killing all 290 passengers and crew.In Malaysia, which had 38 nationals on the flight, some have been offended by loose talk about MH370's fate.
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