As another Malaysian jet goes missing, you are starting to hear the whisperings of conspiracy theorists with explanations ranging from another “Bermuda triangle” to alien abduction or a plot in progress by Al Qaeda and other nefarious groups.
While some of these explanations are diverting and may even seem plausible, the most obvious one, that it simply crashed due to inclement weather, is by far the most likely. The problem with conspiracy theories is that they require silence from a large number of people, generally a physical impossibility.
Think back to the Watergate break-in. Maintaining the secrecy of that plot only took the silence of five or six people to achieve, and they had enormous incentives to do so, yet were unable to pull it off.
That’s the main reason why conspiracy theories are faulty. They go against human nature. You can add to the list events such as the Kennedy assassination, the theory that we didn’t really land on the moon, and, the big one, that 9/11 was a plot by our own government.
While all these explanations are diverting, the possibility of any one of them being true is almost nil. A large number of people are unable to keep a secret even with an institutional imperative to do so. Even the plottings of the C.I.A. and their use of torture have been exposed.