Malaysian and Chinese journalists look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, during a mission on a Vietnam Air Force AN-26 aircraft, off Con Dao island March 13, 2014.Reuters
Conspiracy theorists have swooped on claims that 20 employees of a semi-conductor manufacturing firm, which develops components for hi-tech weapons systems and aircraft navigation among other things, were on board the missing Malaysian passenger jet.
On board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were employees from Freescale Semiconductor, a Texas-based technology firm.
They were based in several manufacturing sites in Kuala Lumpur and Tianjin, China; 12 of the employees were from Malaysia and eight were from China, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed.
Links between the plane's mysterious disappearance and the radar-blocking capabilities of some of the aeronautical hardware technology produced by Freescale have been pushed by citizens news site Beforeitsnews.
"It is conceivable that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane is 'cloaked', hiding with high-tech electronic warfare weaponry that exists and is used, " according to the site.Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Crash Search Map
"In fact, this type of technology is precisely the expertise of Freescale, that has 20 employees on board the missing flight, " it said.
The anonymous author on the site makes reference to the capabilities of Israel making an attack on Iran. Such an attack would include jamming the electric grid, internet, and cell phone network, using devices such as one that mimics a maintenance cell phone signal that commands the cell network to "sleep".
"The general public might not hear about how far the US has really come, because it is and should remain classified, " noted firearms expert Chris Sajnog, a former Navy Seal. "Other countries are still playing catch-up — but they're closing the gap."
Freescale Semiconductor has been developing microprocessors, sensors and other technology for the past 50 years. The technology it creates is commonly referred to as embedded processors, which according to the firm are "standalone semiconductors that perform dedicated computing functions in electronic systems".
The passengers on board were engineers and other experts working to make Freescale Semiconductor chip facilities in Tianjin and Kuala Lumpur more efficient, said Mitch Haws, vice- president, global communications and investor relations.
"These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people, " Haws said.
"It's definitely a loss for the company."
The company had been streamlining facilities in Tianjin and Kuala Lumpur that for testing and packaging microchips used in automobiles, consumer products, telecommunications infrastructure and industrial equipment.
Transportation and accommodation for the 20 staff members' families was being arranged as well as being given with grief counselling.
One of the chipmaker's long-time competitors, Texas Instruments, tweeted on Saturday:— Texas Instruments (@TXInstruments) texasinstrumsents tweet
FLIGHT MH370 FACTBOX
Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport en route to Beijing at 00:41 on Saturday 8 March (16:41 GMT Friday).
About 50 minutes later, the aircraft lost contact with air traffic control.
No distress call was made.
On board, there were 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 countries. That included 153 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.
Two Iranian male passengers, Pouria Nour Mohammad Mahread and Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, were travelling on fake passports. Neither had any apparent links to terrorist groups.
No debris from the plane has been found in the international search.
At least 10 countries, including China, the US and Singapore, were using a total of 42 ships and 39 aircraft to search for the missing plane in the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Andaman Sea.