Unsolved aviation mysteries: 9M-MRO, the Boeing 777 that disappeared in 2014 while operating as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (Image: Laurent ERRERA; 9M-MRO, the Boeing 777 that disappeared in 2014 while operating as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370)

It’s one of the most bizarre aircraft disappearances in history, a modern aviation mystery that’s confounded crash investigators for almost half a decade. But earlier this week it was reported that the four year hunt for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – a Boeing 777 which disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014 – is coming to an end – as soon as “one last spot of interest” has been searched.

MH370 was a scheduled flight en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished with 239 souls on board. Despite a massive international search effort across vast areas of Indian Ocean seafloor, scientists have been unable to locate the missing airliner. Several large pieces of debris confirmed as having come from the 777 have washed up on shores east of Madagascar. But more than four years after the plane’s disappearance, its main body has never been found.

MH370's known flight path before disappearing from radar in 2014. (Image: AHeneen; MH370’s known flight path before disappearing from radar in 2014)

Theories range from the plausible to the wildly imaginative, and it’s little surprise that the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has caught the attention of conspiracy theorists across the globe. In the meantime, though, families of the 239 missing passengers and crew have not given up hope that the remains of the aircraft will be found.

Yesterday The Guardian reported that Ocean Infinity, the private company most recently searching for the missing 777, had sent its Seabed Constructor mapping ship to an area of seabed flagged up by a Chinese patrol vessel in 2014.

Ocean Shield, an Australian vessel launches a submersible in 2014 in the search for the missing Malaysian 777. (Image: US Navy; an Australian vessel launches a submersible in 2014 in the search for the missing Malaysian 777)

According to the newspaper: “The Guardian has learned that the seafront exploration company’s Seabed Constructor vessel will sail to the spot in the southern Indian Ocean where a Chinese patrol ship detected an ultrasonic pulse – which could have been consistent with that from a black box – in 2014.”

The Guardian added: “A spokesperson for Ocean Infinity confirmed the company was aware of the reports of the possible black box signal four years ago, and it was heading to the area to check it out for themselves “before we head to port and bring this search to a close”.”