A still from MH370: The Plane That Disappeared courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s latest true-crime docuseries MH370: The Plane That Disappeared investigates what director Louise Malkinson calls “the greatest aviation mystery of all time” — the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Out today on the streaming service, the three-part series delves into the baffling mystery of the missing plane — and the infuriating lack of answers about what happened to it.

On March 8, 2014, the Boeing 777 jet carrying 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers vanished from radar screens shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. It was bound for Beijing, China, but never reached its intended destination.

Nine years later, the whereabouts of MH370 and its passengers is still unknown.

“We know where people are because of their phones, we know where people are because of satellites and radar. This is a huge jetliner. The idea that this could just vanish — it’s almost incomprehensible,” Malkinson told MovieMaker ahead of the docuseries’ premiere on Wednesday.

“To be this far down the line and still have no plane and still know so little, and for the people that lost people on that flight o have no answers and to not be able to have any closure, it’s just unimaginable trauma.”

Below, Malkinson addresses some of the unanswered questions we had from the docuseries. To be clear, Malkinson doesn’t know what happened to the plane, because as the docuseries explains, that’s still a mystery — but she can provide insight into why these questions have gone unanswered for so long.

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Why did the passengers’ cell phones continue to ring?

“It was fantastic for us to be able to speak to Jiang Hui, who sadly lost his mother on the flight, and to get those intimate details of what was happening inside those hotels and things at that time,” Malkinson said.

“One of the things that they would constantly say is that they did keep trying the phones — so they would call the phones and they were getting ringtones. One of the questions always was: Would the phone ring had the plane blown up or was at the bottom of the sea? Would the phone still ring? And I think that’s one of those questions that people constantly ask. as they say they pushed, they pushed to try and get more answers as to why the phones were tracked or to ask about that. But as [the docuseries] says, they were just given the answer that they didn’t have the technology to trace them in that way.”

What about the Tomnod photos that showed a potential debris field in the South China Sea?

“Tomnod was a really interesting element to the search for MH370. It was a crowdsourcing platform, which meant that anybody from their home office or work computer could log on and be part of the search for MH370. But they’re just ordinary people all over the world who are given random sections of the search area and told to scan the slates and look for anything that they thought might be debris or signs of life or anything like that,” Malkinson said.

“As you see with Cyndi [Hendry], she felt that she had found various pieces of debris. And she became completely consumed by it. Very, very early on, I think a lot of people in that community were like, ‘Well, how do we really know what we’re looking at?’ But then, as Cyndi says in the program, she started pulling up the schematics of the airplanes and trying to work out to what scale something was on these map areas. But there were so many people doing it at the time, and as Cyndi says, she was tagging a lot of this potential debris with the platform but then not getting anything back. So it was very frustrating for her. There are so many people that got involved that genuinely just wanted to help, and Cyndi had seen these images of these poor families on the screens and was just wanting to try and help find the plane. But it’s quite an enormous task.”

A press conference pictured in MH370: The Plane That Disappeared courtesy of Netflix

What about the pilots who said they saw potential debris in the South China Sea?

“It’s interesting, because we also have in the series Fuad Sharuji, who was the former crisis director [at Malaysia Airlines], and Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, who was the head of the Civil Aviation [Authority] at the time, and the task that they had was enormous. Fuad would say that they had — from the moment that plane went missing, because it was all across the internet — they were getting reports that it landed in the jungles of Java, or that it had been sighted over Cambodia,” Malkinson said. “And at that time, they had to check absolutely everything out because they just didn’t know. But it just went on and on and on… more theories came out, and more people were suggesting various things. And it must have been extremely difficult at that time.”

Is it possible that some people do know what happened, but are purposefully keeping it secret?

“Some of the next of kin that we have spoken to do believe that there are people or that there’s information out there that they don’t have. And I think that’s really sad. I hope more than anything for this series that it thrusts the MH370 story back into the public domain and that people do continue to talk about it,” Malkinson said.

Do you think there is still hope of finding the plane and its passengers?

“I do think it’s possible for the plane to be found. I think that the task at hand, in terms of the search area that they had [in the Indian Ocean], is extraordinary. I mean, we’re talking about the most remote place on the planet in the most horrendous conditions, and a seabed that’s like the Grand Canyon — it’s not flat,” Malkinson says. “But the next of kin that we speak to are desperate for them to search again. And I know that people that were involved in the first searches, like Peter Foley who we have in the series — they’re desperate for the search to be resumed as well. And I think they believe that the playing can be found.”

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared is currently streaming on Netflix.

Main Image: A still from MH370: The Plane That Disappeared courtesy of Netflix.