For the record, I think the "one of the pilots did it" theory is the (far) most likely scenario.
I also believe that the above scenario and all others are speculation and we won't find out the real situation until we find the plane. Which I believe we will eventually find. Now that the "aliens took it" theory has been disproved by the flaperon
(Unless, of course, the aliens had enough flaperons already.)
But. The Last Vegas incident caused me to think about an unlikely theory that I cannot recall has been discussed. Wanted to get your reaction if it is possible.
1. Uncontained engine malfunction takes out one engine
2. Shrapnel damages the airplane, taking out some power circuits or comms
3. Shrapnel also causes loss of pressurisation
4. For technical or human reasons, pressurisation issue is not properly dealt with, cabin/pilots loses useful consciousness
5. Pilots continue to make some efforts in reduced state of consciousness for a while, initiating or programming the various turns, attempting to re-power the comms
6. Finally, the pilots succumb, everybody is unconscious, and plane flies to where it did
Question 1: what is the timeline with respect to the pilot's "good night" response to the ATC vs. the loss of the transponder and other communications?
Question 2: if a 777 loses an engine, could it still fly the length of time and distance the satellite communications indicate it did?