Of all the mysteries which are the most talked about, Bermuda Triangle can rightly be right on top of the list. Some believe that something mystic engulfs the Bermuda Triangle. This is one of those mysteries which can be a strong contender to be crowned as the Jewel of all the unsolved mysteries. But could it be just another manufactured mystery?
The Bermuda, Or Devil’s, Triangle is an area of ocean found off the south-eastern tip of the United States. It is a region of water indelibly connected with mysterious vessel disappearances; the popular perception is that countless boats and planes have been inexplicably lost there.
The triangle extends from Bermuda to Miami and then to the Puerto Rico, and is said to contain a supernatural secret. Some high-profile disappearances have occurred there, and the notion of its existence has been turned into a modern myth in the media. Even the term ‘Bermuda Triangle’ was coined in a fictional publication. But does the sea here really house some unknown power that pulls sea and airmen to their doom, or is this mystery based mainly on imagination?
The most famous loss in the triangle is known as the mystery of Flight 19 and happened on 5th December 1945. A squadron of five US Navy Avenger torpedo bombers set off from their base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to conduct a practice mission over the island of Bimini. The flight contained 14 men, all of them students apart from the commander, Lt. Charles Taylor. About an hour and a half after the mission began, radio operators received a signal from Taylor saying his compasses were not working, but he believed he was over the Florida Keys. He was advised to fly north which would bring him back to the mainland. In fact, he was over the Bahamas, and his attempts to head north and north-east merely took him further away from solid ground.
A terrible storm that day hampered communications and it seems Taylor rejected a suggestion to pass control of the squadron to one of the other pilots. Radio contact was entirely lost and search craft were dispatched to try and find the flight to guide them back in. Of the three planes used to rescue Flight 19, one lost communications itself because of an iced over aerial, one was just unsuccessful whilst another seemed to explode shortly after take-off. Flight 19 itself has never been found, but it is assumed that they ditched into the raging sea when their fuel ran out, with the heavy planes rapidly sinking to the ocean floor. Something similar to what might have happened to Malaysia Flight MH370?
a verdict of ‘causes or reasons unknown’ was given
The US Navy recorded that the disaster was caused by Taylor’s confusion, but an appeal by his family had this overturned, and a verdict of ‘causes or reasons unknown’ was given. However, Flight 19 is not the only high-profile official loss in the area, the USS Cyclops and Marine Sulphur Queen have also disappeared without trace. The legend of Flight 19 was cemented by its inclusion in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie.
Indeed, some theories state that visiting UFO craft enter an underwater base in the Bermuda area, and they have been the cause of the disappearances. Other fantastical ideas such as technologies from Atlantis or evil marine creatures have also been considered. Some people even suggest the triangle is the site of a gateway into another dimension. Strange oceanographic features such as huge clouds of methane gas escaping from the seabed have also been blamed for the disappearances.
In reality, the triangle does have one natural quality which may contribute to the losses. Unlike everywhere else in the world – apart from the Dragon’s Triangle near Japan – compasses point to true north rather than magnetic north.
This may be a contributing factor to the triangle’s legend, but the US Coastguard officially believes the losses are caused by a mixture of man-made and environmental mistakes. This region is used by a large amount of ocean and air traffic, much of which is navigated by inexperienced pleasure-seekers.
A strong Gulf Stream and unpredictable weather conditions not only cause vessels to run into trouble but also remove many traces of them once they have been wrecked. It is interesting also to note that the coastguard does not view the area as having a particularly high incidence of accidents.
One researcher examined many historic losses in the triangle. He came to the conclusion that rumours and elaboration had clouded the real, understandable, causes behind the events. Similarly, the international insurers, Lloyd’s of London, have records that demonstrate that this region near Bermuda is no more treacherous than any other waterway.
South China Sea had the most number of shipping accidents over the last decade.
Being such a strange and mysterious location, the Bermuda Triangle did not feature in the Top 10 most dangerous waters for shipping released by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2013. According to the list, the South China Sea had the most number of shipping accidents over the last decade.
However, the myth of the Bermuda Triangle is so strong it will live on as long as fictional writers use it as a site of mysterious happenings.
To sum it up here are the 10 most interesting facts about the Bermuda Triangle:
- In 1945, 6 US Navy bombers disappeared and so did those sent to rescue them. Before the 27 men vanished, 1 pilot reported “Everything looks strange. Even the ocean.” – Source: Live Science.
- Columbus’s ship floated on still waters through the Triangle in 1492. He documented unusual compass readings and a fireball in the sky. – Source: The Bermuda Triangle by Aaron Rosenberg/National Geographic.
- More than 1000 lives have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle over the last century. On average, 4 aircraft and 20 yachts go missing every year. – Source: Into the Bermuda Triangle by Gian Quassar.
- Pilot Bruce Gernon claims he lost 28 minutes after flying through a time-warping cloud tunnel. The plane went missing from radars, only to re-emerge in Miami Beach. – Source: The Fog by Bruce Gernon.
- The approaching lights of Irving Rivers’ plane were spotted 2 miles from land in 1978. It vanished into thin air while controllers were momentarily distracted. – Source: The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle by Damien Rollins.
- High levels of methane gas are trapped underneath the Triangle’s seabed. A ruptured gas pocket causes water density to dip and could sink vessels above. – Source: The Independent.
- The Dragon Triangle is Bermuda’s Counterpart in the Pacific Ocean. It was declared a war zone in 1950 when 700 sailors vanished in 2 years. – Source: All Eyes on U.S by Mel Igbokwe.
- Some believe the lost city of Atlantis will be found under the Bermuda Triangle. They think the city’s energy crystals interfere with radar and compass readings. – Source: Live Science.
- 306 people were lost when the Navy ship the USS Cyclops vanished in 1918. It is the single largest loss of life in US Naval history outside of combat. – Source: International Science Times.
- The US government testing base, AUTEC, is known as the naval Area 51. Located near to the Triangle, the area has been the scene of reported UFO sightings. – Source: Lemuria and Atlantis by Shirley Andrews.
Heard any other interesting or weird facts about the Bermuda Triangle? Feel free to share them below.