The Bermuda Triangle (a.k.a. the Devil’s Triangle) is a triangular area inthe Atlantic Ocean bounded roughly at its points by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Legend has it that many people, ships and planes have mysteriously disappeared in this area. The size of the triangle varies from 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square km) to three times that size, depending on the imagination of the author (some include the Azores, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies in the “triangle”). Some trace the mystery back to the time of Columbus. How many have mysteriously vanished depends on who is doing the locating and the counting. Even so, estimates range from about 200 to no more than 1,000 incidents in the past 500 years. Howard Rosenberg claims that in 1973 the U.S. Coast Guard answered more than 8,000 distress calls in the area and that more than 50 ships and 20 planes have gone down in the Bermuda Triangle within the last century.
Some Mysterious Events
In 1492, Christopher Columbus made several interesting recordings in his log during his journey through the Devil’s Triangle. He told of strange magnetic deviations in his navigation instruments. Strange lights were seen on the distant horizon and in the sky. He even recorded in his log of a “great flame of fire” that crashed into the ocean.
Another mysterious event occurred in 1872. The Mary Celeste had departed on November 7, 1872 for Genoa. On December 4, 1872, the crew of the Dei Gratia spotted the vessel and noted the ship sailed erratically. When they turned and approached the ship they were astonished to find it completely empty. The lifeboat was missing even though the ship appeared to be in perfect condition.
The disappearance of Flight 19 ranks at the very top of Bermuda Triangle lore. On December 5, 1945, five Navy Avengers vanished while on a routine training mission over the Atlantic. Patrol leader Lt. Charles Taylor (an experienced pilot who was familiar with the area) had radioed Florida with the bizarre message, “Control tower, this is an emergency. We seem to be off course. We seem to be lost. We can’t make out where we are.” . When told to head due west they replied “Everything looks wrong, even the ocean looks strange“. A Navy search was initiated (including a Martin Mariner that blew up 23 minutes into its flight) that lasted for weeks. No trace was ever found of the aircraft or crew.
Many theories have been given to explain the extraordinary mystery of the missing ships and planes. Evil extraterrestrials, residue crystals from Atlantis, evil humans with anti-gravity devices or other weird technologies, and vile vortexes from the fourth dimension are favorites among fantasy and sci-fi writers. Strange magnetic fields and oceanic flatulence (methane gas from the bottom of the ocean) are favorites among the technically-minded. Weather (thunderstorms, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, high waves, currents, etc.) bad luck, pirates, explosive cargoes, incompetent navigators, and other natural and human causes are favorites among skeptical investigators.
There are some skeptics who argue that the facts do not support the legend, that there is no mystery to be solved, and nothing that needs explaining. The number of wrecks in this area is not extraordinary, given its size, location and the amount of traffic it receives. Many of the ships and planes that have been identified as having disappeared mysteriously in the Bermuda Triangle were not in the Bermuda Triangle at all. Investigations to date have not produced scientific evidence of any unusual phenomena involved in the disappearances.
So, what do you think? Can the strange disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle be explained by weather, or human causes, or any of the wilder theories? Or is this just a hype, and that as the skeptics suggest, the happenings in the Bermuda Triangle aren’t special at all?
Shouldn’t we instead be interested in how the Bermuda Triangle became a mystery?
Please share your thoughts