Me and the Bermuda Triangle

No doubt you have wondered about the Bermuda Triangle. It is the greatest modern mystery of our supposedly well understood world: a region of the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, where disappearances of ships and planes not only continue but continue to defy explanation.

Why do ships and planes seem to go missing in the region? Some authors suggested it may be due to a strange magnetic anomaly that affects compass readings (in fact they claim Columbus noted this when he sailed through the area in 1492). Others theorize that methane eruptions from the ocean floor may suddenly be turning the sea into a froth that can’t support a ship’s weight so it sinks (though there is no evidence of this type of thing happening in the Triangle for the past 15,000 years). Several books have gone as far as conjecturing that the disappearances are due to an intelligent, technologically advanced race living in space or under the sea.

Chapter 1, contains information about the area of the Bermuda Triangle, chapter 2   contains natural and supernatural explanations .In chapter 3 the main subject is Kusch’s Theory, and also statement about the Bermuda Triangle. In chapter 4  we can find myths & facts about the Bermuda and in chapter 5  information about the most famous incident that happened in The Bermuda.

CHAPTER 1

The BERMUDA TRIANGLE

1.1. What is The BERMUDA TRIANGLE?

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels are alleged to have mysteriously disappeared in a manner that cannot be explained by human. A substantial body of documentation reveals, however, that a significant portion of the mysterious incidents have been inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, and numerous official agencies have stated that the number and nature of disappearances in the region is similar to that in any other area of ocean. The area is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft regularly go back and forth between Florida and the islands. It is also a heavily flown route for commercial and private aircraft heading towards Florida, the Caribbean, and South America from points north.

1.2. Historical Mysteries in the Bermuda Triangle

As early as 1492, Christopher Columbus reported that while he sailed through the area, his compass went haywire and he spotted a ball of fire in the sky. (This could be explained away as a meteor and the trouble with his compass as a discrepancy between true north and magnetic north that exists in the triangle.) Another famous encounter is the discovery of the abandoned ship Mary Celeste in 1892. There was no sign of the captain, his family, and the eight crew members or what happened to them. Save for one lifeboat, all the supplies had been left on the ship. The most famous of all strange occurrences in the triangle is the disappearance of the five navy avenger bombers of Flight 19. The crewmen were inexperienced trainees except for the patrol leader Lt. Charles Taylor, whose compass malfunctioned during the flight. He tried to navigate using landmarks below, but a brewing storm caused poor visibility, and he unknowingly led them farther into sea. Apparently, the five planes ran out of gas and plunged into the sea, but to this day, the wreckage has never been found.

CHAPTER 2

Explanations

Popular culture has attributed these disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings. Bermuda Triangle writers have used a number of supernatural concepts to explain the events.             One explanation pins the blame on the mythical lost city of Atlantis and the advanced technologies it left behind. Connected to this Atlantis story is the submerged rock formation known as the Biminis Road located near the Coast of Biminis Island in the Bahamas. This is supposed to be in the Triangle area by some definitions.

So how is the mysterious disappearances connected with this supernatural story of Atlantis?

The legend says that the city of Atlantis heavily depended on some special energy crystals which were extremely powerful.  Those crystals radiated huge amounts of energy which caused the navigational instruments of ships and airplanes to malfunction or even destroy them completely. There are other supernatural explanations as well. Charles Berlet, author of the best seller The Bermuda Triangle, has kept in line with this extraordinary explanation, and attributed the losses in the Triangle to anomalous or unexplained forces.

Here is one incidence

S.V. Spray was a derelict fishing boat refitted as an ocean cruiser by a person named Joshua Slocum. He sailed on the ship to complete the first ever single-handed circumnavigation of the world between 1895 and 1898. In 1909, Slocum set sail from Vineyard Haven bound for Venezuela. Neither he nor Spray was ever seen again.

Deliberate acts of destruction

Deliberate acts of destruction can fall into two categories: acts of war, and acts of piracy. Piracy—the illegal capture of a craft on the high seas—continues to this day. While piracy for cargo theft is more common in the western Pacific and Indian oceans, drug smugglers do steal pleasure boats for smuggling operations, and may have been involved in crew and yacht disappearances in the Caribbean

Human error

One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error. Whether deliberate or accidental, humans have been known to make mistakes resulting in catastrophe, and losses within the Bermuda Triangle are no exception.

Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and then flows through the Straits of Florida into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and, like a river, it can and does carry floating objects. It has a surface velocity of up to about 2.5 meters per second (5.6 mph). A small plane making a water landing or a boat having engine trouble can be carried away from its reported position by the current.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are powerful storms, which form in tropical waters and have historically cost thousands of lives lost and caused billions of dollars in damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla’s Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.

Methane hydrates

An explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of vast fields of methane hydrates (a form of natural gas) on the continental shelves. Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water; any wreckage consequently rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by the Gulf Stream.

CHAPTER 3

Kusch’s Theory

3.1. Larry Kusch, a librarian at Arizona State University

He found that many of the strange accidents were not so strange after all. Often a Triangle writer had noted a ship or plane had disappeared in “calms seas” when the record showed a raging storm had been in progress. Others said ships had “mysteriously vanished” when their remains had actually been found and the cause of their sinking explained. In one case a ship listed missing in the Triangle actually had disappeared in the Pacific Ocean some 3,000 miles away! The author had confused the name of the Pacific port the ship had left with a city of the same name on the Atlantic coast. Even though the Bermuda Triangle isn’t a true mystery, this region of the sea certainly has had its share of marine tragedy. This region is one of the heaviest traveled areas of ocean in the world. Both small boats and commercial ships ply its waters along with airliners, military aircraft and private planes as they come to and from both the islands and more distant ports in Europe, South America and Africa. The weather in this region can make traveling hazardous also. The summer brings hurricanes while the warm waters of the Gulf Stream promote sudden storms. With this much activity in a relatively small region it isn’t surprising that a large number of accidents occur

3.2 Other theories

Gas    …Oh, gas . . . and bad gas at that! That theory must rate as one of the most impromptu ideas conceived. Since   “news” implies anything new or odd, it is not surprising the idea got around. It’s unfortunate that some people equate that with credibility. The theory gained circulation probably because it was something new, and because both the public and Dr. Crenel had a complete ignorance where most planes and ships disappeared in the Triangle. Such a rare occurrence cannot account for the hundreds of losses over the last centuries, nor explain any aircraft disappearances. It also cannot explain those that vanished over the Bahamas, where the water depths are only 50 feet or so deep, not 1,000 feet. During his dissertation, Crenel admitted that he discovered large beds of methane on the coast line “near the Bermuda Triangle” which is itself enough rebuttal. Near may matter in horse shoes and hand grenades, but not for ships and planes.   This cold gas is all hot air.

CHAPTER 4

Myths & Facts

Myth 1

In 1492, shortly before making land in the West Indies, Christopher Columbus recorded in his ship’s log that he and his crew had observed a large ball of fire fall into the sea and that the ship’s compass was behaving erratically.

Fact 1

That happened shortly after leaving the Canary Islands. The erratic compasses readings were recorded thrice while in the Sargasso Sea and Triangle

Myth 2

The majority of disappearances can be attributed to the area’s unique environmental features. First, the “Devil’s Triangle” is one of the two places on earth that a magnetic compass does point towards true north. Normally it points toward magnetic north. The difference between the two is known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 20 degrees as one circumnavigates the earth. If this compass variation or error is not compensated for, a navigator could find himself far off course and in deep trouble.

Fact 2

The Agonic Line— the area of no difference in calculation— moves over time as the axis of the magnetic field slowly changes in response to the Earth’s rotation. It is now approaching the middle of the Gulf of Mexico— as far as the Coast Guard is concerned far outside of the Triangle. Disappearances continue to occur in the same areas within the Triangle. The Coast Guard statement above is 30 years obsolete, but they have not updated it. To do so would prove most of their statement to have been in error.

CHAPTER 5

Flight 19

On the 5th December 1945 at 14.10hrs, Flight 19 took off from NAS Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a training mission. The leader, Lt. Charles Taylor was a qualified flight instructor, and the flight was comprised of 5 TBM Avenger aircraft with a total of 14 members.

There is a possible explanation for the disappearance of Flight 19 as follows:

1. Lt. Taylor thought he was over the Florida Keys when in fact he was over the Bahamas. He flew north into what he thought was the Gulf of Mexico when really he was flying out into the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida. When he turned east towards what he thought was the Florida mainland he was actually heading further out into the Atlantic where they ran out of fuel and ditched in rough seas out beyond the continental shelf where they were never found.

2. Lt Taylor had been asked to switch to an emergency radio channel but he refused because one of the aircrafts radios had a faulty receiver and he was afraid if he changed frequencies then he would lose contact with the other aircraft in his flight. If he had selected the emergency channel then radio stations along the coast could have made a fix on his position.

3. Several of the crew members of Flight 19 informed Lt. Taylor that after they were flying north they should head in a westerly direction and not east which is where Lt. Taylor led them. Had they turned west then they would have headed back to Florida but due to the crews military discipline they followed their leader.

4. The Martin Mariner search aircraft exploded 23 minutes after take-off and this was witnessed by several people. The Martin Mariner was notorious for having fuel leaks and was nicknamed the Flying Gas Tank. An oil-slick and debris were found and the explosion may have been caused by one of the crew lighting a cigarette unaware of the gas fumes in the cabin.

Or are there mysterious forces out in the Bermuda Triangle that can make compasses malfunction and cause the disappearance of people, boats, and aircraft? After all, Flight 19 is just one mystery out of hundreds that have occurred in the DEVIL’S TRIANGLE……You decide.

Missing Avengers become the Triangle’s “Lost Squadron”

So how did this tragedy turn into a Bermuda Triangle mystery? The Navy’s original investigation concluded the accident had been caused by Taylor’s navigational confusion. According to those that knew him he was a good pilot, but often navigated “flying by the seat of his pants” and had gotten lost in the past. Taylor’s mother refused to accept that and finally got the Navy to change the report to read that the disaster was for “causes or reasons unknown.” This may have spared the woman’s feelings, but blurred the actual facts. The saga of Flight 19 is probably the most repeated story about the Bermuda Triangle. Vincent Gaddis put the tale into the same Argosy magazine article where he coined the term “Bermuda Triangle” in 1964 and the two have been connected ever since. The planes and their pilots even found their way into the science fiction film classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Where is Flight 19 now? Well, in 1991 five Avengers were found in 750 feet of water off the coast of Florida by the salvage ship Deep Sea. Examination of the plane’s ID numbers, however, showed that they were not from Flight 19 (as many as 139 Avengers were thought to have gone into the water off the coast of Florida during the war). It seems the final resting place of the lost squadron and their crews is still a real Bermuda Triangle mystery.

CONCLUSION

Do the Bermuda Triangle’s special powers exist? Are there really aliens and black holes within the area? No one can answer this, but the next of kin of those who perished and disappeared in the area will tell you that it exists, but scientists and investigators will tell you it does not. True enough, many aircrafts and ships do disappear in the Bermuda Triangle, but does that mean anything? Does that mean that there are mysterious forces within the area?

It is still mystery. Scientists also cannot come to conclusion that why the ships and airplanes disappeared only on that particular area? Personally I believe it’s because of methane hydrates presence in water. Still no one get a proper conclusion regarding this.

By Monica Stoicescu

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