Tara and Scott SCUBA along the Wall at Runway Ten, 15 m deep, San Salvador, Bahamas.
The Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle has been a mystery to mankind for many centuries. Myths and legends have been formed about the small area of ocean, which seems to swallow planes, ships, and people. The area of ocean is a section of the West Atlantic off of the southeastern coast of the United States. It stretches from the north side of Bermuda to southern Florida and east past Puerto Rico through the Bahamas and then back to Bermuda. This forms a triangle shape in the Atlantic in which all the infamous disappearances take place (Berlitz, p.1).
In the last 26 years alone, over 100 planes and ships vanished into thin air with no trace of the remains or debris from the machines. Over 1000 people have also lost their lives in the Bermuda Triangle with no trace of their bodies or any personal remains. It has been as if they all were swallowed by the triangle whole without a trace (Berlitz, p.2).
Most of the planes have vanished while still in radio contact with their tower of origin. Some of them said their instruments stopped working and their compasses were spinning out of control. They also supposedly saw yellow, hazy skies and reported that the ocean did not appear "normal". The time period a few weeks before and after Christmas is when there have been the most disappearances (Berlitz, p.2). In total there have been 19 major aircraft disappearances between 1945-1973. The ships that have disappeared mostly vanished in the Sargasso Sea. This was occurring as early as 1800 (Berlitz, p.39-40). There have even been cases of ships appearing after being reported missing with the entire luggage and cargo on board but no crew (Berlitz, p.51).
The earliest cases of victims of the "Devil's Triangle" were reported as early as 1492 in the time of Columbus (Kusche, p.6). In 1840 a ship called the Rosalie turned up with the sails still set and appeared to be in good condition. There were no leaks in the boat and all the valuables were still on board. It appeared that everything was intact except for the people that were missing. There was also a half-starved canary found on board (Kusche, p.24-27). No clues were ever found as to the whereabouts of the crew. There were no bodies found or clues as to what could have happened.
Another famous victim of the Bermuda Triangle was the Cyclops in 1918. The Cyclops was a 19,600-ton Navy Collier carrying a crew of 309 men. The ship was set to sail from Barbados to Norfolk with a cargo of manganese ore. It never arrived at its destination. There had been no SOS signal and no debris, survivors, or the ship was ever found. The navy did extensive investigations and found proof that the Germans, who the US was at war with at the time, had no records of even shooting a torpedo. The weather was optimal and other ships traveling near the same path encountered no storms. The ship just seemed to have disappeared into thin air (Kusche, p.53-64).
Probably the most popular case of missing machines and their crews was the incident in 1945 with Flight 19. Five Avenger Torpedo bombers were sent on a routine patrol, which had been done before. They took off from Ft.Lauderdale and were supposed circle around by the Bahamas and return back to base. There were a total of 14 crewmen that day. There was originally supposed to be 15, but one of the men scheduled for the flight had had a premonition the night before and did not show up for his flight duty the next day. The crew took off in excellent weather. Every aircraft was equipped with a life raft and supplies for an emergency water landing. Each individual crewmember was also fitted with a life vest. The team suddenly radioed back that they could not see land and were lost. The experienced pilots should have been able, at the very least, to follow the sun and horizon. It appeared from the messages received by the tower, however, that they could not see the sun. Seeming panicked, the tower decided to send out a rescue plane to their last known location. This plane was equipped to actually land in the roughest waters and withstand storms. It too disappeared without a trace. The radio tower tried desperately to contact either the flight of five Avenger Torpedo bombers or the rescue plane. Two hours after the planes should have been out of fuel, the radio tower could hear a faint "FT. . .FT. . .". These were the call signs of the team of planes that only they would have known. That night and the following day ships, land crews, and planes were sent out looking for the lost planes and not a trace could be found. A total of six planes and 27 men disappeared that day. The search for answers continues today (Kusche, p.97-122).
Of course there have many theories over the years as to what exactly happened. Scientists have mentioned the irregularity of the Benguela Current. Most currents flow and turn in a circular or elliptical pattern. This particular current for some reason flows without turning. This is highly irregular and is not seen anywhere else (Berlitz, p.6). Some have theorized that the ships could have been taken by Blue Holes. Blue Holes are limestone caves that are under the water in the ocean. There are very strong currents formed in these caves. These have been known to form very strong whirlpools and could possibly be strong enough to sink a ship (Berlitz, p.80).
Another theory is waterspouts, tidal waves, landslides, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Any of these natural disasters would "swallow" a ship or plane. The only mystery remains of where the debris and/or bodies would have gone. However, some scientists have argued that many people and boats have been lost at sea and not a trace was ever found of them. So, perhaps it is simply the ocean that is mysterious and not so much the Bermuda Triangle. Some people have even brought up the idea of Giant Squid or huge Jellyfish lurking under the waters of the Bermuda Triangle. Although such ideas may sound foolish, they are not out of the question considering what little information and facts we actually have about the disappearances of these many ships and planes (Winer, p202-210). One man suggests the possibility that a vacuum of steam and vapor is created at the specific locations of the Bermuda Triangle and this creates a barrier, which sound cannot get through but light can. Some how he believes that this is related to the earth's curvature and Newton's Laws to explain the strange occurrences (Snyder, p.85). Still another theory that would only relate to certain cases is that the electromagnetic field of the Bermuda Triangle is unusual. In the Bermuda Triangle compasses point to the true North Pole instead of the magnetic north pole. This also happens in the Devil's Sea near Japan. Scientists speculate that the sun or storms cause these irregularities over the ocean (Kusche, p.266).
A more relevant and believable theory is CAT or Clear Air Turbulence. A pilot reported that during a flight over The Triangle he and his crew experienced random violent turbulence on a clear and sunny day. The turbulence was so bad that they hit the ceiling of the aircraft. The pilot reported that turbulence of that magnitude could definitely shake apart a plane so that a full craft would not be found (Berlitz, p.64). One last theory of interest is the concept of "Vile Vortices". These are said to be spots on both the north and south sides of the equator, and are 72 degrees apart. There are lozenge shaped and tilted up and the East End. These areas are said to be related to poltergeists and UFO sightings. Ivan Sanderson introduced this concept in 1968. He said that the Bermuda Triangle was the first Vortice (Kusche, p261).
In conclusion, the Bermuda Triangle has always been a subject of question and fear. It has been studied to no end and questions have not been answered. Many still today search for answers to all those lost in its clutches with no answer in sight. Those lost will probably never be found, but perhaps if we keep searching, we can find out what happened to those ships and planes lost to put minds at rest.
There are many scientists and military personnel that believe the area of the Bermuda Triangle is nothing more than a coincidence. There are some that have theorized that per square foot of ocean, there is nothing extraordinary about the number of missing planes, ships, and people. They imply that this is "normal" for the ocean to behave like this and many to be lost at see and it is nothing exclusive about the Bermuda Triangle.
Those who have lost loved ones to The Devil's Triangle still have yet to find so much as a piece of jewelry or clothing from those lost. The book will never be close for them and hopefully we will continue to search for answers even if they are outside our realm of thinking and science. Who really knows what lies in the depths of the Bermuda Triangle?
Berlitz, Charles: Bermuda Triangle.1974.Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA
Kusche, Lawrence David: The Bermuda Triangle Mystery-Solved.1975.The New York Times. New York, NY
Snyder, Al: Satan's Sauna and the Devil's Triangle.1975.Snyder Institute of Research. Redondo Beach, CA
Winer, Richard: The Devil's Triangle.1974.Bantum Books Inc. New York, NY
Return to Topic Menu
We also have a GUIDE for depositing articles, images, data, etc in your research folders.
Article complete. Click HERE to return to the Pre-Course Presentation Outline and Paper Posting Menu. Or, you can return to the course syllabus
WEATHER & EARTH SCIENCE RESOURCES
OTHER ACADEMIC COURSES, STUDENT RESEARCH, OTHER STUFF
TEACHING TOOLS & OTHER STUFF
It is 12:49:45 AM on Thursday, October 27, 2016. Last Update: Wednesday, May 7, 2014