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The Bermuda Triangle

This is allegedly a western Atlantic area between Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Florida coast, also called the 'Devil's Triangle', notorious for the many ships and planes lost in it leaving no wreckage or survivors, the loss sometimes preceded by garbled radio reports of stange fogs, electronic failures, power-loss, the sea looking odd, and so on. The myth peaked in the 1970s, despite the official insistence that unexplained losses were due to heavy traffic, sudden violent weather or the Gulf Stream, which can rapidly carry a disabled ship off course, dispersing all wreckage. Yet speculation persisted that an unknown force had destroyed the lost vessels, or removed them to another dimension via some electromagnetic anomaly or in invisible UFOs. Some claimed submarine Atlantean crystal generators were resposible; others that official denial proved cover-up, out of either ignorance or complicity.

The myth of the Bermuda Triangle (so named in 1964 by Vincent Gaddis) began on 5 December 1945. Training Flight 19 of five US Navy Grumman TBM-3 torpedo-bombers from Fort Lauderdale was lost after odd radio messages from the flight : 'We seem to be off course. We cannot see land. . . . We don't know which way is west. everything is wrong . . . . even the ocean doesn't look as it should.' Fading inter-flight messages said magnetic compasses and gyros in the planes were 'going crazy'. A thirteen-crew Martin Mariner went out and was also lost. A search party found nothing. 'They vanished as completely as they had flown to Mars,' said a Naval Board member. The myth thus begun grew with each new 'unexplained' loss. Documentaries, novels, movies, even a board game came out. It was a great story - while it lasted.

Yet Flight 19 involved an inexperienced crew, rough weather, poor radio conditions, a flight-leader uncorrected when wrongly thinking he was off-course. A storm blew up, night fell, the planes ran out of fuel and ditched in heavy seas which tore them apart. The radio messages cannot be traced beyond a 1962 magazine article. And in 1991 the remains of the flight were located on the sea-bed. Other reports appear to be similarly mythic - in the negative sense.¹

1. The Bermuda Triangle, Charles Berlitz, Granada, London, 1975.

CrashTest Says:

Never gonna catch me going on a cruise...