History of Bermuda Triangle
Bermuda Triangle is a territory in the Atlantic Ocean, where sometimes ships or airplanes mysteriously disappear. The area is formed by lines from Bermuda to Florida, and then the second line goes to Puerto Rico and third one back to Bermuda. The area is very difficult to navigate: shoaling water is a common thing here, cyclones and storms often originate at the area of the Triangle.
There are a lot of people who think that the mysterious events in this area do occur, putting forward various hypotheses to explain them - from weather conditions to alien abductions or residents of Atlantis. Skeptics, however, argue that the ships disappear in Bermuda Triangle no more often than in other areas of the oceans, and may be explained by natural causes. This opinion is shared by the US Coast Guard and the insurance company Lloyd's.
The first time “mysterious disappearances” in Bermuda Triangle were talked of by Associated Press correspondent Jones. In 1950 he named the Triange “Sea Devil.” While the author of the phrase “Bermuda Triangle” is Vincent Gaddis; in 1964 he published the article “Deadly Bermuda Triangle” in a magazine devoted to spiritualism.
In the late 60's and early 70’s of XX century a large number of articles and publications about the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle were written. In 1974, Charles Berlitz, a supporter of the existence of anomalies in the Bermuda Triangle, published a book, “The Bermuda Triangle”, where he described different mysterious events in the area, the most often one is mysterious disappearances. The book became a bestseller, and after its publication the theory about unusual nature of the Bermuda Triangle became more popular than ever before. In the future, however, it has been shown that some of the facts set forth in the book Berlitz were wrong.
In 1975, skeptic and realist, Lawrence David Kusche published his book, “The Bermuda Triangle: Mystery - Solved”, in which he argued that in the area occurred nothing supernatural or mysterious. This book is based on years of research documents and interviews with eyewitnesses who identified numerous factual errors and inaccuracies in the works of the supporters of the Bermuda Triangle existance.
Some accidents in Bermuda Triangle
Now we will concentrate on the most famous incidents in the Bermuda Triangle. Proponents of the theory mention the disappearance of about 100 large ships and planes in last century. In addition, there is information about disappearances of some vessels without technical problems, though they were abandoned by the crew, and other unusual events, such as the instantaneous disappearance in space, anomalies with time, and so on. Lawrence Kusche and several other authors have shown that many of these cases actually occurred outside of the Bermuda Triangle. Other cases were even not confirmed by information in the official sources.
The most famous case is mentioned in connection with the Bermuda Triangle, is the disappearance of the five-level torpedo bombers "Avenger". These aircrafts took off from the base of the naval forces of the USA in Fort Lauderdale on the 5th of December 1945 and did not return. Their fragments were not found.
Traditional version of the mystery tells us that squadron, consisted of 14 experienced pilots, and disappeared for mysterious reasons during a routine flight in clear weather over the calm sea. It is also reported that in the radio communications with the base pilots allegedly talked about the unexplained failure of navigation equipment and unusual visual effects – it is believed that the pilots couldn’t determine the direction, that the ocean did not look as usual, that the planes were going down in the white water. After the disappearance of Avengers some other planes were sent to find them and one of them - seaplane "Martin Mariner" - also disappeared.
According to Kusche squadron, actually, consisted of students who were carrying out training flights. Their instructor Lieutenant Taylor was only one experienced pilot, but he had recently been transferred to Fort Lauderdale and was not familiar with the area of flight.
In the recorded radio transmissions there is nothing about any mysterious phenomena. Lieutenant Taylor reported that he had lost his bearings and both his compasses refused. Trying to determine the location, he mistakenly thought that the squadron was on the Florida Keys, south Florida, so he was asked to navigate by the sun and fly north. Subsequent analysis showed that the planes in fact might have been far to the east and flied to the north, moving parallel to the shore. Bad radio conditions (interference from other radio stations) prevented the determination of the exact position of the squadron.
After a while, Taylor decided to fly to the west, but they failed to reach the coast, aircrafts ran out of fuel. Avengers’ crew was forced to try to land on the water. By this time it was night already, and the sea, according to the ships that were then in the area, was very rough.
After it became known that a Taylor’s squadron was lost, other planes were sent to find them, including two “Martin Mariner”. According to Kusche, aircraft of this type have a disadvantage that the fuel vapors penetrate the cabin and only one spark is enough for explosion to occur. The captain of the tanker “Heine Mills” said that he watched the explosion and falling debris, and then found oil slick on the sea surface.
The aircraft C-119 with 9 crew members disappeared on June 5, 1965 in the Bahamas. The exact time and place of disappearance is unknown, and its search gave nothing. Although the disappearance of the aircraft during the flight across the Atlantic can be attributed to a variety of natural causes, this case is often associated with kidnapping by aliens. This theory is explained by the fact that at that day astronaut of Gemini 4 James McDivitt saw unknown flying object “with hands” that might be only shadows, though. The astronaut himself did not know what he had seen and refused to speculate on the matter.
Theories and speculations on Bermuda Triangle
So now we will try to find out the main theories explaining the mystery of Bermuda Triangle. We include in our list of theories both “scientific” and “non-scientific” explanations.
Supporters of The Bermuda Triangle nominated dozens of different theories to explain those mysterious phenomena which, in their opinion, there occur. These theories include assumptions about the kidnapping of ships by aliens from outer space, or the inhabitants of Atlantis, moving through a hole in time, or faults in space and other paranormal causes. None of them have been confirmed. Other authors try to give a scientific explanation for this phenomenon.
Some authors argue that reports of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle are artificially exaggerated. Vessels, both ships and planes, were destroyed in other parts of the world, sometimes leaving no trace. Broken radio or sudden disaster prevents the crew from broadcasting SOS signal. Searching for debris in the sea is not easy, especially in a hurricane or when the place of accident is unknown. Taking into account heavy traffic in the Bermuda Triangle, frequent storms, hurricanes and cyclones, a large number of shoals, the huge number of accidents that happened here, and received no explanation, is not unusually large. In addition, a bad reputation of the Bermuda Triangle can “attract” the disaster, which in reality occurred far beyond. Such mistakes make additional artificial distortion in the statistics, and exaggerate the mystery. So we now try to figure out the main theories of disastrous character of Triangle.
Main speculations of Bermuda Triangle:
There are several hypotheses trying to explain the sudden destruction of ships and aircraft, one of them is the collapse of methane hydrate on the sea floor. According to this hypothesis, the water is formed in the large bubbles, which are methane-rich. These bubbles rise into the air, and methane can cause the crash, for example, due to lower air density, which leads to a decrease in lift and distort the altimeter. Also, methane in the air may cause the engine to stall.
Some experiments really confirmed the possibility of fairly rapid (within ten seconds) ship sinking, if it is caught in the border gas release if the gas is released in one bubble, whose size is greater than or equal to the length of the vessel. However, it there remains an open question on such gas explosions. In addition, methane hydrate is also in other places in the world's ocean, but there barely happen any disasters.
It has been suggested that the cause of death of some ships in Bermuda Triangle, can be caused by straying (or wandering) wave, which may reach 30 meters. There is no much information about the nature of such waves, but there are several suggestions: 1) straying wave may be caused by some unknown structures that take the energy of common waves and create one really huge wave; 2) it may be just simple wave, which is rare and that is why it had not been known to the world before; 3)local territories with changed gravity.
The secret testing programs of government
The base called the Atlantic underwater testing and evaluation center (AUTEC) is situated in the area. The official aim of the company is to test sonars, submarines, and weapons. At the same time some people believe that the underwater base has another function. They think that here the government liaise with alien civilizations and make experiments with extraterrestrial technology and weapons.
UFOs or aliens
This theory states that alien cosmic ship is deep under the sea, and it is studying human race and human technology. Another variant of this theory is the existence of “gates” in the other world. And sometimes (no one knows when exactly) gates open, and ships or airplanes get there. This theory is maybe the most speculative – it is always easy to speculate on something you cannot prove or refute.
A compass in Bermuda Triangle indicates the true geographic pole, not magnetic
Bermuda Triangle is a special place on our planet - here compass shows true (geographic) not magnetic north. Usually sailors take into account this difference. But in areas where compasses work in different way, it is easy to get lost and descend on the reef. I will say some words about this theory, because it seems to be logical, but there is an obvious mistake. Usually sailors are to understand the difference of compass readouts and if they fail to do it they may get lost. But in Florida (and in Bermuda Triangle) this mistake is impossible, as magnetic pole, geographic pole and compass will be on the same line and there will be no difference.
The weather in Caribbean has always had a lot of surprises – when cold and warm masses of air collide, causing storms or hurricanes. And the Gulf Stream should also be taken into account. Altogether this is risky for all kinds of air and water transport. Contrary to legends, many of disasters occurred in extremely adverse weather conditions. Many tragedies may be explained by hurricanes, and often by well-known hurricanes, that were highlighted in the newspapers. This explanation is, in fact, not a speculation, but is rather logical one. Although, not all mysterious events may be explained by it.
The factor of human beings
The territory of the Bermuda Triangle is a wonderful and picturesque place. It attracts both experienced and inexperienced pilots and sailors. But regarding weather conditions, prompt currents and huge amount of twin-islands throughout the region, it is very easy to lose ones way, run aground or simply find no place to refuel. So this idea is rather simple – the area seems attractive to many people, but they fail to prepare for their trip and the probability of the tragedy becomes higher. This issue is actually not a separate theory, but an important addition to other more or less scientific theories.
We suggested the most known speculations on the phenomenon of Bermuda Triangle. As we see many of them are really speculative – they try to explain the disappearances and tragedies there with sometimes ridiculous theories. But there also exist more scientific explanations, which seem to be more realistic.
If it is possible, the researcher should gather sufficient information and then most disasters receive a logical explanation. It is difficult, for example, to call history with “Rubicon” (in 1944 an empty vessel without passengers and lifeboats was found in the Triangle) mysterious, if you know that in the harbor, where the ship stood was a hurricane.
Nevertheless, with a few exceptions, only those catastrophes remain unexplained, on which it is impossible to find any information. In many cases, the most important circumstances of the disaster, and sometimes the catastrophe itself, are just fiction.
At the same time, disappearances occurred in all regions of the ocean, and even over the land. Since 1850, between the states of New England and northern Europe about 200 ships disappeared or were abandoned by crews. Although the disappearance of ships and aircraft in the Bermuda Triangle receives more coverage in the press, "triangle" attributed to the disappearance that took place in other parts of the Earth. These include the case of the “Freya”, which was left by the crew in 1902 in the Pacific Ocean and the tragedy with “Globemaster in 1951, that fell not far from Ireland. If you mark on the globe all places of disappearances that are attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, it appears that they will be placed in an area that covers the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and most of the North Atlantic. In this respect, the Bermuda Triangle is not unique.
So let us make some important conclusions on the situation with Bermuda Triangle.
Some of the missing ships passed through the Bermuda Triangle, but there is no reason to claim that they have disappeared there. "Atalanta", for example, could go down anywhere between Bermuda and England.
In many cases, the place of death of the aircraft or vessel was known very approximately, and, as it was necessary to investigate the vast areas of the ocean, the participants had to disperse their forces. E.g. the plane "Star Ariel" - it was only known that it had fallen between Bermuda and Jamaica.
Many disasters were not considered mysterious, when they occurred, but became mysterious many years later, after the authors stumbled upon these catastrophes in search of new material of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. It is often difficult (even when you really want to) to find full details about an event that happened many years ago.
Many of disasters on the water and in the air occurred late in the evening or at night, which is why visual search had to be postponed until the next morning. As a result, the ocean had time to scatter debris and hide the traces of the disaster.
Many of the authors of articles about the Bermuda Triangle do not carry out independent research, but simply retold old articles, thus perpetuating errors and fabrications these old articles contain.
In many cases, the authors of articles about the Bermuda Triangle deliberately suppressed information that could easily and simply explain disappearance.
So I must say that the issue of Bermuda Triangle is a complete speculation. It was created by people who wanted to become famous by simply writing about something mysterious that cannot be explained by scientific methods. While in fact most of cases can be explained by science or there is still not enough information to make any conclusions.
Berlitz, Charles. 1974. The Bermuda Triangle. New York: Doubleday and Co.
Gaddis, Vincent H. 1965. Invisible Horizons: True Mysteries of the Sea. Philadelphia: Chilton Books.
Kusche, Lawrence D. 1975. The Bermuda Triangle Mystery— Solved. New York: Harper and Row.
Berg, Daniel. 2000. Bermuda Shipwrecks. New York: Aqua Explorers.
Gordon, Stuart. 1993. The Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends. London: Headline Books.
Spencer, John Wallace. 1973. Limbo of the Lost. New York: Bantam Books.
Landsburg, Alan. 1978. Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle. New York: Warner Books.
Winer, Richard. 1974. The Devil's Triangle. New York: Bantam Books.
Winer, Richard. 1977. From The Devil's Triangle to The Devil's Jaw. New York: Bantam Books.
Elizabeth Nichols. 1975. The Devil's Sea. New York: Award Books.