All you need to know about the Bermuda Triangle

Bermuda Triangle which cuts across Bermuda, Florida, Puerto Rico
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The Bermuda Triangle

According to Wikipedia, the Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle or Hurricane Alley, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Generally, Bermuda Triangle is an area bounded by points in Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico where ships and planes are said to mysteriously vanish into the thin air or deep water.

The area referred to as the Bermuda Triangle, or Devil’s Triangle covers about 500,000 square miles of ocean off the southeastern tip of Florida.

View of Atlantic Ocean towards Florida as hurricane Nears Atlantic Coast

History of the Bermuda Triangle

The term "Bermuda Triangle" was coined in 1964 by writer Vincent Gaddis in the men's pulp magazine Argosy. Though Gaddis first came up with the phrase, Charles Berlitz propelled it into international popularity a decade later.

He believed not only that Atlantis was real, but also that it was connected to the triangle in some way, a theory he proposed in his bestselling 1974 book "The Bermuda Triangle."

According to History.com, When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported that a great flame of fire (probably a meteor) crashed into the sea one night and that a strange light appeared in the distance a few weeks later.

Joshua Slocum after gaining widespread fame as the first person to sail solo around the globe disappeared on a 1909 voyage from Martha's Vineyard to South America. Though it's unclear exactly what happened, many sources later attributed his death to the Bermuda Triangle.

Christopher Columbus ship

Some scholars claim that William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” was based on a real-life Bermuda shipwreck.

Nonetheless, reports of unexplained disappearances did not really capture the public’s attention until the 20th century when an infamous tragedy occurred in March 1918.

A USS Cyclops, a 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Cyclops never sent out an SOS distress call despite being equipped to do so, and an extensive search found no wreckage.

Reacting to the incident, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson said: "Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship." In 1941 two of the Cyclops’ sister ships similarly vanished without a trace along nearly the same route.

Also on December 1945, five Navy bombers carrying 14 men took off from a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airfield, to conduct practice bombing, ran over some nearby shoals. But with his compasses apparently malfunctioning, the leader of the mission, known as Flight 19, got lost.

All five planes flew aimlessly until they ran low on fuel and were forced to ditch at sea.

That same day, a rescue plane and its 13-man crew also disappeared. After a massive weeks-long search failed to turn up any evidence, the official Navy report declared that it was “as if they had flown to Mars.”

USS-Cyclops area Hudson River New York March 1918

Theories and Research

Over the years, many theories have been offered to explain the mystery. Some speculate that some unknown and mysterious forces account for the unexplained disappearances.

Others believe that perhaps ships and planes are destroyed by pockets of flammable methane gas known to exist in large quantities under the sea. Maybe lightning or an electrical spark ignited a huge bubble of methane that came to the surface right next to a ship or plane, causing them to sink without a trace.

It is also believed that the majority of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes pass through the Bermuda Triangle, and in the days prior to the improved weather forecasting, these dangerous storms claimed many ships.

Others suggest sudden rogue tidal waves or maybe some mysterious geomagnetic anomaly that creates navigational problems confusing pilots and somehow causing them to plunge into the ocean.

According to a journalist named Larry Kusche, there is no mystery about strange disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.

Kusche exhaustively re-examined the "mysterious disappearances" and found that mistakes, mystery mongering basically created the story, and in some cases outright fabrication — all being passed along as fact-checked truth.

Illustrative image of how ships and plane disappear in Bermuda Triangle

Maritime insurance leader Lloyd's of London does not recognize the Bermuda Triangle as an, especially dangerous place. Neither does the U.S. Coast Guard, which says that:

"there has been nothing discovered that would indicate that casualties were the result of anything other than physical causes. No extraordinary factors have ever been identified."

The U.S. Navy contends that there are no supernatural explanations for disasters at sea.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "There is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-travelled area of the ocean."

Some writers have expanded upon Berlitz's ideas about Atlantis, suggesting that the mythical city may lie at the bottom of the sea and be using its reputed "crystal energies" to sink ships and planes.

Facts about Bermuda Triangle

  • It has a triangular shape
  • A mystery since the fifties
  • Strange disappearances of plane and ships occur there
  • It is an area known for extremely violence
  • one of only two places on Earth where a compass points to true north rather than magnetic north.
  • It plays havoc with instruments on deck.
  • Many theorise that the Triangle is home to the lost city of Atlantis.
  • Researchers are conducting different research about it, but nothing has been established.
  • It is called the devil's Triangle because of several disappearances of plane and ship.

A beautiful view of Atlantic ocean

Some recorded Incidents

Lots of incidents have taken place in the Bermuda Triangle, rising from the disappearance of planes [on air] to lost of ships [on the sea]. Below are some recorded incidents

On-Air

  • 1945: July 10, Thomas Arthur Garner, AMM3, USN, along with eleven other crew members, was lost at sea in a US Navy PBM3S patrol seaplane. An extensive ten-day surface and air search, including a carrier sweep, found nothing.
  • 1945: December 5, Flight 19 lost with 14 airmen, and later the same day PBM Mariner BuNo 59225 lost with 13 airmen while searching for Flight 19.
  • 1947: July 3, According to the Bermuda Triangle Legend, a B-29 Superfortress was lost off Bermuda.
  • 1948: December 28, Douglas DC-3NC16002 lost with three crew and 36 passengers
  • 1956: November 9, Martin Marlin lost ten crewmen taking off from Bermuda.
  • 1965: December 6, Private ERCO Ercoupe F01 lost with the pilot and one passenger
  • November 3, 1978 - Irving Rivers, arriving at St. Thomas from St. Croix, vanished after being sighted by the control tower, and no trace was ever found.
  • 1991: October 31, A Grumman Cougar jet piloted by John Verde and Paul Lucaris disappeared off of the radar.
  • 2005: June 20, A Piper PA-23 disappeared between treasure Cay Island, Bahamas and Fort Pierce, Florida. There were three people on board.
  • 2007: April 10, A Piper PA-46-310P disappeared near Berry Island after flying into a level 6 thunderstorm and losing altitude.
  • 2017: May 15, A private MU-2B aircraft was at 24,000 feet when it vanished from radar and radio contact with air traffic controllers in Miami.

On the Sea

  • 1800: USS Pickering, on a course from Guadeloupe to Delaware, lost with 90 people on board
  • 1941: USS Proteus( AC-9), lost with all 58 persons on board
  • 1958: Revonoc. A 43-foot racing yawl was lost with owner Harvey Conover and four others between Key West and Miami Florida
  • 1980: On January 12, 1980, HMCS St. Laurent (DDH 205) sank off Cape Hatteras, the closest point on the North American mainland to Bermuda.
  • 2015: In late July 2015, two 14-year-old boys, Austin Stephanos, and Perry Cohen went on a fishing trip in their 19-foot boat. Despite the 15,000 square nautical miles extensive search by Coast Guard, the pair's boat was found a year later off the coast of Bermuda, but the boys were never seen again.
  • 2015: SS El Faro, with a crew of 33 aboard, sank off

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