THE MYSTERY OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

On the 5th December, 1945, 14 navy airmen left Florida and took to the skies in 5 torpedo bombers, on what was supposed to be a routine 2 hour return flight as part of a training exercise, known as Flight 19. But 1:45 minutes into the journey, the flight’s leader, Lieutenant Charles Taylor, radioed the control tower, alerting them that something was dreadfully wrong. Taylor reported that all 3 of his compasses had malfunctioned. He was heard over the radio transmission reporting “we don't know which way is west. Everything is wrong. Even the ocean doesn't look as it should”. Flying over the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean in what’s now called the Bermuda Triangle, the flight and crew, shortly lost contact with the control tower and were never seen again. Later that evening a search plane was sent in a desperate attempt to locate the missing flight and guide them back to base, but just 27 minutes after take off, the search plane and its 13 man crew became lost to the Bermuda Triangle.



Surreal activities in the Bermuda Triangle have been reported since 1492, when the crew of explorer Christopher Columbus edged ever closer to what he would call, ‘The New World’. Columbus’ log reported seeing strange lights, whilst the sea took on an eerie calm before rising high without wind. He also noted that the ship’s compass gave erratic readings, which panicked the already restless crew. Situated in between Florida, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, the legend – do you mean the phrase? – of the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ was coined by author Vincent Gaddis, in a 1964 article in the magazine Argosy, to explain the perceived phenomenon of airplanes and ships going missing without a trace, without explanation. He was compelled by mysteries such as Flight 19 and the USS Cyclops, which got lost at sea off the coast of Barbados in 1918, resulting in the loss of 306 lives: the biggest loss of life in US Navy history, not related to combat.

Gaddis reported that the Bermuda Triangle is a true mystery and that even the ‘U. S. Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard investigators have admitted they are baffled’. In the last century alone 1,000 ships & planes have disappeared without a trace within the 500,000 square miles of the Bermuda Triangle. Despite no wreckages to attain evidence from, there are endless theories about the disastrous paranormal mechanisms involved in the Bermuda Triangle. The area surrounding the Bermuda Triangle has one of the highest incidences of UFO sightings, leading some conspiracy theorists to conclude that missing aircraft fall victim to alien abductions or are even absorbed by portals to other dimensions. This has been suggested to be the case in explaining the story of the Ellen Austin, an American vessel that found a deserted schooner on the Atlantic Ocean. In order to capture the schooner for themselves, members of crew from the Ellen Austin agreed to man the ship back to shore, but during the journey the two ships separated and when the re-united the schooner was once again deserted, the crew of the schooner had once again vanished without a trace.

Author Gian Quasar believes that electromagnetic anomalies in the area's atmosphere have been responsible for historic compass breakdowns. He describes the electronic fog as ‘something that will seize the aircraft and travel with you… You are not flying into the fog, it is flying with you’. This is further supported by Floridian pilot Bruce Gernon, a claimed survivor of the Bermuda Triangle. He describes the Bermuda Triangle as an engulfing ring-shaped electric fog. As he flew through the fog, he was stripped of his visibility and his electronic and magnetic navigational instruments malfunctioned causing his compass to spin wildly. Gernon only managed to break through the supernatural fog when he noticed a tunnel forming in the cloud, when he broke out he had reached the coast of Miami, leaving Gernon to conclude that the cloud he’d flown through was a time vortex.

Whilst some conspiracists look to the skies of the Bermuda Triangle for answers, others believe that the answers lie deep underwater. With the discovery of the submerged rock formation known as the Bimini Road, off the island of Bimini in 1968, conspiracy theorists Paul Weinzweig and Pauline Zalitzki, have come to believe that this formation is man-made and therefore evidence of the underwater city of Atlantis. It has been suggested that the planes and ships that have vanished in this area, may have been affected by leftover technology from this empire such as the ancient crystals thought to have powered the civilisation. Despite the mystery that surrounds the Bermuda Triangle, the U.S Coast Guard state that the majority of disappearances can be attributed to human error or the area’s unique natural features and no studies have found conclusive evidence for unusual magnetic anomalies in the area. The Gulf Stream essentially acts as a river within the Atlantic ocean, it flows through the Straits of Florida into the North Atlantic and it’s powerful current is a possible explanation for why there is no debris from ship and plane wreckages, which may be swept away by the Gulf Stream, erasing any evidence of disaster.



The tropical weather system in the Caribbean-Atlantic can be unpredictable and the Bermuda Triangle happens to cover the same area as hurricane alley, an area of warm water and high humidity which is the source of devastating storms and hurricanes. Also located in the Bermuda Triangle is the Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean where the sea floor is up to 28,373 ft deep, suggesting any aircraft or ship destroyed in the Bermuda Triangle would sink so far from the surface it would never be reached. Although the U.S government insists that the Bermuda Triangle doesn’t exist, in 1964, the same year the term Bermuda Triangle was coined, the U.S government began construction of AUTEC, an underwater American base within the Bermuda Triangle, off the coast of the Bahamas. This further strengthened the suspicion that the area hosts mysterious properties.

Since the 1960s the U.S have used this base to conduct underwater tests, research and in-air tracking, raising questions about what exactly they are monitoring down there. Despite there being valid reasons to explain the apparent phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle, the U.S Coast Guard argue that the area is one of the most heavily travelled shipping lanes in the world and disappearances in the area are proportionally no more frequent than anywhere else in the world. Meanwhile, some land areas that fall within the Bermuda Triangle don’t appear to be affected. But whether or not the Bermuda Triangle exists, it symbolises the reality that, despite all we know of the world and advances in tracking devices, our world is still large enough for our ships and planes to disappear without a trace.

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