The Bermuda Triangle is a legendary location on the North Atlantic Ocean. It is approximately surrounded by Miami, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda on three sides. It has earned a sufficient amount of infamy owing to the disappearance of dozens of airplanes and ships. Till date there have been no logical explanations of these accidents. One of the most well-known happened when pilots belonging to a US Navy bombers squadron lost their orientation while they were flying over the area. The planes just disappeared and could not ever be traced again.
It has often been seen that planes and boats have just vanished at the Bermuda Triangle even when the weather has been good and they have not sent any distress signals either! Till date several theories have been proposed as to why such things keep happening over there. However, the truth remains that it is not more unsafe than any other part of Earth’s hydrosphere that sees its fair share of traffic. In fact, it has been reported that there are many days when people are able to navigate the area without any incident.
What do the legends say?
Bermuda Triangle is also referred to as Devil’s Triangle. It covers an area of almost 500,000 square miles in the vicinity of Florida’s southeastern tip. It is said that when Christopher Columbus sailed in the area on the first occasion that he was trying to discover the New World, he had reportedly seen a huge flame of fire. This has been interpreted as a meteor that had fallen in the sea during the night. He had supposedly seen a strange light on the horizon in a space of a few weeks. He has also written that his time in the region was marked by inconsistent readings of compass. The major reason for this could be the fact that during that time a part of Bermuda Triangle experienced an alignment of the magnetic north and the actual north.
The incident of Joshua Slocum
Joshua Slocum had garnered worldwide fame for being the first individual who had sailed round the globe on his own. However, he disappeared in 1909 when he had been going to South America from Martha’s Vineyard. Not much is known regarding the circumstances that led to this disappearance. However, some people have cited Bermuda Triangle as the reason behind his disappearance.
Gaining public attention
Several scholars are also of the opinion that the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare may be based on a real life shipwreck that took place in Bermuda. In spite of all this, it was in the twentieth century that the Bermuda Triangle got public attention. One of the most tragic incidents took place during March 1918 when a 542 feet US Navy cargo ship named USS Cyclops disappeared. It had manganese ore of at least 10,000 tons and more than 300 men on board. The ship sank at a place between Chesapeake Bay and Barbados. Even though the ship had all the facilities of sending distress calls it did not send out one.
A highly-detailed search of the ship was conducted but no wreckage could be found. Woodrow Wilson, the-then U.S. President, later on lamented that only the sea and the Lord Almighty knew what had happened to the ship. A couple of sister ships of Cyclops disappeared in 1941 on the same route without leaving any trace whatsoever. Soon, this led to a pattern whereby vessels passing through the region would either be abandoned or would just disappear. In December 1945, five bombers of the U.S. Navy, with 14 men, started from a Florida airfield named Fort Lauderdale.
They were supposed to practice bombing on some shoals located nearby. However, when the compasses started to misfire, Flight 19, which was leading the mission, completely lost the plot. The five planes kept flying till they ran out of fuel and were forced to land at sea. On the same day a rescue plane also disappeared along with its crew comprising 13 people. A lot of search was conducted afterwards for weeks on the end. However, this yielded nothing and the Navy had to state in its official report that it looked as if the planes had flown away to Mars.
Why does this happen?
In 1964, Vincent Gaddis, an author, was the first person to come up with the word Bermuda Triangle. It came out in a magazine article written by him. However, by time many more mysterious incidents had taken place over there. Three passenger planes had disappeared even after sending messages that conveyed that they were in fine fettle. Charles Berlitz, the grandson of the founder of Berlitz language schools, only added fuel to the fire when he came out with an eye-catching bestseller regarding the legend in 1974. Ever since, many paranormal authors have cited causes such as aliens, time warps, Atlantis, reverse gravitational fields, and time warps for the incidents over here.
Theorists, with more scientific bents of mind, have proposed reasons such as magnetic anomalies, massive methane eruptions from the ocean bed, and waterspouts as the major reasons for the accidents.
Its actual status
In spite of all the theories it needs to be acknowledged that none of them are single-handedly strong enough to be regarded as a viable option. Factors such as storms, the Gulf Stream, and reefs may cause problems over here but the truth remains that it is not regarded as an exceptionally dangerous area by Lloyd’s of London, one of the top names in the world of maritime insurance. The US Coast Guard too has reviewed the region over the years in light of the incidents that have happened over here and it has stated quite clearly that it has not found anything supernatural. It has stated that all the mishaps that have happened there have been for physical and plausible causes.