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Mysterious Places: Bermuda Triangle

With the global pandemic capturing most of the world’s attention, some interesting news has dropped without causing much of a stir. Everything from the US Pentagon releasing videos of UFOs to another ship disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle with twenty people on board.

What is the Bermuda Triangle?

The Bermuda Triangle has captured the imaginations of those interested in unusual phenomena and the supernatural since the 1950s, if not before. This mysterious patch of ocean, bordered by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico and covering about five-hundred thousand square miles, has seen more than its share of tragedy. At least seventy-five planes, submarines, and ships have vanished in the Triangle, with most of them never seen again. The most typical evidence of a ship or plane wreck – debris, bodies, oil slicks – have also not been found.

One of the most puzzling disappearances in the Triangle was that of five fighter planes from a Naval Air Base in Jacksonville, Florida. The planes vanished in 1945, shortly following the end of WWII. The experienced pilots flying the planes disappeared, along with their craft and crews, during a short navigational flight exercise.

The Lost Patrol Mystery

The planes were meticulously checked before the flight. All radios and instruments were working perfectly. Each fuel tank was filled to capacity, with enough for each plane to fly over a thousand miles. The weather was clear, with only a mild wind.

When the planes didn’t return as scheduled, it caused some concern. Before an alarm could be sounded, the Fort Lauderdale Air Traffic Tower received a troubling message.

“This is an emergency. We seem to be off course. We cannot see land. Repeat, we cannot see land.”

The pilot was Lieutenant Charles Taylor, a six-year veteran and one of the flight instructors. The tower operator asked his position.

“We are not sure. We seem to be lost,” came the reply.

“Assume bearing due west.”

“We cannot be sure which way is west,” Taylor responded. “Everything is wrong, strange – we cannot be sure of any direction. Even the ocean does not look as it should.”

If the compasses were not working, it was still incomprehensible that none of the five pilots could find west through their own observation. Since it was past 4 pm, the sun was close to the western horizon.

The next forty minutes were anxious ones, as the tower operator listened to the pilots’ conversation. They apparently could see each other, but all were suffering from the same confusion as Lieutenant Taylor.

Marine Captain George Stivers, another instructor on the test flight, reported, “It is 16:25 hours. We are not sure where we are. Must be about 225 miles northeast of base. Looks like we are…it looks like we are entering white water. We’re completely lost!”

It was the last the tower heard from the Lost Patrol.

Even more incredible, the Martin Mariner giant flying boat that attempted to rescue the patrol disappeared as well, along with its crew of thirteen men.

Over three-hundred planes participated in a search-and-rescue mission, but no trace of any of the doomed planes or airmen were ever found. No floating debris, no human remains. Nothing.

The Enduring Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Triangle Theories

How does the Bermuda Triangle cause ships, planes, and other craft to vanish? There have been dozens of theories put forth over the years that run the gamut from the scientific to the truly bizarre.

In 2016, meteorologists proposed hexagonal clouds could be the culprit. These straight-edged clouds can create so-called “air bombs” full of wind traveling as fast as one-hundred and seventy miles per hour.

Aided by their study of images from a NASA satellite, the scientists determined that these clouds could be as large as twenty to fifty-five miles across.

The meteorologists theorized that anything trapped inside one of these air bombs could be knocked out of the air, flipped over, or sunk. This theory still needs to be confirmed, and while it could provide an explanation for the missing ships and planes, the lack of debris or bodies will remain a mystery.

Another recent theory suggests that large deposits of methane gas spewing up from the ocean floor are to blame. These eruptions of methane bubbles could push water away from a ship, causing it to sink. If the highly flammable methane rises into the air, it could ignite in an airplane’s engine, causing it to explode and disappear.

And, of course, there are always aliens.

Why Care About The Bermuda Triangle?

Since Christopher Columbus described seeing a “remarkable ball of fire” and noted a bizarre disturbance of his ship’s compasses in the 1400s, the Bermuda Triangle has been the focus of much mystery, tragedy, fear and intrigue. And, as noted in this post, ships and planes still vanish in the region to this day, in spite of our comparatively sophisticated technology.

If nothing else, the Bermuda Triangle is an enduring reminder that there is still much about the world that we don’t know, and so much that science cannot yet explain.

What do you think caused the ships, planes, and submarines to vanish?

References: The Bermuda Triangle by Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey; Big Think.com; TampaBay.com; and NYTimes.com.

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22 Comments

  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh

    The lack of debris is the big thing. While I’m sure many ships sank without a trace, not all of them would.
    I’m going with black hole!

    Reply
    • JH

      I know, Alex. It’s beyond creepy. How could no bodies ever be recovered?

      Interesting theory! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Madeline Mora-Summonte

    I knew about the Bermuda Triangle in general, but the 1945 story is fascinating! Especially the part about the rescue patrol disappearing as well.

    Reply
    • JH

      It’s one of the most haunting stories about the Triangle, I think.

      Reply
  3. Patty Josephine

    These mysteries always baffle me and I enjoy reading about them and the theories on what causes them.

    Reply
    • JH

      Me too, Patricia. Some of the theories are pretty far out there.

      Reply
  4. L. Diane Wolfe

    I used to watch every special on the Bermuda Triangle as a kid. Such a mysterious place – where are all those ships and planes?

    Reply
    • JH

      Really good question, Diane. The stories are so eerie. I’ve held a lifelong fascination with it too.

      Reply
  5. Kimberly

    This subject has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. The lack of debris being the main factor that makes these disappearances stand out so much.

    Reply
    • JH

      Me too, Kimberly. As usual with us, great minds think alike! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Birgit

    I know about the famous flight disappearing but I thought I heard they were found??? Obviously I must be wrong. I had no idea that the boat looking for them also disappeared which is very eerie. The men must have been in some big fog or cloud because, otherwise, they would have been able to guide themselves using the sun. Their instruments either went wonky or stopped working and for all the planes to go at once means there is some electrical or other issue that screws up the instruments. The area must be big enough to “swallow” the formation and a boat so it must not only be on and ormin the water but reach high up into the atmosphere. This has always perplexed me.

    Reply
    • JH

      Me too, Birgit. The rescue craft was described as a “flying boat” so I think it was a large plane that can land on water. But plenty of ships have disappeared in the Triangle too.

      Reply
  7. Lee Lowery

    I grew up with stories of the Bermuda Triangle. My mother, who held some interesting ideas about alternative life, was convinced that the missing vessels had entered a vortex that whisked them off to another dimension. In her defense, no one has proved her theory wrong.

    Reply
    • JH

      😀 True that, and she’s far from the only person who has believed that.

      Reply
  8. C. Lee McKenzie

    Maybe this is where the creators of Manifest got their idea. If so, and life mimics fiction or visa versa, the plane and all the passengers will show up in five years.

    Reply
    • JH

      I haven’t seen that show, Lee, but it sounds interesting.

      Reply
    • Mary Aalgaard

      I was also thinking of “Manifest.” I recently started watching it. Great concept. So many stories and movies about the Bermuda Triangle. I also agree with an above comment about the electrical forces messing with instruments, and lots of fog or cloud cover. Fascinating!

      Reply
      • JH

        There were no weather anomalies detected that day, but an electrical force is possible. Thanks, Mary!

        Reply
  9. Toi Thomas

    It’s always been a fascinating mystery to me. I hope to someday find answers but won’t be surprised if we don’t. Like it or not, I fear some things aren’t meant to be fully understood by the human mind.

    Reply
    • JH

      You could be right, Toi. I’d love for some of these mysteries to be solved, though. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Liesbet

    Such a fascinating topic! I think the Bermuda Triangle has intrigued a lot of people for a very long time. Looking at the map, I just realized that Mark and I sailed within it for a few months when visiting The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. We didn’t notice anything weird. I think. I might not remember… I have no answers, but methane gas spewing up from the ocean floor might be a possibility.

    Reply
    • JH

      Damn, and here I was hoping for a personal story of weirdness! Thankful you survived, Liesbet. I’m pretty sure I’ve traveled through that area by plane, and lived to tell as well. 🙂

      Reply

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