A mythical region of the Atlantic Ocean awaits, bounded by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico, where scores of ships and aircraft have vanished. Some refer to it as The Devil's Triangle. Others have referred to it as the Limbo of the Lost or the Hoodoo Sea. The Bermuda Triangle, on the other hand, is well-known to the majority of people as an area of water in the Atlantic Ocean noted for devouring ships and vanishing planes. The Bermuda Triangle has long been regarded as a dangerous region of the ocean where sailors and pilots are prone to lose contact with the natural world and vanish forever.
In 1952, a paranormal journal described the region of interest as a triangle encompassing the US state of Florida and the two islands of Puerto Rico and Bermuda.
If this triangle shape appears to have been chosen rather arbitrarily, that is because it was. The author makes no attempt to rationalize their choice of shape. Once the concept of an enigmatic triangle was pushed upon the world, its eventual name was a foregone conclusion.
The Bermuda Triangle is, and always has been, a mystery for the sake of mystery. The epitome of a legend. Today, we'll attempt to debunk some of the Bermuda triangle's more enigmatic instances.
Flight 19, seen in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, is probably the most iconic Bermuda Triangle disappearance. According to some, it serves as the spark for the entire phenomenon.
The tale proceeds as follows:
A squadron of five planes departed a Naval Air Station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the 5th of December 1945. It was regular navigation practice that should have presented no difficulty to these 14 seasoned pilots and crewmen.
The squadron was meant to be returning two hours into the exercise when the pilot of the leading aircraft reported being disoriented due to both of his compasses faltering.
Multiple stations attempted unsuccessfully to contact Flight 19 on an irregular basis in an attempt to ascertain their present location. Communications between the five planes were intercepted, and arguments over directions and bearings were heard.
The minutes passing rapidly weakened the signal between the towers and flight 19, and a stable communication line became increasingly impossible to maintain. Navy troops were able to calculate the plane's present whereabouts almost four hours after departure, approximately 200 kilometers north of their original flight path.
As a result, a flying boat designated ST-49 was deployed to this area, but it mysteriously vanished following a routine transmission. A final transmission was intercepted five hours after takeoff. It was simply an unsuccessful attempt by one aircraft to contact another, and Flight 19 was never seen or heard again.
While this may sound mysterious, it is believed that the devil is not in the water, but in the details.
Four pupils and one flight instructor named Charles Taylor piloted the five planes. At the time of departure, one of the students assumed the job of flight leader, with Taylor serving as a supervisor. Taylor took command of the aircraft as they turned north towards the island of Grand Bahama. He believed the student was steering them in the incorrect path.
As one reads the radio logs and testimony of Navy officers, it becomes clear that Taylor mistook the Bahamas islands for the Florida Keys islands. This may be difficult to accept given Taylor's expertise as a pilot but contemplate the following. Taylor had previously served as a flying instructor at the Naval Air Station in Miami, where training operations over the Florida Keys were launched from. He had previously been stationed in Key West, Florida Keys. Thus, it is highly probable that Taylor flew this route over the Bahamas for the first time on Flight 19.
The rising disjunction between what he knew from experience and what he observed outside his windows is likely why he began to distrust his instruments, as it is exceedingly improbable that both of his compasses failed at the same time.
Taylor kept flying north, thinking he was in the Keys, in an attempt to regain the land, but this had the unexpected effect of pushing them further out to sea. He was also dissuaded from turning west, which, according to Taylor, would have led them into the Gulf of Mexico. However, in truth, moving west would have saved their lives. The weather deteriorated, the sunset, visibility decreased, and the sea became extremely violent.
Simultaneously, there is the ST-49 flying boat incident.
ST-49 was supposed to conduct a night navigation practice when it was diverted into a search and rescue mission after receiving a pinpoint on the location of Flight 19. Sadly, I t was never heard from again following a routine departure transmission.
Nevertheless, it was almost certainly spotted again.
A ship reported witnessing an aircraft catch fire and explode 23 minutes after ST-49 took off. The ensuing fire raged for several minutes, with flames reaching 30 meters above the ocean's surface. When the ship arrived at the explosion site, it saw the wreckage and a pool of oil but no survivors.
Another ship equipped with radar watched a plane vanish off the screen precisely at the moment the explosion was detected. While an explosion is unsurprising in view of the fact that preflight checks found nothing unusual, the jet had "gone aground" the day before due to a failing engine.
What "going aground" exactly involves is not specified, but it did prompt an examination of the plane's hull.
Initially, some Navy officers assumed the reported explosion was connected to the lost ST-49. Despite a week-long meticulous search involving dozens of ships and hundreds of planes, nothing and no one was ever discovered. Regardless of the fact that many planes and ships reported sightings of flares and other debris. All available information indicates that Flight 19 crashed into the water after running out of fuel, while ST-49 caught fire and exploded, probably as a result of a defective engine.
Regrettably, not every situation can be explained in precise detail.
The six planes and their 27 crew members vanished into the ocean, without leaving behind any trace.
On January 17th, 1949, a plane known as the Star Ariel took off from Bermuda towards Kingston, Jamaica. The pilot made a usual communication an hour into the flight with no indication of distress, but the plane was never seen or heard from again.
There was no sign of an accident, and no distress call was received; the weather was perfect throughout the flight; the pilot and his crew were very experienced and had flown this route numerous times previously, and the plane was in good working order prior to departure. Due to a dearth of evidence, a subsequent examination was unable to establish a probable cause.
What makes this even stranger is that a year prior, a sister plane known as the Star Tiger vanished in a similar fashion.
The Star Tiger vanished on January 30th, 1948, as she approached Bermuda from the east. Although the pilot and the remainder of the crew were highly experienced, the weather conditions were less than ideal, with strong gusts and torrential downpours.
The aircraft had been blown off course by severe winds barely an hour before their final message, and sadly again, they were never seen or heard from.
The subsequent investigation concluded as follows:
"What actually occurred, in this case, will never be discovered, and Star Tiger's destiny must remain a mystery."
However, even in circumstances where knowledge is scarce, such natural explanations do exist. For instance, the Star Tiger's accident report found that the plane had been badly maintained and that known problems remained uncorrected. Following investigations, it was discovered that this specific type of aircraft had a heater in the cabin that was vulnerable to malfunction, and that there was a risk of explosion due to its poor design.
Perhaps the most enigmatical incidence involves the five-masted sailing vessel, Carroll A. Deering.
On January 9th, 1921, the Deering sailed from Barbados to Norfolk, Virginia. Less than three weeks later, the ship was observed by a lightship on the North Carolina coast. The Deering's helmsman hailed the lightship and informed them through a megaphone that they had lost both anchors.
The ship then made her way up the coast, toward Norfolk, but never arrived.
The Coast Guard spotted the Deering two days after it was sighted by the lightship keepers. The ship looked to have come aground in an area known as the Diamond Shoals.
This was confirmed when the ship was boarded a few days later and the ship's log, personal belongings of the crew, critical navigational equipment, different documents, two lifeboats, and the ship's two anchors were discovered to be missing. Additionally, it appeared as though the steering wheel and other equipment had been deliberately damaged with a sledgehammer. The 11 crew members were nowhere to be found.
A few months later, a man called Christopher Columbus Gray discovered the following note in a bottle near the wreckage:
"An oil-burning ship, akin to a chaser, captures Deering. Taking everything off and handcuffing the crew. Crew members are hiding all throughout the ship. There is no chance of escape. Finder, please notify Headquarters.”
Because the message appeared to be genuine, it was assumed that the crew of the Carroll A. Deering had been a victim of piracy. A few months later, handwriting experts revealed that Gray had written the message himself and that the whole thing was a hoax.
Gray, on the other hand, may not have been too far off, as there is evidence that a mutiny occurred. At the time, the US State Department issued a statement in which they wrote:
"There is ample reason to suspect foul play." First and foremost, the individual who summoned the lightship was not the captain. The lightship keeper described him as a redhead with a Scandinavian accent. While this could not have been the captain's description, it did describe the rest of the crew, the majority of whom were Danes. Of course, this only increases the likelihood of a mutiny.
Second, subsequent investigations revealed that the captain's relationship with the crew was strained at best. Prior to leaving Barbados, the captain and first mate had a falling out, and the captain was worried that the crew would turn on him.
When the first mate's request for his own ship was denied, he boasted that he would "get the captain" before they arrived at their destination. The first mate was arrested as a result of this, but he was later bailed out by the captain, who forgave him for what he'd said.
So there's a lot of reason to suspect a mutiny.
However, this does not fully explain why the ship was abandoned or why the crew vanished so completely. But things get even stranger.
Another ship appeared soon after the Deering had passed the lightship. It was a massive black steamer traveling in the shadow of the Deering. When the lightship hailed the vessel, the crewmen not only ignored the hail but also unfurled a canvas to hide the ship's nameplate before speeding away.
Some have speculated that this could be the American steamship SS Hewitt, which went missing about the same time, but there is no way to know unless more evidence is discovered.
So Gray may have been unwittingly correct. Perhaps the unknown vessel was a pirate ship pursuing the Deering, or perhaps the crew plotted revolt. In any situation, numerous parts are difficult to describe at best.
To summarise, if The Bermuda Triangle was more than a myth, why is it not marked on publicly available maps and nautical charts? If the US Coast Guard is so worried about other people's safety, don't they have a responsibility to warn the public about this very dangerous area of the ocean?
Despite this, they and just about every other competent authority willfully let hundreds of ships and planes sail and fly through the zone without so much as a warning every single day. After all, the Bermuda Triangle is a heavily traveled section of the ocean. One could argue that more traffic means more accidents and thus more disappearances, but that makes far too much sense.
"Would someone kindly provide an explanation, or simply a suggestion, as to where all these planes, ships, and maybe submarines went?"
I'm going to take a wild guess and say the ocean.
Ships, planes, and possibly submarines sank to the ocean's depths. It is the absurdity of the occurrences that makes it so enigmatic.
Despite the greatest efforts, we have been completely unsuccessful in determining what defines a Bermuda Triangle disappearance. When should a missing craft be blamed on the Bermuda Triangle? It appears to be and should be, a simple question to answer, yet it is far from it.
Some incidents, such as Flight 19, happened within the basic bounds of the triangle. The majority of disappearance occurs when a plane's or ship's route simply overlaps the triangle.
In 1954, a plane went missing while flying between the US states of Maryland and the Azores. Despite being outside the limits of the Bermuda Triangle, it is considered to be a victim of it. It's even more embarrassing in the instance of Carroll A. Deering, who safely navigated the Bermuda Triangle only to go all hocus-pocus after she was out of it. In other words, disappearances around the triangle have been treated as if they were part of the triangle.
Ships and planes disappearing without a trace are regrettably all too common, and it's not just a problem in one region of the North Atlantic Ocean. The number of disappearances in a specific area is mostly determined by factors such as traffic volume, the frequency of unfavorable weather events, and the existence of strong oceanic currents.
All three criteria are met by the Bermuda Triangle.
There is a lot of traffic, hurricanes and storms routinely pass through, and the Gulf Stream intersects it. The variety of missing reports, however, is the most critical problem in this claimed conundrum.
The core component of the Bermuda Triangle is that these instances can be correlated in some way, despite the fact that each disappearance could not be more dissimilar.
Mechanical failure, explosions, human mistakes, sabotage, fuel deprivation, inexperience, piracy, mutiny, and other factors are all possible reasons.
A distress signal is sometimes received and sometimes not. It includes all types of ships and airplanes. They can go at any speed, in any direction, at any height, with any number of passengers, for any length of time, and for any reason. Whatever this enigmatic force is, it is not picky about what, when, or how it strikes.