Introduction and Brief History
The Bermuda Triangle is portion of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and airplanes are believed to have disappeared mysteriously over time. It is triangular in shape and located between Bahamas, Bermuda and the East Coast of the United States. There has been a lot of interest to know why these disappearances has occurred which has led to development of several theories trying to explain the circumstances. It is one of the legendary stories of the sea that has remained even to today (Gulf of Maine Aquarium 1). In this research paper we examine facts and myths about Bermuda Triangle so as to create a general understanding of its exact circumstances and responses from United States relevant authorities.
Bermuda Triangle Mystery
The location of Bermuda Triangle has been the route for several planes and ships. However, due to the busy nature of the route, accidents are bound to happen just like in any other routes. There was issue about the accidents as they were thought to be normal until when two men began to note the accidents and subsequently wrote about them down. One of these writers referred the area as the “Triangle of death”. After this, people began to search for the history of the area and developed a series of past accidents and disappearance (Gorman 8).
As the people looked at the history, it was noticed that a mysterious area known as Sargasso Sea was within the Triangle. At this sea, it was believed that ships could just drift without any environmental influence since there was no frequent wind in that area. Out of these studies of history, a few people came up with long lists of ships and planes that had ever incurred a problem at Bermuda Triangle and at this point it was obvious that the famous myth had begun (Gorman 8). There have been discussions of this mystery to date and in several occasions passed in books from one generation to the next.
Facts about Bermuda Triangle
The fact about the triangle is that it lies in the Atlantic Ocean, off the southern coast of the United State. There has been unusual bizarre disappearance in the triangle where ships, planes and the crew vanished without any trace. It has roughly 500,000 square miles stretch although some theories were later put up to dispute this fact and some estimates being made as high as 1.5 million square miles (Rosenberg 6).
Several names have been used to refer to the Bermuda Triangle as the mystery developed and passed down. These names include; The Twilight Zone, The Hoodoo Sea, The Limbo of the Lost, The Devil’s Triangle, The Magic Rhombus, The Port of Missing Ships and The Triangle of Death. This shows the extent at which the myth of the triangle evolved from a long history although it can still instill fear among the current sailors and aviators (Rosenberg 5). Thus the magnitude of the mystery cannot be underestimated going by the extent at which a lot of books and articles were written.
Strange Occurrences at Bermuda Triangle
The southeastern point of the triangle is not far from the origin of most of the Atlantic Ocean hurricanes. This makes the region prone to unpredictable and spectacular storms which may give an equivalent of ten inches of rain just in a few hours. Moreover, the Gulf Stream runs through the triangle thus altering the normal water currents. This is the point where the Atlantic Sea is deepest at 30,000 feet. In addition, there has been a recent scientific discovery of an ocean current running in the opposite direction below the Gulf Stream which makes the Triangle more complicated (Rosenberg 6 & 7).
Furthermore, Bermuda is one of the only two points where magnetic north and true north are perfectly aligned in the entire planet. These are two measurements of “north” where one is called magnetic north as seen on a compass and the other one referred to as true north being the actual geographic direction. Under normal circumstances, the two measurements of north do not coincide leaving a compass variation of some degrees which is adjusted to account for the difference (Rosenberg 7 & 8). However, the strange occurrence of coinciding happens at the Bermuda Triangle thus adding to its mysteries.
The other odd occurrence is out of Sargasso Sea which lies in the triangle. This is because the Sea has a seaweed jungle of floating Sargassum from which is named after. However, to complicate the matter further is that the waters of this Sargasso Sea are warm and swirl clockwise continuously despite of the absence of wind (Rosenberg 8). This is one of the undisclosed secrets which definitely attract a lot of interest and further mysterious suggestions about the Bermuda’s Triangle.
Documented incidences of Disappearance
There are several disappearances in the Bermuda’s triangle according to the history of myth development. However, there are few in which their circumstances were known and documented. Although it is believed that others may have not been documented due to the lack of actual connection of their disappearances to the triangle. Here we look at the three major disappearances which were put on records.
Disappearance of Flight 19
This occurred on December 5, 1945 when five United States Navy planes that made up Flight 19 left Florida on a regular training mission. The flight was to be in the air for two hours but incidentally all planes and the 14 crew members on board disappeared without any trace. There were some messages from the flight leader that the compasses had malfunctioned and that they were not aware of their position at that moment. Then immediately the navy lost contact before they could give the flight leader directions on the way to go and the weather got worse on that moment. After around five hours there was no trace of flight 19 (Gorman 4).
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To add to the disaster, the search plane which had went to rescue flight 19 also lost contact and disappeared. This is because immediately after the last message from flight 19, the navy sent a rescue plane with thirteen men aboard. However, the only message received from the rescue plane is that there were very strong winds in the area before its disappearance. That brought the total planes that disappeared on the fateful day to six and a total of 27 men aboard (Remedia Publications 9).
It was clear to the navy that all was not right at the sea where they sent 250 planes and boats to look at the area for the missing planes and crew members. However, after 5 days of thorough search, there was nothing found leaving a lot of confusion about the mysterious disappearances. The conclusion appeared as if the ocean had swallowed up any traces that could have helped solve the mystery of missing planes leaving several questions about the Bermuda Triangle, adding the incident to its list of disappearances (Remedia Publications 9).
Disappearance of the Cyclops
This was the US Cyclops which was at one time the largest ship in the United States Navy. The ship had started to sail from West Indies in March 1918 heading to Norfolk in Virginia but it did not reach its destination. The biggest search ever was conducted by the navy but again there was no trace of the Cyclops leaving more confusion (Gorman 12).
A lot of theories were forwarded on the disappearance of this ship. Some people were concerned on whether the cargo it was carrying was too heavy or whether it sank due to the turbulence storm of the sea. Moreover, others thought that may be the ship was attacked because of the World War I which was happening at the time or might it have been caused by the famous Bermuda Triangle mysteries (Gorman 12). However, the remaining fact is that Cyclops disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle and no explanation was obtained concerning its vanishing.
Another mysterious disappearance was that of the Marine Sulphur Queen, a huge tanker that took its sail in February 1963. The tanker began its journey from Texas headed to Virginia and it was carrying a cargo of liquid sulfur which was hot. The ship was in constant communication by sending routine radio messages before sailing into the Bermuda Triangle and its subsequent disappearance with all 39 people on board (Gorman 14).
There was no one who found what exactly happened to the tanker. However, after a few weeks some debris from the tanker ware recovered leaving a lot of questions unanswered on the disappearance. People were curious to know whether the tanker exploded but there was no suggestion that supported the allegation. Others thought that the tanker might have ran into a turbulent storm but that is not supported by the fact that no distress call was made by the crew (Gorman 14). Thus the incident added to the Bermuda Triangle mysteries of unknown disappearances.
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Theories Forwarded to Explain Bermuda Triangle Disappearances
Several people think that the Bermuda Triangle is just a myth because they believe that the disappearance may not have actually occurred in the triangle. Many disappearance stories indicate that no survivors or any wreckage was found but in actual sense there were some incidences where survivors were rescued. Some of them even gave accounts that the storm was so quick that they were forced to leave the ship. In addition, wreckages could be found much later after the disappearance leaving no connections between them. Moreover, it is believed that wreckages can be very hard to find especially where the ocean is too deep and waves so high.
Furthermore, the trenches and great valleys at the ocean floors can hide any debris (Gorman 18). Therefore these claims leave the Bermuda triangle to be nothing but a myth.
However, there are other theories forwarded regarding the disappearance. One of them is that it was caused by ocean currents which were sometimes very high. There are those who believe that the strong currents of the region forced a huge part of the Triangle’s tides to flow directly north thus putting many sailors off route and out of the sea (Rosenberg & McDonell 1).
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Also, another theory forwarded is that of human error. The theory advances that many planes and ships may have been lost due to human wrong judgments and miscalculations. Also, there is the concept of compass variations due to the fact that in the triangle the true north and magnetic north coincide and as such there should be adjustments to compensate the error. Failure to do so may put a navigator off course and eventually get lost (Rosenberg & McDonell 1).
The other theory is that of aliens who use anti-gravity technologies or otherwise to sent energies to confuse the vessels and trap them to their earth base full of privacy. Furthermore, there are beliefs that man-made energy fields may be making up Bermuda Triangle through Tesla based technologies. The signals of the ships and planes could then be interfered and scrambled by the electrically powered submarine classes leading to their disappearance off course (Rosenberg & McDonell 1).
The other theory is that of the topography of the ocean floor. The floor of the ocean has some deepest trenches which may develop navigational hazards out of strong currents. Finally, another theory forwarded is that of the sinking of the City of Atlantis. The city had reached its advanced state at the time of submersion because it relied on power energy crystals. Therefore it is possible the crystals at the bottom of the ocean are still sending rays of energy which confuse the instrumentation of the vessels causing disappearances (Rosenberg & McDonell 1).
Effects of the Bermuda Triangle
Bermuda Triangle has some of the most popular and attractive tourist locations in the world. Out of this nature, it has always had a huge water traffic and recently air traffic as well. The earliest people to use the waters were among Christopher Columbus who sailed to get to the New World and reported its strange nature (Rudolph 8). Therefore these myths about the triangle send shivers among intending tourists thus reducing their numbers.
The myth has been passed down through books and other written materials making even the new generations to avoid the Bermuda Triangle. This in itself sense has affected the number of traffic using the said waters and the income which could have been collected from the tourists who shy away from the Triangle. This has led to the development of responses which are urging the people to disregard the myth and view the disappearance as mere accidents which happen without anyone’s plan. This has even led to the response by the United States authorities due to the concern of the travelers.
The Official Word on the Bermuda Triangle
Due to increased concern of the sailors about the Bermuda Triangle in which some travelers have believed in the said disappearances, the United States Board of Geographic Names issued a formal statement. The statement indicated that they do not recognize Bermuda Triangle as an official name and that they do not maintain any official file on the area. They further continued to mention that the said “Bermuda Triangle” is imaginary area in the southeastern of Atlantic coast of United States which is notorious of unexplained losses of ships, small boats and planes. The statement further states that Bermuda is a generally accepted to be one of the apexes of the triangle and that the disappearances which were never explained gave credence to the popular belief in the mystery of the supernatural qualities of the Bermuda Triangle (Porter & Prince 46).
However, Bermuda has developed a calendar of events throughout the year to attract tourist and reduce the myths about its triangle. In association with the Tourist Board of the United States, there are several cultural events which are lined up throughout the year. This makes people to be aware that actually the Bermuda Triangle is nothing but a myth developed and passed from one generation to another (Porter & Prince 46).
There are possibilities that the information passed in books and other writings may have been altered from one writer to the next hence distorting the original meaning in total. For instance, where unseaworthy ship sank due to high storms and was never found may be written down up to a point where it means that actually the ship just disappeared when the sea was calm. According to Shermer (2002, p. 52), those people who truly investigate facts may notice that all these stories were added juicy details as it passed from one generation to the next and thus far it has develop a mystery which has confused many travelers who intend to pass through the famous Bermuda Triangle.