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Bermuda Triangle: Facts Versus Fiction

Posted October 7th, 2009
by BoatInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

I can remember being a little boy watching Stephen Spielberg’s masterpiece “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” with my Dad.  Near the end I can recall turning to my father and asking him who where the pilots and sailors exiting the spaceship came from.  He turned to me and said, matter-of-factly, “They were picked up at the Bermuda Triangle.”  Now this was years before the internet, so I couldn’t do what I do today which is run to Wikipedia and grab as much information as I could about the subject.  And it was also before the days where cable television yielded 1000 channels.  So finding information on television was a rarity.  Instead, I did what all bright and inquisitive kids of my age did… I went to the library and read everything I could about it.  I immersed myself in all things Bermuda Triangle.  In fact, I made it somewhat of a hobby of learning about it.  I’d like to take a couple of minutes for you, and let you know some of the facts and fiction of that mystical wonder… the Bermuda Triangle.

One of the mysterious disappearances.

One of the mysterious disappearances.

FACT:
A number of mysterious (some would call ‘unexplained’) disappearances have occurred involving both Watercraft and Aircraft over the years.  Most notable inclusions are the disappearances of such vessels as the USS Grampus, USS Cyclops, Carroll A. Deering, and more.  Aircraft lost under mysterious circumstances include Flight 19 (1945), Star Tiger (1948) and the Star Ariel (1949).  Depending on the author of the particular version the details and explanations range from simple weather dangers to downright extraterrestrial events.

FICTION:
The abandonment and loss of entire crew of the Mary Celeste is one of the most tantalizing and intriguing tales of maritime disaster in history.  In November of 1972 the merchant ship set sail from Staten Island NY on its way to Genoa Italy.  In December, the ship was found entirely abandoned and not a single solitary soul was found on board.  While this is in fact a mysterious case, it is often falsely attributed to the Bermuda Triangle.  In fact, the trans-Atlantic voyage of the ship never traveled anywhere near the Bermuda Triangle.

FACT:
The Bermuda triangle is a magnetic anomaly.  I have experienced this first hand.  As an Electronic Warfare Technician in the U.S. Navy, I set sail from Norfolk Virginia on way to San Juan Puerto Rico.  I can vividly recall my chief telling me that we’d soon be in the Bermuda Triangle.  He told me to keep an eye on the equipment, most notably the Compass.  I watched with baited breath and was entirely amused shortly thereafter as the compass became seemingly possessed.  The truth is that while in the Bermuda Triangle, the compass points to “True North” as opposed to Magnetic North (as it does at nearly every other point on the globe.)

The mystery of "Flight 19"

The mystery of "Flight 19"

FICTION:
They mystery of the loss of Flight 19 (and the disappearance of the 13 man rescue boat, Mariner) was due to magnetic anomalies which lead to the loss of an entire training squadron.  The truth is there are is no viable explanation for the disappearance and that there is no viable information that one could use to conclude that it was a magnetic error that caused squadrom leader, Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor, to believe that he was 50 knots NorthWest from his believed location.  While there is no acceptable explanation, there is also no direct linkage to magnetic interference being the cause of the disapperance.

FICTON:
There are a plentitude of mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle (some of which are included and described above.)   The great multitude of examples are a heavy indicator of the truly devastating, mysterious and powerful effects of the Bermuda Triangle.

FACT:
Enter Larry Kusche, author of the book “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975)”.  Doing diligent research, Kusche came up with a number of unalienable facts, namely:
- Proportinoately, the number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle was not unlike nearly any other oceanic location.
- Many, if not all, of the examples of mysterious events have been greatly embellished or are entirely false.
- The location itself is privy to a great number of tropical storms which are very much likely for the mysterious events often attributed to other factors.

What I’ve concluded in all my years of very unofficial research and fandom is that like it or not, there is something very hokey about the Bermuda Triangle.  Maybe  it’s just a very odd place that had bad weather patterns, magnetic oddities and is just plain creepy.  But if that’s the only truth, it doesn’t entirely make the place any less odd.  Perhaps is the placebo effect.  As if pilots and sailors who traverse through it’s midst feel like something weird is going to happen and they thereby will it to happen.  One things I know for sure is that the one and only time I passed through it… I got scared witless.

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