The Bermuda Triangle, aka the Devil’s Triangle, is a large area of ocean between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda where dozens of airplanes and ships may have disappeared under mysterious circumstances creating an interesting legend about this area. It’s believed by many that this extremely large area of water is just prone to a lot of bad luck, however, many speculate extra-terrestrial activity or unknown natural scientific causes. Some believe this legendary area traces as far back as Christopher Columbus. According to his log in 1492, Columbus looked at his compass and it was giving him a weird reading.
Later in 1970, the U.S. Coast Guard tried to explain rumours about the Bermuda Triangle. They stated,
“First, the Devil’s Triangle is one of the 2 places on earth that a magnetic compass does point towards true north. Normally it points toward magnetic north. The difference between the 2 is known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 20 degrees as one circumnavigates the earth. If this compass variation or error is not compensated for, a navigator could find himself far off course and in deep trouble.”
Now this is quite interesting and seems to solve the sceptics on navigation, however, in 2005 they revisited the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and changed their story.
“Many explanations have cited unusual magnetic properties within the boundaries of the Triangle. Although the world’s magnetic fields are in constant flux, the Bermuda Triangle has remained relatively undisturbed. It is true that some exceptional magnetic values have been reported within the Triangle, but none to make the Triangle more unusual than any other place on Earth.”
It seems like they really don’t know what’s going on in the Bermuda Triangle and there are quite a few mysterious stories originating in that area. The legend began in 1945, when five Navy planes vanished on a training mission during a severe storm. It’s most likely that the lead pilot Lt. Charles Taylor’s compass failed and the trainee planes weren’t equipped with working navigational instruments. There was no mysterious force here because the planes probably just ran out of fuel and crashed.
There have been thousands of articles, books, and television programs promoting or debunking the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. In 1950, Edward Van Winkle Jones published an article about several mysterious disappearances in the area. He reported on the five U.S. Navy planes mentioned earlier, as well as the commercial airliners Star Tiger and Star Ariel who vanished in 1948 and 1949. All in all, approximately 200 people are unaccounted for who went missing in and around the Bermuda Triangle as if they were swallowed by the ocean.
A 1955 book called, The Case for the UFO by M. K. Jessup started pointing fingers at extra-terrestrial activity because no bodies or wreckage had ever been found. The man who coined the term Bermuda Triangle, Vincent H. Gaddis, wrote an article in 1964 that said, “over 1000 lives had been claimed by the Triangle and agreed that there was a pattern of strange events.” The U.S. Coast Guard released an explanation to combat these extra-terrestrial theories stating,
The majority of disappearances can be attributed to the area’s unique features. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current flowing from the Gulf of Mexico around the Florida Straits northeastward toward Europe, is extremely swift and turbulent. It can quickly erase any evidenceof a disaster.
The unpredictable Caribbean-Atlantic storms that give birth to waves of great size as wellas waterspouts often spell disaster for pilots and mariners.(Not to mention that the area is in ‘hurricane alley’). The topography of the ocean floor varies from extensive shoals to some of the deepest marine trenches in the world. With the interaction of strong currents over reefs, the topography is in a constant state of flux and breeds development of new navigational hazards.
Not to be underestimated is the human factor. A large number of pleasure boats travel the water between Florida’s Gold Coast (the most densely populated area in the world) and the Bahamas. All to often, crossings are attempted with too small a boat, insufficient knowledge of the area’s hazards and lack of good seamanship.”
The U.S. Coast Guard definitely gave this some thought but was it to debunk the legend or hide their secrets?
The Bermuda Triangle obsession hit its peak in the early 1970s. In 1975, Larry Kusche published, The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved and argued that the other authors had exaggerated their results without any of the proper research. Some of the disappearances labeled as mysteries weren’t mysteries at all and some of the cases didn’t even happened within this area. Kusche extensively researched the issue and concluded that, “the Triangle’s number of disappearances weren’t actually greater than in any other similarly trafficked area of the ocean and that other writers presented misinformation.” An example of this misinformation was not reporting storms occurring on the same day as the disappearances. Essentially, Kusche claimed that his research was correct and everyone else had simply made it up to build on the legend.
Kusche’s book actually did an amazing job of debunking the legend and it effectively ended most of the Bermuda Triangle hype.