Bermuda Triangle

Bermuda Triangle

Overview
The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 where a number of aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 and surface vessels
Surface ship
A surface ship is any type of naval ship that is confined to the surface of the sea. The term is primarily used to mean any modern vessel type that is not a submarine; although a "surface ship" may range in size from a cutter to an aircraft carrier, the weapons and tactics have some commonality,...

 allegedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Popular culture has attributed these disappearances to the paranormal
Paranormal
Paranormal is a general term that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure...

 or activity by extraterrestrial beings
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, and numerous official agencies have stated that the number and nature of disappearances in the region is similar to that in any other area of ocean.

The boundaries of the triangle cover the Straits of Florida
Straits of Florida
The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait is a strait located south-southeast of the North American mainland, generally accepted to be between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and between the Florida Keys and Cuba. The strait carries the Florida Current, the beginning of...

, the Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 and the entire Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 island area and the Atlantic east to the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 where a number of aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 and surface vessels
Surface ship
A surface ship is any type of naval ship that is confined to the surface of the sea. The term is primarily used to mean any modern vessel type that is not a submarine; although a "surface ship" may range in size from a cutter to an aircraft carrier, the weapons and tactics have some commonality,...

 allegedly disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Popular culture has attributed these disappearances to the paranormal
Paranormal
Paranormal is a general term that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure...

 or activity by extraterrestrial beings
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, and numerous official agencies have stated that the number and nature of disappearances in the region is similar to that in any other area of ocean.

The Triangle area


The boundaries of the triangle cover the Straits of Florida
Straits of Florida
The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait is a strait located south-southeast of the North American mainland, generally accepted to be between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and between the Florida Keys and Cuba. The strait carries the Florida Current, the beginning of...

, the Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 and the entire Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 island area and the Atlantic east to the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

. The more familiar triangular boundary in most written works has as its points somewhere on the Atlantic coast of Miami; San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan , officially Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista , is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

; and the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, with most of the accidents concentrated along the southern boundary around the Bahamas and the Florida Straits.

The area is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, and the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft regularly go back and forth between Florida and the islands. It is also a heavily flown route for commercial and private aircraft heading towards Florida, the Caribbean, and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 from points north.

Origins


The earliest allegation of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area appeared in a September 16, 1950 Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 article by Edward Van Winkle Jones. Two years later, Fate magazine published "Sea Mystery at Our Back Door", a short article by George X. Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss of Flight 19
Flight 19
Flight 19 was the designation of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared on December 5, 1945 during a United States Navy-authorized overwater navigation training flight from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All 14 airmen on the flight were lost, as were all 13 crew members of a...

, a group of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger bombers on a training mission. Sand's article was the first to lay out the now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place. Flight 19 alone would be covered in the April 1962 issue of American Legion Magazine. It was claimed that the flight leader had been heard saying "We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don't know where we are, the water is green, no white." It was also claimed that officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes "flew off to Mars." Sand's article was the first to suggest a supernatural element to the Flight 19 incident. In the February 1964 issue of Argosy
Argosy (magazine)
Argosy was an American pulp magazine, published by Frank Munsey. It is generally considered to be the first American pulp magazine. The magazine began as a general information periodical entitled The Golden Argosy, targeted at the boys adventure market.-Launch of Argosy:In late September 1882,...

, Vincent Gaddis
Vincent Gaddis
Vincent Hayes Gaddis was an American author who coined the phrase "Bermuda Triangle" in a February 1964 Argosy cover piece. He popularized many stories about anomalous phenomena in a style similar to that of Charles Fort.Gaddis was born in Ohio to Tilden H. and Alice M. Gaddis. He married...

's article "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle" argued that Flight 19 and other disappearances were part of a pattern of strange events in the region. The next year, Gaddis expanded this article into a book, Invisible Horizons.

Others would follow with their own works, elaborating on Gaddis's ideas: John Wallace Spencer (Limbo of the Lost, 1969, repr. 1973); Charles Berlitz
Charles Berlitz
Charles Frambach Berlitz was an American linguist and language teacher known for his books on anomalous phenomena, as well as his language-learning courses. He is listed in The People's Almanac as one of the fifteen most eminent linguists in the world.-Life:Berlitz was born in New York City...

 (The Bermuda Triangle, 1974); Richard Winer
Richard Winer
Richard Winer is an American author of non-fiction books dealing mainly with the supernatural or the paranormal. His best known for his work on the Bermuda Triangle, The Devil's Triangle , The Devil's Triangle 2 , and From The Devil's Triangle to The Devil's Jaw...

 (The Devil's Triangle, 1974), and many others, all keeping to some of the same supernatural elements outlined by Eckert.

Larry Kusche


Lawrence David Kusche
Larry Kusche
Lawrence David Kusche is an American author and pilot. He had been a commercial pilot, flight instructor, instrument-rated pilot, instrument instructor and librarian by the time he wrote The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved and The Disappearance of Flight 19 .Larry Kusche was born in Racine,...

, a research librarian from Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

 and author of The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975) argued that many claims of Gaddis and subsequent writers were often exaggerated, dubious or unverifiable. Kusche's research revealed a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies between Berlitz's accounts and statements from eyewitnesses, participants, and others involved in the initial incidents. Kusche noted cases where pertinent information went unreported, such as the disappearance of round-the-world yachtsman Donald Crowhurst
Donald Crowhurst
Donald Crowhurst was a British businessman and amateur sailor who died while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Crowhurst had entered the race in hopes of winning a cash prize from The Sunday Times to aid his failing business...

, which Berlitz had presented as a mystery, despite clear evidence to the contrary. Another example was the ore-carrier recounted by Berlitz as lost without trace three days out of an Atlantic port when it had been lost three days out of a port with the same name in the Pacific Ocean. Kusche also argued that a large percentage of the incidents that sparked allegations of the Triangle's mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it. Often his research was simple: he would review period newspapers of the dates of reported incidents and find reports on possibly relevant events like unusual weather, that were never mentioned in the disappearance stories.

Kusche concluded that:
  • The number of ships and aircraft reported missing in the area was not significantly greater, proportionally speaking, than in any other part of the ocean.
  • In an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that did occur were, for the most part, neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious; furthermore, Berlitz and other writers would often fail to mention such storms.
  • The numbers themselves had been exaggerated by sloppy research. A boat's disappearance, for example, would be reported, but its eventual (if belated) return to port may not have been.
  • Some disappearances had, in fact, never happened. One plane crash was said to have taken place in 1937 off Daytona Beach, Florida
    Daytona Beach, Florida
    Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, USA. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city has a population of 64,211. Daytona Beach is a principal city of the Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the census bureau estimated had...

    , in front of hundreds of witnesses; a check of the local papers revealed nothing.
  • The legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery, perpetuated by writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions, faulty reasoning, and sensationalism.

Further responses


When the UK Channel 4 television program "The Bermuda Triangle" (c. 1992) was being produced by John Simmons of Geofilms for the Equinox series, the marine insurance market Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's, also known as Lloyd's of London, is a British insurance and reinsurance market. It serves as a partially mutualised marketplace where multiple financial backers, underwriters, or members, whether individuals or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk...

 was asked if an unusually large number of ships had sunk in the Bermuda Triangle area. Lloyd's of London determined that large numbers of ships had not sunk there.

United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 records confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances is relatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft that pass through on a regular basis.

The Coast Guard is also officially skeptical of the Triangle, noting that they collect and publish, through their inquiries, much documentation contradicting many of the incidents written about by the Triangle authors. In one such incident involving the 1972 explosion and sinking of the tanker , the Coast Guard photographed the wreck and recovered several bodies, in contrast with one Triangle author's claim that all the bodies had vanished, with the exception of the captain, who was found sitting in his cabin at his desk, clutching a coffee cup. In addition, V. A. Fogg sank off the coast of Texas, nowhere near the commonly-accepted boundaries of the Triangle.

The NOVA
NOVA (TV series)
Nova is a popular science television series from the U.S. produced by WGBH Boston. It can be seen on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States, and in more than 100 other countries...

/Horizon episode The Case of the Bermuda Triangle, aired on June 27, 1976, was highly critical, stating that "When we've gone back to the original sources or the people involved, the mystery evaporates. Science does not have to answer questions about the Triangle because those questions are not valid in the first place... Ships and planes behave in the Triangle the same way they behave everywhere else in the world."

David Kusche pointed out a common problem with many of the Bermuda Triangle stories and theories: "Say I claim that a parrot has been kidnapped to teach aliens human language and I challenge you to prove that is not true. You can even use Einstein's Theory of Relativity if you like. There is simply no way to prove such a claim untrue. The burden of proof should be on the people who make these statements, to show where they got their information from, to see if their conclusions and interpretations are valid, and if they have left anything out."

Skeptical researchers, such as Ernest Taves and Barry Singer, have noted how mysteries and the paranormal are very popular and profitable. This has led to the production of vast amounts of material on topics such as the Bermuda Triangle. They were able to show that some of the pro-paranormal material is often misleading or inaccurate, but its producers continue to market it. Accordingly, they have claimed that the market is biased in favor of books, TV specials, and other media that support the Triangle mystery, and against well-researched material if it espouses a skeptical viewpoint.

Finally, if the Triangle is assumed to cross land, such as parts of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, or Bermuda itself, there is no evidence for the disappearance of any land-based vehicles or persons. The city of Freeport
Freeport, Bahamas
Freeport is a city, district and free trade zone located on the island of Grand Bahama of the North-west Bahamas. In 1955, Wallace Groves, a Virginian financier with lumber interests in Grand Bahama, was granted 50,000 acres Freeport is a city, district and free trade zone located on the island of...

, located inside the Triangle, operates a major shipyard and an airport that handles 50,000 flights annually and is visited by over a million tourists a year.

Supernatural explanations


Triangle writers have used a number of supernatural concepts to explain the events. One explanation pins the blame on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

. Sometimes connected to the Atlantis story is the submerged rock formation known as the Bimini Road
Bimini Road
The Bimini Road, sometimes called the Bimini Wall, is an underwater rock formation near North Bimini island in the Bahamas. The Road consists of a -long northeast-southwest linear feature composed of roughly rectangular to subrectangular limestone blocks....

 off the island of Bimini
Bimini
Bimini is the westernmost district of the Bahamas composed of a chain of islands located about 53 miles due east of Miami, Florida. Bimini is the closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland United States and approximately 137 miles west-northwest of Nassau...

 in the Bahamas, which is in the Triangle by some definitions. Followers of the purported psychic Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce was an American psychic who allegedly had the ability to give answers to questions on subjects such as healing or Atlantis while in a hypnotic trance...

 take his prediction that evidence of Atlantis would be found in 1968 as referring to the discovery of the Bimini Road. Believers describe the formation as a road, wall, or other structure, though geologists consider it to be of natural origin.

Other writers attribute the events to UFOs. This idea was used by Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 for his science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey...

, which features the lost Flight 19 aircrews as alien abductees.

Charles Berlitz
Charles Berlitz
Charles Frambach Berlitz was an American linguist and language teacher known for his books on anomalous phenomena, as well as his language-learning courses. He is listed in The People's Almanac as one of the fifteen most eminent linguists in the world.-Life:Berlitz was born in New York City...

, author of various books on anomalous phenomena, lists several theories attributing the losses in the Triangle to anomalous or unexplained forces.

Compass variations


Compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents. While some have theorized that unusual local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area, such anomalies have not been shown to exist. Compasses have natural magnetic variations in relation to the magnetic pole
Magnetic pole
Magnetic pole may refer to:* One of the two ends of a magnet* The magnetic poles of astronomical bodies, a special case of magnets, two special cases of which are the Geomagnetic poles:...

s, a fact which navigators have known for centuries. Magnetic (compass) north and geographic (true) north
True north
True north is the direction along the earth's surface towards the geographic North Pole.True geodetic north usually differs from magnetic north , and from grid north...

 are only exactly the same for a small number of places – for example, as of 2000 in the United States only those places on a line running from Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. But the public may not be as informed, and think there is something mysterious about a compass "changing" across an area as large as the Triangle, which it naturally will.

Deliberate acts of destruction


Deliberate acts of destruction can fall into two categories: acts of war, and acts of piracy. Records in enemy files have been checked for numerous losses. While many sinkings have been attributed to surface raiders or submarines during the World Wars and documented in various command log books, many others suspected as falling in that category have not been proven. It is suspected that the loss of in 1918, as well as her sister ships and in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, were attributed to submarines, but no such link has been found in the German records.

Piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

—the illegal capture of a craft on the high seas—continues to this day. While piracy for cargo theft is more common in the western Pacific and Indian oceans, drug smugglers do steal pleasure boats for smuggling operations, and may have been involved in crew and yacht disappearances in the Caribbean. Piracy in the Caribbean
Piracy in the Caribbean
] The era of piracy in the Caribbean began in the 16th century and died out in the 1830s after the navies of the nations of Western Europe and North America with colonies in the Caribbean began combating pirates. The period during which pirates were most successful was from the 1690s until the 1720s...

 was common from about 1560 to the 1760s, and famous pirates included Edward Teach (Blackbeard
Blackbeard
Edward Teach , better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies....

) and Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte was a pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used "Lafitte", and this is the commonly seen spelling in the United States, including for places...

.


Gulf Stream


The Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

 is a deep ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and then flows through the Straits of Florida
Straits of Florida
The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait is a strait located south-southeast of the North American mainland, generally accepted to be between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and between the Florida Keys and Cuba. The strait carries the Florida Current, the beginning of...

 into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and, like a river, it can and does carry floating objects. It has a surface velocity of up to about 2.5 metres per second (5.6 mi/h). A small plane making a water landing
Water landing
A water landing is, in the broadest sense, any landing on a body of water. All waterfowl, those seabirds capable of flight, and some human-built vehicles are capable of landing in water as a matter of course....

 or a boat having engine trouble can be carried away from its reported position by the current.

Human error


One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error. Whether deliberate or accidental, humans have been known to make mistakes resulting in catastrophe, and losses within the Bermuda Triangle are no exception. For example, the Coast Guard cited a lack of proper training for the cleaning of volatile benzene
Benzene
Benzene is an organic chemical compound. It is composed of 6 carbon atoms in a ring, with 1 hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom, with the molecular formula C6H6....

 residue as a reason for the loss of the tanker V.A. Fogg in 1972. Human stubbornness may have caused businessman Harvey Conover to lose his sailing yacht, the Revonoc, as he sailed into the teeth of a storm south of Florida on January 1, 1958.

Hurricanes


Hurricanes
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 are powerful storms, which form in tropical waters and have historically cost thousands of lives lost and caused billions of dollars in damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla
Francisco de Bobadilla
Francisco de Bobadilla was a Spanish colonial administrator. Member of the Order of Calatrava, in 1499, de Bobadilla was appointed to succeed Christopher Columbus as the second governor of the Indies, Spain's new territories in America, by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella...

's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.

Methane hydrates




An explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of large fields of methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

 hydrates (a form of natural gas) on the continental shelves. Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water; any wreckage consequently rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

. It has been hypothesized that periodic methane eruptions (sometimes called "mud volcano
Mud volcano
The term mud volcano or mud dome are used to refer to formations created by geo-excreted liquids and gases, although there are several different processes which may cause such activity. Hot water mixes with mud and surface deposits. Mud volcanoes are associated with subduction zones and about 700...

es") may produce regions of frothy water that are no longer capable of providing adequate buoyancy
Buoyancy
In physics, buoyancy is a force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus a column of fluid, or an object submerged in the fluid, experiences greater pressure at the bottom of the...

 for ships. If this were the case, such an area forming around a ship could cause it to sink very rapidly and without warning.

Publications by the USGS
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

 describe large stores of undersea hydrates worldwide, including the Blake Ridge area, off the southeastern United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 coast. However, according to another of their papers, no large releases of gas hydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years.

Rogue waves


In various oceans around the world, rogue waves
Rogue Waves
Rogue Waves is a 1979 album by musician Terry Reid.-Track listing:All tracks composed by Terry Reid except where noted.# "Ain't No Shadow" - 3:57# "Baby I Love You" - 4:04# "Stop And Think It Over" - 3:45...

 have caused ships to sink and oil platforms to topple. These waves, until 1995, were considered to be a mystery and/or a myth.

Theodosia Burr Alston


Theodosia Burr Alston was the daughter of former United States Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

. Her disappearance has been cited at least once in relation to the Triangle. She was a passenger on board Patriot, which sailed from Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

 to New York City on December 30, 1812, and was never heard from again. The planned route is well outside all but the most extended versions of the Bermuda Triangle. Both piracy and the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 have been posited as explanations, as well as a theory placing her in Texas, well outside the Triangle.


Ellen Austin


The Ellen Austin supposedly came across a derelict ship, placed on board a prize crew, and attempted to sail with it to New York in 1881. According to the stories, the derelict disappeared; others elaborating further that the derelict reappeared minus the prize crew, then disappeared again with a second prize crew on board. A check from Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's, also known as Lloyd's of London, is a British insurance and reinsurance market. It serves as a partially mutualised marketplace where multiple financial backers, underwriters, or members, whether individuals or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk...

 records proved the existence of the Meta, built in 1854 and that in 1880 the Meta was renamed Ellen Austin. There are no casualty listings for this vessel, or any vessel at that time, that would suggest a large number of missing men were placed on board a derelict that later disappeared.

USS Cyclops


The incident resulting in the single largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy not related to combat occurred when USS Cyclops, under the command of Lt Cdr
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 G.W. Worley, went missing without a trace with a crew of 309 sometime after March 4, 1918, after departing the island of Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

. Although there is no strong evidence for any single theory, many independent theories exist, some blaming storms, some capsizing, and some suggesting that wartime enemy activity
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 was to blame for the loss.

Carroll A. Deering


A five-masted schooner built in 1919, the Carroll A. Deering was found hard aground and abandoned at Diamond Shoals, near Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras is a cape on the coast of North Carolina. It is the point that protrudes the farthest to the southeast along the northeast-to-southwest line of the Atlantic coast of North America...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 on January 31, 1921. Rumors and more at the time indicated the Deering was a victim of piracy, possibly connected with the illegal rum-running trade during Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, and possibly involving another ship, , which disappeared at roughly the same time. Just hours later, an unknown steamer sailed near the lightship along the track of the Deering, and ignored all signals from the lightship. It is speculated that Hewitt may have been this mystery ship, and possibly involved in the Deering crew's disappearance.

Flight 19




Flight 19 was a training flight of TBM Avenger bombers that went missing on December 5, 1945, while over the Atlantic. The squadron's flight path was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base, but they never returned.

A search and rescue Mariner aircraft with a 13-man crew was dispatched to aid the missing squadron, but the Mariner itself was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion at about the time the Mariner would have been on patrol.

While the basic facts of this version of the story are essentially accurate, some important details are missing. The weather was becoming stormy by the end of the incident, and naval reports and written recordings of the conversations between Taylor and the other pilots of Flight 19 do not indicate magnetic problems.

Star Tiger and Star Ariel


G-AHNP Star Tiger
G-AHNP "Star Tiger"
Star Tiger was an Avro Tudor Mark IV passenger aircraft owned and operated by British South American Airways which disappeared without trace over the Atlantic Ocean while on a flight between Santa Maria in the Azores and Bermuda on 30 January 1948...

 disappeared on January 30, 1948 on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda; G-AGRE Star Ariel
G-AGRE "Star Ariel"
Star Ariel was an Avro Tudor Mark IVB passenger aircraft owned and operated by British South American Airways which disappeared without trace over the Atlantic Ocean while on a flight between Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica on 17 January 1949...

 disappeared on January 17, 1949, on a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island...

. Both were Avro
Avro
Avro was a British aircraft manufacturer, with numerous landmark designs such as the Avro 504 trainer in the First World War, the Avro Lancaster, one of the pre-eminent bombers of the Second World War, and the delta wing Avro Vulcan, a stalwart of the Cold War.-Early history:One of the world's...

 Tudor IV passenger aircraft operated by British South American Airways
British South American Airways
British South American Airways or British South American Airways Corporation was a state-run airline in Britain in the 1940s. It was originally called British Latin American Air Lines Ltd....

. Both planes were operating at the very limits of their range and the slightest error or fault in the equipment could keep them from reaching the small island. One plane was not heard from long before it would have entered the Triangle.

Douglas DC-3


On December 28, 1948, a Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made...

 aircraft, number NC16002
NC16002 Disappearance
The disappearance of the Douglas DC-3 airliner NC16002 occurred on the night of December 28, 1948 near the end of a scheduled flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida . The aircraft carried 29 passengers and three crew members...

, disappeared while on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami. No trace of the aircraft or the 32 people onboard was ever found. From the documentation compiled by the Civil Aeronautics Board investigation, a possible key to the plane's disappearance was found, but barely touched upon by the Triangle writers: the plane's batteries were inspected and found to be low on charge, but ordered back into the plane without a recharge by the pilot while in San Juan. Whether or not this led to complete electrical failure will never be known. However, since piston-engined aircraft rely upon magnetos
Magneto (electrical)
A magneto is an electrical generator that uses permanent magnets to produce alternating current.Magnetos adapted to produce pulses of high voltage are used in the ignition systems of some gasoline-powered internal combustion engines to provide power to the spark plugs...

 to provide spark to their cylinders rather than a battery powered ignition coil
Ignition coil
An ignition coil is an induction coil in an automobile's ignition system which transforms the battery's 12 volts to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel...

 system, this theory is not strongly convincing.

KC-135 Stratotankers


On August 28, 1963, a pair of US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker
KC-135 Stratotanker
The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is an aerial refueling military aircraft. It and the Boeing 707 airliner were developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype. The KC-135 was the US Air Force's first jet-powered refueling tanker and replaced the KC-97 Stratotanker...

 aircraft collided and crashed into the Atlantic. The Triangle version (Winer, Berlitz, Gaddis) of this story specifies that they did collide and crash, but there were two distinct crash sites, separated by over 160 miles (257.5 km) of water. However, Kusche's research showed that the unclassified version of the Air Force investigation report stated that the debris field defining the second "crash site" was examined by a search and rescue ship, and found to be a mass of seaweed
Seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

 and driftwood
Driftwood
Driftwood is wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea or river by the action of winds, tides, waves or man. It is a form of marine debris or tidewrack....

 tangled in an old buoy
Buoy
A buoy is a floating device that can have many different purposes. It can be anchored or allowed to drift. The word, of Old French or Middle Dutch origin, is now most commonly in UK English, although some orthoepists have traditionally prescribed the pronunciation...

.

SS Marine Sulphur Queen


, a T2 tanker
T2 tanker
The T2 tanker, or T2, was an oil tanker constructed and produced in large quantities in the United States during World War II. The largest "navy oilers" after the T3s at the time, nearly 500 of them were built between 1940 and the end of 1945....

 converted from oil to sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 carrier, was last heard from on February 4, 1963 with a crew of 39 near the Florida Keys. Marine Sulphur Queen was the first vessel mentioned in Vincent Gaddis' 1964 Argosy Magazine article, but he left it as having "sailed into the unknown", despite the Coast Guard report, which not only documented the ship's badly-maintained history, but declared that it was an unseaworthy vessel that should never have gone to sea.

Connemara IV


A pleasure yacht was found adrift in the Atlantic south of Bermuda on September 26, 1955; it is usually stated in the stories (Berlitz, Winer) that the crew vanished while the yacht survived being at sea during three hurricanes. The 1955 Atlantic hurricane season
1955 Atlantic hurricane season
The 1955 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 15, 1955, and lasted until November 15, 1955. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. The 1955 season was active, with twelve tropical storms forming.Three...

 shows Hurricane Ione
Hurricane Ione
Hurricane Ione was a strong, Category 3 hurricane that affected North Carolina in September 1955, bringing high winds and significant rainfall. It came on the heels of Hurricanes Connie and Diane, and compounded problems already caused by the two earlier hurricanes...

 passing nearby between the 14th and 18th of that month, with Bermuda being affected by winds of almost gale force. It was confirmed that the Connemara IV was empty and in port when Ione may have caused the yacht to slip her moorings and drift out to sea.

Entertainment

  • The Sea World
    Sea World
    Sea World is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It includes rides, animal exhibits and other attractions, and promotes conservation through education and through the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. The...

     amusement park
    Amusement park
    thumb|Cinderella Castle in [[Magic Kingdom]], [[Disney World]]Amusement and theme parks are terms for a group of entertainment attractions and rides and other events in a location for the enjoyment of large numbers of people...

     on the Gold Coast
    Gold Coast, Queensland
    Gold Coast is a coastal city of Australia located in South East Queensland, 94km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 in 2010, it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous...

     (Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ) operated a ride called Bermuda Triangle
    Bermuda Triangle (Sea World)
    The Bermuda Triangle was a themed indoor flume ride at the Sea World amusement park on the Gold Coast, Australia.-History:In 1980, Sea World opened a set of bumper boats located in a small lake in the centre of the Viking's Revenge Flume Ride. In 1987, these bumper boats were removed to aid in the...

    .

Music

  • Composer Isao Tomita
    Isao Tomita
    , often known simply as Tomita, is a Japanese music composer, regarded as one of the pioneers of electronic music and space music, and as one of the most famous producers of analog synthesizer arrangements...

     released an album, Bermuda Triangle, inspired by the region.
  • Singer Songwriter Barry Manilow
    Barry Manilow
    Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, producer, conductor, and performer, best known for such recordings as "Could It Be Magic", "Mandy", "Can't Smile Without You", and "Copacabana ."...

     released a single "Bermuda Triangle
    Bermuda Triangle (song)
    Bermuda Triangle is a song by Barry Manilow, from his album Barry. Released as a single in 1981, it reached number 15 in the UK charts, and number 16 in Germany....

    " in 1981, taken from his 1980 album Barry
    Barry (album)
    Barry is the self-titled album released by singer and songwriter Barry Manilow in 1980. The album reached Platinum status. The tracks were recorded at Evergreen Recording Studios in Burbank, California. Manilow co-wrote with Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire the album track "Only in Chicago"...

    . The song references the area to depict loss ("The Bermuda Triangle makes people disappear"), however the allusion is centred around romantic loss, and caused by fickleness rather than paranormal activity.

Films


The first film based on the Triangle was The Bermuda Triangle in 1978. After that, other films included The Triangle
The Triangle (film)
The Triangle is a 2001 thriller television movie released August 13, 2001 starring Luke Perry and Dan Cortese. It was directed by Lewis Teague, and filmed in the Barbados and Canada.-Plot:...

in 2001, The Triangle (a TV miniseries) in 2005, and Triangle
Triangle (2009 film)
Triangle is a 2009 British-Australian psychological horror film, directed by Christopher Smith, and starring Melissa George, Rachael Carpani and Liam Hemsworth. It is set in the Bermuda Triangle. The film was released in the UK on 16 October 2009....

in 2009.

Triangle authors


The incidents cited above, apart from the official documentation, come from the following works. Some incidents mentioned as having taken place within the Triangle are found only in these sources:

            • See also

              • List of Bermuda Triangle incidents
              • Atlantis
                Atlantis
                Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

              • Devil's Sea
                Devil's Sea
                The , also known as the Dragon's Triangle, the Formosa Triangle and the "Pacific Bermuda Triangle", is a region of the Pacific around Miyake Island, about 100 km south of Tokyo...

                 (or Dragon's Triangle)
              • The Michigan Triangle
                The Michigan Triangle
                The Michigan Triangle is an area of Lake Michigan where unexplained phenomena have reportedly occurred.-Location:According to author Linda S. Godfrey in her book Weird Michigan , the Michigan Triangle is located over central Lake Michigan...

              • Sargasso Sea
                Sargasso Sea
                The Sargasso Sea is a region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ocean currents. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. This...

              • SS Cotopaxi
                SS Cotopaxi
                The SS Cotopaxi was a tramp steamer named after the Cotopaxi stratovolcano. She vanished in December 1925, while en route from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, to Havana, Cuba, with all hands.-Description:Cotopaxi was a cargo ship of 2,351 GRT...

              • The Triangle (TV miniseries)
              • Vile Vortices
                Vile Vortices
                Vile Vortices is a term referring to twelve geographic areas that are alleged by Ivan Sanderson to have been the sites of mysterious disappearances. He identified them in a 1972 article "The Twelve Devil's Graveyards Around the World", published in Saga magazine...


              External links