To many people, there is a mysterious force lurking in the Atlantic ocean that doesn't wait to swallow an unsuspecting ship or down a soaring plane. There are countless stories investigating the dark mysteries of a region in the Atlantic called The Bermuda Triangle. But, a closer look reveals some truth and a whole lot of fiction. Let's investigate!
Columbus was the first to record a strange phenomenon in the Bermuda Triangle.
Columbus's compass is said to have gone haywire while passing through the Bermuda Triangle during his first voyage to the Americas. Now, this is largely unverifiable. Columbus did observe something strange during his voyage and he described them as lights bobbing up and down.
Compass do act weird in a lot of stories connected to the Bermuda triangle. This can be a result of Compass Variation which is the difference between the magnetic north and the true north. The geographic north lies in the middle of the Arctic ocean and the magnetic north is at the Ellesmere island in Canada. The distance between the two places is almost 500 kilometers and on the compass it can translate to a difference of up to 20 degrees. But, there are places where the true north and the magnetic north align and it is said that the Bermuda triangle is one of these places. It is often cited as one of the probable reasons why so many planes and ships get lost in the Triangle. But, there is no conclusive evidence for this claim.
In 1945, Flight 19, a Squadron of 5 planes disappeared on a routine flight over the Bermuda Triangle.
Flight 19 was making a routine flight, taking off from Fort Lauderdale at 2.10 pm. Four hours into the flight, the five planes had gone missing. Two Martin Mariner planes were tasked with finding the missing Flight 19. One of the Mariners tracking the Flight 19's path suddenly disappeared from the radar. There was no trace of Flight 19 ever found.
The investigation did not reveal the reasons for the disappearance.
Without context, the case of Flight 19 sounds as if some unearthly force was behind its disappearance. But, the 500 page investigation reveals a different picture. The flight went missing after a series of unfortunate events.
Prior to take off, flight Lieutenant Taylor had requested for permission to not lead the flight. It is said that he was unfit to lead that day. Lieutenant Taylor was also new to Fort Lauderdale and midway into his flight he confused the Bahamas for Florida Keys. It is here where he reported that his compass had stopped functioning and radioed for help. Taylor believed they were off-course over Gulf of Mexico and needed to fly north-east to reach the base. This calculation proved to be a mistake and the plane ended up in the Atlantic Ocean, flying further away from the base with depleting fuel. They encountered bad weather and are believed to have crashed soon after.
The Mariner is believed to have exploded over the ocean. Though no trace of the plane was found, an oil tanker reported a fireball in the sky and an oil spill from a plane. Mariners were infamous for exploding and were even called "Flying Gas Tanks".
Associated Press was the first media house to point out the mysterious occurring happening in the region.
On September 17, 1950, Associated Press published "Sea's Puzzles Still Baffle Men In Pushbutton Age". The article talked about a mystery in the Atlantic ocean yet to be uncovered by man. The writer recorded various aircrafts and ships that disappeared without a trace in a part of the Atlantic ocean. The image used in the article can be seen below.
A Fiction Magazine Called Argosy coined the term "Bermuda Triangle"
Pulp Fiction (not the movie) writer Vincent H.Gaddis wrote an article "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle" in 1964. The writing which read like a news article spoke about the various disappearings before delving into the missing Flight 19.
The article had some sprinkle of facts but it was largely a work of imagination. He marked an area onto the map where the sea was alive; devouring ships out of the sea and aeroplanes out of thin air, all while guarding her secrets to how she did it. And, then the legend of The Bermuda Triangle was born.
More aircrafts and ships vanish in Bermuda triangle than anywhere else.
This is claimed by a number of Bermuda Triangle believers but there is no evidence to support the claim. The region from the start of the industrial revolution has been one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. More the ships and planes - more likely there will be an accident. Still, considering the air and ship traffic in the region, the accidents are insignificant. Atlantic always had a reputation for being a dangerous ocean - not because of sea monsters or mysterious disappearances - but for its unpredictable weather conditions and rough seas. The Atlantic is known for deep trenches and powerful underwater currents. These make searching for lost or missing planes and ships incredibly difficult. Image - Screenshot of planes in Bermuda Triangle. Flight Radar 24
Insurance rates are higher for ships that travel through Bermuda Triangle.
No, the insurance rates are similar to any other part of the world. There is no evidence that ships in Bermuda Triangle are in greater danger than others. A fact confirmed by a marine insurance company Lloyd's of London. Image - BBC
Cover Photo - Flickr
Compass and Flight 19 - Wikipedia Commons
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