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Head south…which way to go south? Ask the station “what is my location?”…but no reply. Fuel time left: three hours; what does one do in this situation? Many pilots and sailors face this type of situation when they enter the Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is a dangerous area of the Atlantic Ocean, where many mysterious disappearances of ships and planes have occurred. Many theories attempt to explain the Bermuda Triangle’s inscrutability, but no one knows the real explanation. The Bermuda Triangle is a formidable and precarious place known throughout the world.
First of all, what is the Bermuda Triangle exactly? It covers an area of about 500,000 square miles off the southern coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean. The area is an imaginary triangle shape with apexes at 1)Miami, Florida, 2)San Juan, Puerto Rico, and 3)Bermuda Island (“Works” 1). Many know the Bermuda Triangle for its rough seas and stormy weather, and for rumors that tell of more than 1,000 ships and planes that have vanished without a trace inside its borders (Exposed 1). Bermuda Island was once known as the “Isle of Devils” because of the treacherous reefs that ensnared ships that sailed too close to the shores. When the certain triangular area began stirring trouble and mystery, it seemed all too familiar to this Isle of Devils along the shores of Bermuda (“Works” 1) Out of this came the name “Bermuda Triangle”.
Despite its familiarity now, the Bermuda Triangle was not always so famous. Many people tried to say that the danger there meant nothing, ships and planes disappear all over the world at any given time. But Gian J. Quasar, author of the article “Into the Bermuda Triangle: Pursuing the Truth Behind the World’s Greatest Mystery”, believed differently. He requested Coast Guard records of ships and planes that have traveled through the Bermuda Triangle (“Works” 2). Records revealed that over 300 ships and vessels went missing or overdue in just the past couple years. These reports do not even include yachts, charter boats, and private aircrafts. Quasar then compared these reports to two records: 1)428 missing vessels across the world between 1955-1975, and 2)just a handful of aircraft disappeared off the New England coast in 10 years, while 30 disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle (“Works” 2). This proved just one instance that the Bermuda Triangle showed its reality and dangerous. The Bermuda Triangle gained great fame as disappearances were compiled, many reports and articles came about, and rumors spread across the world (“Works” 2). This is the Bermuda Triangle and its rise to fame.
Second of all, are all the rumors true about the Bermuda Triangle? As the records and reports in the previous paragraph showed, yes, the Bermuda Triangle proved real. No one knows much about it though; to its mysteries, scientist Richard Weiner commented, “We probably know more about the moon than our own planet…we’re learning more about Mars than…Earth’s waters” (Exposed 1). This having been said, one should take a look at the historic exodus in the Bermuda Triangle, of which we know hardly anything about. The first notable disappearance happened early on to the U.S.S. Cyclops 1918. The ship served on the east coast in World War I, and then got assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation service (“Works” 3). The ship scheduled to sail to Brazil so it could refuel British ships. It set out from Rio de Janero on February 16, briefly stopped in Barbados from March 3-4, and from there was never seen or heard from again (“Works” 3). But this was just the beginning.
Many years later, the really devastating disappearance took place. The next well known disappearance occurred on December 5, 1945, just six months after World War II. Lieutenant Charles Taylor led a training mission for five Avenger aircrafts, which left from Fort Lauderdale in Florida (Exposed 1). However, at 2:30pm, with five and a half hours of fuel time left, Commander Don Poole at the station in Fort Lauderdale received a call of trouble. Taylor reported that they were “unable to confer our current position…”; Poole answered “head west”, and Taylor replied “we don’t know which way is west” (Exposed 1). Come early evening, radio man Baker from Port Everglades heard the last report from the Avengers. By 8:00pm, there was no fuel time left for them. A rescue plane was then sent out after them, but it too vanished 27 minutes later (Exposed 1). What happened to them, still no one knows today.
Less than 20 years later, another major mystery took place in the Triangle. The S.S. Marine Sulphur Queen headed towards Norfolk, Virginia, to Beaumont, Texas, carrying 15,000 tons of molten sulphur in heated tanks. On February 3, 1963, the captain radioed his routine position report; he reported the ships location at near key west in Florida Straits (“Works” 6). This proved the last communication heard from the captain. Three days later, Coast Guard searchers found a single life jacket floating 40 miles southwest of the tanker’s position. The article states that “It’s likely that leaking sulphur may have caused an explosion. Escaping sulphur gas could have poisoned the crew and prevented them from sending a distress call” (“Works” 6). Honduran officers reported that they ran into “a strong, acrid odor 15 miles off Cape San Antonia” (“Works” 6). Later, still more proof was found that the ship ran into trouble: much wreckage washed up, and the area seemed infested with sharks and barracuda, so no bodies were ever found (“Works” 6). These are just a few of the hundreds of disappearances of ships/planes in the Bermuda Triangle.
So what could possibly be the cause of all these disappearances? Well, there are many theories; the first came from the incident of a north sea oil rig that burst a methane gas bubble, which almost sunk the oil rig, in 1985. Researcher Phil Jiles thought this option could prove key in finding a reason for disappearing ships. Jiles conducted an experiment in which he took a methane line, drilled holes in it, and stuck it underneath the water (Exposed 2). This produced methane bubbles that spurted out at the surface of the water. Jiles then put a sailing boat right in the middle of the bubbles to see if the boat would sink, but it did not; the upward flow of water kept the boat afloat while in the middle of the spurt of bubbles (Exposed 2). But Jiles would not give up on the experiment; he moved the boat to the outer edge of the methane bubble spurts, and watched what happened next. The plain water had less density than the boat, so the front of the boat stayed afloat; but the water with the methane bubbles had more density than the boat, so the back of the boat started sink. Within a few minutes, the boat sunk completely (Exposed 2). This experiment proved successful, and could thereby be a reason for some of the disappearances in the Triangle.
Another theory to explain the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle is human error/pilot disorientation. Even the most skilled pilots or sailors can make mistakes when communication and orienteering tools stop working and the waters and islands all look the same (“Top 10” 2). A third explanation for the Bermuda Triangle is crazy weather patterns. Hot and cold air masses collide, the gulf stream runs straight through the Triangle, and the deepest part of the Atlantic – the Puerto Rico Trench – lies deep on the floor of the Triangle. These factor into turbulent waters, weather that can change in minutes from calm to tempestuous; imagine what kinds of troubles this causes for ships and planes (“Top 10” 3). Many believe that the magnetic fields beneath the Triangle are askew. This would explain why compasses spin out of control. In fact, pilots/sailors have to adjust their compasses to compensate for the compass variations in the Bermuda Triangle; so this could prove a good explanation for the compass disorientation (“Top 10” 4). These theories consist of natural causes, but many believe several crazy theories as well.
Although a number of theories seem quite unreasonable, some people really believe these not-so-natural theories. An especially wild theory is that Atlantis lies below the Bermuda Triangle, and the intense energy crystals that fueled the city now interfere with plane/ship electronics. Theorists say they have found Bimini Road, “a strange rock formation composed of uniform, seemingly sculpted towers of rock just off the coast of Bahamian Island of Bimini and claim it was once a dock” (“Top 10” 5). Another crazy theory involves UFOs/Aliens. Some believe that the Bermuda Triangle serves as a portal for interplanetary, interdimensional creatures. The myth is that when human ships/planes get caught in the portal at the wrong time, they end up trapped between dimensions (“Top 10” 7). Some also believe that government is doing testing in the Triangle. They say the government “calls this base AUTEC (Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center)…and it’s where the Navy tests out subs, weapons, and sonar” (“Top 10” 7). Of all these theories, not very many seem feasible.
A few of these theories seem feasible. In fact, a few of those theories combined add up to all the disappearances and mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. First, the magnetic fields are askew, and that causes navigation and communication tools quit working in the Triangle. The crazy weather theory is also feasible. All kinds of things can happen because of weather, especially on the open sea. And finally, human error/pilot disorientation plays a role in the danger of the Triangle. Humans make mistakes all the time, even trained and experienced humans, and sometimes the results are tragic. In short, the Bermuda Triangle’s danger is from natural causes. Combining these three theories could result in all of the incidents and vanishings within the Bermuda Triangle.
The Bermuda Triangle is world-famous for its puzzlements and peril. The Triangle is a treacherous area of water, where many a ship and plane have vanished without a trace. Near thousands of sailors and pilots have perished and lost their lives to the dangers of the Bermuda Triangle. There are theories to try to explain the Triangle’s secrets, but no one knows the real story. The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle lives on!
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