In the past 100 years, the Bermuda Triangle has claimed over 1000 lives. In reality, that is only 10 a year. Though these lives lost are tragedies, this is not that incredible of a figure. It is how they died that have sparked many legends. These flames were given fuel by V. Gaddis article in “Argossy: Magazine of Masterpiece Fiction” where the term “Bermuda Triangle was first used.
The first legends of the Bermuda Triangle begin already with Cristopher Columbus. As a captain, he was greatly respected, and his brave sailing efforts helped revolutionize the world. Much of the information we have about Columbus is picked up directly from his journal, so we are able to trace his footsteps to the New World. His first problem occured as he ran into the Sargasso Sea. The crew was greatly disappointed when seaweed and land birds were sighted, but after a few days no land was to be seen. Soon after, Columbus reported his compass acting strangly. He did not report this to his crew due to their deep superstitions. Days later, Columbus saw a large meteor fall from the sky. He described it as “a large ball of light fallen from the sky.” It is unsure whether he mentions this occurences in awe, because of its great size, or in fright. Later in their trip, Columbus and a few crew members sighted a few dancing lights on the horizon. They wandered about in the Carribbean for over a week yet before sighting land.
Since Columbus, as many as 100 ships and planes have been reported missing, taking over 1000 lives. A select few of them are reported here…
1872: The Mary Celeste
1945: The disappearance of 5 Navy avengers – Flight 19
1947: Army C-45 Superfort vanishes 100 miles off Bermuda
1948: Four-engined Tudor IV lost with 31 lives
1948: DC-3 lost with 32 passengers and crew
1949: Second Tudor IV vanishes
1950: Giant US Air Force Globemaster lost
1950: American freighter, SS Sandra (350 ft), sinks without a trace
1952: British York transport plane lost with 33 aboard
1954: US Navy Lockheed Constellation vanishes with 42 aboard
1956: US Navy seaplane, Martin p5M, dessappears with crew of ten
1962: US Air Force KB-50 tanker plane lost
1963: Marine Sulpher Queen vanishes without a trace
1967: Military YC-122, converted to cargo plane, lost
1970: French freighter Milton latrides disappears
1972: German freighter Anita (20,000 tons), lost with crew of 32
1997: Passengers dissappear from German yacht
Other people believe that the Triangle houses the famous lost city of Atlantis. No evidence has been brought forth to prove this theory, but many claim to have seem or “felt the powers” of the lost city. Other people look at the lack of information and mystery involved and turn to the only other possible solution–Aliens! Again, there is little evidence to show any sign of UFOs in the area. Several people have claimed to have made UFO sightings, but even popular UFO experts and enthusiasts do not support the photographs involved.
Perhaps the ocean is to remain a secret to man, a mystery, to keep us away from the power nature truly has over man. This mystery can serve as a warning and to inspire awe into men’s heart, looking at the greatness and power this great Creation.
The Possible Truth
I don’t claim to have discovered the truth as many other researchers do, but would rather lay evidence before and let you judge for yourself. I find that so many legends are purely fictitious myths. However, cynics often go too far in their criticisms, making their claims less credible. The area is undoubtedly an area of great tragedy and even mystery. Many good points have been pointed out by scholars, historians, and scientists alike.
1. Tropical Weather. Many short and intense storms build up quickly and dissipate quickly, undetected by satellite surveillance. These even hold such dangerous elements as waterspouts that could easily destroy any passing plane or ship.
2. Amateur Sailors. This area is a boon for the inexperienced or unknoweledged boater. The Coast guard gets over 8000 distress calls a year (more than 20 a day!). However, most are sailors who have run out of gas or encountered some other foolish problem. The beautiful area is highly deceptive in its calmness, so sailors are often not prepared for what the sea can throw at them.
3. Underwater Earthquakes. Though none have been officially recorded, scientists have found a great deal of seismic activity in this area. In shallow areas, underwater earthquakes have the power to cause such disturbances such as the tsunamis of the far east.
4. The Gulf Stream. This ocean current is extremely strong. It has been reported to move faster than 5 mph in some areas. This is enough to throw many boaters hundreds of miles off coarse because they did not know how to compensate for the current. This, combined with the unusual effects of magnetism on the area, is the cause of many confused sailors.
5. The Gas Bubble Theory. A theory also exists among serious scientists that a high concentration of gas hydrates that exists in the area causing the water to become less dense within small patches. This would cause ships to sink quickly and without a trace.
6. Pirates. A common way to get into the drug smuggling business in the ’70s and ’80s was to pirate a boat for your business. Suspicion also arises at the coincidence of the World Wars and the greatest count of mysterious acts in the Triangle.
7. Traffic. There is undeniably a great deal of boat and airplane traffic over this area. It is not as great as some critics claim, but still a much visited area. Logic would have it that accidents will happen. In fact, it is reported that there are many other areas on earth where more “mysterious disappearances” have occured, such as the Devil’s Sea near Japan. The ocean is a dangerous place.
The Bermuda Triangle lies vaguely east of Florida. Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Miami are said to be the “points” of this legendary triangle. However, the U.S. government denies the existence of these borders. Many “phenomena” enthusiasts claim that the triangle is not truly a triangle but a general area of water found east and southeast of North America. In any event, the geography of the area is awe-inspiring and deeply misunderstood.The humid subtropical climate of the region brings with it heavy rainfall and high temperatures. An annual rainfall in excess of 60 inches (152 cm) can be expected. Though much this rainfall is mostly spread evenly through the year, hurricanes and harsh thunderstorms occasionally drop 10 inches of rain within hours. This area is well known by geographers for the sudden nature of its storms. There have been many reports of complete whiteouts being formed in seconds. Waterspouts and extremely strong winds are dangerous elements that often accompany these storms.
The topography of the ocean floor bottom is surprising to many that sail the area. It is commonly believed that this whole area is very shallow. This is true near to the Florida coastline, but as the North Atlantic Continental Shelf breaks off only miles away, depths quickly reach as low as 12,000 feet. About 100 miles north of Puerto Rico is the deepest part of the Atlantic, the Puerto Rico Trench, estimated at 30,000 feet deep!
The Florida Straits within this area are approximately 5000 feet deep. While people snorkel in the water only a few hundred feet deep near the coasts of the islands and Florida and ships can be seen sunk in the clear blue waters, this area is incredibly deceptive. To this day, the ocean floor of this area has not been systematically mapped out. It is known that the ocean floor is littered with caves and varies greatly in depth. For more information on ocean topography visit The Geology World Data Center.
The ocean floor, being highly unexplored, is host to many strange phenomena. The area of “The Bermuda Triangle” is not an exception. Recently, scientists have found an anti-current matching the Gulf Stream hundreds of feet below the famous gulf current. Studies are just beginning this hidden current. However, it undoubtedly has a profound effect upon these waters. Unexplainable white “masses” are said to reside in these waters, seen only by satellite photography. This region is also one of only two places on earth that true north lines up with physical (compass) north. The other is another place of legend and tragedy on the opposite side of the earth, the Devil’s Sea. A worldwide scientific project was created to study the earth’s magnetism by the U.S. government. Results found no odd magnetism as claimed by many airplane pilots and ship captains. Scientists agree, however, there is much to be learned about magnetism, its properties being greatly unknown…
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