The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and surface vessels are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
Many believe that Devil is at play here and therefore call the area also as Devil's Triangle.
Bermuda Triangle is located off the South-Eastern coast of the United States and in the Atlantic Ocean. The three corners of the triangle are: Miami (Florida); San Juan (Puerto Rico); and Bermuda (the north-Atlantic island). The accidents have mostly taken place near the southern boundary of the triangle between Florida and Puerto Rico.
Why the name "Bermuda Triangle"?
At the time of coining the term, the first name that came up was "Miami Triangle". But Florida objected saying that they would lose visitors to Miami with such name as people would fear to come there. So the next name taken up was "Puerto Rico Triangle". Puerto Rico too raised objections. Then it was the turn for the 21 square mile tiny island Bermuda which forms the third corner of the triangle. And no one seems to have bothered. Bermuda was then also known as the "Isle of the Devils" which fitted to the triangle concept quite well and therefore the final name "Bermuda Triangle" was coined.
Lost Planes & Ships in Bermuda Triangle
Some famous incidents of Bermuda Triangle disappearances that have defied proper explanation and have remained as some of the greatest mysteries:
Flight 19 were training aircrafts of TBM Avenger bombers of US Navy that went missing on Dec 5, 1945 while flying over the Atlantic.
They were scheduled to go due east from Florida Naval base for 120 miles, then north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile route that would return them to the naval base. But strangely they never came back.
Adding to the mystery, two rescue Martin Mariner aircraft with 13-man crew were sent to search for the missing flights. But one of the Martin Mariners itself did not return and was never traced again.
Mary Celeste: Known as one of the ghost ships of Bermuda Triangle, Mary Celeste had many misadventures even before her mystery voyage in 1872. Find out the full story.
The Ellen Austin on its voyage in 1881 came across another ship that was sailing without a single soul on board. Ellen Austin transferred some of its crew onto the other ship and attempted to sail with it to New York. The other ship suddenly disappeared. Later it re-appeared, but again without a person on board. Then it again disappeared without trace.
USS Cyclops: This navy ship disappearance resulted in the single largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy. It went missing without a trace with a crew of 309, sometime after March 4th 1918 and after departing the island of Barbados.
PBM Martin Mariner: Two Martin Mariner planes were sent on the 5th of December 1945 to search for the Flight-19. One did not return. Find out the full story.
USS Scorpion: USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was a Nuclear powered submarine of United States Navy that disappeared in Bermuda Triangle in May 1968.
Tudor Star Tiger Aircraft Mystery
Star Tiger, a Tudor Mark IV aircraft disappeared in Bermuda Triangle shortly before it was to land in Bermuda airport.
The flight Douglas DC-3 NC16002 disappeared in Bermuda Triangle when it was only 50 miles south of Florida and about to land in Miami on December 28, 1948.
The flight 441, a Super Constellation Naval Airliner, disappeared in Bermuda Triangle on October 30, 1954
C-54 in Bermuda Triangle: Apparently it would seem to be sudden thunderstorm that would have disintegrated the C-54 plane. But there was more to the story.
Witchcraft - Witchcraft, a 23-foot cabin cruiser went missing for ever in Bermuda Triangle area on the night of December 22, 1967. The owner took it offshore only to watch the lights of Miami shoreline.
Theodosia Burr Alston was the daughter of former United States Vice President Aaron Burr. Her disappearance has been cited at least once in relation to the Triangle. She was a passenger on board the Patriot, which sailed from Charleston, South Carolina to New York City on December 30, 1812, and was never heard from again.
S.V. Spray was a derelict fishing boat refitted as an ocean cruiser by Joshua Slocum and used by him to complete the first ever single-handed circumnavigation of the world, between 1895 and 1898.In 1909, Slocum set sail from Vineyard Haven bound for Venezuela. Neither he nor Spray were ever seen again.
Here are some more incidents at Bermuda triangle:
1492 - Christopher Columbus reported strange lights and strange compass readings.
1609 - The Sea Venture got wrecked during the first attempt to colonize Bermuda.
1814 - The USS Epervier and her crew disappeared while carrying the peace treaty to end the war between America and the North African Barbary States.
1855 - The schooner James B. Chester was found floating in the ocean. The crew was missing but there was no sign of struggle, and the lifeboats were still in place.
1941 - The USS Proteus and the USS Nereus vanished, just as their sister ship the USS Cyclops previously did along the same route.
1963 - Marine Sulphur Queen: This 524-foot carrier of molten sulphur started sail Feb 2, 1963 from Beaumont, Texas with 39 crew. It was reported lost in Florida Straits on Feb 4.
1971 - Sting-27, a USAF Phantom jet, vanished completely without a trace. Official reports indicated it may have suffered an impact, but the details were never revealed.
1976 - The Sylvia L. Ossa, a 590-foot ore carrier with a crew of 37 disappeared 140 miles from Bermuda.
1991 - The pilot of a Grumman Cougar jet made a routine radio request to increase altitude. While ascending, the aircraft gradually faded from radar and vanished.
1999 - The cargo freighter Genesis sent a radio signal to a nearby vessel, indicating a problem with the bilge pump. Despite extensive searches by the Coast Guard, the ship and crew were never seen or heard from again.
Popular theories solving the mystery
There have been many research and explorations done to uncover the mystery. There is no single theory that can explain all the incidents. The ships and aircraft have been victims of different circumstances and situations. Things happened very quickly and unexpectedly. While many theories have come out, there are few that come close to solving the Bermuda Triangle Mystery.
Methane Gas trapped under the sea floor can erupt, as a result can lower the water density and cause ships to sink. Even planes flying over it, can catch fire and get completely destroyed during such gas blowout.
Sargasso Sea is an area in the triangle that has no shores and bounded by water currents on all sides. The ships passing through it have been stranded and made motionless.
A strange thick cloud appears from nowhere and engulfs a ship or a plane. Instruments begin to malfunction, and finally the ship or the aircraft vanishes without a trace.
At times there are violent storms in the Bermuda Triangle area. These short but intense storms can build up quickly and go away so fast that even a satellite can't detect them properly. But these storms are strong enough to destroy ships or planes completely. There are also waterspouts seen in this area. A waterspout is like a tornado at sea that sucks water from the ocean thousands of feet into the sky.
Very large waves can appear suddenly even in calm seas. One such rogue wave caused the Ocean Ranger, then the world's largest offshore platform to capsize in 1982. Research has shown that freak waves up to 30m high & capable of sinking a large ship within moments, can and do happen. Although these are very rare, in some areas ocean currents indicate that they happen more often than normal.
Hurricanes are extremely powerful storms that sometimes appear in the Atlantic near the equator. Such hurricanes have historically been the cause for thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars of damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla's Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of such destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Bermuda Triangle.
Unusual Sea floor
The sea floor in Bermuda Triangle area is also found to be quite strange. There are some unusual formations. From a gentle slope it takes a sudden deep drop. In fact, some of the deepest trenches in the world are found in this area. Ships or planes that sink into these deep trenches will probably never be found.
There are also explanations based on some supernatural theories like the lost city of Atlantis, UFOs and Aliens.
And, there are many more explanations...
Strange magnetic fields from the bottom of the ocean are favorites among those who are technically-minded. Weather like thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, high waves, pirates, explosive cargoes, incompetent navigators etc. are favorites among skeptical investigators.
Other possibilities include underwater earthquakes. Scientists have actually found a great deal of seismic vibrations in the Bermuda triangle area.
New theories keep evolving, but none so far have been able to prove the phenomena of disappearances with facts and evidence.