Prepare yourself for a trip to one of the most mysterious places on the planet. The Bermuda Triangle–the area of the Atlantic Ocean between South Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico–is said to be the doom of both ships and airplanes.
But how much of the legend is true? And is there a paranormal explanation behind the unusual number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle?
Depending on who you ask, the Bermuda Triangle has been eating ships for centuries–or it’s a hoax cooked up in the 1950s. History.com claims that Christopher Columbus recorded strange phenomenon while sailing through the area in 1492. His accounts allegedly included seeing a fiery crash, a strange light, and a malfunctioning compass.
We have to look a lot more recently for verified records of vessels lost in the Bermuda Triangle. The USS Cyclops disappeared there in 1918, along with a crew of 309 men.
The most famous incident in the area was Flight 19, a group of five Navy bombers that vanished in the Triangle in 1945. Not only were the planes lost, but the search-and-rescue plane sent to find them also disappeared.
The theory that the Bermuda Triangle was somehow more dangerous or mysterious than other parts of the Atlantic didn’t really begin until the 1950s. It wasn’t until 1964, though, that pulp fiction writer Vincent Gaddis coined the term.
Charles Berlitz, heir to the language learning empire, took the idea of the Bermuda Triangle and ran with it. He did more to popularize the idea that anyone else. Berlitz believed that the mysterious phenomena were rooted in the lost city of Atlantis.
His book on the subject in 1974 sparked a worldwide craze. Since then, the theory that the area is linked to increased UFO activity has gained popularity, too.
The Bermuda Triangle calls to mind older legends, especially that of Scylla and Charybdis. The origin of the saying “stuck between a rock and a hard place,” these mythological perils beset Odysseus on his journey. Scylla was said to be a multi-headed monster who lived on a rocky cliff, while Charybdis was the name of a whirlpool that sucked down ships to their doom.
The Bermuda Triangle has captivated our imaginations for generations. But some scientists believe that they’ve discovered an explanation for the many disappearances in that part of the world.
Is it simply that the shipping lane through the area is more heavily trafficked than most parts of the ocean? Statistically, the more ships pass through an area, the more will be lost–all other things being equal.
There’s also the issue of how many of the reports about the Bermuda Triangle are accurate. Journalist Larry Kusche claimed to have “solved” the mystery through careful research and fact-checking. He stated that the number of disappearances was greatly inflated by lies, mistakes, and sensationalism.
The fact is that sometimes ships sink and planes crash. Storms, mechanical defects, pilot error–there are dozens of mundane reasons why. But–and this is a big ol’ but–the US government just confirmed footage of UFOs is genuine.
Something that was considered a wild conspiracy theory now looks a lot more genuine. So we won’t say definitively that the Bermuda Triangle is a myth, just in case the Pentagon proves us wrong someday.