Deep, swirling waters – a place where ships and airplanes disappear, leaving no trace of their human cargo or even a twisted metal hulk. Unfortunately this description hasn’t been lifted from a science fiction novel; instead this is how sailors and pilots describe the notorious waters of the Bermuda Triangle.
The Bermuda Triangle is the region of ocean forming a triangular boundary – Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda and it is in these foreboding waters that 1700 ships and air vessels have said to have mysteriously disappeared. The first incident of unnatural activity in the area was reported in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. He states in his cabin log, to have seen ethereal dancing lights at the horizon off the coast of Puerto Rico and bizarre compass bearings. Another sailor later concurred with these statements in his own log.
Thus the legend of the Bermuda triangle was born!!
The ghosts of the triangle have played mischief with pilots as well. The unexplained spotting of a “mysterious flying object” led to the crash of Thomas Mantell Jr. Eye witness’ accounts state, that they saw Mantel’s plane take a sudden nose dive and explode in mid air. The police and the air force could neither explain the explosion nor the object which he was trying to pursue.
Despite repeated reporting of similar events, the place earned infamy only after a large number of unexplained evanescence of airplanes in the time frame of 1940-49.
The most popular disappearance is that of flight 19, where training pilots and their instructor, a seasoned veteran Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor disappeared.
The training program, took the pilots around that area at 2.50 pm, and the pilots were supposed to do a few drop runs and return to base.
That however was not destined to happen. The pilots on reaching the area, experienced anomalies. Their sense of direction was awry, the compasses were spinning erratically. Even though just snatches of radio conversation could be recorded, the pilots reported no extraordinary magnetic disturbances.
Taylor was famously quoted as saying that they were entering white water, when he suddenly changed, to negate his previous statements to say they were above blue water. Taylor could not describe the sudden changes in his observation and although a distant explosion was observed by a few navy officers, no debris of the plane could be salvaged!
Flight 19 had vanished!
This fantastic incident led the area being declared a ‘no flight zone’ for a certain amount of time!
Today, sophisticated instruments like GPS and high efficiency radars- make passing through this area seem just like passing through another part of the Atlantic. In fact, the coast guard now reports very few erratic disappearances like that of flight PA-32-300 N8224C on 12th November 2003. It was this disappearance that marked the renewed interest of public in what is known as the devil’s triangle.
There have been attempted explanations, from- the skeptical to the supernatural.
A few explanations have been a little logical, if you are more geologically inclined, they could be methane eruptions or hurricanes which lead to these incidents. The concept of human error is not discounted either.
If you would like it to be a little more extraordinary, the presence of the “Atlantis crystals” which pulls the vessels to the bottom is another explanation.
Many authors have very romantically pinned the reason on evil scheming aliens or even the emergence of a time wrap which has thrown the ships in either the past or the future or more interestingly even a parallel universe!
The Bermuda triangle has been written about and each theory has been discredited by its own critics.
The Devil’s own play ground is one of the unsolved “mysteries” which will always be an interesting evening read!