The Bermuda Triangle is an imaginary area in the Atlantic Ocean bordered by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico where scores of ships and aeroplanes have vanished. Some of these incidents are shrouded in mystery, such as one in which the pilots of a squadron of US Navy bombers became disoriented while flying over the area; the planes were never discovered. Other boats and planes appear to have departed from the area in fair weather, without even transmitting distress signals. However, despite the fact that a plethora of fantastic theories have been suggested on the Bermuda Triangle, none of them establish that strange disappearances occur more frequently there than in other well-traveled areas of the ocean. In reality, individuals navigate the region without issue every day.

THE BEGINNING-The Bermuda Triangle, sometimes known as the Devil’s Triangle, covers approximately 500,000 square miles of ocean near the southeastern coast of Florida. When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported seeing a gigantic flame of fire fall into the water one night and a weird light arise in the distance a few weeks later. He also wrote of inconsistent compass readings, maybe because the Bermuda Triangle was one of the few sites on Planet where true north and magnetic north lined up at the time.William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” which some academics believe was inspired by a real-life Bermuda disaster, may have added to the area’s mystique. Nonetheless, until the twentieth century, accounts of mysterious disappearances did not fully attract the public’s attention. The sinking of the USS Cyclops, a 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship carrying over 300 soldiers and 10,000 tonnes of manganese ore, occurred in March 1918, somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay. Despite being able to do so, the Cyclops never sent out an SOS distress signal, and an exhaustive search turned up no wreckage. “Only God and the sea know what happened to the mighty ship,” later stated US President Woodrow Wilson. Two of the Cyclops’ sister ships vanished without a trace along nearly the same route in 1941.

PLANE VANISHED-A pattern purportedly began to emerge in which watercraft navigating the Bermuda Triangle either vanished or were discovered abandoned. Then, in December 1945, five Navy bombers carrying 14 personnel took out from an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to practise bombing missions over local shoals. However, because his compasses appeared to be malfunctioning, the mission’s leader, known as Flight 19, became seriously lost. All five planes flew aimlessly until they ran out of fuel and had to land at sea. On the same day, a rescue plane and its 13-man crew vanished. After a large weeks-long search yielded no results, the official Navy report stated that it was “as if they had gone to Mars.”

THEORIES AND COUNTER THEORIES– By the time author Vincent Gaddis invented the moniker “Bermuda Triangle” in a 1964 magazine article, more inexplicable mishaps had occurred in the area, including three passenger flights that crashed despite sending “all is good” communications. Charles Berlitz, whose grandfather founded the Berlitz language schools, fueled the legend even further with a sensational bestseller on the subject in 1974. Since then, scores of other paranormal writers have blamed the triangle’s supposed lethality on everything from aliens, Atlantis, and sea monsters to time warps and reverse gravity fields, while more scientifically minded theorists have pointed to magnetic anomalies, waterspouts, or massive eruptions of methane gas from the ocean floor. However, there is unlikely to be a single theory that solves the mystery. Trying to find a same cause for every Bermuda Triangle disappearance, as one sceptic put it, is no more plausible than trying to find a common cause for every vehicle accident in Arizona. Furthermore, while hurricanes, reefs, and the Gulf Stream can make navigation difficult, Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest maritime insurance company, does not consider the Bermuda Triangle to be particularly dangerous. Neither does the United States Coast Guard, which claims that “after a review of many aircraft and vessel losses in the area over the years, nothing has been revealed that would indicate that casualties were the product of anything other than physical causes.” There have never been any unusual factors discovered.”

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