By indexer
86 days ago

Debunking the Bermuda Triangle

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The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may not be so mysterious after all. There would appear to be rational explanations for just about every event that has prompted people to create the Triangle myth.

The Bermuda Triangle

The Triangle is an area of the Atlantic Ocean that is delineated by the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico and the coast of Florida, which is as close to an equilateral triangle as one might like. Since 1945, so the sensationalists like to claim, there have been too many disappearances of planes and ships to be mere coincidence. There must, so they say, be a paranormal explanation, and many such have been put forward by a host of books and other media that have kept their authors very nicely supplied with cash over the years.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who, incidentally, would have loved to have indulged himself in the weird and wonderful theories put forward to explain the Bermuda Triangle) famously made his character Sherlock Holmes say that once you have eliminated all the possible explanations then the sole remaining one, however improbable, must be the truth. In the case of the Bermuda Triangle this process does not seem to have been exhausted, and conclusions have been jumped to that are simply not justified.

“Mysterious events”

The first mysterious event that gave rise to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle occurred in December 1945 when a training exercise by five US warplanes, known as Flight 19, went disastrously wrong. After completing a bombing run on a chain of uninhabited islands, Flight 19 should have flown west back to base in Florida. Instead, the planes flew east and were never seen again. It appears that the flight leader was confused when both his compasses malfunctioned.

That event, strange though it was, would not have gathered any further significance were it not that other disappearances in the region, from previous years, were also brought to public attention. This is when credulity starts to become strained, because there is no reason to assign any reasons to those events that smack of the paranormal. All can be explained perfectly rationally as the results of human error, terrible weather or bad luck.

In March 1918 USS Cyclops sank, with the loss of 306 passengers and crew while on passage from Barbados to Baltimore. Nothing was ever found of the ship, so it became a “mystery sinking” when remembered years later. However, it is not certain that it actually sank inside the Bermuda Triangle, and its loss was almost certainly due to bad weather coupled with dangerous overloading.

SS Cotopaxi went down in December 1925 between South Carolina and Cuba, with the loss of 25 lives. There was nothing to suggest at the time that there was anything abnormal about the sinking, but that did not stop Steven Spielberg, in his “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, from having the ship discovered in the middle of the Gobi Desert!

A more recent loss, with 39 lives, was that of SS Marine Sulphur Queen in February 1963, off the Florida coast. The fact that nothing was found other than small pieces of debris excited the Triangle theorists, because it was not possible to come to a firm conclusion about the reason for the sinking, but the Coast Guard report mentioned that the ship was in a poor state and should never have been allowed to put to sea.

There’s no mystery worth speaking of!

The theorists often seem to imply that ships and planes that enter the Bermuda Triangle are taking a huge risk, and that losses and sinkings rarely take place anywhere else. However, the statistics do not support this conclusion, given that this is a very busy piece of ocean in terms of aircraft and ship movements, and the number of disasters that have occurred over the years is no more than might have been expected.

Fortunes have been made by people who have formulated weird theories about the Bermuda Triangle, some of whom have not been above twisting the facts to fit their conclusions. It seems that as long as people want to believe that ships and planes are being dragged into parallel universes or abducted by aliens, then writers with an eye to the main chance will continue to satisfy their cravings for sensation and weirdness, happily snapping up the book and TV royalties in the process.

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bee Wow, makes senses
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maca1 Very interesting
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soncee Good artikle 👍
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Violet I have always been curious about Bermuda Triangle, your post is an interesting one.
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jessabumagat20 That's very interesting
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milenazoran Haha, when I saw this picture I thought somebody has stolen my article about the Bermuda Triangle. 😉 Very good article, indeed 😉
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indexer @milenazoran We clearly happened across the same copyright-free image!

No stealing involved either way. My piece was originally written at least two years ago and appeared on a site that no longer exists - Tuetego offers an opportunity for it to see the light of day once more!
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milenazoran @indexer The articles aren't the same, of course, just pictures. It happens, that's not the first time 😉
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