Bermuda Triangle is a heavily defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were fake, inaccurately reported, or embellished by later authors.
The term “Bermuda Triangle” was first used in an article written by Vincent H. Gaddis for Argosy magazine in 1964. In the article, Gaddis claimed that in this strange sea a number of ships and planes had disappeared without explanation. Gaddis wasn’t the first one to come to this conclusion, either.
Even though the Bermuda Triangle isn’t a true mystery, this region of the sea certainly has had its share of marine tragedy. This region is one of the heaviest traveled areas of ocean in the world. Both small boats and commercial ships pursue its waters along with airliners, military aircraft and private planes as they come to and from both the islands and more distant ports in Europe, South America and Africa.
The weather in this region can make traveling hazardous also. The summer brings hurricanes while the warm waters of the Gulf Stream promote sudden storms.
Unexplained circumstances surround some of these accidents, including one in which the pilots of a squadron of U.S. Navy bombers became disoriented while flying over the area; the planes were never found. Other boats and planes have seemingly vanished from the area in good weather without even radioing distress messages.
But although myriad fanciful theories have been proposed regarding the Bermuda Triangle, none of them prove that mysterious disappearances occur more frequently there than in other well-traveled sections of the ocean.
When Christopher Columbus sailed through the area on his first voyage to the New World, he reported that a great flame of fire (probably a meteor) crashed into the sea one night and that a strange light appeared in the distance a few weeks later. Reports of unexplained disappearances did not really capture the public’s attention until the 20th century.
An especially infamous tragedy occurred in March 1918 when the USS Cyclops, a 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay. The Cyclops never sent out an SOS distress call despite being equipped to do so, and an extensive search found no wreckage.
Charles Berlitz, whose grandfather founded the Berlitz language schools, stoked the legend even further in 1974 with a sensational bestseller about the legend. Since then, scores of fellow paranormal writers have blamed the triangle’s supposed lethalness on everything from aliens, Atlantis and sea monsters to time warps and reverse gravity fields; whereas more scientifically minded theorists have pointed to magnetic anomalies, waterspouts or huge eruptions of methane gas from the ocean floor.
After extensively researching the issue, Kusche concluded that the number of disappearances that occurred within the Bermuda Triangle wasn’t actually greater than in any other similarly trafficked area of the ocean, and that other writers presented misinformation such as not reporting storms that occurred on the same day as disappearances, and sometimes even making it seem as though the conditions had been calm for the purposes of creating a sensational story.