Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Urban Legends - The Bermuda Triangle

Here we are at last. The mystery of all mysteries. If you have never heard of it, you probably live on another planet.  Where a huge number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under paranormal circumstances. This is the Bermuda Triangle. The most dangerous, the oddest, the creepiest, the….. but wait a moment. Documented evidence says most of the incidents were spurious, inaccurately reported , or even embroidered by later imaginative authors . Also the WWF didn't include it in a 2013 study about the 10 most dangerous waters for shipping. Can it be the first worldwide example of “All Talk and No Action”. Let’s find out…
The Bermuda Triangle is a wide area of ocean between Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. Over the last few centuries, it’s thought that dozens of people have disappeared without a trace in the area. Because of its weird influence, this place earned the nickname “The Devil’s Triangle”. Thousands of people are completely sure that it’s an area of extra-terrestrial activity or that there is some bizarre natural scientific cause for the region to be hazardous; Without a doubt it’s an area in which people have experienced a great amount of bad luck. Not a Strange Doom Game.  

How does this bad reputation started? Christopher Columbus is the one to blame. According to his ship’s log, on October 8, 1492, Columbus looked down at his compass and noticed that it was giving weird readings, without alerting his crew. Of course having a compass that didn't point to magnetic north may have sent crew into a panic. And they were already a little bit angrily after lots of days wandering through the ocean.

This and other reported  apparently malfunctioning compass  in the region gave rise to the theory that compasses don’t work in the Triangle, which isn't exactly right. This was just an exaggeration of what actually happened.  Despite this, in 1970 the U.S. Coast Guard, attempting to explain the reasons for disappearances in the Triangle, claimed this:

First, the “Devil’s Triangle” is one of the two places on earth that a magnetic compass does point towards true north. Normally it points toward magnetic north. The difference between the two is known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 20 degrees as one circumnavigates the earth. If this compass variation or error is not compensated for, a navigator could find himself far off course and in deep trouble.

Nowadays, this was continuously repeated as an explanation for disappearances in the Triangle on numerous documentaries and articles. But then it turns out to be an illogical explanation. In fact magnetic variation is something good ship captains (and other explorers) have known about and had to deal with pretty much as long as there have been ships and compasses. Knowing what to do in case of this possibility is the basic knowledge of shipping. So, nothing to be concerned about, nor anything that would seriously throw off any experienced navigator.In 2005, the Coast Guard revisited the issue after a TV producer in London inquired about it for a program he was working on.  In this case, they slightly changed their opinions about the magnetic field.

Many explanations have cited unusual magnetic properties within the boundaries of the Triangle. Although the world’s magnetic fields are in constant flux, the “Bermuda Triangle” has remained relatively undisturbed.  It is true that some exceptional magnetic values have been reported within the Triangle, but none to make the Triangle more unusual than any other place on Earth.

The modern Bermuda Triangle myth didn't become well known until 1950 when Edward Van Winkle Jones wrote an article, published by the Associated Press. Jones reported several accidents of disappearing ships and planes in the Triangle, including five US Navy torpedo bombers that vanished on December 5, 1945, and the commercial airliners “Star Tiger” and “Star Ariel” which disappeared respectively on January 30, 1948 and January 17, 1949. Furthermore, about 135 individuals were unaccounted for, and they all went missing around the cursed area. As Jones wrote:

“They were swallowed without a trace"

And then the alien life forms came in the story, thanks to M. K. Jessup, writer of the 1955 book “The Case for the UFO”.  But unfortunately, no bodies or wreckage had yet been discovered. By 1964, Vincent H. Gaddis wrote an article saying over 1000 lives had been claimed by the area. He also coined the term “Bermuda Triangle” (According to the US Navy, this is just a name without a meaning, because the name is not recognized by the US Board on Geographic Names),  agreeing that it was a “series of strange events.”

The dark obsession hit its major peak in the 1970s, with some of the most specific publication about the controversial topic, including the bestseller by Charles Berlitz, called “The Bermuda Triangle”. And then the fakes were discovered. In fact, critic Larry Kusche, who published “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved in 1975”, argued that other authors had exaggerated their numbers and hadn't done any proper research. They presented some disappearance cases as “mysteries” when they weren't mysteries at all, and some reported cases hadn't even happened within the Bermuda Triangle. Very imaginative.

After extensively researching the problem, 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 is the point. Actually, 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 during the mysterious events, for the purposes of creating a sensational story. In short: previous Bermuda Triangle authors didn't do their research and either knowingly or unintentionally “made it up”. So the most reliable thought is described in Kusche's book.

The book did a fantastic job, convincing everyone that the triangle curse was not something to be afraid of. When authors like Berlitz and others were unable to refute Kusche’s findings, even obstinate believers had difficulty remaining confident in the paranormal Bermuda Triangle narrative. In spite of that, many magazine articles, TV shows, and movies have continued to feature the Bermuda Triangle as a place surrounded by mystery.

Because the number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle is no greater than any other similarly trafficked area of the world’s oceans, they don’t really need an explanation. But if you want one, here it is the Coast Guard modern explanation, based on scientific observations and theories:

The majority of disappearances can be attributed to the area’s unique features. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current flowing from the Gulf of Mexico around the Florida Straits northeastward toward Europe, is extremely swift and turbulent. It can quickly erase any evidence of a disaster.

The unpredictable Caribbean-Atlantic storms that give birth to waves of great size as well as waterspouts often spell disaster for pilots and mariners. (Not to mention that the area is in “hurricane alley.”) The topography of the ocean floor varies from extensive shoals to some of the deepest marine trenches in the world. With the interaction of strong currents over reefs, the topography is in a constant state of flux and breeds development of new navigational hazards.

Not to be underestimated is the human factor. A large number of pleasure boats travel the water between Florida’s Gold Coast (the most densely populated area in the world) and the Bahamas. All to often, crossings are attempted with too small a boat, insufficient knowledge of the area’s hazards and lack of good seamanship.

But mystery's still languishing underwater. Recent studies have discovered a gigantic structure, perhaps larger than the Great Pyramid of Cheope in Egypt, and initially identified by a doctor in naturopathy in 1968, Ray Brown of Mesa, Arizona.
Brown was in the Caribbean on vacation and making dives with friends in a region of the Bahamas known as "the Tongue of the Ocean." The area acquired that name because a tongue-shaped portion of the seabed extends out from the island before sharply dropping off into much greater depths.
When relating his discovery, the doctor explained he became separated from his diving friends underwater. While attempting to rejoin them he came upon a massive structure rising from the ocean floor: a black, hulking object silhouetted against the lighter sun-filtered water. The object was shaped like a pyramid. Because he was low on air, he didn't spend much time investigating the pyramid, but did find a strange crystal sphere. He brought it to the surface with him and later when the ancient crystal was studied researchers were astonished by its properties.Some scientists believe that the weird power affecting ships and planes in the triangle is some kind of energy source that comes from the depths of the ocean. And this supports the claim that the ancient city-state of Atlantis did exist and it's now underneath the Triangle waters. But this is another story, an we will talk about it soon.

Despite what the scientific truth is, I think this place will always be surrounded by mystery, giving an undeniable charm to the nearby islands. 

And talking about deadly triangles, I present to you another mysterious one, called the Michigan Triangle, an area between Michigan and Wisconsin over the center of Lake Michigan where some strange disappearances have occurred. One mystery was about Captain George R. Donner who vanished from his cabin on the O.S. McFarland as it carted coal to Wisconsin. On April 28, 1937, his second mate went to tell him they were approaching port, but no one could find him anywhere aboard the ship. In another example, a plane was flying above the triangle and apparently just disappeared. Small amounts of debris were found floating in the water, but the rest of the wreckage and bodies of passengers weren't found. Maybe the problem is the geometrical form....What do you think about it ? Maybe a journey in those places would be great, but unfortunately insurance companies don’t actually charge higher premiums for deadly shipping.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, I've heard about this legend. They say the lost plane that was in the news last year might have gone here. Who knows? No debris, no trace, nothing. Mysterious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mystery will always be around us....Maybe one day someone will discover something shocking about this place. Who knows....

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