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In 1950 an article was published in multiple American newspapers highlighting numerous
unexplained disappearances between the coast of Florida and the island of Bermuda.
The article details five separate incidents over the previous half-decade in which 1 boat,
9 planes, and some 135 civilians and crewmen vanished without a trace.
It was the first time this particular region of the ocean was suspected of being abnormally
prone to nautical vanishments.
But as the author failed to provide a cause for this alleged abnormality, a provocative
mystery was born.
In 1952 a magazine specializing in the paranormal, outlined the region of interest as a triangle
between the US state of Florida as well as the two islands of Puerto Rico and Bermuda.
If this triangular shape seems almost arbitrarily selected, it's because it was.
The author makes no attempt to justify their selection of this shape.
Once this idea of an enigmatic triangle had been thrust upon the world its eventual name
was inevitable.
A 1964 issue of the American pulp fiction magazine Argosy featured a cover with the
caption "Lost in The Bermuda Triangle".
The article inside covers many of the same vanishments as the previous two but with a
severely embellished narrative complete with fictitious quotes and alarming suppositions.
Which is exactly what you'd expect from a magazine predominantly about fiction.
Few would suppose a magazine, with a sensational cover like this, to supply them with a scientifically
sound and comprehensively researched analysis.
And why would you?
Argosy was targeting a very specific crowd.
Those who seek to be entertained by mysteries, not those who seek to understand them.
The Bermuda Triangle is, and has always been, a mystery for mysteries sake.
The very definition of a legend.
One of the oldest stories said to exemplify the mysterious qualities of The Bermuda Triangle
is that of the first transatlantic voyage by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Three events are said to be of note.
The crew observed a fireball of some kind, their compasses inexplicably malfunctioned,
and a strange light seemed to be suspended above the ocean surface.
The fireball was more precisely described as:
"A marvelous branch of fire [that fell] from the sky into the sea."
While invoking aliens and UFOs would certainly be more exciting, there's really no need as
a meteor would be more than qualified to to account for that description.
In fact shooting stars are the most common in September due to the orbit and tilt of
the Earth and this sighting occurred on September the 15th.
On September the 17th the crew noticed their compasses misaligned with the North Star.
This was certainly alarming at the time but we've since learned that this is due to an
effect known as magnetic declination.
In short, the needle in a compass aligns with magnetic north while the North Star aligns
with true north.
More importantly however, neither of these two events occurred anywhere near The Bermuda Triangle
but in the middle of the North Atlantic.
A fact that many seem to conveniently disregard.
However, the strange light was indeed sighted within the confines of The Triangle.
Columbus described the light as: "A small wax candle that rose and lifted up."
But he also believed it to be an indication of land and never described it as inexplicable.
In fact mere hours after observing the light, a crewman first caught sight of the American
continent, supporting Columbus's suspicion that the light emanated from a nearby landmass.
Perhaps a torch or bonfire by the indigenous population.
As should be evident by now, this is all very mysterious as long as you refrain from looking
beneath the surface.
Flight 19, featured here in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, is possibly the most famous
disappearance connected to the Bermuda Triangle.
Some would argue it is the catalyst for the entire phenomenon.
The story goes like this.
On the 5th of December, 1945, a squadron of five planes departed a Naval Air Station in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It was a routine navigation exercise that should not have posed a problem for these
14 experienced pilots and crewmen.
Some two hours into the exercise the squadron was supposed to be heading back when the pilot
of the leading plane reported that he'd become
disoriented as both of his compasses were malfunctioning.
Multiple stations maintained sporadic contact with Flight 19 attempting to determine their
current location with little to no success.
Communications between the five planes were also intercepted and they could be heard arguing
over directions and bearings.
As the minutes passed, the signal between the towers and Flight 19 gradually weakened
and it became increasingly difficult to maintain a stable line of communication.
Roughly four hours after takeoff Navy personnel was able to approximate the flight's current
location at some 200 km north of their intended flight path.
A flying boat, with designation ST-49, was consequently dispatched to this location but
after a routine transmission it inexplicably disappeared.
Five hours after takeoff a final transmission was intercepted.
It was simply a failed attempt by one plane to contact another and Flight 19 was never
seen or heard from again.
It sure sounds mysterious but I suspect the devil is not in the ocean but in the details.
The five planes were piloted by four students and one flight instructor named Charles Taylor.
Upon departure one of the students assumed the role of flight leader while Taylor merely
acted as a supervisor.
After turning North towards the island of Grand Bahama Taylor believed the student to
be guiding them in the wrong direction so he assumed command of the flight.
As you read the radio logs and testimonies by Navy personnel it becomes evident that
Taylor confused the islands in the Bahamas for the islands in the Florida Keys.
He was heard saying:
"Both my compasses are out and I am trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Florida."
"I am over land but it's broken."
"I'm sure I'm in the Keys but I don't know how far down and I don't know how to get to Fort Lauderdale."
In other words, he confused his actual position for this position.
This may be hard to accept as Taylor was an experienced pilot but then consider this.
Taylor had previously been stationed as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Station
in Miami and training exercises launched from Miami took place over the Florida Keys.
Prior to that, he'd been stationed at Key West in the Florida Keys.
So it's entirely possible that Flight 19 was Taylor's first time flying this route over the Bahamas.
Something that further supports this theory is that Taylor initially identified himself
as MT-28 standing for Miami Torpedo Bomber 28.
His correct ID was FT-28 for Fort Lauderdale.
This growing confusion of what he knew from experience and what he saw outside his windows
is likely why he came to distrust his instruments as it's highly unlikely that both his compasses
malfunctioned simultaneously.
As Taylor thought he was in the Keys he continued flying north in an attempt to reach land but
this had the opposite effect of taking them further out to sea.
He was also disincentivized from turning west as from Taylors perspective that would've
taken them into the Gulf of Mexico.
In reality, turning west would've saved their lives.
Meanwhile the weather was getting worse, the sun was setting, visibility was poor, and
the sea grew increasingly violent.
The logs reveal how truly desperate the situation became.
At one point Taylor informed his students:
"Fly [in] close formation [and] when one plane drops to ten gallons of gas all planes will land together."
Suggesting that even in the event of a crash, they would remain as a group.
He later continued:
"I suggest we fly due east until we run out of gas. We have a better chance of being picked up close to shore."
At this point they're flying away from the coast out towards the open ocean.
Some of the last discernible messages reads:
"Have to land on water unless landfall."
"We may have to ditch any minute."
Then there's the flying boat ST-49.
ST-49 was initially scheduled for a night navigation exercise when, upon getting a fix
on the location of Flight 19, it was diverted into a search and rescue mission.
After a routine departure transmission it was never heard from again.
But it was likely seen again.
23 minutes after ST-49 took off, a ship reported seeing a plane catch fire and explode upon
impact with the ocean.
The resulting inferno continued for several minutes with flames rising some 30 meters
above the ocean surface.
Once the ship reached the location of the explosion it found debris and a pool of oil
but no survivors.
Yet another ship equipped with radar observed as a plane vanished from the screen at the
exact same time the explosion was sighted.
While an explosion is certainly surprising given that preflight checks revealed nothing
of note, the plane had "went aground" due to a malfunctioning engine the day before.
What exactly "went aground" entails is not elaborated upon but it did warrant the inspection
of the plane's hull.
Some Navy personnel immediately presumed the reported explosion was linked to the missing ST-49.
Despite a systematic and week-long search involving tens of ships and hundreds of planes,
nothing and no one was ever found.
Though multiple planes and ships did report sightings of flares and various debris.
All available evidence suggest that Flight 19 crashed into the ocean once they ran out
of fuel while ST-49 combusted and exploded, possibly due to a malfunctioning engine.
The six planes and all 27 airmen aboard sank into the ocean, leaving no trace behind.
But not every incident can be so thoroughly explained.
On the 17th of January 1949, a plane known as the Star Ariel departed Bermuda for Kingston, Jamaica.
An hour into the flight, the pilot made a routine transmission with no indication of
alarm but the plane was never seen or heard from again.
There was no evidence of a crash and no distress call had been transceived; the weather was
excellent for the entire duration of the flight; the pilot and his crew was highly experienced
and had flown this specific route many times before; and the plane was in working condition
prior to departure.
A succeeding investigation failed to determine a probable cause due to a lack of evidence.
What makes this even more mysterious is that a sister plane known as the Star Tiger had
vanished under similar circumstances the year before.
On January the 30th, 1948, the Star Tiger disappeared while approaching Bermuda from
the east.
The pilot and the rest of the crew where highly experienced but the weather was not ideal
with strong winds and heavy rain.
The strong winds had blown the plane off course just an hour before their last transmission
and they where never seen or heard from again.
The succeeding investigation concluded:
"In closing this report it may truly be said that no more
baffling problem has ever been presented for investigation."
"What happened in this case will never be known and the fate of Star Tiger must remain an unsolved mystery."
But even in information deprived cases like these natural explanations do exist.
For example, the accident report of the Star Tiger revealed that the plane had been poorly
maintained and known defects remained unrectified.
Subsequent investigations also found that this particular type of airplane had a heater
in the cabin that was prone to malfunction and due to poor design there was a chance
of combustion and explosion.
Two pilots experienced with this type of aircraft believed this was a real possibility and one
of them stated:
"My theory is that hydraulic vapor escaped from a leak, which got on to a hot heater and caused an explosion."
Perhaps one of the most mysterious incidents is that of the five-masted sailing vessel
Carroll A. Deering.
On January the 9th, 1921, the Deering departed the island of Barbados and set sail for Norfolk, Virginia.
Less than 3 weeks later the ship was sighted by a lightship near the coast of North Carolina
and the lightship's engineer took this photograph as she passed by.
The person at the helm of the Deering hailed the lightship and used a megaphone to inform
them that they had lost both their anchors.
The ship then progressed up the coast towards Norfolk but she never arrived.
Two days after the sighting by the lightship keepers the Deering was located by the Coast Guard.
The ship had run aground in an area known as the Diamond Shoals and appeared to have
been abandoned.
This was confirmed once the ship was boarded a few days later and the ship's log,
the crew's personal belongings, key navigational equipment, various documents, two life boats, as well
as the ship's two anchors where found to be missing.
Furthermore, the steering wheel and other equipment also appeared to have been intentionally
destroyed with a sledgehammer.
There was no sign of the 11 crewman and they have never been seen or heard from since.
A few months later, a man named Christopher Columbus Gray discovered a message in a bottle
not far from the wreckage and it reads as follows:
"Deering captured by oil burning ship, something like a chaser.
Taking off everything, handcuffing crew.
Crew hiding all over ship.
No chance of escape.
Finder, please notify headquarters of Deering."
The message was perceived to be genuine and thus it was presumed that the crew of the
Carroll A. Deering had fallen victim to piracy.
But then a few months after that, handwriting experts proved that Gray himself had written
the message and that the entire thing was a hoax.
But Gray may not have been too far off as there is evidence to suggest that a mutiny took place.
The US State Department issued a statement at the time in which they wrote:
"There is every suspicion of foul play."
First of all, the person who hailed the lightship was not the captain.
He was described by the lightship keeper as a red-headed man with a Scandinavian accent.
So me without a soul.
While this description could not have been that of the captain, it was descriptive of
the other crewmen, most of which where Danes.
Which, of course, only strengthens the possibility of mutiny.
Secondly, later investigations found that the relationship between the captain and the
crew was strenuous at best.
Prior to departing Barbados both the captain and the first mate spoke ill of each other
and the captain was concerned that the crew might turn on him.
The first mate had also requested a ship of his own and when this request was denied he
boasted that he would "get the captain" before they reached their destination.
The first mate was subsequently arrested because of this but was later bailed out by the captain
himself who forgave him for what he'd said.
So there's plenty of evidence to suspect a mutiny.
Nevertheless, this cannot fully explain why the ship was subsequently abandoned or why
the crew disappeared so completely.
But it gets even stranger.
Soon after the Deering had passed the lightship, yet another vessel appeared.
It was a large steamship painted black roughly sailing in the wake of the Deering.
When the lightship hailed the vessel, not only was the hail ignored but the crewmen
unfurled a canvas to cover the ship's nameplate before speeding away.
Some have speculated that this could've been the American steamship SS Hewitt that vanished
around the same time but unless further evidence can be unraveled there is no way to know.
So perhaps Gray was unintentionally correct.
Perhaps the mysterious vessel was indeed a pirate ship chasing down the Deering or perhaps
the crew conspired to commit mutiny.
In either case, numerous elements are at best difficult to explain.
To conclude this video I'd like to talk about the Triangle itself.
If The Bermuda Triangle was anything but a legend, why is it not marked on publicly available
maps and nautical charts?
If the US Coast Guard is so concerned with the safety of others, don't you think they
have a responsibility to warn the populous about this abnormally dangerous region of the ocean?
Yet, they and every other relevant authority willfully allow hundreds of ships and planes
to sail and fly through the region every single day without as much as a warning.
If we need a sign for wet floors, a sign for imminent death by supernatural forces seems justifiable.
After all the region that is the Bermuda Triangle is a highly trafficked region of the ocean.
Now one could argue that more traffic equals more accidents, thus more vanishments,
but that would almost make a bit too much sense.
One of the articles I showcased at the beginning of the video concludes with this open-ended question:
"Will somebody please come up with an explanation, or even suggestion as to just
where all these planes, ships, and possibly submarines, did go?"
I'm gonna take a wild stab at this and say the ocean.
The ships and planes, and possibly submarines, sank into the depths of the ocean.
Georgie: Do they float?
No, they sink.
I don't know what to tell you but a catastrophe at sea and buoyancy are just not the best of friends.
Besides, do you really want to listen to a clown in a sewer drain over the physical laws
of reality itself?
Pennywise: Oh yes! They float, Georgie. They float!
Okay, I may be overtly facetious at this point but the absurdity of this phenomenon is also
what makes it so fascinating to me.
Despite my best efforts I've been totally unsuccessful in my attempts to understand
what exactly constitutes as a Bermuda Triangle disappearance.
How does one know when to attribute a missing craft to the Bermuda Triangle?
It sounds like, and it truly should be, an easy question to answer but it is anything but.
In some cases, such as in the case of Flight 19, the incident occurred within the general
confines of the triangle but Flight 19 is an exception.
Most vanishments occur when the route of a plane or ship simply overlap the triangle.
In 1963 a ship known as the SS Marine Sulphur Queen departed a harbor in Beaumont, Texas,
heading for Norfolk, Virginia.
Her last known location was here but then she just vanished as if sinking into some
inexplicable abyss.
Her disappearance is blamed on the powers of the triangle despite the fact that the
ship is just as likely to have disappeared in the Gulf of Mexico.
In fact, the Coast Guard believes she disappeared just before reaching the Florida Keys but
what do they know.
In 1954 a plane disappeared while traveling between the US state of Maryland and the Azores.
It is said to be a victim of the Bermuda Triangle despite being outside its boundaries.
It's even more embarrassing in the case of the aforementioned Carroll A. Deering as she
safely traversed the entire Bermuda Triangle only to go all hocus-pocus once she had cleared it.
Proponents will often justify these inclusions by invoking arguments of adjacent regions.
In other words, disappearances in close proximity of the triangle should be considered part
of the triangle.
Okay but how far do these adjacent regions extend?
Is the Gulf of Mexico an adjacent region?
The Caribbean Sea?
The coast of Brazil?
The coast of Nova Scotia?
The entire North Atlantic perhaps?
If that's the case, why even bother with a triangle to begin with?
I've compiled a list of some 40 disappearances said to be connected to the Bermuda Triangle
and if they are all to be included, I think we need a bigger triangle.
If anything, the true mystery behind The Bermuda Triangle is why people so adamantly insist
upon it being mysterious.
As far as I can tell, there is nothing uniquely conspicuous about this location as compared
to the rest of the ocean.
Ships and planes vanishing without a trace is unfortunately quite common and certainly
not limited to a corner of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The amount of vanishments in a given area is largely dependent on factors such as the
amount of traffic, the frequency of adverse meteorological phenomena, and the presence
of powerful oceanic currents.
The Bermuda Triangle ticks all three boxes.
There's a ton of traffic, it is frequently invaded by hurricanes and storms, and it is
intersected by the Gulf Stream.
But I have to say the most crucial flaw of this alleged enigma is the variation.
The fundamental aspect of the Bermuda Triangle is that these incidents can, somehow, be correlated
yet each disappearance could not be more different.
Some vanishments occur during a storm, some when the sky is clear.
Some when the sea is turbulent, some when the sea is clam.
Some during the day, some during the night.
Probable causes include mechanical failure, explosions, human error, sabotage,
fuel starvation, inexperience, piracy, mutiny, etc.
Some ships and planes are brand new, some are many decades old.
Some are extremely large, some are tiny.
Bodies, debris, and wreckage can at times be recovered, other times it can not.
A distress signal is sometimes transceived, sometimes it is not.
It involves every type of vessel and every type of aircraft.
They can be traveling at any speed, in any direction, at any altitude, with any number
of passengers, for any amount of time, for any reason.
Whatever this mysterious force is, it is certainly not selective about what, when, or how it strikes.