The Devi'ls Triangle

A legendary triangle of Ocean lies between 3 countries upon the Atlantic ocean. The Cities are Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Fort Lauderdale. Ships, people and aeroplanes have been reported mysteriously disappearing off the face of the earth whilst travelling inside this triangle. It soon acquired the name "Devils Triangle" owing to peoples superstitions that the devil was at play on this stretch of ocean and gobbling up weary and lost travellers with great delight, but what actually was at play inside this triangle of rough water, is it really the devil?, or perhaps aliens are using this spot as their home base on earth. Maybe it really does contain a mystical vortex that sucks people down into a third dimension.

The myth of the mysterious triangle was first begun in an Associated Press dispatch of September 16, 1950. Reporter E.V. W. Jones wrote of "mysterious disappearances" of ships and planes between the Florida coast and Bermuda. Two years after this article appeared Fate magazine ran an article by George X. Sand about a "series of strange marine disappearances, each leaving no trace whatever, that have taken place in the past few years" in a "watery triangle bounded roughly by Florida, Bermuda and Puerto Rico".

It was not long before ideas and suggestions started forming about this piece of ocean. M.K. Jessup wrote about the disappearances and gave ideas about alien intelligences being behind them in the book "The Case for the UFO. The view was also echoed by Donald E. Kyhoe who is noted for his "The Flying Saucer Conspiracy" of 1955. Frank Edwards (Stranger Than Science) agreed with the theory of aliens having a local hangout in the triangle as well. Finally a man by the name of Vincent H. Gaddis came up with the phrase "Bermuda Triangle".

Vincent Gaddis wrote an article in February 1964's edition of Argosy and incorporated the story later in his book "Invisible Horizons" titled "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle". And there was the birth of the now world famous myth of the Bermuda Triangle.

Throughout the years it has featured in many many articles, books, television series and movies and always portrayed as a very real and mysterious thing, but anyone out there with any sense surely will ask themselves " how in this day and age could boats, planes and other travellers just go mysteriously missing in a certain piece of water?" "wouldn't an aeroplane full of international travellers be afraid to travel over this part of the ocean"....Well let me tell you I've always asked the same questions myself and I personally have come to the conclusion that the entire thing is nothing more than a myth hyped up over the years by wrong facts and silly overexaggerated stories told down through the generations of people willing to listen to any kind of mysterious story with a unknown edge to it.

Flight 19

One of the most famous stories to ever surround the Bermuda Triangle is the mysterious disappearance of the Naval Air Flight 19.

So what happened?

Avenger PlaneOn December 5th, 1945, five Avenger torpedo bombers left the Naval Air Station at Fort Lauderdale. They never returned home.

The Avenger bombers contained 14 men, 13 of those were trainees in the last stages of their training along with Lt. Charles Taylor. The five pilots had been recently transferred from the Miami Naval Air Station. Lt. Taylor knew the Florida Keys well but had no knowledge of flying over the Bahamas which was the direction Flight 19 was headed in.

Their mission on that day was for practice bombing at hens and Chicken Shoals fifty-six miles away. Once that was accomplished, the Avengers were to continue on eastward for another sixty-seven miles, then head north seventy-three miles. Following that they would turn southwest and head for home. In other words they were flying a triangular flight path through what would be called the Bermuda Triangle.

At 3.50pm that afternoon a pilot and his flight instructor, Lt. Robert Cox were about to land at Fort Lauderdale. They overheard a radio transmission addressed to someone named Powers. Powers replied, "I don't know where we are. We must have got lost after that last turn."

A little later on Lt. Cox managed to establish radio contact with another of the Pilots on the lost Avengers out at sea. Speaking with Lt. Taylor he was informed that Taylor's compasses were not working and he was sure that they were in the "keys", meaning Florida keys, and that he didn't know how to get to Fort Lauderdale. Cox urged him to fly north toward Miami "If you are in the keys."

Taylor was badly mistaken, he in fact was not in the keys as thought. He was in the Bahamas and by taking Cox's advice and flying north he would only go further out to sea. Efforts by Cox and others to establish the location of Flight 19 were hampered by poor communications. At one point Taylor was urged to turn over control of the flight to one of the students, though apparently he did not do so.

As dusk slowly approached Fort Lauderdale realized with great horror that Lt. Taylor and his Avengers had no idea of where they were, they were completely lost. The atmospheric interference with the radio signals got a lot worse at sunset and communication was almost impossible with Flight 19. Lt. Taylor exclaimed that they would fly north-northeast for a short time, then head north.

The continued on with their course changing to veer slightly off to the east when the contact made with Fort Lauderdale at 5.15pm by Taylor. "We are now heading west" exclaimed Taylor as he was overheard addressing his companions and telling them that they should join up; as soon as one of them ran out of fuel, they would all go down together.

The sun sank down on Fort Lauderdale at 5.29pm. Bad weather was moving in from the north and the situation was escalating into a full blown emergency. No one knew where Flight 19's location was and there was much speculation as to where they could be. At 6.00pm reception improved for a short time. Taylor was urged to switch to 3,000 kilocycles, the emergency frequency. Taylor refused to do so for fear he and the other planes would fall our of communication; unfortunately, interference from Cuban commercial stations and the inability of other coastal stations to translate the Fort Lauderdale training signal easily would effectively shut off Flight 19 from the rest of the world.

At one point the ComGulf Sea Frontier Evaluation Center thought it had pinpointed the flight's approximate position; east of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and far to the north of the Bahamas.

The first rescue craft was sent out at 6.20pm. It was a Dumbo flying boat and it soon lost contact with the shore, leading all to believe that they had also lost the Dumbo. The problem turned out to be and iced over antenna.

flight 19 disappearsWithin the hour more aircraft joined in the search. The weather was overcast and the seas were reported as rough and turbulent. One flight a Martin Mariner (Training 49) failed to make its scheduled rendezvous and did not answer radio calls. At 7.50pm the crew of a nearby ship reported of seeing an enormous sheet of fire caused by the explosion of an aeroplane. The ship reported of passing through a large pool of oil soon after and not finding any survivors or bodies of the crashed aircraft. They did not try to retrieve any debris from the ocean as weather conditions were at this point deteriorating rapidly making it impossible for any kind of retrieval.

Flight 19 by this time had exhausted their fuel and were assumed to be down. Taylor's last transmission was heard at 7.04pm. The search for the lost Avengers continued on through the rough night and hundreds of planes and ships joined the search the next day.

No trace of the Mariner or Avengers have ever been found.

On April 3, 1946 the conclusion of an extensive Naval Investigation declared that the "flight leader's false assurance of identifying as the Florida Keys, islands he sighted, plagued his future decisions and confused his reasoning...He was directing his flight to fly east...even though he was undoubtedly east of Florida." Taylor's mother and aunt refused to accept this verdict, the Navy set up a panel to review the report. In August this panel announced it could only agree with the original conclusion. Furious, the two women hired an attorney and secured a hearing the following October. On November 19 the Board for Correction of Naval Records retracted the original verdict and officially laid the disaster to "causes or reasons unknown". The Mariner's fate was believed to be from explosion. The Mariner's had a bad habit of blowing up if even the tiniest of sparks were ignited. There is no particular disagreement with this fact.

The Avengers total disappearance would be owing to the rough seas at the time and they were well known to be incredibly heavy. Known through the Navy as "Iron birds" they weighed 14,000 pounds empty. After impact they would of immediately sunk to the bottom; any debris remaining would of been swallowed up by the violent ocean at that time, leaving no trace of themselves to be found anywhere by anyone.

The mistakes and misguided information about the Mariner and Flight 19's disappearance soon began in the early 50's. Stories about "a mysterious place where ships and planes disappeared into" and a "limbo of the lost" caught the public's intrest immediately, the legend of the Bermuda Triangle began and is still carried on to this day.

Taylor is often mistquoted as saying in his radio transmissions that "everything is wrong...strange ...the ocean doesn't look as it should" and "They look like they're from outer space - don't come after me." He in fact never uttered those words. This leads to some seriously silly stories about alien abduction and motherships hovering above the triangle. Even in the move "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" Steven Speilberg documents Flight 19 returning to earth off a large spaceship. It is also often reported that on the day of Flight 19's disappearance the seas were calm and smooth. They were indeed the very opposite!!

In 1991 a newspaper report ran of a salvage ship named "Deep See" finding intact the remains of Flight 19 on the ocean bottom ten miles northeast of Fort Lauderdale. One plane bore the number 28, the same as Taylor's aircraft. But on June 4 graham Hawkes, who had headed the search, concede that further investigation had proved that the craft were not from Flight 19. The numbers on the other planes were different from those on the fabled flight. The Avengers were an older model than the one on Flight 19.

There are in fact many many stories of strange disappearances of both ships and planes either somewhere near or inside the Bermuda triangle - The fact is that 1/2 the time they are not even inside the rough triangle dimensions, and are quite a long way away from it but somehow get their disappearance linked with the Triangle, so far the triangle must have some kind of mysterious ocean powers to allow it to travel all over the world and suck down all sorts of vessels all over the place.

The fact is that accidents happen, for one reason or another, planes crash, boats sink....just look at the Titanic, claimed as "unsinkable" in it's day! The research of Larry Kusche, has dispelled a lot of the untruths about the place. After searching endlessly through newspaper accounts, weather reports and other official documents, Kusche found (as he suspected) that the Bermuda Triangle had no more disappearances than any other section of the world. He has a book out called "The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved. You can read more about the stories and how they were twisted and changed to suit the myth and mystery more.

On 4th of April, 1975 Lloyd's of London issued a statement to Fate magazine declaring that "428 vessels have been reported missing throughout the world since 1955" they continued to state that there was no cause to suspect that the Bermuda Triangle was swallowing more ships than any other section of the planet.

If you would like more realistic information on the disappearance of flight 19 and other ships I recommend this site:
The Department of the Navy - Frequently Asked Questions about the Bermuda Triangle.

Excerpts of Bermuda Triangle taken from Unexplained, Jerome Clark.
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