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Bermuda Triangle

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Bermuda Triangle


Bermuda Triangle

Off the southern tip of Florida lies a phenomenon called the Bermuda Triangle. Ships, planes, and over one thousand lives were lost in the Triangle without a trace. Theories have been put forth, but still no universally accepted explanation exists for the mystery that surrounds the Bermuda Triangle.

The Bermuda Triangle covers almost 440,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean. An imaginary line that begins near Melbourne, Florida, extends south to Bermuda, and west to Puerto Rico before turning north to Florida, forms the Triangle. From 1972-1999, more than one hundred planes and ships have vanished into thin air. More than one thousand lives have been lost as well. One frightening aspect of this entire saga is that disappearances continue to occur at an alarming rate.

A small part of the Bermuda Triangle lies in the Sargasso Sea. This sea is best known for its tall, thick, floating seaweed called Sargassum. The seaweed is thought to be a forest that once rested on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. According to legend, the island sank at a very quick pace, taking with it the forest and vegetation.

One of the most notable disappearances is that of Flight 19. The flight consisted of five Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bomber planes. Mechanics had certified the planes fit for flight. Flight planes were checked thoroughly and appropriately filed with the proper authorities. There were no indications that this mission would be anything other than a routine experience for the crews of these aircraft. Even the weather was cooperation. The forecast predicted clear skies and calm winds.

Flight 19 left the Fort Lauderdale Airport at 2:10 p.m. on December 5, 1945. At 3:40 p.m. Lieutenant Robert Cox noticed his radio begin to crackle. The transmission seemed to be directed to 'Powers.' The person identified himself as FT-28, the call sign for Flight 19. FT-28 radioed that both of his compasses were out, and he was trying to find land.

At 4:26 p.m. Fort Everglades Rescue intercepted a transmission from FT-28. Immediately, the rescue team called several stations along the coast and asked them to turn on their radar and attempt to locate the lost flight. At 6:04 p.m. Lieutenant Taylor radioed his flight crew to tell them they were off course and needed to adjust their course to a more easterly direction. That exercise appears to have mysteriously taken them further from land. At 7:04 p.m. all radio communication ceased.

In an attempt to find the lost flight, a Martin Mariner PBM-5 flying boat was sent to search for the mission squadron. The flying boat left Fort Lauderdale Airport at 7:27 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. the plane's radio failed, and flight disappeared forever.

By dawn on December 6, 1945, the largest search and rescue mission over air

and sea was underway. Before the sun would rise that day, over 240 planes and 18

ships would be deployed to search for Flight 19. Later that morning, the Royal Air

Force would send out planes to assist in the search. Numerous land teams would crisscross the Bahamas and the Florida Keys searching in vain for signs of survivors or wreckage that may have washed ashore. One search and rescue ship, the S.S. Gaines Mills, radioed at 7:50 p.m. that they had observed a burst of flames that rose one hundred feet high and lasted for about ten minutes. Ships and planes rushed to the area, but no signs of debris or survivors were found.

After five days of intense searching, the rescue mission was canceled. No wreckage, survivors, or explanations were found for the disappearance of Flight 19. Forty-six years later, May 8, 1991, a computer-controlled submarine scanned the ocean floor for sunken galleons. On this day, the crew of the Deep Sea would be unsuccessful in their search for galleons. Instead, 750 feet below the surface of the ocean, they would discover the outline of an airplane that clearly appeared to be a Navy Avenger. Two hundred yards away they discovered another plane and eventually accounted for five aircraft. Could this Flight 19?

The planes appear to have been ditched. The canopies were open, and some of the propellers were bent back. One of the planes had the marking 'FT' on its side, which was the designation for Fort Lauderdale. The plane also had the number 28 on it, which was Lieutenant Taylor's plane number.

Several theories have been submitted to the Navy, civilian government officials, and newspapers regarding the disappearance of this flight. An engineer in New York submitted a set of very detailed drawings in which he depicted the five planes and the flying boat in a massive mid-air collision. Unfortunately, the drawings left too many questions unanswered. Many theories insisted the wind blew the planes off course; however, the Navy insisted that the prevailing winds on this night were not strong enough to support such a theory.

Many doctors of science also submitted suggestions. Dr. Manson Valentine suggested a magnetic phenomenon that could have been set up by flying saucer. Dr. Stanley Krippner believed a black hole in space, called a vortex, existed where planes and ships that entered the Triangle did not come out.

Airplanes aren't the only things disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle. Many large and obviously heavy ships and tankers, approximately twenty, have disappeared

as well. One of the more intriguing disappearances was that of a U.S. Navy supply

ship. Known as the U.S.S. Cyclops, it measured over five hundred feet long and weighed more than nineteen thousand tons. The ship set sail on March 4, 1918, during World

War I. The oddest thing about this ship was its crew. The captain was a German who was thought to be mentally ill because he often walked about the ship in long underwear and a derby hat. Among the passengers were the former U.S. Consul to Brazil, three naval prisoners under indictment for murder, and two AWOL marines. The U.S.S. Cyclops disappeared without a trace. No record exists of a distressed radio communication coming from the area. Researchers do not believe the ship encountered bad weather, and no wreckage was ever discovered.

Many have suggested that a tidal wave struck and flipped the U.S.S. Cyclops, but did not sink the huge vessel. The Navy quickly discounted that theory because the ship was not in ...

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