A turquoise desert greets us on the horizon. Oases are here and there, those little forts of life. It is the opposite of a scorched desert on land, where little water holes and a few palm trees make for a safe haven from the burning blood sands of the Sahara. The sand here is the same, but it is covered by a few feet of water, perhaps in some places as little as 3 feet and as deep as 50 feet. This gives it a shining, cool radiance, an aqua tepidness. Instead of the wind writing dunes with its invisible finger, the sea does that in the Bahamas. The bottom appears as a wrinkled carpet. Here and there one can see turtle grass and other underwater sea growth.
But the islands are the oases here. They are the only points of sure safety, and even their sanctuary as been violated by the mysterious sea around them. In 1969 the two lighthouse keepers of Great Isaac’s Cay vanished without trace. It is a deserted crag now, with the wind howling about its open doors.
The main departure point into the Bahamas is the vacation Mecca of Miami, Florida. Miami is one corner of the infamous Triangle. And nothing helps us to place the outback allure of the enigmatic Bahamas in perspective than contrasting it with this pleasure port of pleasure ports.
Andros and Bimini are hardly a palm-fringed paradise. Abundant casuarina trees and older homes give Bimini a summer camp look and Andros, a big, flat island, an outback look. Rustic bars and hotels cater to the loads of game fishermen, divers & snorkelers and lend the islands a slightly honky-tonk atmosphere.
But the exotic of the tropics is never far from Bahama island coasts. The thin waters give us
dark Bahama nights far from land. Russian authorities have now confessed that during the cold war their submarines more frequently encountered the fabled USOs— Unidentified Submersible Objects— the undersea cousins of the irascible UFOs we hear so much about.
They are another unsolved enigma that haunts these alluring tropical waters. The Russian confession merely adds more enigma to the background of vanishing ships and planes that passed over this desert of turquoise waters and were never seen again.
The ocean barely covers the Great Bahama Bank all the way to Andros Island from Bimini. For an hour or more one is dazzled by a kaleidoscope of changing colors: blues, jades, and turquoise, as the currents scour the bottom like wind does the dunes of the desert. It is hard to imagine that scores of planes could have vanished over these same beautiful waters. Yet a Lake Amphibian was in this exact region in 1973 and left no trace, carrying 3 people. It was an amphibious plane; it could land and float on water. But what happened? In 1997 a plane temporarily vanished. It was later found only 5 miles southeast of Bimini in a mere 7 feet of
The beauty of off-shore Bimini.
water. Yet it took a week to find it. As it stands now, rumors have it the plane was found empty, even the key was removed from the ignition.
These are but minor mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Sportsmen, divers, pleasure boaters and conch fishermen, are familiar with the enigmatic wrecks. But mystery delves deeper than casual and passing acquaintance. Greg and Laura Little have frequently wreck-hunted in the area, finding small aircraft and even a DC-3! I was called upon to examine and investigate a couple of these recently (2009) to see if either could be linked with a missing in the Triangle. History Channel did a big show around one found 55 miles east of Bimini at the “Eye.”
The “Eye” is not unique, but for our purposes a few chords of those old 1970s docudrama music are not out of place here. In the shallow waters of the Bahamas, wrecks eventually attract turtle grass. The “Eye” is the result of an as-yet untraced wreck, perhaps a Cessna 310, that crashed sometime in the 1970s. The “Eye” looks like a marled area from overhead, some mottled dark green blemish in the cool azure underwater silky sands of the Bahamas.
Flights are quick in this island studded area. Mystery must strike swiftly. Engines have flamed out, oil leaks suddenly occur. A search of NTSB records show how common place these are. They lead to the obvious and sometimes tragic accident and wreckage. But when something vanishes it is frequently just gone.
The engines drone on, and one anxiously awaits seeing yachts schooning with a brisk trade wind below. One can’t help but wonder what strikes along this routine sky highway so fast as to change such an exotic, surreal scene.
A twin Beech passed over here in 1976 bound for Caicos; a Piper Cherokee in May 1978; another Cherokee in April 1979; yet again, in September 1979 an Aero Commander 500; A Cessna 402B charter 1984; a big B-25 in 1966 . . . Oh, well, many others.
Casual conversations on such small planes are common. When the topic of the Triangle comes up . . .if it does . . . I must bite my tongue. I best not mention it to the others. To have figures and facts won’t get you any kudos. Other passengers will just dig their fingers into the upholstery and demand a bathroom.
Why indeed have none left a trace? Even “eyes” have remained closed to the many missing in the Triangle.
As haunting as it seems, this chilling aura of mystery draws adventurers
But there are even greater mysteries than this. In 1999 an off-duty Coast Guard Petty Officer Bobby Powell was quietly fishing from his outboard
anchored off Andros Island. The water was sparkling and bright. The bottom was only 7 feet below, shimmering through the glass-like sea. When his 14 foot outboard was found his line was still leading over the edge. The bottom sands were velvety smooth. But Powell was missing.
Despite the shallow water it is not good to ditch or to be too accessible to the sea. Marine life abounds. Here man is the hunted. Sharks cruise along, barracudas, almost any type of fish looking to kill or feed off the kill.
Sometimes they go on the attack. Barracudas have been known to leap into a boat, fatally bite the occupant and then dive back into the sea. If the victim is mortally wounded the cuda
might come back and drag their prey back in, or the first blow might have been enough to knock them over into the sea, into their domain where they finish them off.
fleeting glimpses of a different world. Odd geometric patterns are swirled into view by the currents and once again covered by the finicky sands of this odd underwater island. Streaks of
strange glowing water, the famous “Glowing Water” of the Bahamas plume up from vents in the shallow ocean floor, then stop, and vent up somewhere else.
Unusual glowing lights also flit around below. They are particularly prevalent around areas of drop-off, those areas where the sparkling brightness of the shallow waters suddenly goes cold and deep blue as the sea floor plunges precipitously to dismal depths. They scurry about and vanish.
Compasses mysteriously spin around these spots more frequently. The cause may be the Atlantic Transition Type Geomagnetic Anomaly. A number of scientists have mentioned this in arcane works. It was first discussed in the 1960s; and in a 1993 book Hydridic Earth Russian scientist Dr. Vladamir Larin discusses possible causes.
But there are many mysteries in the dark
Flying out into the hazy tropics, our first view is the antithesis of mystery: the condominiums, casinos, hotels and bustling sands of Miami Beach. Advancing lines of breaking surf soon fade to the deep blue Gulf Stream, dotted with any imaginable type of vessel. This is a veritable seagoing freeway. The Gulf Stream flows about close to 5 mph here, sweeping the warm
waters of the tropical Gulf into the cold and tumultuous Atlantic. Here off Florida’s warm waters, the Gulf Stream is manageable, but nevertheless many pleasure boaters like to head south and then catch the Gulf Stream as though it was a conveyor belt northward. Then they glide off at the Bahamas, onto its peaceful, shallow azure waters.
By aircraft the Bahamas is just 20 minutes or so away. Our first stop, Bimini, is actually 2 islands: North and, naturally, South Bimini. It’s only about 45 miles away from Miami. A small plane is only briefly at its cruise altitude, which is often very low.
But where are the dozens of others? Where are the “eyes” that should have been created by all the missing aircraft and vessels that vanished over these shallow waters and left no trace? Even if undiscovered at the
time of the initial searches, each should have formed a mottled area which all locals would be familiar with. Yet the Triangle swallows all clues, even after decades.
Gene Nattress and his B-25
The topo- graphy is silently deceptive. It instills an hypnotic sense of safety. To see the bottom of this lush
undersea desert fools one that help may be near. In truth, one is still far out to sea, and many of the Bahamas are deserted crags, primitive outposts, and many times the traffic below is lawless and brutal.
Yet none of this can erase wreckage. There should be a fleet of ships and plane wrecks below, and yet there is not. Given the topography of the Bahamas, mystery clutches greedily to the Triangle disappearances here more than elsewhere.
and sportsmen. It is a sidelight of the exotic in an already fun-filled trip. People wonder will something truly “triangle-esque” happen to them? Will our compass spin? Will we really see the “electronic fog?” Will those mysterious green lights and glowing waters surface? Will we even see those mysterious USOs reported by both US and Soviet ships?
It is an interesting irony that the ancient mysteries of the Bahamas remain below the thin crisp waters to greet and amaze modern travelers as they have for hundreds of years. The Bimini Road, the mystic center of the Bermuda Triangle, was actually only rediscovered in 1968 it seems. They appear in artistic representation on the old Piri Reis
Today the Bimini Road awaits divers. You can coast over 1,200 feet of the “J” shaped structure and examine its key stones. There is another line of stones parallel to it and many other structures have been seen now and again over the shallow banks between Bimini and Andros Island.
Amidst this the missing in the Bermuda Triangle have left no trace or wreckage, no “eye” of rusted debris and turtle grass to memorialize their passing.
But of all these enigmas the greatest is yet to come. Traveling along this path brings us to Andros Island and beyond that a geologic oddity like none other in the world.
Map of 1513, a map long lost and only rediscovered at Topkapi Palace after the fall of the Sultans after World War I. An unidentified island exists in the Bahamas Archipelago on the map which is marked by a row of polygonal stones. They had so captured the
imagination of the cartographer that he used them as the significant landmark of the island.