The earliest allegation of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area appeared in a September 16, 1950, Associated Press article by Edward Van Winkle Jones.[Not accurate. The area of the Sargasso Sea, part of which is in the Triangle, had a reputation for deserted and missing vessels in the 19th century. Commander S.D. Sigsbee’s work Wrecks and Derelicts of the North Atlantic noted that most of the 1,628 derelicts he recorded through the Hydrographic Office between 1887 through 1893 “are sighted in the Gulf Stream off the United States coast, north of 30 degrees north latitude, and west of 60 degrees west longitude. The number gradually decreases to the eastward along the transatlantic steamer routes. A number of those which remain afloat the longest time make the circuit of the Sargasso Sea. The majority of the derelicts were vessels which were abandoned near the United States coasts.” ] Two years later, Fate magazine published “Sea Mystery at Our Back Door,”[a short article by George X. Sand covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss of Flight 19, a group of five US Navy TBM Avenger bombers on a training mission. Sand’s article was the first to lay out the now-familiar triangular area where the losses took place. Flight 19 alone would be covered in the April 1962 issue of American Legion Magazine. It was claimed that the flight leader had been heard saying “We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don’t know where we are, the water is green, no white.” [“It was claimed” is a weasel expression. No such statement was made in Eckert’s article. “The ocean doesn’t look as it should” was the only statement relating to the water. Page 13 American Legion] It was also claimed that officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes “flew off to Mars.” [Inaccurate. The exact quote is “They vanished completely as if they had flown off to Mars” and this was not in Eckert’s article. This entire paragraph is fragmented and disingenuous. It jumps from Sand’s article in 1952 to the American Legion 1962 and then back to Sand’s article, which introduced no supernatural element.] Sand’s article was the first to suggest a supernatural element to the Flight 19 incident. [He suggested none. His article dealt with many cases and concluded with literary zeal “There have been many other disappearances in this backyard sea of ours; Government and private aircraft, fishing boats, yachts. And always the record, when the account is finally closed, has the ominous notation: ‘No trace found.’] .In the February 1964 issue of Argosy, Vincent Gaddis’s article “The Deadly Bermuda Triangle” argued that Flight 19 and other disappearances were part of a pattern of strange events in the region.[The next year, Gaddis expanded this article into a book, Invisible Horizons.
Others would follow with their own works, elaborating on Gaddis’s ideas: John Wallace Spencer (Limbo of the Lost, 1969, repr. 1973); Charles Berlitz (The Bermuda Triangle, 1974); Richard Winer (The Devil's Triangle, 1974), and many others, all keeping to some of the same supernatural elements outlined by Eckert. [Eckert did not propose supernatural elements. Gaddis said he believed such stories were “wild ideas.” Page 184 of his book Invisible Horizons: “Following the publication of the article I wrote on the Bermuda Triangle in Argosy magazine, a number of letters were received from readers. Suggested explanations included all manner of wild things from interference by ‘flying saucers’ or something from outer space,’ to space-warps that caused the planes and ships to enter another dimension, and disintegrating rays from a 30,000-year-old Atlantean power plant which (according to noted clairvoyant Edgar Cayce) is fervently believed to some to be on the ocean bottom near the Bahamas!”
Page 186: His own personal opinion: “My own opinion is that within and near the triangle (perhaps, also, in the ‘Devil’s Sea’ and more rarely elsewhere) occasional aberrations of an unusual type occur in the air and on the surface of the ocean. These aberrations might cause magnetic, possibly gravitational, effects; in which case they might for all practical purposes be referred to as ‘space warps,’ and cause deadly turbulence ending in total disintegration of planes and ships, for the latter are by no means immune.”
Hardly supernatural. On September 26, 2001, when NASA detected charged cirrostratus clouds spiraling after a solar storm they even canceled a launch.]
Lawrence David Kusche, a research librarian from Arizona State University and author of The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975)[ argued that many claims of Gaddis and subsequent writers were often exaggerated, dubious or unverifiable. Kusche’s research revealed a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies between Berlitz’s accounts and statements from eyewitnesses, participants, and others involved in the initial incidents. Kusche noted cases where pertinent information went unreported, such as the disappearance of round-the-world yachtsman Donald Crowhurst, which Berlitz had presented as a mystery, despite clear evidence to the contrary. [Berlitz never mentioned it in his book. He mentioned Teignmouth Electron, Crowhurst’s boat, in his 1978 sequel Without A Trace. Kusche’s book was already published by this time and therefore he could not have addressed the issue. The vessel was found deserted and remains a mystery, though it is thought that Crowhurst went insane. Read Tomalin and Hall’s wonderful The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst] Another example was the ore-carrier recounted by Berlitz as lost without trace three days out of an Atlantic port when it had been lost three days out of a port with the same name in the Pacific Ocean. [Which incident is this? Name?] Kusche also argued that a large percentage of the incidents that sparked allegations of the Triangle’s mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it. Often his research was simple: he would review period newspapers of the dates of reported incidents and find reports on possibly relevant events like unusual weather, that were never mentioned in the disappearance stories. [One must contextualize Kusche’s work. As my article and later book showed, Kusche made huge mistakes, his newspaper articles were largely inaccurate, and he was very selective in what cases he presented. He only wrote about 57 cases. He also wrote before Berlitz, so that none of his Bermuda Triangle Mystery--Solved addressed anything in Berlitz’s book. Kusche’s own statement from an interview with Wanda Sue Parrot and reprinted in Riddle of the Bermuda Triangle by Martin Ebon, 1977: “I had started writing in early 1973, and Harper & Row originally planned to have the book out by April 1974. This would have been five months before Berlitz’s book, The Bermuda Triangle, which, of course, we didn’t know about then.”
Kusche concluded that:
- · The number of ships and aircraft reported missing in the area was not significantly greater, proportionally speaking, than in any other part of the ocean.
- · In an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that did occur were, for the most part, neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious; furthermore, Berlitz and other writers would often fail to mention such storms.
- · The numbers themselves had been exaggerated by sloppy research. A boat's disappearance, for example, would be reported, but its eventual (if belated) return to port may not have been.
- · Some disappearances had, in fact, never happened. One plane crash was said to have taken place in 1937 off Daytona Beach, Florida, in front of hundreds of witnesses; a check of the local papers revealed nothing.
- · The legend of the Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured mystery, perpetuated by writers who either purposely or unknowingly made use of misconceptions, faulty reasoning, and sensationalism.
When the UK Channel 4 television program “The Bermuda Triangle” (c. 1992) was being produced by John Simmons of Geofilms for the Equinox series, the marine insurer Lloyd’s of London was asked if an unusually large number of ships had sunk in the Bermuda Triangle area. Lloyd’s of London determined that large numbers of ships had not sunk there. [How did we get to 1992 all of a sudden? Lloyd’s actually insures mostly commercial vessels, so their insurance stats would not cover all vessels and aircraft.]
United States Coast Guard records confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances is relatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft that pass through on a regular basis. [Grossly inaccurate. The Coast Guard is explicit that it maintains no stats on missing vessels. Stats are published each year by the Commandant’s office and they show that other Coast Guard districts have similar traffic and trouble, such as the 1st Coast Guard District (off New England). However, a database search of the NTSB shows that only a few disappearances took place off New England. For example, in the 1990s about 5 aircraft vanished in foul weather compared to 20 aircraft in the Triangle in fair weather. The first chapter of Into the Bermuda Triangle outlined the difference in stats with full sources given. The source listed here by this contributor is actually Kusche’s old 1975 book. Yet the statement follows a 1992 British film? How can such achronismia impress readers as cogent and complimentary?]
The Coast Guard is also officially skeptical of the Triangle, noting that they collect and publish, through their inquiries, much documentation contradicting many of the incidents written about by the Triangle authors. In one such incident involving the 1972 explosion and sinking of the tanker V.A. Fogg in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard photographed the wreck and recovered several bodies,] in contrast with one Triangle author’s claim that all the bodies had vanished, with the exception of the captain, who was found sitting in his cabin at his desk, clutching a coffee cup. [That was only Spencer’s claim in Limbo of the Lost and he had to retract it. this has been a dead issue for almost 40 years. Why is this worded as relevant today or reflective of the Bermuda Triangle?]
The NOVA/HORIZON episode The Case of the Bermuda Triangle, aired on June 27, 1976, was highly critical, stating that “When we’ve gone back to the original sources or the people involved, the mystery evaporates. Science does not have to answer questions about the Triangle because those questions are not valid in the first place. Ships and planes behave in the Triangle the same way they behave everywhere else in the world.” [The Nova program was based on Kusche’s work. Basically, so far, this article is nothing but a narrow debunk based on an old 1975 write-for-hire book that has been long antiquated and exposed on www.bermuda-triangle.org]
[Lawrence ] David Kusche pointed out a common problem with many of the Bermuda Triangle stories and theories: “Say I claim that a parrot has been kidnapped to teach aliens human language and I challenge you to prove that is not true. You can even use Einstein’s Theory of Relativity if you like. There is simply no way to prove such a claim untrue. The burden of proof should be on the people who make these statements, to show where they got their information from, to see if their conclusions and interpretations are valid, and if they have left anything out.” [Again, irrelevant. Spencer was the only one whose thesis tried to exclusively prove alien abduction. In reality, the other author’s got their sources from Kusche. Along with Debra Blouin, in 1972, he compiled The Bermuda Triangle Bibliography which contained thousands of articles on the subject. This became so popular that people from all over the world were writing or calling to Arizona State at Tempe to request a copy, so they could track down the sources for their own works. In his article with Wanda Sue Parrot (1977) Kusche admits. “. . .we were swamped with requests, including orders from John Wallace Spencer, Richard Winer and Charles Berlitz.” It was when Harper & Row asked for a copy that Kusche pitched his own book. Based on 2 sample chapters, Harper & Row sent him a contract. When Kusche book came out, citing different sources, Charles Berlitz was enraged and had his compliment in his bibliography to Kusche removed from his book.
This Wikipedia article once had a cautionary paragraph based on my research showing how Kusche’s work was very sloppy and narrow. But, apparently, it was removed. So much of this wiki article is completely out of context, biased and obsolete.]
Skeptical researchers, such as Ernest Taves and Barry Singer, have noted how mysteries and the paranormal are very popular and profitable. This has led to the production of vast amounts of material on topics such as the Bermuda Triangle. They were able to show that some of the pro-paranormal material is often misleading or inaccurate, but its producers continue to market it. Accordingly, they have claimed that the market is biased in favor of books, TV specials, and other media that support the Triangle mystery, and against well-researched material if it espouses a skeptical viewpoint. [Sorry, I’m really the only one writing about the topic for the last 20 years, and there certainly is no money in it. I never heard of these supposed skeptics and when checking the source I almost had to laugh. Taves wrote a 2 page article in a 1978 Skeptical Inquirer, and Singer in a 1979 Humanist. Neither are relevant anymore. As this wikipedia article shows, most things are skewed toward debunkers today.]
Finally, if the Triangle is assumed to cross land, such as parts of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, or Bermuda itself, there is no evidence for the disappearance of any land-based vehicles or persons. [Who ever made this assumption? Wikipedia rightly asks for some citation here.] The city of Freeport, located inside the Triangle, operates a major shipyard and an airport that handles 50,000 flights annually and is visited by over a million tourists a year. [The point being?]
Triangle writers have used a number of supernatural concepts to explain the events. [Which writers? Define “supernatural”]One explanation pins the blame on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis. Sometimes connected to the Atlantis story is the submerged rock formation known as the Bimini Road off the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, which is in the Triangle by some definitions. [It’s in the Triangle by all definitions. I’m beginning to smell Bubba, the Salty Dog here, the Jack the Ripper of truth and my Cyber Stalker.] Followers of the purported psychic Edgar Cayce take his prediction that evidence of Atlantis would be found in 1968 as referring to the discovery of the Bimini Road. Believers describe the formation as a road, wall, or other structure, though geologists consider it to be of natural origin. [Was it discovered in 1968? By whom? The source link no longer works, but I suspect the “geologists” is Paul Petenude. I don’t want to go into what Petenude’s reputation is, but clearly this sentence is false since Petenude is only one geologist. However wild Atlantean crystals is as a theory, it is not supernatural, though granted the means by which it came to the public is by what would be considered psychic.]
Other writers attribute the events to UFOs. [What writers? Weasel words. Theories have been discussed concerning UFOs, but which writers specifically said the Triangle’s enigma is the result of UFOs? (Actually, it was John Spencer in 1973). A retired US Marine major, Donald E. Keyhoe, was the first to speculate that Flight 19 could have been caused by UFO abduction. (The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, Henry Holt, 1955] This idea was used by Steven Spielberg for his science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which features the lost Flight 19 aircrews as alien abductees.
Charles Berlitz, author of various books on anomalous phenomena, lists several theories attributing the losses in the Triangle to anomalous or unexplained forces. [Anomalous or unexplained is not supernatural. The pursuit of all Science would therefore be supernatural, since it does not seek to explain what is known but that which is not.]
Compass problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents. [What kind of sentence is this?] While some have theorized that unusual local magnetic anomalies may exist in the area, such anomalies have not been shown to exist. [False. The Atlantic Transition Type Geomagnetic Anomaly was first described in the 1960s. Bennet and Liliey (1971) “attribute it to conductive mantel material ascending from the ocean side upward in scarp like suture,” as quoted by Dr. Vladamir N. Larin on page 144 of his 1993 work Hydridic Earth (Polar Publishing, edited by C. Warren Hunt). Anomalies are frequently noted in the Bahamas area and have been shown to exist on a number of occasions (eg Zink, Stones of Atlantis) The statement begs the question, what does this author consider “shown to exist”?] Compasses have natural magnetic variations in relation to the magnetic poles, a fact which navigators have known for centuries. [No compass has natural magnetic variation. The Earth has magnetic variation and the compass reflects this.] Magnetic (compass) north and true (geographic) north are only exactly the same for a small number of places – for example, as of 2000 in the United States only those places on a line running from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico. [The same applies on the exact opposite of the globe] But the public may not be as informed, and think there is something mysterious about a compass ‘changing’ across an area as large as the Triangle, which it naturally will. [A statement of absurdity. The public would not be in a plane watching the compass. What is the point of this statement? Compass Variation is no longer relevant to the Triangle, as the Agonic Line has moved into the Gulf of Mexico. It was really never a relevant excuse. When the Coast Guard updated their opinion on the Bermuda Triangle some years ago, P.O. Suddarth contacted me for input. They have completely eliminated this excuse.]
Deliberate acts of destruction
Deliberate acts of destruction can fall into two categories: acts of war, and acts of piracy. Records in enemy files have been checked for numerous losses. [Never. Where are these files? Admiral Robison, as a part of the Navy contingent of the Allied Armistice Commission, asked Admiral Goette to check the German High Command records for the Cyclops. That is all.] While many sinkings have been attributed to surface raiders or submarines during the World Wars and documented in various command log books, many others suspected as falling in that category have not been proven. It is suspected that the loss of USS Cyclops in 1918, as well as her sister ships Proteus and Nereus in World War II, were attributed to submarines, but no such link has been found in the German records. [German records confirmed that no submarines were present along the Cyclops’ course in 1918. It has never been suspected since that time. No such link has been sought in the others.]
Piracy —the illegal capture of a craft on the high seas— continues to this day. While piracy for cargo theft is more common in the western Pacific and Indian oceans, drug smugglers do steal pleasure boats for smuggling operations, and may have been involved in crew and yacht disappearances in the Caribbean. Piracy in the Caribbean was common from about 1560 to the 1760s, and famous pirates included Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and Jean Lafitte.
False-color image of the Gulf Stream flowing north through the western Atlantic Ocean. (NASA)
The Gulf Stream is a deep ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and then flows through the Straits of Florida into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and, like a river, it can and does carry floating objects. It has a surface velocity of up to about 2.5 metres per second (5.6 mi/h). A small plane making a water landing or a boat having engine trouble can be carried away from its reported position by the current. [This statement is not very flattering to the Coast Guard’s intelligence. The drift and speed of the current is automatically taken into consideration by the Coast Guard during their searches. Since this contributor alludes to Berlitz’s book, had he read it he would have known this because even Berlitz cites the CG’s search orders.]
One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error. [The source for this false statement is an equally non authoritative web article on the National Geographic site which dates to 2003 in its updated form. NTSB is not allowed to make such statements, and the Air Force will edit their report’s conclusion when releasing the report under FOIA. The NTSB summation is usually “aircraft damage and injury index presumed.” How does human error cause a boat or plane to vanish?] Whether deliberate or accidental, humans have been known to make mistakes resulting in catastrophe, and losses within the Bermuda Triangle are no exception. For example, the Coast Guard cited a lack of proper training for the cleaning of volatile benzene residue as a reason for the loss of the tanker SS V.A. Fogg in 1972. [1972 again? An incident which only John Wallace Spencer mentioned and then had to retract at the time.] Human stubbornness may have caused businessman Harvey Conover to lose his sailing yacht, the Revonoc, as he sailed into the teeth of a storm south of Florida on January 1, 1958. [Really? The source for this is a joke.]
Hurricanes are powerful storms, which form in tropical waters and have historically cost thousands of lives lost and caused billions of dollars in damage. The sinking of Francisco de Bobadilla’s Spanish fleet in 1502 was the first recorded instance of a destructive hurricane. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle. [Such as?]
Worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments, 1996. Source:
An explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of vast fields of methane hydrates (a form of natural gas) on the continental shelves. [This general statement must be contextualized. The theory is identified with Dr. Ben Clennell of Leed’s University. He was completely unaware of where most ships and planes vanish in the Triangle and that their positions do not correspond with the areas of methane beds off the Carolinas.] Laboratory experiments carried out in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water; any wreckage consequently rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by the Gulf Stream [Coast Guard, once again, takes the current’s drift and speeds into consideration in their searches]. It has been hypothesized that periodic methane eruptions (sometimes called “mud volcanoes”) may produce regions of frothy water that are no longer capable of providing adequate buoyancy for ships. If this were the case, such an area forming around a ship could cause it to sink very rapidly and without warning. [Source for all this?]
Publications by the USGS describe large stores of undersea hydrates worldwide, including the Blake Ridge area, off the southeastern United States coast.[However, according to another of their papers, no large releases of gas hydrates are believed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 15,000 years. [Then the entire wording begs hypothesis non fingo. What was the point of even including this?]
In various oceans around the world, rogue waves have caused ships to sink and oil platforms to topple. These waves, until 1995, were considered to be a mystery and/or a myth. [False. They were considered as a possible cause in the loss of the s.s. Poet in 1980, and were discussed in relation to the North Wall Phenomenon of the Gulf Stream.] Marine Casualty Report
Theodosia Burr Alston
Theodosia Burr Alston was the daughter of former United States Vice President Aaron Burr. Her disappearance has been cited at least once in relation to the Triangle. [Then why is it listed under “notable incidents” when by this contributor’s own statement it is not?] She was a passenger on board the Patriot, which sailed from Charleston, South Carolina to New York City on December 30, 1812, and was never heard from again. The planned route is well outside all but the most extended versions of the Bermuda Triangle. Both piracy and the War of 1812 have been posited as explanations, as well as a theory placing her in Texas, well outside the Triangle.
Schooner Carroll A. Deering, as seen from the
Cape Lookout lightvessell on January 29, 1921,
two days before she was found deserted in
North Carolina. (US Coast Guard)
The mysterious abandonment in 1872 of the 282-ton brigantine Mary Celeste is often but inaccurately connected to the Triangle, the ship having been abandoned off the coast of Portugal. [False. Writers have discussed the case but have not said it was in the Triangle.] The event is possibly confused with the loss of a ship with a similar name, the Mari Celeste, a 207-ton paddle steamer that hit a reef and quickly sank off the coast of Bermuda on September 13, 1864. [It’s not been claimed as a Triangle case, nor confused with a sunken paddle steamer. What historic source is given? A tour guide?] Kusche noted that many of the “facts” about this incident were actually about the Marie Céleste, the fictional ship from Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement” (based on the real Mary Celeste incident, but fictionalised). [“fictionalised” with an “s”. We have a Brit or an Aussi responsible for this.]
The Ellen Austin supposedly came across a derelict ship, placed on board a prize crew, and attempted to sail with it to New York in 1881. According to the stories, the derelict disappeared; others elaborating further that the derelict reappeared minus the prize crew, then disappeared again with a second prize crew on board. A check from Lloyd’s of London records proved the existence of the Meta, built in 1854 and that in 1880 the Meta was renamed Ellen Austin. There are no casualty listings for this vessel, or any vessel at that time, that would suggest a large number of missing men were placed on board a derelict that later disappeared. [Amazingly, we actually advance beyond the 1970s here and I’m credited as the source. This reveals this contributor’s lack of reading comprehension. I wrote plainly that Lloyd’s found 18 vessels named Meta and could not trace every one for me. Thus the incident may have happened under the name Meta and waits being verified.]
The incident resulting in the single largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy not related to combat occurred when USS Cyclops, under the command of Lt. Cdr. George Worley, went missing without a trace with a crew of 309 sometime after March 4, 1918, after departing the island of Barbados. Although there is no strong evidence for any single theory, many independent theories exist, some blaming storms, some capsizing, and some suggesting that wartime enemy activity was to blame for the loss. [Passé. There is much evidence for some theories of mutiny and betrayal. 1,500 papers exist on this subject in the National Archives modern Military Branch (boxes 1068-1070)].
Carroll A. Deering
A five-masted schooner built in 1919, the Carroll A. Deering was found hard aground and abandoned at Diamond Shoals, near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on January 31, 1921. Rumors and more at the time indicated the Deering was a victim of piracy, possibly connected with the illegal rum-running trade during Prohibition, and possibly involving another ship, S.S. Hewitt, which disappeared at roughly the same time. Just hours later, an unknown steamer sailed near the lightship along the track of the Deering, and ignored all signals from the lightship. It is speculated that the Hewitt may have been this mystery ship, and possibly involved in the Deering crew’s disappearance.
Flight 19 was a training flight of TBM Avenger bombers that went missing on December 5, 1945, while over the Atlantic. The squadron's flight path was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, [123 miles] north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base, but they never returned. The impression is given [Whose impression? Wikipedia rightly asks for citation] that the flight encountered unusual phenomena and anomalous compass readings, and that the flight took place on a calm day under the supervision of an experienced pilot, Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor. Adding to the intrigue is that the Navy’s report of the accident ascribed it to “causes or reasons unknown.”[citation is requested again by wikipedia] [Citation cannot be given because the statement is false. The Navy blamed the flight leader. A Corrections of Naval Records Board 2 years later overturned this and blamed it on “causes unknown.”
Adding to the mystery, a search and rescue Martin Mariner with a 13-man crew was dispatched to aid the missing squadron, but the Mariner itself was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion[at about the time the Mariner would have been on patrol.
US Navy TBF Grumman Avenger flight, similar to Flight 19. This photo had been used by various Triangle authors to illustrate Flight 19 itself. (US Navy)
While the basic facts of this version of the story are essentially accurate, some important details are missing. The weather was becoming stormy by the end of the incident, and naval reports and written recordings of the conversations between Taylor and the other pilots of Flight 19 do not indicate magnetic problems. [Taylor, the flight leader, opening states his compasses are not working.]
[This picture has been used to show what such a squadron would look like in flight, but I have never seen it presented as the actual Flight 19. What is the source for such a statement?]
Star Tiger and Star Ariel
G-AHNP Star Tiger disappeared on January 30, 1948 on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda; G-AGRE Star Ariel disappeared on January 17, 1949, on a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica. Both were AVRO Tudor IV passenger aircraft operated by British South American Airways.] Both planes were operating at the very limits of their range and the slightest error or fault in the equipment could keep them from reaching the small island. One plane was not heard from long before it would have entered the Triangle. [Utterly false. Star Ariel had just taken off from Bermuda, and Star Tiger was on course. The report itself concluded it could not have missed the island considering its last known position. Well, you can read the reports for yourself. I have placed them online. Star Tiger. Star Ariel ]
On December 28, 1948, a Douglas DC-3 aircraft, number NC16002, disappeared while on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Miami. No trace of the aircraft or the 32 people onboard was ever found. From the documentation compiled by the Civil Aeronautics Board investigation, a possible key to the plane’s disappearance was found, but barely touched upon by the Triangle writers: the plane’s batteries were inspected and found to be low on charge, but ordered back into the plane without a recharge by the pilot while in San Juan. Whether or not this led to complete electrical failure will never be known. However, since piston-engined aircraft rely upon magnetos to provide spark to their cylinders rather than a battery powered ignition coil system, this theory is not strongly convincing. [Nor has anybody advanced it except this contributor. Linguist, the pilot, said he would circle San Juan airport until his batteries were recharged. He did not depart until a land based radio center picked up his call.]
On August 28, 1963, a pair of US Air force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft collided and crashed into the Atlantic. The Triangle version (Winer, Berlitz, Gaddis) of this story specifies that they did collide and crash, but there were two distinct crash sites, separated by over 160 miles (260 km) of water. However, Kusche’s research showed that the unclassified version of the Air Force investigation report stated that the debris field defining the second “crash site” was examined by a search and rescue ship, and found to be a mass of seaweed and driftwood tangled in an old buoy. [How and Why did they collide?]
SS Marine Sulphur Queen
SS Marine Sulphur Queen, a T-2 tanker converted from oil to sulfur carrier, was last heard from on February 4, 1963 with a crew of 39 near the Florida Keys. Marine Sulphur Queen was the first vessel mentioned in Vincent Gaddis' 1964 Argosy Magazine article, but he left it as having “sailed into the unknown”, despite the Coast Guard report, which not only documented the ship’s badly-maintained history, but declared that it was an unseaworthy vessel that should never have gone to sea. [False. Coast Guard never said that.] Read the report for yourself MSQ Report .pdf.
A pleasure yacht was found adrift in the Atlantic south of Bermuda on September 26, 1955; it is usually stated in the stories (Berlitz, Winer) that the crew vanished while the yacht survived being at sea during three hurricanes. The 1955 Atlantic Hurricane season shows Hurricane Ione passing nearby between the 14th and 18th of that month, with Bermuda being affected by winds of almost gale force. It was confirmed that the Connemara IV was empty and in port when Ione may have caused the yacht to slip her moorings and drift out to sea. [This statement is unique in all the accounts of this vessel. Wikipedia rightly asks for a citation. Some of this erroneous solution to the mystery actually originates from Dick Winer. In Devil’s Triangle II he thought the mystery. Writing over pages 94-97 he states he got a letter from a man in Barbados who said that the Connemara IV was berthed there on the 22 of September and pulled out by the hurricane and that the Olympic Cloud picked up the vessel only 30 miles from Barbados. This is completely false. Kusche got it right in Bermuda Triangle Mystery Solved (page 173 of hardcover) but using a Lloyd’s bulletin. The Connemara IV was found only about 150 miles southeast of Bermuda on the 26th. The vessel could not have drifted over 1,200 miles in less than three days. Some hoaxer was pulling Winer’s leg.]
All in all this is an extremely poor review about the Bermuda Triangle. It has the form of an encyclopedia article, but not the substance. It really is locked into a time-warp itself, and does not tread outside of the 1970s’ except for a few sources, which are used achronistically as if to support a very biased contributor’s views. It builds up a false image of the Triangle and reports what “writers” have supposedly said about it 45 years ago, and then, using inference as a base, the rest is mostly an apology for Larry Kusche’s dated and highly inaccurate 1975 book’s claim to have solved it all. Of the few incident given, not one even approaches the 1970s.
In studying true life crime, such as Jack the Ripper, I’m always amazed at how many books are written and titled and indeed touted to have solved it all. They are so frequent, in fact, that one does not stand out for long, for they are critically examined, exposed, and often supplanted by yet another. It is sad that in the case of the Bermuda Triangle only one author’s work has been written with “solved” on the cover. It continues to give the false impression, even 36 years later, that he was not one of many types that get a book published certain their flimsy approaches constitute a solution.