So we’ve all heard the stories about this famous “graveyard of ships”, as it has been called, but what really happens in this region of the Atlantic that encompasses an estimated 440,000 miles of ocean? It has been called many names over the years, but the most popular seem to be “The Bermuda Triangle” and “The Devil’s Triangle”.
The Bermuda Triangle stretches from the island of Bermuda down to the southern coast of Florida, skipping past the islands of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (referred to as the Greater Antilles islands), to end at the island of Puerto Rico. It is also home to the deepest point in the Puerto Rico Trench, the Milwaukee Depths with depths of 27,493 ft (8,380 m). The name “Bermuda Triangle” is not officially recognized by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names and does not appear officially on any maps. There is plenty of debate about the exact geographic positioning of the Bermuda Triangle.
The Bermuda Triangle has caused quite an uproar over the years due to its reputation of swallowing up ships and causing planes to crash into its depths, inspiring author Charles Berlitz to write his famous novel “The Bermuda Triangle”, earning itself a movie of the same name in 1978, there have been many more movies since then up until the year 2014 with the release of the movie “Bermuda Tentacles”. You may remember the movie “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” where the mythological Sea of Monsters was said to be situated in the Bermuda Triangle. Other recent releases have been 2010’s “Gulliver’s Travels” starring Jack Black. There is also much speculation among literary scholars as to whether or not William Shakespeare’s Tempest was based on a real-life Bermuda ship-wreck.
However, despite hundreds of reports over the years, tales of the Bermuda Triangle only really started to gain any traction in the 20th century with the sinking of the navy vessel, the USS Cyclone. Since then, thousands across the globe have all turned their eyes onto this section of the Atlantic.
Now that we have a bit of a background for all these stories, let’s discuss a few.
Starting as early as October 11, 1492 with Christopher Columbus and his crew of the Santa Maria, who themselves reported seeing fire fall from the sky, followed by an unknown light before their ship made port. There have been as many as 14 recorded incidents and an estimated 687 deaths from ship-wrecks, however not all the wrecks have been recovered, so it’s hard for us to determine the exact amount of victims the Bermuda Triangle has claimed over the years. Below I have given a brief description of some of these ship-wrecks:
- In the year 1840 the Rosalie was found abandoned except for a canary.
- In the year 1921 the Carroll A. Deering was found aground and abandoned at Diamond Shoals near North Carolina.
- In the year 1925 the SS Cotopaxi sunk en route to Havana, Cuba. She was recovered in 1985 off the coasts of Florida, however she was only properly identified earlier this year.
- In the year 1941 2 ships went down taking with them in total 119 people. The two ships, Proteus and Nereus were sister ships to the USS Cyclops, which itself lost 306 people in the year 1918. It is speculated that a deadly combination of the acidic cargo and poor construction could’ve sunk these ships.
So from the above information we can see that the Bermuda Triangle has claimed many ships in its time, but ships are not the only victims this stretch of ocean has claimed. There have been as many as 162 deaths up to as recently as 2019.
- In July of 1945, 12 crew members of a US Navy patrol sea plane were lost on a training flight to the Bahamas. The rescue team searched for 10 days on land and in air and were still unable to recover the lost sea plane.
- In that same year in December, the famous Flight-19 went down losing 14 airmen, later that day the Navy lost a further 13 in a search and rescue mission to recover Flight-19. There has been much speculation as to whether or not it was human error or simply a stubborn pilot that led to the rescue plane blowing up. To further back up this theory, they recovered evidence of debris and discovered an oil slick near the crash site of the rescue plane.
- In July, 1947, there was a supposed loss of a B-29 Superfortress off Bermuda, however upon further investigation found no evidence of such an incident ever occurring.This turned out to be a Douglas C-54 that went down off the Florida coast.
- In the following year, December 1948, while en route to Miami, Florida, 3 crewmen and 36 passengers went missing.
- In January, 1949, the Bermuda Triangle claimed a further 20 victims. Seven crew members and 13 passengers went down on their flight from Bermuda to Jamaica.
Recently there have been many reports of disappearances and crashes over this stretch of the Atlantic. From 2005 to 2019 there have been as many as 12 reported deaths. However among the 162 deaths mentioned above there have been a total of 19 survivors.
On land there has only been one recorded incident in 1969 involving two missing lighthouse keepers, however it was reported that a hurricane passed that area at about the same time as the disappearances, so we can assume that they were most likely killed in the hurricane.
In total there have been 924 deaths recorded in this region of the Atlantic, with no survivors by sea or land.
Over the years there have been many explanations offered as to these bizarre occurrences. Some believe they can be attributed to UFO activity, while others blame gigantic crystal pyramids that paranormal explorers have claimed to have found under the sea. Others still, believe that the souls of abandoned African slaves, thrown overboard by their slave traders, are responsible. There are also theories that state that the lost city of Atlantis could somehow be involved. Perhaps it may even be that the US Navy’s AUTEC (Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center) testing weapons or reverse-engineering alien tech? At any rate, many theories abound.
But are those our only explanations or is there a more scientific explanation to all these disappearances? Well, let’s have a look.
Science has its own explanations to all these strange phenomena, scientists have stated that it can be chalked up to human error, bad weather and other strange, yet natural, occurrences over that region of ocean. This lends a different light to all our tales of lost cities and sea monsters. One particular scientist has made a full scientific investigation into all of this. The Bermuda Triangle has a lot of heavy traffic both by air and by sea, as well as very dangerous weather conditions i.e. hurricanes and tropical storms. Despite everything we’ve read or heard about the Bermuda Triangle, it would seem that it does not cause any more or less deaths than any other region of the Atlantic.
No one knows for sure the exact number of disappeared planes and ships as we have yet to recover the wreckage of many ships, so there is plenty of debate over these figures, however we can estimate around 50 ships and 20 planes have crashed in The Bermuda Triangle.
At the end of all this, we come to the conclusion that The Bermuda Triangle, despite all the mystery and conspiracy, is just a region of the Atlantic with poor weather and heavy traffic. Whether it was human error, bad weather or something much more mysterious will always be a matter of debate, however we can all agree on one thing: The Bermuda Triangle will always be a place of mystery and speculation.
I hope you enjoyed this brief explanation of the events surrounding the Bermuda Triangle and I hope to write again soon.