Bermuda Triangle History and Incidents

Bermuda Triangle
History and Incidents


The Bermuda Triangle (also known as Devil's Triangle and Devil's Sea) is a nearly half-million square-mile (1.2 million km2) area of ocean roughly defined by Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and the southernmost tip of Florida. This area is noted for 
a high incidence of unexplained losses of ships, small boats, and aircraft.. 

The Bermuda Triangle has become popular through representation by the mass media, in which it is a paranormal site in which the known laws of physics are either violated, altered, or both.
While there is a common belief that a number of ships and airplanes have disappeared under highly unusual circumstances in this region, the United States Coast Guard and others disagree with that assessment, citing statistics demonstrating that the number of incidents involving lost ships and aircraft is no larger than that of any other heavily traveled region of the world. 

There is a common belief that a number of ships and airplanes have disappeared under highly unusual circumstances in the region called
Bermuda Triangle. Over 100 airplane disappearances and over
1000 lives lost since 1945

Many of the alleged mysteries have proven not so mysterious or unusual upon close examination, with inaccuracies and misinformation about the cases often circulating and recirculating over the decades.

The triangle is an arbitrary shape, crudely marking out a corridor of the Atlantic, stretching northward from the West Indies, along the North American seaboard, as far as the Carolinas. In the Age of Sail, ships returning to Europe from parts south would sail north to the Carolinas, then turn east for Europe, taking advantage of the prevailing wind direction across the North Atlantic. Even with the development of steam and internal-combustion engines, a great deal more shipping traffic was (and still is) found nearer the US coastline than towards the empty centre of the Atlantic. The Triangle also loosely conforms with the course of the Gulf Stream as it leaves the West Indies, and has always been an area of volatile weather. The combination of distinctly heavy maritime traffic and tempestuous weather meant that a certain, also distinctly large, number of vessels would flounder in storms.
Given the historical limitations of communications technology, most of those ships that sank without survivors would disappear without a trace. The advent of wireless communications, radar, and satellite navigation meant that the unexplained disappearances largely ceased at some point in the 20th Century. The occasional vessel still sinks, but rarely without a trace. It should be noted that both the concept and the name of the Bermuda Triangle date only to the 1960s, and were the products of an American journalist.

Other areas often purported to possess unusual characteristics are the Devil's Sea, located near Japan, and the Marysburgh Vortex or the Great Lakes Triangle, located in eastern Lake Ontario.

Bermuda (or "Devil's") Triangle 

The Bermuda Triangle (a.k.a. the Devil's Triangle) is a triangular area in the Atlantic Ocean bounded roughly at its points by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Legend has it that many people, ships and planes have mysteriously vanished in this area. How many have mysteriously disappeared depends on who is doing the locating and the counting. The size of the triangle varies from 500,000 square miles to three times that size, depending on the imagination of the author. (Some include the Azores, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies in the "triangle.") Some trace the mystery back to the time of Columbus. Even so, estimates range from about 200 to no more than 1,000 incidents in the past 500 years. Howard Rosenberg claims that in 1973 the U.S. Coast Guard answered more than 8,000 distress calls in the area and that more than 50 ships and 20 planes have gone down in the Bermuda Triangle within the last century.
Many theories have been given to explain the extraordinary mystery of these missing ships and planes. Evil extraterrestrials, residue crystals from Atlantis, evil humans with anti-gravity devices or other weird technologies, and vile vortices from the fourth dimension are favorites among fantasy writers. Strange magnetic fields and oceanic flatulence (methane gas from the bottom of the ocean) are favorites among the technically-minded. Weather (thunderstorms, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, high waves, currents, etc.) bad luck, pirates, explosive cargoes, incompetent navigators, and other natural and human causes are favorites among skeptical investigators.
There are some skeptics who argue that the facts do not support the legend, that there is no mystery to be solved, and nothing that needs explaining.The number of wrecks in this area is not extraordinary, given its size, location and the amount of traffic it receives. Many of the ships and planes that have been identified as having disappeared mysteriously in the Bermuda Triangle were not in the Bermuda Triangle at all. Investigations to date have not produced scientific evidence of any unusual phenomena involved in the disappearances. Thus, any explanation, including so-called scientific ones in terms of methane gas being released from the ocean floor, magnetic disturbances, etc., are not needed. The real mystery is how the Bermuda Triangle became a mystery at all.
The modern legend of the Bermuda Triangle began soon after five Navy planes [Flight 19] vanished on a training mission during a severe storm in 1945. The most logical theory as to why they vanished is that lead pilot Lt. Charles Taylor’s compass failed. The trainees' planes were not equipped with working navigational instruments. The group was disoriented and simply, though tragically, ran out of fuel. No mysterious forces were likely to have been involved other than the mysterious force of gravity on planes with no fuel. It is true that one of the rescue planes blew up shortly after take-off, but this was likely due to a faulty gas tank rather than to any mysterious forces.
Over the years there have been dozens of articles, books, and television programs promoting the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. In his study of this material, Larry Kushe found that few did any investigation into the mystery. Rather, they passed on the speculations of their predecessors as if they were passing on the mantle of truth. Of the many uncritical accounts of the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, perhaps no one has done more to create this myth than Charles Berlitz, who had a bestseller on the subject in 1974. After examining the 400+ page official report of the Navy Board of Investigation of the disappearance of the Navy planes in 1945, Kushe found that the Board wasn't baffled at all by the incident and did not mention alleged radio transmissions cited by Berlitz in his book. According to Kushe, what isn't misinterpreted by Berlitz is fabricated. Kushe writes: "If Berlitz were to report that a boat were red, the chance of it being some other color is almost a certainty." (Berlitz, by the way, did not invent the name; that was done by Vincent Gaddis in "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle," which appeared in the February, 1964, issue of Argosy, a magazine devoted to fiction.)
In short, the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle became a mystery by a kind of communal reinforcement among uncritical authors and a willing mass media to uncritically pass on the speculation that something mysterious is going on in the Atlantic. 


The first mention of disappearances is in the area was made in 1950 by E.V.W. Jones as a sidebar on the Associated Press wire service regarding recent ship losses. Jones' article notes the "mysterious disappearances" of ships, airplanes and small boats in the region, and ascribes it the name "The Devil's Triangle". It was next mentioned in 1952 in a Fate Magazine article by George X. Sand, who outlined several "strange marine disappearances". The term "Bermuda Triangle" was popularized by Vincent Gaddis in a 1964 Argosy feature.

The area achieved its current fame largely through the efforts of Charles Berlitz in his 1974 book The Bermuda Triangle (right) and its subsequent film adaptation. The book recounts a long series of mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft, in particular the December 1945 loss of five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers in the infamous Flight 19 incident.

The book was a bestseller and included several theories about the cause of the disappearances, including accidents due to high traffic volumes; natural storms; "temporal holes"; the lost empire of Atlantis; transportation by extraterrestrial technology; and other natural or supernatural causes.
Skeptical responses 

The marine insurer Lloyd's of London has determined the "triangle" to be no more dangerous than any other area of ocean, and does not charge unusual rates for passage through the region. Coast Guard records confirm their conclusion.

Skeptics comment that the disappearance of a train between two stops would be more convincing evidence of paranormal activity, and the fact that such things do not occur suggests that paranormal explanations are not needed for the disappearance of ships and airplanes in the far less predictable open ocean.

Kusche's research 

Intrigued by the number of students coming to him looking for information about the Bermuda Triangle, Lawrence Kusche, a reference librarian with Arizona State University at the time of the Flight 19 incident, began an exhaustive follow-up investigation of the original reports. His findings were eventually published in 1975 as The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved.

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. He 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 that Crowhurst had fabricated the accounts of his voyage and had probably committed suicide. Another example was the ore-carrier Berlitz recounted 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. Kusche also argued that a large percentage of the incidents attributed to the Bermuda Triangle's mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it.
Kusche came to several conclusions:

The number of ships and airplanes reported missing in the area was not significantly greater, proportionally speaking, than any other part of the ocean.
In an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that did occur was neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious.
The numbers themselves had been exaggerated by sloppy research. A boat listed as missing would be reported, but not necessarily its eventual, if belated, return to port.
The circumstances of confirmed disappearances were frequently misreported in Berlitz's accounts. The numbers of ships disappearing in supposedly calm weather, for instance, did not tally with weather reports published at the time.

Dr. Raymond's Brown's alleged experience 

In 1970, Dr. Ray Brown, a naturopathic practitioner from Mesa, Arizona, went scuba diving with some friends near the Bari Islands in the Bahamas, close to a popular area known as the Tongue of the Ocean.
During one of his dives, Brown became separated from his friends and while searching for them he was startled when he came across a strange pyramid shape silhouetted against the aquamarine light. 

Upon investigating further, Brown was surprised by how smooth and mirror-like was the stone surface of the whole structure, with the joints between the individual blocks almost indiscernible.
Swimming around the capstone, which Brown thought might have beenmade of lapis lazuli, he discovered an entrance and decided to explore inside. Passing along a narrow hallway, Brown finally came to a small rectangular room with a pyramid-shaped ceiling. He was totally amazed that this room contained no algae or coral growing on the inner walls. In addition, though Brown had brought no torch with him, the area was well lit by an unknown source.
Brown's attention was drawn to a brassy metallic rod three inches in diameter hanging down from the apex of the center of the room and at its end was attached a many-faceted red gem, which tapered to a point. Directly below this rod and gem, sitting in the middle of the room, was a stand of carved stone topped by a stone plate with scrolled ends. On the plate there was a pair of carved metal bronze-colored hands, life-sized, which appeared blackened and burnt, as if having been subjected to tremendous heat.
Nestled in the hands, and situated four feet directly below the ceiling rod gem point, was a crystal sphere four inches in diameter. Brown tried to loosen the ceiling rod and red gemstone but neither would budge. Returning to the crystal sphere, he found, to his amazement, that it separated easily from the bronze hand holders. With the crystal sphere in his right hand he then made his way out of the pyramid. As he departed, Brown felt an unseen presenceand heard a voice telling him never to return.
Fearing, rightly, that his unusual prize might be confiscated as salvage-treasure by the American Government, Dr. Brown did not reveal the existence of his strange crystal sphere, nor did he relate his experiences until 1975, when he exhibited his crystal for the first time at a psychic seminar in Phoenix.
Since that time, the crystal sphere has made only a very few public appearances but on each occasion people who have seen it have experienced strange phenomena directly associated with it.
Deep inside the crystal form, one gazes upon three pyramidical images, one in front of the other, in decreasing sizes. Some people who enter a deep meditative state of consciousness are able to discern a fourth pyramid, in the foreground of the other three.
Reality is metaphoric. 3 or pyramid = third dimension. 4 = time. The colors red and brown symbolize the physical plane. Electrical - reality is created by electromagnetic grids.
Perhaps the positions of the three pyramidical images in the crystal sphere hold the long-sought key to finding a fourth, as yet unfound. Looking at the crystal sphere from the side, the internal images dissolve into thousands of tiny fracture lines. Brown felt that these may prove to be electrical in nature, like some form of microscopic circuitry. From yet another angle, and under special conditions, many people have been able to see a large single human eye staring out serenely at them. Photographs of this eye have allegedly also been taken.
Elizabeth Bacon, a New York psychic, claimed, while in trance, that the crystal sphere had once belonged to Thoth, the Egyptian God who was responsible for burying a secret vault of knowledge in Giza, near the three great Pyramids.
This theory at best is metaphoric in content, but the archetypes of pyramids, crystals, the ocean, Thoth [the scribe of our reality] and the Emerald Tablets, alchemy and other related files on Crystalinks, can help explain the metapohoric content of Brown's experience and perhaps some of your drams and visions.
Metaphors :: Rays = sun, sun gods, the eye - and on and on we go until one understands the nature of our reality as a virtual experience created through the mathematical blueprint called Sacred Geometry that repeats in cycles - spiral loops of consciousness called 'time' that is about to shift in frequency.
This links with current Earth changes across the planet.
Is there a core crystal - generating power to manifest our grid program in physical reality? Does it link to secrets hidden beneath the Great Pyramd and Sphinx - [chambers and caves are archetypes for the mind that experiences virtually] - crystals in time - the alleged hidden akashic records of our experience in third dimension - the core crystal about to burn out at which time our grid program evolves to higher frequency - and related theories that help humanity awaken to the nature of its creation?
One can only imagine discovering Atlantean technology, such as those found in the TV series 'Stargate Atlantis' - and learning the secrets of the Atlanteans - which - if they did exist in our physical reality - or perhaps a parallel grid that merges into ours - would bring answers sought after by alchemists through time. How ironic would it be to discover the fall of Atlantis as our reality sinks into the 'sea' of consciousness.

Famous Bermuda Triangle Incidents 

Flight 19

One of the best known Bermuda Triangle incidents concerns the loss of Flight 19, a squadron of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on a training flight out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 5, 1945. According to Berlitz, the flight consisted of expert Marine Corps aviators who, after reporting a number of odd visual effects, simply disappeared, an account which isn't entirely true. Furthermore, Berlitz claims that because the TBM Avenger bombers were built to float for long periods, they should have been found the next day considering what were reported as calm seas and a clear sky. However, not only were they never found, a Navy search and rescue seaplane that went after them was also lost. Adding to the intrigue is that the Navy's report of the accident was ascribed to "causes or reasons unknown".

TBM Avenger bombers 
While the basic facts of Berlitz's version of the story are essentially accurate, some important details are missing. The image of a squadron of seasoned combat aviators disappearing on a sunny afternoon is inaccurate. Rather, it was a squadron of lost, inexperienced flight trainees forced to ditch their out-of-fuel airplanes into unknown stormy waters in the dark of night. As for the Navy's report, it is claimed that the original report blamed the accident on the commander's confusion (Lt. Taylor abandoned his airplanes twice in the Pacific after getting lost returning to his carrier), but the wording was changed in deference to the wishes of his family.

Another factor to consider is that the TBM Avenger Aircraft were never designed for crash-landing into water. Wartime experience in the Pacific showed that an Avenger aircraft would sink very quickly if landed on the water. Especially with novice pilots at the helm, an Avenger would be very difficult to land on calm water, let alone the perilous rough seas in the Bermuda Triangle.

Star Tiger 

Another well-known loss is that of a four-engine Tudor IV airliner named Star Tiger, in the predawn hours of January 31, 1948. Piloted by Captain B. W. McMillan, the airliner, which carried twenty-nine passengers and crew on board, had left hours earlier from Santa Maria, Azores, one of numerous scheduled fuel stopover points on its route from London, England to Havana, Cuba. While approaching Bermuda, McMillan made the expected contact with Kindley Field, the next stopover, requesting a radio bearing to calibrate his navigation systems and ensure he remained on course. With the response indicating that the plane was slightly off course, its position was corrected after Bermuda relayed a first-class bearing of 72 degrees from the island. At this point, with Star Tiger less than two hours flight away, McMillan gave confirmation of an ETA of 05:00 hours, an hour late due to strong headwinds; no further transmission from the aircraft was ever received.

Star Tiger, a four-engine Tudor IV airliner 
Armed with precise reports of the plane's last known position, rescue operations were launched after the craft was determined overdue for arrival; but no trace of the aircraft was ever found.

In the report issued soon thereafter by the Civil Air Ministry, numerous hypotheses as to what might have occurred during the flight's final two hours are given, before each being subsequently rejected: "There would accordingly be no grounds for supposing that Star Tiger fell into the sea in consequence of having been deprived of her radio, having failed to find her destination, and having exhausted her fuel." "There is good reason to suppose that no distress message was transmitted from the aircraft, for there were many radio receiving stations listening on the aircraft's frequencies, and none reported such a message." "...The weather was stable, there were no atmospheric disturbances of a serious kind which might cause structural damage to the aircraft, and there were no electrical storms." It was ruled that the aircraft could not have gone off course, as the broadcast bearing from Bermuda, with winds prevailing, would have brought it within thirty miles of the island: "The aircraft could hardly have failed to find the island in a short time, in the conditions of visibility which prevailed." Engine difficulty was ruled out as a likely cause, since at such late stage in the flight, without the added weight of extra fuel aboard, the aircraft might have been flown safely on three, or even two, engines instead of the four it had. The probability of the aircraft entirely losing three engines in the course of under two hours was considered absurd.

Faced with the accumulation of evidence, or perhaps lack thereof, the board of investigation addressed the loss of the Star Tiger with remarked eloquence: "In closing this report it may truly be said that no more baffling problem has ever been presented for investigation. In the complete absence of any reliable evidence as to either the nature or the cause of the accident of Star Tiger the Court has not been able to do more than suggest possibilities, none of which reaches the level even of probability. Into all activities which involve the co-operation of man and machine two elements enter of a very diverse chaarcter [sic?]. There is an incalculable element of the human equation dependent upon imperfectly known factors; and there is the mechanical element subject to quite different laws. A breakdown may occur in either separately or in both in conjunction. Or some external cause may overwhelm both man and machine. What happened in this case will never be known and the fate of Star Tiger must remain an unsolved mystery."
The list of Bermuda Triangle incidents concerns all maritime incidents that occurred in the Bermuda Triangle and incidents that are claimed to have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle.

Incidents in air 

  • TBF Avenger 1942
  • PBY Catalina 1942
  • TBF Avenger 1943
  • Lockheed PV-1 Ventura x4 1943
  • PV4Y Privateer 1943
  • PBY Catalina 1944
  • PB4Y Privateer 1944
  • SBD-5 Dauntless 1944
  • PBY-5A Catalina 1944
  • B-24 Liberator 1945
  • PV4Y Privateer 1945
  • Flight 19, lost on December 5, 1945
  • Martin Mariner, lost on December 5, 1945
  • C-54 1947
  • DC-3 NC16002, lost on December 28, 1948
  • Star Tiger, lost on January 30, 1948
  • Star Ariel, lost on January 17, 1949
  • Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat 1950
  • Grumman F9F-2 Panther 1950
  • C-46 British York transport, lost on February 2, 1952
  • TV-2 Texan 1953
  • USN Super Constellation, lost on October 30, 1954
  • Martin Marlin, lost on November 9, 1956
  • Super Sabre, lost on March 18, 1960
  • Pogo 22, lost on October 15, 1961
  • KB-50 Aerial Tanker, lost on January 8, 1962
  • C-133 Cargomaster, lost on May 27, 1962
  • C-133 Cargomaster, lost on September 22, 1963
  • USAF KC-135 Stratotankers, lost on August 28, 1963
  • C-119 Flying Boxcar, lost on June 5, 1965
  • Cessna 172, lost on June 6, 1969
  • Phantom II Jet "Sting 27", lost on October 10, 1971
  • Caribbean Flight 912, lost November 3, 1978
  • DC-3 N407D, lost on September 21, 1978
  • Fighting Tiger 524, lost on February 22, 1978
  • Beechcraft N9027Q, lost on February 11, 1980
  • Ercoupe N3808H, lost on June 28, 1980
  • Beech Bonanza, lost on January 6, 1981
  • Piper Cherokee N3527E, lost on March 26, 1986
  • Grumman Cougar Jet, lost on October 31, 1991

Incidents at sea 

  • General Gates; went missing 1780 (no British warship claimed her sinking)
  • USS Insurgent, a 36-gun French-built warship with 340 crew; went missing September 1799
  • USS Pickering; went missing on voyage to West Indies, on or around August 20, 1800
  • USS Wasp; galleon that severely harassed British shipping in the War of 1812, went missing on Caribbean cruise, October 1814
  • Epervier, while carrying original peace proposals for War of 1812; left Algiers for Norfolk, and went missing, 1815, delaying the ending of hostilities (rare instance of maritime disappearance directly connected to international politics)
  • USS Wildcat, crew of 31; went missing after leaving Cuba, October 1824
  • Schooner Lynx, crew of 40; went missing in far western Atlantic, 1824
  • Schooner Hornet, victor over HMS Peacock in 1812; went missing in far western Atlantic, 1824
  • Rosalie; went missing in Sargasso Sea, 1840
  • Grampus; went missing sailing south of the Carolinas, March 1843
  • HMS Atalanta, crew of 290; went missing, after departing Bermuda for home, 1880
  • Spray, piloted by renowned world-circumnavigator Joshua Slocum, considered "finest sailor of his age"; went missing after departing Miami, November 14, 1909
  • Timandra, 1,579 gross-ton freighter, crew of 21 under Captain Lee; went missing, while bound for Buenos Aires from Norfolk in cargo of coal, sometime between March 6 and March 27, 1917; sent no wireless/radio communication, despite capability
  • Collier USS Cyclops, crew and passengers of 309 under Lieutenant Commander George Worley; went missing after leaving Barbados for Baltimore, sometime after March 6, 1918; sent no wireless/radio communication, despite capability
  • Tramp steamer SS Cotopaxi, crew of 32 under Captain Meyers; went missing, after leaving Charleston, South Carolina for Havana, Cuba, December 1, 1925; sent no wireless/radio communication, despite capability
  • Freighter SS Suduffco, crew of 29; went missing, while sailing from New York City to Los Angeles, March 14, 1926, though owner waited approximately one month before reporting her overdue; sent no wireless/radio communication, despite capability
  • British freighter Anglo Australian, 5,500 tonnes, crew of 38 under Captain Parslow; went missing, bound from Cardiff, Wales for British Columbia, March 1938; last reported by wireless/radio off Azores: "Passing Fayal this afternoon. All well."
  • The Evelyn K; lost on March 6, 1948
  • SS Samkey; lost on January 31, 1948
  • Home Sweet Home; lost on January 13, 1955
  • Connemara IV; lost on September 26, 1955
  • Revenoc; lost on January 1, 1958
  • SS Marine Sulphur Queen; lost on February 3, 1963
  • Sno Boy; lost on July 2, 1963
  • Enchantress; lost on January 13, 1965
  • El Gato; lost on October 28, 1965
  • Witchcraft; lost on December 22, 1967
  • El Caribe; lost on September 10, 1971
  • Dawn; lost on April 22, 1975
  • Sylvia L. Ossa; lost in October 1976
  • SS Poet; lost on October 26, 1980