The Devil’s Triangle is one of the few remaining mysteries on this earth that inspires a supernatural feeling. It is a large section of the ocean that is the scene for many strange disappearances of ships and aircraft. These tools of transportation are rarely found and even few artifacts are discovered. Many lives have been lost and no one yet understands why or how so many things have simply fallen off of the map.
Although the size of the affected area is never quite agreed upon from author to author, a small area is always referred to as the Devil’s Triangle. This triangle extends from the coast of Florida, to Bermuda, down to Puerto Rico, and then back to Florida (1). This is the area that encompasses the thickest occurrence of disappearances. Although this area is normally called the Devil’s Triangle it may also be referred to as the Hoodoo Sea, the Bermuda Triangle, or a myriad of other names. Also, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names is not convinced that the area is of any significance and so has no record of the name or any of the mysteries associated with the area (2).
Mother Nature, or whatever force is behind the strange area, does not seem to care what the board believes. Although the exact body count and/or machine count is not completely consistent from one source to another, there are several definitive cases where ships have been lost, aircraft have flown away, and people have simply vanished. Among these notable cases are Flight 19, the Marine Sulphur Queen, and the Cyclops.
Flight 19 is the most notable disappearance of aircraft taking place in the Triangle. On December 5th, 1945, six planes were lost at sea with their crew of twenty seven men. 5 of these planes were Navy Avengers which were sturdy single prop planes and one was a Navy Mariner, a search and rescue plane that carried fuel for twenty four hours in the air and life support equipment packed into its cargo bay. The five Avengers were out on a training run when they suddenly radioed in that they had no idea where they were. They claimed that “even the ocean didn’t look as it should.” After their first distress message, the Mariner left the base immediately and headed for their last position, but when they arrived they radioed back that there was no sign of the planes and then was never heard from again (3).
The Marine Sulphur Queen on the other hand was a large sulphur transport ship. February 2nd, 1963 was the last time this 523-foot ship would be seen above the ocean or below it. The crew of thirty-nine cast off the tugboats’ lines and waved farewell to the pilot that lead them out of the harbor and sailed into oblivion. To this day, it is unknown whether she sank below the waves or the molten sulphur in her hull exploded and the flames ate away at her hull (4).
The Cyclops was a strange disappearance like the others but perhaps the most easily explained away. Many crew members that were vital to the ship’s operation, either through their mind or muscle, were confined to the ship’s brig because of a paranoid captain and because of an altercation on board that left a man dead. This left the crew shorthanded in the first place but the problem was compounded by the fact that the ship took on a load of manganese ore that left her floating too low in the water. She set sail from the harbor where they loaded the ore and she vanished into the swirling mists (1).
There are several popular theories as to why the sea swallows so many vessels in this region. Among them are the scientific; gas pockets, the supernatural; alien time holes, and the mythic; the Atlantis theory.
The scientific theory is that of the presence of gas pockets in mass quantities on the sea floor. Dr. Ben Clennel proposed the idea that methane hydrates could be the result of the disappearing ships and planes. Clennel says that a massive undersea rockslide could trigger releases of the trapped methane which would then cause the surface of the sea to boil and reduce in density. This reduction in the density of the water would cause the ships above to plummet to the bottom of the ocean like rocks. In the case of the aircraft, Dr. Clennel believes that the methane that would be released into the atmosphere would mix with the oxygen and become flammable. The planes’ combustion engines would light the mixture and would subsequently be blown to pieces.
The supernatural theory has almost no evidence to back it up. Believers in this theory reason that there are aliens that are almost identical to humans in anatomy that they can fit into our society. Believers say that the aliens have mastered a way to travel through space and time from one planet to another through the use of time holes. These time holes operate through the mastery of friction, solar power, and time compression and are explained as being “time accordions” saying that a ship enters one side when it is compressed, travels through the portal and then is compressed out of the other side.
The final majorly accepted theory is that of the Atlanteans and their “fire-crystal” power source. Edgar Cayce, “psychic”, was the biggest advocate of this theory. He claimed that he was a reincarnated Atlantean and that they had used these fire-crystals to power the advanced technology they commanded. However, at some point a disaster befell the fire-crystals that caused Atlantis to sink off of the coast of the Bermuda Island Bimini. The change in the electromagnetic field in the Devil’s Triangle and the vanishings were attributed to residual fluctuations of the crystals (5).
No matter which theory is believed or how many victims have been drawn into the Triangle’s watery grave it is possible that this will be a mystery that could have scientists still scratching their heads for years to come. The mystery of the Devil’s Triangle.
(1) Unknown. "Bermuda Triangle." Area 51 Central. 7 Oct. 2003. 27 Mar. 2006 http://www.area51central.com/mysteries/bermudatriangle.html
(2) Unknown. "Bermuda Triangle." WorldAtlas.Com. Graphic Maps. 27 Mar. 2006 http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/bermudat.htm
(3)Winer, Richard. The Devil's Triangle. 1st ed. New York: Bantam Books, 1974. 1-24.
(4) Debbie. "Bermuda Triangle & Marine Sulphur Queen." Bermuda Triangle & Marine Sulphur Queen. The History Ring. 27 Mar. 2006 http://home.pacbell.net/corwind/Triangle.html
(5) Unknown. "The Bermuda Triangle." The Bermuda Triangle. www.byerly.org. 27 Mar. 2006 http://byerly.org/bt.htm