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the Unexplained => the Unexplained => Topic started by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 06:05:45 pm

Title: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 06:05:45 pm
Bermuda Triangle


The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is an area in the Atlantic Ocean where the disappearance of many people, aircraft, and surface vessels has been attributed by some to the paranormal, a suspension of the laws of physics, or activity by extraterrestrial beings. Some of the disappearances involve a level of mystery which is often popularly explained by a variety of theories beyond human error or acts of nature. An abundance of documentation for most incidents suggests that the Bermuda Triangle is a sailors' legend, later embellished by professional writers.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 07:25:02 pm
The area of the Triangle varies with the authors.

The Triangle area
The boundaries of the Triangle vary with the author; some stating its shape is akin to a trapezium covering the Straits of Florida, the Bahamas, and the entire Caribbean island area east to the Azores; others add to it the Gulf of Mexico. The more familiar, triangular boundary in most written works has as its points Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda, with most of the incidents concentrated along the southern boundary around the Bahamas and the Florida Straits.

The area is one of the most heavily-sailed shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas and Europe, as well as the Caribbean Islands. Cruise ships are also plentiful, and pleasure craft (boats and aircraft) regularly go back and forth between Florida and the islands.

The Gulf Stream ocean current flows through the Triangle after leaving the Gulf of Mexico; its current of five to six knots may have played a part in a number of disappearances. Sudden storms can and do appear, and in the summer to late fall the occasional hurricane strikes the area. The combination of heavy maritime traffic and tempestuous weather makes it inevitable that vessels could founder in storms and be lost without a trace especially before improved telecommunications, radar and satellite technology arrived late in the 20th century.[1]

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 07:27:20 pm
History of the Triangle story

According to the Triangle authors Christopher Columbus was the first person to document something strange in the Triangle, reporting that he and his crew observed "strange dancing lights on the horizon", flames in the sky, and at another point he wrote in his log about bizarre compass bearings in the area. From his log book, dated October 11, 1492 he actually wrote:

"The land was first seen by a sailor called Rodrigo de Triana, although the Admiral at ten o'clock that evening standing on the quarter-deck saw a light, but so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land; calling to Pero Gutierrez, groom of the King's wardrobe, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it; he did the same to Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, whom the King and Queen had sent with the squadron as comptroller, but he was unable to see it from his situation. The Admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land. But the Admiral held it for certain that land was near..."
Modern scholars checking the original log books have surmised that the lights he saw were the cooking fires of Taino natives in their canoes or on the beach; the compass problems were the result of a false reading based on the movement of a star. The flames in the sky were undoubtedly falling meteors, which are easily seen while at sea.[1]

The first article of any kind in which the legend of the Triangle began appeared in newspapers by E.V.W. Jones on September 16, 1950, through the Associated Press. Two years later, Fate magazine published "Sea Mystery At Our Back Door", a short article by George X. Sand in the October 1952 issue covering the loss of several planes and ships, including the loss of Flight 19, a group of five U.S. 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. The article was titled "The Lost Patrol", by Allen W. Eckert, and in his story 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 also claimed that officials at the Navy board of inquiry stated that the planes "flew off to Mars." "The Lost Patrol" was the first to connect the supernatural to Flight 19, but it would take another author, Vincent Gaddis, writing in the February 1964 Argosy Magazine to take Flight 19 together with other mysterious disappearances and place it under the umbrella of a new catchy name: "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle"[2]; he would build on that article with a more detailed book, Invisible Horizons the next year. Others would follow with their own works: John Wallace Spencer (Limbo of the Lost, 1969); 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

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 07:33:03 pm
Kusche's explanation

Lawrence David Kusche, a research librarian from Arizona State University and author of The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved (1975) has challenged this trend. 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 to the contrary. 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 which have sparked the Triangle's mysterious influence actually occurred well outside it. Often his research was surprisingly simple: he would go over period newspapers and see items like weather reports that were never mentioned in the stories.
Kusche came to several conclusions:
   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 listed as missing would be reported, but its eventual (if belated) return to port, may not be reported.
   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.
Kusche concluded that:
"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." (Epilogue, p. 277)
In recent years, however, several authors, most notably Gian J. Quasar, have raised several questions as to the veracity of Kusche's findings, including, but not limited to, why Kusche so often brought up as evidence for his claims cases that were already well-known before the writing of his work as not being Triangle incidents; his misidentification and mislocation of several ship and aircraft incidents that are well-documented, but then using that inability to properly identify the craft as "proof" that they never existed; and in other examples openly claiming possibilities for foul weather for certain disappearances where it can be verified that none existed.[2]

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:04:22 pm

Natural explanations

Methane hydrates

Worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments, 1996.
Source: USGSAn explanation for some of the disappearances has focused on the presence of vast fields of methane hydrates on the continental shelves. A white paper was published in 1981 by the United States Geological Survey about the appearance of hydrates in the Blake Ridge area, off the southeastern United States coast.[4] Periodic methane eruptions 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.

Laboratory experiments carried out in the Monash University in Australia have proven that bubbles can, indeed, sink a scale model ship by decreasing the density of the water [6]; any wreckage consequently rising to the surface would be rapidly dispersed by the gulf stream.

Methane also has the ability to cause a piston engine to stall when released into the atmosphere even at an atmospheric concentration as low as 1%[citation needed].

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:08:07 pm

False-color image of the Gulf Stream flowing north through the western Atlantic Ocean. (NASA)

Compass variations

Compass problems are one of the cited phrases in many Triangle incidents; it is possible that people operating boats and aircraft looked at a compass that they felt was not pointing north, veered course to adjust, and got lost quickly. The North Magnetic Pole is not the North Pole; rather it is the north end of the earth's magnetic field, and as such it is the natural end where the needle of a compass points. The North Magnetic Pole also wanders. In 1996 a Canadian expedition certified its location by magnetometer and theodolite at 7835.7′N 10411.9′W; in 2005 its position was 82.7 N 114.4 W, to the west of Ellesmere Island.

The direction in which a compass needle points is known as magnetic north. In general, this is not exactly the direction of the North Magnetic Pole (or of any other consistent location). Instead, the compass aligns itself to the local geomagnetic field, which varies in a complex manner over the Earth's surface, as well as over time. The angular difference between magnetic north and true north (defined in reference to the Geographic North Pole), at any particular location on the Earth's surface, is called the magnetic declination. Most map coordinate systems are based on true north, and magnetic declination is often shown on map legends so that the direction of true north can be determined from north as indicated by a compass.

False-color image of the Gulf Stream flowing north through the western Atlantic Ocean. (NASA)Magnetic declination has been measured in many countries, including the U.S. The line of zero declination in the U.S. runs from the North Magnetic Pole through Lake Superior and across the western panhandle of Florida. Along this line, true north is the same as magnetic north. West of the line of zero declination, a compass will give a reading that is east of true north. Conversely, east of the line of zero declination, a compass reading will be west of true north. Since the North Magnetic Pole has been wandering toward the northwest, some twenty or more years ago the line of zero declination went through the Triangle, giving sailors and airmen a compass reading of true north instead of magnetic north. A sailor not knowing the difference would sail off course without realizing it, ultimately resulting in a vanishing.


Hurricanes are extremely powerful storms which are spawned in the Atlantic near the equator, and have historically been responsible for thousands of lives lost and 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. In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert, one of the most powerful hurricanes in history, set back Jamaica's economy by three years. These storms have in the past caused a number of incidents related to the Triangle.

Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream is an ocean current which flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, then north through the Florida Straits on into the North Atlantic. In essence, it is a river within an ocean, and like a river, it can and does carry floating objects with it. A small plane making a water landing, or a boat having engine trouble will be carried away from its reported position by the current, as has happened to the cabin cruiser Witchcraft on December 22, 1967, when it reported engine trouble near the Miami buoy marker one mile from shore, but was not there when a Coast Guard cutter arrived.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:09:37 pm
Acts of Man

Human error

One of the most cited explanations in official inquiries as to the loss of any aircraft or vessel is human error. 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 V.A. Fogg in 1972. 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. It should be noted that many losses remain inconclusive due to the lack of wreckage which could be studied, a fact cited on many official reports.

Deliberate acts of destruction

This can fall into two categories: acts of war, and acts of piracy. Records in enemy files have been checked for numerous losses; while many sinkings have been attributed to surface raiders or submarines during the World Wars and documented in the various command log books, many others which have been 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.

Piracy, as defined by the taking of a ship or small boat on the high seas, is an act which continues to this day. Famous pirates of the Caribbean include Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and Jean Lafitte. Lafitte is sometimes said to be a Triangle victim himself.

Another form of pirate operated on dry land. Bankers or wreckers would shine a light on shore to misdirect ships, which would then founder on the shore; the wreckers would then help themselves to the cargo. It is possible that these wreckers also killed any crew who protested. Nag's Head, North Carolina, was named for the wreckers' practice of hanging a lantern on the head of a hobbled horse as it walked along the beach.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:12:14 pm

USS Memphis (CA-10) in 1916, hard aground in the Dominican Republic after an encounter with a freak wave. (U.S. Navy)

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:15:53 pm
Popular theories
The following theories have been used in the past by the Triangle writers to explain a myriad of incidents:


An explanation for some of the disappearances pinned the blame on left-over technology from Atlantis, for example, the activation of a still-operable death ray. Reputed psychic Edgar Cayce claimed that evidence for Atlantis would be discovered just off Bimini in 1968. New Agers view the Bimini Road as either a road, wall, or pier meant to service ships bound for Atlantis from Central and South America, or a breakwater built to protect fishing boats. The wall may also have a natural origin.[7][8] [9]


Theorists claim extraterrestrials captured ships and planes, taking them beyond our solar system. This was given a boost when topics like ESP, telekinesis, clairvoyance, and the like flowered in the middle-to-late 1960s, and was used as storylines for popular films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The UFO Incident.


Time warp

The proponents of this theory state that the many ships and planes entered a time warp to a different time, or dimension on the other side. Usually, the ship or aircraft in the story enters this dimension by way of a cloud. This has been a popular subject in television episodes of Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Twilight Zone and The X-Files, as well as in movies such as The Triangle.

Anomalous phenomena

Charles Berlitz, grandson of a distinguished linguist and author of various additional books on anomalous phenomena, has kept in line with this extraordinary explanation, and attributed the losses in the Triangle to anomalous or unexplained forces.

Freak waves

This explanation is not without foundation, as they are caused by deep-water earthquakes or far-away storms; one such rogue wave wrecked the cruiser USS Memphis (CA-10) off the Dominican Republic on August 29, 1916, killing 40 men. [10]

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:17:54 pm

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)

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:21:53 pm
Famous incidents

Flight 19

Flight 19 was a training flight of TBM Avenger bombers that went missing on December 5, 1945 while over the Atlantic. The impression is given that the flight encountered unusual phenomena and anomalous compass readings, and that the flight took place on a calm day, under the leadership of an experienced pilot, Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor. Adding to the intrigue is that the Navy's report of the accident was ascribed to "causes or reasons unknown". Although it is believed that Charles Taylor's mother wanted to save Charles reputation, so she made them write 'reasons unknown', when actually Charles was 50 km NW from where he thought he was. [5]

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; Only Lt. Taylor had any significant flying time, but was not familiar with the south Florida area, and a history of getting lost in flight, having done so three times during World War II and being forced to ditch his planes twice into the water; and naval reports and written recordings of the conversations between Lt. Taylor and the other pilots of Flight 19 do not indicate magnetic problems. [5]

Mary Celeste

The mysterious abandonment in 1872 of the Mary Celeste, is often but inaccurately connected to the Triangle, having been abandoned off the coast of Portugal. Many theories have been put forth over the years to explain the abandonment, such as alcohol fumes from the cargo to insurance fraud. The event is possibly confused with the sinking of a ship with a similar name, the Mari Celeste, off the coast of Bermuda on September 13, 1864, and mentioned in the book Bermuda Shipwrecks by Dan Berg.

Ellen Austin

The schooner Ellen Austin supposedly came across an abandoned derelict, 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 of Lloyd's of London records proved the existence of the Meta, built in 1854; 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 placed on board a derelict which later disappeared. [11]

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:25:03 pm

Teignmouth Electron, as she was on July 10, 1969.

Teignmouth Electron
Main article: Donald Crowhurst
Teignmouth Electron, as she was on July 10, 1969.Donald Crowhurst was a sailor competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race of 1968-69. His boat, a trimaran named Teignmouth Electron, left England on October 31, 1968; it was found abandoned south of the Azores on July 10, 1969. Most writers on the Triangle would stop there (only Winer elaborated on the facts), leaving out the evidence recovered from Crowhurst's logbooks which showed deception as to his position in the race and increasing irrationality. His last entry was June 29; it was assumed he jumped over the side a short time later.

USS Cyclops
Main article: USS Cyclops (AC-4)

The incident resulting in the single largest loss of life in the history of the U.S. Navy not related to combat occurred when USS Cyclops under the command of Lieutenant Commander G. W. Worley, went missing without a trace with a crew of 306 sometime after March 4, 1918, after departing the island of Barbados. Although there is no strong evidence for any theory, storms, capsizing and enemy activity have all been suggested as explanations. [6] [7]

Theodosia Burr Alston
Main article: 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, in The Bermuda Triangle by Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey (1975). 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. 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.

The Spray

Captain Joshua Slocum's skill as a mariner was beyond argument; he was the first man to sail around the world solo. In 1909, in his boat Spray he set out in a course to take him through the Caribbean to Venezuela. He disappeared; there was no evidence he was even in the Triangle when Spray was lost. It was assumed he was run down by a steamer or struck by a whale, the Spray being too sound a craft and Slocum too experienced a mariner for any other cause to be considered likely, and in 1924 he was declared legally dead. While a mystery, there is no known evidence for, or against, paranormal activity.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:27:51 pm

Carroll A. Deering
Main article: Carroll A. Deering
Schooner Carroll A. Deering, as seen from the Cape Lookout lightship on January 29, 1921, two days before she was found deserted in North Carolina. (US Coast Guard)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 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. [12]

Douglas DC-3

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 electrical power and spark to their cylinders rather than batteries, this theory is unlikely. [13]

Star Tiger and Star Ariel
Main article: Star Tiger and Star Ariel

These Avro Tudor IV passenger aircraft disappeared without trace en route to Bermuda and Jamaica, respectively. Star Tiger was lost on January 30, 1948 on a flight from the Azores to Bermuda. Star Ariel was lost on January 17, 1949, on a flight from Bermuda to Kingston, Jamaica. Neither aircraft gave out a distress call; in fact, their last messages were routine. A possible clue to their disappearance was found in the mountains of the Andes in 1998: the Star Dust, an Avro Lancastrian airliner run by the same airline, had disappeared on a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile on August 2, 1947. The plane's remains were discovered at the melt end of a glacier, suggesting that either the crew did not pay attention to their instruments, suffered an instrument failure or did not allow for headwind effects from the jetstream on the way to Santiago when it hit a mountain peak, with the resulting avalanche burying the remains and incorporating it into the glacier. However, this is mere speculation with regard to the Star Tiger and Star Ariel, pending the recovery of the aircraft. It should be noted that the Star Tiger was flying at a height of just 2,000 feet, which would have meant that if the plane was forced down, there would have been no time to send out a distress message. It is also far too low for the jetstream or any other high-altitude wind to have any effect. [14]

KC-135 Stratotankers

On August 28, 1963 a pair of U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft collided and crashed into the Atlantic. The Triangle version (Winer, Belitz, Gaddis) of this story specifies that they did collide and crash, but there were two distinct crash sites, separated by over 160 miles of water.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:31:20 pm

SS Marine Sulphur Queen
Main article: SS Marine Sulphur Queen
Shattered trailboard from Marine Sulphur Queen, recovered near the Florida Keys, February 1963. (U.S. Coast Guard)SS Marine Sulphur Queen, a T2 tanker converted from oil to sulphur 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. [15][16]

USS Scorpion

The nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion was lost south of the Azores while on a transit home to Norfolk, Virginia after a six-month deployment on May 26, 1968. The Scorpion had been picked up by numerous writers (Berlitz, Spencer, Thomas-Jeffery) as a Triangle victim over the years, despite the fact that it did not sink in the Bermuda Triangle; the U.S. Navy believes that a malfunctioning torpedo contributed to her loss, an event actually recorded on the SOSUS microphone network.

Raifuku Maru

One of the more famous incidents in the Triangle took place in 1921 (some say a few years later), when the Japanese vessel Raifuku Maru went down with all hands after sending a distress signal which allegedly said "Danger like dagger now. Come quick!" This has led writers to speculate on what the "dagger" was, with a waterspout being the likely candidate (Winer). In reality the ship was nowhere near the Triangle, nor was the word "dagger" a part of the ship's distress call; having left Boston for Hamburg, Germany, on April 21, 1925, she got caught in a severe storm and sank in the North Atlantic with all hands while another ship, RMS Homeric, attempted an unsuccessful rescue.

Connemara IV

A pleasure yacht 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 lists only one storm coming near Bermuda towards the end of August, hurricane "Edith"; of the others, "Flora" was too far to the east, and "Katie" arrived after the yacht was recovered. It was confirmed that the Connemara IV was empty and in port when "Edith" may have caused the yacht to slip her moorings and drift out to sea.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 08:39:51 pm
List of Bermuda Triangle incidents

Aircraft Incidents



TBF Avenger 1942
PBY Catalina 1942
TBF Avenger 1943
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura x4 1943
PB4Y Privateer 1943
PBY Catalina 1944
PB4Y Privateer 1944
SBD-5 Dauntless 1944
PBY-5A Catalina 1944
B-24 Liberator 1945
PB4Y Privateer 1945
Flight 19, lost on December 5, 1945
Martin Mariner, lost on December 5, 1945
C-54 1947
1947: Army C-45 Superfort lost 100 miles off Bermuda
31 January 1948: Four-engined Tudor IV Star Tiger, lost with 31 lives
27 December 1948: Douglas DC-3 NC16002 lost with 28 passengers and crew
Avro Tudor Star Ariel, lost on January 17, 1949


Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat 1950
Grumman F9F-2 Panther 1950
1950: Giant US Air Force Globemaster lost
C-46 British York transport, lost on February 2, 1952 with 33 aboard
TV-2 Texan 1953
USN Super Constellation, lost on October 30, 1954
30 October 1954: US Navy Lockheed Constellation or Super Constellation Flight 441 vanishes with 42 aboard.
9 November 1956: US Navy seaplane, Martin P5M, disappears with crew of ten.


Super Sabre, lost on March 18, 1960
14 or 15 October 1961: US Air Force SAC B-52 bomber Pogo 22 lost.
USAF KB-50 Aerial Tanker, lost on January 8, 1962
USAF C-133 Cargomaster, lost on May 27, 1962
USAF KC-135 Stratotankers, lost on August 28, 1963
USAF C-133 Cargomaster, lost on September 22, 1963
USAF C-119 Flying Boxcar, lost on June 5, 1965
Boeing 707 N7642 Jet, exploded in flames, with mysterious light sighting. 1967
1967: Military YC-122, converted to cargo plane, lost
Cessna 172, lost on June 6, 1969


F-4 Phantom II "Sting 27", lost on October 10, 1971
Fighting Tiger 524, lost on February 22, 1978
1978: Douglas DC-3 Argosy Airlines Flight 902, registration N407D, lost with four passengers and crew; vanished off radar scope while beginning approach for landing.
Caribbean Flight 912, lost November 3, 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

Ship/Boat Incidents
Selected casualty reports from the United States Coast Guard can be seen here:[1]

Prior to 1850

1780 General Gates; no British warship claimed her sinking, but she had been declared unseaworthy in 1779 and sold.
August 8, 1800, USS Insurgent, frigate, went missing during cruise to West Indies in search of enemy ships during Quasi-War with France. Insurgent was former French frigate L'Insurgente, captured the year before by USS Constellation.
August 20, 1800, USS Pickering; went missing on voyage to West Indies. Both Pickering and Insurgent may have been lost in a severe storm that hit West Indies on September 20, 1800.
December 30, 1812 Patriot, American privateer. Carried as a passenger Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr.
October 1814, USS Wasp; sloop-of-war that severely harassed British shipping in the War of 1812, went missing on Caribbean cruise, October 1814.
January/February 1815, USS 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).
October 1824, USS Wildcat, crew of 31; went missing after leaving Cuba (Navy records indicate she was a storm victim).
1824, Lynx, schooner, crew of 40; went missing in far western Atlantic.
1824, USS Hornet, brig, victor over HMS Peacock in 1812; went missing in far western Atlantic.
1840, Rosalie; went missing in Sargasso Sea.
March 1843, USS Grampus; schooner, went missing sailing south of the Carolinas, presumably due to a gale.


December 4, 1872. Mary Celeste, brig, Captain Benjamin Briggs, crew of 7, plus Briggs' wife and daughter; found abandoned at sea west of the Azores.
January 31, 1880. HMS Atalanta, 26-gun Royal Navy frigate, crew of 290; went missing after departing Bermuda for Falmouth, England.


November 14, 1909. Spray, ketch, piloted by renowned world-circumnavigator Joshua Slocum, went missing after departing Miami, Florida.


Mar 6-27, 1917. SSTimandra, 1,579-ton steam freighter, Captain Lee commanding; crew of 21; went missing while bound for Buenos Aires from Norfolk for cargo of coal.
Mar 6-10, 1918. USS Cyclops, collier, LTCDR George Worley; crew and passengers totaling 309; went missing after leaving Barbados for Baltimore, Maryland.


November or December, 1920, SS Hewitt, steam freighter. Disappeared.
January 31, 1921, Carroll A. Deering, five-masted schooner, Captain W.B. Wormell, crew of 11. Found aground and abandoned at Diamond Shoals, near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
November 29, 1925, SS Cotopaxi, tramp steamer, Captain Meyers, crew of 32; went missing after leaving Charleston, South Carolina for Havana, Cuba; reported caught in tropical storm.
March 14, 1926, SS Suduffco, freighter, Captain Thomas J. Turner, crew of 29; went missing while sailing from New York City to Los Angeles.


March 1938, Anglo Australian, freighter, Captain Parslow, crew of 38; went missing off Azores on voyage from Cardiff, Wales for British Columbia.


1942: Surcouf, submarine operated by Free French Navy, lost in Caribbean, apparently rammed by freighter Thompson Lykes near Panama Canal; both vessels travelling unlit due to threat of U-boats.
March 6, 1948 Evelyn K
1948: SS Samkey (year also given as 1943) last position 41o48' N 24o W (NE of Azores).


1950, SS Sandra, freighter, lost after passing St. Augustine, Florida for Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
January 13, 1955, Home Sweet Home, pleasure craft.
September 26, 1955, Connemara IV, found apparently abandoned; later proven to have been tied empty to a Bermuda pier, lost her moorings due to a nearby hurricane and swept out to sea.
January 1, 1958, Revonoc, pleasure craft, captained by business tycoon Harvey Conover.


February 3, 1963, SS Marine Sulphur Queen T-2 tanker, crew of 29, vanishes off Florida Keys; carrying molten sulphur. [2]
July 2, 1963, Sno' Boy, pleasure craft, converted ACR (similar to WWII PT boats).
January 13, 1965, Enchantress, pleasure craft.
October 28, 1965, El Gato, pleasure craft.
December 22, 1967, Witchcraft, cabin cruiser, 2 onboard, disappears one mile off Miami; had called Coast Guard requesting a tow, but on their arrival 19 minutes later no trace found; possibly pushed north by Gulf Stream; search involved 1,200 square miles. [3].


1970: French freighter Milton Latrides disappears; sailing from New Orleans to Cape Town; carrying vegetable oils and caustic soda
El Caribe; lost on September 10, 1971
1972: German freighter Anita (20,000 tons), lost with crew of 32; sister ship Norse Variant (both carrying coal) lost at same time; year sometimes given as 1973; survivor from latter found on raft described loss of ship in stormy weather - waves broke hatch cover and ship sank quickly.
Dawn; lost on April 22, 1975
1976: SS Sylvia L. Ossa lost in heavy seas 140 miles west of Bermuda.
1978: SS Hawarden Bridge had previously been found with marijuana residue by USCG Cape Knox February '78 [4], found abandoned in West Indies a month later[5]; crime might be involved. scuttled November '78.


1980: SS Poet; carrying grain to Egypt, lost in storm but Marine Inquiry Board cannot state firm cause; no survivors


1995: Inter-island freighter Jamanic K (built 1943) reported lost after leaving Cap Haitien
1997: Passengers disappear from German yacht (name of yacht not stated, impossible to check either way)
1999: Freighter Genesis Lost after sailing from Port of Spain to St Vincent; cargo included 465 tons of water tanks, concrete slabs and bricks; reported problems with bilge pump before loss of contact. Search of 33,000 square miles of sea is fruitless.

Incidents on land

Chase Vault, island of Barbados; involving mysterious movement of coffins within sealed crypt, early 1800s.
Great Issac Lighthouse, part of Bimini (Bahamas) discovered abandoned; two keepers not seen again, August 4, 1969. [6]

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 10:50:23 pm

Map of the popularly-held dimensions of the Bermuda Triangle.

Title: Re: Bermuda Triangle
Post by: Jill Elvgren on March 11, 2007, 10:52:28 pm
Argosy February 1964 p. 28-29, 116-118.

The Deadly Bermuda Triangle

by Vincent H. Gaddis
photo by David Attie

(Model planes from Aurora Plastics Corporation
and ships from Revell, Incoporated)

What is there about this particular slice of the world that has
destroyed hundreds of ships and planes without a trace?

With a crew of thirty-nine, the tanker Marine Sulphur Queen began its
final voyage on February 2, 1963, from Beaumont, Texas, with a cargo
of molten sulphur.  Its destination was Norfolk, Virginia, but it
actually sailed into the unknown.  A routine radio message on the
night of February third placed the ship near the Dry Tortugas.

The 254-foot vessel was overdue on February sixth, and a search was
launched for it.  Planes took off from Coast Guard stations from
Florida to Viginia, while cutters patrolled the Atlantic coast.  When
no trace was found, the search was abandonned on February fourteenth.

Five days later, in the Florida Straits, fourteen miles southeast of
Ket West, a Navy torpedo retriever picked up a life jacket and several
bits of debris believed to have come from the tanker.  Nothing more
has been found.

On August 28, 1963, two KC-135 four-engine strato-tanker jets took off
from Homestead AFB, south of Miami, Florida, on a classified refueling
mission over the Atlantic.  The crews totalled eleven men.  The
weather was clear.

At noon, the planes radioed their position as 800 miles northeast of
Miami and 300 miles west of Bermuda.  The planes were new, in radio
contact with each other and they were not flying close together,
according to an Air Force spokesman.

Then the planes vanished.

An extensive search was launched.  Planes criss-crossed the area in
formation, following a carefully planned pattern of observation.
Vessels churned the surface of the sea.

On the following day, debris was discovered floating on the water
about 260 miles southwest of Bermuda.  No survivors or bodies were

It was presumed that the two planes had collided in the air, but two
days after the disappearance, more debris was located -- but it was
160 miles from the first discovery.  What happened remains a mystery.

The mysterious menace that haunts the Atlantic off our southeastern
coast had claimed two more victims.  Before this article reaches
print, it may strike again, swallowing a plane or ship, or leaving
behind a derelict with no life aboard.

Other recent cases:

Two months earlier, on July first, the sixty-three-foot fishing boat
Sno' Boy, under U. S. registry, sailed from Kingston, Jamaica, for
Northeast Cay, a small island eighty miles southeast of Jamaica.
Forty persons were aboard.

When it was overdue, the U. S. Navy and Coast Guard launched a search.
Several bits of debris believed to be from the vessel were observed.
Finally, after ten days, the search was abandonned.

On January 8, 1962, a KB50 Air Force tanker rolled down a runway at
Langley AFB, Virgina, and headed east, bound for the Azores.  Major
Robert Tawney was in command of the crew of eight men.

A short times later, the tower at Langley received weak radio signals
from the plane.  Then the signals faded into silence.

Again, there was an extensive search, but there was no trace of
wreckage or of bodies.  After 1700 fruitless man-hours, the search was

During the past two decades alone, this sea mystery at our back door
has claimed almost 1,000 lives.  But even this is only as inference.
In this series of disasters, not one body has ever been recovered.

U. S. Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard investigators have admitted they
are baffled.  The few clues we have only add to the mystery.

Draw a line from Florida to Bermuda, another from Bermuda to Puerto
Rico, and a third line back to Florida through the Bahamas.  Within
this area, known as the "Bermuda Triangle," most of the total
vanishments have occurred.

This area is by no means isolated.  The coasts of Florida and the
Carolinas are well populated, as well as the islands involved.  Sea
distances are relatively short.Day and night, there is traffic over
the sea and air lanes.  The waters are well patrolled by the Coast
Guard, the Navy and the Air Force.  And yet this relatively limited
area is the scene of disappearances that total far beyond the laws
of chance.  Its history of mystery dates back to the never-explained,
enigmatic light observed by Columbus when he first approached his
landfall in the Bahamas.

The Bermuda Triangle underlines the fact that despite swift wings and
the voice of radio, we still have a world large enough so that men
and their machines and ships can disappear without a trace.

Whatever this menace that lurks within a triangle of tradgedy so
close to home, it was responsible for the most incredible mystery
in the history of aviation -- the lost patrol.  Here is the amazing

Early on a Wednesday afternoon, five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers
lined up on runways at the Fort Lauderdale (Florida) Naval Air
Station.  The date was December 5, 1945.

Normally, the Avengers carried a crew of three -- a pilot, a gunner
and a radio operator.  One crewman, however, failed to report this day.

The bombers had been carefully checked and fueled to capacity.  The
engines, controls, instruments and comapsses were in perfect condition,
according to later testimony.  Each plane carried a self-inflating
life raft and each man was equipped with a life jacket.  All fourteen
men had flight experience ranging from thirteen months to six years.

At two minutes past two p.m., the flight leader closed his canopy,
gunned his engine, and the first plane roared down the runway.
The others followed in quick succession, climbing up into the clear
sky and heading east over the Atlantic at 215 mph.

It was a routine patrol flight.  The navigation plan for the formation
was to fly due east for 160 miles, then north for forty miles, then
back southwest to the air station, completing a triangle.  The relatively
short flight would require about two hours.

The first word from the patrol came to the base control tower at
three forty-five, but the strange message did not request the expected
landing instructions.

"Calling tower, this is an emergency," the patrol leader said in a
worried voice.  "We seem to be off course.  We cannot see land ...
repeat ... we cannot see land."

"What is your position?" the tower radioed back.

"We are not sure of our position," came the reply.  "We can't be sure
where we are.  We seem to be lost."

Startled, the tower operators looked at one another.  With ideal flight
conditions, how could five planes manned by experienced crews be lost?

"Assume bearing due west," the tower instructed.

There was unmistakalbe alarm in the flight leader's voice when he
answered.  "We don't know which way is west.  Everything is wrong ...
strange.  We can't be sure of any direction.  <i>Even the ocean
doesn't look as it should</i>."

Let's suppose that the patrol had run into a magnetic storm that caused
deviations in their compasses.  The sun was still above the western
horizon.  The flyers could have ignored their compasses and flown west
by observation of the sun.

Apparently not only the sea looked strange, but the sun was invisible.

During the next few minutes, the tower operators listened in as
the pilots talked to one another.  The conversation progressed from
bewilderment to fear, verging on hysteria.

Shortly after four p.m., the flight leader suddenly turned over flight
command to another pilot.

At four twenty-five p.m., the new flight leader contacted the tower.

"Tower," he said, "we are not certain where we are ... we think we
must be about two hundred and twenty-five miles northeast of base.
It looks like we are ..."  The message ended abruptly.

That was the last word from the doomed patrol.

Tower operators signaled a rescue alarm.  Within a few minutes, a huge
Martin Mariner flying boat with full rescue and survival equipment
and a crew of thirteen men was on its way.

The tower tried to call the Avengers to tell them help was en route.
There was no reply.

Several routine radio reports were received from the Mariner.  About
twenty minutes after it left the base, the tower called the flying
boat to check its position.  There was no answer.

What was happeneing out there over the sea 200 miles away?

By this time, it was dusk.  Alarmed, operations at Fort Lauderdale
notified the Coast Guard at Miami.  A Coast Guard rescue plane
covered the flying boat's route and reached the last estimated position
of the missing patrol.  There was not a sign of the six planes.

Navy and Coast Guard vessels joined the search.  Through the long
night, they watched for possible signal flares from life rafts.
But no lights broke through the darkness above the black sea.

At dawn, the escort carrier Solomons moved into the area and dispatched
its thirty planes in an aerial search.  Within a few hours, twenty-one
vessels were combing the sea.  Above the ships were 300 planes flying
in grid search pattern.  The British Royal Air Force pressed every
available ship into service from the nesrby territorial islands.  All
during the day, the sky and the sea were methodically criss-crossed over
an ever-widening area.

The intensive search continued on the following day, not only between
Florida and the Bahamas, but 200 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.  Twelve
large land parties searched 300 miles of shoreline from Miami Beach
to St. Augustine.  Low-flying planes checked beaches south to Key West
and north to Jacksonville.  But not a scrap of wreckage or debris was

Military experts were baffled.  How could six airplanes (including the
large Mariner) and twenty-seven men totally vanish in such a limited area?

Did the planes eventually run out of fuel?  While the Avengers were not
especially buoyant, the Navy said they would remain afloat long enough
for life rafts to be launched, and the crewmen "shouldn't even get
their feet wet."  All the missing men were trained in sea-survival
procedures and had Mae West life jackets.  After similar ditchings,
Navy crewmen had existed for days, even weeks, in open sea.

Each plane had its own radio facilities.  Why was no SOS received
from at least one of the planes?

Commander H. S. Roberts, executive officer at the base, suggested that
his fliers might have been blown off course by high winds.  The Miami
Weather Bureau reported that there had been gusts up to forty mph in
the general area where the patrol was last reported.  These winds
would not seriously influence flying.

A waterspout would affect only a low-flying plane.  But if a freak
waterspout <i>had</i> struck the partol, there would certainly
have been debris.

And what about the Mariner?  Did it meet the same fate as the patrol?

All these theories disregard the puzzling circumstances reported by
the flight leader: the curious observations and the strange inability
to determine location.

On the night of the disappearance, the S.S. Gaines Mills, a mercahnt ship,
notified the Navy that it had observed an explosion high in the sky at
seven-thirty p.m. No wreckage or oil slicks were found at the location
given.  But the explosion occurred more than three hours after the last
radio message from the patrol, and it is unlikely that there is a
connection.  It may have been an exploding meteor.

"They vanished as completely," an officer of the Naval Board of Inquiry
said, "as if they had flown to Mars."

A study reveals some possible clues.

If the patrol had flown west, they would have reached Florida of the
Florida Keys.  If they had flown east, they would have seen the
Bahamas; Grand Bahama is almost twenty-five miles long.  Southeast
were the Great Abaca and Andros islands.  Open areas were north and south,
but on such a clear day, islands and the mainland should have been
visible part of the time.

We can only conclude that the patrol planes were flying in a circle
between Florida and the Bahamas.  This would mean that all five compasses
were thrown off erratically to the same degree.  If the errors had been
constant, they would have flown straight and seen land somewhere.

Something affected the compasses; and it may also, later, have silenced
the patrol's radios.  The twin-engine Mariner not only had the usual
radio facilities, but a hand-cranked generator for emergencies.

Combine these facts with the strange appearance of the sea, plus inability
to see the sun, and a possible theory is an unknown type of atmospheric
aberration.  This aberration might be called "a hole in the sky."  Its
exact nature and why it is localized to semi-tropical waters within
and near the Bermuda Triangle are not known.

Officially, the Navy does not go along with this theory.  Captain E. W.
Humphrey, co-ordinator of aviation safety, puts it this way: "It is not
felt that an atmospheric aberration exists in this area, nor that one
has existed in the past.  Fleet aircraft-carrier and patrol-plane
flight operations are conducted regularly in this same area without

The fact that patrol operations are made without incident is no evidence
against the phenomenon.  It is obvious that it occurs only occasionally
in the well-traveled triangle area, without warning, but frequently
enough to be alarming.

Many commercial pilots who fly the triangle consider the aberration
theory seriously.  How else, they ask, can you explain what has been

As for magnetic disturbances that can affect compasses, the U. S. Navy's
Project Magnet is currently studying this phenomenon.  Super Constellations,
equipped with highly sensitive magnetometers, are covering much of the
globe searching for magnetic anomalies or unusual variations.

Although the project is classified, it has been reported that peculiar
magnetid forces coming from above have been detected in the Key
West-Caribbean area.

A similar project, combining studies of magnetism with gravity, was
authorized by the Canadian government in 1950.  The late Wilbert B.
Smith, an electronics expert at Ottawa, who was in charge of the project,
claimed to have discovered regions of what he called "reduced binding"
in the atmosphere with an instrument he devised.

Smith alleged that such regions had been found at locations where there
had been unexplained plane crashes.  They were described as roughly circular,
up to 1,000 feet in diameter, and probably extending upward quite a
distance.  They appeared to be more common in the southern latitudes.

"We do not know if the regions of reduced binding move about or just fade
away," Smith wrote.  "However, we do know that when we looked for several
of them after three or four months we could find no trace of them."

Smith believed that while many planes would not be affected by these
regions, others might experience turbulence that would disintegrate them.

Project Magnet may well be investigating the theories of Smith as part
of the research it is doing.

Let's take a look at what else has happened in the area:

There was the DC-3 passenger plane, operated by Airborne Transport,
Incorporated, and chartered for a predawn flight from San Juan, Puerto
Rico, to Miami.

It was December 28, 1948, when Captain Robert Linquist, of Fort Meyers,
Florida, maneuvered the big airliner above the San Juan airport and
headed for Florida, 1,000 miles distant.  The thirty-two passengers,
including two babies, had been spending the Christmas holidays on the
island.  Ernest Hill, Jr., of Miami, was co-pilot.  Mary Burks, of Jersey
City, the stewardess, served coffee and cookies to the passengers.

Everyone was in a gay mood.  "What do you know?" Captain Linquist
reported early on the flight. "We're all singing Christmas carols."

Several hours passed.  By this time, most of the passengers had fallen
asleep in the now-darkened cabin.  Below the smoothly humming plane,
dim in the starlight, the Florida Keys began to slip by.  They were
almost home.

At four-thirteen a.m. Captain Linquist made his last contact with the
Miami control tower: "We're approaching field," he said.  "Only fifty
miles out, to the south.  All's well.  Will stand by for landing

And then suddenly -- seconds later -- it happened!

It happened so swiftly that Captain Linquist and his co-pilot had no
time to send an SOS.  It happened so close to the mainland that the
lights of Miami could be seen as a glow in the night sky ahead.

What is this doom that can strike a huge airliner sol quickly, so close
to home?  What dread fate actually came to the men, women and infants
aboard the DC-3?

The pilots were veterans, well acquainted with the area.  The U. S.
Weather Bureau said flying conditions were ideal, that there was no
likelyhood the plane had been forced down by bad weather.

Again, there was a search.  Forty-eight Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy
vessels joined in carefully covering the area, fanning out from the
plane's last reported position.  In much of this region, the sea is so
shallow that any object the size of the transport can be seen on the bottom.

Again, planes crossed and ccrisscrossed the area, flying almost wingtip to
wingtip.  They watched for debris, for groups of sharks or barracuda.
Eventually the searchers scanned 310,000 miles of sea and land, including the
Caribbean and Gulf areas, the Keys and the Everglades.  Nothing was ever found.

The limbo of the lost that claimed the DC-3 and its passengers was on map
charted by man.

Why the planes of the British-South American Airways were especially plagued
by disappearances is a mystery within a mystery.  The company was merged a
few years later with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

Earlier, in 1947, one of its airliners, the Lancastrian Star Dust, was on
the London-Santiago route.  It didn't vanish in the Bermuda Triangle, but
in Chile, leaving behind a classic enigma of the skyways.

The Star Dust was due to land at the Santiago Airport at five forty-five p.m.
on August second.  At five forty-one, Captain R. J. Cook, the pilot,
radioed his arrival time.  There was a brief pause, then came the word
"Stendec," loud and clear.  The strange word was twice repeated.  Then silence.

The Star Dust was never heard from again.  No wreckage was ever found.

Nor has anyone ever explained the meaning of the cryptic word, "Stendec."

The next victim of the jinx was a ship.

The Sandra, a freighter, 350 feet long, radio-equipped, sailed from Savannah,
Georgia, in June, 1950, for Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.  Heading south, she
passed Jacksonville and St. Augustine along the well-traveled coastal
shipping lane.

Then she disappeared as completely as if she had never existed, in the tropic
dusk, just off the Florida coast.

There was another futile search by air and sea.  No debris or bodies were
ever found, in the sea or on the beaches.

In October, 1954, a U. S. Navy Super-Constellation disappeared, just north
of the Bermuda area.  There were forty-two people aboard.  Although the
plane had two transmitters, no radio signals were received.  There was no
trace of debris or bodies, though hundreds of planes and ships searched
for days.

Commander Andrew Bright, head of the Navy's Aviation Safety Section, admitted
that the Navy had no explanation for the disappearance.

Another Navy patrol bomber flew into oblivion near Bermuda on November 9,
1956.  No radio signals were received.

There were two strange incidents in 1957 that may relate to our mystery.

On March ninth, a Pan-American World Airways DC-6 en route from New York
to San Juan nearly collided in flight with a mysterious luminous object off
the Florida coast near Jacksonville.

Captain Matthew Van Winkle pulled back on the controls and shot his plane
upward sharply to avoid the object.

Air Force officials pointed out that the location was far from the guided-missile
range.  A number of other pilots in the area observed the object.

If the collision had occurred, would the plane have been added to our list of
lost airliners?

Meanwhile, the hoodoo of the triangle was not neglecting surface vessels.
In September, 1955, the yacht Connemara IV, of New York registry, was found
abandonned 400 miles southwest of Bermuda.

Al Snyder, internationally famous jockey, and two friends sailed from Miami on
March 5, 1948, to go fishing.  They anchored their cabin cruiser near Sandy
Key and left in a small skiff to fish in the surrounding shallow shoals.

They never returned.

The skiff was finally found lodged by an unnamed island near Rabbit Key,
sixty miles north from the cruiser.  Rewards of $15,000 were offered for
rescue of the men or recovery of their bodies.  A blimp was even chartered
to join the Army helicopters and planes.

But Snyder and his companions were never seen again.

Actually, the disappearance of vessels and ships found abandonned with no
life aboard, in or near the triangle, goes back for more than a century.
It is only recently, in the air age, that these occurrences have increased
with the addition of aircraft.  Atmospheric aberrations of some sort might
include the loss of ships, but would hardly cause the disappearance of crews
aboard unless the ships were abandonned in panic.  Since no survivors have
been found to tell their stories, the mystery still remains unsolved.

On abandonments, my own incomplete records go back to 1840, when the Rosalie,
a French ship bound for Havana, was near the triangle.  Her sails were set,
everything shipshape.  The only living thing aboard was a half-starved,
caged canary.

In 1881 occurred the most incredible disappearance of crews on record.
The ellen Austin, an American vessel, was "west of the Azores" when she
found a schooner that had been deserted for no apparent reason.  Everything
was in order, and there was "evidence of a struggle."

To claim salvage, a crew from the Ellen Austin was placed aboard and the two
ships started for port.  Then a squall blew up an separated the ships.  When
the schooner was found, she was again deserted.  The new crew had vanished.

Another crew was finally persuaded to go aboard.  Again a squall separated the
vessels -- and the schooner and the men were never seen or heard of again.

Vessels found strangely abandonned in or near the triangle during the present
century include the Carol Deering that ran aground at Diamond Shoals, North
Carolina, in 1921; the John and Mary, discovered fifty miles south of Bermuda
in 1932, and the Gloria Colite, of St. Vincent, British West Indies, found in 1940.

Fourteen months before the disappearance of the Navy patrol from Fort Lauderdale,
the Cuban freighter Rubicon was sighted by a Navy blimp off the coast of Florida
near Miami with only a dog aboard.  It was in perfect condition, with the personal
possessions of the crew intact.

Total disappearances of vessels have been more frequent than mystery derelicts,
beginning with the schooner Bella in 1854.

In 1880, the British Atalanta, a traiing ship, sailed from Bermuda and
vanished with 250 cadets and sailors aboard.

Skipping ahead to 1918, there occurred, within the triangle, the most amazing
disappearance of a vessel in American naval annals.  This was the U.S.S. Cyclops,
a Navy supply ship, 500 feet long, with a 19,000-ton displacement.  When she
sailed from Barbados, British West Indies, on March fourth, for Norfolk, she
had 309 aboard and a cargo of 10,800 tons of manganese.  The weather was

No radio messages were ever received.  No trace of wreckage was ever found.

Seven years later, the cargo steamer Cotopaxi, Charleston to Havana, vanished.
And a year later, in 1926, the freighter Suduffco sailed south from Port
Newark into the limbo of the lost.

The sea guards well her secrets.