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Bermuda Triangle Unsolved Mystery History Essay

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With the map of the Atlantic Ocean in hand and a ruler the world's most feared triangle-the Bermuda triangle or the devils triangle can be outlined. Starting from Miami, Florida, draw a line northeast to Bermuda. Then draw another line from Miami southeast to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Connect these lines with a third line. This is an area of ocean where hundreds of people have met tragic, unexplained death .The missing of thousands of lives, shipping vessels, aircrafts are still an unsolved mystery. Since a magazine first came up with the phrase "Bermuda Triangle" in 1964, the mystery has continued to attract attention. When it is dug deeper into most cases, they're much less mysterious. Even though many theories have come up it is still an unsolved mystery among the top scientists. Some of the prominent theories that have come up are The Magnetic Vortices theory, The Magnetic Variation theory, Space Time Warp theory, Electronic Fog theory , Aliens and Time theory, The Atlantis and Crystal theory, The Black Slaves theory and the Methane Hydrates theory.

THE LEGEND

In the past 100 years the Bermuda triangle has claimed over thousand lives that is only 10 a year. This is not an incredibly large in figure even though they have faced the most tragic deaths. It is how they have lost their life that raises all the questions.

Stories of strange occurrences and bizarre events of the Bermuda Triangle started right from 1492.The first legends of the Bermuda triangle begin with Christopher Colombus.He was one captain who was greatly respected for his brave sailing efforts which helped to revolutionize the world. Much of the information about Columbus is taken directly from his log book dated October 11, 1492..His first problem occurred when he ran into the Sargasso Sea. The crew was disappointed when land birds and seaweeds were sighted, but after a few

days no land was to be seen. Soon after, Columbus reported his compass acting strange. He did not report this to any of the crew as they were very superstitious. Days later, he also noticed a large meteor fall from the sky. He described this as "a large ball of light fallen from the sky". Later in their trip, he and a few crew members also sighted a few dancing lights in the horizon. Since Columbus, more than100 ships and planes have been reported to be missing, taking over 1000 lives.

THE GEOGRAPHY

The Bermuda triangle lies vaguely to the east of Florida. Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Miami are said to be the "points" of this legendary triangle. It is a region of around 440,000 square miles and is within the boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean. The humid subtropical climate of the region brings with it heavy rainfall and high temperatures. An annual rainfall of more than 60 inches that is 152 cm can be expected. Though much of this rainfall is mostly spread evenly throughout the year, hurricanes and harsh thunderstorms sometimes drop 10 inches of rain in a few hours. This is an area which is well known by the geographers for its sudden nature of storms. There have been many reports of complete whiteouts being formed in very few seconds. Waterspouts and very strong winds are dangerous elements that often accompany these storms.

 

The topography of the ocean floor bottom is very much surprising to many that sail through this area. It is commonly believed that this whole area is very shallow.  This is an incredibly deceptive area. To this day, the ocean floor of this area has not been systematically mapped out. Because the Bermuda Triangle covers a large area, there are a lot of opportunities for different things to occur, such as different landforms at the bottom of the ocean, and different kinds of waves.  The current is very strong in this area. There are sometimes tidal waves caused by earthquakes as well as freak waves. Freak waves are huge waves that happen without warning.  Some freak waves can be up to 100 feet tall, and can easily sink many kinds of ships.  The disappearances may have been caused by a waterspout.  Waterspouts are tornadoes that touch down on water and cause huge water cyclones that can be hazardous to planes and ships. It also has some of the deepest trenches in the world, which can easily sink ships with their whirlpools. There is a lot of quicksand at the bottom of the ocean that may be enough to swallow up medium-sized ships. There are also Limestone Mountains at the bottom of the ocean here.  These limestone mountains have many caves, where ships and planes might go if they sank or crashed. This could also be a reason why some ships and planes that have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle are never found. 

THEORIES

The Magnetic Vortices

The magnetic vortex is something that exists in the Bermuda triangle that makes the compasses go wild and spin like a top. It is fortean researcher Ivan Sanderson who suspected strange sea and sky phenomena, mechanical and instrument malfunctions and the mysterious disappearances to be a result of what he called vile vortices. Sanderson theorized that the tremendous hot and cold currents crossing this active zones might create the electromagnetic gymnastics affecting instruments and vehicles.

Magnetic Variation

This theory was proposed by the Coast guard over 30 years ago. It states that the majority of the disappearances can be due to the areas unique environmental features. First of all the Bermuda Triangle is one of the only two places in the world where the magnetic compass does not point toward the true north.  Normally it points toward magnetic north. The difference between the two is known as compass variation. The amount of variation changes by as much as 20 degrees as one circumnavigates the earth. In the Bermuda Triangle, where magnetic north and true north actually match, navigators must remember not to compensate. If they automatically compensate for a variation that does not exist, they will end up off course. In the middle of the ocean that miscalculation could be fatal.

 Compass variation does not mean that the compass needle points to somewhere else. The compass  always points to the Magnetic North. The problem with this is that the Magnetic North is not at the North Pole, the absolute geographic northern spot on earth is 1,500 miles away. As far as the compass is concerned, the absolute north of the planet is at Prince of Wales Island in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Therefore, geographic north on the earth, the area we mentally consider as the absolute north, is not where the compass points. Following the N on the compass is not going to lead to the North pole but instead it will lead to the Prince of Wales.

Here the dot indicates the True north that is the absolute geographic north of this planet-(North pole) and Magnetic north which is 1500miles in a southerly direction from it.

Magnetic anomalies can cause the compass confusion and the loss of bearing as a result. Magnetic anomalies have a few causes. One would be a large concentration of ferrous material like iron or nickel in this region. There is little support for a concentration of ferrous material in the whole of this triangle

Space Time Warp

It states that from time to time a rift in space opens up in the bermuda Triangle and the ships and planes that are travelling the area at this time would get lost in it.It is said that the planes and ships disappear to another space and time in another dimension.There have been reports that some pilots have lost radio contact right before they disappeared into what they described as vortex like storm or portal.A few that have made it out describe them as spawning out of clear skies with no warning signs. These "holes in time" could explain some of the sudden loss of contact, and since black holes can exist in space, it may be possible that the Bermuda Triangle could also be a place where these vortexes could be on Earth.No scientific explanations have been yet received for this theory.

Electronic fog

The electronic fog is another theory responsible for the various incidents in the bermuda triangle.This theory was stated by Bruce Gernon.Gernon himself is a primary witness and survivor of this strange phenomenon. On December 4, 1970,as he and his father were flying over the Bahamas to Bimini they encountered a strange cloud phenomena that is a tunnel shaped vortex, the plane's wings scraped through this sides of tunnel. All of the plane's magnetic and electronic navigational instruments malfunctioned and the magnetic compass spun inexplicably. As they neared the end of the tunnel, they expected to see clear blue sky. Instead, they saw only a dull grayish white for miles . No ocean, sky or horizon. After flying for 34 minutes, with time made more certain by every clock on board, they found themselves over Miami Beach. A flight normally passing through this area would have taken 75 minutes.

After 31 years of research Gernon discovered how he had flown through those 100 miles in such a short time and never seen the Earth or sky around him. He was captured by what he calls Electronic Fog. There are dozens of planes and boats that have been in this fog throughout history.Gernon believes that there are rare natural phenomenon behind this paranormal happenings in the triangle causing time distortions, equipment malfunctions and pilot disorientation.

UFO's

Another theory that has come up is the alien abductions. It is stated that aliens in their flying saucers have chosen Bermuda Triangle as the area to capture and abduct for unknown reasons. Some say the aliens take our ships, planes ,people and other objects back to their planet for study and to save them from a holocaust. There have been many reports of UFO sightings in the Bermuda Triangle by some ships but none have been proved .It is said that as the UFOs pass over the ships all of the radar screens glowed and the compasses malfunctioned .It is also said that the alien occurrences take place only 25 times a year and lasts for 28 minutes in the Bermuda triangle. The alien technology enables them to use time compression, solar power and the ability to reduce friction in order to travel vast distances in very few hours (24hrs).

The Atlantis and the Crystals

It is believed that the legendary island of Atlantis is in the area of the Bermuda Triangle. Some believe that the Atlantians were a civilization that had developed amazing advanced technology, and that somehow remnants of it might still be active somewhere on the ocean floor. This technology, they say, might interfere with the instrumentation on modern ships and planes, causing them to sink and crash.

There have not been any evidence for the advanced technology except for the most famous claim of discovery made by Dr. Ray Brown in 1970 while scuba diving near the Bari Islands in the Bahamas. Brown says that he came upon a pyramid-like structure with a smooth, mirror-like stone finish. Swimming inside, he found the interior to be completely free of coral and algae, and was illuminated by some unknown light source. In the center was a sculpture of human hands holding a four-inch crystal sphere, above which was suspended a red gem at the end of a brass rod. According to him he somehow managed to take the crystal out of the pyramid and as he departed Brown felt an unseen presence and heard a voice telling him never to return.

Fearing that his crystal might get 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.

The Black Slaves

According to psychiatrist Dr Kenneth McAll of Brook Lyndhurst in England, disappearances and deaths are the consequences of a curse. He believed that this area to be haunted by the spirits of many African slaves who had been thrown overboard on their voyage to America. According to him he felt strange experiences while sailing in these waters. He said he became aware of a continuous sound like mournful singing. First he thought it to be a record player in the crews quarters .But as it continued through the second night he finally went down to the quarters to ask if it could be stopped. However the sound down there was same as it was everywhere else and the crew were equally mystified. It is later that he learned that in the 18th century, the British sea captains defrauded the insurance companies by tossing slaves into the ocean to drown and then cashing in on a claim for them.

Methane Hydrates

The most practical and the scientifically proved theory for the disappearances of ships and planes in the Triangle is due to the Methane hydrates bubbling up from sea sediments on the ocean floor. It is the subterranean landslides that can unlock the vast beds of methane hydrate.

The methane which is normally frozen at great pressure as gas hydrates embedded within subterranean rock can become dislodged and transform into gaseous bubbles expanding geometrically as they explode upwards. As these bubbles reach the surface of the water they soar into the air, still expanding upwards and outwards.

Any ships caught within the methane mega -bubble will immediately lose all buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the ocean like a rock. Methane content reduces the density of the water. If the bubbles are big enough and possess high enough density they can also knock aircraft out of the sky with little or no warning at all. Aircraft falling victim to these methane bubbles will lose their engines and even igniting the methane surrounding them.This can also immediately lose their lift as well, ending their flights by diving into the ocean. And since this is an area high on methane content radio waves do not penetrate through this area. So it is difficult to spot the lost ships and wreckages.

FAMOUS DISAPPEARANCES

Flight 19

It took place on the 5th of December 1945 .It took off from NAS Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a training mission with a total of 14 member crew at around 14:10 hrs. It was Lt.Charles Taylor who was the leader of the group and also the flight instructor. Later Lt.Taylor informed that his compasses were malfunctioning and that he was getting lost. As he did not know where he was heading to he continued to move east until they sighted land or had to ditch in the sea as his fuel was low. Radio communication with the Flight 19 also became fainter until nothing more was heard from them. A full scale search was made till December 10th 1945 and covered all possible areas where Flight 19 could have ditched but nothing was found. A Martin Mariner search plane with a crew of 13 which took off to take part in the search also went missing. No trace of the plane or wreckage was ever found.

Some possible explanations for the disappearance of Flight 19 can be

Lt Taylor was asked to switch on to an emergency radio channel but he refused because one of the aircraft radios had a faulty receiver and he was afraid that if he changed the frequencies then he would lose contact with the other aircrafts in flight. If he had selected the emergency channel then the radio stations along the coast could have fixed his position.

Several crew members of Flight19 informed Lt.Taylor that after they were flying north they should head in a westerly direction and not to the east to which Taylor led them. If they had turned west they would have headed back to Florida.

The Martin Mariner search aircraft exploded 24 minutes after the take-off and this was witnessed by several people. The Martin Mariner was notorious for having fuel leaks and had a nick name The Flying Gas Tank.

USS Cyclops

This incident resulted in the single largest loss of lives in the history of the US Navy. This ship went missing without a trace with a crew of 306 after March,1918 after departing the island of Barbados. There is no strong evidence yet but storms, enemy activity have all been suggested as explanations.

Few more selected disappearances are as follows:

1872: The Mary Celeste 

1945: The disappearance of 5 Navy avengers - Flight 19 

1947: Army C-45 Superfort vanishes 100 miles off Bermuda 

1948: Four-engined Tudor IV lost with 31 lives 

1948: DC-3 lost with 32 passengers and crew 

1949: Second Tudor IV vanishes 

1950: Giant US Air Force Globemaster lost 

1950: American freighter, SS Sandra (350 ft.), sinks without a trace 

1952: British York transport plane lost with 33 aboard 

1954: US Navy Lockheed Constellation vanishes with 42 aboard 

1956: US Navy seaplane, Martin p5M, disappears with crew of ten 

1962: US Air Force KB-50 tanker plane lost 

1963: Marine Sulpher Queen vanishes without a trace 

1967: Military YC-122, converted to cargo plane, lost 

1970: French freighter Milton latrides disappears 

1972: German freighter Anita (20,000 tons), lost with crew of 32 

1997: Passengers disappear from German yacht 

THE POSSIBLE TRUTH

Most of the legends are purely factious myths. Even though this is an area of great tragedy and mystery some of the points to be noted are:

Amateur Sailors: The coast guard here gets more than 8000 distress calls a year that is more than 20 a day. Most are sailors are people who have run out of gas or have encountered any foolish problem. This area is highly deceptive in its calmness, so the sailors are not prepared to face what the sea can come up with.

The Gas Bubble Theory: The high concentration of methane gas hydrates exists in this area causing the water to be much less denser within small patches. This could make a ship sink like a rock.

Tropical Weather: This is an area of regular unpredictable storms. Many short and intense storms build up quickly and dissipate quickly which is undetected by satellite surveillance. These also have very dangerous elements like waterspouts that can easily destroy any passing ship or plane.

Underwater Earthquakes: Even though none has been officially recorded the scientists have found a great deal of seismic activity in this area. This can cause Tsunamis which are very destructive.

The Gulf Stream: This ocean current is very strong and is reported to move faster than 5 mph in some areas. This is more than enough to throw the boaters hundreds of miles off course as they do not know how to compensate for the current. This along with the unusual effects of magnetism on this area can mislead the sailors.

Pirates: This is an area where pirates regularly pass through untouched by most of the proposed theories. It can be the work of the pirates as the reason for the lost ships.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

First of all thank god almighty for his blessing for giving me courage and confidence to do this research paper. I also express my sincere thanks to my teachers and friends who have helped me on my research paper by their valuable instructions and advices.

CONCLUSION

Even though this area has the most tragic unexplained deaths of all time it can all have natural explanations as mentioned earlier. It should be noted that not much disappearances or deaths have taken place lately in this area as today is more technically advanced. Today the Bermuda Triangle is an area where plenty of ships and aircrafts pass through regularly without any problems. It has also been noted that most of the incidents that are said to have taken place here are not true. It was all made up by the authors in order to get more attention from the readers.


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