It was an unusually bright and peaceful day on December 5, 1945. US Navy Lieutenant Charles Robert Fox was forming his group of students for the routine navigation and combat training session in TBM-type aircraft. Suddenly his wireless clanged. A panicked voice on the other side said, “I don’t know where we are. We must have gotten lost after that last turn.” That was Lieutenant Charles Taylor, the leader of the flight. His compasses had failed and the planes were flying in the wrong direction. Fox quickly informed the air station but all their efforts to restore the radio connection were in vain. The group of five flights had vanished. What followed the next day was a frantic search to recover the bodies and the aircraft parts. But adding to the former horror, was the fact that the 13 crew members of the rescue boat also disappeared in a queer section on the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. What happened to the aircraft and the mariners? How could something vanish into thin air?

People had different theories about these mysterious disappearances. One of the theories was that of the mythical city of Atlantis which lay under the ocean and had the ability to destroy ships and planes. Another obvious theory was alien abductions. Famous novelists like Charles Berlitz popularized these theories, bringing worldwide infamy to the “Bermuda Triangle”, also known as the “Devil’s Triangle”. But are these theories a part of someone’s carefully drafted plot?

Let’s go through the actual facts. The most plausible explanation for the flight 19 mishap is that the planes would have eventually run out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. Besides, it is very difficult to recover bodies from the ocean due to the vast area of search. Documented evidence through scientific research shows that the accidents were caused due to either equipment failure, human error or violent weather conditions. Many experts have completely disproved all the supernatural theories associated with the disappearances.

Accidents that happened in this region are not more than what happens at other places around the world, considering that it is a particularly busy patch of sea. Moreover, the Bermuda Triangle does not even appear in the world’s ten most dangerous waters for shipping, according to a study conducted by WWF. Larre Kusche, a research librarian and author of the book “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery Solved”, says that some disappearances had never even occurred. For example, one plane crash was claimed to have taken place in 1937 off Daytona Beach, Florida (one of the apexes of the Bermuda triangle), in front of hundreds of witnesses, but no such incident was reported in the local newspapers at the time.


The legend could also have been borne in the minds of the poets and novelists. Some of the first descriptions about the infamous Bermuda Triangle was given by the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare, in his famous play ‘Tempest’. Later on, many novelists came up with their own versions of the mystery, using their wild imaginations to perpetuate it further. Vincent Gaddis, the author of ‘Invisible Horizons’, claimed that the disappearances were part of some paranormal activity in the region. Charles Berlitz’s book sold nearly 20 million copies in 30 languages. These books have never failed to captivate our attention and were, in fact, some of the best selling books of all time.

The Bermuda triangle could be a conspiracy of the writers and the poets who use these legends to lure the audience, or it could be a ruse to keep people away, or it may even be where the ruins of Atlantis lie. Either way, it continues to be an unsolved mystery even in today’s scientifically advanced world.

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Swathy Suresh