The Bermuda Triangle
Sea Mystery at Our Back Door



The Bermuda Triangle: Beneath the Waves
Sea Mystery at Our Back Door

"..Over the last century a thousand ships have been reported lost without a trace in the Bermuda Triangle. Using state-of-the-art technology, we're going to unlock one of the Ocean's deepest secrets. Can science prove if a recently discovered natural phenomenon could be dragging ships down to a watery grave?..and we'll reveal a new mystery that until now was unexplained. Here, the truth can be far stranger than fiction. There are powerful, some would say evil, forces at work out here. Since 1492 when Christopher Columbus first sailed into the area and saw strange lights in the sky, the list of bizarre disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle has grown. Thousands of ships and planes have simply vanished without a trace.."


Some people believe that the laws of physics don't apply in the Bermuda Triangle and it is one of only two places in the world where a compass won't point to true, magnetic north.

Over the years, hundreds of ships and planes have gone missing in the area of the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Fort Lauderdale. 


One of the most famous disappearances occurred in December 1945, when Flight 19, consisting of five US Navy bombers, vanished while on a training exercise.

Flight 19 was a training flight of TBM Avenger bombers that went missing on December 5th, 1945 while over the Atlantic.

The squadron's flight path was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base, but they never returned.

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 supervision of an experienced pilot, Lt. Charles Carroll Taylor.

Adding to the intrigue is that the Navy's report of the accident ascribed it to "causes or reasons unknown."

Adding to the mystery, a search and rescue Mariner aircraft with a 13-man crew was dispatched to aid the missing squadron, but the Mariner itself was never heard from again.

Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion at about the time the Mariner would have been on patrol.

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, and naval reports and written recordings of the conversations between Taylor and the other pilots of Flight 19 do not indicate magnetic problems. 


One explanation for the mysterious disappearance of entire ships could be large pockets of gas which are common on the sea bed in the area.

When the gas rises to the surface they dissolve in the water, decreasing the buoyancy of ships and causing them to sink.


In 1986, the wreckage of an Avenger was found off the Florida coast during the search for the wreckage of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Aviation archaeologist Jon Myhre raised this wreck from the ocean floor in 1990.

He was convinced it was one of the missing planes, but positive identification could not be made.

In 1991, the wreckage of five Avengers was discovered off the coast of Florida, but engine serial numbers revealed they were not Flight 19.

They had crashed on five different days "all within a mile and a half (2.4 km) of each other." Records showed training accidents between 1942 and 1946 accounted for the loss of 94 aviation personnel from NAS Fort Lauderdale (including Flight 19.)

In 1992, another expedition located scattered debris on the ocean floor, but nothing could be identified. In the last decade, searchers have been expanding their area to include farther east, into the Atlantic Ocean.

It has been determined through Navy records that the various discovered aircraft, including the group of five, were declared either unfit for maintenance/repair or obsolete, and simply disposed of at sea.

 
Flight 19 was a training flight of TBM Avenger bombers that went missing on December 5th, 1945 while over the Atlantic.

The earliest allegation of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda area appeared in a September 16th, 1950 Associated Press article by Edward Van Winkle Jones.

Two years later, Fate magazine published "Sea Mystery At Our Back Door", a short article by George X.

Sand 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.

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." Sand's article was the first to suggest a supernatural element to the Flight 19 incident.

In the February 1964 issue of Argosy, Vincent Gaddis's article "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle" argued that Flight 19 and other disappearances were part of a pattern of strange events in the region.