Bermuda Triangle and Flight 19
What Happened to Flight 19?


Bermuda Triangle & Flight 19
What Happened to Flight 19?

This fascinating video looks at the group of aircraft that were the first of thousands to go missing inside the mysterious Bermuda Triangle in 1945, in the BBC show of the same title.
Does the Bermuda Triangle hold some kind of unknown force within its area?

Flight 19 was the designation of five TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers that disappeared on December 5th, 1945 during a United States Navy-authorized overwater navigation training flight from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The assignment was called "Navigation problem No. 1", a combination of bombing and navigation, which other flights had or were scheduled to undertake that day.

All 14 airmen on the flight were lost, as were 13 crew members of a PBM Mariner flying boat, which may have exploded in midair while searching for the flight.

Navy investigators could not determine the cause for the loss of Flight 19 but said it may have become disoriented and ditched in rough seas when the aircraft ran out of fuel, and the PBM may have been a victim of mechanical failure.

Argosy magazine, and paranormal writers Charles Berlitz, and Richard Winer among others, used elements first described in American Legion Magazine as well as their own research to publish varied accounts discussing the Bermuda Triangle.

A fictionalized version of Flight 19 features in the 1977 science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

What happened to Flight 19? Was there some type of strange magnetic force which caused them to disappear forever or was it merely a human error?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Discovery of Flight 19

Planes reported missing in 1945 suddenly appear in the Mojave desert. A commercial flight is buzzed by a 'bright' object that the pilot 'wouldn't know how to describe'. Roy Neary, while working one night, has a Close Encounter...

The US Government determine where the visitors plan to land and create an elaborate cover-up to keep people away.

However, a group of people, including Neary, share a vision which draws them to the place and a meeting with new, and old, friends

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (sometimes abbreviated to CE3K and often referred to as just Close Encounters) is a 1977 science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg.

The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey.

It tells the story of Roy Neary, a blue collar worker in Indiana, whose life changes after he has an encounter with an unidentified flying object (UFO).

In addition, the United States government is also aware of the UFOs as is a team of international scientific researchers. Close Encounters was a long-cherished project for Spielberg. 

In late 1973, he developed a deal with Columbia Pictures for a science fiction film. Though Spielberg receives sole credit for the script, he was assisted by Paul Schrader, John Hill, David Giler, Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, and Jerry Belson, all of whom contributed to the screenplay in varying degrees.

The title is derived from ufologist J. Allen Hynek's classification of close encounters with aliens, in which the third kind denotes human observations of actual aliens or "animate beings". Filming began in May 1976. Douglas Trumbull served as the visual effects supervisor, while Carlo Rambaldi designed the aliens.

Close Encounters was released in November 1977 and was a critical and financial success. The film was reissued in 1980 as Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition, which featured additional scenes. A third cut of the film was released to home video (and later DVD) in 1998.

The film received numerous awards and nominations at the 50th Academy Awards, 32nd British Academy Film Awards, the 35th Golden Globe Awards, the Saturn Awards and has been widely acclaimed by the American Film Institute.

In December 2007, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


In the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind the discovery of Flight 19 was found to involve an alien species. Although some people dismiss this as improbable some individuals and groups believe that UFOs may very well have something to do with the strange forces that some claim the Bermuda Triangle has.

Flight 19
Sightings - Original Broadcast: June 26th, 1992
Update on Flight 19 disappearance over the Bermuda Triangle.

A 500-page Navy board of investigation report published a few months later made several observations.

  • Taylor had mistakenly believed that the small islands he passed over were the Florida Keys, so his flight was over the Gulf of Mexico and heading northeast would take them to Florida.

    It was determined that Taylor had passed over the Bahamas as scheduled, and he did in fact lead his flight to the northeast over the Atlantic.

    The report noted that some subordinate officers did likely know their approximate position as indicated by radio transmissions stating that flying west would result in reaching the mainland.
  • Taylor, although an excellent combat pilot and officer with the Navy, had a tendency to "fly by the seat of his pants", getting lost several times in the process. It was twice during such times that he had to ditch his plane in the Pacific and be rescued.
  • Blame for the loss of Flight 19 was placed on Taylor.
  • The loss of PBM-5 BuNo 59225 was attributed to a mid-air explosion.

This report was subsequently amended "cause unknown" by the Navy after Taylor's mother contended that the Navy was unfairly blaming her son for the loss of five aircraft and 14 men, when the Navy had neither the bodies nor the airplanes as evidence.